The Most Surprising Thing About Traveling Full Time
Marcel Gnauk is a full time traveler. Throughout his travels he also works as a professional sound recordist, capturing everything from birds chirping to various toilet flush noises. Additionally, he and his girlfriend run an incredibly successful vegan blog.
In this episode I discover how he is able to travel full time, and what lessons he has learned from several years of living abroad. Marcel also explores some eye-openingly dark topics from his experience in the human trafficking industry. Some interesting topics we cover include:
1:20 – The life of a vegan traveler and field recordist
10:21 – How to get money without asking for it
18:03 – The most beautiful sound in the world
28:13 – The most surprising thing about traveling full time
40:42 – The benefits of a vegan diet
1:06:30 – The social science of drinking
1:20:31 – What it’s like living with tourettes
1:43:07 – Experience as a journalist in the human trafficking industry
The full podcast episode:
The audio version of this podcast:
The most interesting excerpts from this podcast:
The Benefits of a Vegan Diet
What It’s Like Living With Tourettes
I'm sure you had excuses, don't you? You move past them. I mean, everyone has an excuse for it useful one. I'm in the sense that like, once when you have the idea of, Hey, I'm going to go travel full time.
It wasn't the idea. The idea. First was we do it for one year.
I was like, in 2015. And then, but then we, we really enjoyed it. Right? We didn't start out with coming from Europe, going to Asia, right? No, no, no, I had my own camp. Have an idea. Huge camp. Oh, man. Oh, yeah, the van I beautiful vehicle. never traveled for months around Europe. And then this time, we, we figured out first when you live with somebody that, you know, like a year, less than a year, when you live in a camper man, then you can really you can really see how we work together really well. confined space. You gotta get along if you love. Yes. And the other. That's what I was trying to say. Yes. And, but you also figure out what you really need in life. Right? Because the van van was full without my stuff from my apartment. From my, from my place, right? Because, oh, I probably need this. I need this. I need this. But then actually, you see what you don't need. And then we were Don't you need? What don't. What would we not? Yes. What? What is it? What did you find that you thought? Oh my god. I had so much clothes. I had seven bicycles. But I didn't have the van. No, nothing. No, man. Just like it was my was it road cyclists and I had mountain bikes at a time machine. I had you had a time machine? Yeah, I've always I did try a lawn. I did try it long a time machine. You could go back in time. Oh, we call us in time.
I was gonna
say I gotta try out this time. It's a bicycle. That sounds bad as it goes right into future., it was a great bike. And so I got rid of all these bikes, right? I have only one left. And it's in my friends. He has his own bike shop. And it's just hanging there waiting for me. Sometimes when I go there. I take good right now he in Chiang Mai. I have a friend who is a road cyclists. I don't know if you watch main stories. I was just two days ago with him hanging out driving around. But then when we came back to the starting point, traveling for months, then we say, Wow, that's really cool. And now we were set right now we are the mindset is right. We love traveling. And then we went to Japan and in Japan, we had no idea what we're doing, right? How should we get around, everything's a little bit more expensive than we thought it is. But then we rented a camper in Japan and traveled for 25 days around Japan. And the campaign we just did, just like before we came to Costa Rica a month ago, right? Oh, my gosh, I didn't know where the time goes. Two weeks ago, we came from Costa Rica, one month before we live two weeks in Japan in the camp is conceit is on our Instagram account. You can see all the photos and it's the best way of traveling. And then we did the whole Southeast Asia Tour, right? renting a motorbike gain apartments, try and find ways how we can save money, right? Because I can easily spend a few thousand dollars and then that's it, right? So you have to stay looked at your savings are still in a nice comfortable spot. And
that's what it is. Right? So was it kind of difficult giving up all your stuff, all your clothes, all of your bias because we tend to kind of know it wasn't now It wasn't because the decision that we made was in January, and we start traveling in May 2015. So the process of getting rid of stuff like the stuff before the stuff What is interesting, right? Because you look at stuff you have like this, all these clutter. clutter is is the right word., right? So that was hard. I had two cars so I had to get ready for the car. Then I had I had only my audio that I sold two days before we start traveling, I sold my audio and there was just one gone and then then we started but there's the process you have to tell your boss he'd want to travel around the world and I'm pretty happy So what did you do before you
know I've been in in really good company in Switzerland, what it did is not necessary but it was a really great job and if anything happens to me I can always go back right well that's good you can always go back because that's something I think a lot of people struggle with and that they have whatever Awesome job that they have whatever career path they're going down and I'm sure you know if you quit in most cases you can go back to some capacity maybe not the exact same companies on how yo that's true don't flip off your boss and then show them your and balls on the
way out I you know I have this dream and then did super supportive said it five times. Five months time. foreman time to find somebody else right. Did I can train in that I can show what are we doing? They've worked out well. Yeah.
Um, but I think what what folks a lot of people up is that you have like, this career path, you're progressing down. Um, and everyone has some type of dream for a lot of people, it's travel. But for a lot of people, somebody else maybe you want to be football player, maybe you want to start a podcast, but you want to be a comedian or something like that. And
part of what stops people from doing that. Whatever it is, your dream is, is the the fear of actually starting on a particular dream. Maybe you want to get into stand up comedy or something like that. The actual fear of getting on stage that's one part. But I think the part that would me up the most is the fear of leaving behind something that already knows kind of a sure thing. And potentially throwing that away in the in the sense that you're already going down this good career path. It's kind of laid out for you, you stick at this company, you've got a good job, you're already making good money. Everyone's very, very proud of you. You know, your mom's dad and everyone said, Oh, Marcel, you're working the job at the bank or whatever, you know, you get you get kind of like this recognition from everyone for doing that. And it's kind of the easy path. And it can be kind of hard to just say no, and say you to the easy path and actually chase your dream.
Yeah, if this is the case for some people. There you go. Not for me. But the way you say it. You make it sound like you just there was no problem now because I can go immediately right now to another destination. When I lived I left my home place in Germany. When I was 17 I was always on a goal right? I lived in the south of Germany. I lived in the north and I went to Switzerland. I lived in the middle. I was always on the on a on a I was always the one who want to go see something, right. And yeah, and then we know when I made Libby, I already made the decision before we met with my friends. I want to travel around the world. I know just on know when. And then I walked on the permanent underclass and ease and they saw this woman with an old Hasselblad camera standing on the beach making photos. And I was like, Wow. This is a Haslett blood. This is a very old an array A camera. So somebody who who knows what a Hasselblad is knows you can't just take a husband and make some photos. You have to really know what you're doing. Then I talked to her in French because I'm in for agencies. They
didn't understand me, right? But her mom was there as well. So I talked with her mom in French. But she speaks way better fringe and I do and then we just had a nice conversation. I invited Libby. That's her name coming with me to this technology event. Because I was there because of a technology vendor, Libby shadow wedding. So then we had a wonderful time on this techno event where my friend I and she asked how do you say this? My friend she and I
know that's a tough one. Her my
friend and I her and I because in Germany we never use say, Yeah, he isn't in the email to ask. The donkey always calls himself first.
So the donkey always calls himself first. Wow, that donkey sounds like an. He needs to think about other people. And then yeah, but
okay, though, we had this this is really an amazing night on the beach with the technology with people was fantastic. So then she flew in the next day back to LA and then she came back two weeks later, the elite shot in the wedding. I was part of the waiting not part of the wedding. I was just there five days hanging out with her. When she came back. We just took the car and drove around Tuscany, right. It was beautiful. Few weeks later, I just flew already to LA we did a road trip one month around California. It's beautiful. And then there was already It was amazing. I flew back to Switzerland and then it was asked you would you like to travel around the world? And she's like yeah,
I always thought about how long have you guys been seen each other at this point? Not
long. Like I always say five months. Four months
that's a good amount of time that's decent that's I guess that's enough to know yeah my travel someone
only passed Skype at some point all right it's right via
tried everything else hates I
lived in Switzerland that's a
bit of a jump it's actually it's kind of scary that point yeah.
So when she came to first you know, like coming in flying over to LA traveling with somebody that you just know a few days traveling one month in the car around California that's already a commitment right? Or it's already like so
what has been the most surprising thing about traveling all the time as anything shock to you? Or have you just been at home the entire time? Um, no, I'm mostly on the road but
can you What's the most surprising thing about traveling all the time Yanni like oh, culture shock, like what have you not expected? How easy
is how he sees how easy it is how to get apartments, for example, especially compared to Europe, compared to other places, and especially in Southeast Asia, you just walk into condominiums. You say, Oh, you ever apartment here just for example. And they say yes. And then the next day you move in, boom, you have it. You go to a to a rental car rental company, get your car, get your motorbike immediately. There's no like big contracts. And
that's what surprised me how easy it can be to get apply a place try to get the place in belly try to get an apartment and barely, you know, you have to line up with 25 other people's if you're lucky. And then they decide who wants to get it. Is this just an Asian thing though? I think so. I'm in the other countries. Let's say in the US for example, we had Airbnb right right. What is simple but it's way more expensive. We had this in Costa Rica Japan is simple you just get a camper van just for example Cyprus was just other side of your in Cyprus was easy to our Facebook groups for real estate Bali. If you just go on Facebook and you get your apartments on Facebook. Do you line up your your realtors, and then you make an appointment and then you show up and then you say, Okay, I take it there's no Oh, sorry. We have 10 other people. No, First come first. That's what I like. That's kind
of what I always tell people as well. Um, you know, I studied abroad for the year and Amsterdam and I would come back and I tell people about that. And they say, Oh, I wish I could do that. I wish I could do that. And it's just like, dude, you can you can do it's really not that hard. I it's really happening. Yeah, it's not as hard as people make it out to be. I mean, the initial flight over there that's like, little pricey. You know, it can it can maybe cost you like $1,000 to get to the other side of the world a lot cheaper if you really shop around Houston to Chiang Mai with Qatar Airways. 359. Are you
kidding me? It's one way it's right now it's just yesterday checked again with who? Qatar Qatar
was a great airline. What? Yeah, you fly so cheap. Was this during the offseason or something I think I paid six or 700 What does it every rice but
you know, right Oh
yeah. Yeah, your time I lost all
my bags and everything. Yeah, it was not good. aligns very particular body airlines. I
probably should be too. I thought my podcast equipment was a goner. When I showed up. And he said my bag. Yeah, I thought I was being scammed. Honestly, I got off the plane. And some dude just came up and said, Hello. Who are you? And I said, Oh, I'm Sam. And he said, Oh, your bags are gone. And like, I just landed in Thailand. So I was constantly, you know, on edge of being laid off as a white guy.
Another great thing. So sorry for interrupting. I just had this in my head. When we came to Chiang Mai, in the airport. And I saw a suitcase was broken.
A guy came up to us and said, Oh, you know what? We can fix that? Just give us your hotel or apartment where you live. You pick it up, and then the next day we bring it
next day they come took our suitcase, fix it in one day. Bring it back. No, no. No discussions? No. Like, oh, you just say okay, if you can fix it as fine, right. I don't care of order to $250.
suitcase. No, I want money. No, no, no. If you can fix you can fix it and they fix it. Perfect. No discussion. I love that. I think the time might be the most laid back culture of anyone I've ever met. There's so chill about everything. No one gives a known as a. No one gets angry about. If you smile and you and you don't make them angry. You have no issues.
Sam is an ambassador for personal growth. When Sam started to take action towards a better life, it wasn’t long before he was hooked faster than Captain Blackbeard’s left hand. Years later, Sam strives to produce change in others similar to the identity level transformation which occurred within himself. His aim is to break fulfillment down into a series of straightforward steps, and introduce it into the life of anyone who is willing to embark on the path of action, education and ownership.