interview travel

An Interview With : Who Needs Maps

12/21/2016Jake Ryan

Jack and Jenn from Who Needs Maps are a couple from opposite sides of the world, who have used their love of travelling to cement the love in their relationship. 

The couple currently blog about their travels, offering tips and tricks to help keep travel affordable and sharing exciting experiences they have encountered along the way. 

I recently spoke to the couple to ask them about their travels. See what Jack and Jenn had to say 

Hey Jack and Jenn, tell us a little bit about yourselves? 
Jack and I are a long distance couple and we actually travel to save our relationship. Jack is from Australia and I am from America and we have been together for 6 years going back and forth, avoiding visa issues, and seeing new places to make this relationship work.

When did you start travelling and how much time do you spend on the road?
Well, I guess our relationship was pretty much always on the road. I met Jack when I studied abroad in Australia and then as fate has it, the only place he got into for study abroad was the place I went to school in LA. We’ve moved to each others respective countries and traveled around a bit, so depending on who you ask, we are pretty much always on the road. 

I see on your blog you mention that you’ve gathered some unforgettable memories and had some ‘lets forget that ever happened’ moments…lets hear about one of those that you’re trying to forget. 
I like to call this the lamest story that has ever happened to me (or maybe anyone?). I got stitches in Vietnam, in by no means an exciting story, in fact, it’s the dumbest thing that could have happened. Jack and I went out in Hoi An, Vietnam, and opted for the whole $5 all you can drink thing – which was a bad idea now that I think of it.

When we got back into our room, we realized it was hot AF. And for those who have traveled Vietnam, Vietnam is very hot. So drunk and hot is never a good mix. So we thought maybe a cold shower would help cool us down. Nope, no help. Instead I just climbed to bed and just told Jack to crank the AC.

When Jack turned the AC on, it turned on so high, it ends up blowing the AC plastic cover out and falls onto my face, right in between the eyes. I got super lucky that it missed my eyes, like seriously, a few centimeters away and it would have been a bad story (or worse than it already is).

I was bleeding everywhere and Jack woke up the concierge lady who was kind enough to bring me some bandaids and some alcohol wipes. Not to mention, she non stopped complimented me -  “ it’s ok, you still look sexy.” Thanks, concierge lady! 

She took me to the nearest hospital, and by hospital, I mean she brought me to a woman’s house who happened to have stitching equipment.
She set me onto her counter, laid me down, starts speaking in Vietnamese, and stitched me up. Since it was in between my eyes, I got front row seats to watch all the stitching cross-eyed. She patched me up with a big X in the middle of my face with medical tape to keep the stitches protected. And from here on out, people in Asia knew me as “Bandaid girl,” I really wasn’t hard to miss.

I hadn’t told my mom yet and when I called her (4 days later), I told her “Mom, I got stitches.” And she’s yelling at me, “ I TOLD YOU NOT TO DO ANYTHING ADVENTUROUS OR STUPID!!!” All I could say was, “ BUT, BUT MOM, I WAS IN BED!!” Stitches from an aircon panel. Not skydiving, not bungee jumping, not swimming with the sharks. From bed. Ugh, how lame.

What’s been the most amazing memory from your travels?
We backpacked Southeast Asia together, and I think the whole was a true testament to our relationship. The whole four months was really something special. We both carried a backpack each, saw each other in the worst conditions (dirty, same clothes, unshaved legs, food poisoning, and a massive X on the face), but we also saw the best in each other (pushing the other to do something they never thought, trying new things, exploring new destinations, getting out of your comfort zone. It was a really raw and vulnerable experience and it made us the couple we are today. 

Are you a luxury traveller or do you keep to a tight budget?
We are budget travellers. We really like to book hotels that force you out. No resorts, no hotel buffets, or chocolates on our pillows (although, very delicious). We want something where we can sleep and shower and see the city we are in. Plus every dollar saved is put into more travels. Hey, a dollar can be a meal in some places!  

Would you recommend starting a travel blog to someone who is going travelling? 
Yes! Although it is a super saturated industry, it’s really fun documenting all our travels and adventures together. There are things I’ve written about that we have completely forgot happened! But also, the feelings make us relive some of the experiences. I would recommend it, but do it because you want to, not as a means of money.

What do you dislike most when you’re travelling?
I actually have Crohn’s disease and one of my favorite things when traveling is trying all the new foods. Because of Crohn’s I can’t try everything (I mean, I can, but is it worth the endless cramping and pain the next day?). It’s an obstacle, but I won’t let it stop me. 

Jack says his least favorite thing is not having a gym. He is a bit of a fitness junkie and doesn’t like the feeling of being unhealthy.

If you could go on an adventure with anyone, who would it be?
Is this a trick question? Haha I think I would pick Jack and I am hoping he would pick me! 

What’s been your favourite place that you’ve visited?
Vietnam. Vietnam has a really special place in our hearts. We were actually the least excited for it on our trip but it turned out to be the best! It had everything we could ever want. Adventure, beautiful culture, great food, UNESCO heritage sites almost everywhere, beaches, cheap drinks, and unbelievably friendly people. 

What’s the one place you’d most love to visit?
I would love to visit Antarctica! Because, really, who has the chance to go there? It just seems so far fetched to get there that it would really be a once in a lifetime experience. 

And finally what are your plans for the upcoming year?
We are ringing the new year with Alaska and Lake Tahoe. However, in late 2017-2018 we hope to do a full year of travel. There are a lot of places we gotta see! 

Thanks to Jack and Jenn for answering my questions. 

Be sure to follow them on social media here - 


And check out their blog Who Needs Maps

All photos in this post are copyright of WhoNeedsMaps.

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