Hey, thanks for stopping by!
We’re Charlie Pauly & Lauren Cliffe, a free spirited travel couple originally from the UK.
This is our little corner of the internet where we get to document and share our adventures with you on a personal level, and hopefully inspire you to do the same. So if you’re new to the journey, then welcome aboard!
After growing up in a small town, we soon came to realise that we were not made to stay in one place. We were made to wander! So now, we combine our sense of humour, love of travel and passion for life to explore the world.
As well as capturing moments in time with our photography, we also try to educate ourselves and learn from the different cultures and people we meet along the way.
We’re a small team with big dreams, so keep on following the journey and hopefully we’ll catch you out there on the road.
Charlie & Lauren x
Keep scrolling to get to know us a little more personally and to find out how Wanderers & Warriors began…
Our Personal Stories
Hi, I’m Charlie…
After spending my younger years growing up in a boxing gym, travel was not always going to be my first choice of career.
Born into a fighting family, my parents ran a professional boxing gym in Peterborough for over 30 years. So from as soon as I could make a fist, I was always going to be a boxer. I grew up addicted to the sport and after many years competing, was finally offered a professional contract at the age of 20. Ironically it was my dad who convinced me to ‘take a break’ before settling down to focus on my career.
So off I went, on a three month planned trip up the East Coast of Australia. Not knowing this trip would change my life.
Three months turned into one year, and one year turned into New Zealand, South East Asia and beyond – I had become addicted to travel. Nothing else mattered but to see as much of the world as possible. Three and a half years later I visited home in the UK and that was when I found Lauren…
Hi, I’m Lauren…
For as long as I can remember I’d always been a little tom boy. I was the girl with the dungarees and the muddy knees. I think I was just born to explore.
After growing up around a loving family, there was really no need for me to ever leave. I worked odd jobs and did the usual things a teenager does. I was fortunate enough to have beautiful friends, but I always longed for something more. From a young age I’d always been sure that no amount of money could ever match love or happiness. My ultimate goal in life was to be happy.
So as soon as I was old enough I’d jump in my car and drive. I’d road trip to random places, a lot of the time alone, just to be free. Being free made me happy. It’s funny I was always known as the child that never sat still and now I’m the adult that still can’t.
It wasn’t until a spontaneous decision made me book a flight to Australia that I first caught the travel bug. I travelled the East Coast and knew my ‘desire to explore’ had finally found a purpose. There were hundreds of countries out there, cultures, foods, people to meet.
I only spent 4 months in Australia before my money ran out, and I had to head home to save for my next trip, but I was content. I was going to head home, get some more money together and go again! And that’s when I met Charlie…
Where It All Began
It’s funny, we actually went to the same school, lived in the same town, and had many mutual friends, but had never once spoken to each other. Our paths crossed one day in our local shopping centre, having both returned home from our solo travel ventures, and of course we got straight onto the topic of exploring.
What were the chances; we were in the same place, at the same time and on the same mission…to get back out and see the world.
Naturally we arranged to hang out, and find random things to do in our area. We’d speak openly about how we never believed we’d find someone suited for us in our hometown, but sure enough one date led to another and so the story began.
Our personalities were identical. Our morals, values and the amount of love we had to give were perfectly matched. And within a couple of weeks of getting to know each other, it was inevitable that neither of us were leaving the UK without one another.
The amount of laughter we had in those first few weeks shaped us into the relationship we cherish now.
One thing led to another – flights got cancelled, homes got moved and on 24th October 2016 two became one. We accepted that bumping into each other at home wasn’t in fact too good to be true.
The Clothing Brand
What a lot of people don’t know, is that Wanderers & Warriors originally began as a clothing brand…
After arriving home from our separate travels, we found ourselves brainstorming ideas of how we could create something of our own. Something that we’d be both proud of and passionate about…oh, and of course it had to be travel related.
So after a lot of late nights and screwed up pieces of paper, Wanderers & Warriors was born. A global online destination for fashion-forward, free-spirited travellers.
We began building our online profile and marketing our brand through Instagram. We taught ourselves everything we needed to know – from screen printing tees to how to run an E-commerce store.
After months of trial and error and DIY photo shoots, the hard work eventually began to pay off. We were fulfilling orders all over the world and running to the post office everyday with different country codes on our packages. The best part of it all, was that we were receiving so many messages of support from the travel community and opening up our Instagram account to see photos of our clothing in all sorts of iconic and exotic places around the world.
Our platform grew and our sales increased and before we knew it, it was time for us to pack back up and head out again. As much as it was exciting to be getting back on the road, it was a bittersweet feeling knowing we’d have to close the store temporarily.
So on 1st June 2017 we switched the Instagram page to our own personal documentation of our travels and that’s where it really gets interesting…
At the time we didn’t know anything about ‘influencers’, ‘instagrammers’ or ‘travel bloggers’. We were simply using the page to keep a visual diary like everyone else on Instagram. Something to look back on, and a way of sharing our moments/memories with friends and family.
We had a following of around 20,000 people from the clothing brand and everything we saw, we documented and we shared. Not necessarily for everyone else. But for us.
It wasn’t until around two months into our travels, at the end of our visit to India, that we were contacted by a local 5-star hotel. Bearing in mind at this stage we were staying in backpacker hostels for around $1 a night, when they invited us to stay with them for a couple of nights in return for some exposure on our Instagram account, of course we were blown away!
A lot of excitement and a well deserved rest later, it was then that the penny dropped. We had a niche audience and we held value! Not just value to hotels but to anyone that wanted marketing.
Almost overnight the Instagram turned from a hobby into a business venture. We looked into what was going well on Instagram, embraced our passion and our story, and learnt about colours and editing.
We became self promoters in what we believe in. Spreading love, positivity and happiness everywhere we go!
And long may the journey continue…