“To travel is to live.”
In Oct 2009, between visiting Australia and Indonesia, I spent a week on the north island of New Zealand, staying in Mount Maunganui, Piha, Hamilton, and Auckland. It was here that I overcame my fear of heights.
While pregnant with our 3rd child, we took our 5 year old and almost-2 year old to visit Iceland in May 2016. We traveled around the Golden Circle and up to Vik, staying in Air BnBs along the way.
In Jan 2010, one month into dating my now-husband, I told him I was about to leave for Antarctica and invited him to come (he said yes). Crossing the Drake Passage is not for the faint of heart, but there is literally no place on earth like it. Penguins, whales, icebergs and all.
After having my eye on these little islands in the Atlantic for quite some time, we spontaneously packed up the 3 kids in March 2019 and headed to the island of Sao Miguel for a breathtaking, nature-packed trip. There was lots of exploring, swimming in hot springs, beautiful views, and cows.
While in the Northern Territory of Australia, I jumped on a plane to Bali. This island is filled with so much beauty and happiness; I loved the culture and experiences I stumbled upon while traveling all around the island.
URUGUAY + ARGENTINA (2010)
On the way back from Antarctica in Jan 2010, Ricky and I rented motorcycles and spent a few weeks riding around Uruguay, from down by Argentina up to Brazil. The timing worked out that we got to be there at the exact time to experience Carnaval!
PARIS + BELGIUM + ENGLAND (2009) + AMSTERDAM (2010)
For the month of May in 2009, I backpacked solo around Europe, going from England, to Belgium, turning 25 in Paris, and continuing on to Italy and Switzerland. This was my first solo adventure and it changed me forever. Amsterdam was a stop on my way home from Egypt in May 2010.
For 6 weeks in the fall of 2009, I adventured solo around Australia. I went scuba diving in Caines, on an expedition in the outback out of Darwin, hung with kangaroos outside of Perth, loved on the magic of Sydney, and visited the capital of Canberra, making a lot of friends at hostels along the way.
CHILE + SOUTHERN ARGENTINA
On the boat ride back from Antarctica in Jan 2010, we made stops along the coast of Argentina and around Cape Horn, Chile. We marveled at beaches filled with sea lions in Puerto Madryn, and colonies of penguins on the Island of Tierra del Fuego, off of Ushuaia (the southernmost city in the world).
PERU + EL SALVADOR
On the way south to Argentina, there were two stops along the way: El Salvador and Lima, Peru. While the stays were short, the hostel was by the beach, the people were welcoming, and I can still taste the amazing food.
When I was 25, I set a goal to visit all 7 continents before my next birthday, and Africa was my last box to check. Egypt was overwhelming with its rich history, unique landscape and cultural experiences. After starting the trip solo, I was happy to join up with a small group to live on a felucca boat on the Nile, and getting to travel all over the country to visit many incredible landmarks.
FRANCE + SPAIN + ANDORRA (2013)
When our oldest child was 2, we set out on an adventure from Paris to Barcelona in a small Volkswagen with a paper map. Paris suited all of us, as did the small towns we stayed in throughout Southern France. The stop in Andorra was unbelievable (we didn’t even this country it existed until this trip!), and our time in Spain was capped off with the soccer finals at the legendary Camp Nou.
In December 2008, a dozen friends piled into a house on the beach in Costa Rica. Zip-lining, exploring parks, and dancing along the black sand beaches was the perfect way to end the year.
SWITZERLAND + ITALY
Towards the end of my first solo backpacking trip around Europe, I visited Rome and Florence before spending a week in Zurich, Switzerland. It’s incredible how much contrast there is from one country to the next, despite being a train ride away.