A Conversation with...

Nomadic Habit

What happens when you quit your job and leave your home and all of your belongings to backpack across the world for more than a year? If you follow the blog Nomadic Habit, you can learn about two people who are doing just that. Eager to do something out of the ordinary, Mari and Rick left their New York lives in May 2013 to travel across the globe, visiting roughly 20 different countries and documenting their adventures and experiences on their blog for all to see. We talked to Mari about a few of the exciting places she and Rick have visited thus far and the highs and lows of nonstop travel.

Where are you right now? What are you hoping to see while you're there?
Thailand. We will be spending two months island-hopping around the Thai Islands. We抮e looking forward to snorkeling and giving scuba a try, not to mention lounging around on some amazing beaches.

What country are you most looking forward to visiting in 2014?
Myanmar. A country that has been cut off for so long must be full of hidden gems. We can抰 wait to go digging.

What inspired you to take this big adventure?
Rick and I wanted to live big. We were both miserable in corporate jobs and wanted to escape the cube culture. I also wanted to connect my international family dots. I wanted to visit all my family around the world in one go and take their portraits梩he ultimate family album.

How did you physically map out this journey?
We timed the route with good weather and also mapped the best path to connect the dots of where my family lives around the world.

What was the scariest part of leaving home?
Uncertainty is the scariest part and perhaps the most thrilling. Hurling yourself into the world is a roller coaster, and the not knowing can feel overwhelming.

Which country or city has been the biggest culture shock for you?
I will never forget arriving at 3am in backpacker抯 alley (nicknamed for its plentiful and cheap accommodations ideal for backpackers) in New Delhi, India. India is overwhelming even for the seasoned traveler, and my senses weren抰 prepared for the bombardment. India brings you through every emotion possible. You feel tired, awful, sick, amazing, inspired and everything in between.

What products do you use in your hair when traveling?
One thing I抦 glad I brought梑ut have since run out of梚s dry shampoo. This was most useful on an eight-day Gobi Desert tour where we didn抰 shower for six days straight!

The other product that has been relatively easy to find along the way is coconut oil. This was especially prevalent in India, and my hair needed some serious moisture after the sun and sea striped my strands.

Have you found any unique hair products or local beauty secrets in your travels?
I left my mother抯 motherland of Finland with two bottles of tar shampoo that I抳e since gone through and am missing desperately. Perhaps it抯 my favorite unique beauty find because it抯 one-part nostalgia and one-part scalp rescue. Any Finn would be reminded of the sauna culture at the whiff of tar. Used often in the sauna, tar shampoo and other tar products are at the heart of the sauna. But beyond the nostalgia it induces, it also aids an itchy or dry scalp, which is key when traveling and dealing with hard water, brown water, gross water and who-knows-where-this-is-coming-from water.

What's your go-to hairstyle while traveling?
I always travel with a scarf that can calm a bad hair day or spice up a good one. It抯 always good for taming unruly beach hair or dressing up a messy bun. You can tie and twist a scarf in so many ways that you can feel put together even when you抮e on the go.

When you are photographing for the blog, what are you most interested in capturing
Moments, pricks of time that will never be repeated, beauty in tiny slivers. Whether it抯 people, places or things, I抦 hoping to capture something humanistic in all of them, which make us feel wholly connected.

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