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Meet Jana and Matthias, aka GuideVenturous, a couple who has left their corporate careers behind to follow their passion of traveling the world.
Make no mistake, these two travelers are not aimless wanderers. Jana, from the Czech Republic, and Matthias, a Swede born in Germany, are an astoundingly modest yet driven twosome set to accomplish what no man or woman has before. Their highly ambitious feat is to become the first people on the planet to visit all of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. If you are lucky enough to follow their progress on Instagram, @guideventurous, you may see that they have already made their way to an incredible 128 of the total 1121 sites around the globe.
Currently residing in their adopted home of Barcelona, Spain, the couple splits their year between being freelance professional tour guides and UNESCO site hunters. Their mission has taken them to locations that would make anyone else’s bucket list overflow, like India, Mexico, the Swedish Lapland, Zanzibar, Tenerife, the Philippines, Morocco, Iceland, Cape Verde, and Sri Lanka, to name but a few. Meeting the couple’s social media profiles is akin to traveling the entire globe in a matter of minutes, which fully explains their GuideVenturous moniker. That they loved Albania is, therefore, a great compliment!
“We felt incredibly safe and welcome, the country is beautiful, the people so kind and generous, locals shared lemons from their trees with us, the food was so yummy. We always make an effort to learn a few phrases and words in the local language and let me tell you, Albanian is not easy.”
Luckily for Albania, the couple’s grand mission brought them to the small but beautiful shores of the small Balkan country. Matthias absolutely loved Berat, the town’s location by Osum River, “its cobblestone alleys in the historical old town quarter and the mountaintop castle overlooking what feels like half of Albania.” Jana prefers small villages where “time has stopped” so, for her, Lin Village by Lake Ohrid was ideal as was their temporary residence of Saranda, with its perfect climate and strategic location. Being a couple who enjoys the proverbial journey, they highly recommend a drive or two down Road SH75, from Korçë to Këlcyrë, through the incredible mountain vistas, and along the spectacular Llogara Pass, between the picturesque Ionian Sea, the villages, and the Ceraunian Mountains
Albania struck the couple as “not turisty,” and very welcoming. They loved its diverse landscape, affordable prices, and Albania’s famous friendly locals who always greeted the visitors “with open arms and rakia.” Some of their favorite dishes included fried cheese, breakfast pastries at Bujtina Vila Verd, and meatballs in yoghurt.
The couple is enjoying their new lifestyle so much that they aim to inspire others to do the same. Follow them on Instagram @guideventurous. Check out their official website GuideVenturous.com and like them on Facebook. You can book your tour with them in Barcelona or simply get inspired for your future world travels.
All photos below by GuideVenturous.
All photos © GuideVenturous.
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