2 Weeks of History & Food in Vietnam

IMG_20170226_205301Vietnam was high on my list of countries to visit. After traversing south to north for two weeks, I only wanted more. Vietnam is a special place. I think many Americans, especially of my parents’ generation, think of it only as that far away place we went to war with. But it is – and always has been – so much more.

It’s a beautiful country, with everything you could want geographically — mountains, caves, beaches, countryside and this. The major cities we visited, Saigon and Hanoi, are incredibly modern and bustling and the people are industrious and entrepreneurial. It seems like everyone is running some type of shop outside his or her home property.The countryside is beautiful, with plenty of traditional ways of life (fishing, weaving, cooking) still happening every day.  The locals we met were friendly, playful and welcoming. And the food. Damn, we had some good meals. Continue reading “2 Weeks of History & Food in Vietnam”

Scuba Diving Certification in Koh Tao, Thailand

When you’re on an extended break from your normal working life, it becomes easier to make time for activities that might otherwise not be prioritized. This is how we found ourselves in Koh Tao, Thailand to do our PADI Open Water and Advanced Open Water certifications.

One week and 9 dives later, including a night dive, deep water dive to 30m / 90 feet and 4 sunrises (due to a 6am start-time 3 days in a row), we were happy to be certified and ready to dive around the world!

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One of the many sunrises seen from our diving boat right before our first dive of each day

Continue reading “Scuba Diving Certification in Koh Tao, Thailand”

6 essential tools for traveling the world

Five months ago, we got rid of our apartment and most of our belongings to travel the world for an extended period of time. Along the way, we’ve become indebted to a few key tools that have made moving from country to country a total breeze. Here are our six essential tools for traveling the world in 2017. Continue reading “6 essential tools for traveling the world”

North Island, NZ Highlights (Pt. 1)

As we mentioned in our last blog post, to get around New Zealand, we decided to go with Stray, a hop on / hop off “tour” bus. After doing some price comparisons with renting a car or camper van, Stray, at about $500 USD each for 3 weeks of travel, turned out to be the most cost-effective way to see both islands. (Worth noting: this is an even better deal if you have more time, as the Stray pass is valid for 12 months, you can hop off and stay in a spot for as long as you’d like, and you can repeat the loops as often as you’d like).
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The Stray bus!

Discovering Salta la Linda, Argentina

For the last few years, Santi has talked about taking a trip to the north of Argentina, particularly the provinces of Jujuy and Salta. Native culture is deeply preserved and celebrated here, whether in the folkloric music, regional cuisines of locro, quinoa, and stews of llama and lamb, colorful artistry and customs and celebrations. It’s quite different from the middle and southern parts of Argentina, heavily influenced by Europeans immigration in the 1800s, and it can feel like you’ve arrived in another country.

Continue reading “Discovering Salta la Linda, Argentina”

An apple-picking, history-learning, pizza-eating goodbye to the USA

About a week ago, we said goodbye to the US for the next 6 months and made our way down to Rosario, Argentina. Since we arrived, it has been nonstop catching up with Santi’s friends and family while eating way too much postre (dessert) and pan (bread). I swear, even though this is my eighth trip to Rosario, I will never understand how the “Rosarinos” are so beautiful and fit, given all the carbs and sweets they consume. What also eludes me is how people don’t seem to be tired ever, though it’s common to go to bed at 1am, wake up to be at work by 9am, not nap, and eat facturas (more sweets) at 6pm. Ahhh, to be Argentinian.

Continue reading “An apple-picking, history-learning, pizza-eating goodbye to the USA”