Get to know: Dan and Audrey of Uncornered Market

Daniel Noll and Audrey Scott August 19, 2013 3

Traveling the world for more than 6 years, more than 75 countries. Still going…and still married.

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Who are Dan & Audrey?

We, Daniel Noll and Audrey Scott, are the semi-nomadic husband-and-wife team behind Uncornered Market, a blog about travel that matters, travel that connects you deeply to people and places, travel that can transform. We write and speak on the topics of adventure, people, food, culture, and how to apply life lessons learned on the road to everyday life.  Oh, and how to stay married while traveling, being with each other 24-7-365…and not killing each other.

Dan and Audrey in New Zealand with G.

Dan and Audrey in New Zealand with G.

Dan likes to get haircuts wherever he travels.  They’re usually bad, but we come away with a story.  Audrey likes to make brownies wherever she travels.  They’re usually good, and we come away with new sugar-addicted friends.

Did we mention that we also aim to make you laugh? Sometimes.  Not at us.  Really. OK, it’s OK to laugh at us.

How did we get here?

“Are you crazy?” This is a question we’ve heard quite often.

The first “are you crazy?” question came when we took a 5-month honeymoon around Europe after getting married in Tuscany, Italy in the fall of 2000. We heard the question again when we sold everything in San Francisco and moved to Prague, Czech Republic with six suitcases and no jobs in 2001.

Then we heard the question come up again at the end of 2006 when we decided to leave the security of our traditional desk jobs to pursue our dream of traveling around the world. What was intended to be a 12-18 month creative sabbatical has turned into seven years and transformed into a lifestyle.

Learning to surf in New Zealand. Never too old to learn something new.

Learning to surf in New Zealand. Never too old to learn something new.

Most recently, we exchanged our 100% nomadic lifestyle to set up a base in Berlin, Germany — a crazy city with crazy people – from which we continue to travel and experience the world.

When we hear, “Are you crazy?” it’s usually the sign that we’re probably doing something right.

We also accept that we might be a little crazy.  Just a little.

Tandem bungee on Valentine's Day  in Queenstown, NZ

Tandem bungee on Valentine’s Day in Queenstown, NZ

Where have we been?

We have visited over 75 countries together spread out over Central Asia, The Caucasus, South Asia, Southeast Asia, Central America, South America, the Middle East, Africa and Europe. You can see a map with articles from all the places we’ve been here.

But, the world is a big place so we still have a lot more exploring to do. Africa and Australia are the continents where we’ve spent the least time together. We hope to change that soon.

Where have we been with G Adventures?

Underwater adventures at Menjangan Island in Bali.

Underwater adventures at Menjangan Island in Bali.

Every tour we’ve been on has featured a different style of adventure, comfort and traveling companions, but there are a few consistent core components to G Adventures tours that we especially enjoy:

  • Level of independence and free time. As we are independent travelers, this freedom and choice resonates with us.
  • Great people on tour. There is usually an international mix of travelers, which always surprises us and allows us to learn something new each trip.   We remain friends to this day with many of them.
  • Engaged CEOs (Chief Experience Officers, or tour leaders). Many of the CEOs we met do their jobs because they want to share their country or to share a country that they’ve fallen in love with.  We remain friends with many of them, too.
  • Giving back to the community. Although not every G Adventures tour includes a visit to an NGO or partners with a community-based tourism organization, many of them do. This sort of component provides a deeper level of connection and directly benefits the local community you happen to be visiting.
  • Challenge. Besides all the fun, we’ve done countless things on G Adventures’ trips that we weren’t certain we could or should do – summiting Mount Kilimanjaro, learning to surf, traveling through Iran as Americans, and eating blowfish in Japan, and bungee jumping in New Zealand.
Our whole trekking group making it to the top of Kilimanjaro together.

Our whole trekking group making it to the top of Kilimanjaro together.

Our Best Travel Story

Why G Adventures?

To answer this question, we come to a story that goes back a few years – to of all places, Antarctica.

We took our first tour with G almost by chance.  Here’s how it goes.

It begins with Dan and Audrey, a whim, a glass (or two?) of Malbec in Buenos Aires and some mutterings about “life is too short.” The following day, we acted on instinct and tweeted about last minute departures available to Antarctica.  Next thing we know, we’ve bought a cancellation spot on what was then a G Adventures Beyond the Antarctic Circle tour.

Can’t believe we’re south of the Antarctic Circle!

Can’t believe we’re south of the Antarctic Circle!

But the story doesn’t end there. And this is what makes G Adventures a special company with particularly innovative people at the controls.

When someone at Basecamp (G Adventures’ Toronto office) took a look at our blog before our Antarctica trip, he saw something in us, our approach to travel and our interest in giving back with our experiences. He invited us to do a presentation about our story and our travels, and to share it with the entire MS Expedition boat en route to Antarctica.

We were unprepared and unpolished (Dan’s jeans were literally in tatters), and we followed a veteran photographer from National Geographic (no nervousness or anything) – but our stories and passion about travel, people, giving back and life lessons still came through.

It was this first presentation aboard the MS Expedition that spurred us to pursue our dream of speaking, sharing our story and more importantly, the stories of people we’ve met.  All of this has since taken us in front of thousands of people over the last few years, from professional conferences like UNWTO Tourism and Media to inspirational crowds like WDS in Portland and TEDx in Warsaw.

Not every company would do this: take a chance on people they’d never actually met.  But that’s where shared values and passion – and courage – will take you.

So why G? We’re inspired by G’s mission and its values – values focused on changing people’s lives, investing in local communities, pushing travelers to do what they never imagined they could do, and using travel as a force for good in the world.

3 Comments »

  1. Christine August 22, 2013 at 10:08 pm - Reply

    I am so enamored by your passion and commitment to exploring this wonderful world we all live in. You have harnessed a dream many have and never realize – I am one of those people. I have traveled but not anywhere near what you both have achieved and will not accomplish much more with what life I have remaining. Please make sure that you both stay together through all of this adventure. I can see the contentedness in you both – very rare! Good luck

    • Daniel Noll August 26, 2013 at 11:10 am - Reply

      Thanks Christine for a beautiful sentiment. Comments like yours help us maintain some very necessary perspective. They also reinforce the need of persistent gratitude for what we have.

      May your journey, however long it goes and however far it continues to take you, be one of peace, health, and happiness.

  2. Fran Capo September 13, 2013 at 10:27 pm - Reply

    I loved reading about your passion and following your dream. I too have this same philosophy and have instilled it in my son, Spencer. I’ve taken gladiator training in Italy, slept in ice hotels, bungee jumped, did a book signing on the t op of Kilimajrao, and one down by the wreck site of the Tttanic. Most of the adventures are done with my son….my ex- was not into all this travel stuff. But I definitely understand your spirit of exploring the world God gave us…every bit of it…You two are very lucky to have found each other that share the same passion.

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