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Israel – Top 15

Our visit to Israel was a special one because Kelsey’s parents came out to join us. Kelsey’s dad Keith is a pastor and has led several trips around this history-rich country. We took a relaxing backseat with planning travel in Israel and let Keith not only show us the highlights but share their significance. Here are the 12 things we would recommend not missing when traveling to Israel (categorized by region). 1. The Western wall (Jerusalem) This massive stone wall is the holiest site in Judaism and located inside the walls of old Jerusalem. Many Jewish people visit this wall…

Petra – A World Wonder

We were both thrilled to visit our first country in the Middle East – Jordan. Getting to experience Petra felt like entering a world from the past. We travelled back in time to 300 BC to the capital of the Nabatean Kingdom in Jordan’s southwestern desert. We threw on our scarves and headed out to this historic site. Entrance to this ancient city is by way of a natural stone passage call the Siq. As you continue through this old waterway, several single horse drawn carriages will charge past you. After 45 minutes of walking through the Siq, the passageway…

Touring Jordan

 “Welcome to my country”. This was a common greeting David and I received as we weaved around the sandstone streets of Amman, Jordan. A country known for hospitality (often shown by offering sweet mint tea) and with a vibrant history dating all the way back to 7250 BC. The Middle East can be viewed by some as an “unsafe” place to visit, Jordan however felt safe (even though it borders both Syria and Iraq). We decided to rent a car in Amman to give us the flexibility we desired to travel around Jordan. We kicked off our first couple of…

Phnom Penh – Cambodia

After enjoying the beauty of Siem Reap, we knew a visit to Cambodia would not be complete without heading over to Phnom Penh, the city with a beautiful blend of old and new. We took a 6 hour bus ride down south (this company was great) arriving in the capital city. While Siem Rep is mainly a little town surrounded by ancient ruins Phnom Penh is a true living city. Don’t let it’s size fool you. Around every turn is something unique waiting to be explored. Jump in a tuk tuk with us and explore this city’s old Buddhist architecture, french…

Siem Reap – Cambodia

Siem Reap is a city designed for backpackers. With affordable accommodations, cheap food (and even cheaper beer) this city has all the right pieces plus amazing temples to fill your days before heading out for the night. Temples of Angkor We declare this the 8th wonder of the world. You feel like Indiana Jones as you “discover” corners and passage ways around the temples. The stories seem limitless and with few ground rules this is a great time to explore before areas become roped off for safety. There are many ways you can choose to enjoy the 53 temples in…

Visiting Disneyland Paris

Waking up well before the parks opened we stuffed ourselves full of fresh crescents (coated in Nutella) before catching the Disney shuttle. Disneyland Paris is made up of two parks, Walt Disney Studios and Disneyland. This was our final international park and we couldn’t wait to dive in to find the subtle differences that make these parks feel like they could only belong in Paris. We started our day off at Walt Disney Studios. This park closes earlier than Disneyland but has a perfect half day worth of activities. Walt Disney Studio – Park 1  Ratatouille Area Walt Disney Studios…

Philippines – Boracay Island

When people picture a true tropical getaway, they’re thinking of the Filipino island – Boracay. This is the most visited beach island in the Philippines and with a 3 mile beach that perfectly faces the amber setting sun it’s no wonder why. A four star hotel is around $50 a night, a nice dinner is under $10, and the affordable excursions are only limited by your time. Pack a light bag with your swimsuit/shades and dive into our favorite beach island – Boracay. Our top 5: 1. Walk White Beach (with a drink) This island seems to have been created for…

Philippines – Bohol Island

Philippines is made up of thousands of islands so deciding where to land and divide our time took a bit of research and some well traveled friends help. We flew into Cebu City because it was central and we found affordable flights in and out of Mactan International Airport. David and I had just spent the last two months in Australia and New Zealand and were ready to get back into Southeast Asia (missing the affordable accommodations and flavorful food). For this leg of our journey we had two friends join us for a few days. Together we traveled from…

New Zealand – North Island

The South Island gets a majority of the praise from travelers, but for us the North Island is just as important to visit! It has trendy cities, a fascinating native culture, a magical outdoor movie set, and the most epic hike in the country. Plan on spending one week here and discover what the north island is waiting to show you. Wellington The hip little capital city has everything from a rising brewery culture, the counties most fascinating museum, and an impressive special effects studio that you can tour through. Plan on spending a solid two days in Wellington. (Here’s…

New Zealand – South Island

It is no wonder that several movies have decided to use New Zealand as their backdrop for the big screen. The stunning green nature is everywhere and wildly diverse. With amazing waterfalls along your drive and exotic birds perched in trees, the beauty surrounds you everywhere. David and I wanted to see as much of the island as possible. We read blogs, reached out to friends, and asked locals where we should hike to see as much of the agricultural diversity as possible. You could spend a lifetime exploring and hiking new trails. We, unfortunately, didn’t have a lifetime…just a…

New Zealand Farmstay

Kelsey and I sometimes daydream about owning a farm and spending our days caring for livestock. So while we were in New Zealand we were very excited to do a farmstay at a small family sheep farm! Peter and Sue welcomed us onto their farm in the middle of the rolling green hills of Mount Pisa in the south island of NZ. This area is renowned for their growing of super fine Merino wool. Day 1 After settling into our room we joined Sue in tending to their small backyard farm. She taught us how to approach hens to get…

Australian Roadtrip – Part Two

RVing was beginning to feel more natural day by day. I was forgetting about hot showers and cool air-conditioning, items that a few weeks ago seemed like a given. I now found great enjoyment in cooking outdoor with other travelers and sightings of marsupial along our drive. The road turned into a new home away from home. With a bit of experience under our belts David and I continued further South towards Brisbane. This would be the first large city we ventured into with our RV. Brisbane While exploring Brisbane (pronounced bris-bin) we were in temperatures exceeding 100 degrees, meaning…

Australian Roadtrip – Part One

David and I have dreamed of owning our own camper van. We imagine driving around the United States exploring national parks and visiting with friends along the way. When we heard that Australia is often traveled via camper van we were excited to dip our feet into an extended van camping experience together. After the first night we were both ready to throw in the towel. With temperatures above 90 degrees (even throughout night) we found it very difficult to sleep and missed the comfort of a hotel. By morning we were convinced we had made a mistake. Calling our…

Japan by Bullet Train

Sitting in a plush seat while shooting at 200 miles per hour across beautiful countryside, Japan is truly an impressive place! After spending a few weeks in Tokyo we knew that many other great places in this country needed to be explored. We bought ourselves rail-passes (more info on these at the bottom of this post) and compiled our list of things we wanted to hit! Japan takes great pride in their Shinkansen trains. They were the 1st country to build dedicated rails for high-speed trains and introduced them in 1964 for the Tokyo Olympics. They were a marvel far…

Tokyo – 13 Tips

With bright lights, teens in unique clothing, and food options galore – Tokyo sets itself proudly apart from the pack. There are endless ways to spend your time in this city, if you have a few days or a few weeks you will never cease to be amazed by the vibrancy that makes up these streets. We spent two weeks in Tokyo and only scratched the surface of understanding the culture and uniqueness of this place. David and I want to highlight our top experiences and culinary treats. Here are our 13 must do in Tokyo: 1. Tokyo Station This place has…

Korean Beauty Products

I could write a book about my love for Korean beauty products. The stores are enticing with their colorful packaging, great promotions, and products that promise to tighten pores and take back damage left from the sun. I tried several products and made a list of my new must have items. Kelsey’s Favorite: Missha foot doctor 30 minute peeling mask This product is AMAZING! Packaged like a face mask with two loose bags for your feet inside. Slip them in the gooey mixture and prop them up after you have ensured the contents have covered your feet. Rinse your feet…

Seoul, South Korea – Foodie Capital

Seoul South Korea, the capital city, has experienced rapid growth and it’s culture is both young and vibrant because of it. With k-pop music and food dishes that are unique to only South Korea, David and I knew this was a city not to miss. We spent a week exploring neighborhoods, taking cultural tours, and shopping for beauty products – I would be lying if I said this only happened once a day… trust me they’re alluring! We boiled down our trip into the highlights for you. Take our suggestions or discover new one’s on your own, either way Seoul will…

Disney Parks of Asia!

Kelsey and I have always been HUGE disney fans. From knowing all the words to the 1990s classics (self defined golden era), to having visited the California Disneyland park close to 20 times – saying we were fans would be an understatement. On this trip around the world we quickly realized that we would be visiting many major cities and knew what must be done.. complete the Disney park global list – all 6 resorts! We’ve been to 1) Anaheim California and 2) Orlando Florida, which left the 4 other parks outside of the US – 3) Hong Kong, 4)…

Beijing in 3 Days

Jumping on an early morning bullet train, David and I left Shanghai and traveled the six hours to Beijing. The capital of China is known for their extensive history and massive temple remains from former emperors. If Shanghai is the NYC of China, than Beijing is the Washington D.C. If planned right, Beijing can be thoroughly enjoyed in three days. This will give you a high level experience of the capital with a bit of time to journey through the streets. China can be a difficult place to travel, but take a deep breath and enjoy the journey it will take you on. The…

Shanghai – Top 7

Visiting the highlights of Asia would not be complete without a stop in China. This country may not be as easy to travel to as Thailand or Japan, but there are a few amazing sites that will make it worth the extra energy. Before booking your flight look into the visa requirements (tips at the bottom of this post). David and I decided to spend two weeks in China. Splitting our time between Shanghai, the big city (think NYC) and Beijing the capitol. China is unlike anything else we have experienced and we will do our best to set you up for success. 1. Pedestrian…

Hong Kong

Leaving Vietnam in the early morning we boarded a direct flight to Hong Kong. A city that has similar vibes to New York, with hills you may find in San Francisco. More importantly it was our first Disney stop in Asia. As avid fans of Walt’s work, we were excited to venture to our first overseas Disney! Our first full day in Hong Kong was spent at the park, we will be filling you in on all the Disney Parks in Asia in a later post. (Don’t worry, we wont leave anything out!) Hong Kong is divided a bit and it…

Motorbiking – Vietnam

Motorbiking down the coast of Vietnam is an excursion Kelsey and I had dreamed of taking. Being in the area, we wanted to get a taste of this – so we rented a motorbike for 3 days and hit the countryside! We journeyed down narrow roads, weaving around seemingly endless moss covered limestone mountains. Before we knew it, we had driven into a different time. Families lived in small huts, cattle would casually wander and stop in the middle of the road, and small children would yell “helloooo” on their bike ride home from school. This area was Tam Coc,…

Hanoi, Vietnam – Highlights

Ready or not Hanoi will pull you right into their culture. A simple walk around town can turn into an adventure of dodging traffic and exploring the street vendors that fill the sidewalks with their carts and aromas. Eating in Hanoi is not only a culinary treat for a few dollars, but also an experience. Watching David (who is 6’5”) working hard to fit his long legs under small plastic tables made for a lot of great laughs with the locals. These tables were clearly made for pre-k children, but are everywhere in Hanoi due to small spaces. With so many delicious things to…

Bali – Part 2

Where do we even start? Ubud won us over with the first monkey we saw dancing across the telephone wires above our hotel lobby. As we walked around we stumble upon tiny offerings carefully placed in front of each house, constantly reminded that you’re within the unique culture of Bali. The city of Ubud is definitely different than Seminyak, and boy where we excited to be there! Here is our must do list in Ubud, Bali. There are countless ways to spend the warm afternoons, but these things you will not want to miss. 1. Monkey Forest This is a park that will delight…

Bali – Part 1

Bali…why did we ever leave? We were drawn in by the allure of beaches and sunbathing and left with stories of adventure and culture. If you are going to take one trip this year, make it to Bali. David and I divided our time between two areas – Seminyak and Ubud. They were both amazing and filled with a variety of options to satisfy any travelers desires. Seminyak Resorts The resorts are amazing and come at a small price tag. There are great options starting at only $30 USD per night – think gorgeous pool with swim up bar and breakfast…