Throughout my life, I’ve been very aware of my surroundings and can get a sense when I need to be more protective of my belongings. Rome was definitely one of those places. Only once have I been pickpocketed, and it was in a crowded dance club. Rome itself is like a crowded dance club. The first sign is when someone you don’t know approaches you.
We never intended on staying in Reggio Emilia as we intended on staying in Bologna. However, a Couchsurfer reached out to host us and it ended up being the best Italian cultural experience for us. Mama mia! During our travels, we have seen so much generosity, but in this case, it was above and beyond anything we had seen before. Our host was incredible! We were so fortunate to start time in Italy with this amazing person.
One of the things we love most about travel is discovering the many ways others think differently than us. Witnessing new ideas challenges our way of thinking and adds to our own personal arsenal for tackling problems. Besides, it’s exciting to experience something we hadn’t before considered!
During nine months abroad across at least 20 countries, we encountered some brilliant ideas that made us wonder: why isn’t this standard around the world? From the bathroom to the kitchen, at home and on the road, these were some of our favorites.
After spending time in Patagonia seeing glaciers and beautiful mountainous peaks, we headed to Ushuaia. In our time there, we had to check to see if there were any last-minute deals on cruises to Antarctica, and managed to find one. It was a dream come true, as we have always wanted to visit the seventh continent. Our boat was booked and all we had to do is wait about a week, rent some gear, and go. As coronavirus became more widespread, we started worrying things might get canceled, but continued to be hopeful and optimistic.
Then things changed dramatically, and our entire world trip was canceled. We had to go home. This is our story of flying home during the coronavirus outbreak.
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.
While traveling, it is important for us to understand the culture, politics, and history of the places we visit. We have always believed that travel is more than just sightseeing, and there is always a human element. During our visit to Santiago, Chile, we had a unique chance to see how the locals lived, even in the poorest of neighborhoods. The family who hosted us barely spoke English, and even with so little resources, they gave us so much. It is fascinating to see a family live so happily on so little, while also being so generous at the same time. We viewed Santiago from a completely different perspective.
This has been an incredible year! After 6 months of travel, we are ready to begin the new year by switching continents. That’s right; we are finally leaving Europe in February! It is exciting and a bit nerve-wracking as we have a lot of planning to do. How did we get to this point? Let us review our year of 2019 in photos and a video.
Visiting some of the native African tribes was a must for us during our journey to Namibia. It felt important to understand the cultural roots of the country and the indigenous peoples. The history and way of life of the Himba is fascinating.
They live a simple life without cell phones, cars, or even electricity or plumbing. Everything in the village was made by hand. Sure, they are still touched by modern life, but they try to stick to their roots and cultural traditions, and we were grateful to be able to witness this firsthand. If you’re looking to visit a Himba tribe, this is how you can do it and what you can expect.
Hello once again to another installment of our adventures around the world! We’ve been posting a lot about Africa (did you read our story about driving 8 hours out of our way to find big cats or how we were robbed in Cape Town?), so a lot of folks think we’re still there. The truth is, we have been in Europe now for about a month, but we’re soooo far behind on our blog posts (but we’ll catch up!). If you want to keep up with where we are actually at and what we’re currently doing, I recommend you follow us on social media – where we post regularly – or sign up for our newsletter where we send out periodic updates on what we’re up to!
In the meantime, we’re taking a break from the Africa posts this week to bring you a taste of Europe (don’t worry; we have lots more to share from Africa, so stay tuned!). When looking at Europe after Namibia, we scoured the interwebs for the cheapest airfare. Probably due to the large German influence in Namibia, Frankfurt came up as the best option. Germany, it is!
And as you know, funds are tight, and we’re always looking for ways to save money while traveling. Fortunately, many cities in Europe offer discount cards. We had our first opportunity to take advantage of this in Frankfurt, and it certainly helped us enjoy the city!
On our second day in Sesriem, we woke up to bust down the gate at 6:45 am. Our mission was to get to Deadvlei as early as possible so we could get pictures before the masses arrived. We would have loved to get there in time for sunrise, but it is at the farthest point in the park.
The sky was still dark for most of the hour-long drive. It really felt like a race to get there, all visitors vying to lead the pack down the single, 65km road. Posted signs indicate a 60kph speed limit, but the early risers floored it through the park at nearly twice that, racing the sun.
The drive was enjoyable as our excitement was building for the day to come. We were warned that the last 5km was for 4×4 only, but we felt confident. When we got off the pavement and onto the sand we had good momentum, and I thought we could make it just fine. That was until the truck in front of us started to slow down. They got stuck… and then we did too. What do we do now?