Meet Jana and Matthias, aka GuideVenturous, a couple who has left their corporate careers behind to follow their passion of traveling the world.
Make no mistake, these two travelers are not aimless wanderers. Jana, from the Czech Republic, and Matthias, a Swede born in Germany, are an astoundingly modest yet driven twosome set to accomplish what no man or woman has before. Their highly ambitious feat is to become the first people on the planet to visit all of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. If you are lucky enough to follow their progress on Instagram, @guideventurous, you may see that they have already made their way to an incredible 128 of the total 1121 sites around the globe.
About Jana and Matthias.
Currently residing in their adopted home of Barcelona, Spain, the couple splits their year between being freelance professional tour guides and UNESCO site hunters. Their mission has taken them to locations that would make anyone else’s bucket list overflow, like India, Mexico, the Swedish Lapland, Zanzibar, Tenerife, the Philippines, Morocco, Iceland, Cape Verde, and Sri Lanka, to name but a few. Meeting the couple’s social media profiles is akin to traveling the entire globe in a matter of minutes, which fully explains their GuideVenturous moniker. That they loved Albania is, therefore, a great compliment!
“We felt incredibly safe and welcome, the country is beautiful, the people so kind and generous, locals shared lemons from their trees with us, the food was so yummy. We always make an effort to learn a few phrases and words in the local language and let me tell you, Albanian is not easy.”
“A mix of the best of both Greece and Croatia”
Luckily for Albania, the couple’s grand mission brought them to the small but beautiful shores of the small Balkan country. Matthias absolutely loved Berat, the town’s location by Osum River, “its cobblestone alleys in the historical old town quarter and the mountaintop castle overlooking what feels like half of Albania.” Jana prefers small villages where “time has stopped” so, for her, Lin Village by Lake Ohrid was ideal as was their temporary residence of Saranda, with its perfect climate and strategic location. Being a couple who enjoys the proverbial journey, they highly recommend a drive or two down Road SH75, from Korçë to Këlcyrë, through the incredible mountain vistas, and along the spectacular Llogara Pass, between the picturesque Ionian Sea, the villages, and the Ceraunian Mountains
Albania struck the couple as “not turisty,” and very welcoming. They loved its diverse landscape, affordable prices, and Albania’s famous friendly locals who always greeted the visitors “with open arms and rakia.” Some of their favorite dishes included fried cheese, breakfast pastries at Bujtina Vila Verd, and meatballs in yoghurt.
“We live for and love to travel, explore, experience and learn.”
The couple is enjoying their new lifestyle so much that they aim to inspire others to do the same. Follow them on Instagram @guideventurous. Check out their official website GuideVenturous.com and like them on Facebook. You can book your tour with them in Barcelona or simply get inspired for your future world travels.
All photos below by GuideVenturous.
Sitting on the ancient steps at the Archaeological Park of Apollonia
Sunset over Ohrid Lake in Pogradec
Old town of Korça
Sheep under the sunset in Bashtova
Old Bazaar of Gjirokastra under the afternoon sun
Dreamy shore of Ohrid Lake in Pogradec
Archaeological Park of Butrint from above
The tranquil Vjosa River
A bird’s eye view of Berat
Taking in the view by Lake Ohrid, Pogradec.
Katiu Bridge in Përmet
Lin Village by Ohrid Lake
Blue Eye of Saranda
Old Bazaar of Gjirokastra
Enjoying the rays at the Archaeological Park of Butrint
A view of Porto Palermo on the Ioanian shore
Archaeological Park of Butrint
Taking a dip in the Blue Eye of Saranda
The ancient ruins at the Archaeological Park of Apollonia
Old town of Berat reflected on the surface of Osum River
The walls of Bashtova Castle
A stroll on the shore of Lake Ohrid, Pogradec.
Through the arches at the Archaeological Park of Apollonia
The valley of the Vjosa River
All photos © GuideVenturous.