Storyteller Laurence and Jessica | Finding the Universe

Today’s Culture with Travel interview is with Laurence and Jessica of Finding the Universe 

Tell us a bit about yourself! Why do you love travel? How do you think travel unites us or teaches us more about the world?

My name is Laurence, and with my wife Jessica, we’re full time travelers and travel bloggers! We run two travel blogs, the adventure/photography focused Finding the Universe, and the couples/culture focused Independent Travel Cats. I’m from the UK, and Jess is from the USA, and we’re currently based in Scotland.

I love travel because I love to see the world, and as a passionate landscape photographer I love to try and capture the beauty that exists on our planet. I think travel unites us because as you travel, you realise that despite what you read on the news, the majority of people around the world are quite similar, with similar hopes, dreams and aspirations.

Laurence and Jessica of finding the universe in Girona
Laurence and Jessica in Girona

What surprising aspect of culture do you love about where you’re from that travelers may not be aware of?

Having my wife being from the US and living together in the UK has opened my eyes to a world of cultural differences that I wasn’t previously aware of. There are so many quirks of British life and language that I find wonderful, from the almost unbearable politeness through to our insane love of queuing and almost endless desire to discuss the weather!

Which dish do you feel best represents where you’re specifically from? Share a picture and tell us why you love it!

Living in Scotland at the moment, I would say that black pudding and haggis are fairly representative. I attach a photo of a Full Scottish breakfast. 🙂

scottish breakfast laurence of finding the universe
Scottish breakfast. Photo by Laurence.

Share about a custom/tradition you observe, and talk about the role of family in your life. What does family mean to you?

I don’t really have a custom or tradition I observe. Family is important to both Jess and I, although both our families live in different countries from us at the moment – hers in the USA, mine in France. For us, it’s important to keep in contact with family members, something that technology has made a lot easier in the last decade.

Art and dance can tell a deeper story about local culture. Tell us the story of a specific artwork or dance that has a meaning for you. Share a photo, if you can. 

I love seeing the street art of a city when we travel. For example, when we visited Bristol, I wrote a whole post on the street art of Bristol. I think street art is an interesting way to get a bit of insight into a local culture, and we always keep an eye out for it when we travel!

Bristol Street Art
Bristol Street Art. Photo by Laurence

Languages not only give us the power to communicate but also can unite us across cultures. Share a favorite saying you have, or teach us something in your native language.

Well, my native language is English, so I’m not sure I can teach you anything new! I do love some English expressions though. Like “Knackered” meaning tired, “Chuffed,” meaning happy, and “blimey,” to denote surprise!

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!

Well, I met my wife Jessica on my travels in Italy, so that would probably be the biggest impact on my life from meeting a stranger. We met in Rimini, and two months after we met, I moved to the USA to live with her, after which we traveled Europe extensively before basing ourselves in the UK. So, I would definitely say that that was the best stranger experience I’ve ever had on my travels!

Read more of Laurence and Jessica’s travels via Finding the Universe. Follow them on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

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