Let me introduce you to Anne and Brandon, a wonderful American couple who combine the lifestyle of a traveler with practicing and teaching others yoga in Asia. In 2013, they quit their busy working lives in the States to dedicate their lives to their two greatest shared passions: travelling and yoga.
The travelled through India, learned how to surf and played with elephants in Sri Lanka, and they climb the Rinjani in Indonesia, and much more. Their journey is so inspiring and fun, that we just had to interview them! You can follow their journey on their blog and you can even travel with them through Asia if you are interested in going to Asia or if you are already there!
1. What is the story behind your shared love for yoga? Why did you choose to do yoga in the first place and not basketball or painting?
Funny you should ask that, Brandon was very serious with basketball for most of his life. After tearing his ACL, basketball was out of the question!
We both started practicing yoga as a supplement to running and lifting weights. Our passion slowly developed over a couple years of only practicing a couple times per week. We started to notice positive changes in our body and profound changes in our minds. At this point we knew it was time to learn more so in 2012-2013 we went through yoga teacher training. The rest is history!
2. You have started this journey together as a couple, how does this lifestyle affect your relationship?
It’s definitely the best thing we’ve ever done for our relationship! We have learned SO much about each other and through yoga and travel have strengthened our bond. But of course it’s not all perfect – spending nearly 100% of your time with another person takes its toll sometimes ;)
3. Which experience during your travel has changed your view on the world?
Spending time in India. It is such a stark contrast to anywhere else we have been. There is so much emotion behind the eyes of each person in that country. It is the birthplace of yoga so we were initially intrigued by that, but in the end left with so much more. We were pushed, pulled and challenged in every direction mentally; as a result we learned so much about ourselves and their unique way of life.
4. If you could travel back in time, where would you go? Why?
To the time of the dinosaurs. We’re certain it was quite a different place.
5. Brandon wrote an article about surfing in Sri Lanka which was something you always wanted to do, are there new activities on your bucket list that you definitely want to do?
Scuba diving! We absolutely love snorkeling and discovering life under water. We traveled to many places with great opportunities to get certified to dive but never did. It has already been added to our bucket list!
6. What is the biggest difference in the mentality of people living in the US and in Asia?
In the US we are a society based on convenience. This convenience leads us to be so wasteful. We noticed in all parts of Asia the people were very resourceful, making the most of everything they have access to, without wasting a thing. It was quite an eye-opener.
7. Favorite Instagram photo?
Anne in king pigeon pose, in Alleppey, India. We were on a private boat tour of the backwaters in Kerala to celebrate our 3-year anniversary. The sun was setting as we were waiting for our chef to cook us what ended up being a delicious fish dinner that we ate by candlelight! The sunlight was just right, and we thought it would be a great opportunity to snap a yoga pose picture. We moved some tables and chairs around to get the pose just right, and Brandon was able to capture the sunlight just between the lines of Anne’s figure. We took quite a few to get the right one, but it’s one of our favorite pictures and memories!
8. You wrote an article about the top 5 yoga destinations for students, can you think of 5 places in Europe that could be perfect yoga destinations for workers?
Thanks for the reminder, we definitely need to explore more of Europe! From what we know, our top 5 yoga destinations in Europe would be: Barcelona, London, Amsterdam. Portugal, and Sweden!
9. Think of a single song that you could listen on repeat while travelling, which one would it be?
Do we have to choose just one?! If so, it would be: “Facing The Sun” by Fritz Kalkbrenner.
We have a very fond memory when we first heard this song together last year. Our friends from home were visiting us in Indonesia, and we were biking around the small island of Gili Trawangan off of Lombok. We stopped for a snack near the beach and some fellow travelers were playing music from their iPod. We were all drawn to this song. It has a great lyrics and a beautiful sound that never gets old!
10. Which specific thing about travelling makes you guys addicted to being a nomad?
Every day is an adventure and you get to choose how you want to live it!
11. You practice yoga every day for more than 7 years, can you give us 3 poses that you find important and that our readers could practice and implement in their lives to release stress?
Child’s Pose: In any variation of Child’s Pose, the practitioner comes back to center by following their breath and calming the mind.
Tree Pose: This balancing posture requires concentration and a still mind.
Half Pigeon Pose: Individuals (in particular, women), carry a lot of stress and tension in their hips. This is a great posture to release that sensation.
12. Pick one situation for each destination:
A. Live for one year
B. Travel for two weeks
C. One-day trip
Chile | Ghana | Italy
A. Live for one year in Chile: Being able to live in Chile for an entire year gives us access to explore more of the South American continent. We are itching to get to Patagonia to do some outdoors excursions like hiking and camping. In South America, we aren’t too far from home either, in case of an emergency.
B. Travel for two weeks through Ghana: It would be great to take time to understand the local culture and way of life in this part of Africa. It’s one of the friendliest West African countries for foreigners as well.
C. One day trip to Italy: We would come here to eat, eat and then eat some more! If you haven’t gathered already, we are food lovers! We crave more radical cultures from our own, and also cheaper places to visit. ;)
13. You wrote an article about Vietnamese food, which dish should our readers definitely try to cook?
Bun Thit Nuong Cha Gao! It was by far our favorite Vietnamese dish and has very simple ingredients. The crispy cut up spring roll makes it extra appealing. The grilled pork tied the flavors together so nicely! Also easy to omit the meat for the vegetarian/vegan crowd.
14. For now you do not have any plans to end this journey. Is there a reason that will make you stop travelling?
We are both very close to our families. If something serious happened to them back home, we think that would be reason enough for us to return.