We are very excited to have Michael and Alex on as our interview guests. Make sure to listen to their episode on The Best Travel Podcast. You can follow them on Instagram at www.instagram.com/gallaghers.travels/.
Seth Freedman: My guests today are Hanna and Adam from Getting Stamped. You can check them out on Instagram or gettingstamped.com. Hannah, Adam, I appreciate you guys taking the time today.
Hannah: Thanks for having us.
First of all, you guys are the first couple that I’ve had on the show. My first question I usually ask is, “What got you interested in travel?” But before I do that, I just wanted to know: did you guys meet while traveling?
Adam: No we did not meet while traveling. We met 11 years ago in good old Milwaukee. We were both going to school at University of Wisconsin Milwaukee. We didn’t meet at school but we met at a fine drinking facility after school hours. It’s been a lot of traveling ever since. Pretty early on in the relationship, we established that we both love to travel. I think in the first year, even as students, we went on at least six or seven different trips, even as far as Hawaii in the first year. So travel has always been a part of our relationship. We knew at a very early point in time that we were going to be traveling for most of our lives. It kept building and building and we kept going further and further until we ultimately took off and ended up doing some real traveling.
Tell me about the first trip that you guys went on. How did you feel before you went on that trip and what was the trip?
Hannah: Well, on the first trip he kind of crashed my spring break in college. I told him I was going on spring break to Panama City Beach and all of a sudden he was going. He didn’t come with me but we ended up in the same city. Then we ended up being a couple after that. But three months after that spring break, he flew to Hawaii where he met me there for my cousin’s wedding. So he didn’t just meet my parents the first time; it was extended family and whatnot. A couple of months after that, we went to New York City. Then we went to Jamaica and just kept going and going.
Wow, that’s great. Would you guys define yourself as couple travelers or would you define yourself individually as travelers? What kind of travelers are you?
Adam: I think we both love to travel. I don’t know if it’s bad but now we just travel together. We’ve only been on a handful of trips away from each other in the past couple of years. I don’t think that’s a bad thing at all. It is fun to travel without each other every once in a while, but 99 percent of our trips are together. So yeah, we’re definitely couple travelers.
Hannah: One time when we traveled apart, it was two weeks, which is the longest we been apart, I think. The only reason Adam didn’t come with me to Indonesia is because his passport had expired and he was waiting for his new one in the mail. So he literally couldn’t go.
Do you guys travel with other couples or just the two of you usually?
Hannah: Well, before we quit our jobs to travel, it was definitely with other couples. You know, get all the friends together to go away on a trip. Sometimes they would present destinations that we had never thought of, so we’d do that. Over the first two years, we definitely talked other friends from home into coming to visit because we wanted to show them places that we love.
What was the last trip? Where did you just come from?
Hannah: We just got back earlier this morning from North Carolina.
And then what was the last trip out of the country that you took?
Hannah: Well six days ago, we got back from St. Bart’s.
Oh that sounds amazing I’ve always wanted to go to St. Bart’s. Can you tell me a little bit about St. Bart’s?
Hannah: We were there for five nights. St. Bart’s has gorgeous beaches. We rented a car, which is something we like to do.
Adam: Yeah, you can really explore the places you’re visiting on a much deeper level. We always try to get a car and really advocate that it’s one of the best ways to explore the island. It was a fun little island…super easy to drive around. We visited almost every single beach on the whole entire island. But St. Bart’s is kind of a different kind of an island. I love it. It’s a beautiful island but it’s definitely got its quirks. It’s definitely a place where the rich and famous are going to see and be seen, I guess. So it’s got a different element to it and it’s it’s definitely an interesting place.
Hannah: It’s not for everyone’s budget.
On the road, everybody kind of encounters different obstacles. Would you say that you’ve ever been scammed on the road? Have you ever experienced a situation where you felt you were being taken advantage of?
Hannah: There have been many attempts at scamming us but thankfully, we’ve picked up on them. Some of the scams people try are just so ridiculous. I wonder how somebody falls for it, like the gold ring scam in Paris.
Adam: There’s lots of good ones in Europe. A couple years ago, the gold ring scam was tried on us. We were taking a bunch of photos by the Eiffel Tower and were approached by a guy. All of the sudden, he’s got this giant gaudy golden ring in his hand he’s trying to say, “Is this yours? Is this yours?” It’s just a scam that kind of distracts while somebody else comes up behind you and gets you. We’d turn them down pretty quick and told them to get on their way but there’s always scammers out there. There’s been a handful of other times in other places where it definitely looks like there’s a scam about to happen or some people are maybe approaching that don’t look like they have the best of intentions. The more we travel, the more we kind of tune in on that and try to stay away from situations like that. But they’re everywhere when you travel. I think if you keep a good head, you know what to look out for. I don’t think anything’s really going to sneak up on you.
Hannah: We always trust our gut. If we see something funny, we’re like, “You know, we should just keep moving.”
Have you ever felt truly scared for your lives in a situation?
Hannah: For our lives? No. I got robbed by a snatch thief which is common in some parts of the world. A moped just drove right up on the sidewalk in Asia, which is completely normal for Asia. He ripped my phone right out of my hand. So I mean, I didn’t get hurt. He literally just took it from my hand and by the time I looked up, it was gone. Adam was inside the temple taking pictures. He comes outside and I’m crying. He was like, “What happened?” We have travel insurance, so we went to the police station and got paid from the insurance company. It was completely fine. But it did rattle me.
Travel insurance. That’s definitely a must, huh?
Hannah: For most people, yes. We had it the first two years of traveling and now we have a different type of insurance. But I think it is something that’s good to have.
So if you get robbed like that, does it cover that?
Hannah: Yeah, it’s taken care of us for a while in a couple of different situations. We also had some some cameras and stuff get damaged when we got caught in some bad weather. So I think there’s a number of different ways where travel insurance can help you out. We definitely advocate for it, and it’s not just personal property. If something really bad happened in a country that doesn’t have the best medical care, we could get to a country where we could get good care. So I think that’s just as important as insuring your personal property.
Today we’re celebrating 12 years together 💕Waking up watching the fish swim by as we have breakfast in bed in our overwater bungalow at @sandalsresorts in Jamaica. Jamaica will always be a special place to us. We took our first international trip together here more than a decade ago and got married on the beach in Jamaica! Our love for Jamaica is real 🇯🇲 #GettingStamped #Sandalsresort #Sandalssuitelife #SandalsSouthCoast #Jamaica #VisitJamaica … ⋯ Location: Sandals South Coast … …. . . . #luxurytravel #coupletravel #couplegoals #anniversary #travelcouple #prAna @prana #couplelove #coupletime #couplesgoals #overwaterbungalow #overwater #overwatervilla #luxurylifestyle #beautifulhotels @beautifulhotels #beautifuldestinations @beautifuldestinations #travelcouples #Jamaicabound #Jamaica2018 #mylove #breakfastinbed #breakfastlovers #breakfastview
I would imagine you have moments that create these everlasting memories in your head, these amazing moments. Can you tell us about one or two times when you were traveling that were just amazing, that stuck with you forever? What was special about it and where were you?
Adam: We had a lot of amazing times in Africa. We spent two months on one trip and went on another longer trip. It’s full of memories like that. And I think some of our favorites were from countries like Tanzania and Kenya where we spent a good amount of time on safaris and camping. We had some amazing nights. Those countries just hold super special memories for us.
Hannah: Yeah, on one trip, we spent 68 days camping, which was awesome. I think my favorite memory is laying in the tent in the Serengeti where there’s no fence and hearing the lions roaring outside. We felt like they were right there. I loved it.
Adam: When the lions roar, it just kind of rumbles your chest. They say you can hear them from quite a distance away, so they were probably not super close but it’s just it’s one of those things that just makes you think, “Is this real life?”
That sounds like an amazing experience. I always like to talk about romance on the road and you guys are my first couple. What is it like to travel with a partner? Can you give me some good and some bad? I’m sure it’s not always good and there are situations when you guys test each other. Just give us a little insight on that.
Hannah: It’s not normal to see the same person every day for 24 hours a day. There are moments when you need a few minutes to be apart. And we do take time to do our own thing. We have different hobbies. Adam likes to dive. I have tried three times diving with him and he now says, “Never again.” So he goes diving and I like to go get a massage or I’ll go shopping in town and whatnot. We like to keep our hobbies separate so that we can have that time apart.
Adam: I think the one thing I really love about traveling with Hannah is just how much stuff we get to experience together. I don’t know if you’d have the same feeling if you were going into it all by yourself. I’m sure it’s amazing but I think having someone there to share it with and to build those memories with is truly something special. I wouldn’t change it in any way.
That’s great. Do you guys have something specifically romantic that you do from city to city? Is there something that you guys do to keep the romance or just something that you guys do together?
Adam: I don’t know….We don’t have a certain cheesy photo or anything like that. We don’t do too much of that kind of thing but we always take the time to have a really nice meal somewhere. We’ll go out and basically have kind of like a date night. We’ll go to a restaurant that’s higher than our typical dining budget. We’ll go out, have a nice dinner, and it just kind of feels like a normal date night in most cities.
You mentioned money and spending a little more than you would usually. Are there any travel money saving tips that you would give the people listening? What are some good tips to save money?
Adam: Yeah, we’ve been honing in on our travel hacking skills for a number of years. One of the biggest things is when you’re looking for a place to eat, if you can see a major monument or a super popular tourist attraction, you should walk a little bit further to get away from the main area to go have lunch. The food will actually be a lot cheaper. Restaurants right next the Eiffel Tower are going to have crazy inflated prices. And honestly, the food in those kinds of areas is usually not that great anyway. You’ll save a little bit of money and get a more local experience.
Hannah: And if the menu says “tourist menu” and it’s in U.S. dollars….run!
Are there any other things you guys do to save money?
Hannah: We like to use public transportation and we also like to walk a lot of places. It’s not only to save money; sometimes we just like walking and getting lost. You end up finding some really cool places that you would have never found if you were just taking a taxi. Getting lost has lead us to some of our favorite little places.
Adam: Yeah, it saves money and it helps you to experience a place a little bit deeper. If you walk around and get in the subways or take the local transportation, you get a deeper glance into everyday life of the places you’re visiting.
Adam: Also, for transportation, another tip that we try to do when we’re taking flights across an ocean or taking a longer distance flight is look at bigger hubs like Rome, London, New York, or Bangkok. If you can find flights into bigger cities, you can usually fly regionally for a lot cheaper. You can get a really good deal on a flight to Rome and then if you really wanted to go to Bosnia or something from Rome, it’s going to be whole lot cheaper. So we always book long haul flights to hub destinations and then then take flights within that region. Besides just saving money, it allows you to find another destination that you might not have visited. You could easily pop into London for a night or two while you’re on your way to your main destination. I think there’s a couple advantages to that.
Do you guys use any specific Internet resources? Obviously once Driftr’s out, everybody’s going to be using that. But right now, what are some big Internet resources that you guys use?
Hannah: For booking and stuff? We kind of look everywhere. I’ll start with Skyscanner but there are some airlines that you’re not going to find on there, so I’ll try to just Google local domestic airlines in whatever country and see what see what we can find there.
Adam: And then we also just love discovering other blogs by other people who have already been to those destinations and find little little quirky spots, how to save a couple bucks in that particular city, how to get there, or how to get between where you are and where you want to go next. There’s usually someone who’s already done it and they detail it out pretty good. Stuff like that has been a big help for us.
Why not talk to somebody that’s already been there?
Hannah: And then we know that just because someone loved a certain city or hated a certain city, that doesn’t mean you’re going to like it or hate it. I mean, when we first started traveling, we were like, “We have to go this city. This blog loved it.” Then we ended up really disliking it and realized that it’s all about the experience and what you make of a city. You can’t go to a destination with all these expectations because they might not live up to it. So we always try to go places and make our own judgments.
Right. Let me ask you is this…this is a question for each of you individually and the two of you. Is there something you take everywhere you go? You know, some people have cameras some people have a lucky hat. Is there something that you guys have?
Adam: For sure. It’s a camera for me. I think I would be devastated if I went somewhere and didn’t have a camera to document what we do. The camera has kind of been an attachment to my right hand for the last few years. I wouldn’t want to go anywhere without taking a camera….or five.
Hannah: Not an item like that, but before we left, I had our cat’s name tag in the little pouch with our passports. Then my mom gave us a little glass angel to watch over us and protect us. That’s with us traveling.
That’s great. This is just a little bit more of a general question and you guys can answer it however you like. Big, big success. You guys are married, correct?
Obviously that’s a big one. What else? What is your biggest success that you guys each have?
Adam: I think one of our biggest successes is actually taking a big leap of faith and stepping away from pretty successful careers to pursue something different. Back in 2013, we both took time off and decided to travel the world. It was couple years in the making, but we saved and planned that all out. We were able to take off for what we thought was going to be a year or two of travel and we’ve kind of turned that into more than a lifestyle. We’ve been at it for over four years now, so we’re pretty proud of that. We think that’s a pretty cool thing and a pretty notable success.
Absolutely. Now this is a little bit of a morbid question, but I ask all the people on my show this question. Imagine you woke up and you only had two months to live. After spending time with your loved ones, what would you do and where would you go?
Adam: That is a tough one….I don’t know. I think I’d be torn. There’s one little tiny island in Thailand that we always come back to. It’s pretty much one of our favorite places in the world. I think I could spend my last couple days there. But I think at the same time I’d be so paranoid and would want to see as much of the rest of the world as I possibly could. Two weeks isn’t a lot of time but I think I’d be tempted to see a bunch of countries that I hadn’t been to yet.
Hannah: The island Adam is talking about also has our favorite restaurant in the world and they have the best panang curry ever. I don’t even know how to explain it. Like breakfast, lunch, and dinner we would go there just for panang curry.
Adam: Toes in the sand, crystal-clear electric blue water, and just some crazy good panang curry and green curry, just awesome Thai curry. So if that was my last meal, I guess I’d probably be pretty happy with that.
I’d like for you guys to tell the audience something about you that they might not know from looking at your social media or reading your blog. Tell us something about Hannah and Adam. It doesn’t have to be embarrassing, just something about you guys.
Hannah: The thing is…we live our lives online. I swear nothing’s a secret. If it’s not on Instagram Stories or SnapChat, I mean, everything’s out there. Adam carries all the bags and we have a lot of stuff. I don’t know….traveling without him would be very hard for me. I always overpack, even after years of traveling. Yeah, we suck at packing.
Adam: Yeah I’d like to say we’ve gotten better at it over time, but I think the more and more we travel, we get more and more stuff. I think four years ago when we started our big around-the-world trip, we fit everything into two big backpacking backpacks and a couple little small bags and we did that for about a year to a year-and-a-half. Then slowly we started getting more and more bags. So yeah, probably our biggest dirtiest secret is we suck at packing.
Well Hannah, Adam, I really appreciate you guys coming on the show. You guys have been great guests. You guys have traveled all around the world and you are my first couple and that’s great. Good luck with the rest of your travels. I hope to have you guys on the show again in several months to tell us more about your travels. You can check them out @gettingstamped on Instagram or gettingstamped.com. Again, thank you for being on our show.
Hannah & Adam: Thanks for having us.
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