Earlier this year, Alex and Liana Borishkevich decided to take a risk to follow their dreams.
The couple decided to sell their house, cars and furniture and quit their jobs to travel the world full time.
“It is one of those things you always talk about,” Alex Borishkevich, a 2005 Decatur graduate, said. “We talked about it as if it was a real thing.”
Alex, 30, and Liana, 26, who met at a wedding in 2009 and have been married themselves for five years, both worked in corporate sales. They decided to put their Bellevue house up for sale to see if they could get the price that would allow them to chase their dreams.
“We were a little bit afraid to do it, so you set this bar really high for everything to line up, but everything lined up,” Alex said via FaceTime from a Singapore hotel at 2 a.m. local time last week. “It came down to two weeks before we left that we actually made the real decision that we are going to do it. Pulling the trigger on this thing was the hardest part.”
More than six months and 31 countries into the journey, they haven’t looked back.
The couple doesn’t have a set time for how long they’ll travel. When they set out on the trip, they said it could be two months or two years.
“We still don’t know when we will be back,” Liana, who is from Mount Vernon, said.
They set an overall budget, but have found that some things cost more than anticipated.
“We have an ultimate number,” Alex said. “If that shortens our trip to a year, we will quit after a year versus going two years.
“Since traveling is tiring as it is, it is important to have a comfortable place to stay each night,” he said.
“We are not going to do any backpacking. We are not doing any roughing it or couch surfing,” he said. “We don’t know how backpackers do it.”
Alex and Liana set out on their global trek on April 4. They spent three weeks in the Caribbean before crossing the Atlantic, where they stayed four and a half months exploring Europe. They headed to Asia next. After Thanksgiving, they plan to spend time in Hawaii, Japan, Australia and New Zealand.
Through their blog, Acouplesworldtour.com, the pair have been asked to visit Vanuatu, a South Pacific Ocean nation made up of roughly 80 islands.
“They (the country’s tourism board) invited us to come out and explore the country. They will host us,” Alex said.
The couple tries not to plan too far ahead in their journey.
“If we really like an area, we will stay for longer,” Liana said. “If we don’t, we leave.”
They also try to balance the time they spend in cities with stays in more rural areas.
“If you stay in the city all the time, you just get exhausted,” Alex said.
It’s hard for the couple to pin down a favorite place they’ve visited so far.
Both agreed that Italy topped the list for Europe, although they both enjoyed Northern Europe, particularly Sweden. In Asia, Thailand and Malaysia were their top picks.
Meeting new people has been a highlight for both Alex and Liana.
While at a hotel bar in Finland, Alex and Liana started talking to a man who turned out to be Pauli Rantasalmi, a guitarist for the Finnish rock band, The Rasmus. While talking with Rantasalmi, they also met Finnish pop star Isac Elliot, who Rantasalmi described to them as the “Justin Bieber of the North.”
“You meet all kinds people when you travel. For us that was a really cool experience,” Alex said, adding they still keep in touch with Rantasalmi.
The couple haven’t decided where they’ll settle when their travels are over, but their journey has changed their perspectives and values.
Both the Borishkeviches are immigrants. Alex was born in Ukraine and Liana in Russia. Both said they have gotten caught up in politics and the busyness of the American way of life, but traveling has reminded them not to take their freedoms for granted.
“It really put it back into perspective that we are living in a great country with incredible rights,” Alex said.
The couple chose to travel with only carry-on luggage, so they have learned that less is more when it comes to possessions.
“You realize how little you actually need,” Liana said. “Why do I need 15 pairs of jeans? I probably just need one.”
The Borishkeviches encourage people to follow their dreams as they did.
“The dreams that people have or that people set up to achieve, I think they are within reach once you are able to take hold of it,” Alex said. “You get scared to pull the trigger due to the fear of failure. To pull the trigger on the decision to live out your dream is always the hardest part.”
Follow Alex and Liana’s journey and get travel tips through their blog or on Instagram @acouplesworldtour.