Admittedly, it comes down to two options: the sweet Jules Verne dreamy version of "discovering unknown and exotic places"...or our more realistic approach "Where do we sleep - what do we eat - how do we get there - are you sure?"
Traveling as we did is draining. Adapting to new sets of rules, new places, new friendships and new foods -not even starting on the language- can be very exciting. Do it every day, it becomes exhausting. Do it every day, and work as a freelance online on top of that...it gets daunting!
There is a duality in the globetrotter :
• he need to rest and relax. Stop being weary, if just for a moment. We long to turn into the typical tourist, staying at the cozy hotel next door.
So we try looking for good deals on the web, walking 11 kilometers out of spite to find a hidden paradise, possibly cheap and cute, to soothe our minds for a night or two.
Cute and affordable Guest House in Munduk - BALI
We usually tend to compromise.
And what a relief when there’s only this one choice. "Aw shucks! Forced to enjoy the comfort of this nice room? Ah well, it’s not like we have a choice in the matter..."
Hotel in Bagan - MYANMAR
• Next are monuments, touristic attractions, the must see if you will.
Xichen Itsa Pyramid - MEXICO
It’s a pain to get there, it’s expensive, and feels like a tourist factory.
So we progressively stop visiting these.
In New York we ended up at the foot of the Rockefeller building, not being able to get to the top, after 2 exhausting days running around visiting museums.
4. Finding a place to settle down
Fed up of moving constantly. Yes, nomad life wore us down. After 7 months already (14 countries visited across Europe, Africa, and Asia), our hesitation kept bouncing between "Let’s head back" and "Oh come on, just a little more!". Head back? Sure, but where? We didn’t have a home anymore in France.
We still came back. Shortening (butchering) the rest of the trip. We didn’t visit much in California, except for 2 companies (bakery and tech), driving atop that weird red wiry thing that passes for a bridge (please don’t shoot me).
Golden Bridge - SAN FRANCISCO CA.
Out with both Iceland and Ireland, such a shame! We had built such expectation for both these countries.
All the gold in the world...
Where was the thrill then?
Just being there, in the moment, connected to the place, at peace with what was happening and be -if only for a brief moment- in awe..
Kaikoora Bay - NEW ZEALAND
These magical moments frozen in time send us back to the innocence of first steps in Terra Incognita.
Magic can be found anywhere. When you find the best guacamole you have ever tasted in your entire life, in a tiny pueblo lost amongst the Mexican Chiapas.
Your unexpected host has poured more than just his cooking skills into the dish. You feel the kindness, good intentions, and maybe a hint of friendship. Succulent.
Of course, this is also something we get to experience in a small village in Savoie. But this is different: guacamole! This isn’t something we’re used to, it adds to the experience. The path to get there, the improbable sequence of events leading you to this very moment, what a delight.
When the trip is lived to the fullest, on a tight budget, and luck accounts for more than 50% (let’s say 60!) of every decision, we feel open to everything. Ready for everything. Unlimited pooowwweerr!...or Star Wars jokes aside, we do feel connected to the network of infinite possibilities, each choice a new path, a new branch added to the tree.
We begin to understand every point of view, every opinion, we admit they can just "be". From there on, every encounter is providential, we trust both the persons and our gut feeling
Once experienced, this sensation quickly turns into a need. You try to ride that high with the same intensity every time. All this brings us to the well-hidden reason of traveling: The traveler’s fix!
This fix gives us the courage to:
• walk for hours under heavy rain with heavy backpacks
• take the risk of using transportations with a dubious look
• travel 22h by bus in uncomfortable conditions
• sleep in revolting looking rooms
• use shower with questionable hygiene (let’s skip the toilets part, shall we)
• endure weeks of sickness
• miss the last night bus because of a misunderstanding
• walk for ages in the jungle with no certainty of the direction you’re going
• eating questionable food
• riding a bike for 2, between noon and 2 p.m, under a 50°C sun
• using unsafe roads with any kind of vehicle recommandables
Now for the gear side:
• having my shoes stolen and just having the "five fingers" shoes for months - India
• having our computer (vital working tool for Delphine) die at the other side of the globe - New Zealand
• getting our credit card hacked and used in Mexico after we had left the country
• Delphine’s camera not turning on, dead until we came back to rance - Cuba
• our brand new head gasket for the van breaking - New Zealand
• various small gear related issues (power strip breaking down, camera battery drying, lens filter breaking)
As previously stated, 600 days of travel put you on your knees, if you still even have these! In all honesty, we were close to rushing back to France.
Once there, people are glad and emotional we’re back, but the everyday life is once again the winner. We might have prepared ourselves, and expected it, but it’s as if nothing had changed. Paradoxically, the actual changes are a slap in the face.
Friends becoming parents, close ones with severe health issues...Family pets passing...
We readapt. People are sometimes quick to judge "So how did the 2 years holiday go?". Thankfully for us, support is there more often than not. Maybe because of our blog articles, and newspapers covering our trip? Our gaunt and exhausted faces are the naked truth to these so called holidays, our family is quick to catch up.
Meeting a lot of professionals, visiting factories/companies on site, also turned the trip into something almost professional.
Village Hearth Bakery- JAMESTOWN RI.
Delphine never stopped working as an illustrator throughout the adventure, and as I myself started working immediately after coming back, we had very little time for such considerations.
As it so happens, coming back also means wanting to leave again. Ironic, I know. So we followed up on some promises, went to a cousin’s wedding in Scotland, followed by a brief stop in Croatia for the Bébous wedding, a couple of friends met in Thailand.
Add to that a trip to Belgium for professional purposes -meeting Delphine’s clients who financed a non-negligible part of our epic tale through numerous contracts.
Finally, Delphine leaving on her own for Copenhagen for an illustration workshop with Schoolism, trying to rekindle her dying love for pictural creativity.
The Starks were right. Winter does come in the end. When it did for us, it felt like getting back to square one.
Latent low spirit slowly sliding into apathy, personal growth, books about seizing the present, parental pressure (coming from a good place, but still) "So when are you planning to have kids?". Everything pushed us towards our new goals - one of the most important being TATUP 2.0.
The beginning of 2017 was already upon us. We both started teaching photo classes.
Personal growth was (and still is) a big part of our lives, to reconnect with our old familiar environment. We of course make the mistake of thinking the surroundings are the issue, when in fact we need to reconnect with ourselves.
On the other hand, one of the rewards of the trip was a constant optimism, even when the morale was low, always optimism. We know everything is temporary, so we learn to let go when something is out of our control. Relativism and temperance.
We also shut out the noise of all kind of medias, a breath of fresh air for the mind.
The adventure wore us down, as previously stated. Being a couple was as much a blessing than a curse. It is paramount to remember that, quite often, the outside world is a trial, the reality of the relationship isn’t the one inviting conflict, but rather the illusion of a problem.
All this to say, we have seen our share of friends parting ways, ending their relationship, eroded by the struggle.
And, yes, we did struggle. But we never considered choosing different individual paths.
Spending 24/7 glued together, in a context where choices aren’t good or bad, is a tough yet fulfilling experience.
Getting back to the everyday life, with different schedules, without needing more of your significant other is also a boon. It means our couple has a gained flexibility and new skills, without any downside.
Love is, more than ever, freedom, not shackles.
The idea now to begin a new adventure with our brand new 2.0 project will definitely benefit from these new skills and strength we acquired.
It’s not easy to update and finance a blog while traveling (whilst working also as was the case for Delphine), but it has been almost impossible during the setup of TATUP 2.0 (the lack of articles since 2016 is the blatant proof of that).
Yet we do not like discarding one important unfinished project to build another one.
We decided to make a video editing with our bits and pieces recorded across the world during the journey. We are in no way professionals of the genre and had no intention of making such a video.
Delphine deserves all the praise for her work on it.
To catch everything, make sure to watch it twice (or 20 times).
We have you covered with a timeline for the places we have visited. Indeed, having them as subtitles would probably be unsafe for people suffering from epilepsy.
It is, if you will, our closing statement for TATUP - the travel blog. It doesn’t mean we’ll stop posting, or that we are breaking our engagement. We have still so many things to tell! We will do that in a more relaxed way, without necessarily following our chronology.
In any case, we need to finish our articles of the Bread section, as our 2.0 upgrade falls right in that topic, and so are their regular printing in the "Industrie des Céréales" (Industry of cereals) magazine.
No country was enticing enough for us to consider settling, so we instead spent 6 months looking for the right place to make our new project happen. After more than 1000km striding (yes, yes Aragorn, shut up) the region, we found it.
The place we found is the exact opposite of what we were looking for.
But it’s the perfect platform to push our dream into existence.
So without further ado, here’s the evolution of TATUP (this isn’t even my final form).
What better development for a photographer/baker and a painter/illustrator after a long trip?
Changing the world with our experience.
How do we do that?
Create your own foothold in the local economy with a real will to change the established rules.
Creating a company, expanding our range of possible choices, creating our own rules. A structure always ready to push these seemingly immovable walls.
• An ethical company, optimistic and responsible.
• With a great product: [organic sourdough bread
• Quality: organic flour made from local wheat, ground on an actual millstone
• With a slow kneading
• Cooked in a firewood oven
• The wood itself coming from local and renewable forests
• The suppliers paid at the real price
• Clients are respected, both with the optimal quality and the affordable price tag
• Employees involved in the company, with decent salaries, and more importantly with a voice that matters.
For this, we needed:
• A spacious local, positioned ideally
• An infallible business plan
• An agency to vouch for us
• An association for lending us the first 4 digits (Thanks to IPAC)
• A bank, for the 5th. !
Patience, resilience, and an unbreakable faith in the dream, we are finally proud to announce...
...TATUP 2.0 is expected next Fall!!
If you’re gluten free, or vegan, fret not, for this was planned since the start! !
...matters now more than ever. Still, no crowdfunding, no call for donations, just a Like on our facebook page pretty please? :) plizzz
We pondered crowdfunding for a while, but we dropped the idea. Our business plan was solid enough for us to be followed financially by banks and agencies since the very beginning. Others might need your financial support more than us.
We will still admit that stress and doubt had us worried for a while. We feared TATUP 2.0 would collapse before even standing. Yet we never wavered, and poured every resources we had (yes, financial and otherwise) in it, proving how serious we were about this.
You will soon become familiar with the brand new TATUP interface on our website, leaving room for our new plan while still keeping its roots intact.
Now, get comfortable, pump up the volume, grab popcorns (or any other treat) and on with the show. Bonus points if you manage to watch it all!