Tag Archives | couple travel ideas

Seven Questions with Roamaroo!

Have you ever wondered how to stay fit while on the road constantly?  The couple we are featuring this week are pros!  Not only do they keep their bodies healthy, they also work hard on keeping their relationship strong.  Meet Scott and Collette of Roamaroo.com.  They recently penned a great article for Elite Daily titled:  “10 Ways My Husband and I Keep Our Spark Burning While Traveling.”

Give them a follow:

Blog:  www.roamaroo.com

Facebook:  Roamaroo

twitter: @roamaroo

Instagram: Roamaroo

Lets get to know them better:

1) How many countries visited between the two of you?

We’ve visited 45 countries together! Collette has visited 66 countries. Scott has visited 46 countries.

Scott and Collette of Roamaroo

Scott and Collette of Roamaroo

2) If you had to travel with someone else besides your travel partner, who would it be?  (this person can be living, historical or mythical?.)

She said: Mike Rowe for his witty banter, incredible vocabulary, and carpe diem personality.  How cool would it be to be included in an epic Mike Rowe story? Maybe he’d even sing it in his Opera voice…

He said: Superman – I wouldn’t have to worry about paying for plane tickets again.  Also, he could fly me around to get some cool “Drone” shots of all the great places.  

3)What has been your favorite destination in your wanderings?  Why?  Any tips for someone that has never been?

She said: It’s a toss up between South Africa and New Zealand. When we visited South Africa, we went on a safari in the Sabi Sands area of Kruger National Park. There is nothing more primal than being surrounded by nature’s greatest beasts.

New Zealand will always have my heart for its pure beauty. We road tripped around the south island for 2 weeks, sleeping in a van and cooking beans and rice. It was romantic, it was intimate, it was exploration at its purest. No frills, no fuss, just two explorers finding meaning in Mother Nature. If you find your way to New Zealand, we highly recommend renting a campervan to explore the country. Don’t make too many plans and leave your options open to chance!

He said: Istanbul and Iceland.  Istanbul is such a culturally rich city with a fascinating history. The Hagia Sophia and Blue Mosque are some of the most beautiful sites I’ve ever seen.  A great thing to do is to take an Uber boat down the Bosphorus.  We took one to Reina restaurant at night.  There’s nothing fancier than arriving to a turkish club/restaurant on a boat.  

  Another favorite location of mine is Iceland.  The vast beauty, dramatic waterfalls, and welcoming people make Iceland unforgettable. We drove a campervan around Iceland for a week.  Every morning we woke up somewhere new and beautiful.  My favorite experience was when we cooked breakfast in our camper while overlooking the Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon. Watching the brilliantly blue ice while enjoying our morning coffee was something no hotel or restaurant could offer.  

4)    You both are uber healthy!  We are not brave enough to try Crossfit.  Tell us, what are you secrets for eating and exercising on the road?

She said: For me, exercise is both a mental and physical necessity. Exercising is my own moving meditation. It clears my mind, keeps my body in tip top shape, and makes me a better person. I even wrote a book about staying fit while traveling called Passport to Fitness!

He said:  I love to do Crossfit and it’s a great way to meet locals.  We’ve made some great friends at gyms who have been nice enough to show us around or take us to dinner.  One of my healthy travel tips is to fast on travel days.  Most people hate the idea of fasting, but new research is showing some amazing anti aging benefits benefits to fasting.  If we have a travel day filled with sitting on trains or planes, it’s easy to fast for the day since they’re no caloric need for large meals.  

Collette in Cambodia.

Collette in Cambodia.

5)  We really enjoyed your posts on Cambodia.  Tell us what your impressions were?   Any recommendations?  How was the food?

She said: Cambodia was one of the most memorable experiences we’ve ever had. From a 4:30 am cotton candy sunrise over Angkor Wat to visiting local Khmer villages on the Mekong River, it was one of the most gratifying and eye opening trips of our journey. One memory stands out above the rest and that is when we were cruising down the Mekong River and stopped at a remote village. We ended up having a dance party with the locals under the glowing Cambodian moonlight. Although we don’t speak Khmer and they didn’t speak English, we were all able to communicate via dance.

He said: Cambodia was a great country to visit, I especially loved Siem Reap.  Climbing the temples of Angkor Wat with our local tuk-tuk driver was an unforgettable day.  Due to the horrible actions of Pol Pot in the 1970’s, the people of Cambodia are struggling to rebuild the country.  You can see this in everyday life as many people live without basic technology of developed countries.  Tip for Angkor Wat:  Most hotels will organize tours of Angkor Wat, but if you want to save money, book directly with a tuk tuk driver.  You’ll save 75%.  Just ask any tuk-tuk driver (who has a nice tuk-tuk) if they do tours of Angkor Wat.  Then negotiate a good price.  It’s best to ask a few drivers to find the best price.  

6) If you could solve one problem in the world what would it be?

She said: I would love to absolve the fear that people have of other cultures, religions, and differences. Travel is about celebrating and accepting differences, learning other beliefs, and co-existing.

He said: As cheesy as it sounds, it would be world peace.  If we didn’t spend the billions of dollars, time, and resources on defence we could solve countless problems within the world.  We could dedicate resources to the hungry, creating better communities, advance society, and space travel.  Call me selfish, but I would like to visit the moon!

Roamaroo

Roamaroo

7)You knew it was coming….What has been your greatest travel fight/disagreement?

She said: Setting the alarm! I am not a morning person, especially when you mix in jet lag. Sometimes I like to wake up naturally and not have to worry about an alarm waking me up everyday. Scott likes the regimented alarm, but he hardly ever wakes up from the noise. I however, always wake up from his alarm and have to wake him up.
He said: Every time we board a flight, Collette likes to be the first one in line.  I’m a little more relaxed when it comes to getting on the plane. This always caused a rift between us in the beginning.  Now, Collette just gives me my ticket and we meet on the plane.

 

1000Fights:  Thanks again to our friends Scott and Collette for sharing a little about their adventure!  Give them a follow!

1

Seven Questions with SimplyTravelled.com

In our continuous quest to bring you couple travel ideas, we want to introduce you to Rob and Kim of SimplyTravelled.com.

How to give them a follow:

Blog:  www.simplytravelled.com

twitter: @simplytravelled

Facebook: @Simplytravelled

1) Tell us how you met? What inspired you to travel together? How do you make couple travel work?

They said: Kim was finishing her MBA in Tennessee and randomly met two guys from Australia at a conference. She asked them what it’s like to live on an island (yes, she’s part  londe!), and kept in touch via email for 8 months. She clearly made an impression, as then she was invited to head over to Oz for a 3-month working holiday. She met Rob at work,  here he fixed her computer. They fell in love, and now he fixes all her problems ;)

We were inspired to travel because we just knew we weren’t living the life we dreamed of. We were “stuck” – not that we were miserable – we were comfortable with good jobs and great friends and family near by. We just knew there was something more to life, so decided to act on it! More on this in question 6.

We definitely haven’t mastered couple travel yet, but we make it work by being open, learning and adapting along the way. Arguing, fighting, forgiving and moving on, It’s part of the fun of it all (most the time anyways).

Kim and Rob of Simply Traveled

Kim and Rob of Simply Traveled

2) If you had to travel with someone else besides your travel partner, who would it be? (this person can be living, historical or mythical)

He Said: If it was long term it would have to be my mate Hearschy. We’ve known each other for over 10 years, lived together and both love adventure.

She Said: My beautiful sister, Jennifer! She’s a bit more organized than me, yet enough spontaneous to go with the flow. We see-saw from keeping each other on the straight and narrow to letting loose, knowing there’s a time for everything, so it’s a great balance. In the couple of trips we’ve been on together, we didn’t want to kill each other, so I think she’d make the perfect travel companion!

3) What has been your favorite destination in your wanderings?

He said: It’s a close one but I’d have to say Hawaii. We only spent two weeks there, but it was an awesome place. I love being outdoors and Kauai especially tailored to this passion with stunning beaches, amazing hiking and picturesque landscapes. Oh and I had the best pork burritos ever!

She said: Ahhh, such a tough one! I’m absolutely in love with New Orleans – the food, music and culture are the perfect combination for a sublime getaway! Outside of that, the Philippines completely stole my heart – I’ll elaborate on this one in question 5 ;)

4)  I know you guys recently went to the Killing Fields in Phnom Penh.  Tell us a little more about the experience. 

He said: It’s a sobering experience and definitely worth visiting. I found the S-21 audio tour and museum to be the more moving of the two sites to visit. The stories are gut wrenching and it makes you question how man can be so evil.

She said: An utterly heartbreaking reality! I’m reading the book now, and I still can’t wrap my head around how something so horrible happens. And the fact that history keeps repeating itself makes me incredibly sad. But, without harping on the obvious negatives of genocide, the Cambodian people were some of the loveliest people I’ve met on my travels, so it was great to see the country and its people getting back on top!

Couple's cooking school

Couple’s cooking school

5)  Tell us about the Philippines.  It is on our list.  What were some of the highlights?  Sights?  Food?  Culture?

He said:

Highlights/Sights: Luzon in the North was amazing. The word famous rice terraces were unbelievable and I loved the hiking along the narrow pathways. Apo Island was an authenticate island experience and the snorkelling with turtles was really fun.

Food: Garlic rice with corned beef and fried eggs became a staple. I had it at our homestay and it was some of the best food I ate in the country.

Culture: I can’t think of anything specific but the people were very welcoming, helpful and had great English skills.

She said: Ok, to start on a negative, the food is not amazing (sad but true) – but it’s not horrible either, and actually, the mangos are to die for! The rice terraces in Northern Luzon were phenomenal, and definitely a highlight. Sagada was one of my favourite towns for the quaint nature and laid back mountain vibe. My favourite island was Cebu – we travelled top to bottom, learning to dive on Malapascua Island (home of the thresher shark), before heading south to Moalboal. Pronounced “mwoal-bwoal,” it is a beautiful beachfront town, where you can snorkel with sea turtles and thousands of sardines. I can say I found my real love for the water in the Philippines!

6) If you could solve one problem in the world what would it be?

He said: Pollution/rubbish. You really notice how bad of a problem it is when visiting Asia. A more sustainable way to fuel society and better practices around waste disposal would benefit everyone.

She said: Oooh, good one. Previously I’ve always thought of this question in the context of poverty. However, due to reflections on our current journey, I’ve got a different perspective on this one. The problem I’d solve is two-fold: 1. People realizing their potential and 2. Not being afraid of using it! I see so many people with the brains, the means and the support network to do incredible things that often just “settle” and it drives me crazy! I’m pretty certain if these same people (and I’ve definitely been one of them before) followed their dreams, the world would be a much better place!

Love birds!

Love birds!

7) You knew it was coming….What has been your greatest travel fight/disagreement?

He said: Generally our worst fights are after we have had a few drinks. Nashville springs to mind. I’m not sure what I said, though I dodged a bottle of water being thrown at my head whilst I was making my way to the vending machine. The next day it was all a big laugh!

She said: Haha, is it bad that I’m completely oblivious and didn’t actually see this question coming at all!?! Ok, let me think…it’s probably not our biggest fight, but it was recent, so timely. We took a 4 hour bus ride to Ho Chi Minh. Instead of getting organized  for where we’d stay when we arrived (yes, we had free wifi on the bus), we read our books and listened to music instead. When we arrived, it was raining and Rob suggested we take a minute at the station to work out where to go while we had a signal. I was like – are you kidding? Hello! we just had 4 hours to get organized, but you want to do it now? Nope – lets start walking. So off we went. An hour and a half later we were still circling around the city trying to find District 1. To stop from killing each other, we decided to take a break to fuel our bellies and connect to wifi to get a grasp on where we were. Attempting to defuse the situation, I suggested to Rob we just ‘agree to disagree.’ He said, “Nope!” I called him some choice words and walked away. I returned to him and apologized, we ate, walked the 30 minutes to our final destination and lived happily ever after!

1000 Fights:  A huge thanks to Rob and Kim for sharing their love story and a few tips for traveling together.

 

2

Bali for Couples

As we travel the globe searching for the best couple destinations for you, we have discovered one place you must add to your list, Bali. The delightful island is located on the southern end of Indonesia in the Indian Ocean. Getting there is simple. There are a number of direct flights right into Denpassar, Bali, or as we did, connect via Singapore or Bangkok. Balinese hospitality matches the weather: warm and inviting. English is widely spoken, and getting around is straight forward and affordable. Here are our 7 hints for driving in Bail.  Bali offers you a perfect setting to reconnect with your lover.

Beautiful Bali

Beautiful Bali

Bali Beaches

Where to start? The beach of course! The warm blue waters with their white sandy beaches offer couples an ideal setting to relax or if inclined, engage in snorkeling and other world-class water sports. We elected to make Kuta, on the southern tip of the island as our base. There are so many different options for hotels in Bali.   Of course if your pocketbook can handle it, a resort right on the water is highly recommended.   Here are a few beach ideas. The great thing about Bali, is you can wander and find your own Best Beach!

Bali Beaches!

Bali Beaches!

Kuta beach-Perhaps the most popular on the island. Can be crowded, but undeniably one of the best on the island.

Pemuteran– This dog-bone shaped by offers some of the best snorkeling and diving. The sea life and fauna have no rival.

Balian beach-If surfing is you thing, Balian is you place. With its ruckus waves, it is a grandstand to some of the best surfing on the planet. If riding waves is not your thing, there is no charge to enjoy the show as a spectator.

Ubud-An Artisan Paradise

One of our favorite places in the world is a little town in central Bali, an enclave of craftsmen and shops called Ubud.  Ubud is the craftsman capital of the island. To the north of town is a street line with handicraft artisan shops. You can purchase glass works, ceramics, and some the best woodworking we’ve come crossed. There’re items for every budget. Perhaps the most tempting is the intricate jewelry that the island’s craftsmen create. Each creation is a work of art.

Bali Cuisine

After playing all day in and the sun and sand you would likely have worked up an appetite. It’s time to take in some of the world-class Bali cuisine. The wonderful thing about Bali, is that it’s perched on the crossroads of the Asian Pacific area. There number of Thai and Vietnamese influenced restaurants. Fresh fruit and seafood are almost always on the menu. We highly recommend taking in the street food that is available on almost every corner of the island. We also unexpectedly had some of our best curry there as well.

Hiking

If hiking and exploring are your thing, Bali will not disappoint! There is a long list of trails and hikes for beginners to the more adventurous at heart. Every inch of Bali was made for Instagram. The lush green jungles and rain forests beg to be explored. Don’t forget to pack plenty of water as the islands tropical heat can certainly melt any advanced trekker.   Here are a few ideas for day hikes:

Mount Agung– This mountain is one of the most sacred sites for the Balinese. The trails are a bit rough and on the confusing side, but so worth it. If you have the cash for a guide, it would be a good idea. The views from the top are stunning!

Mount Batur– One of the “newest” attractions in Bali, it was formed by a volcanic eruption in 1917. The sunrise view from the summit is breathtaking. There is a caldera lake called Lake Batur in the crater. This is a great day hike… don’t forget to pack you lunch!

Side trips

The beauty of Bali is that it is centrally located and there are a number of wonderful side trips just a short flight away. One of our favorites is Borneo.

We elected take a short flight to Borneo. While we loved the ocean and culture of Bali… Borneo’s biodiversity is second to none. You can take in the orangutan park or if you’re little more adventurous head deep into the jungles of Borneo. There’re a number of resorts and camps you can go out on. We’ll like to go to the little lake in the center the island called Battang Ai. You have to take a boat across to an island in the middle of the lake. There are a number of different nature hikes and aboriginal village experiences. Our favorite was taking a waterfall adventure. The trek was pretty grueling but the reward was swimming under our own waterfall.  Check out our Borneo for Beginners post for all the details.

Beautiful Batang Ai

Beautiful Batang Ai

We given you a few ideas on how to make Bali your next couple vacation. There is so much to offer traveling couples, and with that the affordable costs it is a great selection for your next couple holiday.

Have you been to Bali? If so we’d love to hear some feedback on what your favorite parts. Just leave a comment below.

1

20 Places You Are Saying Wrong

1) Nice, France      WRONG: Nice    RIGHT: Niece.

Trust us, Nice is Nice!

 

2) Phuket, Thailand      WRONG: Fu-ket   RIGHT: Poo-get

Read our post on skipping Phuket and visiting Krabi.

Thailand and Cambodia 2012 -2 097

3) Thames River, UK      WRONG: Th-AIMS    RIGHT: TEMs

Don’t know about you, but I could listen to Benedict Cumberbatch say “Thames,” All…day…long!

 

4) Nevada, USA       WRONG: Nev-AH-duh    RIGHT: Ne-VAD-Duh

Don’t worry too much…Americans on the east side of the USA don’t know how to say it either.

 

5) Copenhagen, Denmark      WRONG: Co-pen-hay-gen    RIGHT: Co-pen-hog-gen

Hey you! There is not no “hay” in Copenhagen!

 

6) Beijing, China       WRONG: Pee-King    RIGHT: Bay-JING

This one harkens back to very poor translation spelling.

 

7) Reykjavik, Iceland       WRONG: Ray-ka-vick    RIGHT: Ray-kia-vick

Ok…we struggle with this one.  Think of the car brand?

 

8) Taipei, Taiwan       WRONG: Tai-PAY    RIGHT: Tai-BAY

Home of one of the tallest buildings in the world, Taipei 101.

Taipei 101.

A view from Taipei 101.

9) Ibizi, Spain       WRONG: eye-BEE-zuh    RIGHT: eye-BEE-thuh

It sounds a little too much like I beat her.

 

10) Moscow, Russia       WRONG: Moss-COW    RIGHT: Moss-CO

No mossy cows in Moscow.

 

11) New Orleans, USA       WRONG: New Or-Leans     RIGHT: New Or-Luns

The faster you say it, the better it sounds.

 

12) Qatar       WRONG: cut-TAR    RIGHT: Kuh-TER.

There is plenty of tar in Qatar, just not in the name of the country.

 

13) Bangkok, Thailand       WRONG: BANG-kock    RIGHT: Bang-Gowk

This is another common mistake we hear.   Anyway you say it, one of the best cities we have visited.

 

14) Budapest, Hungry       WRONG: Budda-PEST    RIGHT: Budda-Pescht

If you are headed there, drop us a line. We know the best goulash place. Mmmmm.

 

15) Iraq       WRONG: Eye-Rack     RIGHT: EYE-Rock

Watch the evening news, and at least half of the local reporters will get it wrong.

 

16) Versailles, France       WRONG: Ver-sillys     RIGHT: VER-Sigh

This is a great drinking game standing in line for tickets to the palace.

The Grand Palace

17) Dubai       WRONG: Do-Buy    RIGHT: Do-BAY

Please do buy the duvet, not the Dubai.

 

18) Newfoundland, Canada       WRONG: New-Found- Land    RIGHT: Nyoo-fn-Land

Ok…we cant say it right either. Here is a Canuck to help us:

 

19) Gstaad, Switzerland       WRONG: Gee-STAD    RIGHT: Sch-TOT

Theres no G in Gstaad.

 

20) Cannes, France       WRONG: CANS    RIGHT: CAN

Saying it right vs. saying it wrong will cost you a good seat at any good Cannes restaurant.

 

How many did you get wrong?  Leave a comment below.

4

Our 7 Questions with Fins to Spurs

What if you could try another career? Even for a short time, would you try a different job just to see what it could be like? We would like to introduce you to a traveling couple that not only tries a new job every few months, but does it in another part of the world! Please meet Christine and Adam of www.finstospurs.com.  We put our seven questions to these two wandering workers:

Blog:  www.Finstospurs.com

twitter:  @finstospurs

Instagram:  @finstospurs

 

First off, tell us a little about yourselves?  How long have you been a traveling couple?  How did you meet?

We have been together for about two years now, most of which has been on the road!  We are from completely different backgrounds, Adam from a rural community in Nebraska, Christine from just outside Seattle, Washington.  We both moved to Kona, Hawaii to work on scuba diving boats and met while working at the same dive shop!  Our passion for adventure and travel drove us together and we quickly teamed up to start our latest tour of the world in August 2014!

Christien West, Adam Maire, Fins to Spurs, Nicaragua

Christine West, Adam Maire of Fins to Spurs in Nicaragua

1)   You two are on such an amazing adventure!  Tell us about one of your best and worst experiences?

He Said: When Christine and I were working as ranch managers in Nicaragua, one of the local ranch hands was incredibly talented, wanted to help in every way, but was very young.  At 16, Ariel was trying to learn as much as possible, but we needed someone who could not only work at the ranch but travel to other parts of the community.  Ariel needed to learn how to drive.  One of my favorite experiences was teaching Ariel how to drive a manual–in my terrible Spanish!  He was hilarious and joking the whole the time (I think?!) and we had a blast together!  The worst experience?  A 12-hour bus ride in the same area with “travelers stomach” in the dark on a bumpy road with a bathroom that had no light and a broken door.

She Said: Just recently Adam and I went to Ubud, Bali and visited a monkey sanctuary.  We are incredibly lucky travelers sometimes, and we just happened to arrive at the sanctuary as a MASSIVE celebration of harmony with nature and animals was beginning!  Hundreds of locals in formal dress were giving offerings, music was playing, the monkeys were excited and seemed to be so interested—it was amazing.  We listened, watched, were so overtaken by the beauty…all because our yoga class was changed and we had extra time that day.  Which brings me to the worst experience of Bali: Adam and I are extremely new to yoga and were trying some different styles of yoga in Ubud…it just seemed like the fun thing to do!  The class that we really wanted to try was cancelled, so we signed up for Partner Acro Yoga.  When we arrived, things were fine for about two minutes and then the next moment I saw people around us getting ready for what looked like a collective wheel-barrel race – one that we were losing!  It was all too much FAST—our hung-over teacher was late, the space was small, every move seemed upside down and WAY beyond our skills in life…We slipped out of class on minute 9 and ended up going to the monkey sanctuary!  Worst experience is never that bad J

 

2) If you had to travel with someone else besides your travel partner, who would it be?  (this person can be living, historical or mythical?.)

He Said: Pretty much anyone who is hilarious!  Maybe Will Ferrell or Ryan Reynolds.  I just want to be able to laugh my though any mildly bad situation.  Will Ferrell is always so obscure that anything could be fun and I can really appreciate Ryan Reynolds sarcasm. If you know any other comedian that is usually pretty positive I am open to suggestions!

She Said: Oh I agree with Adam 100%. Being able to laugh is mandatory for me.  But my vote is more for Ryan!!

Adam from Fins to Spurs

Adam from Fins to Spurs

3)One of our fave posts is about your volcano hike.  Tell us, what it as exhausting as it looked?

He said: Oh my God YES!! I spent 6 years in the Infantry where we hiked EVERYWHERE with overloaded rucks.  I thought I was pretty tough but that hike nearly killed me.  Our guide was 7 feet tall and nearly ran up the mountain!  It is all straight up, very few switchbacks in the beginning and the first third is through loose, soft gravel.  We earned every foot of elevation we gained!

She said: First, the weather was everything! We were told it was going to pour rain all day so we thought we should bring double clothes. It never did rain, by the way.  We carried over 40 lbs. straight up that loose dirt and ash volcano!  I kept adjusting the straps on my backpack but I have so little experience, it was ALL so heavy!  It was insanely awesome, I would do it again, but way less in the pack.

traveling couple Guatemala

Acatenango, Guatemala

4)  If you had to eat one last meal, what/ where would you eat?

He said: I try to eat every meal like it is my last, I usually finish half of Christine’s food too!  I love Indian and Thai food so much but my favorite is Mexican.  When we lived in Guatemala, Christine made these killer smothered burritos that were the size of a small dog, all in our little apartment.  I would have to make that my last meal but I would eat it on any beach with a GREAT sunrise and a Black Butte Porter!

She said: You know, I spent two years teaching in Istanbul, and Turkish food was introduced to me by my students.  I liked it in the beginning, but then over two years I grew to LOVE IT!!! I would have an Istanbul street food feast with pide, doner, yogurt, lahmacun, sutlac and all with raki! Yum!!!

1000Fights:  YUM!

5)  What advice would you have for a couple that is considering following your path and working around the world?

He said: GO and DO IT!! We aren’t trying to sell quit the 9 to 5 or permanently abandon your current job, just take a little more time off, find a job or volunteer opportunity, and travel!!  This life isn’t easy.  We don’t have the stress of normal work but a job is a job.  Whatever the job is you still have co-workers you don’t love and long hours.  We just want everyone to know that you can stay longer in these locations and learn SO much more about them than just a few days here and then moving on to a new location.

She said: I think my advice would be to start slowly.  I started working abroad when I was 19 years old as a bartender in England.  Your first job abroad is rough, then you finish that one and you think, that was SIMPLE AND FANTASTIC, so you do it again.  You take more risks, you challenge yourself with more languages, locations and different types of jobs…it gets more and more adventurous.  As a couple, you will do this together!  Your experiences get more memorable, more life changing, more inspired.  Is you ease into this process with your partner, maybe starting with vacations combined with work/volunteer opportunities, your relationship has a chance to be EVEN CLOSER, with this completely different experience as something only the two of you really know about.

traveling couple

Fins to Spurs at Karon Beach, Thailand

6) If you could solve one problem in the world what would it be?

He said: Our lack of care for nature.  If humans don’t stop using up our resources we are going to wake up one day with no Earth to call home.  The shark finning and destruction of coral reefs is forever changing our oceans for the worse.  We recently hunted one of the species of rhinos into extinction just for its horn and another species only has four left… in the entire world!  Global warming is destroying our poles year after year and spreading FAST!  The human race is going to have to unite to conserve what little bit of nature we have left!

She said: If I could “solve” one thing, it would be living in extremes.  I wish people could live with more balance.  For example, the internet is great, it has the ability to forward education for people who would never otherwise have access. However, people can’t spend ALL DAY online.  Go outside!!  See other people in real life!! Eat, smell, and see other places!  Or food: I absolutely love amazing food, but you can’t eat everything and anything all the time.  The goal in my mind to live a balanced life, integrating more patience into every activity in your day.

 

7)You knew it was coming….What has been your greatest travel fight/disagreement?

She said: Travel is tough sometimes.  Adam is my favorite travel partner in the world.  No question.  However, our rare disagreements do happen.  I remember when we finished 9 months in Central America, our flight flew through Seattle, my hometown that I hadn’t been to in years.  And we only had two hours in Seattle before we flew to Alaska, but in this airport there is an Ivar’s, the BEST restaurant for clam chowder in the world.  I WANTED THIS CHOWDER!  I was dreaming about it for more than a few weeks.  So, when we arrived in Seattle, we bee-lined to Ivar’s.  But when we got there,  Adam wanted all this other stuff like fish and was spending WAY too much money and we had this tense moment over the food (it was stupid)…and because of the fight…I didn’t want my precious chowder anymore.  It was a fight over the bowl of soup…medium or large.  It was an argument over  $2.  It’s hard to understand, but after 9 months of spending, it seemed like too much.  I guess that’s travel for you, you sort of lose it all (your mind) and gain it all at the same time!

He said: In my defense, I wanted the large bowl of soup so she got enough, and I could finish what she didn’t want.  It was really more about 24 hours straight of flights, car rides, and fast food that really put the stress on the situation.  I still feel bad I ruined the soup for her.  We really do get along pretty well, but we both HATE being cold.  On the few occasions we have worked in the cold it has become the blame game and a small spat.  You know, the typical: “working in the snow was YOUR idea!” and “That’s it!! You NEVER get a say in the job choice again!!!”  A warm coffee and a heater and it all just goes back to normal!

Now those two know how to fight! We are very impressed. A huge thanks to our friends Christine and Adam for graciously answering our 7 questions.  Give their blog a follow!

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The Fighting Couple’s Holiday Gift Guide

The trouble with travelers is they are so hard to shop for!   The Fighting Couple comes to the rescue. We have put together the perfect gift guide for your wandering colleagues. Trust us, a few of these items under the tree will have your traveler beaming like they just avoided a long TSA line!

The Perfect Pillow

Travelers are always dreaming of the lovely locations they have visited. Their homes are filled with pictures of the Colosseum in Rome and selfies at Machu Picchu. Ok… maybe that is just us… Regardless, the first stop you should make on your traveler shopping quest is to Finch and Cotter for a Custom Travel Pillow.   There you will find a great selection of travel themed throw pillows. We get lots of comments on ours! It lists all of our favorite places. We can’t count the number of conversations that have started when our friends looked at the pillow. Each destination is a memory to us. Be a traveling friend’s hero! Simply start your customized pillow by listing at least seven of your favorite destinations.   Finch and Cotter can make custom pillows in a week! How cool is that?  Facebook: Finch & Cotter

Pillow talk

A Little Pillow Talk

The Traveling Pouch

Travel these days takes a bunch of stuff: Passport, ID, itineraries, phones, Visas, boarding passes, ect, We have found the perfect solution. The Leather Travel Wallet from House of LH.   This handsome and useful travel folder keeps all of your travel goodies sorted and organized.   They are the perfect size to handle your cards, papers and even a special pocket for your passport. There is even room for one of Mike’s spreadsheets! This handy item is a must have. They are handmade out of real leather so they are tough enough to hold up any traveler’s demands.  Bon Voyage!

Leather Travel Wallet

Leather Travel Wallet

 

The Tough Bag

One of the most embarrassing situations we have had while traveling was our trek into the Amazon jungle in Peru. We were trekking novices. We showed up at the river bank with our roller bag suit cases. (Don’t do this.) Did they get wet? Yes. Did our clothes smell musty and river-ery? Yes. Were we happy about that after a week in the jungle? No. Since then, we have discovered the Dry Duffel from Lewis N. Clark. This handy bag looks small, but it is huge! There is plenty of room for your entire trip’s wardrobe. The best thing? It’s completely water-resistant. This bag is perfect for trips where weather can be an issue. Headed camping or in our case “glamping”? This bag is going to be your new best friend. While you are on their site, they offer loads of great stocking stuffers. We highly recommend a toiletry pouch. It is one of those TSA friendly bags that every traveler covets. Twitter: @lewisnclarkgear

Dry Gear Duffel

Dry Gear Duffel

 

A Tale of Two Cities

Just because you are traveling does not mean that you have to look scroungy. The challenges for every traveler is what to pack? You want to pack light, but you still want to look good. Actually, you want to look better than good, you want to look fabulous. One of the requirements we have for our clothing is that they serve more than one purpose. We give you the Book Scarf from Storiarts   Not only does this little number make you look smart, you actually are smart! Each scarf displays a passage from a classic novel. Luci picked the Tale of Two Cities, which is her favorite book. Again, this is another perfect conversation starter. These are easy to pack, easy to wash. and can be worn with different outfits. The perfect compliment to your traveling wardrobe.  Twitter:  @storiarts

book scarf

The Classic Book Scarf

The Gnomes

One of the hardest parts of being a couple on the go is the times when you are apart. Yes, we miss fighting with each other.  Both of us travel a lot for our day jobs. Recently our friends at Gnoments asked us to give a Gnoment a try.  Ok… at first we were a little bit skeptical. A talking gnome is a little out of the ordinary. I am sure the TSA agent that went through all of our unmentionables was wondering why in the world we were smuggling gnomes?   So this is how it works. With your smart phone, you create a message, pictures, or even a map for your loved one. Next step, hide your gnome when only your lover will find it (suitcase, briefcase, car, ect). Once they find the little gnome, they scan it with their phone and up pops your message. Cool huh? This is the perfect gift for couples that spend time away from each other.  Twitter: @gnoments

They created a little video on how it all works:

The Perfect Print

The traveler’s home is a museum of their adventures.   We are always looking to surround ourselves with inspiration from our previous adventures.   We recently added a new print to our “palace”: A World Travel Map Print from The Oyster’s Pearl.  The thing we love about this little shop is that it is run by a husband and wife team!  (Wonder if they fight?)  Their work has been featured in: Nordstrom, Urban Outfitters, Southern Living, Country Living, Pregnancy & Newborn Magazine, Buzzfeed & more!  They can do custom prints of just about any state. Isn’t that cool?  What we love most about their store is that everything is custom designed.  We love gifts that are personalized just for us.  Be a winner this season and have something unique made for your loved one.  Twitter: @theoysterspearl

Adventure print

Follow your own adventure!

Aren’t these some amazing ideas? This time of year is a wonderful season for friends and family. A thoughtful gift to your traveling loved one will mean more than you know. A word of warning. Many of these items are handmade and are in short supply. We strongly encourage you to not delay your order. We would love your feedback on any and all the items above!

A number of the items listed above were supplied for us to review. Does this affect our honest review and impressions? Not one bit. Happy Holidays!

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Oh Brother, Where Art Thou? In Mississippi!

The hayseed cult-classic, “Oh Brother, Where Art Thou,” starring George Clooney has long been one of our favorite films. The film is set and was filmed in the American south.   As the storyline loosely follows the Odyssey by Homer, it appeals to wanderlusters. During our recent visit to the south, we tracked several of the film’s most iconic locations.

Its has been a while since this film came out…. How about a quick review? Here is the trailer:

The Woolworth Store

George Clooney

The Woolworth Store. Luci said she would never kick Clooney out of her Woolworth.

Perhaps the only establishment that George Clooney has ever been banned from: the Yazoo City Woolworth. As the story goes, Clooney’s character Ulysses Everett McGill confronts his ex-wife and her new fiancé.  Yazoo City is located an hour north of the State Capitol of Mississippi, Jackson. Getting to the city is fairly strait forward. Take 49 north. The “Woolworth” building today is actually an antique dealership and is located right on Main Street. Location: 128 South Main Street, Yazoo City, MS.

Yazoo City is a unique place, with colorful buildings lining an active Main Street. Try Tom’s on Main Street for lunch. He makes a mean cheese burger.

Movie Fun Fact:  George Clooney practiced his singing for weeks, but in the end his singing voice was dubbed by country blues singer Dan Tyminski. -IMDb

 

Yazoo Bank

Just down from the Woolworth Building is old Yazoo City Bank. It makes an appearance in the film as the boys and George “Babyface” Nelson rob the Bank of Itea Bina. The structure is small, just as it appears in the movie.  There are Greek revival columns that frame the door. There is an engraved logo above the doors, that was whited out for the movie. The bank is located at the intersection of Main Street and Commercial in Yazoo City, MS.

Yazoo Bank

Yazoo Bank

WEZY Radio Station

The elusive WEZY Radio Station. Photo courtesy of http://martykittrellphotos.blogspot.com/

The elusive WEZY Radio Station. Photo courtesy of http://martykittrellphotos.blogspot.com/

The boys meet up with blues guitarist Tommy Johnson along the way, and form a signing group called the “Soggy Bottom Boys.” In an effort to make some quick cash, they head to WEZY Radio, where they “sing into the can” for a blind radio engineer. This was perhaps the most fun and frustrating location to find.   I say “find,” but I was never able to actually find the location. The scene was shot in Valley Park, MS, west of Hwy 61. From what I have been able to track down, the radio station itself was made for the movie and destroyed after. What remains is just the radio tower. I wandered around town (a few farm houses and a post office open in the afternoons.) If you have found it and can give directions, please leave a comment below.

Baptism

The Scene of the Baptism.

The Scene of the Baptism.

In Oh Brother, Where Art Thou, a baptism scene takes place at Alligator Lake located on Long Lake Road. The lake is located 20 minutes north of Vicksburg, MS. During my visit, the river was flooding, so I wasn’t able to get all the way in. The water was warm!

Movie Fun Fact:  All of the records shown in the film are turning at 33-1/3 RPM. In 1934, only 78 RPM was used. The first 33-1/3 RPM album was released in 1947. -IMDb

Theater

Every time I see this picture, I start singing, "you are my sunshine!"

Every time I see this picture, I start singing, “you are my sunshine!”

At the climax of the movie, George Clooney and his cohorts, The Soggy Bottom Boys, sing at a political function in a community hall. It is here were the Homer Stokes for Governor campaign makes a major misstep and Mr. Stokes is run our on a rail. The hall is filled with tables and features a stage at the front of the building. This scene was filmed in the Southern Cultural Heritage Foundation Building.  Scenes from the movie, Mississippi Burning were also set at this location. Interesting thing about this location, as you watch the movie, and they are carrying Mr. Stokes out on the rail, the sound of them marching is very loud. The floor of the hall is wood and sounds exactly the same as you walk on it! Loud! This location is 1302 Adams Street, Vicksburg, MS.

Movie Fun Fact: Although Homer is given a co-writing credit on the film, the Coen Brothers claim never to have read The Odyssey and are familiar with it only through cultural osmosis and film adaptations.

Pappy’s Porch

The Governor's favorite porch.

The Governor’s favorite porch.

Governor Pappy O’Daniel, the flour magnate and proud governor, plots his re-election plans on the porch of a beautiful plantation. The plantation is one of many antebellum beauties in Natchez, MS. The plantation is aptly called, “Cedars,” and is located along the Mississippi River. A tree lined lane leads to the stunning home. It is privately held and there are heavy gates that block entry. We did our best to photograph the porch from a distance. The location is Cedars Plantation, 13688 River Road, Natchez, MS.

During out stay in the south, we elected to stay in Natchez and can highly recommend the area.  The entire city is filled to the brim with stunning well kept plantation mansions. We used Flipkey to book this amazing cottage . This house has a ton of history of its own, and has been lovingly restored.

Movie Fun Fact:  When Everett and Delmar are eating at the restaurant, Everett orders the restaurant’s “finest bottle of bubbly wine.” Though Prohibition was repealed nationally in 1933, Mississippi still prohibited the sale of alcohol until 1966.

River Sex Scene

The D'Lo Water Park

The D’Lo Water Park

Everett, Pete and Delmer’s harken to the Siren’s call. Three southern belles call to them along a trickling creek.  The boys participate in debauchery in one of the most beautiful settings in the south, D’Lo Water Park. It is here that Pete gets loved up and turned into a horney toad. The location is D’Lo Water Park, 135 D’ Lo Road, D’Lo, MS. It is 20 miles south of Jackson.

The KKK Cross Burning

The Coen brothers, the directors of this movie didn’t feel that it would be appropriate to recreate the cross burning scene in the south. They elected to use a sound stage in Hollywood.

Movie Fun Fact: The song recorded by the Soggy Bottom Boys (“I Am a Man of Constant Sorrow”) , contains the line “I bid farewell to ol’ Kentucky, the place where I was born and raised.” George Clooney, who played one of the Soggy Bottom Boys, was born in Lexington, Kentucky.

 

We hope that you enjoyed this behind the scenes peek at a great movie. Each of these locations are close together so you can hit all the sites mentioned in one day. Now go R-U-N-N-O-F-T.

 

Disclosure: On occasion we are offered items to review on this site.  Does this affect our honest review and opinion?  Not one bit!

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The Fighting Couple’s World Cup

The world is in a World Cup Fever!  This got us thinking….What if the “Fighting Couple” were to decide the outcome of the cup?  Forget the bad calls and last second scoring.  What if we based the group outcomes on how good their beaches are?  What if they scored points for having the best cuisine? Why not?

Let the games begin!

Group A:

Teams:  Brazil, Croatia, Mexico, Cameroon

This is a tough one.  How can you not pick the odds on favorite, the host nation of Brazil?  Brazil’s beaches, jungles, and warm hospitality seems like a given.  Perched on the Adriatic Sea, facing the Italian boot, Croatia is one of the more understated paradises out there.  Mexico is also a strong contender.  Mexico offers traveling couples some of the most amazing coast line found on the planet.  Cameroon?  Never been…..Sorry….

The winner:  Croatia.  What we love about this place is the understated beauty.  One of our fave national parks has to be Plitvice Lakes.  The entire park is made up of crystal clear ponds and waterfalls.  You walk on a wooden boardwalk that takes you into some of the most picturesque and photogenic scenes in all of nature.  Goooooaaaal!!!!    Croatia, you win!

waterfalls

The wonderful waterfalls of Croatia.

 

Group B:

Teams:  Holland, Chile, Australia, and Spain

This choice caused a great deal of fighting between the Fighting Couple.  Three of our favorite counties are represented in this quality grouping.  We just returned from our first trip to the land “down-under” and were blown away with Aussie hospitality.  The diamond of the Med, Barcelona has a special place in our hearts.  With its Gaudi creations and delicious tapas, Spain is a contender.  Due to routing from the states, we have spent a great deal of time in the Netherlands, and Luci may have a crush on the tall Netherlanders that man customs desks at Amsterdam airport.  Although we have yet to visit Chile, the backbone of South America is high on our list of locales to visit.  A camping trip to patigonia is high on our must see list.

The winner:  Australia

OK, call it a fix.  Having just visited the country-continent, we may be a little biased.  Australia with its rough and tumble natives and amazing landscapes make it a great choice for anyone up for adventure.  The highlight for our visit was another water theme.  We loved Wagi falls in Litchfield national park.  The rolling water of the red stone is a sight to behold.

waterfalls

Florence Falls in Litchfield National Park.

Group C

Teams: Colombia, Greece, Japan and Cote de Ivory

This one will be a bit difficult for us.  We have only visited two out of the four counties: Japan and Greece.  The land of the rising sun has amazing Sushi. BTW-The Fighting Couple loves sushi.  With austerity measures in place…Greece couldn’t afford the bribe.

Winner: Japan. (Mmmmm Sushi.)

 

sushi

Did someone say Sushi?

Group D

Teams: Costa Rica, Italy, England, and Uruguay

These teams are all worthy in their own right.  Costa Rica with its inviting beaches, jungle canopy tours and great latin food, scores a lot points.  England, home to all things Jane Austen and Top Gear, olde England dominates the field.  Fighting Couple Travel Tip:  For all of you Englanders headed to Brazil for the real contest, fly out of Gatwick!  It is much more organized, faster and still has a great selection of flights.    Italy-oh how we love thee.  Let us count the ways: food, towers, hill towns, beaches, history, and architecture.  Uruguay?  Never been.

Winner:  Tie:  Italy and England.  It is like picking which is cuter Brad Pitt or George Clooney.  Tough choice.  Both of these locations advance to the next round.

England!

England!

Group E

Teams: France, Switzerland, Ecuador, and Honduras

Ecuador=Equator=too hot.  France-  Gertrude Stein once said: “America is my country, and Paris is my home town.”  We tend to agree.  Having visited the wonderful city a handful of times, we keep finding new places to explore and experience…and then there is the food.  Yum!  Switzerland.  Luci wants Swiss-land voted in just to keep Roger Federer happy.  Honduras… Wasn’t Moon over Parador filmed there?

Winner:  France!  Viva la France!  Our hands down winner.  For one of the most romantic evenings of your life following this recipe:  Dinner at a small café along the River Seine, then stroll hand in hand under the glittering Eiffel Tower, and cap it off by sitting on the steps of the Sacre’le Coeur for a wonderful view of the grand city.

french chapel

Viva le France!

Group F

Teams: Argentina, Iran, Nigeria, and Bosnia

Iran….I don’t think we are allowed to be Americans there.  Their loss.  Argentina is another country on our bucket list to visit.  We hear all good things.  Across from our jr high school growing up, we had a little Argentine lady that made the best pizza and bambinos.  So good!  Nigeria-We get daily invites to do banking over there for some lottery winners.  Nigeria, not gonna happen.  Bosnia is one of the most beautiful places on the face of the earth.

Winner: Bosnia.  This is one of the surprise upsets.  We added two days to our visit to Croatia to enter into the war torn county.  We ended up drooling at the countryside.  The county is putting its difficult history behind, and developing some great places to visit.  Bosnia has become a destination that we must revisit.

bosnia waterfall

Beautiful Bosnia

Group G

Teams: Germany, USA, Portugal, and Ghana

First off…Portugal is now owned by Germany…so I will include them in with the Deutsch.  Ghana…never been…So it comes down to a grand battle between Germany and the States.  Merkel vs Obama.

Winner:  Germany! (Proving we are not biased.)  Our recent drive down the Rhine area of western Germany has made us fast fans.  It really came down to which country lets you drive faster.  Hands down, Germany.

Rhine Germany

A great perch for viewing the Rhine.

Well those are our pics to get out of the first found.  Do you agree with our selections?  Please make a case for your top pick in the comments section below!

 

 

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5 Reasons to Go to Costa Rica Now

The Fighting Couple takes on Costa Rica!  Sure, it’s tropical, offers tons of activities, but it’s also cheap and you can buy chocolate at the source. Here’s the top five reasons to book your ticket today!

5. Chocolate

The Fighting Couple doesn’t go anywhere without chocolate. You can’t get any closer to organic chocolate than the cacao fields of Costa Rica. There are several tours for chocolate lovers, if that’s the priority. We enjoyed tasting the chocolate at local markets. Nahua Chocolate, one of the leading chocolatiers, was next door to our hotel and was our first stop. We enjoyed hot chocolate (I know, ironic in Costa Rica) and stocked up for the rest of the trip, while we watched the miracle of chocolate truffle creation. The comfortable and hip atmosphere coupled with the historical artifacts, makes this chocolatier a must see in San Juan.

Watch chocolate truffles being made at Nahau Chocolate.

Watch chocolate truffles being made at Nahau Chocolate.

4. You can be a beach bum or an adrenaline junkie

Top to bottom Costa Rica is teeming with beauty.   Take in its tropical mountains, sugary beaches, and 1000 Fights’ favorite: waterfalls! But the best part of Costa Rica is you can do whatever you want. Stay on the beach or zip line 600 feet in the air. Hike into the jungle in search of waterfalls, soak in natural hot pools, or swim in the hotel pool.  There are limitless activities.

Waterfalls are everywhere in Costa RIca!

Waterfalls are everywhere in Costa RIca!

3. Your Money Goes Further

Travel can be expensive. But Costa Rica isn’t. We paid around $700 round trip for our tickets from Boise or 60,000 Delta miles. Our hotels averaged $85-$100 an evening including a great spread for breakfast. That’s not to say there aren’t giant mansions you can rent or have your choice of upscale resorts. You can spend a lot of money, you just don’t have too. The most expensive part of the trip was the rental car. Get the insurance! It’s worth every penny. 

This is your view from an $85 a night hotel with breakfast included. Check out http://www.arenalmanoa.com/

This is your view from an $85 a night hotel with breakfast included. Check out http://www.arenalmanoa.com/

2. Food

The food in Costa Rica is good, really good. It’s also cheap. Our hotel breakfasts usually included a wide range of pastries, eggs, and beans and rice. A neighborhood Sopa usually charges around $5 to $7 for meat, rice, beans, and fresh vegetables. Costa Rica also has amazing steak houses. We paid $25 for a 12 ounce steak with all the sides. The beef was tender and the equivalent to any $75 NYC steak.

costaricafood

Steak at one of the many steakhouses in Costa Rica.

1. No jet lag!

Costa Rica is actually in the Mountain Time Zone. Yes. I will repeat. Costa Rica is in the Mountain Time Zone. Sleepiness is one a the sad side effects of jet setting it across the world. It makes you foggy, groggy, and sometimes mean. That’s what makes Costa Rica perfect for us United States west coast dwellers. You have traveled to a completely foreign place and yet your body clock things you are still in Boise, Idaho. We enjoyed getting off the plane and realizing we weren’t 12 hours forward or backward, but could Facetime and email in real time. Avoiding jet lag gives you more time to enjoy being in Costa Rica!

 We hope you'll enjoy the Costa Rican sunsets as much as we did!

We hope you’ll enjoy the Costa Rican sunsets as much as we did!

What’s your favorite reason to go to Costa Rica?

 

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