The Couple Who Quit Their Ad Jobs to Take the Most Creative Trip Around the World

You’ve dreamed about quitting your jobs and travelling to exotic places around the world, but Chanel Cartell and Stevo Dirnberger are doing it.The South African couple who quit their jobs to travel the world and document their adventures in their Instagram, How Far From Home.

Now that you’ve been sufficiently forewarned, let’s get to the story.

Steve worked at Joe Public (in our opinion, the best agency in South Africa) as an art director, and Chanel was the creative director at Cerebra, the best social business agency in Africa (we would argue). They were basically at the top of their game, at the best agencies South Africa had to offer.

They were inspired after attending the Design Indaba Conference in Cape Town last year, when they went to (the godfather of creative sabbaticals) Stefan Sagmeister’s talk, hearing his theory of “time off”.They felt we needed a change, and to re-energise their creativity.On a scale of 1 to 10, Stefan rates taking a creative sabbatical as a 12. Every seven years, Stefan closes his New York design studio for 365 days to pursue “little experiments” that are difficult to complete while working full time.

Chanel said: ‘After hearing talk, and knowing that we couldn’t spend the next 30 years simply doing the same thing every day, we made a conscious decision to spend the next year saving every last cent, so we could also enjoy time off to pursue our own experiments, and not live how society says we should.

‘We wanted to challenge ourselves to see how we could excel creatively, and what better time to do that, then right now?’


The couple has already kick started their journey on March 2nd this year. Chanel and Stevo said they are covering all of the travel costs with their savings and money earned from selling their belongings, and they have been sponsored by Jawbone, which provided two Up electronic wristbands where individuals can send them challenges or to-dos to fulfill when visiting a particular country.

They decided to document their travels online under the theme of “How Far From Home,” taking photos at each stop to demonstrate how many kilometers from Johannesburg they’ve traveled.

Cartell and Dirnberger have managed to finance their travels without a steady paycheck through Workaway, a website that allows travelers to work a few hours a day in exchange for food and shelter. So far the couple has lined up three Workaway hosts – a husky farm in the Arctic Circle, a Swedish camp site and a dog training facility near Florence, Italy.

‘When the money runs dry, we may need to exchange our creative skills for accommodation, so that should get really interesting.’ They’re hoping to cross all 63 items off their growing ‘wanderlist’ before the trip ends. As of right now they plan to return home later this year. After that, who knows?