Meet our mates: Two Humans Travel
If you are a lover of Instagram + beautiful destination travel photos, then you may have come across Two Humans Travel (aka @twhohumanstravel, THT). We are huge fans of Tayla and Ben, the creative duo behind the amazing snaps and brilliant words of THT and were lucky enough to score them as models for our Autumn/Winter shoot.
We asked them a few questions about what they do and why, so read on for some serious inspiration to travel this wonderful globe we are lucky to call home.
Tell us a little bit about you both and how you each came to be 50% of the coolest travel Instagram going around?
Firstly, that’s super flattering. We like you already. Secondly, in a nutshell, we’re Tayla and Ben from Melbourne. I [Tayla] am a travel writer, and Ben is a photographer and filmmaker. For almost a decade, we’d been kicking it around the world, doing our travel thing. Then two years back we decided to join creative forces, and Two Humans Travel was born.
We like to think it was a bit like Captain Planet, where our powers combined. But in reality our portfolio of work, and our Instagram feed, came to life in a little home office over the course of a bunch of late nights. And whiskey, lots of whiskey.
What is Two Humans Travel all about?
THT is all about honest adventure. We don’t want to sell that picture perfect, postcard version of the world. We just love the real stuff. The good, the bad, and the sweaty. Some of our favourite stories, and photographs, have come out of mistakes, mishaps and just general meltdowns (nearly always me, nearly always involving blisters) while travelling.
But all that’s just part and parcel with life on the road, and it’s awesome. It’s the best thing ever. We’ve met incredible people and seen some incredible things, and we just wanted to share that with people. Because sometimes travel can be too romanticised. Our work is a way of sharing our perception of the world. Maybe it inspires people, maybe it gives them a heads up about a particular destination, or maybe they just appreciate an Instagram shot on their feed for a few seconds every day.
Where do you hope to take Two Humans, and how do you hope to get there?
If we’re talking work, we just want to keep collaborating with cool companies who are doing cool s**t. We’ve been to Afghanistan with World Vision, Patagonia with Kathmandu, Myanmar with Intrepid and Timor-Leste with Lonely Planet. We get a kick out of working with other, similarly minded people. To get there, we’re just going to keep making stuff. We’ll keep writing and shooting - Ben just bought a drone so expect a s**t load of drone shots, very soon [laughs].
In life, I guess we just want to keep doing work that makes us happy. The stuff that feeds the soul a little bit, you know? We both get very, very restless. So picking up and heading off is the best feeling. We get a little greedy with the world, always thinking where can we go next? What can we do? Who can we meet?
You’ve named a few destinations already - Afghanistan, Patagonia, Myanmar - it seems THT has taken you to some awesome places…
Yeah, we’ve been very, very lucky. Afghanistan was incredible. Ben got to go over there as part of a small team shooting a documentary on the development of women’s rights. Afghanistan is rated the worst place in the world to be born a female, and this trip was all about looking at how small cultural shifts towards empowerment can have impacts on broader Afghan society. For the record, Afghani’s are some of the most hospitable, warm, intelligent people out there. Plus, they’re super funny and can smoke shisha like you’d never believe.
Besides that, we’ve hiked glaciers in Chile, ridden motorbikes in Timor, lived with 26 boys in a Filipino orphanage, climbed Nepali mountains, seen a lot of Australia, braved the forests of Alaska, watched the sunrise over Bagan in Myanmar, eaten very suspicious noodles in China and stayed with nomad families in Mongolia.
Do you guys have a dream destination?
Hmmm, that’s a tough one. Ben is always going on about seeing North Korea - which would be rad, but also very, very difficult. From a photography sense, he’s itching to get to Iceland to shoot the northern lights. We’d love a good road trip through Iceland.
For me, I’m a bit of a jungle and beach baby so would love to get to Jamaica very soon. For some reason, I’m just really drawn there. Second on my list is taking the high altitude train into Tibet and making the Mount Kailash pilgrimage. That would be next level.
Here at Dorsu, we’re all about travel. But the more authentic, community-based style. How do you guys make sure you see the true version of a country and not the travel magazine version?
For us, it all comes down to going local. In every way possible. We eat at local markets and local restaurants, take local transport, buy at local stores, talk to local people. Before departing, we tend to do bare minimum research, to be honest. But we generally go into a destination with an understanding of what the tourist route may be, and then we try and get off it.
You’ve got to be unafraid, and open-minded. Take a risk on the breakfast noodle soup, listen to the recommendations of your tuk tuk driver, try a family stay instead of the hostel. Because when you do that, that’s when the magic happens. It’s also a really great way to ensure that your money goes straight back to the community.
It’s funny, you mention food. I was just going to ask, what’s been some of the best feasts you’ve had while travelling?
Oh man, too many. Let us think. Filipino chicken is a favourite of ours. It comes skewered on banana leaves, nice and simple with rice, soya sauce and lime. It’s just ridiculously good chicken, best in the world we reckon.
Ben loves eating with his hands, so Ghanaian fufu is right up there. As are oysters in Tasmania. Then just everything in Japan. You can’t go past Japanese food - sushi, sashimi, okonomiyaki, teriyaki, weird things out of vending machines - ah, so delicious.
Lastly, what do you think is the most important thing about travel?
In essence, travel for us is the antidote to ignorance. You can’t stay in your little bubble of prejudice or stereotype once you’ve left your comfort zone to meet new people, experience new cultures, discover a new way of life.
Travel opens our eyes and unites us in our differences. Which is beautiful, and important. So, so important. For us, nothing is so important as being empathetic and compassionate humans. And travel is a great reminder to be just that.