Mountain ridges as seen from an airplane

Are You Prepared to be a Full-time Traveler?

Judging by picture-perfect, colorful squares on Instagram, the freedom of a travel lifestyle is presented as paradise – an endless parade of tropical breezes and fruity drinks, interspersed with exciting adventures that would make anyone envious.  While travel is, indeed, amazing and life-changing and exhilarating and rewarding, social media paints an incomplete picture.

Aaron and Brianna posing in front of the Fitz Roy spires

We have learned firsthand what living the life of travel entails.  If you’re wondering if full-time travel is right for you – and if you’re ready for what actually awaits – here is what you can expect.
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A longhair tabby resting on rocks in front of the city skyline of Istanbul

The Top 6 Cat Hotspots in the World

Unlike dogs, cats don’t usually travel very well.  So when we cat lovers are on the road, we rely on the local cat populations to get our purr fix.  With nine months and over twenty countries under our belts, we found some of the best cat hotspots on the world.

If you love cats as much as I do, these locations are sure to put a whisker-induced smile on your face!

A tux and tabby kitten in Istanbul

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The Traveler Profile: What Type of Traveler Are You?

Over the years, we have experienced all sorts of travel types.  We’ve traveled alone and with friends, with family and with kids.  We’ve explored locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally.  We’ve taken almost every type of transportation and indulged in a wide variety of activities.  And we’ve been on the road for quick overnights, your standard two-week vacations, and months-long living abroad.  How do each of these compare, and which is right for you?

Let’s find out!

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2017

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Valparaíso Chile Travel Guide

Valparaíso is a street art paradise and the most colorful city in Chile. Walking through the streets, we could take our time contemplating the artwork that came in many forms. The buildings themselves were various colors, and many had huge murals as each wall was an open canvas. This city is on a steep hill that leads down to the sea. Between the hilltops and the sea are also some amazing restaurants with incredible views. We enjoyed the architecture, food, and the cultural atmosphere of the city for two days. In that time we found the best areas in Valparaíso to create a travel guide for you. What excites you about traveling to a new city?Valparaíso Hills with Colorful Buildings

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Travel in the Time of Coronavirus

Many things have changed rather rapidly with the spread of COVID-19, and our travel world has more or less come crashing down.  We have weathered it for as long as we can, but we’ve reached a point where it just doesn’t make sense anymore.

So we wanted to take a little time to reflect on what’s happened, how it has impacted us, and how both we and you can move forward once it’s over.

Practicing our mask wearing while in isolation in Ushuaia

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8 Reasons to Love Traveling the Off-Season

When longterm traveling, you’ll find yourself in places all around the world during all seasons of the year.  Sure, summertime is popular because the kids are on vacation and the weather is warm.. but over the years, we have grown a real affinity for traveling in the off-season.

Let us tell you why.

Bryce Canyon National Park in winter | BIG tiny World Travel

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Should You Learn a Language to Travel?

World travel exposes individuals to new countries, new cultures, and new languages.  It’s all very exciting, but it can also be mildly terrifying – especially if you’re facing a language barrier.  So we’re analyzing whether it’s actually necessary to learn the language of the country you’re about to visit.

We have been traveling now for more than five months, and we have been exposed to over 10 different languages on this trip, alone… across multiple situations and with various levels of fluency.

So is another language required for your trip?  Let’s take a look.

I love you wall in multiple languages

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The Ultimate Etosha National Park Wildlife Viewing Guide

When we first checked in at the Andersson Gate at the south end of Etosha National Park, the guard thought he misheard when we told him we were planning to camp in the park for six nights.  While much longer than their average visitors (who tend to only spend 3-4 days in the park), we had the luxury of time on our hands.  With that time, we were fortunate enough to discover all the best places in the park to spot the wide variety of wildlife.

And now, we can share that knowledge with you.  Which animals do you most want to find in the park?

etosha-1

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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

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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

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