Go hard or go home! Kate O’Malley and Mark Williams haven’t gone home yet. This Australian pair took a leap of faith, but if you never take a risk life would be boring. They were at a crossroads in their lives, they sold everything they had in Australia and set out across the globe, a brave move that has paid off. On their journeys they have started a travel and photo blog entitled “Vagrants of the World.” We caught up with these intrepid explorers to discover their “wow” moment in Dubrovnik, what is house-sitting and why a bottle opener is so important.
You describe yourselves as “Vagrants of the World.” What were your motivations for upping sticks and spreading your wings around the world? Three years ago we had an extended trip to Morocco and Europe booked. Before our departure, our work situation suddenly changed. With no real obligations to return to, we decided to make it a very extended holiday. Within a month we had sold everything in Australia and condensed our lives into a couple of bags. We have been travelling ever since! We discovered house-sitting, caring for people's houses and pets around the world. While this is a great opportunity to live in different countries for extended periods of time, much like vagrants in the traditional sense, we have no fixed address and no set itinerary. Life is pretty good for us.
You have recently been to Dubrovnik. What were your first impressions when you entered the historic Old City? No amount of pictures will prepare you for how impressive Dubrovnik is. Entering the Ploce Gate for the first time was one of those "Wow" moments for us. We described Dubrovnik as one of the best photography locations in the world because it is so unique and offers so much. The incredible architecture inside the wall of the historic city. The stunning beaches and vistas of the Adriatic coast and of course, the striking scene of the old city from afar. A mosaic of iconic red roofs set against the most striking blue sea - Spectacular.
Had you heard much about Dubrovnik before you arrived and did the destination live up to your expectations? Dubrovnik has been on our list for some time. Mark had been there 20 years ago and loved it. We had been hearing more and more about Dubrovnik as it was regaining popularity as a "must see" destination so thought it was time to return. We are so glad we did, it really exceeded our expectations and Mark's memory of it.
How would you compare Dubrovnik to other European destinations that you have visited? Europe is full of amazing destinations but Dubrovnik is unique. Where else can you slip through a hole in an ancient wall to find a bar perched precariously on the rock face on the edge of the Adriatic? It's so much more than just a beautiful walled city. It's the ambience within the walls, the breathtaking natural beauty of the Adriatic, the lovely climate, the list goes on.
If you could only take three items in your rucksack what would they be? With only a bag each, we now have so few belongings we figure everything we have is essential. If we had to choose, it would be our passports, so we could keep moving, Kate's camera and our bottle opener - Croatian wines are just amazing!
Which destination will you remember with a smile on your faces? We spent over a month in Croatia and just fell in love with the landscape, cuisine and lifestyle. Dubrovnik was the biggest motivation for visiting Croatia and remains the highlight of our time there. We know we will be back.
What will be your lasting memories of Dubrovnik? Walking the walls of the old city with the contrasting views. Looking inward over the maze of medieval streets, then turning to see the stunning Adriatic. It is quite spectacular. We also enjoyed strolling the old city at night. The polished limestone streets literally shine under the night lights making everything so much prettier.