Amanda and Daniel Tran had it all: a decent salary, a great work/life balance, and a comfortable, secure lifestyle.
But despite everything they had, the Perth based couple were still missing a sense of fulfilment.
For Amanda, a former government employee, this yearning for more, went against her upbringing.
“Australia is very much a society about lifestyle and security. We all get told, ‘You have to finish high school.’ And especially coming from a Vietnamese background, both of my parents were very strict and said, ‘You have to go to university, you can’t have a boyfriend until you finish university, and then once you finish university, you have to work full time, and you have to get married, and then you buy a house, and then you have kids. Why would you want anything else out of life?’”
A wanderlust life awaited her but chasing the ‘travel dream’ meant abandoning well-laid out plans by her parents.
“Growing up, I’ve always had this dream of travelling at some point. When I finished high school, I wanted to take a few months off before university, but my parents are your very typical, strict Vietnamese parents, and that just wasn’t an option.”
Amanda took the sensible route and became a lawyer in the public sector.
It was only until she got engaged to Daniel in 2015 - that their common love of travelling truly took a life of its own.
The couple decided to take a massive leap of faith – leaving everything behind to travel the world instead.
“We both know that there’s so much more out of life than just staying comfortable. I think for both of us, being too comfortable is a sign that we’re not growing, that we’re not being challenged enough or doing more than we could. And that really pushed us forward.”
“If we stayed, we were boxing ourselves in. This road would’ve just gone down one path. We would’ve stayed in our jobs, and kept climbing the corporate ladder – and that’s all fine, if that’s what you really want, but we just wanted more.”
“There was a whole world of possibility. And that’s what really pushed us.”
And while there are many who would envy the couple, not everyone was so understanding.
“My dad pretty much wanted me to save my money, buy a house, and have kids,” said Daniel. “He said, ‘Why would you want to go for over a year?’”
“I look up to my older siblings and relatives, and they’ve got kids already, but now they can’t travel. And I thought to myself, ‘Do I really want to go through this?’ And the answer was No! I wanted to see the world, different cultures, different lifestyles, while I’m young now.”
“I tried to make my dad understand that. I said to him, ‘When I come home, I’ll tell you these stories.’ He slowly understood.”
“I think that was really confronting and challenging for them, because that wasn’t in their plan,” Amanda added.
“I think the best thing about travelling is how much you get to grow and learn about everything else going on in the world. Being from Perth, we’re so far away from everywhere else in the world – even other cities in Australia. You end up living in a bubble, and it’s easy to lose sight of how much we actually have, all of our privileges and freedoms.”
As they embarked on their journey, the couple started a blog for family and friends to follow.
“We just wanted to share a bit of our travels and what we were doing. There were no plans to monetise it or turn it into anything until about seven months into our trip.”
“Daniel and I spoke about it and where this was going, and whether this was something we wanted to do long-term. We started taking it more seriously. We started pitching to other companies to see what we could do for them. We’re still a very small blog, and we’re still growing, but it’s really encouraging that we’ve been able to get work with different companies in our travels since that time.”
“It’s been a huge learning process. I’m a lawyer; I was never interested in computers or SEO, and honestly most of the time I still don’t know what I’m doing! And Daniel just did photography for fun, so now he’s really honing into his skills and it’s really ignited his passion for photography.”
Now, the possibilities are endless for the pair, who have goals to change the world.
“For both of us, the number one thing that fulfils us most in our careers is dedication to a cause. We want to help make a difference.”
“Long-term, we’d love to be social entrepreneurs. We’re thinking about opening a business somewhere that’s going to make a social impact. It’ll probably be through education: encouraging travellers to volunteer, or to spend some time within the community, and do more than just have a good time.”
“I grew up being told about all of the hardships, and how hard it was coming to Australia. Coming from a privileged country like Australia, Daniel and I want to be able to give back and make a difference in whatever way we can.”
Follow Daniel and Amanda on their Instagram.