Travel Blogger Awards Interview: Uncornered Market

Dan and Audrey from Uncornered Market in Bali

Dan and Audrey are the adventure travellers behind multimedia blog Uncornered Market. Their aim is to “humanize” the places they visit, and they recently won our Travel Blogger Community Spirit Award, awarded to the travel blogger whose love and care for the planet and its people comes first.

We had a quick chat to find out more about the type of travelling they do and how others can follow in their footsteps…

What inspired you to travel and then document your travels in a multimedia way?

Before this current journey of ours, we lived in Prague for five years working in traditional professional careers (e.g., tax/legal and financial transparency), but we eventually sought more creative outlets in our lives. So when we took off to travel the world, one of our goals was to share the stories of the places and people we visited through our writing, photography, video and more.

Although we know that nothing can take the place of real life first-hand experiences, we hoped to document our travels and experiences in as multi-dimensional way as possible to connect readers to the places we were experiencing, the people we were meeting. The hope is that this may spur them to take a trip to experience the personal transformation and lift of travel themselves.

Dan and Audrey Uncornered Market in Machu Picchu

You’ve been travelling for the last six years to over 75 countries – what are some of the best travel tips that you’ve picked up along the way?

Smile, say “hello” and go into every interaction with genuine curiosity – you never know where it may lead.  Get a good night’s sleep and wear earplugs. Or, read this: Two Years On, What Have We Learned?

When it comes to local food, follow the lead of locals. If there’s a long line of locals, there’s probably a good reason for it. To stay safe, consider these street food tips.

What are your top three experiences or journeys you’ve had? 

This is such a hard question. Only 3??

Trekking the Annapurna Circuit in Nepal, climbing Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, and traveling south of the Antarctic Circle.

Dan and Audrey Uncornered Market in BerlinWhat have you learned about yourselves and each other while on the road?

Ooh, where to start about traveling with a spouse? Patience is a virtue. Listening is one of life’s underappreciated skills. What’s golden?  A sense of humor, and especially the ability to laugh at ourselves.

What do you always take with you on your travels?

Besides the regular suspects of clothes, laptops, iPhones and cameras, we always take with us our silk sleep sacks, sunscreen and our favourite woven dental floss.

You’re both passionate about charity work. Which charity are you particularly passionate about and why?

We’re passionate about projects and programs that invest in local people and feature community involvement rather than continual hand-outs of donor-funded aid. This is why we’ve been impressed by microfinance projects connected with Kiva or Five Talents.

Additionally, we love the global work done by Charity Water or the local and regional work done by Zikra Initiative in Jordan.  And if you’ve ever wondered what just one or two people can start, check out K.I.D.S. international.  We met Adrianne and Rick early in our travels in Thailand and their work always inspires us.

How can travellers do more good in the world?

If travellers take the overriding approach of respect for people, culture, economy and environment, there are so many simple things they can do to invest in and help the communities where they are visiting. Spreading one’s money around, supporting local businesses and making deliberate decisions about travel services and tours are some of the best ways to ensure that your travels are benefiting the people and places you are visiting.

What has been your favourite hostel and why?

Two favourite hostels that come to mind include Hotel Anahuac in Juayua, El Salvador for nicely furnished rooms, a cozy courtyard and good wifi. We also have a soft spot for Good Dreams in Krabi, Thailand, as it served as a home away from home in the early days of our journey.

Dan and Audrey Uncornered Market

What advice would you give to people who want to follow in your footsteps?

Don’t over plan. The world is a big place and takes oodles of time to explore. Manage your expectations – often the things under your great expectations can disappoint, while the spontaneous and unexpected will often deliver your most memorable experiences.  This is just one of the things that travel teaches us about life in general.

What’s next for uncorneredmarket.com?

In the next couple of weeks, we’ll be doing a giveaway of the G Adventures prize we won with this Hostel Booker’s Award to someone in our community.

As for the next year, we hope to hit areas in Africa, Middle East and Australia that we have yet to visit and are high on our travel wish list.  Additionally, we are busy plotting our first foray into publication and expect to continue speaking at events that highlight inspiration, sustainable tourism and travel industry trends.

Our goal: good travel advocacy and to keep telling effective stories that pique people’s curiosity and inspire them to travel and explore for themselves.

Thanks Nancy and congratulations on your win!

TravelBloggerAwards2012 Travel Blogger Awards Interview: @familyonbikes

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