From time to time, we love to share great reads we’ve found elsewhere. Often times they’re amazing tips and tricks to really take advantage of a great deal. Sometimes they’re just quirky articles that highlight the WTF of travel. But sometimes, it feels like beautiful travel prose finds us left and right. This is one of those weeks. These articles stirred our imaginations. They made us restless with the biggest questions in life. And they brought a few tears to our eyes. In the midst of your busy life, you’d do well to take 5-10 minutes to really soak these articles up, that much I am sure of. Continue reading
Note: I’ve been in a bit of a writers block these last few weeks. And the other day I sat down to write an article to my son on Father’s Day. It was one of those moments where in 10 minutes, everything I hoped could be put to paper was. When we learned we were going to have a baby, I wrote my first letter to my son in the midst of our frantic travel (telling him what we hoped he learned from each place we traveled to). That’s when I first learned that he is this beautiful inspiration for me to break free of my writers block and share a bit of who I am beyond the travel tips and advice with readers of this blog. With the decision from the Supreme Court, I felt the same way. I was scrolling through Facebook for a good hour liking every post I could that affirmed the dignity of so many of my friends, and I felt a need to document it. And the most meaningful way to do that, was a letter to my son. So two letters in one week? And is this travel related? Yes and no. The values that make up my life are intertwined with the values derived from travel. But more than anything, I see this blog being about travel first and foremost, life as a millennial second. I imagine many a millennial friend with kids or kids on the way have thought about what this decision by the Supreme Court will mean for their families. And so we write about it. To those of you so deeply impacted by the decision from the Supreme Court: We are so damn happy for you today.
What if you’re gay? What if you don’t feel free to fully embrace who you are? Continue reading
Note: I’ve been meaning to write this post for a while now. And with everything that happened in Charleston last week I, like many of you, have a heavy heart and are trying to figure out how to respond. And I think we respond in a few ways:
1. We mourn the loss of life, we honor the lives and impact of those taken from us. We root our anger first and foremost in the sadness it is born from.
2. We ask tough questions and face tough realities. We ask why Americans are so reluctant to call mass shootings by white shooters what they are- terrorist acts.. Let’s call it what it is because to do anything else, to me, is a form of racism in itself. We demand the Confederate Flag be removed. We say to hell with “politics” and have people on both sides of the aisle address why events like this seem to happen again and again in our great country, and very rarely elsewhere in other advanced nations.
3. We honor those who have made and continue to fight for a more just and loving society. And so in a way, my “fuck you” to the racist terrorist attack of last week is to spend some time reflecting on the words of a man I admire greatly: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. And so my “fuck you” isn’t directed toward the 21 year old who has confessed to these crimes. It’s to what these crimes stand for. It’s a rejection that racism will always haunt us and that mass shootings are the new norm in America.
I don’t propose this will somehow end racism or bring back the lives lost in Charleston. But it is one small way to light a candle, stare very intentionally into the eyes of that terrorist and the evil act of racism he committed, and as one strong community say “Your hate will not win. Our love will prevail.” Dr. King was fighting this battle over 50 years ago. Progress has been made and for that we celebrate. And yet, we’re still called into the trenches still today. More than ever in fact. Continue reading
I bought you a stuffed animal today. I’ve started doing this nerdy thing that I think is driving your mother insane even though she won’t admit it. I buy you a gift from every place that I travel to. I know, I know…. You’re not even here yet. You, what you are to me is a small kick or punch I feel when I’m holding your mom. Whenever I see you, I don’t really see you. The doctor and your mom giggle and talk amongst each other: “do you see that leg there?” and I pretend I do, but I don’t. I think they caught on that I knew nothing of what I was talking about a few months ago when I asked if a round object on the ultrasound was your head, and the doctor rather politely and with very little judgement said “Umm, no, that’s actually just the placenta.” Well, damn.
And so why am I buying you gifts? Continue reading
Note: I’m on an airplane, hours away from landing in Quito as this goes to press. Preparing for the trip, I stumbled upon my old journal from the days I lived in Ecuador. Below are a few excerpts.
November 10, 2007: Who am I? The failure from my time in Chile or the darling child from my time at LMU? What I am learning is this: I’m neither and I’m both. But ultimately, aren’t we all so much more than the labels we apply to try to simplify the complexities of life?
My 2nd grade boys from El Centro del Muchacho Trabajador in Quito, Ecuador.
January 20, 2008: I guess it’s just my week to deal with a ton of blood. Blood on Tuesday. Blood on Friday. Blood on Saturday. WTF? I’m too tired to write about this now. What a crazy friggin week.
Right before Emerson took an ice skate blade to the forehead.
March 8, 2008: This experience has changed me. Poverty now hurts my heart more than my eyes. It’s so personal. Hard to articulate, impossible not to feel.
Hanging out with one of my favorite students, Evelyn. She’d later drop out of school, before finishing 4th grade, to continue working full-time to help support her family.
May 5, 2008: I go back to the USA soon. This gives me pause to think about life since graduation. I’ve lived in three foreign countries. I picked up a brand new language, almost from scratch in my 20’s. Take that Spanish 102 teacher who told me I’d never learn to speak Spanish. Soon I return “home” (whatever the hell that means nowadays) with more life experience than I know what to do with. It hasn’t always been easy, but this much I know: I’d do it all the same again. Even the painful parts.
Standing at the edge of a waterfall in Bolivia.
First, we’ve got an update on the winner from our last contest, see the bottom of this post!
I’m a sucker for quotes. Not long ago, I wrote a post about some of my favorite travel quotes. I take “nerd alert” to a level all its own on quotes when I share with you I also have a 57 page document of the quotes that inspire me most. They’re philosophical, they’re comical, they’re challenging, and sometimes they’re just consolation to know others have dreams as lofty as mine, doubts as insecure as my own, and complex views of a world that is anything but simple, it conjures up meaning to the phrase “you are not alone” that carries so much weight with me.
And so walking out of the subway in Hong Kong, there’s a lot that struck me. And as much as Hong Kong is known for this:
The famous Hong Kong Harbor
It is also a place where words literally leaped off pages, err, walls, and moved me.
But that was one but of a few quotes that inspired me. The others below are equally moving. Continue reading
This is our 100th post on this blog, and a most special one for us: We’re having a baby. I think there’s a playbook on how to do the reveal a bit more cute or creatively, but the excitement that has run laps around my head and heart these last few months leads me straight to the point: We’re having a baby.
In fashion fitting to a travel obsessed family, we found out hours before hopping on a flight to Italy. We had planned an epic trip. We jumped on a $285 fare that found us jetting over Thanksgiving to Italy, Hungary, the Netherlands, and then onto… Japan. Say what? You read it right. It was epic. Cheap. And probably a bit stupid to do in the best of conditions, considering we were doing all this in the span of 10 days. Continue reading
First, an update: We’ve got a couple great giveaways coming up on Thursday so make sure to swing back by the blog and check it out. Now, onto the blog post for today!
The podcast was kind of dead, to me at least. I had a shameful “ah-ha” moment when I realized the podcast I was listening to the most had an overwhelming amount of ads trying to convince me to take viagra. When you learn a thing or two about marketing, you realize that consistent messaging about viagra is probably a good indicator that the target demographic for said podcast isn’t you but a version of you 50 years older.
And then Serial came along. And it upended everything. And obviously I am not alone on this, as Serial became the most downloaded podcast EVER in no time. And now that season one is over, among the questions of “is he guilty or not?” and “oh man, did you see the SNL and Funny or Die spoofs?”
another questions comes to the forefront: Now what do I listen to? Serial was a boost of adrenaline to the podcast community, and just because it’s over, doesn’t mean your exploration of podcasts should be over. I’ve spent close to 75 hours on planes in the last 5 weeks, and podcasts are a big way I’ve gotten through that hectic travel. So what should you download right away? I’m glad you asked!
We love Tokyo. When we think Tokyo, we think the flashy lights, the big buildings, the hidden ramen and sushi joints in basements of department stores, the people with their eyes glued to their phones everywhere you turn. OK, maybe we romanticize everything but that last part with the phones. But here’s the deal: Tokyo is a big city full of stimulation. And yet, visiting in November, we came away appreciating a different Tokyo: A beautiful and serene Tokyo. Don’t believe us? Take a look at some of these relaxing photos:
Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden is a beautiful weekday escape from the Tokyo chaos. Weekends we’re told is a different story.
Too many people say they love travel for us to suck so badly at it as a nation. I’m tired of hearing friends talk about one day vacations to Vegas or how happy they are to sneak away from the office for a week, a whole damn week!
Too often now, I find myself in conversations with 9 to 5ers with wanderlust. “Man, I sure wish I could travel like you” and they swirl their glass of whisky, or stare longingly into their pint of beer. Not lost in their silence is the day dreaming about a world that isn’t endless emails, responding to trivial requests from bosses, and so forth. And I’ve learned to constantly analyze and capture one moment, fleeting though it may be, when I respond quite simply and matter of factly: “You can. You just choose not to.” Continue reading