Gale Gibbs of TripChow the traveling, girlboss foodie!
Hello hello! You guys know how much I love good food and some adventurous travel – welp – this is why Tripchow had me at pasta! Gale Gibbs is the creator of TripChow! We had a call way back in August when they were in Marrakesh! Gale and her husband Matt are always ready for an adventure; just after they got married they left on a global adventure to eat their way through as many countries as possible! Needless to say I LOVE THIS! So I had to get Gale on Fernweh Society!
AF – Hi Gale! Thank you so much for being on Fernweh Society!!! It is so cool that you guys decided to take this time to just travel and explore!
GG – Hey Annika, thank you! I am so happy that we connected on Instagram; social media is incredible 🙂
AF – So tell me – how long are you going to be gone for?
GG – Well we planned for a full year – we left only 10 days after the wedding – at the moment we are taking a quick break over Christmas to be home with family and likely will pick up again in the new year! It is funny, after only a few months we have gone through a lot of marriage haha!
AF – Haha you’re right though, you learn so much about someone when you travel together! I feel like that is always a relationship tester! If you can travel together you can get through anything together 😉 So tell me a little about how you are planning everything!
GG – We started in Southeast Asia, then headed to Europe, Middle East, North Africa and the States. After our little break, we’d like to go to South America 🙂
We have been going with the flow. You know, booking flights a week in advance and such. It’s hilarious how different it was at the beginning, I was super anal booking everything ‘a-z’. We then realized it was so much easier to vengabond around and see how things go. For example we didn’t even consider going to India before and now we are planning to go there!
AF – I love it! There isn’t much time in your life you can literally just point to a map and pick a place to go! So Gale, tell me about your background and a bit more about you.
GG – Well I am originally from Penang Malaysia, one of the street food capitals of Asia! My family moved to New Zealand when I was three years old. It was a fantastic place to grow up, but I always wanted to leave and travel. I ended up graduating with a property and accounting degree. Accounting was more of a backup plan as I started working in commercial real estate. After I met Matt we moved to Sydney together. Everything was going well with work, I was quickly promoted but everything else in my life took a back seat unfortunately. I put everything after my career; Matt and I broke up, my health wasn’t as good and my friendships were suffering. I was working 16 hour days plus weekends! I was making great money, but I was eye-ball deep in the rat race. After 5 years I realized that work was all I was doing. I quit pretty abruptly and left to travel Europe by myself for 9 months, and it was eye opening. . . honestly one of the best times of my life. Then I moved back to New Zealand, Matt popped the question and we decided that before we settled down, we would travel together. That is how TripChow came about! I wanted to share our trip with friends and family and document our experience then it turned into something a little bigger 🙂
AF- Firstly Gale, YOU’RE AN INSPIRATION! Honestly, I think it is so easy to get so caught up in the corporate rat race and it takes a lot of guts to pull yourself out of it! Once I read “you’re never going to win the rat race. . . you will still be in the race”. . . Food for thought I guess 🙂 So are you going to continue trip chow when you get home?
GG- Definitely!!! The more we travel the more people we meet who are so interested in New Zealand! We will never stop traveling, but likely stick to smaller (and shorter trips). I think people want to learn more about New Zealand so we will adjust TripChow to be more focused on our home and to help people plan their trips to New Zealand!
AF – Amazing! So do you think will you go back into real estate?
GG –Haha the million dollar question . . . To be honest I am not sure at the moment, maybe residential, or maybe contracting, but ultimately I wont be going as hard as I was before, life is so short, so you have to do something that will make you happy, at the moment, I am loving life, I don’t know yet what I want to do when we go back.
AF – Fair enough, one event at a time 🙂 So tell me how has TripChow changed since it started?
GG – Hmmmmm, well I feel like I am still finding my blogging style, but it’s a mix of a story telling narrative and travel advice. Having said that since I’ve started I have gotten feedback and people are asking more for travel advice! I try to give more advice now, but I want to keep true to myself and keep the silly stories along the way. You need to keep your own voice – haha sometimes Matt doesn’t even understand my jokes – but if you get too serious and can’t even have a chuckle then what is the point of doing it all; right???
AF – I completely agree, you can’t get too serious! You have to enjoy it all 🙂 So, are there any social media influencers (bloggers, podcasters) that you follow?
GG – Yes! I love poppyrenegade.com which is tailored towards 20s/30s women, they have an amazing Facebook page! Basically it is an inspirational community for women! I also really like Career Girl Daily.
AF- ME TOO!
GG- I thought you might know that one 🙂 also really like Geraldine from the everywhereist.com – she is hilarious!!!! I love it because she has wacky posts and then sometimes there are also some more advice driven posts, it’s a good balance 🙂
AF – Amazing, so back on the road, you’re busy, how do you keep motivated to keep blogging?
GG – I absolutely love connecting with people! I get such a rush when I hear from readers and when they have gone somewhere because I recommended it! I get such a thrill! That is my biggest motivator!
AF- Agreed! Interaction is key to a successful blog community! So what has the craziest travel experience been so far?
GG – It was somewhere you wouldn’t think it would happen! The most chilled out, zen, beautiful romantic place and I almost drowned!!!! It was in Positano!!! Did you go to Da Adolfo, the restaurant along the coast?
AF – Yes!
GG – It was such an amazing place and a beautiful day in Positano, I thought it’d be a great idea to kayak over to the restaurant ….. I completely underestimated the distance from the main beach! It was pristine conditions on the way there, we had lunch, met some Italians, started drinking and having an amazing time with them and then they suggested we go for a swim in some grottos. Well it was definitely a combo of a big lunch, all that limoncello and of course the choppy water conditions . . . I had to be rescued by a boat!
AF – OMG that is scary!!!!!
GG – Yeh, learned my lesson for sure!
AF –Okay ahhh . . . well it feels weird asking the next questions, but okay haha, from almost dying to where has your favorite destination been so far? (not much for a segue on that one!)
GG – Haha, no worries, Positano of all places! Even with the ‘almost dying part’ it was the favorite for sure! Out of all the places we have been to it doesn’t even have monuments, it’s just chilling, eating, drinking and relaxing and so darn beautiful! Other than Positano, I would say Marrakesh. It is a fascinating place; it’s really gone above my expectations. It is completely new and seeing the pythons in the market and smelling all the spices really shocks the system! So this is my other favorite; maybe a little more adventurous!
AF – WOW pythons in the market – I love it! Speaking of crazy things what is one of the weirdest things you have eaten on your travels?
GG – The craziest? Well I am not sure as the are some foods I eat regularly in Malaysian cuisine that some people might find strange! Penang curry for example, I love it, but some people don’t know that the traditional version is flavored with coagulated pigs blood!!!
AF – I def didn’t know that! (insert blank stare here lol)
GG – Haha yeh, it creates a deeper flavor – you see the orange oil in the curry, well if it’s red it def. has the pig’s blood in it! The other thing is yum cha, one of the crazy dishes is chicken feet obviously, and now I love congee (rice porridge) flavored with century egg. It is made by covering the egg in clay and ash which then ferments it; the process changes the whole chemical compound of the egg. It really stinks but somehow it flavors the congee really well 🙂
AF – Well that is quite different than a typical urban brunch of eggs benny! So on the other end of the spectrum – what is the BEST thing you have had on your travels?
GG – Nothing beats home cooked food or Italian cuisine, so definitely the most memorable meal was a gigantic home cooked dinner by Maria and Alberto, who owned one of the Aribnbs that we stayed at! It was funny actually . . . we booked the airbnb by mistake! It was between Naples and Pompeii, I thought I was booking a night in Sorrento! All in all out of my mistake was then most amazing meal of our lives!!! They have this amazing house where they grew everything and even made their own wine; Maria and Alberto really took care of us, actually we are still in contact with them!
AF – I LOVE when things happen like that! You can meet some fantastic people while traveling 🙂 So as you’ve changed your life of this big trip – what is some of the best life advice that you have ever received?
GG – I think it would be that it pays not to be shy – no one got anywhere being shy. It also pays to ask other wise you won’t get!
For example – when we arrived in Marrakesh the hotel forgot to pick us up from the airport! I asked if they could give us a better suite when we finally made it to the hotel and there you go, we stayed in a one bed 2 bathroom and 2-balcony suite which is amazing!!! If you don’t ask you don’t get!
AF – That is incredible! The worst they can say is no, right!? So what would you tell other people who are looking to create more adventure in their lives? You did a complete 180 on your life so give us the tips!
GG – I think in terms of travel- being as open and flexible as possible really works – it’s easier said than done, as sometimes you have to be able to pay for flexibility. If you try not to overbook the travel and go with the flow it leaves you opportunity to take in what ever comes your way!
Also, a simple smile goes a long way then strike up a conversation with someone, meeting people is number 1 way to create adventure in your life, which you can do traveling or at home 🙂
AF- Such good advice! So speaking of traveling and at home are there sites than blogs that you check every single day 🙂
GG – Mindbodygreen.com its fantastic! It’s a website that gathers a bunch of good quality blogs from around the web, and its all about health for the mind and body! I love reading the recipes, exercise articles and how to mediate; its great stuff! I don’t necessary do much of it, but I like knowing it 🙂
AF- Oooooh I’ll have to look into that one!!! Gale I want to thank you so much for being on the blog today! What will we be seeing from you in then next 2-3 years!?
GG – Thank you Annika, it has been great! Hopefully in the next 2-3 years we will turn TripChow into an app and send out regular updates and newsletters to our readers! I would also love to have more collaborations with businesses and potentially with hotels! It would be great to tie that in and do reviews and start writing reviews for hotels for other publications!
AF – It sounds incredible Gale and I think you’re well on your way! I look forward to continuing to see TripChow grow!
Thanks for reading everyone and definitely go check out TripChow! Also happy Black Friday and don’t forget to enter the giveaway! You have until midnight tonight to enter !!!