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…

20 Tips for International Travel

These past four months have been amazing, challenging, lonely, exhilarating, and so much more! Pulling ourselves out of our weekly (very scheduled) routine was refreshing and scary. I wanted to be prepared and packed for any situation. We have done well rolling with the punches but I would have loved a condensed list of quick tips for traveling internationally. So here’s our simple tips that will help you be stress free and off enjoying your trip: 1. Bring less stuff with you – 1/2 of what you think you will need 2. Text family or friends flight info 3. Unlock your…

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…

Luwak Coffee Shop Owner

What gives you the most happiness in life? Before I was a baker, I made bread in Ubud and had to go everywhere for 10 years. I’m so sad because I don’t see my son grow up. Now I stay at home and make this business to see my son, this makes me so happy. His son is now 22 and owns this own shop adjacent to his. They ride motorbikes together to work every morning. For more details see our Bali – Part 1 post.

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…

Singapore – Top 8

Singapore feels like a melting pot of different Asian foods and cultures (residence are mainly Chinese, Malay, and Indian). Being one of the smallest counties in the world, everything is very close. Most families live in tall government subsidized houses in the middle of town. These buildings have “coffee shops” on the first floors serving food from around Asia. Their apartments are small so these areas are the hangout spots for tenants and serve as an extension of their dinning room. Anyone is welcome to eat here, it is a great place to find affordable food in Singapore. We spent a few…

Food Journey – Bangkok, Thailand

Bangkok is a culinary delight! Great tastes from around the world meet world class experiences and some amazing Instagram opportunities! David and I were committed to making up for any missed meals from our unsettled stomachs earlier in Thailand. Hitting over 20 spots in Bangkok, we have narrowed it down to our favorites. Trust us you will want to be on the next plane over! 1. High tea The Mandarin Oriental not only has a huge selections of teas to choose from they, but they also have three settings. Whether you are looking for a traditional high tea, Eastern fare,…

Activity List – Bangkok, Thailand

Bangkok is like no other. We arrived to the airport in the evening, greeted by Bank, a high school friend of Davids who grew up and lives in Bangkok. The city is filled with skyscrapers, malls, and unique experiences that only Southeast Asia could think to offer. Here is our activity list – a collection put together by myself and Bank and enjoyed with David. 1. Visit the Grand Palace You can take a ferry or water taxi there, which offers a great view of the city and a break from the traffic. Make a day of it by first…

Thailand Tips

Here’s a collection of tips and learnings we came across on our extended stay in Thailand: –  7/11 stores are everywhere and they are amazing! You can get a <$1 grilled cheese any hour of the day. –  You may need to take off your shoes before entering a shop and definitely before entering a temple. Hint – check to see if a few pairs are left outside. –  When greeting people say sawasdee ka(female)/krab (male), the same saying can be used when you leave while you give a little bow in gratitude. – Food poisoning is very common; carry…

4 Days in Chiang Mai, Thailand

Arriving in Chiang Mai, David and I were excited to embark on a new city. Phuket was not exactly what we were expecting but we knew several people have fallen in love with Thailand, and we were still in search of that charm. We found it in Chiang Mai! This city doesn’t disappoint, with a temple on every corner, similar to Holland Michigan. These religious sites were just adorned with a bit more gold and had a sprinklings of monks in their courtyards. The city itself is hidden among beautiful passage ways that lead to great coffee shops, multiple street…

Monk Chat

Buddhist Monk, Thailand When in your life did you feel most alive? Everyday, trying to be a good Monk, and helping people as I can. Mostly we (monks) give ideas. When we can give some idea to a person they can keep it, and adapt it to themselves with purpose. You don’t have to become a part of buddhism to do this, but listen first to the idea, to then solve with purpose. And sharing compassion. Nowadays people try to fight back. We are actually hurting ourselves. If we cannot have loving compassion towards humans, everything in the world disappears. The…

Cooking Class – Chiang Mai, Thailand

After being in Thailand for a couple of weeks we wanted to learn firsthand what went into the delicious mango sticky rice or pad Thai that we were eating every day. I found several options for cooking classes in the Chiang Mai area. We decided to attend the class by Thai Farm Cooking. They had such amazing reviews on trip advisor that I simply had to see what all the hype was about. By the way, a cool website to check out when you are looking for a different experience is With Locals.  This site offers a place for locals to…

Diver Will

Scuba Instructor, Thailand When in your life did you feel most alive? New Year’s Day three years ago I got so close I could probably ride it. I got within a meter of it and I thought this is my moment. I watched and swam with it for 15 minutes. I was blown away. I have seen quite a few manta rays, and know I am quite lucky. The earth is 70% ocean and 30% land, and in all of that blue and that manta ray chose you. He came to see you that day, so you’re really blessed by…

Elephant Nature Park – Chiang Mai, Thailand

We were the last to be picked up in a large, plush 12 passenger van heading an hour and a half outside of Chiang Mai. The ride was amazing as we passed rural farms where water buffalo were grazing and chickens walked alongside them.  Our education about Thai elephants began on our journey to the Elephant Nature Park. Elephants are a huge part of Thailand’s tourism trade and also play a crucial role in the logging industry. Recognizing the unfortunate impact tourism has had on elephants, the Elephant Nature Park created a place for rescued elephants to call home. Most of these amazing creatures are too old to perform or too injured to log. They need a break from their difficult lives. Elephant…

Scuba Certification – Phi Phi Islands, Thailand

Having a year to travel is giving us the time and flexibility to think about picking up some new skills. First on our list? Scuba diving! For years David has been trying to convince me to join him in this adventure. With Thailand’s warm water and great dive sites, I was convinced to give it a go. We signed up to for Open Water Certification, a three-day course, which would enable us to dive up to 60ft completely independently. The class included 5 quizzes, a pool dive, six open water dives and a final exam. Trust me those three days…

48 Hours in Phuket, Thailand

We ended up spending 1 week in Phuket, but really figured out the best stuff to do. So if you only have few days here – you’ll be able to hit all the highlights! Day 1 8am- Rent a Car. You can pickup a car most placed for around 1,000 Baht (~$30) for a day. Be sure you’re comfortable with driving on the left side of the road (and are okay with motorbike mayhem). 10am – Visit the Monkeys on Monkey Hill As mentioned in our previous post, you can get up close and personal with wild monkeys.Purchase peanuts before reaching the…

Monkey Hill – Phuket, Thailand

Whether you’re looking for a good hike or just a way to make new (furry) friends, Khao To Sae (Monkey Hill) is worth a visit. The drive up is gorgeous…shaded by mini pergolas with intertwined vines that have, over the years, wrapped themselves between each wooden plank. Many dogs have traveled miles up to this place probably to enjoy a little rest from the intense Thai sun. The drive (or hike) is a steep 4 mile climb ending in an amazing view overlooking Phuket Town. This alone is worth the trek…but it gets better! At the top of the to-do…