Cindy and Simon Collins are a married Australian couple who met in London 16 years ago and immediately knew they had a love of travel in common. Cindy is a vet nurse and Simon is an IT consultant. After spending as much of their vacation time as they could travelling overseas, they've just recently set off to travel full time for a while. Along the way they hope to see a lot more countries and do more of the things that they love such as hiking, snorkelling, volunteering with ethical animal charities and drinking wine! They love to write about the places they visit and the things they do and see along the way, so that other travellers can make the most of their own holidays in those places. Be certain to checkout their blog Free Two Roam
Cindy and Simon spent some time answering our questions below.
TA: How many years have you been traveling and what got you hooked?
Cindy and Simon: We've been travelling part time since we met 16 years ago and full time since October this year.
TA: Do you specialize in a particular type of travel?
Cindy and Simon: Not particularly, although we write a lot about wildlife encounters and other outdoor activities because we love getting back to nature.
TA: What is the best vacation you've ever taken?
Cindy and Simon: We've had a lot of great vacations but one that really stands out was our honeymoon to Tahiti, including a few nights in Bora-Bora in an overwater bungalow. Bora-Bora is a magical place that you could never get tired of.
TA: What's one place you've always wanted to visit?
Cindy and Simon: The Galápagos Islands - we're going there finally next June which we are really excited about!
TA: What's one thing you ALWAYS pack when you travel?
Cindy and Simon: Not terribly exciting I know, but we never go anywhere without a camera and our laptops.
TA: If you could only give a traveler one piece of advice, what would it be?
Cindy and Simon: Always try and get just a little bit out of your comfort zone when you visit a new country. It's always easier to seek out things that remind you of home but if you push the boundaries a little you'll get a lot more out your holidays.
TA: What are some of your favorite travel blogs and communities?
Cindy and Simon: We love reading these travel blogs:
We always seek out help on the TripAdvisor forums if we're unsure of what to do in a place or where to eat. It's a great resource.
TA: What would be your #1 recommendation for a place to travel in 2019?
Cindy and Simon: We highly recommend visiting Myanmar. Although it's had its ups and downs recently, it's a beautiful country with a fascinating history and incredibly friendly and humble people.
TA: What are the top 3 websites you use for research/inspiration when planning a trip?
Cindy and Simon: TripAdvisor for information on the best hotels, restaurants, and tours SkyScanner for finding cheap flights Rome2Rio for figuring out the best way to get between cities.
TA: Is there something you think most travelers worry too much about?
Cindy and Simon: People often worry about visiting a country just because part of the country has some issues. While you need to do your research and keep to the safe areas, in a lot of cases you just need to use some common sense. Myanmar and Mexico are two places that we wouldn't have visited if we'd heeded every bit of advice we'd read.
TA: What is the most beautiful and affordable city you've ever visited?
Cindy and Simon: Lisbon in Portugal is a beautiful city. It has an amazing history and an incredible ambience. For a European city it is still quite affordable. We highly recommend taking a sidecar motorcycle tour which will take you to some excellent viewpoints overlooking the city and through the winding streets of the Alfama District.
TA: What's something that other tourists do when traveling that drives you crazy and why?
Cindy and Simon: We hate it when we go on a group tour and we end up waiting for some of the group to return to the bus because they can't be bothered being on time. We don't do as many group tours these days, partly for this reason.
TA: Which underrated destination deserves to be more famous?
Cindy and Simon: Sri Lanka is an amazing country. While it has been growing in popularity recently, considering it's abundance of wildlife, great food and wonderful people, it definitely deserves to be more well known.