Dublin couple Katie Hogan and Luke Gibney run a travel website which they update from around the world.
“When the words ‘mortgage’, ‘babies’ and ‘weddings’ keep cropping up in conversations, we did the only that our panicked conscience would allow. We booked a one-way ticket to Mexico and darted for Dublin airport,” they said.
They set up theungracefulguide.com over two years ago, and it has seen them visit countries in South-East Asia, the Americas, Europe, and Iceland.
"We have stumbled into a life online, and on the road.”
After failing to find travel guides online for countries they intended to visit, they realised they could fill that gap with their own blog.
“We originally created the blog to document our travels in an online diary style, but that soon grew to become a travel guide when we found it difficult to locate simple travel information online.
“While we love reading blogs and people’s experiences on the road, we wish travel bloggers would share more useful information like ‘how to get there’, ‘how much it cost’, etc. So we decided to do just that.”
Katie and Luke share the realities of travelling to their destinations, whether glamorous or gritty.
“We like to share the realities of travel and backpacking on a budget. You will find less of the paradise beaches and perfectly-posed shots and more of the sweaty travel days. We try to use our page to educate others on cultures — ancient and existing — on religion, local food, local customs and, as always, the realities they all bring.”
The pair love using Instagram while travelling, and have over 16,000 followers.
"Instagram can be a toxic place but in our little bubble it has brought us comfort, has kept the homesickness at bay, and we have gained a little online family.
“We know a lot of people probably say this, but we have a little community in our pocket. It is supportive, positive and, in ways, a therapy.”
They admit that it’s easy to spend too much time using social media while travelling, and they try to stay offline instead.
“There are times we battle with living online and living in the present moment. We think it’s important that while we share our daily experiences, we firstly do just that — experience it. The best way is to not always be online.”