We are starting off the new year with a new edition to the blog! Each month will will try to feature a fellow traveler or travelers that are also on a Round the World Trip. Those featured are people that have inspired us either before we left or while on our travels. We hope you enjoy reading some other great adventures and that their stories inspire you as well!
January starts the series with the Travel Junkies, a family of three that we have really enjoyed following. Before we left we heard a million times how great it was that we were doing this trip before we had kids, since you cant do it once you have a family. This family proves that you can do this type of trip anytime and they have definitely inspired us! Read a little about them below and then be sure to check out their blog (travel-junkies.com) for more on where they’ve been and where they are going.
Tell us a bit about yourselves:
We are from the rainy city of Portland, Oregon on the west coast of the United States. Before leaving to travel around the world we worked mundane jobs and tried to travel as much as possible. Kerri worked as a nurse at a teaching hospital, Jason worked in the GIS and civil engineering field for a government agency, and Sydney was a student at a public school. Before leaving we enjoyed camping, kayaking, and hiking around the beautiful Pacific Northwest.
What made you decide to go on a RTW trip?
About 7 years ago we realized that in just a blink of an eye, Sydney would be grown and off to college. With the both us working full time, we were going to miss out on our daughter’s childhood. We decided to take a career break where we could go explore the world as a family and create some lasting memories. Initially, we had planned to go travel on a sailboat, but common sense got the better of us and we realized that we could see more of the world without the hassle and cost of maintaining a boat. We initially had planned to go for just one year, but after looking at the costs we found that if we slowed down we could go for two years for the same amount of money.
What has been your favorite place so far?
Tough question! We have asked ourselves this over and over, and we do not have a single place that is our favorite. We have many, and each for a different reason! We love the food and Roman ruins of Arles, France and seeing the same scenes that inspired Vincent van Gogh. We love the horse riding and small town feel of Bantry, Ireland. We love the politics, bike friendliness, and architecture of Amsterdam. We love the quietness and green spaces of Krakow, Poland. We love the Cappadocia region of central Turkey with its natural beauty, history, and friendly people. And before we finish our RTW trip, we will most likely have added more places to our favorites list. And if we had to choose one place to resettle right now, the choice would be Amsterdam, which we were surprised to find so family friendly.
Where are you most looking forward to going?
Everywhere we have not visited, yet. The only way to really understand a place is to visit there and to leave your mind open for the experience. We have loved places that we expected to hate, and hated places we expected to love. So now we just look forward to seeing someplace new.
Tell us about your favorite food or meal you have had on your trip
We generally do not eat out to keep on budget, but we have really enjoyed trying the different street foods and finding what is in season at the local street markets in each country. We have been really impressed with the overall freshness of the produce in Europe. It actually has flavor!
What has been your best splurge?
In keeping with a tight budget, we do not have too many splurges. But the one we loved the most was when all of us went to a Turkish bath in Turkey and got scrubbed and an oil massage. Definitely worth it!
What do you find hardest about long-term travel?
The hardest thing with long-term travel is the lack of children for Sydney to play with. Many times there are plenty of kids around, but the language barrier makes it hard for her to interact with them. She does try, but some of the kids ignore her for not speaking their language. We also find it hard that once we do make friends in a place and start to feel part of the community, we must leave for the next location. It is hard being a transient and having lack of community.
Other than family and friends, what do you miss most about home?
The ease of finding stuff! Finding even simple things can be a real challenge. It once took 3 days to find a roll of packing tape in the large city of Florence, Italy. A lot of times it can be a fun scavenger hunt, but at other times it can be a real hassle!
Any tips or words of advice for those dreaming about traveling?
Just go! Even if you only stay in one place and for a short period of time, just do it! It will be the best thing you ever did! Also, travel as light as possible and just bring clothing that you normally wore at home and stick with natural fabrics, like cotton and merino wool. And before you leave, pack up everything you plan on taking with you, drag it down the street, get on a local bus or train, walk around town with it, and drag it up and down at least 6 flights of stairs. This may sound a little ridiculous, but we really do this every time we move to a new location! If you can’t do it easily, you have too much stuff.