Jurga's interview to crossroad.lt

We met with Zydrone and Valdas a few weeks after we came to Lithuania. The couple has decided to quit their jobs, sell the car, rent the flat and go to South America for a year.

One of the great things they did before their departure was starting up the website crossroad.lt - information source for aware travellers.
We' ve been only happy to be able to contribute to their site with Jurga's interview.

 

Palaung tribal woman and Jurga in one of the villages of Shan state, Myanmar

Palaung tribal woman and Jurga in one of the villages of Shan state, Myanmar

 

Original text in Lithuanian is here,

while English speakers will prefer reading the translation below.

 

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Which one of you had the carreer break idea first, and why?
You know, ideas are always in the air. If you want something, you will accomplish it. I knew people which were travelling for a long time. I talked with them, dreamt to do something similar. And when I really got the virus of it, I understood that it is possible. It happened similarly with Marius.

I wanted to travel, as I started feeling the lack of inner peace. Everyday life, career, future, environment started pressing me into the cliche that is now the default in our society. I lived like everyone else, without asking if that's what I really want. I have passively let myself pull into whirlpool of meaningless details. Seemed that I am wasting myself and my life. I also wanted to look at the big picture, which is impossible while living in the picture itself.

*****

 

Fishermen working during the sunset near the shores of Ko Samet island, Thailand

Fishermen working during the sunset near the shores of Ko Samet island, Thailand

 

Why did you choose Asia and Oceania, how long did the preparations take?
This year long trip is a first for us of such a scale. Until that, we were travelling for not longer than a month at a time. We tried to select a region which would suit us in sense of interests, budget, would be secure to travel and cultural adaptation wouldn't take too long. We had forfeit India and China for the benefit of future travels, as these countries are too big to grasp in one or two months. An important factor while choosing - most of countries in South East Asia are or were buddhist, which in turn decides the outlook of society. It is quite close to ours.
Nature and history of the region were also important.

Australia and New Zealand jumped into the list as well, since we were so close and we wanted to see both countries for a long time.

We were preparing for this trip during a whole year. The preparation period was as pleasant as the trip itself. We talked a lot, fantasized. Wrote and wiped out lists of what items should we take along. Decided to acquire certain knowledge, so we attended courses of photography and first aid, exercised. The year was fruitful.

*****

 

How strictly did you plan your trip, and how much of it was improvised?
In the beginning we tried to have an exact plan, but that decreased the fun of preparing. Before our trip we knew that we fly to Bangkok, and return from there after a year. We knew the countries we'd go to and our budget. Everything else was improvisation and adaptation to local circumstances.

*****

 

What was the most unexpected during your trip?
The world is simple, but we were inclined to believe in illusions, stereotypes and categories. It was somewhat unexpected to realize it. After that, nothing surprised us so much.

*****

 

Which item that you took along brought most joy, and which shouldn't be taken next time?
Useful agreement was the one when we decided to travel together.
We only were sorry for the amount of items that we put into our backpacks (12 kilograms each). Still, we managed to reduce the amount and leave only the most needed things without mercy. Nothing encumbers so much as things.

*****

 

Tired traveller taking a break during a trek to Fansipan mountain, Vietnam

Tired traveller taking a break during a trek to Fansipan mountain, Vietnam

 

 

How many times did you have an idea to desert it all and go back home?
We didn't have such an idea.

*****

 

Is it easy to adapt after being back?
Sincerely, there's nothing to adapt to. We know this culture, language and customs.
Acclimatization took two weeks, with the only outcome that we caught cold.
It is somewhat difficult to understand why most of people around are interested in "what will we do in future", and get a specific answer.
We won't do anything different from what they are doing now. Will live. Happily and easily.

*****

 

Will you try to repeat this type of challenge in the future?
Yes, we will travel. And recommend it to everyone else.

 

Group of travellers passing by red gates in mountainous landscape, near Jarkoth, Nepal

Group of travellers passing by red gates in mountainous landscape, near Jarkoth, Nepal