Ancient Athens – Top 10

Welcome to Athens. This is the historical capital of Europe, the birthplace of democracy, and a city sprinkled with 5th century BC landmarks. Soak in the rich history, climb the massive acropolis, walk in the footsteps of legends, and of course – eat the local greek food! Here’s our top ten things you must do while in Athens! 1. Get orientated with a walking tour The Athens Free Tour had a great overview of the city, was fast paced, and started near Temple of Zeus (which is cool to see). This would be something we suggest doing on your first…

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…

Bedouin Boy

“These camels are my pets, I love them” (while scratching the larger ones chin) While traveling the world we are constantly trying to find animal experiences where the animals are be treated with kindness. We did research in Jordan and were lucky enough to find a boy who lived in the desert who owned two camels. While we rode, this 12 year old told us about all about his two pets and how he felt very connected to them. We noticed too that instead of using force to get them to move he made whistling sounds. Wandering the empty dessert,…

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…

Checklist before Leaving the Airport

You just landed in a new country and are excited to start your adventure. Before you jump head first, make sure you have everything you need for a successful visit, BEFORE leaving the safety of the airport. 1 | Exchange money from your previous country (Before takeoff) If you are flying from one country to next, exchange the cash that you have not spent before going onward. A fee will be applied but at least you’ll have usable currency in your next country. Spend all your coins before leaving a county because these are non-exchangeable (some countries coins are worth…

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…

Trip Tips – Safe Traveling

Safety is always a top priority when you are exploring new places. Finding your grounding may feel tougher than you expected so it’s aways good to be prepared. Here are a few tips we live by to feel in control while we’re venturing out for a day trip or doing a week long tour. Carry less with you. Here’s what we carry on a typical day: one credit card, cash for the day, phone, charger for phone, and a camera. Leave your passport in the safe at your hotel (unless you’ll be booking a car or purchasing a SIM card).…

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…

Tips for Haggling Abroad

Nearly every foreign country has some form of an open marketplace. These markets engulf the senses with bustling locals, animals working, craftsmen building, and fresh food steaming. These places typically have a base price they offer locals and then a multiplied price they offer tourists. It’s always great to support the local economy (and you’ll always be paying more than the locals) – but getting ripped off is something that can be avoided. Here’s 5 key tips we’ve learned along the way. 1 | The 1/2 rule It may seem rude, but a good rule of thumb is to offer…

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…

Buying SIM Cards Internationally

 Quick Tip Guide – SIM cards Before we step foot into a new country, we purchase our SIM cards in the airport right when we land. This is our lifeline for research, planning, navigation, and posting on the go.   When we approach a provider these are the questions we ask before purchasing a SIM card: What is the speed, 3G? 4G? Can you show me a map of your companies coverage? What are the data size options? (we estimate using 3GB per week) Is there a cap on how much data I can use in a 24hr period? Can I…

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…

Packing List – 1 Year of Travel

Packing for a year on the road took several rounds of narrowing down. I read blogs, watched tutorials, asked for advice from family, and narrowed it down again and again. If there is one piece of advice you take away from this post let it be this, pack less, way less! More items from home means less space for that unique dress in Bali or that scarf in Jordan that’s unlike anything you could get back home. You can always replace items that wear through from love or are a casualty to a rocky boat ride (malls exist everywhere). Start with…

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 Yogi

I strive not to live, but to adventure. I am most alive when I am outside of my thoughts and aware of my surroundings, it might be a moment as thrilling as a sky dive, a sun rise, or just as simple as finding a moment in the busy day too stop, look around and just appreciate where I am. Catching every moment, is the everyday adventure that is my passion. – Todd Robertson (his company)

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…

RVing Australia – First Timers Tips

Flexibility has been the name of the game on our international trip, and this has often been challenged. Jumping in an RV for three weeks sounds like a dream, but then I began thinking of the items I didn’t have along (still only have backpacks) and the lack of experience we have RVing. To make our trip smother we chatted with many local Aussie campers along the way and read several blogs. Now we bring what we learned to you, a list of everything you need to know about RVing in Australia. Booking When budgeting out your trip consider; cost of camp grounds, fuel, food/snacks, and…

Booking Hotels and Airbnbs

 Quick Tip Guide – Places to Stay There is a lot to learn while traveling and we are constantly finding solutions to things that arise. Although we are far from knowing it all, we would love to share with you what we have learned! Introducing our quick tips guide – starting with finding a place to stay. This is a big one when you are traveling for an extended period of time since a bed will be a constant cost and a good place to save money. Our two hubs are Booking and Airbnb. Both are fantastic in their own…

Hiroshima Survivor

I believe the world opinion will lead to the abolition of nuclear weapons. Every person should come here and know what happened here. Without knowing the event here it’s impossible to make effort to abolish nuclear weapons. – Mito Kosei, Hiroshima, Japan (his website)

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…