Thursday Traveler(s): Jack and Jill of JackandJillTravel.com

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Every Thursday, A Dangerous Business will be shining the spotlight on a world nomad, travel blogger, armchair adventurer, or just someone really cool in the travel world. This week, the travelers are Jack and Jill of Jack and Jill Travel. Jack and Jill constantly amaze themselves by managing to survive from one misadventure to another. But their upcoming around the world trip (starting soon in Colombia, April 2011) might just be their biggest challenge yet.

1. How do you define the word “traveler,” and why would you consider yourself one?

Jack: A traveler is someone ready to go out and seek adventure. Mobile like a laptop that can be quickly packed up and ready to go. I consider myself a traveler because even periods when I stay local, I move around light and pack efficiently.

Jill: A traveler is someone who points at an unexplored patch on a map, whether it’s a map of his own city or the world, and goes, ‘Hmm, I wonder what’s over here…’ and goes there to find out.

2. What has been your favorite travel experience thus far?

Jack: Anywhere we’ve been that involved climbing. Oh, when we climbed Cathedral Peak in Yosemite — that was sweet.

Jill: I’d say swimming with dozens of sea turtles off a coast in Big Island, Hawaii, was quite amazing.

3. How about your proudest travel moment?

Jack: Driving a car in Jakarta, Indonesia, no doubt. If you have ever been there, you will know that I deserve mad props.

Jill: I don’t know if this counts as travel so much… but hiking Mt.Whitney in one day without giving up and calling for a heli rescue was definitely something I could happily call an achievement. It was a grueling 20 hour hike. It was literally a once in a lifetime experience. I won’t do it again.

4. Have you had any travel mishaps or bad experiences? If so, have these influenced how you view the place where they happened? Would you go back?

Jill: One travel-related bad experience actually happened before we left. It involved an Italian embassy lady yelling at my face and rudely sending me away home (a 3-hour drive one way) for not having the right paperwork for the visa I was applying for. We’ve been pretty lucky so far (*knock on wood*) that we’d never been robbed (knowingly) or had anything terribly bad happened to us.

5. Name one thing you can’t travel without.

Jack: Some gadget that I can play games on. Currently this would by my Nintendo DS.

Jill: After money, passport, and a camera? Chapstick. I have ridiculously dry lips.

6. Name one thing you wish you COULD travel without.

Jack: My wife — only in the sense that I can’t NOT travel with her. I’d get lost and end up robbed, I just know it. She’s the street-smart one and on our visit to South America I’d probably have to rely on her Spanish to get us by.

Jill: *nodding* It’s true…

Jill: My short-sightedness. I can’t wear glasses because I have an Asian nose (aka no nose) and glasses keep falling down my face. And contacts are a pain because I keep getting stuff in my eyes.

7. What do you think has been the biggest thing you’ve learned while traveling (about yourself, a destination, a culture, travel itself)?

Jack: That traveling is not hard or scary. If I can do it, anyone can.

Jill: Your own city/state/country can be amazing. I call both the US and Indonesia ‘home’ and I keep discovering new things. I love finding new cute neighborhoods or restaurants or parks or random public arts around where we live.

8. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?

Jack: I haven’t found that place yet, but I would choose that place because it will feel just like home should.

Jill: It would have to be near a mountain range. We love mountains! And a river nearby and lots of wildlife. A place like Alaska maybe, but minus the 6 months of winter.

9. Name one place you’d like to see or one experience you’d like to have before you die.

Jack: I’d like to see Earth from outer space

Jill: Too many! Northern Lights, scuba dive with sharks (preferably whale sharks because they don’t have sharp teeth), and I’d like to experience, at least once, big wall climbing. Seeing Earth from outer space would be pretty awesome too — hopefully achievable within our lifetime, eh?

10. If there was one thing you wish somebody would have told you before you started traveling, what would it be?

Jack: That no matter how remote and foreign places can feel, people are pretty much the same all over. It just looks different.

Jill: Keep a journal. Along with my short-sightedness, I’m also a scatterbrain and it’s annoying the many little things I forget about places I’ve been and people we’ve met. So yeah, if I had kept a blog on all of the previous travels we’ve taken, it wouldn’t have taken me as long to answer these questions. (Sorry, Amanda!) (Editor’s note — they got these questions back to me in roughly a week. Much faster than some other interview subjects I’ve had!)

Visit Jack and Jill’s site: Jack and Jill Travel
Follow Jack and Jill on Twitter: @JacknJillTravel
Like” Jack and Jill on Facebook: Jack and Jill Travel

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Are you a travel blogger who has something to say on these topics? Do you know of somebody really interesting in the travel universe that you’d like to see interviewed? Speak up! The Thursday Traveler needs some interview subjects.

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