Nurturing the Inner Nomad
7 min readAdventures
Meet Miles and Tilly, two Brits who are making it their priority to cross off one bucket-list adventure at a time.
Meet Miles and Tilly, two Brits cluelessly making their way around the globe (their words, not ours). Their Instagram account captures the highs and lows of van life, far away exploring and epic photography with a good dose of real life.
We first stumbled across their content this fall and were instantly captivated by their relatability and sense of humor. Despite their everyday roles and responsibilities, they seem to have found a way to make adventuring a priority and to always enjoy the process – something we at Wolf and Grizzly are all about. So we were curious to know how they got to where they are now, what’s next for them and how they balance adulting with crossing off bucket-list dream experiences month after month. Keep reading to learn how they take full advantage of their seasonal jobs back home to plan epic getaways in their time off and aren’t looking back.
Hey guys, please go ahead and introduce yourselves and tell us how you first met.
Miles: We’re Miles and Tilly, otherwise known as Two Clueless Backpackers. We first met nearly 8 years ago, skateboarding just outside of Brighton. Our love of boardsports and adventures began our relationship and has led us down the path of traveling since!
Miles and Tilly AKA Two Clueless Backpackers.
Brighton UK, where Miles and Tilly first met.
Tell us, were you both equally drawn to the outdoors before getting together?
Miles: I grew up skateboarding and spent a lot of my summers down in Cornwall, UK, but never really considered the long-term traveling side to life until I met Tilly.
Tilly: I remember shortly after meeting Miles, asking if he’d ever want to go traveling, his response was just ‘no, not really’, so I think I’ve managed to convince him since! I’d always loved traveling. Now I’m chasing mountain hikes, snowy adventures and nature-based activities.
Miles and Tilly skateboarding in the UK.
What are your “regular” jobs and how do you make time for all of your adventures?
Miles: I work as a Supply Teacher, which is great because it utilizes my background in education, but it also gives me the flexibility to take time off for when we want to go and travel.
Tilly: I work seasonally at a wake park, which is great! Wakeboarding and like-minded people go hand in hand. Lately, I’ve been making my way into work as a freelance photographer.
Tilly works seasonally in a wakeboarding park.
Why is it so important to you to prioritize travel, adventures and being outdoors?
Miles: I think it’s that people are driven by different things in life and our ambitions lie in traveling, photography and the outdoors. It doesn’t feel so much like a conscious decision to prioritize it, but rather something that is embedded in us at this point.
Tilly: It helps that most of our hobbies and passions are outdoor based. We love wakeboarding, surfing, skating, outdoor cooking and snowboarding! My mindset is very “you only live once” - that helps me prioritize in a big way.
Miles making a cup of tea in their van in Norway.
Was getting outdoors something that was always encouraged as you both were growing up?
Miles: I grew up with a big back garden, complete with lots of trees to climb, and I was fortunate enough to visit the South West of England on a lot of summer holidays as well. I remember regularly going out on big walks as a kid, and am grateful for that, even if the younger me at the time hated it!
Tilly: For me, not really. Growing up, travel was limited. I only really appreciated the outdoors and nature from my early twenties.
Miles and Tilly at Roy's Peak, New Zealand.
How did Two Clueless Backpackers come about?
Tilly: In 2018, we moved to New Zealand for a year, lived in a campervan and traveled the length of the country. Before we left my Mum and stepdad got us a camera to share for Christmas for our travels. It was a Kodak Pixpro, no bells or whistles, something purely for capturing memories. We set up our Two Clueless Backpackers Instagram account thinking we could upload a kind of digital memory book along the way, and quickly found a real love for shooting landscapes through that.
Tilly on the roof of their van in New Zealand.
What’s been the most surprising thing about growing an Instagram following?
Tilly: That people are genuinely interested in the things we do! As much as we enjoy shooting and editing pictures, we try not to get sucked into this idea of showing people a polished lifestyle. I think that helps people relate with us and what we put up online. We find that we are all this strange, little digital family who all help each other out and know that the recommendations aren’t fake ones!
Miles and Tilly.
Ok, time for some rapid fire questions..
1. What's your favorite place you’ve visited?
Miles: Iceland is just on a whole other level for sure. It feels like a different planet!
Tilly: Oh I can’t pick ! Erm. . . New Zealand, no wait - Finland, actually Iceland, or Norway?
Tilly showering outdoors in Iceland.
Miles and Tilly walking through the winter Finland countryside.
2. And your least favorite place?
Miles: Thailand. Don’t get me wrong, we had a great time there, we were just on a bit of a comedown from leaving New Zealand after having been there for so long. Your mindset has a big part to play in traveling, and I think Thailand deserves to have a second chance because we weren’t in the right frame of mind to appreciate it.
Tilly: Well, I once had all my clothes stolen while skinny dipping in Ibiza, so that wasn’t too great!
Miles and Tilly in Thailand.
3. Be honest, what's the most overhyped destination you've visited?
Miles: Kirkjufell in Iceland- it’s a beautiful location for sure, but the recent addition of a giant car park right next to it has definitely taken away some of the magic. If you want to see it, go early or later for fewer crowds and a better experience.
Tilly: Preikestolen in Norway. It’s an amazing hike to a breath-taking viewpoint. Get there early to be able to feel the magic. Otherwise it can feel a bit overhyped with a queue for an hour and a half to be able to stand on the famous platform overlooking the fjord! Not to mention the crazy, dangerous things people do off the edge - handstands or sitting on the edge with their kids!
Tilly at the Skogafoss waterfall in Iceland.
4. And the most underrated destination?
Tilly: Finland. Not many people think of going there beyond getting to meet Father Christmas in Lapland, but it’s got so much to offer at any time of year! In the summer you can be in traffic jams thanks to the free-roaming reindeer. In the winter, watch the Northern Lights dance above you or go ice climbing. Both are adrenaline-filled.
Miles: I agree with Tilly. Finland really holds a special place in our heart.
Winter in Finland
5. What destination is still on your bucket list?
Miles: I’d love to surf in some Arctic waters!
Tilly: I really want to do a multi-day summit on a snow-covered mountain, and then get back down by snowboarding, that would be a dream!!
6. Tell us the best thing about having your partner as your co-adventurer
Miles: Tilly is great at getting me out of my comfort zone and pushing me beyond my own boundaries. I’d never have done half the adventures in my life if it wasn’t for her.
Tilly: Miles is great at his research. He’ll always find us places to park up for a night in our van, and he can find an exact location based off a really old screenshot I might have taken years ago!
Miles proposes to Tilly in Finland.
7. What is your favorite Wolf and Grizzly product?
Miles: I love the Fire Set! The fire steel is really efficient and gets a flame going so quick.
Tilly: It’s got to be the Fire Safe. It packs down so small so it’s easy to take anywhere. It’ll keep you warm when roasting some sausages over the fire, whilst being social with the people around you. Two friends once told us ‘food is love’, and we couldn’t agree more.
Tilly using Fire Safe in Finland.
8. And finally, what advice would you give to someone who wants to see more of the world but doesn't know where to start?
Tilly: So often people overthink and try to plan everything before booking an adventure. Don’t look too far ahead. If you really want to make it happen, secure something, anything. Whether that’s a flight, accommodation or a single activity, get that in - the mindset kicks in and then the ball is already rolling. You can then fill in the other pieces of the puzzle along the way.
Miles: Getting outside doesn’t always mean traveling abroad and going for the most extreme adventures. Start on a small scale - look for hikes in your local area, you’ll never know what you might find on your own doorstep!