Irreverent responses from our favourite travel ninjas.
Name: Daniel Noll and Audrey Scott
Title/bio: A husband-and-wife storytelling and
photography team. Travelling the world for six years
and more than 75 countries. Still going... and still married.
Born in: Scranton (Dan) and Norristown (Audrey),
living in: Semi-nomadic with a semi-base
1. Famous person (dead or alive, real or
fictional) you’d most like to go on a trip with:
Jobs on his trip through India just before Apple was born.
2. Everyone asks what’s #1 on your list of
places you want to go before you die. But what’s your #3?
India. It strikes us as a mystical place, markedly less dense than the rest of
India and one of the great lands of the Tibetan Plateau. Also, a neighbour from
our days in San Francisco, who has since converted to Swamiism (and committed
to wearing orange for the rest of his days), always recommended it.
3. You’d be mortified if people knew you did
what when you travelled?
early days of our backpacking journey around the world, we carried a hair dryer!
Apart from that, we admit to carrying about a year’s supply of specialised
woven dental floss and special Swiss toothbrushes in our packs.
4. Your most stranded, “oh-my-[deity]” travel
easy. Kazakhstan. Or more like, trying to
enter Kazakhstan from Uzbekistan by land border. The Kazakhs shut the
border, we were trapped in a cage with locked doors or high fences on every
side in the beastly August heat, and we thought our “dream journey around the
world” would end with us trampled to death. Fortunately, Audrey teamed up with
a Russian woman-cum-linebacker and made her way to the front of the queue. Then
she convinced the biggest Kazakh guard she could find to grab my hand and I
literally crowd surfed into Kazakhstan. A
week later we
almost died in the Tian Shan Mountains outside of Almaty. You might say
Kazakhstan had it in for us.
5. Strangest meal abroad:
fingers” during Ramadan in a yurt in Kyrgyzstan. Or, what one might
describe as goat fragments and noodles mixed by the unwashed hands of old
shepherds. The dish was called “Five Fingers” because that was how you blended
all the ingredients of the dish together.
6. Material thing you miss the most when away
7. Most unique souvenir:
camel shawl (turned wall-hanging) from Turkmenistan. Audrey also has a crown
(the dental variety) from Thailand.
8. Best celebrity encounter while travelling:
Ward: an Australian supermodel and Vogue cover girl. We hiked much of Nepal’s
Annapurna Circuit with her before being told – by a bunch of Israeli military
graduates who clearly watched way too much TV in the bunkers – that she was
quite famous. Then, everything
began to make sense.
9. Most unusual item you have travelled with:
hardback version of Don Quixote. The thing was a brick and weighed a ton. We
lugged it to Southeast Asia at the beginning of our trip and read it fairly
quickly, if only so we could ditch it. A quote from the book also serves as the
inspiration and source of our tagline: “Measuring the Earth with our feet…”
10. Coolest mode of transport you’ve taken:
in Antarctica. Granted, it’s basically just a big rubber raft, but the scenery
made it feel like a space buggy.
11. Travel-related invention you wish existed:
detector iPhone app. We experienced several truly awful cases of bed bugs in
Latin America that scarred us, quite literally. (See The
Travel Apps of Our Dreams)
12. The place you don’t want anyone to know
about but are willing to divulge here:
Mountains of Tajikistan and the Wakhan Valley along the border with
Afghanistan. The scenery is spectacular and the people are so kind and
generous, they’ll make you cry.
13. Travel-related film or book that inspires
you to pack your bags:
David Roberts’ Shantaram. While not a travel book, it’s about life adventure
and features spectacular storytelling.
14. The travel story you’ll never stop bragging
15. Lay on us a priceless bit of travel advice
come to a fork in the road, take it.