THIS COUPLE'S TRAVEL PHOTOS MEET IN THE MIDDLE WHEN
Creative couple Becca Siegel and WNW Member Dan Gold have been partaking in ongoing adventures all over the world since meeting in New York in late 2015. The only hitch is that they're mostly traveling separately. Aware that long-distance relationships are tough, regardless of whether you're one country or continent away, Becca and Dan decided to embrace the fluctuating distance in a positive light and started Half Half Travel. It's an Instagram project that bridges their travel photos side by side so their photos can meet in the middle, even when Becca & Dan can't.
"Our initial goal was a project to stay in touch and show our adventures away from each other." The project is a really cool approach to comparing each of the places that they've been and the experiences they’ve had on their own. And Instagram users agree. Since starting the project 6 months ago, Half Half Travel has grown to top more than 20,000 followers at the time of posting this.
We interview the traveling duo below to find out how Half Half Travel has evolved, and what they've learned on their respective journeys that they're most looking forward to bringing back into the fold. "A few qualities we have both been able to work on individually while apart have been independence, communicating, patience and trust, bringing out our adventurous sides and lastly…. We have become very good at taking halves of photos."
Tell us a little bit about your backgrounds. Who are Becca & Dan and how did they get here (or wherever you currently are)?
Dan was previously living in New York City when he and Becca met in winter 2015. Soon after their first few opportunities of getting to know each other, Dan was given the opportunity to travel for 12 months around the world with Remote Year. He left for Europe in May 2016. After 11 months of travel, he is living in Argentina from April through May of 2017.
Becca, has been living in New York City for 4 years. After returning home to the NY area by way of East Asia, there was something missing. She immediately filled the void by traveling to places like India, Africa and South America. She is currently in New York City, and visited 5 continents in 2016 alone.
When Dan told Becca that he found this program that lets someone travel for a year, she was happier than Dan was (Dan: and I think she still is). She understands the learning experiences and friendships that can form while being away for so long. They decided to embrace the decision in a positive light. Halfhalftravel was born as a way to stay connected by sharing photos from each other’s independent travels.
What was the impetus behind your respective adventures?
Dan likes a change after something gets easy or stale. After learning New York City and coasting through a daily commute on the 2-train to Chambers street, he wanted to try something different. He believes that just because you were born in a specific city doesn’t mean you need to live there. Traveling and being in a different city each month is a great way to live like a local and always learn more.
Becca has always had a huge crush on Asia, previously having lived abroad in Hong Kong, where she studied as an exchange student, and in Shanghai, China, where she taught English at a primary school for two years. When she is not traveling, she is now based in New York City. She likes to travel as often as possible. Now she gets to visit Dan in lots of great places.
Dan and Becca have been to a combined 5 continents and 43 countries.
Tell us about Half Half Travel. What was the initial goal and how has it evolved since its inception?
Half Half Travel has evolved from 1 follower to more than 11k and growing, in less than 6 months. Our initial goal was a project to stay in touch and show our adventures away from each other.
We wanted to share our story through photos on Instagram, and the project has evolved to a following that is giving strength to LD couples and travelers all over the world.
Can you give a little insight into the process of bringing the two photos together? Which ones are your favorites?
Some of the photos are planned; for example, Dan and I will both plan to take a photo of money, or our hand, or our feet. For others, we have sifted through our best shots on our trips over the past nearly-18 months since we met, and put them together when they work.
Our favorites are the ones of us together and with our backs; also the hand - even the wrinkles line up.
What have been some of the creative challenges of bringing Half Half Travel to life?
Some of the challenges of bringing Half Half Travel to life have been developing ideas for photos that are original and aesthetically interesting at the same time; the second challenge is blending the photos together so that they flow. We want people to have to ‘look twice’ in order to get the full effect and also appreciate the two halves on their own, as photos with stories.
When was the last time you were in the same city?
Living - NYC, May 16, 2016
Traveling - Medellín, Colombia, February 12, 2017
Any lessons learned or skills developed on your respective journeys that you’re excited to bring back to the relationship when you reunite?
A few qualities we have both been able to work on individually while apart have been independence, communicating, patience and trust, bringing out our adventurous sides and lastly…. We have become very good at taking halvess of photos.
What advice can you offer to long distance couples? Any tips to help bridge the physical gap, besides stealing Half Half Travel?
The key to making a long distance relationship work is understanding and communication. Equally important are planning visits/trips and looking forward to having new adventures together, counting the days til you next see the other person, knowing that you're both thinking about each other and of course, sending postcards and surprises in the mail!
What do you do when Not Working, besides globetrotting?
Dan, in his free time, runs marathons, plays drums, codes websites and hosts photography meetups all over the world.
Becca runs a bar crawl for backpackers visiting New York, does photography for fashion blogs and engagements, enjoys biking outside, learning tons of languages (including emoji) and yoga.
What’s next for you?
Dan and Becca love the momentum that Half Half Travel has attracted since October when they launched the account and their website.
Future plans include creating a photo book of the images for friends and family, or whomever from their fan base is interested in their photography. Dan and Becca are both freelance photographers (find their work at www.danielcgold.com and www.beccasiegel.com) and both want to continue to travel the world when Dan’s year is over, but together!
Anything else you’d like to add?
We don’t always post from the cities in which we are presently, but if you’d like to see where we are currently, please visit our Instagram profile! We love to meet up.