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Where We Journal

A series of our inner thoughts, emotions, experiences, encounters, & observations, as we interact with the people of the world


Eleventh Hour Charter

Jenny & Adam

LEFKADA, Greece // We never considered sailing as part of our backpacking trip. Looking back on our original spreadsheet of travel plans that was made over two years ago, renting a sailboat in Thailand was never part of the plan either, but that ended up being one of the highlights of the trip. This influenced our decision to charter another sailboat, and in the end, the two sailing experiences could not have been any more different. 

After meeting up with our friend Danny in Dubai, We arrived in Athens, saw the acropolis, then boarded a 6 hour public bus to take us all the way west to an area Lefkada. We rented a 36 foot Jeanneau monohull, which was the last week of charters season, and we were able to get our reservation in just by a few days before they closed up for the year.

The first night at the marina was not good. We could have left this night but there were gale force winds, which on the beaufort wind scale are classified 7 winds, 32-38 miles per hour. The boat rocked and moved all night, even while tied to a secure dock. This delayed our departure by 2 days, but when we did set sail, we had perfect amount of wind. As opposed to Thailand when we had to motor half the time, in Greece we sailed all the way from the north of Lefkada, to the south of the island to Sivorna on a single tack going 5 knots. We sailed probably 80 percent of the time the whole trip, which for us was a lot more than we have ever done. 

We learned to sail in the British Virgin Islands and you take a mooring ball everywhere. In Thailand we anchored everywhere. In Greece, it is totally different as you med moor everywhere. This is by far the most difficult way to set up for the night. It involves essentially backing into a dock while laying your anchor. You then tie the boat with two stern lines to the dock / quay and have 3 points of contact with the third being the anchor. It took us three times in Sivorna, which was our first ever med mooring. We were assisted by a guy who pulled in almost as the exact same time as us. He grabbed the stern lines of our boat and cleated us to the quay making everything easier. He was sailing with his wife and 7 and 9 year old sons. They are from England and sailing the Mediterranean for a year. They told us all about their travel plans after inviting us onto their boat for a drink. We chatted for over 3 hours swapping travel stories, and it was refreshing to both of us to know that there are other like minded long term travelers as us. 

We set sail towards Fiskardo the next day with equally perfect sailing conditions. We tacked, jibed, did circle drills, and played with points of sail just north of the island of Ithaca (where Homer wrote The Odyssey). There was so much wind it was perfect. We med moored again and did perfect on our first try thanks to two Greek guys on the dock. Fiskardo had so much history, and we hiked through the ruins of a 6th century church and through an old Venetian lighthouse. We made dinner on the boat and decorated for Halloween tomorrow!

In Dubai we bought a bunch of spider webs and cheap costumes. Danny was a skull captain, Jenny was cape girl, and Adam was Franky Head. The names were vaguely given regarding what we thought the costume should resemble. We played Monster Mash, Thriller, and all sorts of Halloween music as we sailed up to Little Vathi the following day. We cooked dinner again on the boat and made shrimp, and a vegetable stir fry. Our final day we stopped on the way back to the marina for a swim and hike in Varko bay. It was so quiet and peaceful and we even took the dingy out for the first time with the paddles. We returned the boat that evening to a big crowd of Sunsail representatives as we were the last charter to return for the season. With fenders ready we backed down an entire aisle of sailboats and into a spot with little trouble.

This spontaneous decision to rent a boat was a good one. I learned that as long as proper research and due diligence is done, a big decision or commitment will be just fine in a short amount of time. I learned from the English couple that taking a year to travel with children is an incredible amount of fun. I learned how to med moor a sailboat. After watching countless youtube videos and reading article after article on the topic, nothing helps more than practice and doing something yourself. Finally, I learned nothing beats traveling with friends and teaching your sailing knowledge to them. In the long term this just helps refresh our skills too and helps maintain them. Thanks for joining us Danny! (and Happy 30th Birthday!)

Arrival Jitters

Jenny & Adam

ATHENS, Greece // Arriving in a new country we have always felt anxiety. There are uncertainties like going through customs, exchanging currency, and getting new sim cards for our phones to work. Arriving in a third world country I always felt like I was looking over my shoulder or had a target on my back for scammers. In Greece, everything felt at ease. 

A great travel writer Paul Theroux once said that when you are fearful or scared, you tend to remember situations a lot more than when you are happy or just simply enjoying yourself. I remember arriving in India, Vietnam, and Indonesia at night and getting into an unknown cab and taken to our accommodation with fears of the unknown.  Everything was fine in the end of the cab rides, but just involved cab drivers who spoke no English, smelled of body odor, or had on a dirty T-shirt. We tend to fear things on this trip that are not real, but we make up worst case scenarios. This usually happens subconsciously when we arrive in different countries. Greece was so different though and it began with a simple thing like our cab driver, which I laugh at as a metaphor to the discrepancies of the different countries we've been to and the feelings I've had. 

This guy was middle aged, nice close cropped salt and pepper haircut, spoke English, well dressed with a button down dress shirt tucked into khaki pants, a Polo Ralph Lauren half zip on, and playing Frank Sinatra. Needless to say, I was at ease as he took us to the Acropolis center. The history of the place was stunning and there never once was a time I felt uneasy. We went out to a nice dinner the first night and already have positive biases of this country. Maybe it is the familiarity with New York City or the fact that the people look familiar to us, as most people are of European descent obviously. Either way, we are happy to be here in Greece which may end up being our final country of this long trip.

Desert Skyscrapers

Jenny & Adam

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates // Dubai is the 13th country of our trip and one of the most unique. Though the exchange rate is almost 4 to 1 in our favor, the prices were severely inflated. A glass of wine cost 70 dirham, which equates to $20 USD, which far exceeds even NYC rooftop prices. The price to go up to the 148th floor of the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building of the world, was 500 dirham while going up to the 125th was only half the cost and buying online was only 125 dirham. What’s really ironic is that 148 isn’t even the top floor. There are 163 floors in the building. I'm not sure what the extra 23 floors did for the view but it couldn’t have been worth $140 USD. The view and ambience was awesome, but in all directions, all you can see is construction, sand, and ocean. 

Dubai was a completely different experience for two main reasons. One, all the main attractions and walking spaces were in malls. The Aquarium and Underwater Zoo and Burj Khalifa are incorporated into the Dubai Mall and Ski Dubai is attached to the Emirates Mall. The ski area was totally worth the 260 dirham price tag and we played in the snow park on the bobsled, zipline, and tube rides, giant ball, and chair lift all day. We even ended the day at the top lodge for a mug of hot chocolate and nachos. The second reason Dubai is different from other places is that it is such a young city. Though people lived here in 3000 BCE, it wasn’t built into the modern vibrant city of skyscrapers you see today until oil was discovered here in 1966. They literally started building this city from scratch in the middle of the desert. What’s funny is that it is actually designed inefficiently. It's awkward to travel around. There are no sidewalks and constant traffic jams. Everyone takes taxis here. And if you want to “walk” around the city it must be done in a mall. 

Dubai not only brought us a new country patch for our backpacks, it also brought us our dear friend from college, Danny, to celebrate his 30th birthday. He was visiting from the USA and we were coming from the Maldives, so it served as a perfect meeting place with a large international airport. Having him around was yet another reminder that it doesn’t matter where you are in the world, but who you are with. We laughed so hard with him, playing everywhere we went and talking in silly accents. We are so grateful he made the trip around the world to come celebrate with us.  

Not a Divemaster

Jenny & Adam

MALE, Maldives // We just walked off an 8 day scuba liveaboard on a 100 foot luxury yacht, and I can’t put my finger on it but something was off.

Don’t get me wrong, the dives were great. We went the deepest I’ve ever been at 38 meters that required two decompression stops. We saw over 100 sharks on our 15 dives that came so close they physically ran into us. Mantas did back flips, dolphins played in the boats wake, and I found my first octopus on my own. The visibility was good and I also was able to spot a scorpion fish, lionfish, a left eyed leopard flounder, turtles, spotted sting rays, nudibranches and boxer shrimp. These were definitely some of the best dives of my life.

The scenery was blue in all directions and light turquoise around the islands protected reefs. There were thousands of islands, each one more picturesque then the one we just left. We had some rain and rough seas, but that didn’t really effect our dives since we were underwater. Also, we are about a month out of season, which is why we were able to afford this deeply discounted ship.

The state room was cleaned twice a day, and our beds were turned down each evening. The staff was friendly, and though alcohol, ice cream, and sodas were extra, the mineral water was free. The food was buffet style and though it wasn’t gourmet there was a lot of it available.

After budget backpacking though, the expectations that come with luxury were tough to deal with. People complained about small insignificant details. The people seemed more well to do and deflated at the same time, which is just a reminder that the people really do make all the difference. 

Our cruise director had the personality and characteristics of Gru from Despicable Me, which made listening to dive briefings entertaining but not over energetic when it came to other aspects of our daily life on the boat. The Maldives lack the casual laid back aloha spirit you find in other tropical destinations like the Caribbean or Hawaii.

All in all, I learned that I can cross dive master or cruise director off my list of potential career paths. First, I felt seasick half the time, and secondly, after 4 days straight of diving the thought of putting on my tight damp wet suit and heavy suffocating scuba gear made me physically nauseous. I have 50 logged dives since 2008, while some of the other divers had several hundred, and the dive master had over 6,000 under his belt. Scuba is a leisure hobby for me, not a full time job. Sometimes it’s just as important to find out what you don’t want to do in life as it is to find out what you do want to do.

Movie Days, Layovers, & Tonsillitis

Jenny & Adam

HULHUMALE, Maldives // I hate wasting time staying in a hotel room on a trip but this is exactly what we did. After finishing the 14 day trek through Annapurna we had a lot of errands to do online, hardly any clean clothes, we were exhausted from hiking, and just kind of felt like watching movies. Because we did all the hiking the past few days, we didn’t feel guilty laying in bed watching movies like: The Incredibles, Monsters Inc, Bruce Almighty, Rocky 4, Ace Ventura, and Terminator Genisys. Sometimes a rest day (or two) just feels amazing and is very fun, especially when we have stuff that we just did that took a lot of energy, and we have something to look forward to in the near future that will take a great deal of time. We stayed in the room and planned our final leg of the trip // Maldives > Dubai > Greece > ? > USA. This is the plan for now, and as we researched our options and logistics we ended up binge watching movie after movie which was very enjoyable.

Our next stop, The Maldives, is a pretty remote country being made up of over 1000 islands. There is not many flights into the capital of Male. It made sense for us to just wait an extra 3 days in Kathmandu and pay a third of the price to fly a few days later. We left Nepal on a 9pm flight and arrived in Kuala Lumpur with 14 hours to kill in the airport. I have never stayed in an airport hotel room but now was the chance, and it was actually really cool. All rooms are super tiny but very clean, with a nice bathroom and shower. You can pay by the hour with a minimum of 6, so we got a room from 6am to noon and just slept. There is something that really puts your mind at ease in a place like this because it eliminated all of the uncertainty of airports. We didn’t have to worry about getting a taxi to the airport, didn’t have to worry about checking our bags, and we were through security already. All we had to do was take 10 minutes to check out and walk through the terminal to the gate. This turned out to be a great choice, but at this moment I felt slightly off and my neck and throat seemed really sore. 

My throat was hurting when we left Kathmandu, but when I woke up in the airport hotel of Kuala Lumpur it was difficult to even swallow. I shined a light in my mouth and my one tonsil was swollen like the size of a grape. As we arrived in the Maldives the pain just got worse and worse. When we got to our hotel in the Maldives I took Tylenol, passed out, and woke up in the morning in a fever with my throat now throbbing. We googled a bunch of my symptoms and are pretty sure it was strep throat or tonsillitis. The next 24 hours was probably the lowest point for me on the entire trip so far. We were so far from adequate medical care on this tropical island, and I had no certainty what sickness or disease I even had. 

Before we left NYC we had a physical and told our doctor what our travel plans were. She gave us what is called an emergency “Z-pack” or antibiotics azithromycin. I took these at 6 am this morning and slept for the majority of the day. At 6 PM I was ok to move and swallow 3 mango smoothies for dinner. The next morning 24 hours after taking the Z-pack I actually felt a lot better. It was super sunny outside and it felt like I emerged like Dracula from the cave like hotel room I’ve been in, as I was so sensitive to the sun. I couldn’t believe how different this place was from Kathmandu. It was like a complete 180 going from rustic mountain town with a bunch of hippies and hikers to gorgeous beach resort town with honeymooners. 

The following day I was back to about 90%, but it's amazing what thoughts go through your mind when you are feeling so ill and scared about your health, and especially when in a place that has questionable healthcare. I had thoughts about having to go home, cancelling our scuba dive boat, cancelling plans with our friend to meet up in Dubai in 2 weeks, should I go to a hospital?, will they accept our travel insurance?, Will the doctors speak English? So many things went through my mind as I laid in this dark hotel room on this paradise like tropical island sweating with a fever and grimacing every time I swallowed. This reinforces how taking care of our health is paramount to so many things in life. You can do a lot in life with very little, but when you can’t use your mind and body on so many levels, you are so limited in life what you can accomplish. 

Around the World

Jenny & Adam

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia // The cheapest and easiest way for us to get to The Maldives from Kathmandu was to fly with one stopover, in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia. It is funny because we have already been here a few months ago. The crazier part is that by coming through this city we have gone around the world.

Initially this is not how we had planned to do it, but that’s just the way it turned out. In April we flew from the USA through Japan to Thailand, where we started the backpacking trip through South East Asia. We passed through Kuala Lumpur before going to Singapore, then flying to Japan, and then back to the USA. After 2 weeks home we flew through Moscow, Russia as a layover before stopping in Delhi, India to continue our trip through Asia. Now on the way to the Maldives we pass through this Asian metropolis again, essentially completing a full circle around the world.

In the back of our minds we really wanted to have gone officially around the world, but we didn’t think it would be this way or even happen. It’s still pretty cool that it did though, and it makes me smile every time I think about it. 

Around the World from Kuala Lumpur in 86 days by flights taken // 

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia / Singapore / Tokyo, Japan / USA / Moscow, Russia / Delhi, India / Kathmandu, Nepal / Kuala Lumpur 



Jenny & Adam

GHURLISWANRA, Nepal // The 14 day Annapurna Circuit trek was over. We had just had a nice dinner in Pokhara, celebrated with a beer, and spent a night in a nice hotel room with hot water and air conditioning. We had a 6 hour bus ride back to Kathmandu where we would leave at 7AM and could get in around lunch time and relax. We were all settled in on the bus expecting that until it didn’t happen. What was supposed to be a 6 hour bus ride took 24 hours. 

In Nepal, there is only one road that connects the two major cities Kathmandu and Pokhara. We were on this road and got stuck in what appeared to be a traffic jam. The only difference was after an hour we had not moved. Our guide Bal got out of the bus and started walking to see what the problem was. An hour later he returned all sweaty and told us a landslide had occurred and we wouldn’t be moving for the next “few” hours. 

We walked to the nearest town, had lunch, then walked another 45 minutes to the root of the problem and saw the Nepal army in the road with bulldozers. They were trying to remove the car sized rocks from the middle of the road and dump them into the stream on the other side. We got back in the bus after dinner around 8pm then continued moving around 9. We were so exhausted that although the bus was moving at a snails pace we all fell asleep. I woke up 4 hours later at 1 in the morning and checked my GPS of my phone expecting to be somewhere on the outskirts of Kathmandu... Not even close. We had hardy moved and were still stuck in traffic. A few hours later, drifting in and out of sleep, we were dropped off as the sun was rising next to the hospital in downtown Kathmandu.

We were all tired but to put things in perspective our guide Bal had it much worse. As a tour guide his work is seasonal, and it is difficult to find work out of season, so the guides try to get on as many trips as they can in September and October. Instead of getting in around noon yesterday and seeing his wife and child, he got off the bus with us and took a taxi to the airport. He has a bag full of dirty clothes, no sleep, and now has to get on an airplane and fly to Lukla (the other side of Nepal) and spend the next 14 days guiding another group of tourists to Everest Base Camp! This put things in perspective for me, as no one got injured because of the landslide, and in the end it was just a few hours of inconvenience for us. 

When we did finally reach our hotel in Kathmandu it was 7am, just in time for the opening of the breakfast buffet. 

Nepal // The Nitty Gritty Details

Jenny & Adam

KATHMANDU, Nepal // The nitty gritty details if you ever wanted to do a Nepal Trek. We booked the 14 day Annapurna Circuit trek with the Nepal Hiking Team. I picked this company because they were top 10 on Trip Advisor, they were the first to respond to my email inquiry, and all subsequent responses to my questions were received within 24 hours. It was probably one of the best decisions I’ve made thus far on the trip. We decided to go with the company for peace of mind since none of us had been in Nepal before. 

You can trek here without a guide or porter, or with just one or the other, but since we had never really climbed in altitude we thought it would be best to have both. Though the trail is well marked and there are always several other hikers to ask, it allowed us to focus on trekking, the views, and conversation, rather than constantly wondering if we were going the right direction and where we would be sleeping that night. Taking those decisions out of the equation and just being the non-responsible individual made the trip so much more enjoyable. Also our guide and porters were such characters and submerged us in local flare and information. They made the trip. 14 days was from airport pickup to airport drop off so no additional travel days are needed. Once they pick you up, everything is taken care of. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, transportation, flights, permits, porters, guides, maps. We only had to pay for waters, beers, and souvenirs, which mainly consisted of patches for us. 

The full circuit takes 21 days to complete and goes from Besisahar to Pokhara. You can trek it faster, but the faster you hike the more prone you are to altitude sickness. We bussed to Besisahar and off road jeeped 3 hours to Jagat where we started hiking. We ended in Jomsom then flew to Pokhara and bussed back to Kathmandu. The jeep ride was terrifying. It was along a cliff with a driver who was so young it didn’t look like he could have grown a hair on his chin if his life depended on it. We were bouldering rocks, stream crossing, and sliding through mud all holding on for dear life. It was probably the most dangerous part of the entire trip and it made us thankful for trekking the next day. You can actually jeep all the way to Manang, but I think you miss so much by doing that, plus you leave no time to acclimatize. 

We decided to do the Annapurna Trek over Everest Base Camp for two main reasons. Everest is supposed to be more crowded and also the same trail up and down. Annapurna has a more diverse terrain (rain forest, mountain covered peaks, desert) and is a circuit so we never back track on trails. At first I thought Everest Base Camp was a tougher climb just due to its name, but in all honesty the Thorong La Pass we went through at 5,416m (17,769 feet, higher than even the highest mountain in the lower 48 states), is actually higher than Everest Base Camp. Annapurna Circuit also has some simple but clean tea houses along the route and required no camping. 

I also did not put enough thought into the high altitude pass. We hit snow the morning we went through and the altitude had a bigger affect on us than I thought. We played a game called Categories to distract our minds but we found that we couldn’t think up there. We played, “Name any word that starts with the letter P" and after only a few words I found myself struggling for words. P… Pa…. Pe….Pu…. Think Jenny! Think! There is an entire section of the dictionary dedicated to this. 

We also had a fellow Dutch hiker friend get altitude sickness at High Camp the day before we were supposed to go through the pass. He was fit and young and a runner / super hiker. Him and his girlfriend were strong, experienced hikers. We went for an acclimation 100 meter hike before dinner and when we came back down he started feeling bad. His face was beet red and his eyes kind of bulged. He had a headache so bad it made him cry and his sinus passages opened up and his nose continuously ran. They were forced to hike back down the mountain to ease his pain. After watching that happen the 4 of us were all a little on edge sleeping that night knowing that we would be climbing higher tomorrow, and that the same could hit us at any moment. 

When it started snowing more stress was added to the pass as the trail became slicker and less apparent. Also back in mid October 2014, over 30 people died in a freak snow storm that dropped 5 feet in 12 hours. This was another reason we brought the guide. Though it was a huge triumph to get to the top of the pass, I didn’t really feel the anxiety leave and joy return until we started heading downhill on the other side. Downhill meant no more worries about altitude sickness. Downhill meant no more snow. Downhill meant carefree.

Though I love Nepal and its people, the Annapurna Circuit trek was priceless. I don’t know if I would do it again with the high altitude pass. That's probably the highest I will ever be in my entire life and I am okay with that. I will 100% do another Nepal trek as there are 100s to choose from, with equal beauty that don’t involve high passes.

Things we learned while trekking Nepal // 

  1. The cliffside jeep ride will kill you, trek as soon as possible
  2. When trekking, the jeeps passing will kill you, stay mountainside when they pass
  3. Don't jump in front of the jeep to get mountainside, stay cliffside if you don't have time
  4. When in deserts with jeeps passing, stay upwind or eat a cloud of dust
  5. Don't trek and look around at the same town
  6. Always take Bal size tiny steps, slow and steady is the best
  7. Snickers bars make for great energizing snacks
  8. Wear sunscreen, you're closer to the sun at high altitudes
  9. Pack like you're going to carry your own bag. Less clothes, more socks and underwear
  10. Nepali milk tea helps everything
  11. Popcorn is the best post hiking snack before dinner
  12. The long rain ponchos were worth the $5 investment
  13. Categories is a wonderful altitude trekking pastime to distract your brain and stay mentally strong
  14. No beer above 3000m, unless it's your 60th birthday
  15. Don't play Dhumbal (Nepali card game) with Nepali for money, they are good

Annapurna Trekking Itinerary // 

  • Day 1 // Kathmandu (1400 meters)
  • Day 2 // Jagat (1100 meters)
  • Day 3 // Dharapani (1960 meters)
  • Day 4 // Chame (2630 meters)
  • Day 5 // Lower Pisang (3300 meters)
  • Day 6 // Manang (3570 meters)
  • Day 7 // Manang, acclimation day (3570 meters)
  • Day 8 // Yak Kharka (4100 meters)
  • Day 9 // Upper Camp, Thorung Phedi (4900 meters)
  • Day 10 // Throng La Pass (5400 meters) to Muktinath (3800 meters)
  • Day 11 // Jomsom (2600 meters)
  • Day 12 // Pokhara (900 meters)
  • Day 13 // Kathmandu (1400 meters)


Jenny & Adam

KATHMANDU, Nepal // When you travel, you meet a lot of interesting characters. Some who become life long friends. Others you talk to for hours but never get their names and then part ways never to be seen again. Some you wish you hadn’t met. These are a few of the characters we met trekking Nepal.

Baal, Prim, Prokash // Our guides and porters were small in size but strong in character. What we did was a feat of personal pride, but what they did was nothing short of super hero. Not only did they carry one persons pack, but we shared a porter between two people. They had to have been carrying 75 pounds each by ropes only attached to their forehead. Not only were they fun and met us with high fives and smiles at each days destination, but they also taught us about the Nepali culture. They taught us Dhumbal, a Nepali card game which they played and drank with us. Prokash is 20, and about to start his first year at university. Prim has 3 daughters and was 50 years old. Baal was 31 and had been a porter for 7 years and a tour guide the last 7 after teaching himself English. He was quick with a joke and had the most contagious laugh. He single handedly organized my Dad's 60th birthday party complete with chocolate cake with Happy Birthday Kurt written on it. as well as a traditional Nepali hat and scarf. Bal's best joke was when I saw a caterpillar and he turned to me and said with a straight face, "We eat them." I said, "Caterpillars?" trying not to sound judgemental. He nodded continuing, "Yes, in butter, fried." Then a huge smile broke across his face, "Butter-Fry.... Butterfly". Hahaha it's the most innocent perfect joke I have ever heard. These are the moments I remember the most from the trek, our interactions with Bal, Prim, and Prokash.

"Fredette" // There are those people who travel alone because they truly enjoy the solitude, and there are those people who travel alone because no one will travel with them. We ended up calling her "Fredette" in honor of a Fred we trekked with once in Machu Picchu. Fred was an expert at everything, karate, Spanish, trekking, breathing, you name it this guy could one up you. I first met “Fredette” when I was sitting in a tea house meditating. That’s right, she approached me while my eyes were closed and I was sitting in half Lotus pose in the middle of meditating to introduce herself. I’ve been working on my patience and my compassion and so I welcomed her and I listened to her talk at me for a while. Later that evening we were in the middle of a card game, monopoly shuffle, which is rather complicated and she invited herself into the game with commentary while looking over our shoulders. I always wonder about these people. What makes them tick? I may never know, but they are enigmas to me.

Bern // Bern, short for Bernard and he was from Germany. He looked like he had just walked out of an REI catalogue. Vest with pockets, zip away pants, clean clothes with creases still. Bern also traveled with just a guide and porter and quietly walked the trail. Slow and steady wins the race. He was a man of few words. Though we got his name, we never got his full story and that almost made it better. He was this stoic father figure who could have come straight out of an Indiana Jones movie.

Paul // Paul was a Canadian born in Scotland. Paul is 59, married, and used to be in the Canadian Air Force. He now travels 6 months out of the year. He’s been to Mongolia, Kazakstan, and every other country I’ve ever heard of. Plus he has delivered 6 babies while flying in a helicopter. We learned all this in the first minute of meeting Paul. In the preceding hour we didn’t ask a single question to Paul, we just listened to him talk about his travels. Interesting stories and we learned a lot and I couldn’t help but feel sorry for Paul. As much as I travel I find no greater joy than sharing the experiences with the ones I love. 

Jelmer and Maarit // A couple we befriended on the trail and taught Monopoly Shuffle to. They were from Holland and were strong fit people. We hit it off over photography and kind of clicked right away. Jelmer was our friend who suffered from altitude sickness at High Camp. They never made it through the pass but we met up with them again back in Kathmandu. They are friends I will hopefully see again, perhaps on another adventure we plan together. Its funny how the universe brings people into your life. 

All these people weave together to become the fabric of our travels. Without the people you meet, travel is just a pretty insta feed. The memories come from the people. 

One Year Ago

Jenny & Adam

YAK KHARKA, Nepal // October 1, 2016. This marks exactly one year since we drove out of NYC and left our old lives behind. In discussing our thoughts of this overall trip we come to the conclusion that when we think about our old lives and the past 8 years we usually summarize them in the trips that we took and the vacations that we went on. We find it funny because the previous 8 years we feel that we have hardly done anything compared to the last 12 months, which make us feel really good about our choices. 

We constantly go back and look at photos and video from exactly one year ago and it feels crazy that this much time has already passed. Shockingly though we both feel more at ease, less stressed, and more self aware of our inner thoughts. The biggest fear one year ago today for me was that we were not going to accomplish this trip and all of the things we have planned. At month 6 sitting in Hoi An, Vietnam we looked at each other and felt pretty content at everything we had done. If the trip stopped then, we would have been ok. The trip went on as planned and we looked at each other again in Japan a few hours before heading back to the USA, and thought that if we were just to call the trip complete, it would have exceeded our expectations. 

Then we flew back to India for more adventure.

We collectively decided that in November, this trip, at least the international part of it will most likely be over. We realize that not everyone likes to travel, backpack, and go on long trips. For us, it was exactly what we wanted in our life, and it turned out to be perfect. For us, we can confidently say that this has been a good life choice to take this big trip. At this point I can say I truly have no regrets.