Couple Who Wanted to Travel the World But Ended Up Cleaning Toilets

  • SAMEER KAPOOR
  • Sep 01, 2015
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Behind the pictures: The Uglier Side of Travelling, The couple who had a uphill battle as they left their jobs to travel

Photo: Chanel Cartell and Stevo Dirnberger

Who is not mesmerized by the beauty, the excitement and appeal of travelling? However, do your pictures completely reflect your inspiration or the fun and excitement that you find in your journeys! Travelling to unseen worlds and seeing their cultures can be a lifetime experience. But, the inspiration to travel can be really hampered if you dont find enough funds to support your passion. We shall tell you one such incident where a couple left their Ad jobs for traveling but ended up cleaning toilets to fulfill their dream to see the world.
The South African couple Chanel Cartell and Stevo Dirnberger quit their agency jobs to travel the world and write their experiences. Of course it would sound like a dream, an idea that comes across fashionable these days. They had their beautiful Instagram pictures to claim the fun they had during their journey.

As they had come halfway on their journey, suddenly they came up with the idea of posting what they had to undergo in order to stick on to their plans. They have come up with a post titled why we quit our jobs in advertising to Scrub Toiletsin which they express "the uglier side of our trip." After you read the post you realize that along with working for their odd jobs in exchange for room and board, they also had to undergo a lot of dirty work and not to forget the tears that entailed.

In the words of the couple- "The budget is really tight, and we are definitely forced to use creativity (and small pep talks) to solve most of our problems (and the mild crying fits)," Cartell writes. "Don't let the bank of gorgeous photography fool you. 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 we are now on the opposite end of the scale. We're toilet cleaners, dog poop scoopers, grocery store merchandisers and rock shovelers."

A photo posted by How Far From Home (@howfarfromhome) on

Anybody reading this blog might find their idea of leaving the jobs as foolish in itself, but then this is how Cartell justifies what he did along with his partner. He says, "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.

A photo posted by How Far From Home (@howfarfromhome) on

"Sure, wood needs to be stacked, and garbage needs to be taken out (it's our version of a shit sandwich) but once that's done, we're free to explore, wander and be one with our meandering thoughts. 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 swapping 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."
Looking at their pictures you might realize the amount of work that has gone into forming their thin selves.

A photo posted by How Far From Home (@howfarfromhome) on

"I am not at my fittest, slimmest or physically healthiest," Cartell writes. "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).
"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. Mentally, it's also a constant yo-yo between 'I have all this timelet me use it productively, let me get fit and do everything I've ever wanted to do,' vs. 'I have all this timelet me relax and enjoy it.' That, together with occasional bouts of boredom, demotivation and homesickness, makes this one hell of a ride."
The common perception would take this idea as a response to what they did to just travel but certainly we cant resist to see the kind of tenacity that supports their passion to move beyond their known domain and see the world as may be no one has seen. As they sum up in their own words, We dreamt of a journey that allowed us to live outside of the comfort zone, and would give us the opportunity to say "yes" to a whole bunch of crazy cool experiences, while fueling our creative needs. Life at home was very comfortablefriends, family, amazing jobs, shiny cars, a beautiful homewe wanted something that would shake it up a little.

A photo posted by How Far From Home (@howfarfromhome) on

Their lives put up various debates to come up between passion and reason, comfort and discomfort and lastly, the home and the world. Travelling is fun. It can be more filled and laden with excitement if it is well planned. But then if it is not planned, obstacles are bound to glare you hard.

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