Site icon Passport Joy

The 800-Day Journey

Journey So Far

Our first flight left the US on February 21, 2017 landing in Santiago, Chile, and we traveled the world for 800 days straight visiting 35 countries and over 100 cities, ending on May 2, 2019, in Auckland, New Zealand….here is our journey 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 Partners page to find the tools that have helped us so far, and Books We Love to find where the inspiration comes from. 

May 2019 – New Zealand, USA

After 800 straight days of traveling the world, we flew from Auckland, New Zealand to Chicago, Illinois. We spent time with friends and family in Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.

April 2019 – Fiji Islands, New Zealand

During my birth month, we celebrated on the island of Fiji with a couple of friends that joined us for the third time during our journey. We spent 11 days between two different locations as well as took in a few day trips around the island. We had an absolute blast!

Listen all about it on Podcast 58: Fiji Islands (Tips for an Unforgettable Trip) and see the beauty of the island (while getting a great haircut) in Fiji Islands – World Barber Shop Adventures.

We spent the final three weeks of our adventure exploring New Zealand, both the north and south islands. Road tripping in a rental car allowed us to see all the natural beauty that engulfs the country. It’s endless.

The North Island has endless hills, wildlife on the farms, and scenic landscapes.  We visited Auckland, Rotorua, Lake Taupo, and Wellington as we headed south with a few stops along the way. Listen all about it on Podcast 59: New Zealand’s North Island (Road Trip Tips).

From Wellington, we flew to Christchurch where we began our adventures around the South Island. We stayed in Lake Tekapo, Lake Wanaka, Queenstown, Ranfurly, and Dunedin. South Island did not disappoint. Beyond beautiful and the perfect way to end our trip. You can see the natural landscape in World Barber Shop Adventures – Queenstown, New Zealand. You can also listen to our trip in Podcast 60: South Island New Zealand.

March 2019 – Australia, Fiji Islands

We began the month in Thailand wrapping up our short stay in our favorite Southeast Asia hub city. We then spent a month in Australia exploring the country that we heard so much about over the years.

Melbourne has a multicultural vibe with a ton of great restaurants, a strong artist attitude, and a beautiful coastline. We walked for miles around the town taking in all of the beauty of St. Kilda, eating at a Japanese restaurant on Chapel Street, and enjoying the street art within every pocket of the city. The trip was topped off with the ride down Great Ocean Road to take endless photos of the gorgeous beaches and unforgettable landscape. Listen to the details in Podcast 54: Melbourne, Australia (Travel to the Great Ocean Road).

Four days in Tasmania was not enough but we really enjoyed the gorgeous island off the southern coast of the mainland. We loved walking around Hobart to visit boutiques, cafes, restaurants, and galleries, and, as usual, we spent time in a barber shop. Our day trip out to Mt. Field National Park, Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary, and Mt. Wellington was our highlight as we had a chance to experience the wilderness and interact with kangaroos, wombats, and the iconic Tasmanian devil. Find more about our trip in Podcast 55: Tasmania Travel (Peaceful Australian Island).

From Tasmania, we traveled to Brisbane to visit with a couple of friends from the US. We spent ten days catching up and laughing a ton while getting to know the area as we divided our time between their condo in downtown Brisbane and his parents’ home near Redcliffe. The time spent gave us a sense of what it is like to live in Australia. Walking along the canals, watching rugby (live and on TV), and the many bbq’s made us feel like we were on an awesome vacation. They treated us like gold. I also visited a long-standing barber shop (1970’s) getting a great shave in Brisbane.

We wrapped up our not-enough-time visit to Australia in Sydney, in the North Bondi area. Wow! Bondi Beach is incredible. The long walk to Coogi is something we would attempt every day if we lived there. The surfers go wild on the beach and it’s easy to see why. With a ton of restaurants, bars, and nightlife, Bondi is high on everyone’s bucket list and we are happy we had the chance to visit. Sydney is a world-class city with a melting pot of cultures. We visited the iconic Opera House, explored the downtown book stores, and went to a rugby game at Olympic Park.

To hear about our time in Brisbane and Sydney, listen to Podcast 57: Brisbane + Sydney (Living the Australian Life).

February 2019 – Vietnam, India, Thailand:

We wrapped up our month in Da Nang, Vietnam by spending nine days with my brother and his wife exploring all parts of the city as well as Hoi An. It was my favorite part of the journey so far based on so many reasons. If you want to hear all about it, please listen to Podcast 50: Da Nang, Vietnam (Trip of a Lifetime). And if you want to see the visual aspect of the city and watch the badass barbers check out Da Nang, Vietnam – World Barber Shop Adventures.

As you can tell, we have spent plenty of time during our journey in Southeast Asia. If you want to hear all of the reasons why we love it in this region listen to Podcast 51: Why We Love Southeast Asia.

We then headed back to Hyderabad, India for another visit to the unforgettable country and it was another memorable trip for so many reasons. Two of our friends, Preetham and Spandana, were getting married so we had the chance to participate in all of the wedding festivities. We also visited Hitec City, Nalgonda, and Gandipet. The incredible visit included a trip out delivering invitations on a motorbike, dancing choreographed steps to Indian music, and making a trip for Toddy palm wine. You can listen to the entire trip on Podcast 52: Hyderabad, India (Indian Wedding + Much More).

Barber shops are everywhere in India, so you know I had to make a few visits. You can check out the Hyderabad Barber Shop visit on this episode of WBSA.

On our trip from Hyderabad to Bangkok, we had the chance to spend 23 hours in Kolkata. I used a relationship to get a great tour of the city to see how the locals live. We ate many of the excellent street food options, rode on the crowded train, visited the College Street Coffee House, and had the chance to get a shave with a street barber. If you want to listen to our short stay check out Podcast 53: Kolkata (Calcutta) India {23 Hours in the City of Joy}.

We then used our four days in Bangkok to get caught up on exercise and rest, while spending time on our projects before boarding our 9-hour flight to Australia.

January 2019 – Singapore, Vietnam:

We really enjoyed our time in Singapore celebrating Christmas and the New Year. We took advantage of an amazing opportunity through TrustedHousesitters to watch a little angel dog and get to understand better why Singapore is one of the most beautiful and welcoming cities in the world.  Taking long walks to discover the city as well as using to understand the technology community better was excellent.

We headed back to Da Nang, Vietnam where we have been before but this time we wanted to stay a bit longer to truly understand the city we have fallen in love with. With 28 days scheduled, we had a chance to uncover many parts of the city that we were not already familiar with.

December 2018 – Vietnam, Singapore:

Phu Quoc, Vietnam is an island south of Cambodia and Vietnam. We had the chance to spend 8 fun days there in the heart of the action and on a resort that will be a hot spot for casino lovers. Both locations provided beautiful beach lines, amazing eats, and different entertainment options.

We got lost on the scooter that ended up viewing a gorgeous sunset, walked through the night market, and strolled along the endless sandy beaches. If you enjoy fun in the sun, this location is for you. To hear more about Phu Quoc, be sure to listen to Podcast 43: Phu Quoc (Fantasy Island of Vietnam).

From Phu Quoc, we flew to Da Nang, Vietnam to meet up with our friend that was traveling in from the States. We spent almost two full weeks seeing Da Nang, Hoi An, Quy Nhon, Hanoi, and Ninh Binh. With such a wide variety of locations, it was a truly authentic experience.

We sat through the crazy rains that would last for days, partied with locals late into the night, ate local food like goat and eel, and went CRAZY as the Vietnam Football team won the AFF Cup. You can find highlights in the Hanoi episode of WBSA. It was a wild, wet, and exciting time to be in Vietnam and we enjoyed every minute of it. We took our first Vietnam train trip, had a private concert with talented musicians, and climbed way above the rice fields of Ninh Binh for epic photos. To hear more about this trip listen to Podcast 44: Vietnam with a Friend (Da Nang, Hanoi, Ninh Binh, Quy Nhon)

From Vietnam, we traveled back to Singapore for a 3-week pet sit of a miniature pinscher to learn more about the city that we fell in love with back in October.

November 2018 – Indonesia, Cambodia, Vietnam:

Our first time in Indonesia was more than we could imagine. Spending our time focused in Bali (Seminyak in particular) to get a true sense of what the island had to offer was our goal. It was unbelievable.

First of all, the US dollar went a long way on the island. With unreal food options, shopping at the grocery being easy, and our loft was perfect ($38/day with a scooter, water, big bed, AC, wifi, Netflix, secure gate). The beach is gorgeous, so many options for nightlife, the Bali Barber visit was epic, and we love the ‘scooter lifestyle’.

The Bali people were extremely kind and cheerful – it’s a very happy island. Yes, the traffic can be nuts at times but you get used to it (kinda). There are a ton of ex-pats that live there and we had a chance to meet several. The weather can get wild at times with storms, and I experienced my first earthquake.

Bali is definitely a place we hope to return to and getting a chance to see more of Indonesia is high on our list. Even though we spent 4 weeks on this incredible island, we left wanting more. If you want to listen to all of our adventures in Bali and hear our tips, check out Podcast 41: Beautiful Bali, Indonesia (4 Weeks in Travel Paradise).

We then flew to Phnom Penh, Cambodia where we spent 9 days in the country celebrating Bon Om Touk and visiting the historic Angkor Wat Temple. Both Phnom Penh and Siem Reap were remarkable cities and we enjoyed our time understanding the history of the once Asia power. To hear more about our time in Cambodia please listen to Podcast 42: Cambodia Travel (Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, and Angkor Wat).

With a little over 3 weeks ahead of us in Vietnam, we started our visit on the southern island of Phu Quoc to take in the sun, beach, and discover a tourist location that continues to pop up on our radar.

October 2018 – Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia:

Our time with our friends from the US was spent in Bangkok, Koh Samet, and Pattaya. What a wild couple of weeks getting to see what all of the buzz is about in these great Thai locations! We had been to Bangkok several times but didn’t know what to expect from the island life in Koh Samet and the nightlife in Pattaya. They both lived up to the hype. You can listen to our insight on Podcast 34: Thailand Adult Trip (Bars, Night Markets, & an Island).

Pattaya is an electrified city about an hour from Bangkok. It’s vibrant as hell and nuts, with drinking and partying in hundreds of bars, go-go clubs, and adult entertainment. We had two barber shop visits in Pattaya that were great and very different.

I love Thailand and I love the Thai people. I’ve been lucky enough to travel to the country six times now and every time it has been a great visit. Thailand has world-class health care, an improving infrastructure, and beautiful beaches. The Thai people are kind, confident, fun, and hilarious, always knowing how to make travelers feel welcome.

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, has been on our radar for a while as it is on the top of many digital nomad travel location lists. While staying in the Bukit Bintang area of KL, we had the chance to take in Chinatown, several of the massive malls, and check out the Petronas Twin Towers. There are temples to visit, tons of street vendors with spicy food, and street entertainment every night of the week. I also had the chance to attend the TPC Kuala Lumpur PGA event and discovered how beautiful the golf courses are in Malaysia.

Singapore is in a class of its own living as a city in the future. It is clean, safe, and luxurious. We attended ITB Asia which is a large Asia-focused travel convention. Definitely worth our time as we learned a great deal about the travel sector. Beyond the beauty of the downtown area, you can visit the ethnic neighborhoods of Little India, Chinatown, and Arab Street. Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice & Noodle is a humble street-food stall and the world’s cheapest Michelin star restaurant. We now know why Singapore is ranked as the Best Country for Expats to Work In. What a city!

If you would rather listen to our detailed podcast episode on Singapore and Kuala Lumpur, check out Podcast 36: Singapore and Kuala Lumpur Travel (2 Kinds of Awesome).

From the world’s best airport in Singapore, we flew to Bali, Indonesia where we stayed for a month.

September 2018 – Japan, Thailand:

We had a great time taking in Kobe and Osaka while learning more about the culture. I used to connect with eight local business people to discuss ideas and projects that we are working to build. It was a robust process of reviewing our goals as a group, and it gave me insight into Japanese business.

We detail our first three weeks in this podcast episode. Tokyo (Shinjuku, Shibuya, Roppongi), Kobe, Osaka, Koyasan, Nara.  Railway system, umbrellas, 7-Elevens, vending machines, baseball games, Temples, and incredibly kind people.

We loved our week along the coast (and ‘country-style’ living) in Kyotango, Japan. Very quiet and peaceful. It was a traditional home with very low tables and floor sleeping. The breakfast was off-the-hook good! Literally. The host’s dad fishes within 50 feet from our room and I eat the catch in the morning. So good!

We spent a day at the Grand Sumo Tournament in Tokyo. Not an easy ticket to get so we were fortunate with the timing of the event as we wrap up our time in Japan. Sumo wrestling events are less common than you would imagine with these tournaments only happening 6 times a year. It was great to see these massive dudes throw their weight around. The spectacle of the entire day was fascinating.

If you would like to listen to our detailed episode on Japan, check out
Podcast 32: Japan Travel Part 2 (Sumo Wrestling, Geisha, and the Countryside).

We traveled back to Thailand to hang out with our friends that were visiting from the States.

August 2018 – Switzerland, Estonia, Denmark, Qatar, Japan:

We wrapped up our pet sitting duties in Switzerland and flew to Tallinn, Estonia. Tallinn is a historic town that is on a growth cycle with its technology boom. Staying inside the Old Town was a bunch of fun as we were close to shops, bars, and restaurants. We took advantage of a walking tour to hear the unique history of the city and to see a few of the hidden gems. Listen to the podcast where we discuss.

Our flight to Asia had a couple of planned long layovers so we could visit a couple of new locations along the way. I (Matt) spent a couple of hours walking around Copenhagen, Denmark, grabbing some food that a friend recommended. It was wonderful to find how friendly the people were and, WOW, do they love their bikes.

After about six hours on the flight and another 12 hours in an airport lounge, we got out of the Doha, Qatar Airport to see the city on a paid tour. Our personal guides were wonderful as they took us to an international neighborhood where I got a neck shave in a Turkish barber. We then visited facilities that housed camels, horses, and falcons, before walking through the night market and grabbing an authentic meal in a nightlife district. Qatar is a beautiful country that appears ready to host the World Cup in 2022 and we hope to visit again to take it all in.

Landing in Japan was surreal. It has been a location that we have talked about since we made the decision to travel full-time and to finally be in Japan was amazing. We started out in Tokyo to take in the fun of the bright lights, the efficiency of the train system, and the kind people. We stayed in three different parts of Tokyo and enjoyed the differences in each.

July 2018 – Poland, Switzerland:

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 enjoyed three weeks in Switzerland enjoying our first pet-sit. What a great experience that we documented on the podcast episode – Free Travel with Pet and House Sits (3 Weeks in Zurich). The town of Horgen was quaint and relaxing. With the largest accommodation we have experienced so far, we took full advantage of enjoying the space and getting some ‘work’ done on our creative projects. We also went on a few long walks in Zurich, Zug, Lucerne, and Rapperswil. Lake Zurich is gorgeous, the water is warm, and the trails around it make for wonderful day walks.

June 2018 – Ireland, Portugal, Romania, Poland:

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 of 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 multicultural 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.

May 2018 – Germany, Czech Republic, Austria, Hungary, Italy, UK:

We began the month by visiting an old friend that plays professional basketball in Jena, Germany. A few days in Jena were 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 the 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 ruined 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.

April 2018 – Vietnam, Hong Kong, Germany, The Netherlands:

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 celebrate 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 in 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, 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, beer 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 in 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.

March 2018 – South Africa, Thailand, Vietnam:

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.

February 2018 – South Africa:

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.

January 2018 – South Africa:

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.

December 2017 – Vietnam, Thailand, South Africa:

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.

November 2017 – India, Vietnam:

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.

If you want to hear all about our two months in India, listen to Podcast 48: India is Incredible (2 Months Traveling 7+ Cities).

We then flew to Bangkok, Thailand, for about a week as it worked as 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 rode the local boats and walked the caves. After 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.

October 2017 – India:

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 including 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.

September 2017 – Greece, Croatia, Italy, India:

Starting the month at the end of our WorkAway obligation, we had the chance to spend a few days in Athens, 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.

August 2017 – Greece:

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 – Italy, Albania, Greece:

First traveling to Venice, Italy, we visited this Instagram’s dream city for a few days taking in its 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 – Spain:

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: 

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 – Peru, Ecuador, Portugal:

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. Listen to the podcast where we discuss our love of this trip.

We visited Lima, Peru (a massive sprawling city of 10 million) where we did ‘city things’ like walking a ton, workouts in a gym, enjoying good wifi, visiting the local markets, and even going 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 – Peru:

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 (the smallest plane we both had ever been in) and the crazy time in the Dune Buggy in the post!

April 2017 – Peru: 

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 had 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. Listen to the full podcast on Cusco and Machu Picchu here.

Mid/Late March 2017 – Chile:

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 – Chile, Argentina:

We had a great time in Chile. Starting the travels in Santiago and 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 which 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.

If you want to hear us talk about Chile on the podcast listen now.

Exit mobile version