ILLUMINE COLLECT BLOG

The Wunder Couple

An Interview with travel bloggers Paige and Matt Wunder

Interview by Jeremy Lux, article by Eric Gasa

The name of their travel blog says it all: For the Love of Wanderlust. You could say Paige and Matt Wunder are professional travelers. Their destinations include all 50 states and 37 countries and counting. But unlike most travel blogs and influencers, Paige and Matt’s site is different. They aren’t here just to share gorgeous pics of Thailand and selfies on the beach, the Wunders want to take you one step further and teach you about what most blogs don’t talk to you about; the budgeting, preplanning, hard work, and coordination that goes into traveling the world. Paige and Matt not only want to take you along for the ride, they want to show you how to map out the next trip of your lifetime.

For the Life in Motion podcast, Jeremy Lux sits down with the Wunder couple to discuss travel stories, pinching pennies on the road, and how everyone can afford to travel.

Before they trekked the globe, Paige and Matt first met as coworkers in the breakroom of a North Carolina Target.

“We didn’t date until the day I quit because he was the manager so we played by the rules,” admits Paige.

Paige Wunder of fortheloveofwanderlust.com in Faroe Islands

Paige had just got back to Asheville, NC after traveling around Sweden and was earning some extra money before embarking on another trip to Southeast Asia. Matt on the other hand graduated from the University of Oklahoma and was hired on by Target to move out to Asheville and manage the store there. The two just so happened to cross at a unique intersection in each other’s lives.

The traveling spirit that sparked between the two was only natural. Matt had always lived abroad growing up in China, the UK, then Texas; he was always on the move. Paige’s upbringing was in the States but that never kept her from hiking, road tripping, and exploring the outdoors in her native Ozarks.

The Wunders got engaged six weeks later and were soon planning their honeymoon. But this wasn’t just a cruise or a trip to Italy, the couple wanted to conquer the world; the Wunders were planning an ambitious year long trip around the globe.

Right after their engagement, Paige took that three-month trip to Asia with her friends. Matt meanwhile stayed back home in Asheville.

Paige Wunder of fortheloveofwanderlust.com in Thailand

“I was still at work doing the same old thing, thinking ‘Why am I here?’ and Paige is over there having all this fun up at three in the morning with whale sharks and I’m like, ‘Great, I apprehended a shoplifter,’” says Matt, “So that’s kind of when we started the planning process and decided we just had to start saving up for a few years.”

It took the Wunders three years to save up for their trip and they had to pinch some pennies along the way. Some of these were obvious, they ate out less often, went out for walks instead of going to the movies, but the biggest help was probably Paige’s parents letting the couple move in with them for a year.

“Not having to pay rent was definitely a huge difference,” Paige says.

As for the planning Matt said they were kind of spontaneous. Of course, there were months of research and checking out travel blogs, but for the Wunders the best plans are organized yet flexible with plenty of wiggle room. A million things can go wrong on a trip, so a good itinerary must be capable of rising to the occasion.

Matt and Paige Wunder of fortheloveofwanderlust.com in Thailand

“I think part of the beauty of traveling is when you get to a destination, you meet fellow travelers, you meet locals, and they tell you about something you’ve never heard of,” shares Matt. “You can only do so much research.”

“I like the idea of waking up and having no idea what you’re doing that day and no idea what the next thing is doing to lead to,” adds Paige. It’s a bit like flying by the seat of your pants but in style.

As for the Wunder’s world tour, the couple spent time in Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Iceland, Morocco, England, Scotland, Croatia, Scandinavia, and countless other countries.

One of the couple’s favorite places was the Faroe Islands, a well-kept secret right above Scotland. Paige recalls an otherworldly hike they took atop a mountain. She describes peering over the low hanging clouds from the peak and feeling like she was on top of the world.

“It was an awesome 360-degree view of the ocean swirling around the little islands below,” says Paige “it was like watching a time lapse video in real time since the clouds were moving so quickly…we were the only ones up there.”

Paige Wunder of fortheloveofwanderlust.com at the Faroe Islands

According to the Wunders, traveling is an investment that’s only as attainable as one’s motivation to work for it.  Paige admits that it was strange admitting to old friends that she was married and living with her parents but for her, the excuses pale in comparison to the reward.

Paiges biggest piece of advice is to just take the jump and “make it happen.”

“Not everyone is going to have the same advantages we had but I think the trip is the best thing I’ve done other than marrying Matt,” she shares.

Paige means it when she says she misses traveling every day. For her, it’s a passion that she wants everyone to experience from Thailand to the Faroe Islands.

“Part of what I want to accomplish on my blog is to let other people know how attainable travel is,” she says.

For the Wunders, the greatest risks are the ones you never take.

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To follow Paige and Matt on their journey check out their blog fortheloveofwanderlust.com as well as their Facebook and Instagram. To hear the Wunder’s full story and tips, including the best credit cards for traveling and where you can find the best fried chicken in Thailand, check out their full interview with Jeremy Lux on the Life in Motion podcast.

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