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.

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Essentials for enjoying an evening drinking with a Russian

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25 Adventures from Around the World That Will Make You Want to Travel

As we near our big departure (exactly two weeks from today!), we’re reflecting quite a bit on some of our past adventures.  We’ve come a long way (figuratively and literally), and we can’t wait to see where we end up at the end of all this (will there be an end?).  We’re crazy busy tying up final loose ends, so this week’s post will be short, but we wanted to share with you some of our favorite adventures from around the world… and perhaps tempt you to travel as well!

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2015

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18 Photos That Will Make You Want to Visit Norway

This time last year, we were exploring the spectacular wonders of beautiful Norway (thanks for the reminder, Facebook!).  From raging waterfalls to breathtaking glaciers, every day was a new discovery that fascinated us and amazed all our senses.  It was a trip we won’t soon forget.  We already can’t wait to return and catch all the sights we missed on the first time around, and with these photos, you’ll be anxious to check it out as well!

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Travel Totaled my Car – How we Barely Escaped Eastern Oregon

Having never been to the far reaches of Eastern Oregon, we felt like this was a good time to get that knocked off our bucket list. Some of the highlights of the area are Steens Mountain, Alvord Desert, Leslie Gulch, and Jordan Craters. This would be our one last road trip before departing on our round-the-world trip. With it being such a remote part of Oregon, good preparation was critical as anything could happen. Fortunately we had an incredible trip, but it wasn’t quite what we expected.

Page springs campground

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5 Ways to Overcome Travel Anxiety

Whether it is booking your first flight or packing up your belongings for a year-long trip, some anxiety is bound to happen. We’ve been on an emotional roller coaster as we say our final goodbyes to friends, leave our jobs, sell our stuff, and start booking all of the first leg of our trip. Most of this isn’t easy as we have been so used to living a certain way and now we are uprooting all of it to do something different for a while. Here are 5 ways we have found to overcome travel anxiety.

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2017

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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.

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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!

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Photo by dconvertini Creative Commons

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The People We Meet – Travel is More Than Just Destinations

Visiting new places, exploring landscapes, and seeing new cultures are a big part of why we travel. But there is more to the story than just these three things. It is also about the people we have met and the connections we have made. Travel is more than just destinations; it’s about the people we meet. The more we travel, or even host travelers, the more bonds we form that span the world’s borders. That is what makes our travels meaningful.

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2015

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