Tanya and Andy Profile

Can Travel Will Travel is a travel blog following the experiences of my husband Andy and myself after we left the UK to travel, live and work abroad. It focuses on stretches of travel, interspersed with longer stints of living and working abroad

The aim is to visit new places, try different activities, and sample all types of food. We LOVE food! Then, just stopping for a while and taking the time to get to know a place, immersing ourselves fully into a new culture and all it has to offer. We’re always on the lookout for off-the-beaten-track destinations and hidden gems to discover.

We hope to inspire others to follow their dreams and ‘just give it a go’. We see this as a way to broaden our horizons, experience new things, and undertake new challenges. All the time learning – about ourselves, the places we’re in and the people we meet. We want to share all that with you.

Who Are We and What Are We Doing?

We are Tanya and Andrew Korteling (aka Andy), a married couple from the UK; seasoned travellers spanning six continents and over fifty countries.

We both caught the travel bug way before we got together in 2008. Ever since then we nurtured the dream of upping sticks to travel, live and work abroad. In September 2016 we finally realised that dream. It was time to say goodbye to the UK for the foreseeable future.         

We set off with modest funds, backpacks, a rough idea of movement, each other, and a level of excitement akin to that of a dog with two tails.

Why Did We Leave The UK to Travel, Live and Work Abroad?

A question we were often asked before we left and found hard to answer is ‘Why are you doing it’?

We both had pretty good jobs in the UK that we’d worked and studied hard for. We weren’t earning huge amounts but enough to live comfortably, enjoy our free time, and take holidays and weekend trips. We’ve also got a wonderful family and great friends. It wasn’t that we were running away from anything either, except for boredom and routine…the generic ‘work, eat, sleep, repeat’. 

So why did we do it? I think the crux of it was that we were both ready for a change and a new challenge. We want to spend our time in the way we want to spend it, doing the things that make us happy. Not to mention we want to see each other for more than a few hours each evening before we both fall into bed shattered from work and commuting. That combined with our passion for travel, and for discovering new places and cultures made it seem the logical thing to do.

Our wanderlust is being satisfied by travelling through various countries. Our longer stretches of living and working abroad to sustain ourselves and allow onward travel give us the challenge we’re after. 

I suppose there is one other thing we were running from…the generally cold, miserable English weather – we both hate the cold.

When Did We Leave and What Were the Travel Plans?

We left the UK in early September 2016 and started with a week’s villa holiday in Majorca with my side of the family.

I love Latin America, but we also want to visit as many countries worldwide as possible. Andy’s heart, however, is firmly planted in Southeast Asia, or more specifically Cambodia (we’ve visited several times before and have friends there).

For a long time, Andy had talked at me incessantly about living there for a while, in order to get the full experience. 

Image of Angkor Wat and reflection on water.

Finally, I conceded, so Siem Reap, Cambodia was our first stop. A destination of my choice was to follow the next year, maybe Honduras, with travel throughout Central America; beyond that, we had no idea. We had no idea what doors would open to us or where we’d end up.

I say Cambodia was our first stop, but that’s not completely accurate. We actually started by travelling through India, Bangladesh, and Myanmar to Cambodia. This was my idea, which Andy readily agreed to. Originally we wanted to drive overland all the way from the UK to Cambodia but found there was way too much red tape and expenses with the overlanding through China part.

We flew into Mumbai, hoping to get the chance to give Bollywood acting a bit of a whirl, well, when in Rome….

Other than that the idea was to more or less ‘wing it’. I won’t delve any further here into how our itinerary panned out, or what we’re doing currently, you can read more on that in our blog posts.

How Do We Fund Our Travels?

Just before we left the UK we renovated and remortgaged our first house, to buy a second buy-to-let. Both of these are being rented out, giving us peace of mind that we have a little security back home if (and it’s a big IF) we should want to return to the UK.

Other than that we sold just about everything we owned. Car, furniture, clothes, books and the general crap that we’d accumulated over the years. It all had to go! The proceeds from this and our last pay packet gave us just enough cash to cover the travel to Cambodia, and rent and bills for a year. From then on we have to earn to cover extra living costs like food and beer money, extra travelling, activities, onward travel and savings. For us, that’s part of the challenge and helps our immersion in the local culture.

We both completed TEFL courses, which provided us with teaching English as one way to earn a living. I’m also able to work remotely, freelancing for various clients on SEO, marketing and data projects. Before leaving the UK we also both spent some time researching job vacancies in Cambodian-based companies and into being a digital nomad in Siem Reap.

How Do We Spend Our Free Time?

Voluntary work with wildlife or in conservation is always high on my wishlist. Andy’s got the goal of trying his hand at digging water wells or something similar that would make use of his development studies degree. These are all future goals for our spare time.

I also try to keep up with my running, the gym and hiking and Andy his rock climbing. We try to spend time exploring the destinations we’re in; getting off the beaten track as much as possible. Even in Cambodia, where we’re repeat visitors and quite familiar with some of the country, there’s always more for us to discover.

Finally, and this is a given, of course, is that there’s some socialising thrown into the mix. We’re both pretty sociable and love a good party or catch-up with friends over a meal and/ or a beer or three!

What Do You Get?

We keep you updated on our experiences, and trials and tribulations, mainly via our social media.

On the blog itself, alongside entertaining anecdotes, you’ll see lots of valuable information, reviews, hints and tips. These include posts on accommodation, food, transport, what to see and do, culture, living and working abroad, and much more.

For those of you who prefer to watch and listen than read, Andy has two YouTube channel  ‘GOING NOMAD…aka pigs on bikes’ and more recently ‘Living in Greece‘ (there’s a hint as to what we’re doing now).

Where We’ve Been Featured

Since we left the UK we’ve been asked to take part in interviews and articles for other websites, publications and podcasts. Below is a small selection for you to check out and learn even more about us, our story, and what we’re doing.

Location Independent Jobs: Online Language Tutor

Solo Female Traveler Video Documentary

Meet the digital nomads stranded in Asia

Tanya – to travel freely she sold almost everything she owned

Expat Experiences – Tanya Korteling, Didyma, Greece

Follow Us As We Travel, Live and Work Abroad

You’ll find us frank and honest; there’s no beating around the bush with us. So if you’re happy to take us as you find us, we’d love you to follow our journey here on Can Travel Will Travel.

Your comments and questions are warmly welcomed. We’ll respond as soon as WiFi, work and travel permits.