Maya and Michal are the adventure seekers behind the blog Travel With The Smile. They grew up in Slovakia but decided to move to another beautiful country which is Canada. Just like any other nature lovers, they love to spend their time outdoors, getting some fresh air and enjoying stunning mountain views. They have the same goal which is to make the most out of the time they have on this world.
Although the Canadian Rockies have become their playground for more than four years, they had to leave it for good reasons. They made a decision to take it globally - so they left on a trip to see the rest of the world. Starting in Mexico, they wandered through Central America (Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama), South America (Venezuela, Colombia, Peru, Bolivia, Chile, Argentina), New Zealand and right now, they are exploring one of the best travel destinations in the world, Indonesia.
Our mission is to inspire you to live more adventurously, try new things, discover off the beaten path places and provide you with the best tips for your next trip.
1. What's the story behind your adventure blog "Travel With The Smile"? How did you come up with the idea for the blog?
When we moved from Slovakia to Canada, many friends and family members asked us the same or similar questions about living and traveling in a foreign country and all the adventures we were having. As we noticed more questions being asked, we decided the easiest way to answer was to set up a blog where we could post our pictures and stories from living abroad.
2. You were originally from Slovakia, what inspired you to try living in a new country?
We became self sufficient in a young age, traveled abroad and worked during school holidays. As we finished our studies at University, we wanted not only to travel, but try living in a different country. To get to know local customs better and change the environment. We chose Canada as a country with nature elements that we like - mountains, biking, snow in winter. And so we applied for working holiday visas. After some time spent in Canada, we started to crave more and wanted to explore the world. Now, almost two years later, we traveled through Central and South America, lived and worked in New Zealand and right now traveling through Asia before heading to Europe. We both love living in Canada and intend to return there later this year.
3. We've heard you love being in the mountains, what is your most favorite mountain destination and why?
We love the Canadian Rockies. Massive piles of snow, abundant wildlife and the fact that the country will probably never get crowded. As mountain bikers, we like our home country Slovakia. But Chilean Patagonia makes the top of the list as a best mountain destination. So much unexplored and pristine clean places you won't find anywhere else.
4. What's the toughest challenge you've ever faced as a traveling couple?
During our travels through Venezuela, the economic situation, unrest and food shortage in the country worsened. One day before our departure, Venezuela closed overland borders for a few weeks and cancelled 100 bolivar bills, the only money we had. The tension on the streets rose when people lined up in front of the banks to change the 100 bolivar bills and tried to buy some groceries from almost empty stores. Luckily our hotel had a restaurant and still accepted these bills. The next morning we had a scheduled flight from Venezuela to Colombia but forgot to check that we need a proof of onward travel out of Colombia. Check-in attendant on the airport didn't let us on the plane unless we showed them a ticket out of Colombia. When we managed to show them tickets, the checking staff just walked away and didn't talk to us anymore. We thought we would get stuck in Venezuela just before Christmas with no valid money. After a couple of stressful hours, miraculously, a manager showed up and let us board the plane the last minute.
5. If you were to try something new this year, what sport or outdoor activity would you like to experience?
We would like to go on a kayaking or canoe trip down some rivers in Alaska or Yukon. And maybe try enduro ebikes we saw recently, which would be really cool to test on some forest tracks.