Two humans, a cat, & no smartphone.
We can’t imagine spending a couple of hours without our smartphones. On the other hand, Boris Kanev and Marta Samalea have taken the media by storm, since they decided leave technology behind, and undertake the travelers dream to reach India overland. Following the flickering lamp of history they took to roaming the world at the speed of a snail. Their journey began in October 2013 when they set off from Bulgaria, at an average speed of a few km per hour. Armored only with two backpacks that carried the essentials of their travels; maps, a netbook, a DSLR camera, an e-book reader and an old Nokia phone “with an unreliable battery and a failing charger” as they told NDTV gadgets.
Boris and Marta have made their way through Turkey, Iraq, and other countries, before hitchhiking across Asia, until they entered India from Myanmar. They chose to disconnect from the world and updated their friends and families only via their blog and mails, whenever they could find an internet connection. Naturally, traveling without Google Maps in an unknown land, with no internet to answer their questions was a challenge, but one they enjoyed. They relied on paper maps throughout their journey and when they couldn’t find one, they made their own.
The inspirational couple has been documenting their journey, and adventures in their blog called the Roving Snails, where they talk about the hardships, share tips with fellow travelers and tell wonderful stories of their adventures. Currently the duo are roving through India, “drinking tea, feasting on vegetarian wonders, enjoying time with friends and writing a little book of tales, while looking for a way back home.” – The Roving Snails. http://rovingsnails.com/
About Boris Kanev, Marta Samalea and Burma Bilal
According to the blog, Boris left home at the age of 17 to study History and Politics in the UK. He worked as an English teacher, but always dreamt of becoming a mountain guide. He is a true nature lover and likes to collect mountain herbs and mushrooms. Through his journey with Marta he has taken care of writing for their blog.
Marta has a Business degree, a few years of studying Art History and a masters in Critical Theory and Cultural Studies. She likes arts and loves crafts. She left Spain in 2002 and since then has traveled more countries than she can count. If you meet her on the road, she’ll be the one with the DSLR around her neck, clicking away beautiful memories for the blog. You’d also find her doing the boring admin work, as Boris writes.
“From the age of 12 days she (Burma) roams the world on foot, by truck, in a bag, box or on top of any backpacks”- writes Boris. She is the little beauty and new companion to the duo, adopted from the street of Burma on their journey.
They are more than content about their decision to not depend on technology for their journey, despite the challenges. “We both wanted to reach the subcontinent overland, to take every step, and cross each border, to fill the map with pictures of real places, flavors and faces,” writes Marta. According to Boris, the greatest advantage of not carrying a smartphone is that, “you just live your days fully in the place where you are without the temptation of continuously browsing out of habit rather than need. Plus you don’t even have to worry about finding a plug to charge your device.”
Maybe we should consider disconnecting too?