“Stay in awe with the world.” So say Gadi and Tun, two Israeli transplants to China who craft the travel blog, Being In Awe. A combination of travels stories, interviews, a healthy slew of advice, and even instructions on how to live the expat life, Being in Awe is unique amongst travel blog its peers. (It’s the only travel blog giving advice on how to make money from, well, a travel blog… at least as far as we’ve seen.)
We spoke with Gadi and Tun about their blog and their motivation behind many of the unique features found on it.
The Trip Tribe: Why China?
Gadi and Tun We’ve always liked to travel and examined almost every corner in Israel. Also we visited several countries in Europe, once visited North America, and already have been three times in China. Like almost everyone we spent a lot of time of our lives for study and work. After all these years of hard work, we really wanted to try something new, get out of the system and normal routine. Not to squander our savings too quickly, we needed a country, where all the necessary costs would have been lower than in Israel, and in addition, where we could earn some money. And of course, where we will also learn something new in what we are both passionate about. Since we have already more than 10 years of experience in kung-fu, China seemed to fulfill all our demands.
TTT: What have you been most awed by in your travels thus far?
G&T: We’ve been awed by a lot of beautiful places in China, (you can read about them on our blog). But the main thing [we’ve been awed by] is a fresh look at the world. Staying for a long time in one place, we can’t avoid the blunting of perception. Paints fade, while the same routine is repeated, and our actions and decisions are based on the same things every day. We want to live life as a bright, happy holiday and keep the feeling of the word “wow”. Even working as English teachers is part of this holiday. Our travels help us keep a fresh perception of the word. New places and new situations require new solutions, so it is easier to stay alert and flexible to changes around us.
Also, while traveling, we expand the boundaries of the known — you are no longer in full captivity of learned representations.
TTT: What is your favorite feature on your blog?
G&T: The blog is our story of our lives, travels, and experiences. It’s like a family album for us, although a very public one. Also we love the section of interviews with other travelers. These are real people with vivid impressions; many of them have good blogs, too. Often we do not know anything about them, but while preparing interview questions, we begin to explore their blogs and sometimes we find really fascinating stories.
TTT: Where are you going next?
G&T: Now we are thinking about South America. This is our old plan. The territories are huge and it will be a very long journey, if all goes as planned.
On the other hand for a shorter period, we want to do the road trip across the Europe. What will come first, we have not decided yet. The time will tell.
TTT: What does your ultimate trip consist of?
G&T: Our visit to Shao Lin Monastery and training in it for a short period, as well as a performance on a martial arts show as representatives of the Kung Fu school. Also, the journey through the beautiful surroundings of Yang Shuo and Hong Kong, the journey through the mountains of Sinai, swimming over coral reefs of the Red Sea, and many more. So, we can say that our ultimate journey consist of beautiful nature, combined with participating and learning from local community.
TTT: A unique feature on your blog is the “Income Report,” a section that — it seems — gives advice for other bloggers on how to make money on your blog. What was the motivation behind creating this feature?
G&T: The motivation was to share our experience and knowledge about how to make money online. We learned a lot from other travel bloggers and we wanted to give back what we’ve discovered to this community. In our quest to make money by blogging, we’ve discovered that it is simpler than we thought before. Also we’ve been in touch with and cooperated with a lot of other bloggers and advertisers. And as a result now we have a better perspective how and why things work on the internet.
TTT: Best piece of advice for traveling novices?
G&T: One very important thing is always to travel with small luggage, do not take too many things, as it makes the journey less fun. The solution is to compile an accurate list of the most essential things and stick to it. You will see that it is not so difficult, and how much easier your travel life will become with small luggage.
TTT: Describe yourselves in six words.
G&T: Happy, healthy, together traveling the world.
Gadi and Tun are midlife run-aways from Israel. They left their normal life and jobs behind to be in awe with wonders of the world. They have launched their blog BingInAwe in order to share their awe with others, and inspire their readers to travel the world. Now they are living as expats in Xi’an, China.
This interview was originally published March 2014.