Meet travel couple, Rosemarie & Joseph. They started their blog, TravelAndBeyond.org in 2011 for the sole purpose of documenting their holidays for their own sake but they soon realized that their stories were gaining a lot of interest from people all over the world. So today, they write not only for themselves, but to inspire people to take a break and plan their next holiday!
Learn more about Rosemarie and Joseph in our interview with them:
Tell us a bit about yourself! Why do you love travel?
We are travel enthusiasts that try to squeeze in an adventure any chance we get. No, we haven’t sold all of our belongings to go backpacking like nomads. That is so not us. We love exploring as much as we like coming home to our little cosy apartment where we can sit on our comfy couch with a warm brownie and watch episodes of our favorite series. There was one time we watched a whole season of 13 episodes back-to-back! Yup, we get a bit crazy that way.
Why do we travel? When we look at old sepia-toned photographs of our parents in Hawaii, London and Mexico, we would find ourselves lost in an imaginary world. When Rosemarie was seven, she would try on the Hawaiian lei her mum kept in a treasure box and get all inspired. That purple orchid lei was from her mother’s travels in 1972! We’ve heard their travel stories and saw their travel curios. It was their globetrotting spirit that laid the seed of wanderlust in us. Today we too globe trot, purchase curios and have our own tales to tell.
Can you tell us something about the culture in your country and why did you decided to stay there?
Both Joseph and I come from very different backgrounds but with a similar interest. I’m a Malaysian who loves food and Joseph is an Indian who loves food! We make a perfect pair! We met each other in the Philippines, got married in Indonesia, lived in Singapore for a few years and now call Canberra, Australia home. Canberra is a place where you hear the chirruping of birds throughout the day. They wake you in the morning and return with you in the evening through glorious sunsets. The restaurants cook up a storm and people smile at you along the streets. The air is clean and crisp and mobs of kangaroos sometimes watch you along the roadside. The city is full of lakes and parks and a beautiful day would draw families out for a picnic. We had enough reasons to believe that we found our Utopia!
What surprising aspect of culture do you love about your country (or your specific town/city) that travellers may not be aware of?
Canberra is buzzing with festivities throughout spring to summer, filled with markets both day and night, a plethora of walking trails just a 40 minute drive from the city and the best part is that you get home from work in a mere 20 minutes, in time to join the family for a great evening. It offers a perfect work-life balance and nature is intertwined within its suburbs. We have so much to explore in this beautiful city and we hope to blog about each experience soon.
Which dish do you feel best represents where you’re specifically from? Share a picture and tell us why you love it!
There are too many dishes on our minds to list but recently we had the most amazing bowl of Soya Braised Chicken from Miss Van’s, a Vietnamese restaurant in the city. This dish represents how multicultural Canberra is. You will find various cuisines in every look and corner. It is very hard to pick just one cuisine or just one dish and say this represents Canberra. Canberra is a melting pot of various cultures, it’s a food Mecca for a foodie at heart!
Talk about the role of family in your life. What does family mean to you? Which family values are valuable to you?
Family is everything. Family means love, laughter, friendship and support. One of our family values we place importance on is working together as a team to fulfill our dreams and desires. Teamwork is key.
How important is spirituality and religion in your daily life? What do you do to celebrate the two?
Both of us come from different Christian denominations i.e. Syro-Malabar Catholicism and Protestantism and we have found that labels do not matter when you share a common belief system. Love is all that counts.
Languages not only give us the power to communicate, but also can unite us across cultures. What’s something you love about the multitude of languages spoken in your country? Share a favorite saying you have, or teach us something in your native language.
English is our first language and our favourite saying is, “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that frightens us most. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and famous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. And when we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” – W.E.B. Du Bois
Who is the most inspiring person in your life? In which ways does this person inspire you?
Our parents. They are our role models and their advice and experiences motivates us to be better individuals and to achieve all that we dream of achieving. To share our love with our friends and to treat people will respect. To focus on being positive and never letting negative people take us down with them. The only way is forward. That said, Gimli from Lord of the Rings inspires us as well too! He’s stocky, short and stubborn, but his determination is inspiring!
Have you ever met a stranger during your travels who made an impact on your life in a certain way, or maybe it was you who helped someone else? Share the story!
We were on tour bus in Turkey when we made friends with some awesome people from different parts of the world. We are all, still in touch today, and even recently met one of them in Canberra when she visited Australia. It is so nice to know that friendships transcend borders.
Unfortunately, stereotypes exist in the world. What are some common misconceptions you’ve heard about your country? What is considered disrespectful in your culture that visitors should be aware of?
Australia has always had a bad rap for its spiders! But we have yet to encounter anything remotely frightening (touch wood). Ask us what we think of this questions when our status quo changes. Hahahaha!
Check out more of adventures on their blog, TravelAndBeyond.org! And, if you have a question or comment, feel free to let us know below!