Euros Ate My Dollars: Interview with Ben and Brittany

Ben and Brittany in Nice.

Occasionally, I receive an email from a reader suggesting I check out a new blog. A while ago, one reader strongly recommended Euros Ate My Dollars, the entertaining travel blog of Ben and Brittany, a couple from the United States on an 8-month trip through Europe and Southeast Asia. Ben and Brittany have just arrived in Thailand after spending the past six months working their way through Greece, Italy, France, Spain and Portugal.

They were happy to tell me a bit more about their trip so far, why they decided to do it in the first place, and what it’s like travelling as a couple.

So let me get this straight: You finished college, got good jobs, and then quit to travel… Why did you do it?

Brittany: Long-term travel had always been in the back of my mind as something I’d like to do, and I guess the urge just became too overwhelming to ignore. I knew that if I didn’t do it now, it would always be a decision I’d regret. I’d feel like I missed out.

Ben: She was pretty intent on going, so what else was I going to do? Stay back and work? Oh, also, she wouldn’t stop nagging me.

Had either of you travelled much before this?

Ben: I had never even been out of the country before this trip, so I’d have to say no.

Brittany: I took a whirlwind tour of a few European cities with my 11th grade Latin club. Also, I visit my grandparents in North Carolina every year. Does that count?

Ben: No.

You mention on your site that you’re planning to work along the way. Have you found it hard to obtain work while on the road?

Brittany: No, but I’m REALLY smart.

Ben: Yes, but I’m REALLY lazy.

What are some of the challenges of travelling together?

Brittany: We get this question a lot! Thankfully I’ve known him for a decade so I can pretty much handle anything he throws my way. We have to be really good at reading each other’s moods and reacting accordingly. I guess the biggest challenge is obvious – no personal space or down time. We’re loathe to split up because what if something terrible happened? We’d have no way of reaching each other. So sometimes we have to have “quiet time.” No talking allowed. Also, when we do bicker, it’s not like we can storm away angrily and have time to cool off because, hello? Where are you going? So we always have to deal with it RIGHT NOW, no matter how much we may not want to.

Ben: I find that, generally, she isn’t hungry enough.

On the other hand, how has being together improved the experience?

Ben: I’m always impressed by the people we meet who are traveling the world solo, but I don’t think I could do it. Brittany’s my girlfriend, but she’s also a familiar voice in a country of non-English speakers, and someone who knows where I’m talking about when I wonder what’s going on back home. Maybe most importantly, she’s someone to share all these amazing experiences with. When I’m aching for Naples pizza a year from now, I won’t be aching alone.

Brittany: I appreciate how we can make each other laugh, no matter how horrible our circumstances. ‘Cause if you’re going to ride 24 hours on a bus, you’ve got to have a sense of humor.

Last question. You’ve just left Europe for Southeast Asia. What were the highlights of Europe for you both? Any disappointments?

Brittany: I hate this question! Let’s see… highlights would be Crete in general, Italian food, driving through Andalucia, Prague… and disappointments? Southern France, I guess. It’s just a summer vacation destination. I’ll have to go back when I’m richer and it’s warmer.

Ben: The highlight for me would be Crete. I love the people, the lifestyle, and the sense of exploration we found driving through the villages and mountains. The biggest disappointment for me was Granada. It has an amazing history, but it feels like it all wasted into one big drug scene.

Brittany: Debbie Downer! I hate ending the interview on such a depressing note.

Ben: I hear the dollar fell again today.

Brittany: You know, you’re really starting to get on my nerves.

To follow along on Ben and Brittany’s trip, check out their blog: Euros ate my Dollars.

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