2016 in Review

2016 in Review

To say that 2016 went by quickly would be the understatement of the century. Although things back in the States weren't going swimmingly, Tay and I were having a ball hauling our backpacks through nine different countries and visiting nearly 45 cities throughout Asia. I have a lot of fear for what's to become of America in 2017, as the election didn't go as I had hoped, but I still feel that I personally had the best 2016 possible. This trip is one I will remember for the rest of my life, and it…Read more
Staying Up All Night for the Tsukiji Fish Market

Staying Up All Night for the Tsukiji Fish Market

It's 1:00 a.m. and Taylor and I are sitting inside a Denny's in Tokyo. Now, when I think of amazing Japanese establishments where you can enjoy a meal, the American diner chain doesn't exactly spring to mind. But you see, it's the only place that's open 24 hours and is within walking distance of the famed Tsukiji tuna auction. Unless you're staying nearby in the pricey Ginza neighborhood (which is about 100x over our budget), waiting up all night is the only way to gain entry to the auction. Trains in Tokyo stop…Read more
Osaka is Quite Possibly the Coolest City Ever

Osaka is Quite Possibly the Coolest City Ever

WE'RE IN JAPAN! When we started out on this journey, nearly eight months ago, I thought I'd be updating the blog far more often. As it turns out, when you're traveling around the world it's really easy to get wrapped up in all the fun you're having and completely forget about your blog ambitions. Whoops. For those of you who are wondering, here's everywhere we've been so far: Nepal --> (Southern) Thailand (Southern) Thailand --> Myanmar Myanmar --> (Northern) Thailand (Northern) Thailand  --> Laos Laos  --> Vietnam Vietnam  --> Cambodia Cambodia-->  Sri Lanka…Read more
The Murky Origins of Cat Ba Island

The Murky Origins of Cat Ba Island

As humans, we can't resist delving into a good origin story. Why is Spiderman so popular? It's not because he can sling webs from his wrist with ease, but because we know he was once a normal guy just like us. We're fascinated by knowing how things came to be, because it allows us to better understand them. Similarly, when I heard the origin story of Cat Ba Island, I was hooked and knew we had to go. Tay and I knew we had to see Ha Long Bay during our time in Vietnam, but…Read more
The (Vietnamese) Motorcycle Diaries

The (Vietnamese) Motorcycle Diaries

We did something we would never do at home -- we bought a motorbike. In San Diego, in order to ride a motorcycle, you have to be comfortable going 80+mph on the freeway and being surrounded by massive cars at all times. And, you know, get a special license. In Vietnam, motorbikes are the primary form of transportation for locals...even if they drive like lawless maniacs. "Lawless maniacs" may be a bit extreme, but it is the most haphazard motorcycle driving I've ever witnessed. After a few days we learned some elements of Vietnamese motorcycle traffic:…Read more
A Day in the Life of an All Hands Volunteer

A Day in the Life of an All Hands Volunteer

Working with All Hands Volunteers was like biting into a fruit you never knew existed, and wondering how you could have lived without tasting it for your entire life. Taylor and I knew we wanted to travel abroad for an extended period of time, but it seemed almost gluttonous to just traipse across Asia with only ourselves in mind. So, we sought out to find some fulfilling volunteer opportunities. After applying to All Hands in June and not hearing anything for several months, we forgot about the organization and our trip planning was…Read more
Our First Day in Kathmandu

Our First Day in Kathmandu

Excited and exhausted, we arrived in Kathmandu after nearly 26 hours of travel. We picked up our things from baggage claim and headed outside, past boxes of new baby chicks that were be prepared to be shipped and hoards of people speaking rapid Nepali. The taxi ride into the city was the craziest of my life. On the left side of the road, our car zipped through hundreds of motorcyclists, children on bikes, towering buses, and expertly dodged goats and dogs who were meandering into the road. By the time we arrived at our hostel,…Read more
How to Pick the Perfect Travel Backpack

How to Pick the Perfect Travel Backpack

If you're anything like me, you know that you need a travel backpack for your upcoming adventures, but have no idea where to begin your search. Questions of material, size, and price are all jumping through your head... and should you account for a compartment for your future travel monkey sidekick? Well, I've been in your shoes and am now the proud owner of a beautiful travel backpack (although I'm still trying to figure out how to befriend monkeys). It took a bit of research (and a super helpful trip to REI), but I've found…Read more