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A Chicago based couple who has now traveled to 26 countries! We were so inspired reading about the way they combine travel within giving back. They make a positive impact wherever they go! If you're looking for some real travel inspo, this interview is a must read.

How did you start traveling? 

It all started with our first backpacking trip that we did together through Europe after we graduated from college.  We spent 3 weeks visiting 4 different countries and quickly fell in love with seeing the world & experiencing different cultures.  Since then, even though we have limited vacation time as full-time business professionals, we make sure to do an international trip every year and as many long weekend trips as possible.

 

What destination is most memorable for you? 

This is always a hard question to answer! We’d have to say Chile not only because of how amazed we were with all the unique and stunning landscapes but also because this is where Tony proposed at the Torres del Paine National Park in Patagonia in 2017.

Photo credit: @messinaroundtheworld

What’s a place you're dreaming of that you haven't yet been to? Why?

We dream of visiting Greece, Turkey, Egypt, and Columbia – and so many more places! All of these have very unique landscapes/cities & cultures and we would love to experience them firsthand.  

 

How has traveling as much as you have enriched you in character?

Traveling has given us a deeper appreciation for life because seeing more of the world makes you realize how big it truly is & how blessed you really are in comparison to many of the others in the world. This is one of the many reasons why we have shifted our focus on all of our future trips to incorporate charity work because we want to not only see more of the world but also give back to the communities that we have the opportunity to visit.

Photo credit @messinaroundtheworld

What are your traveling plans for 2019?

We are leaving for Argentina & Antarctica on March 23rd.  This will be our last continent & we are so excited because this means that we’ve achieved our goal of visiting all 7 continents before we turn 30!

 

What is the worst bit of travel advice you have received?

We were often told to ‘stay in nice hotels’ when we visit different parts of the world but we’ve actually found that we prefer & would recommend staying in AirBnBs and hostels because it makes it easier for you to immerse yourself more into the culture & the community.  Make sure you do your research & read reviews before choosing a place so that you know it is safe & clean.

Photo credit @messinaroundtheworld

Your go-to travel tip you would like to share! 

Do your research & ask around! You can find so many great tips on places to see & where to stay when you read blogs from other travelers.  We actually recently started our own blog to share things that we’ve learned over the years – messinaroundtheworld.com.

 

A lot of people wish they could live the way you do. Can you give them some advice about how you got started?  

It’s all about prioritization.  We choose not to spend our money on things & instead spend it on experiences.  We don’t even give each other gifts anymore and instead gift experiences on our next trip or activities in our city – Chicago.  Also, if you’re willing to do budget travel & give up some luxuries, your money will go a lot further & you’ll be able to travel even more!

 

What superpower would you love to have?

We would love to be able to fly! It would make traveling a lot easier & we would love to have aerial views of the places that we visit which is also why we recently invested in a drone.