50 People #1: Illia & Nastia

50 People #1: Illia & Nasia

Is it really possible to see the world on just $11 a day? Crazzzy Travellers, Illia and Nastia certainly think so. Read on to discover their secret to travelling indefinitely on budget.

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>> PROFILE

Names: Illia & Nastia | Currently in: New York

It wasn’t love at first for Ukrainian couple Illia & Nastia. When they first met, Illia had a girlfriend and Nastia was “experiencing a period of one-date relationships” as she puts it.

A few months later however, their paths crossed again. It was the beginning of February, and the coldest time of the year in Ukraine. Most nights the temperature would reach -20ºC. But not even sub-zero temperatures could keep the pair from seeing each other. Suddenly they didn’t know how to spend a day without each other.

Just five months into their relationship though, Nastia left to study in Sweden. Illia stayed behind in Ukraine to finish his master’s degree. They stayed together, but the long distance was difficult.

“You live in online chats and Skype; you do not experience the world around you and instead just keep on thinking how and when you will meet again.”

After two years of being apart, the agony was unbearable. They wanted more than just the occasional rendezvous. So they finally said goodbye to their old lives, and booked two tickets to Singapore. They didn’t know when they would be back, and they had no concrete plans, but they were happy that they would finally get to be together.

“The life of travel offered a great opportunity to spend time together, 24/7. We couldn’t miss our chance!”

These days the couple travel the world together, documenting their wordy adventures on their blog. So far they’ve been to over 40 countries on 4 different continents, and they don’t plan on slowing down any time soon.

“Out life of travel is a crazy mixture of touring the world and saving money to travel more.”

The couple are expert budget travellers and believe that anyone can travel on a budget.

“We are deeply persuaded that anyone can become a digital nomad and start traveling the world like we do. You just need to save a bit, find the part-time online job, and leave on the trip of your lifetime.”

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>> INTERVIEW

Curious about the prospect of travelling the world on as little as $11 a day, I caught up with Nastia to discover her secrets.

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Where are you currently in the world?

Right now we are in New York. It was Illia’s dream to live here for a while, so we are staying in the Big Apple till the end of spring.

What’s the secret to travelling on a budget?

Just don’t spend on things you don’t need. People tend to buy a lot of unnecessary stuff – Starbucks coffee, makeup, new clothes, high heels, next generation gear. All these things you can survive without. As soon as you understand and embrace this principle you can live with just a small backpack for two of you. You don’t need to sleep in luxury hotels and eat in five star restaurants either. Simple, but healthy food and a clean place to stay is sufficient to keep you safe and sound. After a while, you learn to get discounts wherever you go too and life becomes even easier! 

What the favourite place you’ve visited?

The most amazing place we’ve been to is the Galapagos Islands. It is a small paradise on Earth, located far away from civilization. The motherland of sea lions, blue-footed boobies, and giant turtles, Galapagos Islands – it is our favorite destination in the whole world. There is a common misperception that only rich people can travel there. But that’s an utter nonsense: we managed to enjoy these marvelous islands on just $35 per day for two of us.

What is the hardest thing about travelling the way you do?

The most unpleasant thing about traveling on a budget is the uncooperative locals. When the local population is unfriendly or is trying to earn money on you through scams, it’s really difficult to travel. Once while traveling around Bolivia we’ve got trapped in the blockaded city of Potosi, just because the locals didn’t consider it necessary to tell us that this place was dangerous to travel to.

One travel tip for budget travellers out there?

Always keep a loaf of bread and a can of meat in your backpack! You cannot imagine how many times this simple food saved us from hunger.

What’s one thing on your travel bucket list?

We want to go to Antarctica. I hope we’ll do that in a year.

Where to next?

After New York we are going to Spain. We’ve already booked the yacht cruise around Ibiza and Formentera. After that we’ll have several months tour around Europe, visiting Portugal, Italy, and the Balkans. 

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If you want to know more about Illia & Nastia, or ask them for more details and tips on how to travel on a budget, you can visit their Facebook page or website at CrazzzyTravel.com.

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