Friday Feature: MatoVeve

Updated: Nov 28, 2019



Today’s post is a feature of my dear friends Veronika and Martin. They are a badass, travel duo currently making their way through Central America. I met the couple while on a Spanish-Salsa-Yoga retreat in Cali, Colombia. We immediately hit it off and shared unforgettable experiences over the month that we were together. They have an amazing blog/vlog of their time abroad, creating beautiful videos of places they’ve been. I reached out to them and asked them a few questions about their incredible life journey.


When did you first fall in love with traveling?

We both grew up in communistic Slovakia and didn’t have too many opportunities or the finances to travel much as kids. So you can imagine that as soon as the first opportunity arose to get out and see the world, we both went for it. Still our first trips travelling abroad (not counting family holidays) were only after we started to study at University. Until then we had never even seen a person of colour in real life and hadn't even heard of or tried foreign cuisine. Travelling opened up our minds more than anything else so far.


What made you choose to live a life on the road?

We got together 14 years ago while we were both still studying full-time at Uni. Thankfully, we both had the travel bug. Veronika’s aim was always to find someone to love who would be willing to hitchhike across Europe with her. Travelling the globe was too big of an idea at that time. After graduating we decided to see the world but didn’t have the money so went to Ireland. After 2 years in the green country we needed sun and good weather so decided to start our trip around the world in Australia. Unfortunately (or fortunately!?) we loved it there so much we stayed for 8 years. Australia has been wonderful to us and we were able to save up enough to finally continue in that big dream of ours - that we are living right now!


How long have you been traveling for?

We left Slovakia 12 years ago and since then we've travelled as much as we could. But full-time travel has been going on now for the past 2 years.


How are you able to sustain your travels?

Most of the travel is being covered out of pocket from our own savings. We are also renting out our cottage back in Slovakia, which definitely helps. The most interesting and travel-related activities we do are collaborations with different resorts, schools, or yoga retreats around the world in exchange for Martin’s video skills. This way we have studied Spanish in Ecuador, danced salsa in Colombia, practiced yoga in Brazil, attended an ayahuasca ceremony, and even lived the high life in 5 star resort in Nicaragua.

We are also strict with our budget, track all our expenses, and have no problems with hitchhiking or sleeping in a tent. Where we go totally crazy is food and we tend to spend a lot on trying different cuisine all around the world.

We are definitely spending less than what we thought we would as suddenly buying new clothes or souvenirs just doesn’t exist in our universe anymore.


As we all know, there are positives and negatives to traveling. What are some of your favorite things and what are your biggest challenges?

Travelling as a couple and seeing each other 24/7 can be a challenge. We also have very different ideas about how a "perfect day" travelling should look like. Where Martin loves to sleep in, hang out, read a book, have afternoon siesta; Veronika wakes up at 6am (without an alarm), wanting to see and do as much as possible and generally has way more energy. We need to compromise all the time.


Also, constantly sleeping in different beds with whatever pillow can be tough as well. We are in our mid 30s and realized that sleeping in a tent is actually way more comfortable than sleeping in a hostel.

Low cost travel also takes much more time and effort. The amount of hours Veronika spends researching on how to do a trek without a guide or how to get from point A to B using a public transport is huge, but the reward is often an archeological site without gazillion people or money saved so we can spend it on a fancy restaurant.


The benefits are endless. After we stopped working full-time our health got better. Nervous eye twitch disappeared, hair stopped falling, and we haven’t been truly sick. We were full on career people before. Martin ran his own production company and Veronika was heading a software sales department for an American company. We were worried that during the travel we would be having too much fun and would grow dumber but the truth is that we drink way less than before, eat healthier, exercise almost every day and read more books than ever before.


Thanks to travel we’ve become way more environmentally conscious, we've become vegetarians and changed our values all together. We’ve realized that you truly need only one backpack and you are just fine.

We became calmer, more tolerant, accepting, and *hopefully* better human beings.

What we love the most is learning about the history of all the places we visit, spending time with locals, learning about their life and often the totally different reality they are facing. And the best part is that thanks to travel, we believe world is much better place than what we see on TV.


I LOVE that last statement and couldn't agree more. I want to thank you Martin and Veronika for sharing your experiences as fellow nomads. It's always wonderful to meet people, whom come from such a different background and culture than you and yet share such similar perspectives. Not to mention - it's fun to see a couple handling the travel life like pros!


Please show them some love and check out their blog:

http://matovevehavegonemad.com/


And head to their youtube page to see all their videos from all over the world.

Below is one of their more recent videos, from their time in Nicaragua.

(I might just have to catch the next flight after seeing this vid...)

#feature #featurefriday #groundednotrooted

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