Gina & Daniel

Daniel and Gina are two travelers from Singapore who went on an amazing 279-day overland adventure, which led them through China, Mongolia, Central Asia, Iran, Turkey, and Greece.

Before setting off on their big adventure, the couple put together a blog to document their travels, share their stories with family and friends, and hopefully inspire others to live their dreams and visit places a little bit off-the-beaten path.

gina and daniel
Gina and Daniel

Daniel, who studied digital filmmaking, was able to use his skills to capture the places they visited in a fun hyperlapse video called Footprints Across Asia (which you can check out below), while Gina focused more on the written content for the blog. Gina is the more outgoing of the two, who was introduced to travel by Daniel, who loves the outdoors, taking calculated risks, and experiencing different cultures.

Between them, they love embracing new experiences, stepping out of their comfort zone and getting away from the metropolitan bustle of Singapore.

Daniel and Gina took time out to tell us more about themselves, their travels, and what’s next in store. And before you read on, make sure to check out their amazing video.

Want to know more about Gina and Daniel? Read our interview below and be sure to check out their blog – Sunrise Odyssey.

Our Interview with Gina & Daniel

BT: The Footprints Across Asia video looks is incredible, and really captures your trip across Asia and Europe well. Did you pre-plan with the idea to use hyperlapse in the video?

Sunrise Odyssey: Thanks! Yes, Daniel actually already conceptualized this video before the trip and had planned to use hyperlapse.

The route
The route

BT: Although Daniel had completed film school, did you have a lot of photography and video experience before you took the video?

Sunrise Odyssey: Daniel has been freelancing as a videographer/photographer for the past 5 years and has quite a fair bit of experience already. He specializes more in videography, though.

Camera gear we took
Camera gear we took

BT: How much time did you spend in each spot doing the time/hyperlapse, and were there any areas that were a bit more challenging than others?

Sunrise Odyssey: At the beginning, it was challenging as we were still trying to experiment and find out what works best. Took us around 2 hours at each location at the start. But after some time we discovered what works for us and became more efficient at it, reducing the time to around 15-30 minutes per location.

The more challenging areas would be in the cities where it’s a lot more crowded. People will crowd around you and your camera, trying to figure out what this funny couple jumping is all about. At times they will even request for a photo with us in the midst of our hyperlapse. Also safety reasons, as some of our shots are taken with our backs facing the camera. We had to keep turning back to make sure our camera was still there!

Here’s a fun fact, if you watch our video carefully, you will be able to spot some easter eggs (people taking photos with us).

Photography at sunrise
Photography at sunrise

BT: How many individual photos did you take to make the video, and how much did you use for the final product?

Sunrise Odyssey: We stitched together 3,225 individual jump shots for the video.

BT: Was there anything you packed that you wished you hadn’t?

Sunrise Odyssey: Yes when we were in the first country (China) of our 1-year journey, we decided to send back around 2kg worth of stuff each back to Singapore, mostly extra clothing. In the end, we survived with only 1 set of day clothes for the entire year-long journey. Also a monopod (since Daniel already has another tripod) and some other random stuff.

Overnight train ride in China, super squeezy bunks
Overnight train ride in China, super squeezy bunks

BT: A year is a long time to be traveling with someone, even if he or she is your partner or best friend! How did you find the experience of traveling with each other for a year, and did you learn more about each other along the way?

Sunrise Odyssey: We definitely learned a lot about each other. It’s true that it’s not easy traveling with someone long term, it’s usually a make or break. I’m just glad we made it out stronger and better. Thankfully our traveling styles and preferences were pretty much similar, and believe it or not, we did not have any major quarrel at all throughout the entire trip!

Hanging off a cliff in China
Hanging off a cliff in China

BT: How did you pick the places that you wanted to visit, and how did you plan the trip before setting off?

Sunrise Odyssey: We already knew that we wanted to do an overland journey. initially, we wanted to travel across Asia via China, Nepal, India, etc. But we found out quite last minute that one of the borders of India will be closed during the period that we were traveling. Hence we decided to travel across Central Asia instead.

To be honest, we hardly planned for this trip. We only had the big picture of which countries we wanted to go (no choice as we had to plan for the visas), and we only bought a one-way ticket to China, that’s all. Everything else was planned almost 1-2 days beforehand and it was mostly spontaneous!

Admiring the breathtaking architecture of the mosque in Samarkand
Admiring the breathtaking architecture of the mosque in Samarkand
Inside one of the oldest cave churches that has been carved out entirely from a rock
Inside one of the oldest cave churches that has been carved out entirely from a rock

BT: What advice would you give to people who want to travel for a longer duration, and who want to capture their trip in a unique way?

Sunrise Odyssey: Don’t try to cram as many countries as possible during this duration just so you can check them off your list. Instead, spend more time in each country, take your time to slowly immerse yourself in the local culture and interact more with the locals. For us, we spent an average of 1 month in each country. Traveling off the beaten path often brings you a lot of amazing unexpected experiences that you will never find on Lonely Planet or the usual travel sites. And to us, these often end up as the best memories.

Cycling around the island, Chios, in Greece
Cycling around the island, Chios, in Greece

BT: What’s next for your travels, and do you plan on making a similar video again?

Sunrise Odyssey: For now, we are back to work, earning and saving up for our next trip. Our next long trip would probably be to Africa and we will likely make a video, but no plans yet for the creative direction of the video.

Ishak Pasa Palace
Ishak Pasa Palace

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