How Does it Feel to Travel the World?

We’ve finally made it!!  Welcome to Day 1!  We’ve been planning this trip for about three years now, and it’s always been something “out there” in the future.  Now it’s here.

It’s been a whirlwind of emotions for us, especially over the past month.  This is what it really feels like to completely uproot your life and take the leap into the unknown.

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2015

Continue reading “How Does it Feel to Travel the World?”

Advertisements

5 Tips for Mastering Couchsurfing

Couchsurfing.com is a website platform for connecting a global community of travelers, facilitating stays with locals or opening your home to visitors. Sometimes hosts can offer a private room and bathroom; sometimes it’s literally nothing more than a couch upon which to crash for a night. It is also a place to organize events in cities around the world.

We have used this platform to host eight amazing travelers, and we have also been hosted once abroad in Norway. All of the people we met through this platform were incredible. They all came from different walks of life, and they shared their own travel stories and cultural experiences with us (like teaching us how to drink like a Russian!).

We are the type of hosts who like to treat our guests to local Portland activities, hikes, and even trips to the coast. We enjoy meeting new people, and every experience is completely unlike the last. There are many reasons to love this platform.

Over our many hostings and stays, we’ve learned a lot.  Here are five tips for mastering Couchsurfing.

russian-drinking-2
Essentials for enjoying an evening drinking with a Russian

Continue reading “5 Tips for Mastering Couchsurfing”

I Just Quit My Life – As I’ve Known It

I’ve grown up accepting that the 9 to 5 is just how things are done.  I never imagined that there could be another option.  Sure, there’s the entrepreneurial track, but that’s just a different role in the same machine.

But times have changed, and there are completely new paths available.  I have taken the leap, and I am leaving behind everything I’ve ever known.

work-1

Continue reading “I Just Quit My Life – As I’ve Known It”

How to Book Campsites in Namibia National Parks

Booking campsites in Namibia was a bit of a process, especially when you want to be inside their National Parks. The process was a little frustrating, and we want to save you from having to go through the same hassle we did. There are several steps involved in getting exactly what you want when booking your accommodations. Let’s get started!

16642959234_9a506dcbe1_z.jpg
Photo by dconvertini Creative Commons

Continue reading “How to Book Campsites in Namibia National Parks”

Essential Travel Gear for a Year Abroad

Aaron and I love to travel (clearly).  With so many trips to places near and far, we’re no strangers to packing bags.  However, packing for a one- or two-week vacation is vastly different than preparing for a year or more overseas.  We can no longer think in terms of packing enough to get us through every day of the trip; we have to focus instead on what we really need and what we’re willing to carry on our backs for fourteen months.

We’re three months from departure, and we’ve finally gotten these details mostly figured out.  Read on to see what you should include for a long-term trip.

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2015

Disclaimer: this post contains affiliate links.  If you choose to purchase anything through these links, we receive a small commission at no cost to you.  This helps us travel and continue to produce content on this site, so click away!

Continue reading “Essential Travel Gear for a Year Abroad”

Puffy clouds floating by our airplane's wing | BIG tiny World Travel

Long-Term Travel: Booking the First Flight

While leaving our jobs was terrifying enough, the thought of booking our first flight was equally, if not more scary. After much deliberation, we chose our starting point: South Africa.  Now we just have to get there!

We have been looking at various flight options over the last several months, and have finally found the best option. By weighing flight times, baggage rules, and cost we are about to pull the trigger. This was our thought process before arriving at the final booking. With this first step, it will really feel real!

Climbing the covered walkway onto our Norwegian flight | BIG tiny World Travel

Continue reading “Long-Term Travel: Booking the First Flight”

How I Dispelled the Fear of Travel

Much of the news media focuses on the worst possible things that happen everywhere. I know this well as there are people outside of the USA that are afraid of America because of all the mass shootings. In America we have similar fears about places like Mexico, Colombia, or even anywhere in Africa. Because of the media, I am also guilty of having some of these fears. And the only way to conquer fear is by doing what scares you.

Costa Rica Barred Windows

Continue reading “How I Dispelled the Fear of Travel”

Countdown to Takeoff: 3 Months Out

We’re now only three months away from our big departure – eek!  Things are truly starting to get real around here, though it hasn’t entirely sunk in.  Here are the latest developments, where we’re at, and what we still have left to do.

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2016

Continue reading “Countdown to Takeoff: 3 Months Out”

Top 6 Worldwide Photo Ops to Anticipate

As most of you know by now, I am a photographer.  (If you want to see more of my travel landscape photography, feel free to check it out over at www.lotsasmilesphoto.com.)  I love nothing more than a breathtaking scene and I get giddy immortalizing it and its associated memories in pixels.  In fact, while I can’t wait to experience some worldwide history and culture, while I long to stand atop some world-renowned trails, and while I’m an incurable foodie, I am most looking forward to the photography opportunities.  There’s so much to see; how could I not?

Here are the top items on my photo op bucket list.
Continue reading “Top 6 Worldwide Photo Ops to Anticipate”

Early Retirement Achievement Unlocked: Put in Notice

The first major step has been taken on the path towards traveling the world. I just put in notice to leave my job on April 15th. The experience was quite nerve-wracking, but I did it. The reaction from my bosses was not quite what I expected.

norway-camping-6

Continue reading “Early Retirement Achievement Unlocked: Put in Notice”