Erica Kuschel – blogger, photographer, Tripper – and her husband, Shaun, are days away from their highly anticipated Central/South America adventure. Many of you may be familiar with their popular blog, Over Yonderlust. We got a chance to take Erica away from her trip planning to answer a few of our questions…
You and your hubby have been married for seven years now and seem to be quite the team on Over Yonderlust. How has travel changed for you since being married?
Both Shaun and I experienced our first bout of international travel on our honeymoon. I think over the past few years we are becoming much more comfortable with what to expect with budget accommodations. While we were not on a resort while in Barbados (rented a room in a villa), it was definitely a fantastic experience with alternative forms of travel.
I have always been involved in media. The process of documenting a journey on a more professional medium seemed natural. I documented our honeymoon experiences on the MySpace blogging platform seven years ago and then moved on to a more personal blog. When I realized that I was writing mostly about travel and photography, a blog focused on that seemed like the natural thing to do. We started Over Yonderlust one year ago when we decided to take our upcoming trip.
You live in the very eclectic and exciting city of Austin, TX. What would be your perfect day in Austin to show a Tripper?
There are so many things to do here that one day would not be enough! If I had to choose, I think I would start the day hiking down the greenbelt to my favorite place, Sculpture Falls, to sit and hang out in the sun drinking a few beers. From there I think we would hit up the food trailers that are all the rage here. There really is almost anything you can imagine. Torchy’s Tacos and Gourdough’s Donuts are a must. If it was a rollerderby night, I would suggest going to at least one game in your lifetime. Texas Rollerderby (TXRD) is the original league that sparked the most recent revival. If it wasn’t a game night, we would watch the bats fly out from under the Congress Bridge and then head down to one of the many bar patios in Austin for some good beer.
I would love to hang out and have Juno from Runaway Juno to show us around Seoul. She is so passionate about Korea that I would love to have her take on the country and the city.
You’re about to embark on an adventure. How long have you been preparing for this and what are you most looking forward to?
It has been a very long time coming. Shaun and I have spent the past 3-4 years paying off all the debt we had incurred during our younger days. The only thing we have left is my college loan and that is not going anywhere any time soon. When we finally paid off our last credit card, all our extra money and bonuses went straight into the savings account.
We are both most excited about Machu Picchu. While terribly cliche, this has been on our bucket list even before we left the country for the first time.
Going to Burning Man. We had been wanting to go since we were in high school and driving up to the gates 10 years later was absolutely exhilerating.
What have you found to be most challenging when preparing for your trip? Any tips?
The most challenging thing has been the unexpected things that come up that really eat into your travel budget. Shaun works almost 30 miles from work and the car needed about $1200 worth of work done on it. While most people would tend to put it off, he needs the car to get to work to make the money to save for our trip.
Our tip would be to put a little money aside for emergencies like this. You can’t avoid them when they happen and worst case scenario is that you put that money back into your travel savings.
What do you hope to bring back from this trip? Any new body art??
Shaun and I are both hoping to be fully bilingual by the time we get home. Besides that, I know that I want to get some tattoos on the road; however, Shaun is next in line so I can’t get anything until he does.