We left February 21, 2017, with a goal to travel the world full-time for 2+ years….here is our journey so far with the most recent at the top of the page. Visit the NOW link to find our current location. You have to check out our Podcast to hear the latest on what we are doing on the road! Visit our Travel Tools page to find the tools we use, Travel Tips that have helped us so far, and Books We Love to find where the inspiration comes from.
10 days in Krakow, Poland was educational, entertaining, and a bit heartbreaking. We went on several tours to understand the history of Krakow and the surrounding towns. Luckily, Krakow’s old town survived the Second World War, and you can feel the ambiance of the city that used to be the capital of Europe’s largest country. Walking around the Jewish Quarter and seeing the buildings that were shown in the epic movie, Schindler’s List, was fascinating. To stand outside the factory and look at the photos of lives saved was powerful.
It is impossible to describe the emotions of the Auschwitz and Buchenwald concentration (extermination) camp tours. The artifacts left behind are enough to touch anyone who walks the grounds. Most of the area is left in its original form to be a reminder of the evil that is possible in the world. It was a moving and heartbreaking day.
If you want to hear all about our time in Poland be sure to check Podcast Episode 22: Poland – Warsaw, Krakow, Auschwitz (And a Bit of Bucharest, Romania)
We are currently in Switzerland enjoying our first pet-sit.
We began this eventful month on the exciting island, Isle of Man, Ireland. The island comes alive during the TT Motorcycle Races every year and it has been on our bucket list for a while. To be on the island and experience the speed of these insanely talented riders was priceless. We had the most beautiful weather to walk around and find the best viewing points of the 180+ mph motorcycles fly by. We attempt to put into words the amazement of the event in the second half of this podcast episode.
We then met up with two friends from the US for our road trip adventure around Ireland. We had a chance to see many of the beautiful locations – Belfast, Giant’s Causeway, Old Bushmills Distillery, Cliffs of Moher, Curragh Races, Dublin, and the magnificent Powerscourt Hotel. Thanks to our friends, we had a different type of travel experience, spending time in hotels and living luxuriously in some of the more elegant places in Ireland. It was quite a treat! You can hear all about it in Podcast Episode 17: Ireland Road Trip – Lush and Luxury (And how we do laundry).
Visiting Lisbon, Portugal for the second year in a row brought us memories for a lifetime. Lisbon is a romantic city that comes alive in June with many festivities. From Bica to Alfama to Bairro Alto – in this Lisbon podcast episode, we cover the neighborhoods that we love and the hottest spots in each. Matt talks about one of his favorite travel stories of selling Jello Shots during the St. Anthony’s Day party on the streets of Bica. We then discuss the epic viewpoints, fun local markets, listening to local Fado music, and getting around on foot. We also discuss short day trips from Lisbon that are exciting destinations. We can’t get enough of this amazing city and hope to go back, yet again, someday.
Visiting Eastern Europe has been on our list for quite some time. We started our journey in Bucharest, Romania. I (Matt) was pretty sick most of our time there but we did have the chance to visit the Old Town several times. What a beautiful area of the city. There is plenty to discover in Romania with its diversity around the country. We hope to revisit and take in the beauty.
Warsaw, Poland was our next city to visit and, almost immediately, we fell in love with the bigger-city look but small city vibe. With wide clean city streets, more vegan restaurants than we have seen anywhere else in the world, and a multi-cultural atmosphere, it felt like a wonderful place to live. Since my heritage comes from Poland, I connected with one of my local namesake ‘relatives’ (Javit in Poland is spelled Dziewit). That was a great day exchanging stories.
With Nikki now dealing with the cold that I gave her, I did a lot of walking around the city streets checking out all that Warsaw had to offer. We attended a concert (Beyonce/JayZ), I took a Wim Hof breathing class, and had several great workouts at a top-notch health spa. Overall, Warsaw was a wonderful visit.
We began the month visiting an old friend that plays professional basketball in Jena, Germany. A few days in Jena was a treat as we had the chance to enjoy the stillness and beauty of this small city. My friend played well and his team won which allowed us to celebrate in style with owner, staff, and players as they finished the season with a victory dancing late into the night.
We then traveled via Flixbus for 11 hours to Prague, Czech Republic to enjoy the historic city. You can really feel the history as you walk the streets of this beautiful city. During our visit, the Prague Marathon was going on which was an added bonus. We enjoyed walking all over town and visiting the Prague Castle, the Old Square, and the John Lennon Wall.
After Prague, we bussed to Vienna, Austria for a fun stay in this multicultural epicenter of Europe. I had no idea that Vienna ranks so high on many top city lists around the world but now we know why. Wonderful shopping, gorgeous architecture, and beautiful views made this a fun visit. Our Airbnb host also did a wonderful job in making sure we had a fun time as she showed us a few of the local spots that weren’t on our radar.
We ended this leg of our bus adventures in Budapest, Hungary. What an amazing city! We heard a lot of buzz before heading into Budapest and it definitely lived up to the hype. We had a great time exploring the city and discovering the old ruin pubs. There is much history to learn in Budapest and we enjoyed climbing the hills to get the magnificent views of the city.
If you want to hear more details about this European leg of our adventure, be sure to check out Podcast Episode 14: Early European Travel Highlights (Amsterdam, Vienna, Budapest…).
We then flew to Palermo, Sicily to meet with a couple of friends from the States. We traveled around this beautiful Italian island for 10 days discovering all of the beauty of Palermo, Cefalu, Noto, Catania, and Castellammare del Golfo. Much wine was consumed, there was dancing on the streets, and many laughs were shared. To hear more about our adventures, be sure to listen to the first part of this Podcast Episode.
Wrapping up this amazing month, we flew north to London for a quick, restful stop in Liverpool before grabbing the ferry to the amazing small island that sits between England and Ireland.
The first 10 days of April were spent on the beaches of Da Nang, Vietnam, where we have fallen in love with everything this city has to offer. Great food, true culture, awesome beaches, friendly hospitality, and cheap prices. The weather was perfect. Matt got to mix in a couple poker games as well as celebrating his birthday. We talk about why we love Vietnam so much in this Episode – Podcast Episode 11: Vietnam Travel (and Location We Hated during our World Tour).
We then headed to Hong Kong for 10 days. Wow! What an Epic City! Clean, Safe, and Vibrant. A true melting pot of culture, exotic food (Matt ate snails, pigeon, duck), and big city luxuries. We met up with some new friends that really showed us an amazing time. By the time we left Hong Kong, it was at the top of our list of unbelievable cities of the world. I am confident we will be back someday. Read 96 Hours in Hong Kong: Hong Kong Travel Guide (Macau Included) to understand all of our tips on what to find in Hong Kong or, if you want to hear additional insight on why we loved our trip here so much, listen to Podcast Episode 12: Hong Kong Travel Tips (and how we decide Where is Next).
Starting our travels in Munich, Germany with a visit to two friends that we met while in Greece last summer. They were extremely hospitable showing us the beauty of this historic town. We were lucky enough that we were there during the Spring Oktoberfest so we had the chance to truly celebrate as we hoped – beer. A car show, flea market, great meals, late-night conversations, bier gardens, and long walks in their beautiful parks. Munich was a wonderful time.
We then made our way to Amsterdam to experience King’s Day (April 27th) which is when everybody gets dressed in Orange and celebrates their pride for The Netherlands. We really enjoyed our time in Amsterdam with the unique beauty of the canals and narrow walkways. We had an extra bonus as our friend from Performance Travel gave us a great tour around the city and tickets to an Ajax soccer game.
We spent the first 10 days in Durban, South Africa – One of the New Seven Wonders of the World Cities – to check out all of the beauty of the Eastern Cape. While we were there we took in a Rugby Match and Cricket Game (Australia vs South Africa). Both were big sports bucket list events for Matt! We wrap up our visit in Podcast Episode 4 – South Africa.
We then flew back to Bangkok for a couple of weeks enjoying the city that we have been to a few times but haven’t had a chance to really take it in. We loved our time really getting to understand the city vibe that it has to offer. Matt had a visit at the Bumrungrad Hospital which we detail in this podcast episode that describes why we love BKK so much!
We ended the month in Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City), Vietnam catching up with great friends and discovering all of the great food and wild side streets. The time with friends goes too fast.
We volunteered at a WorkAway location which was a surf lodge in the beautiful Victoria Bay! We loved the epic views, gorgeous waves, and downtime with new friends. We had a few baboon visits over the course of our stay which is something we will never forget. Visiting the townships was a life-changing event and all the people of South Africa continued to show us extraordinary hospitality.
After celebrating a quiet New Year’s in Muizenberg, we headed east to George, South Africa where we will be taking in two of the peaceful coast towns. The waves, the views, and the beautiful sunsets are like nowhere in the world. Our month in Mossel Bay was a productive visit that allowed us to start the year off right. Long hikes, a safari visit, and wine tasting at a local vineyard were highlights along with new friendships formed with the thoughtful locals.
We LOVED Vietnam (here are the Top 11 Things we discovered)! We began the month in Da Nang, Vietnam which stole the show with its massive coast and tourist-friendly vibe. We loved how the city felt authentic with its strong culture but very inviting with top notch hospitality. Spending a few days in Hoi An was a nice mix, but honestly, we wish we would have extended our stay in Da Nang. It was then off to Nha Trang for more beautiful coast vibes and fun. What an exciting and vibrant city! I even found a chance to play poker in Vietnam. Wrapping our time up in Vietnam in the massive city of Ho Chi Minh City was a great call. We met up with some new friends and had a chance to really get to know the city. Vietnam is a country that should be near the top of any travel list! We really enjoyed our time there and look forward to returning. Check out our Vietnam Video that summarizes our time there.
Before Christmas week, we headed off to Cape Town, South Africa staying in the surf town of Muizenberg. The energy of the town was joyous and vibrant with tourists coming in from all over to enjoy the waves that are offered by Surfer’s Corner. Walking the miles of the walkway to the towns along the coast provided tons of options for restaurants, pubs, and shops.
Spending time in the mountains of Munnar and on the beaches of Marari in Kerala, we started the month off with some sun before flying north to Amritsar and Jammu for another wedding celebration. Wrapping up our time in India was tough but we know we will be back. We then flew to Bangkok, Thailand, for about a week as it worked for a cheap flight gateway into Vietnam.
Beginning our time in Vietnam in the city of Hanoi for Thanksgiving Week was a great decision. We loved the historical vibe and big city energy. We checked out the gorgeous views of Ha Long Bay riding the local boats and walking the caves. With a short stay in Hai Phong on our way to Da Nang, we slowly began to fall in love with everything that Vietnam has to offer including the amazing local food.
Landing in Delhi, India in late September was the perfect timing to take the bucket list item of the Taj Mahal in Agra. After our week in that part of the country, we flew to Hyderabad for many days of festivities included in our first Indian Wedding. What an unforgettable experience! We then took a train to Nagpur, had a great time in Indore while we trusted our gut, and saw the celebrations of Diwali in Bhopal. Then it was off to Kerala for a couple of weeks taking in the beauty and uniqueness of the south.
Starting the month at the end of our WorkAway obligation, we had the chance to spend a few days in Athen, Greece, before our 2.5 weeks in Croatia. Dubrovnik, Milna, Hvar, Vis, and Split made up our time in this beautiful country as we did a little Croatia island hopping while taking in each city for 3-4 days each. We wrapped up our time in Europe by spending 3 days in Rome focusing on the Vatican City and catching Mass with the Pope in Rome before catching a flight to Delhi, India. Nikki summarized our first 7 months of travel in this reflective post.
We spent most of the month on the Greek Island of Aegina in the small town of Perdika working at a WorkAway opportunity helping a hotel owner of thirty years of her 10-suite hotel. When we got time away from our 4-5 hours of daily duties, we would venture out to all parts of the island on the scooter or by foot. Having friends visit us during the final week of the month was a huge treat.
Mid-July /Early August 2017:
First traveling to Venice, Italy, we visited this Instagram’s dream city for a few days taking in a unique beauty. Then renting a car we visited several cities in northern and central Italy including Padua, Vicenza, Soave, Castelfidardo, Numana, Loreto, Assisi, Florence, and Pisa on our Italy Road Trip. Matt had the chance to learn how to make a Real Italian Pizza with the host of our bed and breakfast in their wood-fired oven. After spending a day in the city of the Leaning Tower, we met some of our family and Matt had a blast doing Cinque Terre hiking in northeast Italy. Wow, what a beautiful region!
We then headed off to Dhermi, Albania to spend time with family in this great little vacation area of the country. We had a blast on the beaches and in the mountains of this unique area, catching up with family and eating/drinking more than we probably should. Oh well! The time together ended with a short visit to the island of Corfu, Greece.
Late June / Early July 2017:
We spent a few days in Madrid with Friends from the States and then headed off to Alicante, Spain for the coast life and adventure which ended up being the best coastal city in Spain. Matt jumped off of an island’s cliff and we were mesmerized by the passionate Flamenco dance. The beach line on the eastern coast of Spain is perfect this time of the year and our tans improved daily 😉
Early/Mid June 2017:
Portugal was a major surprise in its appeal so we ended up staying longer than originally planned. Spending a little over two weeks in the beautiful city of Lisbon was a ton of fun during the festivals of Saint Anthony where we did The Lisbon Hustle – an epic adventure you need to check out. The apartment we stayed in was a ‘steal’ that we found using an Airbnb Search Tip. We then rented a car for a spiritual Fatima Day Tour and spent a couple of nights on the coast in Peniche taking in a surf lesson and enjoying a small town in Portugal.
May/ Early June 2017:
We can’t believe how fast the first 3+ months went by! Here is a letter of gratitude Goodbye South America & Thank you & and a look into the cathedrals, places, and events that took place on our travels in Spiritual South America.
In Guayaquil, Ecuador we worked/stayed as part of a WorkAway program, helping run a bed and breakfast that also doubles as an event facility for Art and Theatre. We had one of the actors from the Netflix show Narcos Season 3 stay there while they worked on a play that goes live in June. Located in the oldest neighborhood of the city, there are a ton of cultural opportunities. It’s a unique and fun experience.
Spending 9 days seeing the Galapagos Islands on a Budget was an amazing trip and a bucket list check for us! The beauty of the water/islands along with the exotic animals on land and in the sea made it a memorable journey.
We visited Lima, Peru (a massive sprawling city of 10 million) where we did ‘city things’ like walking a ton, workouts in a gym, enjoyed good wifi, visited the local markets, and even went to the horse track. Living a few days with a 5-star cook was pretty cool as we found all of the fun things to do in Miraflores, Peru in early May.
Late April / Early May 2017:
Spending three weeks in Paracas, Ica, and Nazca, Peru was relaxing and adventurous! Life on the coast was very chill in Paracas (about 3 hours south of Lima). You have to check out the flight in the Cessna (smallest plane we both had ever been in) and the crazy time in the Dune Buggy in the post!
Visiting Ayacucho, Peru during one of the Most Popular Easter Celebrations in South America (Semana Santa) was everything we hoped it would be and more. We will take many memories of the people and ceremonies with us on our journey, including working with one of the Most Efficient Non-For-Profit Organizations that we have ever seen.
We has a great time in Cusco, Peru where we took in all of the Inca Ruins. Please look at the posts on the Best View of Machu Picchu, Things to Know About Cusco, the Cusco Peru Travel Guide, and information on Day Trips from Cusco. There are a bunch of great videos and photos to view. If Cusco, Peru is not on your Bucket List – ADD IT! Such history and epic scenery.
Mid/Late March 2017:
Spending a week in Antofagasta, Chile we experienced our first WorkAway which was a blast. Working during the day and meeting great people at night. The host we stayed with thinks this video is correct on how Chileans behave – we also agree after being there a month cheering on their futbol team, dancing late at night, and not understanding a word they were saying.
Late February / Early March 2017:
We had a great time in Chile. Starting the travels in Santiago then heading to the Coast, those two weeks were a perfect way to kick off our adventures. Nikki nails it with some tips on those experiences.
We then headed south….WAY South…..End of the World South to Ushuaia, Argentina which ended up being pricier than we thought. A lot of beans and pan (Spanish for bread) during that visit 😉
Making our way north, we stopped in the beautiful town of Puerto Varas that reminded us of South Haven, Michigan. At that point, we had to call an AUDIBLE (as in changing options not as in the amazing audiobook tool we use – plug) and head to San Pedro de Atacama. Everyone we met kept talking about it so we had to do it….thank God we did! WOW! It was amazing! Those that saw our Instagram and Youtube videos agreed that it is a unique place on Earth. One of the photos that Nikki took was featured by Google on their Instagram Livefeed – guess that makes me a model now 🙂 This video here received a lot of comments about its beauty. It was like I was on a movie set. Nikki shared a bunch of great tips from our time in San Pedro de Atacama in this post.