We have always loved traveling, but more importantly the type of travel that truly teaches us something. We would often turn to YouTube and travel bloggers to research places we wanted to visit but were always disappointed when we couldn’t find the type of content that goes beyond a travel guide. As we scrolled through the countless popular travel blogs, we couldn’t help but think that there was something missing. So much of the material on travel out there follows a recognizable pattern – what to see, do and eat if you spend a few days in a certain place. This is all wonderful, helpful information. But what we were missing was a feeling of connecting deeply and emotionally with those places and their communities after reading about them. Thus, we thought of this project as a contribution to that gap, going a step further in getting more out of travel. In this post, we describe the motives that have driven our desire to create this project.
Starting such a project is no easy task, there is much more that goes into telling the stories we wanted to see. For months, we would talk through questions like: Why are you spending so much time and energy building a website? There are so many travel bloggers out there, what can you really do that’s different? What is unique about the stories we want to read? It is worth mentioning that this project is a complement of our professional lives (read more about us here). We embrace the opportunity this creative outlet has enabled. Chipotles and Chill has been an excellent way to switch off from our full-time research during the evenings, develop new skills, and explore alternative forms to tell stories about travel.
We believe that the best way to find the content we want to consume is to create it ourselves! Between the two of us, we have 16 years of experience living as expats and have traveled extensively on 5 continents. Throughout this time, we have found the value of traveling slowly, learning that home isn’t a physical space but rather a feeling that we create. Also, our journey has shown us how the most long-lasting memories are the ones created with others, especially those who are part of the communities we have visited. All these experiences have given us very different perspectives and views of the world that we think are worth sharing.
Photo: Drumnadrochit Loch Ness, Scotland
As American and Mexican expats living in Europe, we have learned to navigate a different way of life with sometimes little guidance. For instance, having a doctors’ appointment in our second language. Or perhaps getting used to alternative forms of mobility, such as riding a bicycle to work every day. In the end, adapting to a different lifestyle is part of the beauty of being an expat. But, as a dual-national couple, we think that it is important to talk openly about our experiences with this adaptation process.
Because we live in two different countries, a lot of our time spent together is traveling away from both of our homes. Also, we are very lucky that our jobs enable us to work from anywhere with a good internet connection. This freedom means that we can take our professional lives wherever we go, and also gives us the opportunity to travel slowly. Rather than constantly travelling from country to country while working, we see our digital nomad lives more as working remotely at times of the year. Our goal is to one day adventure the world with a job that allows for the flexibility to combine our professional and personal passions.
Last but not least, from our experience working in the humanitarian space, we see an opportunity to apply our professional knowledge to our passion for travel. We hope to raise awareness of forms of travel that can have a positive impact on local communities. Furthermore, we see huge potential in producing content that genuinely captures the essence of places we visit. To achieve this, we think that it’s crucial to immerse ourselves in different cultures as well as telling the stories that can’t be found simply by visiting the obvious touristic spots. Because mindful travel is not only about being aware of what we bring to the communities we visit, but also what we take with us when we leave.
We think these thoughts are worth sharing, and that others may find value in them! But beyond just writing about our experiences, we want to create a community of like-minded people. If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that none of us is at our best without our community supporting us. We want to connect with individuals who appreciate traveling for the journey, not the destination. Those who want to go deeper than just seeing the sites on their checklists. It is important to us to put the communities we visit at the center, and not merely as part of a touristic experience. Perhaps most importantly, we want to contribute to making our world a better place.