Interview with Dan and Audrey of Uncornered Market

Dan and Audrey near Queenstown, NZ

Daniel Noll and Audrey Scott of Uncornered Market talk about travel, marriage, and road trips with VroomVroomVroom

VroomVroomVroom had the pleasure of interviewing Daniel Noll and Audrey Scott of the award-winning travel blog Uncornered Market. Fifteen years ago, the husband and wife team decided to leave their comfortable life in San Francisco for an uncertain path in Prague, Czech Republic. After five years, they finally decided to travel all over the world and share their experiences through amazing photos and wonderful stories in their own blog.

Having visited more than 90 countries, there is no stopping Dan and Audrey from exploring different parts of the world. We can already consider them as travel experts because of their vast knowledge in travelling – and they are generous enough to share what they know through books, workshops, and webinars.

Get to know more about Daniel Noll and Audrey Scott of Uncornered Market in this exclusive interview with VroomVroomVroom. The couple also shared some travel and relationship tips, their favorite destinations, road trip adventures, and future plans.

Dan-and-Audrey-near-Twin Lakes-Rwanda
Dan and Audrey near Twin Lakes in Rwanda

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?

D & A: We inspired ourselves.  I write that with a bit of a smile, but it’s the truth. When we made the decision in 2006 to quit our jobs, travel the world on a creative sabbatical and launch Uncornered Market, there were very few examples of travel blogs out there. We had no guarantees that things would work out, but we also knew that if we didn’t take the leap then we might look back in 10 or 20 years and wonder “What if?”

We’d be lying if we said that we didn’t miss the regular healthy paychecks hitting the bank account. However, we currently enjoy a high degree of personal and professional freedom and independence that we find hard to exchange.

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

D & A: Audrey and I travel together most of the time, and as we are very different personalities we’ll both come from an experience with different observations and insights.  For us, it’s rewarding to discuss our experience at the end of the day – say, over a glass of wine. However, traveling together long-term can add stress and challenges.  But the benefits are absolutely worth it. That’s what motivated articles like “How to Travel the World Together Without Killing Each Other.”

We each travel solo and undertake separate experiences. For example, last April, Audrey traveled Switzerland by train with her mother, while I sat a Vipassana 10-day silent meditation course in Malaysia.

We’ve also done quite a few small group tours with G Adventures (e.g., Iran, Ethiopia, Tanzania/Mt. Kilimanjaro, Haiti) and appreciate the variety of travel styles out there and the benefits of each.

Audrey with her mother in Geneva, Switzerland

VVV: Having been married for quite some time, do you think travelling to different places and sharing new experiences together helped keep your relationship stronger?

D & A: Travel has always been a part of our relationship since we first met a little over 18 years ago. In general, travel has added a positive dimension to our relationship. It opens up new opportunities, serves up challenges that forces us to adapt, and gives us plenty of conversation fodder and experiences to share together. Travel – and the challenges thereof – can also test a relationship and its strength. At the end of the day, this is a good thing because it tends to encourage us to understand both each other and ourselves better.

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

D & A: Some of our favorite countries include Kyrgyzstan, Republic of Georgia, Peru, Ethiopia, and Nepal. What makes these countries attractive is the combination of incredible landscapes, deep culture and history and hospitable people. Oh, good food also helps!

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

D & A: At the moment we’re traveling through Australia, which has been on Audrey’s bucket list since she was a kid. In a couple of months, we’re planning to walk the full Camino de Santiago (825 km) in France and Spain, which is something we’ve wanted to do for years.

The long-term bucket list also includes some offbeat destinations like Papua New Guinea, among others.

road trip in Rhine Valley, Germany

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

D & A: We’ve never rented a campervan, but we’re hoping to be able to change that during our upcoming trip in Western Australia.

We’ve rented cars around the world and appreciate the flexibility that a car can bring to certain journeys. However, driving through medieval streets in European towns when the road seems to forever narrow to the point where the car can’t pass can be quite stressful. One of our recent favorite road trips was one around Puglia and Basilicata to celebrate our 15th wedding anniversary.

VVV: Do you prefer travelling by land, air, or sea?

D & A: Each has its place and we’ve had memorable experiences on plenty of boats and aircraft, including unusual flights like over the Pamir Mountains in Tajikistan. However, we tend to enjoy the pace of travel overland, as it allows the opportunity to experience and appreciate the details at a slower, more digestible pace.

At some point, we’d love to learn how to sail and spend some time sailing around the Caribbean.

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

D & A: Whether it’s full- or part-time, travel will likely continue to be a significant part of our lives. As long as we’re able, we’ll continue to explore and discover.

Regarding settling down, this article about our transition to being semi-nomadic and choosing to base ourselves in Berlin covers that.  Beyond our current situation, it’s difficult to say since we have family and aging parents in the United States. We remain open and flexible. That’s one of the benefits of our current entrepreneurial lifestyle.

VVV: You have amazing stories and photos in your blog, what else can your followers expect on your blog site this year?

D & A: We will continue to explore the intersection of travel and personal growth, and how travel can aid one in facing fears, pushing boundaries, developing empathy, and padding other life skills. Additionally, we plan to turn more of our “Beginner’s Guides” into downloadable PDFs as we keep receiving requests from readers for this.

Dan and Audrey sitting on a bench in Christiana, Copenhagen

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

D & A: Whether you want to have a travel blog for fun or as part of a business, spend considerable time at the beginning working on your craft and voice – whether it’s writing, photography, video, or some other medium. On a business front, it’s challenging to make a living entirely off of your travel blog. Most people, we included, do a variety of things to pay the bills and use our blog as a portfolio of what we can do to pitch projects.  The idea is to adapt to an ever-changing market and online world.

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

D & A: For the title, let’s use a fragment of our old tag line, “Measuring the Earth…”.  I think Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt might be strong enough to handle the roles.

There is a saying “the couple that travels together, stays together” – and this is so true for Daniel Noll and Audrey Scott of Uncornered Market. Imagine 15 years of marriage and more than 90 countries visited, they must be doing something right to continue their journey. If you wish to get in touch with the couple, you can reach them through their social media accounts.


Leave a Reply