The (Unplanned) Road North Part 1: Puerto Natales, El Calafate, Bariloche

After conquering The W and Salkantay within the span of a few weeks we were feeling pretty darn invincible. We were also ready to finally let go of planning for a bit and embrace spontaneity. The last few years we had seen our lives becoming more and more meticulously planned. From well-structured one-week vacations to dinner plans made with friends weeks in advance there was little room for unscripted adventure. A growing desire for more room to explore the world and ourselves was one of the major reasons we decided to take this trip, and so we decided now was as good a time as any to start throwing caution in the wind and see where it took us!
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Temples, Tech, and Trekking in South Korea

Over the past year the things that we look for in travel have changed pretty drastically. For one, I’ve found myself seeking out places that will challenge me and push me outside of my comfort zone, but which also afford me the ability to move around and explore safely and independently. My love for travel stems from being able to see and experience life in another place, through another lense. Which shouldn’t by nature be easy, but when it works has led to some of the most humbling, eye-opening experiences that have transformed the way I view and interact with myself and the world around me. Korea – somewhat unexpectedly – ended up being one of these places.

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Pizza, Capri, and a Dash of History in Naples & Rome

Naples, with it’s traffic-clogged streets and gritty-city vibe felt much further from the quiet countryside of Montepulciano than it’s geographic location would imply. A quick 5-hour train ride and we were standing in the middle of one of Italy’s most notorious cities. Famous for it’s pizza, pasta, and pick-pockets, Naples can be an amazing place to visit — as long as you stay on your toes.

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Patagonia Magic (The W)

Patagonia is one of those rare places where you’ll turn a corner and your jaw will literally drop at the beauty of your surroundings. It’s also one of those places that reminds you just how awesomely powerful nature is. Looking back now, having traversed 4 continents, I can still say it’s the most breathtaking place we’ve been.

The trek we set off to do is called the W. It is a well-traversed trek through the mountains in Patagonia that gets it’s name from the “W” shaped route that you take in and out of the valleys that boarder the mountains. The scenery as I mentioned is stunning: towering snow-capped mountains, massive glaciers merging into aqua-colored lakes. With every corner we turned was a new view that any amount of Googled images could not have prepared us for.

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24-Hours of Food and Wine in Bologna

Ah, Bologna. Our stopover in Italy’s culinary gem was far too brief. With a mere 24-hours to explore it was critical that we focus our priorities. So we passed on the culture and shopping and focused on one very important activity: eating as much as we possibly could.

Bologna is known among tourists and Italians alike for it’s delicious food. From homemade bolognase sauce (called here by it’s proper name: ragu), to local charcuterie delicacies and refreshing pignoletto wines, it’s pure foodie heaven. On top of that, Bologna is a pretty cool city in it’s own right. Somewhere inbetween Venice’s fancy facades and Naples rough grittiness resides Bologna. It’s an average city, in as much as any Italian city steeped in culture and history can pretend to be average. With a major university in town there’s a younger, more vibrant air. It’s the perfect place to wander the streets taking in the culture, between bites of food and sips of wine, of course.

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Our Journey South: Cusco, Peru to Puerto Natales, Chile

Whew. This was a LONG trip. We actually debated making the first part of this journey — bussing from Cusco, Peru to Santiago, Chile — it’s own post. After all, we initially set our “time spent in location” threshold for whether a location warrents it’s own blog post at 3 days. And, well, we just about hit that in travel time alone. Between our overnight ride through the Andes and the subsequent bus that covered half of Peru and Chile, we hit a grand total of…

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Boats and a Boatload of Wine: Hacking Venice on the Cheap

Boats and wine are two of my favorite things, ever.* So as I’m sure you can imagine I was ridiculously excited to be traveling to Venice. I mean, the city is built on a giant canal system! Boats are not only the norm, but often the only option to get around. And Italy is home to some of my favorite wine varietals in the world. Plus, we’d be meeting up with two of our good friends from San Francisco. Really, could it get any better?

The only thing giving us pause…budget. In addition to it’s architecture, history, and waterways, Venice is also famously Italy’s most expensive city. For two travelers on a strict budget we were a little anxious going in. But, with some careful planning and a few tricks along the way we were able to have an amazing time without totally destroying our bank account. Here’s how…

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Taking a Break in Bari

Sometimes, things don’t go as planned and you just need to hit pause. This is a mentality I’ve been consciously working on accepting this year and Bari was the latest…let’s say opportunity to practice?

The southern port city of Bari was our first stop on a 2-week adventure around Italy. We, like most travelers, ended up there because of it’s convenience as a transport hub rather than any particular draw from the city itself. The one and only ferry line in Montenegro docked in Bari, and from there we could easily hop a train up to Venice to meet our friends.

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