This Time Tomorrow

The last week has been one of the hardest weeks of our life. We walked away from our jobs on Wednesday, moved out of our home on Thursday, and said good-bye to Tim’s family and our dog, Noosa, on Friday and drove down to PA. On the ride down it was surreal to realize we were really leaving so many people, places, and memories behind. In the planning process of a trip like this, it’s easy to spend time preparing for what life on the road will be like. But preparing yourself for what you are saying goodbye to is impossible to prepare for, and it hit me like a ton of bricks. More


Pack Up


The thing family and friends ask us most about our trip is: How do you pack for a trip like this? So I have been excited to write a post showing everyone what our backpacks look like. There are a lot of wise sayings about packing, but my favorite is by Rick Steves. He says: “You can’t travel heavy, happy, and cheap. Pick two.”

I have been traveling light for years – Tim actually has more trouble with this then me, and claims his clothes are just so much bigger than mine (but that doesn’t explain why his toiletry bag is bigger). The thing that people also forget is that unless you’re going to Antarctica you can get most things wherever you’re going, so it’s sometimes nice to buy along the way too – and there’s no room for that if your packs are full.

all packed up

Step 1: The Pack
Tim and I both have Eagle Creek Switchbacks. They are backpacks that can also be rolled, in other words, my kind of backpack. They also have a day bag zipped onto the main bag. I have the 22, which when zipped into 2 pieces meets standard carry-on requirements. Tim’s clothes are a little bigger so he’ll be sporting the 25 and checking his (we need to put the liquids somewhere anyway). We bought these bags before going to Africa so they have been tested – and even though someone did try to break into them unsuccessfully they’re still in good shape.

Step 2: The Packing System

Have you ever noticed that no matter how organized your bag may look upon leaving your house, as soon as you open it the thing you need is at the bottom, and everything gets thrown out of the bag in the process of finding it? Well it happens to me all the time. Tim and I also have packing cubes for our trip to help with this. Mine is double-sided, so I can turn one side into the hamper as we travel. A lot of the other things we’re bringing are bagged, stuffed, and compartmentalized. More

The Way


The Where and How

There are countless people taking trips like ours right now. A lot of them are blogging, tweeting, and sitting in hostels right now giving advice based on their experiences. In fact there is so much advice out there on “the right way to travel” that fights tend to break out in travel communities about things such as: how much to pack, how long to stay in places, how to travel in between them, and so on. Just like everything else in life, we take the advice we want to take and ignore the rest.

One of the things we hear over and over again is: don’t plan ahead. For people traveling long-term it makes sense to leave a lot of room for improvisation. But I’m also not necessarily the type of person who is okay sleeping in a train station if there are no rooms available in a town that we arrive in late at night. We’ve already run into issues trying to book rooms for New Years and at the top of a mountain, even when planning those two things months in advance. Of course, these were the two things I knew needed to be done early – I wasn’t early enough. So for this trip we are trying to keep a balance between preparedness and spontaneity.

The “Way” is roughly this: More

Introducing: Where’s Wally

Tim and I thought it was only right to take a little piece of Boston with us on our trip. For those of you who don’t know Wally, he’s the Mascot of the Boston Red Sox. “Wally the Green Monster” is named after the Notorious Green Monster in the left field of Fenway Park.

On Tap At Remy's

Today Wally is feeling right at home at Jerry Remy’s outside Fenway Park. More

Once In a Lifetime

On Life Change

The decision to travel isn’t just about travel. It’s a decision to take your life as you know it and lock it up in a 5′ by 10′ storage container. Everything you identify yourself with: your career, your community, your family and friends, in a way they get locked away too.

This is not easily done. I’ve recognized for a while though that life has a way of moving fast and slow at the same time, and despite my attempts, I have never been able to slow time down or speed it up. So failing at that, Tim and I are making a change.  One where the days are so different that they won’t be able to pass us by.

One-Way Ticket

Why Long-term Travel

The most scary moment so far in the planning of this trip was when we purchased one-way tickets for an island most people have never heard of in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. I had a moment of asking myself “why am I doing this again?” So I thought I would answer that here:


Whenever I make the decision to go on a trip to a new place a vision tends to pop into my head: diving deep under water, wandering down an interesting alleyway, biking through rain forests, you get the idea. I love those kinds of adventures. It’s usually the ones I’m not planning on that are the best adventures though. Ending up in the wrong destination (that turns out to better than your intended one), attempting to order lunch from a waiter that speaks no English, or going out for just one quick drink and finding yourself at a 4am beach bonfire. The possibilities for these things on the road seem infinite.


Unlike so many people, I loved my job. I didn’t love that my job caused me to be constantly attached to my email. I could leave for a week but my clients were still there while I was gone, and the requests were building up. I carried my job with me. To a lesser extent we all have obligations to our network of friends and family. Our “free time” is filled with baby showers, birthdays, helping friends move. We don’t mind these things individually, but we also enjoy the break. On the road, it’s just Tim and I. The days are ours – all of them. More

Life Less Ordinary

Here we go.

My husband and I are doing something insanely stupid. We’re giving up everything we have worked hard for years to achieve so we can spend the next several months being bit by mosquitoes, arguing in languages we don’t understand, and subjecting ourselves to some very ugly bathroom experiences.

And we can’t wait.

Today is the beginning, because it is the first blog post. It’s out in the world and we can’t take it back now. Of course, we have been mentioning plans to friends and family for years now.  The responses have been all over the place, but the biggest thing we hear is “I would love to do that, but…”    All types of things follow that…jobs, family, it just sounds so risky and scary.   They ask “aren’t you scared?” And the answer is – Yes! Scared s%!tless.  I don’t know why we tell ourselves being scared of something means we shouldn’t do it. It makes life more fun.

The idea for this trip started years ago. Tim and I were out to dinner one night and I was explaining that it would be hard to get to all the countries we wanted to visit by taking one or two-week vacations. He listened hesitantly while I mentioned long-term travel. I remember him saying “how about a month?” and I said “maybe,” but I always knew if we were going to do it we had to go bigger than that.


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