Sheila and Evo, or “ShEvo,” took what they expected to be a year-long sabbatical in 2015 so that they could travel the world and they haven’t stopped since! They sold everything that they owned, packed up the necessities and hit the road. As both have digital backgrounds, they have decided to document their lives as they live them, from their current home in Bangkok, Thailand, and wherever they travel. Their goal? To let armchair travelers the world over live vicariously through them at The Opportunistic Travelers!
Want to know more about ShEvo and their adventures? Read more in our interview below and connect with them here on Backpacker Travel and their Facebook page.
BT: You started long-term travel following a sabbatical. Is there a particular experience that led you to make the decision that travel is what you want to be doing for life?
ShEvo: We made the jump because, well… we could! We weren’t saddled with the obligations that hold a lot of people back from traveling — free of debt, successfully raised an adult child, and healthy parents well-looked after by our siblings — so we jumped in with both feet. (As we tend to do.) Like many Americans, our international travels were limited to north-south directions, and there was a whole lot of the world to be seen from east to west. Since nothing was really holding us back other than us, we decided to have a collective mid-life crisis together!
BT: You are traveling as a couple. What is the best and the worst thing about globetrotting with a partner?
ShEvo: We’re that sticky-sweet couple that people either love or hate, so it’s all second nature to us. Still, that first year was challenging. Being married for 25+ years to someone you truly love is one thing. But when going to the toilet is the only time you’re not touching or seeing your partner all day, every day… it’s a lot. But it’s also fantastic, and the good far outweighs the bad. Traveling with a true life partner means you can split the responsibilities, and know the other half of your brain will pick up the slack where you fall short. Pro tip: Work out ahead of time what those responsibilities are, and respect those boundaries. Else there might be more than one fight while you determine who’s fault it is that you’re walking 2 KM through a city’s water treatment facilities on your way to the immigration department. Just by way of example, you understand
BT: We love your one-minute memories! What inspired those?
ShEvo: Our biggest channel is our audio podcast, but that only comes out weekly. We experimented with video formats but never really found one that worked for “us”. But Sheila’s a photographer and stumbled on the idea of just taking a “long photograph”, without any exposition from the loudmouth of the group (that would be Evo). Our friends loved it, telling us the videos were a great escape from their day. It was just one more way for others to travel vicariously through us!
BT: You really took the plunge and went all-in with traveling, selling everything you own. What is your best piece of advice for people wanting to do the same, but maybe feeling a bit nervous?
ShEvo: Find out why you’re nervous. It’s perfectly natural to feel that way. For us, we knew that we each had marketable skills that weren’t going out of demand anytime soon. We knew that our worst-case scenario wasn’t bad: We’d just move back (somewhere), get jobs (she’s an educator and he’s a digital strategist), and get back into it “normal” life everyone else knows without too much effort. If you’re unencumbered from obligations and have the “I was looking for a job when I found this one” attitude about your next gig… go for it!