where it all began...
The story about how we met is not exactly as adventurous as the journey we have been on together ever since, but never the less it is probably worth a mention. On the 25th of December 2013, yes Christmas Day to most, we met at a Christmas Party whilst back home in Gibraltar on our Christmas break. With both of us in our final year of University, Lou flew out to Thailand for a month on her veterinary placement whilst I finished off some final year engineering examinations straight after we met. Thankfully we were both at Universities in the UK, Lou in Edinburgh Scotland and myself in Newcastle England, which were close enough to make the situation a little easier once she was back in Britain.
Fast forward eight months from when we first met, we both had successfully completed our degrees, hung up our certificates and booked our one way tickets to Asia together which is where this whole journey begun!
I guess like most others, we were both taught to finish school, go to university, get a job and settle down at home where you get married, have kids and live happily ever after. In the eyes of modern day society this is what would be classified as being successful but we are not quite sure these pressures necessarily lead to success. We would say success is very much subjective and almost entirely down to the perception and desire of each individual.
“Success isn’t about how your life looks to others. It’s about how it feels to you”
Yes both of us have careers, both where our passions lie but neither of us have restricted ourselves to these paths. Fortunately for us we both have a similar mind-set which has allowed us to juggle our professions, embrace opportunities and make sacrifices in order for us to do what makes us enjoy life and break away from the societal mould if needs be.
As “Young Professionals” the “sensible” thing would have been to begin our careers and slowly rise through the ranks building our resume. At 23 and 26 we can’t say we were ready to commit ourselves to careers that today will likely last in excess of 35 years. Prolonging this was going to have very little, if any impact what so ever, so instead we chose to spend a year wandering through South-East Asia, Australia and New Zealand. Having only known each other for 8months, we knew this journey would either make or break us but we were willing to find out.
After having spent a year abroad away from all “responsibilities”, we had challenged ourselves, met amazing people, submerged ourselves in some fascinating cultures and visited places we had never even dreamed of. This experience gave us a new sense of independence and appreciation for our planet. Having been on a fascinating backpacking adventure, we felt it would be great to share this experience with others which is when we created Life out of our Backpack!
Relaxed, refreshed and ready to start our careers a year later, it was time for Job Hunting. Having fallen in love with the country as a whole during our visit, Australia is what we called home for the next year. Lou had found a position as a Veterinary Surgeon out in Sydney and my intention was also to find a job in my profession as a structural engineer, however, I didn’t have much luck and soon found myself learning how to whip up the tastiest coffee in town. Yes, I became a barista and despite this never being my intention, it was something I would do all over again!
365 days later my visa had expired so we moved back to the UK where we were both able to focus on our profession. Living in Newcastle (Northern England), Lou continued to build on her experience working as a locum vet whilst I took on my first role as a structural engineer. With both of us in demanding full time jobs, our travels were put on the backburner slightly and found ourselves in a much more mundane routine taking every opportunity to travel whenever possible.
what we have been up to
Hi Guys, I’m Lou, short for Louise-Anne and the better half of Life Out Of Our Backpack (Only Joking Max). I am from the beautiful small British Oversees Territory of Gibraltar which is situated at the Southern tip of the Iberian Peninsula. With a total area of just under 7km², a population of around 30,000 and dominated by a 426m high rock, it is safe to say it is quite a small nation and I am proud to call it home.
Along with my passion for travel, I have always had an eternal love and interest for animals which is why I went down the route of becoming a Vet. Fortunately my profession has provided me with some fantastic opportunities whereby I have worked full time in Australia, UK and now in the UAE.
In addition to my contractual work, I, like Max, do also have a burning desire to take my profession to the developing world where I continue to visit animal shelters, clinics and charities to help in the care of stray and neglected animals.
Hello hello, I am Charles Maxwell Pizarro, better known as Max and as you probably guessed, the other half of Life Out Of Our Backpack. I, like Lou, grew up on the Rock of Gibraltar until I was 18 before I head to University and then decided to explore this beautiful planet.
Although I am a Civil & Structural Engineer by profession, I do however currently dedicate myself as a full time travel blogger where we look to share our experiences and adventures through our blogs, photography and videos. Despite yet to match the work of Shakespeare, I am however responsible for the written content amongst our website and apologise in advance if the grammar is not quite yet to perfection J. My aim is to be able to provide Inspiration and motivation to travellers where we can offer detailed insights and an array of meaningful recommendations for some of the most inspiring countries on the planet!
Along with my everlasting curiosity and slight obsession for this amazing planet that we live in, I do also have a longing desire and a passion to put my profession to use in the developing world. A significant part of my travels lies in the opportunity to visit vulnerable communities across the globe where I work with non-profit organisations to assist in the construction and development of basic amenities for the less fortunate and help to better the lives of others.