Ron and Michele are a couple in their 50s who love sharing their adventures as they explore the world. They focus on good value travel experiences and love couchsurfing so they get to learn more about what life is like for the locals. Follow along with them on their travel blog Legging It.
Ron and Michele were kind enough to answer our travel questions below
TA: How many years have you been traveling and what got you hooked?
Ron and Michele: We have been travelling our whole marriage (nearly 30 years) but both travelled individually beforehand. We spent a lot of time in Asia and around Australia but in 2014 took a three year career break and travelled overland from Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia to England by train then spent two and half years exploring Europe on a motor bike.
TA: Do you specialize in a particular type of travel?
Ron and Michele: We travel carry on baggage only and look for good value experiences to share with our readers
TA: What is the best vacation you’ve ever taken?
Michele: My favourite would have to be the first time we went to Europe for Christmas we spent 6 weeks enjoying the Christmas Markets across a few countries, meeting up with couchsurfers who had stayed with us in Australia. It was a magical time for us experiencing this period when it was cold as in Australia it is summer.
TA: What’s one place you’ve always wanted to visit?
Michele: Norway, something about the history of the vikings and the stunning coastlines seem to attract me.
TA: What’s one thing you ALWAYS pack when you travel?
Ron and Michele: Passport and credit card, we know with those two things we can manage anything, of course we never leave home without a camera.
TA: If you could only give a traveler one piece of advice, what would it be?
Ron and Michele: Travel light if you want to really experience a country you need to take local transport and get in amongst it. Having a small amount of baggage means you can be flexible and take advantage of all the opportunities that present.
TA: What are some of your favorite travel blogs and communities?
*Michele: *To Travel Too I love watching Jane and Duncan on their travels they have such varied experiences that there is something of interest for everyone.
Meandering Wanderers David and Di are another couple who have such diverse adventures with their ethos of no planes.
A Hole In My Shoe Steve and Lyn also go on smaller trips but share lots of interesting information of value.
TA: Where was the most unusual place you’ve ever stayed?
Ron and Michele: A yert in Mongolia with and nomadic family, we spent two nights with this family in the middle of nowhere, there no electricity, no toilet, food was cooked on a goat dung stove but the family was so welcoming and the night skies were amazing
TA: What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever eaten overseas?
Ron and Michele: Fried crickets at the Chiang Mai walking market, we were looking at them and a family came up and offered us some to try. They really tasted of nothing but the locals seemed to love them.
TA: What is the best piece of travel advice you’ve ever been given?
Ron and Michele: Always keep your passport with you whenever you leave your room as you never know when something may happen and you my need to leave a country.
TA: Is there something you think most travelers worry too much about?
Ron and Michele: I think people worry too much about something that might happen and it scares them for actually going to places, in all of our travels we went with an open mind and felt we were welcomed by people. We arrived on Kos in Greece and because of the arrival of Syrian Refugees and the way it was being reported people had stopped going there but the reality was it only impacted a very small part of the island and there was still plenty to see and do there. The locals were very welcoming and many even thanked us for coming.
TA: What’s a travel scam travelers should be wary of?
Ron and Michele: There are plenty of well documented scams out there, we have had the ‘found wedding ring’ in Paris one tried on us where they pretend to find a gold ring on the footpath and ask if it is yours, then they try it on their finger, too big..so then they try and sell it to you. Of course it is a fake ring we enjoyed the show gave him a couple of euros for a coffee and then handed the ring back as we did not want it. All part of the fun my theory is if it sounds too good to be true it probably is.
TA: Which country has surprisingly good food?
Michele: Such a hard question as we found good food every where (except maybe Mongolia as they really lack vegetables) I actually think Australia is the best for food as being a migrant nation we have people from all over the world and they bring their amazing cuisines with them.
TA: What was the most romantic place you ever visited with a partner?
Ron and Michele: Cliche as it is spending sunset of the Eiffel Tower and watching Paris light up as it gets dark takes a lot to beat.
TA: What is the most beautiful and affordable city you’ve ever visited?
Michele: Split in Croatia ticked all the boxes for me, great history with the city built within Diocletian’s Palace so roman ruins everywhere. The Riva to enjoy a drink and the sunshine, Marjan Park with walking trails and beautiful coastline. Just a wonderful place to visit and explore.
TA: Have you ever met someone while traveling who changed your life?
Ron and Michele: We have met many amazing people while we travelled and some have gone on to have an ongoing impact on our lives like Deb and Gerry from the US. We met them in a museum in China and ended up spending a few days exploring the area together, we then met up again in Beijing, spent 10 days together in Czech Republic the year later. This year they came and spent time with us in Australia and in 2020 we will be visiting them in South Dakota.
TA: What are the best places to travel solo and why?
Michele: I think you can go anywhere solo you just need to be aware of your surroundings and keep yourself safe.
TA: Have you ever taken a class while visiting a foreign city? If so, can you tell us a bit about the experience? And would you recommend people take that class?
Michele: We love taking cooking classes when we travel so we can take a little of the food home with us. One of my favourites was Khadija’a Kuzina in Essaouira Morocco, we were her first ever students and we were welcomed into her home where she shared her cooking skills. It was such an honest experience which showed me how much we have come to rely on gadgets in our cooking, Khadija used very simple methods and the results were amazing. I highly recommend it .
TA: What’s something that other tourists do when traveling that drives you crazy and why?
Ron and Michele: Selfies. We have been to so many places and watched people spending ages posing for selfies and not even taking the time to actually look at the place where they are and enjoy the moment, what is the point of going somewhere if you do not actually experience the place.
TA: Which underrated destination deserves to be more famous?
Michele: After seeing some ‘hidden gems’ be overrun by tourists because they were talked about or shown in a movie I am loath to mention any of the places we discovered around the world. My theory is everywhere has something to offer you just have to open to see what it is.
TA: What’s one piece of advice you’d give to travelers your age?
Ron and Michele: Just go, you never know what life will throw at you and if you keep putting things off you may never get there.