The instinct to leave career stress behind and travel the world is one many don't follow out of fear of the unknown.
Starting at home in Johannesburg...
Cartell and Dirnberger traveled to Abu Dhabi...
Unfortunately, the luxury of sustained, carefree travel is as unattainable as it seems.
More than 15,500 miles into the journey, Cartell and Dirnberger made it to Athens and shared a post on their blog, detailing the jarring reality of sustaining funds during extended travel.
Working odd jobs to stay afloat left the duo unfit, beat and emotional.
In a post titled, “Why We Quit Our Jobs In Advertising To Scrub Toilets,” Cartell shared,
It's not all ice creams in the sun and pretty landscapes. Noooooo. So far, I think we've tallied 135 toilets scrubbed, 250 kilos of cow dung spread, 2 tons of rocks shoveled, 60 meters of pathway laid, 57 beds made, and I cannot even remember how many wine glasses we've polished. You see, to come from the luxuries we left behind in Johannesburg, to the brutal truth of volunteer work, we are now on the opposite end of the scale. We're toilet cleaners, dog poop scoopers, grocery store merchandisers, and rock shovelers.
The pair's diet of cheap, unhealthy snacks took a toll, as well. Cartell wrote,
I am not at my fittest, slimmest or physically healthiest. We eat jam on crackers most days, get roughly 5hrs of sleep per night, and lug our extremely heavy bags through cobbled streets at 1am, trying to find our accommodation (because bus fares are not part of the budget, obviously).
Those wondering whether or not seeing the world is worth the hard labor may want to look to Cartell's post as a cautionary yet inspirational tale.
The post continued,
Although we knew it wouldn't be easy, we are certainly learning fast that this isn't for faint hearts, and we need to learn to react and adapt to everything that's thrown our way…But even though we probably have more greys than when we started, dirt under our nails despite long showers, and cheap snack food as a main form of nutrition, this crazy lifestyle allows us to enjoy the freedom of exploring rich Swedish forests, never-ending Nordic fjords, Italian cobbled alleyways, and cosmopolitan cities. We have time to brainstorm our own ideas, and push our own creative experiments. It's like heaven for us.
Work will follow the average person anywhere, so it could be argued one might as well do it in the most beautiful places on Earth.
You work under your own schedule, using (a lot of) spare time to jog around mirrored lakes, craft inspired creations and breathe the Arctic air. There's nothing quite like swopping million rand advertising budgets for toilet scrubbing to teach you about humility, life and the importance of living each day as if it were your last.
While I'm not totally sold on trading it all in for a life of hard-earned experiences among natural splendor and a sense of wanderlust satisfied, it seems like a life worth considering.