Breese Journal Feature!
We are absolutely thrilled! Just four months since the inception of wanderlustduo.com and we’ve made the front page! Our hometown newspaper, the Breese Journal, featured us this week, and here’s what they had to say:
Travel the World with the Wanderlust Duo
Written by Vicky Albers – Breese Journal Editor
January, 29, 2015
Breese native Josh Sedivy and his wife Krissy have left their “normal life” behind to spend the next two years trekking around the globe. Via their blog — www.wanderlustduo.com — they invite you to join them on the adventure.
September 16, 2014: “A few months after our crazy decision to leave it all behind: the jobs, the cars and most of our worldly possessions, we’re sitting in Barcelona, Spain … WE’RE SITTING IN BARCELONA, SPAIN!!!”
And so begins the story of the adventures of Breese native Josh Sedivy and his wife Krissy who, for the next two years, will be traveling around the planet, eating new foods, meeting new people and living the life that many people only dream about.
They’re calling themselves the “Wanderlust Duo” and the words above are from the first entry in their travel blog (www.wanderlustduo.com) which they started to allow friends, family and like-minded venturers to follow them on their journey.
Josh, a 1996 graduate of Mater Dei High School in Breese, was just a young boy attending All Saints Academy when he would trace his fingers around an illuminated globe in his childhood bedroom and study the stacks of National Geographic magazines that his great aunt had left him. Krissy always reminisced about the iconic palms and beaches of her childhood family trips to Hawaii.
“These are our earliest memories of a desire to see more of Planet Earth,” Josh said. “It’s difficult to say exactly when it happened, but somewhere along the line we would be infected with an overwhelming urge to explore far away places, interact with unusual people and experience strange cuisines.”
Josh and Krissy met in 1999 and married a few years later, settling into their pursuit of the American dream. They bought homes and cars and worked 60-hour per week jobs while squeezing in short trips around the U.S., Mexico and Canada when time allowed, always hoping that someday they would save enough money to retire and travel the world.
Fast forward 10 years and all of their hard work began to pay off. Krissy was general manager of a popular restaurant in downtown St. Louis, and Josh had been promoted to finance manager for the largest automotive group in Missouri. For their 10-year wedding anniversary, they decided to reward themselves with their first big trip: 10 days in Europe, with stops in Barcelona, Spain; Nice, France; and Venice, Italy.
Josh recalled, “The entire trip was a whirlwind. We were enamored by the history and architecture, blown away by the food and intrigued by a European lifestyle that seemed so different from our own. We also did everything wrong, planning poorly at best. Our phones were intermittently shut off, our cards were often denied, and we lost our way again and again. Like never before we were forced to really live in the moment, reacting to unimaginable scenarios, and the feeling was utterly intoxicating.”
With inspiration from his old National Geographic magazines and the couple’s favorite television show “No Reservations with Anthony Bourdain,” Josh began keeping a journal to detail their experiences and mishaps for family and friends.
They returned to the states with a heightened focus on far-off places.
“We worked harder and saved more, trying to draw our retirement age closer from 60, to 50, then 40,” Josh said. “We also began to travel more.”
Nearly every other month, the Sedivys managed to escape from their reality of long hours and high stress, traveling from New York to LA, Vancouver to Puerto Rico and many famous American destinations in-between.
But, it wasn’t the same.
“Most cities seemed similar, and our thirst for exploring exotic locales was hardly quenched,” Josh said.
“Meanwhile, a streak of serious illness and death hit our family. At the same time, Krissy’s restaurant closed, and we found ourselves in a severe state of grief and unease. Stress levels skyrocketed until it was finally decided: I’d quit my career of 15 years and the $200k+/year paycheck that came with it, and we would travel the world!”
They knew the time was right.
“These experiences helped us realize that life really is finite, and we should start living our lifelong dream immediately,” Josh said.
They booked their one-way tickets to Barcelona, (non-refundable, Josh said, so that he would have the guts to actually quit his job), and they began to systematically wrap up that chapter of their lives, with hopes of calling their own shots in the next.
They have emerged as the “Wanderlust Duo.”
“Once we decided to take the plunge, we purchased one way tickets to Barcelona and booked a month’s stay, THEN I quit my job,” Josh said. “I was truly nervous that I’d get cold feet and not follow through.”
The couple chose Barcelona for two reasons: They had visited the city during their 10-year anniversary trip to Europe and really fell in love with it. Also, Josh said, learning a second language has always been on the bucket list, and with a few years of Spanish classes already under his belt, it seemed a natural direction.
“The funny thing is that Barcelona is part of the autonomous region of Catalonia and locals actually speak Catalan, with Spanish as a second language,” Josh explained. “So, although we were able to practice a little Spanish, it wasn’t until we decided to explore the rest of Spain that we were immersed in the language, culture and history.”
Since September, Josh and Krissy have traveled all over Spain, Morocco and Portugal staying in Barcelona, Valencia, Madrid, Pamplona, San Sebastian, Zaragoza, Cordoba, Granada, Seville, Marrakech and Lisbon.
“The entire Iberian peninsula, including Spain and Portugal, as well as North Africa share some pretty common history, so we basically kept on moving, literally walking back through time,” Josh said.
The blog reveals Josh’s talent as a storyteller, with the couple’s experiences shared through colorful prose, beautiful photography, fun videos and audio clips.
You can join the couple as they experience sunrise at Playa de Concha, San Sebastian, Spain; witness a bullfight at Plaza de Toro de Valencia, Spain; hear the Muslim’s early morning call to prayer in Marrakech and the peculiar timing of the church bells in Pamplona and much, much more.
In one blog entry from mid-November, Josh explains the couple’s first morning in Marrakech:
“Red painted stone walls dripped with steady rain, as we maneuvered puddle-filled streets. Scooters zoomed by as children practiced soccer moves with balled wire and a little old man squatted in a tiny compartment watching a miniature black and white TV. Curious locals paused for a look as we walked through the Medina, eye-contact earning smiles. Sparks flew out of repair shops, donkeys competed with motorcycles, today’s produce displayed on tarps, long strands of silk stretched down Medina corridors. Business as usual on a rare rainy day in Marrakech.”
In another entry from early November, he details a not-so-perfect train ride to Cordoba.
“We secured train tickets to Cordoba a few days early. Although maybe not early enough, as we got stuck in the rear-facing seats of our coach, sharing leg room and personal space with two stern-looking, elderly Spanish women. To make matters worse, our poorly placed bag fell onto the head of one of our new friends on take-off. There were just a couple of large water bottles inside, but her reaction, well, I thought we might need an EMT. I just learned the Spanish phrase for ‘I’m sorry’, and got to try it out: ‘Lo siento! Lo siento!’ She rubbed her head and her face for miles, while Krissy assured me that her left eye was already swollen before our little incident. When we explained: ‘Hablamos Ingles,’ they cut us a little slack. Our peace offering: a stick of chewing gum, and it seemed we had made a truce.”
In early October, Josh wrote about the couple’s favorite neighborhood in Barcelona: Sant Pere:
“Sant Pere is the oldest district in Barcelona, assembled around a monastery and plaza that’s over 1,100 years old. Roman buildings, narrow streets and medieval walls set the scene. With the amazing modern Mercat Caterina on one end and Barcelona’s Arc Di Triomf on the other, it’s still relatively undeveloped for tourism, with very few hotels or large restaurants. The Catalan speaking neighborhood is mainly residential, parents walking their children to the bus, little old ladies slowly doing their daily shopping, skateboarding teens clacking along the cobblestones. The lack of tourism could construe Sant Pere as ‘low rent’ compared to some of its more developed neighbors, but low rent sometimes awakens the entrepreneurial spirit, as evidenced by the numerous tiny shops and galleries that dot the neighborhood.”
The blog entry goes on to detail the couple’s favorite small businesses found in Sant Pere.
While journaling on their website and blog helps the Sedivys document their experiences for their own use, they are also excited to share their adventures with the world.
“We thought it might be a good thing to keep track of our adventures, so VOILA!, here we go,” Josh wrote. “You’ll be able to see what we’ve been up to and where we’re headed next, so please stop in from time to time and say hello.”
After a stop back home for the holidays, the Sedivys continued their travels with six weeks in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, where they will soak up the warmth and more Spanish until early February.
Josh explained that he and Krissy made this exciting leap in life figuring that they could survive on savings for two or three years. They also intend to focus their extra free time on “generating enough income to keep us going.”
While they are still works in progress, the Sedivys have a couple of business projects that they feel confident about.
“We’ve got a rental business that we’re expanding and an Internet company that’s about to be launched — www.lothero.com,” Josh explained.
As far as their future travels go, Josh said, “We’re kind of flying by the seat of our pants.” The original plan was to visit each Central American country while south, but the couple has decided to take a couple of months to get their business projects rolling with plans to return to Europe by the end of summer at the latest.
From there? “Maybe Asia,” Josh said.
His blog post from Sept. 23, 2014 sums up the couple’s aspirations: “So I’ve done the math… After 15 years of life as a student and 15 years an employee, could the next chapter be spent as a world traveling entrepreneur?
“Albeit exciting, it’s a difficult prediction to make. The fact that I’m writing this from Spain says we may be headed in the right direction …”