Time for some new travel inspiration from a fellow travel couple, in my on going series with people who inspire me. Meet, Selena and Jacob, also known as @finduslost.
Who are Selena and Jacob?
We’re Selena and Jacob. Last year we left Los Angeles to travel the world and move abroad. We started with a road trip through the Balkans and then found a home base in Europe last June. Now we’re working remotely and traveling as often as we can!
Do you have a favorite destination?
Selena: For us it’s a tie between Santorini, Slovenia and Iceland. All very different, but each had something unique that made it an incredible destination.
How or why did you become a world traveler?
Selena: We both grew up traveling with our families. I spent summers visiting Europe because I had family in Greece and The Netherlands. My parents loved to travel and we always made a longer trip out of these visits. Jacob shares a similar passion and traveled with friends and family throughout his childhood and college years.
Are you more of a budget traveler or luxury traveler or more in the middle?
Jacob: We’re more in the middle. When it comes to longer trips we are all about finding stays for reasonable prices that are off the beaten path. We use Airbnb a lot; for our most recent road trip we found places that were generally under $30 USD a night, but we splurged in Santorini. It’s all about balance.
How many countries have you visited?
Selena: Combined, over 60.
Name one person who inspires you and why
Selena: I met someone a few years ago who described to me why she moved from the U.S. to Amsterdam, and her words stuck with me. Basically, choosing what city to live in was all about prioritizing facets of a lifestyle she wanted. Amsterdam has great public transportation – and people bike or walk to work. There is a lot of importance put on a work-life balance. People are friendly and open. On the other hand, the weather is unpredictable. Her point was that no city or place is perfect, but you can find somewhere that fits you and allows you to have the lifestyle you want. It’s no wonder we ended up moving to Amsterdam last year!
Jacob: Sebastiao Salgado’s photography has always stuck with me. His photos always seem to capture the depth of the destination. So often with beautiful landscapes or moments, it can feel like a photo can’t do it justice, but with his work the photo almost seems more spectacular. I’m also colorblind and I learned to take photos on black and white film. I still have a deep love for B&W photography.
What’s your favorite dish? (food)
Selena: I love sushi and ceviche. I could also eat nothing but Italian pasta for months and be happy.
Jacob: Poké bowls – I’m seriously addicted. I love having a poké nights and making our own poké bowls.
Name one thing that you can’t travel without
Selena: My kindle. It’s so useful to have on long plane flights.
Jacob: Headphones. There’s something almost meditative about listening to music while traveling by plane, train, boat or car.
Have you learned anything from your travels?
Selena: The travel community is so supportive and welcoming. If you’re ever worried about feeling lonely while traveling, connecting with others via Instagram is a great way to start building a network. You’d be surprised by how easy it is to befriend someone else who is also in a similar situation.
Jacob: You can make really meaningful connections across cultural barriers if you’re open and engage in the local culture.
What is your most memorable experience?
Selena: I’d have to say when Jacob in Kauai proposed to me the day after we left Los Angeles. J
Jacob: I’d have to say when Selena found out I was going to propose to her about an hour before I got down on one knee.
What’s your best travel tip?
Selena: If you plan to take photos or have any interest in photography, invest in a nice camera. Traveling has re-awakened my love for photography and Jacob has taught me so much about the technical side that I never knew before. Now I love editing photos and I’m learning how to color and edit video.
Jacob: Before you leave, download the maps for the cities you’re visiting via google map’s “offline” feature. This allows you to navigate cities and search for hotels, restaurants, museums, etc in airplane mode. There have been so many times this has saved us even when road tripping or exploring new cities.
Why do they inspire me?
First of all, they make amazing photos. The tones and feeling in their photography are something I admire and get inspired by. The composition is always on spot, and they always maintain a high quality, and that can be tricky when you need to upload a photo every day on Instagram.
I have only met Selena for a short while during our trip to Rotterdam. We did an Insta meet up with about 15 other Igers living in Holland, so, unfortunately, I didn’t get the chance to talk with her as much as I would’ve liked. But from the short time, I could tell that she’s a nice person, and I’m looking forward to meeting Selena and Jacob in the future!