Traveling the World

It all started with an April Fools Day joke, claiming we were set to spend a year in Japan on the JET program.  After we had our laughs, we thought – why not?

We are Aaron and Brianna, and we’re glad to have you with us!  We’ve always loved to travel, and we’ve been taking annual international trips since 2015.  Interspersed with frequent local trips, we have the wanderlust bug for sure!

Now, we’ve saved up our pennies, and shortly, we will embark on a year-long journey around the world!  We’re excited and terrified – come travel with us to the far reaches of the planet!

Read the full story that sparked this wild idea right here!


Who are we?

We met back in the days of online chat rooms – when AIM still had real humans and you could randomly chat with someone new at the click of a username.

I was a bored teenager and picked Aaron’s username out of the pack listed under the “music” interest category.  He was online, and we found we had a lot in common.. except that he was a few years older than me and lived half a country away from me.  This terrified my parents, sure he was a serial killer preying on teenagers on the internet.

Turns out he likewise saw something special in me, and he quickly won over my parents with his witty sense of humor and quirky silliness (seriously, he’s made a video about plants…).

Aaron moved away from Portland for the first time to live in another city with me while I finished school.  He developed his trip planning prowess by taking us out to California, where we found we could tolerate each other on the road.  We also discovered McGriddles really don’t make a great daily breakfast (and we haven’t eaten them since!).

Then we both returned to Portland, got married in the Gorge, and honeymooned in Hawaii.

Over the years, travel has become an integral part of our lives.  It’s how we celebrate, how we escape, and how we make amazing new memories.

Read more about why Brianna travels here!
Read more about why Aaron travels here!


BIG tiny World Travel (that’s where you’re at now ;))

Aside from traveling more, we want to inspire others to do the same.  In our travels, we’ve found Americans are often a minority amongst travelers.  There are many reasons why Americans don’t travel as much as Europeans, Asians, or Australians.  But one of the main reasons is fear.

Our mission is to show that the world really isn’t that scary a place.  People all around the world are like us in many ways, and we can find a bit of home wherever we go!

We are here to squash the fear of travel in all forms!  See how Aaron overcame his fear of travel (he didn’t even once travel outside of the country until his 30s when we went to Japan!), and check out our many stories from places like Costa Rica, Japan, Vancouver, and right in our own backyard in Oregon!

Read our adventures from Norway here!


Ready to read more?

Connect with us!

We would seriously love to hear from you.  Please say hi by dropping us a note on our Contact page, or share your thoughts and stories in the comments on any of our posts!

You can also find us on the social media of your choice – we’re active on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Be sure to follow our blog so you don’t miss out on our latest adventures, and sign up for our monthly newsletter for sneak peeks on upcoming journeys and exclusive travel tips.. we’ll even hook you up with our ultimate packing list with all our personal gear recommendations!

We can’t wait to connect with you!

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2015

One more thing…

Packing up one’s entire life and setting out for the great wide world isn’t necessarily easy.  It means you have to leave some things behind.. someones.  Some folks are very close to their parents. Some have a strong network of friends.  Some have other family or kids.

We have kitties.  And we love them to pieces.  Meet Holee and Mochi.

It isn’t easy saying goodbye to them, so we decided to take a piece of them with us (kind of like tiny fuzzy travel gnomes!).  These cute doppelgangers will go to the far reaches of the globe with us, and keep us company all along the way.

They even have their own Instagram account!  See the world through their little eyes by following them here.  What do cats think of the Eiffel Tower?  Will they find a kindred spirit in the wild lions of Africa?  Is the fish really better in Tokyo?  We’ll find out!!


We’ve always envied those visiting exotic locations around the globe, but why should we sit back and watch others do it?  Why should you?  It’s time to prove this big world is smaller than you think!

Aaron & Brianna

If you like the photos here, be sure to check out LotsaSmiles Photography (Brianna’s photo blog)!