How we travel: the AdventureFaktory couple shares all

As a globe-trotting couple who have built a life around their passion for travel, Mitch & Thuymi let us in on their top tips and bucket-list picks.

When it comes to seeking out the best adventures around the world and living life to the fullest, Mitch and Thuymi certainly know how to inspire a get-up-and-go attitude. Between them, the AdventureFaktory couple has travelled to 92 countries across all 7 continents and built a life fuelled by their love of the world – and their love for each other.

Despite Thuymi being a proud Quebecquer from Canada and Mitch hailing from the remote Western Australian desert, the two met while living the expat life in Asia. In 2015, they launched AdventureFaktory and steered it into a travel consultancy business that allows them to work from anywhere in the world.

Curious to find out more about life on the road as a travel couple? We asked Mitch and Thuymi to let us in on their digital-nomad lifestyle.

The first time we met was…

when we were both living in Vietnam doing our previous jobs. Within a few weeks of knowing each other, we had booked flights to go and visit Myanmar together!

We first started AdventureFaktory because…

we were both world travellers before we met, and we simply wanted a platform where we could share our pictures and travel knowledge — over time, we noticed our friends asking for the same advice! It grew from there really quickly as we became determined to make travel not just a passion, but also a career.  

We are able to travel often because…

we have been able to create a lifestyle where we are now able (for the most part) to work from our laptops, allowing us to be mostly location independent for the last few years. We are also able to travel so much because we want to, and when you want to travel, you will do anything you can with your savings to book your next flight!

The thing we love most about being able to travel together is…

seeing many incredible new cultures, landscapes and meeting new people around the world; it’s truly a blessing. It is even better when you are able to discover those new experiences and try things out of your comfort zone with someone you love. It makes difficult moments easier.

The hardest part about travelling as a couple is…

when you work, travel and live with your partner, sometimes it gets a little stressful being with the same person day in and day out. But we work hard to make sure we both give each other space and support one another in our own endeavours. Each taking a solo trip per year also allows us to give each other space.

Our favourite hotel in the UAE for a weekend away is…

such a tough question! The Hatta Sedr Trailers is a great, remote getaway located in the mountains just an hour outside Dubai. It is very exclusive with only a few trailers available, and they are always occupied. You can see so many stars and the air is so fresh. Other than a trailer experience, we absolutely loved our glamping experience at the Ritz-Carlton Al Wadi in Ras Al Khaimah. 

Our favourite hotel in the world for a getaway is…

another question that is so hard to answer. The MAIA Luxury Resort in the Seychelles just ticks every single box: incredible views, infinity pools, food on demand and a 24/7 butler as well. We debated this, and we feel we also need to give recognition to the Four Seasons on Desroches Island in Seychelles, Six Senses Con Dao and Amanoi, both the latter in Vietnam.

The most off-the-beaten path adventure we have ever taken is…

taking a very old car across the Pamir Highway — a rocky, first road that runs along the border of Afghanistan and Tajikistan — and watching the locals stare at us in disbelief as we motored along! Driving along the Syrian Border South-East of Turkey, in Kurdish territory, was quite an adventure too!

If we had to choose between the city and the beach escape, we would choose…

the beach — every single day of the week! However, Mitch wants to live by the beach while Thuymi is more of a big city girl!

The trip that changed our lives was…

definitely our road trip from driving from London to China — 3 months, nearly 18,000km and 25 totally unique countries with some of the most incredible sights we have ever seen.

We had to sell our car in Kazakhstan because driving in China was heavily taxed, and we needed a “guide” in the car to monitor us! So we flew into Urumqi to visit the Muslim part of China and discover the west of the country which is very unpopular! It was so interesting to drive that silk road and to see parts of it in China.

The best way to explore a new destination is…

we always try and reach out to locals so we can get an understanding of what life is like in their own country. Being shown around by locals is definitely the greatest way to learn and discover a new culture and country. We try to get the most down-to-earth experience possible and are usually out of the hotel all of the time to discover the street or local food.

The stamp in our passports that we are most proud of is…

we love our Antarctica stamp! We got it from one of the permanent stations down there. Not many people get to go to Antarctica, so we look back on this one fondly.

Founders of AdventureFaktory | Mitch and Thuymi

If we had to recommend a once-in-a-lifetime adventure, we would recommend…

an African Safari. If it’s not on your list, make sure you add it. Watching those amazing creatures in their natural habitats is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for anyone. We rented a car and drove from South Africa to Namibia, Zambia and Botswana. It was incredible to camp in some unfenced national parks and be at one with the animals. Dangerous, yes, but the most incredible experience!

We balance fitness and nutrition while we travel by…

making sure that fitness is a part of our routine. Making use of a hotel gym before breakfast automatically puts your day on a right step forward. In terms of nutrition, we always take multivitamins, and will regularly stock up on quality food during key mealtimes to make sure we are not snacking on sugary treats. 

Our go-to piece of camera equipment for creating travel content is

a quality, durable tripod comes in handy as a couple because there is often no one to take a photo of us! Having more than one Memory Card is also vital, especially as you may find yourself in a moment where you are taking plenty of shots!

We edit our travel pictures using…

THUYMI. Haha, she is the master of Photoshop and Lightroom. Those are her go-to tools.

The items we always keep in our carry-on luggage are…

we always make sure we have a day’s worth of supplies with us in case things go missing or we are stuck in a long layover. Then the camera, our Nikon Z7 and our Hard Drives that pretty much contains all of our travel memories.

The most unusual travel experience we’ve ever had was…

being stuck in between the Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan borders as one let us through and the other closed down. Needless to say, we had to “negotiate” our way out of the border control. Either this or being charioted by the Zebu’s of Madagascar across the sea to get ashore!

The destination that is top of our bucket list right now is…

the Trans-Siberian Railway. It looks like a journey of a lifetime as it wanders though some of the most remote wilderness there is on the planet.

Driving from Alaska all the way down to the tip of South America is also something we would love to do!

If we had to choose a country to spend the rest of our lives, it would be…

well, we have differing opinions on this one. Thuymi loves North America due to the volume of things to do and the landscapes to see. There are so many national parks and different types of landscapes and entertainment options. Mitch wants the simple life somewhere — anywhere with plenty of food and a beach break nearby. 

Our top Instagram tips are…

To simply post what makes YOU happy. It is your own platform and souvenir book at the end of the day!

Our top 3 accounts to follow on Instagram (other than our own!) to inspire your travels are…

it would have to be @YK, @benn_tk and @samkolder.

Keep that wanderlust alive with more travel tips and inspiration from World Traveller Middle East.