Interview with Kach and Jonathan of Two Monkeys Travel Group

Two people from across the globe shared one passion – and that is to travel. Kach Medina Umandap from the Philippines and Jonathan Howe of the United Kingdom is a match made in heaven. They both gave up their careers to explore the world and share their adventure through their blog.

Jonathan Howe and Kach Umandap
Jonathan Howe glacier trekking in Patagonia/ Kach Umandap at the border of Brazil and Bolivia

What started out as a personal blog grew into a community travel blog where other travel enthusiasts share their stories. Two Monkeys Travel Group thus was born and is now one of the most visited blogs online because apart from the interesting personal travel stories, there are also useful travel tips and guides. They also have another blog called Mr&Mrs Howe.

Kach and Jonathan edited TMTG
Kach and Jonathan Howe enjoying the scenery of Fairy Chimneys in Cappadocia, Turkey

VroomVroomVroom had a pleasure of interviewing Kach and Jonathan of Two Monkeys Travel Group. Read more to find out how the lovely couple met, their favorite destination, and their Christmas holiday suggestion.

VVV: We rarely see a community travel blog and reading stories of travel writers from all over the world is quite interesting. What made you decide to put up a community travel blog rather than a personal travel blog?

K and J: We began as a personal travel blog, but we realized quite quickly that we didn’t want it to be all about us all the time. We also know from experience how hard it can be to find good sites to guest post on when you’re just starting out. We wanted to create an outlet for people to publish their travel stories. Click here for more details on why and how they did it.

VVV: How do you choose the writers who contribute in your blog? Are most of them your friends or travel buddies?

K and J: Actually, only one of our 22 writers is an old friend from before the blog. I (Jonathan) went to university with Craig and now he lives with his girlfriend in Canada. Most of our writers contact us or keep in touch with us a lot through our Facebook page or Travel Forum. Readers turned writers!

VVV: How did you guys meet? Do you both belong to a group of travelers?

K and J: We met in Luang Prabang in Laos. I was riding a cheap motorbike around Asia with a friend from home and Kach was backpacking with her brother and sister. We went on our own ways after several days, but we kept in touch for two months and she came to visit me in Hanoi for a couple of weeks and never left! Check out the couple’s story below:

VVV: Do you always travel together or there are times that you prefer travelling alone or with a group?

K and J: No, we pretty much always travel together, but we usually meet other people along the way and travel with them for a while, before going back to just the two of us again. Of course, everyone needs their own space every now and again, so I’ll just go walking around on my own, taking pictures or stuff that Kach isn’t into, like hiking.

Kayaking in Maldives edited
Jonathan and Kach kayaking in Maldives

VVV: Just like most travel bloggers who decided to quit their jobs to travel, what or who inspired you to give up your career? Don’t you miss the corporate life?

K and J: We don’t miss it at all! We had no idea at the time, but we were both quitting our jobs at almost the exact same time, me in the UK and Kach in Iraqi Kurdistan. We’d both been through different jobs trying to find something that felt right, but nothing did. Click here to find out more about Kach’s story.

VVV: You’ve both travelled to different parts of the world, what’s the most memorable destination for you?

K and J: Hands down, it’s Chilean Patagonia! We spent a month hitch hiking down the Careterra Austral, surrounded every day by snowcapped peaks, turquoise rivers and lakes and vast glaciers. There’s no other place like it on Earth! Click here to read more about their adventure in Patagonia.

VVV: Do you have a bucket list of places that you would like to visit in the coming months?

K and J: Not a bucket list as such, but we’re thinking about leaving Colombia, where we’ve been living for 3 months, to move to Suriname and travel to Venezuela, some Caribbean Islands and hopefully Antarctica.

Jonathan and Kach Howe hot air balloon
Jonathan and Kach enjoying a hot air balloon ride in Cappadocia, Turkey

VVV: Christmas is fast approaching and many people are looking for a place where they can spend their holidays. What place do you suggest they visit?

K and J: We really enjoyed Christmas in South America last year, they really know how to do Christmas! We were in La Paz in Bolivia and everyone was out in the streets, dressed up in fancy dress, huge street shows and parties going on until morning. Choose any South American city and you’re gonna have a great time.

VVV: Have you ever tried renting a car or campervan? If so, please share your road trip experience with us.

K and J: We haven’t rented one yet, although we plan to build our own campervan in the Philippines in the next year or so. We actually bought an old car in Costa Rica and drove it all around the country, from the South Pacific side, all the way to the Caribbean and back again. I still have no idea how we kept that thing going!

VVV: How long do you see yourself travelling? Do you have plans of settling down someday?

K and J: We do plan to settle down when we’re ready to have some kids, but we still have a couple more years on the road yet. Eventually we want to buy our little piece of land somewhere and I’m going to build our house on it. By the beach preferably!

Kach and Jonathan in Maldives edited
Jonathan and Kach snorkling in Maldives

VVV: A lot of people read your blog and some of them wanted to start up their own travel blog, what advise can you give them?

K and J: Don’t underestimate the time and work that goes into doing this full time. The lifestyle is amazing if you get the balance right, but it takes a lot of planning if you want to earn a living from it. It’s not all beaches and selfies with ancient monuments! Read their guide here on how to start a travel blog.

VVV: This is a random question that we ask our bloggers. If your life will be made into a movie, what title will you give it and which actor/actress do you want to portray you?

K and J: This is Kach’s answer on this one, because I don’t really like attention, so making my life into a movie is probably the last thing I would do. She would call it ‘Love on the Road’, starring Anne Curtis and anyone with blonde hair and blue eyes to play me.

Kach on the snowy mountain
Kach in Pamukkale, Turkey

If you want to keep in touch with Kach and Jonathan Howe of Two Monkey Travel Group, check out their social media accounts below:


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