Ernestas Timinas felt “stuck” in his role as marketing manager for a newspaper in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
So he requested two months off to carry a backpack across Asia, he said, and landed in Beijing in January 2019.
“On the first day … I met this day,” he said, pointing to Darina Karbitskaya, sitting next to him.
The couple, who spoke to CNBC via video link from Dubai, said they met via travel app Couchsurfing, which connects single travelers together. Karbitskaya, 31, a flight attendant at the time, was held up in Beijing for two days due to mechanical problems on the return flight.
Although more solo travelers agreed to meet that day, only Tyminas and Karpitskaya were present.
After a day together, they planned to meet again in Asia one month later.
Karbitskaya is back in Asia, and the couple’s second date was a “crazy one-month adventure” in Singapore, Thailand and the Philippines, Timinas, 29, said.
He said that in the Philippines he decided he would never go back to his old life.
“We were… lying on the beach under the stars,” he said. “We kind of started dreaming about that lifestyle.”
After returning to Colorado, Tyminas quit his job, sold his belongings and moved to Europe, he said.
Karbitskaya wasn’t there yet, saying, “At first it looked like this: Oh my God, you’re quitting your job. You’re moving from America. Maybe it’s too early. But at the same time, when I came back from that trip I felt like I’m living a life I’m not enjoying.” it out”.
Tyminas flew from Denver to Paris with his dog — an 82-pound Borzoi, formerly a “Russian Wolfhound,” named Cosmo, who stands over 6 feet tall on his hind legs.
“They gave me three rows of benches,” he said, “and the dog was lying on the floor.”
From there, the couple traveled a lot — to places like Italy and Iceland — but haven’t parted yet, they said.
Timinas said Ernestas Timinas and Darina Karbitskaya took his dog, Cosmo, to 26 of the more than 40 countries they visited together. Karbitskaya added that Cosmo is a great communication tool: “We meet a lot of people who walk the dog.”
Source: Dream Team Travels
Then Karbitskaya got what she called her “dream job” – a position at Emirates Airlines. She moved to Dubai, but the couple continued to meet and travel together.
Then Covid struck, and Karbitskaya accepted four months of unpaid leave from her job.
“We said, ‘We have four months – we can go explore everything that is open,'” Timenas said.
Karbitskaya said the trio — including Cosmo, who traveled in a huge bed in the back of their SUV — traveled first to Croatia, and then slowly across most of Europe, including several countries of the former Soviet Union.
She said she never went back to her job, and the couple have been traveling since.
Tyminas said they initially spent between $1,000 and $2,000 a month — all from savings — by staying in cheap accommodations, cooking at home, and looking for free activities.
When the money began to run out, Tyminas took on several online jobs, which ranged from $2,000 to $3,000 a month, which was not far from his $3,300 salary in Colorado, he said.
Tyminas said the couple stayed longer in Romania “because we’ve seen how nice people are…how they can give it. Sometimes, you Google like it and you: ‘There’s nothing to do here,'” and then you get there and [realize] It’s just because no one travels here.”
Source: Dream Team Travels
But he said the work was stressful, and “I felt like I still had a job.”
So the couple decided to open a marketing and graphic design company, despite the fact that we “didn’t know much,” Tyminas said.
They said they communicated with thousands of people, often working until late at night. Potential clients might ask, “Can you design book covers?” “Can you promote the music?” Tyminas said his response has always been the same, “Of course I can.”
In fact, he was learning on the job, he said, relying on YouTube, Google, and online research. But he said the customers were very happy.
“They paid me half of what they would pay other marketing agencies, and said the results were better than they were before,” Timinas said.
In the first month, he said, the couple earned $6,000. Now, he added, they sometimes earn several thousand dollars a day working with real estate companies and music companies.
“We write blogs for people — we do everything,” Timinas said. In addition, “we don’t have to inform anyone. We are our superiors.”
In the past six months, the couple said they spend an average of $4,000 a month. More than half goes to accommodations, which varies by location — from $3,100 a month in Dubai to $1,500 in Lisbon, Portugal, they said. They said they limit stays in expensive places, such as Switzerland, to no more than a week.
Tyminas said one way to save money is to book month-long stays on Airbnb, which lowers average nightly rates and lowers service and cleaning fees. But he said that even when they bounced from place to place to visit Christmas markets in Europe last year, they ended up paying about $2,500 that month.
Karbitskaya said she did not want these costs to scare people because they spent much less initially. At the time, they spent about 80-100% of their income, but now Tyminas said “we spend about 30% and… we save the rest.”
The couple told CNBC they still travel modestly — there are no five-star hotels — and still cook most meals at home. But they spend more on the activities they film for their YouTube channel Dream Team Travel – Another “completely self-made” project, they said.
They said that a life of constant travel is not all fun and games.
They face filthy Airbnbs and hosts canceling reservations at the last minute. Their camera equipment and clothing have also been stolen twice – once in Mexico and more recently in France – as well as their belongings attempted to be stolen from their car in Barcelona, while they were sitting in it.
Timenas said they also considered settling down when they find somewhere they really like, like the beaches of Portugal or the French Riviera.
“But then… we drive to another place and we are like this place too with the same quality,” he said.
When Russia invaded Ukraine, and quickly occupied the Kherson region where Karbitskaya’s parents live, Timinas emailed CNBC to say they had stopped traveling for the time being.
Tyminas and Karpitskaya (pictured here in Abu Dhabi) stopped traveling at the start of the Russo-Ukrainian War. Timinas said Karpitskaya’s family is now out of Ukraine, with the exception of her brother, who “registered to join the army to defend his country.”
Source: Dream Team Travels
“For the first few weeks we didn’t leave our apartment,” he said. “We spent a lot of time arranging transportation for civilians as well as many dogs from shelters to be taken out of dangerous areas for adoption in Europe.”
By the summer, they resumed travel, but they were still helping to evacuate the Karpitskaya family.
“Only a week ago we finally managed to get Darina’s parents out of Ukraine,” Timinas said, adding that they are currently in his family’s home in Lithuania. “We also took a trip to Romania to pick up Darina’s sister and her five-month-old baby from the border and took her to live in Germany.”
They said the couple is now in Malaysia, and they plan to explore Southeast Asia within the next two months.
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