Thank you to everyone who sent in questions! We’ve been wanting to do a Q&A for a while as a way to give back to the travel and photography community which we have learnt so much from. For anyone who wants to read a little about our background, head over to our about us.
Why did we decide to go travelling?
Travelling has always been something that we both wanted to do but never had the time for. We came to a crossroad in our lives where we knew if we didn’t make the leap we might never get round to doing it.
How long have we been travelling for?
It all started back in December 2015.
How do we feel about leading a life of travel?
For us, dropping a stable lifestyle back in the UK and leading a life of travel certainly pushed us out of our comfort zone. But by breaking away from the norm, it allowed us to reevaluate what is important in our lives, which in return has created more opportunities than we could have ever planned. It has been our biggest step forward so far, and we are incredibly excited for all the possibilities which lie ahead.
How do you afford to travel to so many places, are you guys rich?
It’s all about making travel our main priority. Yes, travel does involve money, but it is as expensive or affordable as you make it. We like to stay in hostels and explore by foot or public transport with a map and compass in hand. And as we travel more, we have learnt to travel lighter whilst appreciating the simplicities in life. We also work whilst on the road to further stretch our travels financially, which we touch on in the next question.
How do we fund our travels?
Since embarking on our travels, both of us have switched career paths and chosen jobs which would allow a lot of freedom – Sarah as an English Teacher whilst Eric as an Editor. Together we take up photography projects when and where they arise, as well as working alongside tourism boards and brands which resonates with ours. This helps generate further income to feed our travels and opens up new opportunities as our network expands. Working remotely is perfect for our spontaneous lifestyle.
Why did we move to Hong Kong?
We both came from Hong Kong Chinese families who emigrated to the UK. Although this provided better opportunities for our families, it also meant we became somewhat disconnected to our roots – relocating to Hong Kong has definitely fixed this. Hong Kong is also the central hub of Asia and there are direct flights to most destinations which make it an ideal base to travel from.
What is our favourite destination/place so far?
Sarah: Japan has to be one of my all-time favourite destinations! My obsession for this country grew from a young age when I was first introduced to anime and sushi. Their culture completely captivated me and still does to this day.
Eric: My favourite country is also Japan, but more specifically Kyoto. We’ve been lucky enough to visit some incredible places but Kyoto was just extra special. It’s photogenic, the food is superb, it has a great mix of nature and city life, and the people are really friendly.
Where haven’t you guys been but would like to visit?
Sarah: Cappadocia in Turkey. It’d be a dream to see the hot air balloons during sunrise.
Eric: Mongolia is definitely somewhere I hope to visit soon. Exploring the vast lands and infamous Gobi Desert would be an unforgettable adventure.
Is it difficult living out of a backpack when travelling?
Not at all, we actually find it harder to lug around a suitcase as it means we’re less flexible when it comes to moving around. Regardless of how long a trip is, most of our travels only requires a few sets of clothes and our camera gear. Eric carries a 50-litre backpack whilst Sarah has a 37-litre.
Which language do you know/do you want to learn?
Sarah: I am native in both English and Cantonese. I also know a little bit of Mandarin – enough to get us by during our travels in China and Taiwan. More recently, I began learning Japanese – something which I’m super excited about and hope to become fluent in.
Eric: I’m definitely lagging behind in the language department when compared to Sarah. I can only speak English and Cantonese fluently but I’m hoping to start learning Japanese soon.
What camera gear do we use?
Have a look at our Photography Gear page, we’ll keep it updated as we go along.
When did we start taking photos?
We got our first DSLR in the summer of 2015 and that’s when we really started getting into photography. If you scroll all the way to the beginning of our Instagram feed you’ll find the very first trip we did with the camera.
How did we learn photography?
Most of what we learnt was self-taught. There was a lot of going out and getting things “wrong” before we started liking our own photos. YouTube was also a great resource for us and we learnt a lot of the basic through Tony & Chelsea Northrup.
Who takes the photos for Chopsticks on the Loose?
We both do – typically the photos with one person in will be taken by the other. For times we both want to be in the shot, we set up a tripod and leave it shooting continuously as we move into position. For landscape shots, we usually take turns with the camera to accommodate our different perspectives.