For today’s Adventurer of the Week, we are featuring David and Veronica, the couple behind blog “The Gypsy Nesters.” When the pair’s children left home, rather than sit around and miss their kids, they decided to use the opportunity to take on new adventures and see the world. So instead of becoming empty nesters the two thus became “gypsy nesters.” Together, David and Veronica have traveled nearly 47 countries, blogging about their experience the whole way. Just last year they wrote their first book and are working on their second, a tell-all, comedic story of their experience as empty nesters gone rogue.
Why did you decide to start blogging your travel experiences?
All through our children’s high school years, we lived on the Caribbean island of St. Croix, so it was always hard to visit relatives and friends up in the States. When our youngest graduated though, we figured it was time to reconnect with loved-ones in the U.S. So we bought a beat-up old RV on eBay for $3,000 and hit the road visiting all of the people we missed.
Once we made all our visits, we realized we liked it so much that we kept going. Veronica had worked in tech for years, so she started the blog as a way to keep our friends and family abreast of our adventures, but soon folks we didn’t know started leaving comments and cheering us on.
What do your kids think of the blog?
At first they thought we were a little bit crazy, as did we! Our son actually, “You’re going to live in your car?” (note the tone of skepticism) when we showed him the motorhome. But after a while, they’ve all embraced our gypsy lifestyle—and, as a bonus, we now get to visit our kids a whole lot more than if we had stayed in the Caribbean.
You’re working on your second book right now, tell us what it’s like writing a book versus a blog?
When we wrote our first book, Going Gypsy: One Couple’s Adventure from Empty Nest to No Nest at All, we initially had no idea what we were doing, so it took us several times revamping and restructuring.
At first we thought that it would be like the blog, but realized that we needed to tell our story, not as a series of separate posts, but as a narrative from start to finish. The book turned into a tale of our transformation from the time our youngest left for college until we made the decision to continue our travels on a more permanent basis. Our second book, Gone Gypsy (set to release in 2017) picks up the story after that and tells of our travels all around the world.
Why should fellow travelers and/or empty-nesters read your book?
Well, it is actually shelved in the humor section, so we would say first because it is funny. But there is also a lot of information in there for anyone making the transition into empty nest life. We explore that life-changing time through travel, but you don’t have to be as crazy as we are. We believe that every couple benefits from trying new things together—completely new to both of you. The discoveries can help you rediscover the couple that fell in love all those years ago. It’s certainly kept us from turning into a couple who has nothing to say to each other, in fact, we never shut up!
What are some of your favorite parts of traveling in South America?
The Galapagos Islands were certainly a bucket-list-checking-off type of experience. Also, we know you’ve probably heard it time and time again, but you really can’t miss Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley.
Tell us about a local experience you’ll never forget from your South America travels?
On our first night in Buenos Aires, we stopped in a little neighborhood parrilla and had the best steaks we’d ever tried. We knew beef was a big deal in Argentina, but this was over the unbelievably over the top. The people were so friendly and we had an incredible night conversing in broken Spanglish and international sign language. It was magic.
What’s the best part of being travel bloggers/ writers? Hardest?
It’s hard to believe just how amazed we are at how things have managed to worked out for us over the past few years. Writing our stories has taken us to 47 countries on six continents. It’s a dream come true. The hardest part, if we could even call it that, is keeping up with it all sometimes. Most nights, we fall asleep with our laptops on our laps writing about the day’s adventures. Hardly a hardship.
What’s your favorite blog post you’ve ever written?
Our favorite stories are usually about the people we meet. As full-time travelers, we’ve learned that it is not how we are different, but it’s how we are the same that matters most. On a recent trip to Tanzania we met a family that lived in deep in the Great Rift Valley, in an area so remote, under such dry conditions, that the people live on only meat and milk. You can read this story here!
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