Tag Archives | honeymoons

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

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 Secrets to Scoring a Lovely Late Check out

Visiting a upscale hotel in New York is often an exciting experience, although sometimes the rules can really dampen your weekend plans and throw your itinerary off. However, many people don’t realize that hotels can, and often do, give out extra benefits to customers who simply request them politely. One such service is the late check-out, in which you can enjoy an extra hour or two in a luxurious room rather than waiting in a coffee shop or uncomfortable reception area. However, these benefits are seldom offered to rude customers, which is why we would like to offer some tips on how you can courteously get extra benefits when staying at a hotel in New York.

do not disturbA Few Tips to Score some Extra R&R

The following are some tips offered by Megan Wood, who works for a company that reviews and rates hotels and has more experience than most with hotels and staff. These will help you enjoy the late check-out time you need without causing a hassle for any members of staff.

  • Always be polite: Staff and managers are more eager to go out of their way for customers who treat them with respect and dignity. While it’s understandable that long trips can be draining and even small irritations can get on your nerves after a long drive or flight, they are still human and not simply staff at a hotel.
  • Choose your days wisely: You are far more likely to be allowed Late Check-Out at a Hotel with HotelsByDay in New York if you are staying during off-peak times. This is because, during NYC’s off-peak times, the staff don’t have to rush around to ensure each room is clean for the next guests who might already be waiting. They can rather plan to clean your room last and afford you an extra hour or two to snuggle in some high thread-count linen.
  • If you have a loyalty card or visit often, make sure to let the staff know: Although this doesn’t guarantee you a late check-out, it will certainly help. Hotels don’t want to lose loyal members, so they often tend to accommodate them more. If you aren’t a member, see if you can sign up for it. Many hotels offer free memberships, which are ultimately mutually beneficial.

hotel bedAlways Remember – the Desk Agent is King

Because keeping the customer happy is a top priority in the hotel industry, you will almost never find front desk agents who are rude, snotty or seemingly against you. However, this is because they have far more control than most customers think, and don’t have to be rude to you to make your stay uncomfortable. So remember this before you raise your voice or demand more than you actually deserve, as the agent giving you your room knows precisely which rooms have cold drafts, broken curtains rails and television remotes with low batteries.

In an interview with a true veteran in hotels and hospitality, Jacob Tomsky shares some real insights on the matter: “At the front desk, I am a god of instant karma.” He explains that he has many “weapons” at his disposal, such as replacing rooms that include beautiful views with less exciting rooms, placing customers in room 1212 – the dialing code for New York – or the more complicated key bomb: dual initialized keys that ultimately get you locked out of your room.

So remember next time, the desk agent you are speaking to is just as human as you are and deserves some respect and courtesy – especially if you are thinking of asking for favors such as a late check-out.

Two Sides to Every Coin

While it’s always fantastic to receive more than you bargained for, you need to also remember that there are two sides to every coin. A benefit that you enjoy may lead to a drawback endured by someone else. Therefore, it’s courteous to never push the limits of a late check-out, as you may be simply causing other people to lose out on their fair share.

However, there are times when a reasonable request on a late check-out is fair, as featured in an article on Forbes with Michael Forrest Jones: “If you overstay your check-out, and we don’t know ahead of time, you drive everyone nuts.” Nevertheless, further down the article he goes on to state “If you call first and ask for the extra time, we can accommodate you if your request, the extra time you need, is reasonable; the housekeepers can plan around that contingency, and everyone is happy.”

So don’t hesitate to politely request extra time if you need it. Perhaps you didn’t notice the time while enjoying the high thread-count sheets in your king-sized bed overlooking Central Park, or perhaps your next meeting only starts at 3 p.m. and you aren’t overjoyed by the thought of having to spend a few hours waiting in a coffee shop. Regardless of your reason though, hotels in New York can be very accommodating at most times and all it takes is a small amount of courtesy and planning to make your travels so much more enjoyable.

5

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!

1

7 Questions with the Hunter and the Horsewoman

In our never-ending quest to introduce you to some of the best couple travel bloggers, meet Lina and Dave of Divergent Travelers.  We have found that every traveler brings a unique background to the travel trail.  These two are no different.  Join us as Divergent Travelers take on our 7 Questions:

Blog:  Divergent Travelers

facebook:  Divergent Travelers

twitter:  @divergenttravelers

How did you meet?

We met at the county fair in Superior, WI in 1998.  I, Lina, was showing my horse at the fair that week and so was David’s sister. During the fair, he showed up to help his sister with her horse and that is how we met.
Diving on the Great Barrier Reef

Lina and Dave Diving on the Great Barrier Reef

How long have you been together?  FOREVER. We dated a couple of times after we first met and ultimately got back together in high school.   We’ve been together ever since.  We’ve been married for 4 years though.
Why do you travel?
Because we LOVE IT. We both have an insatiable lust for the World and adventure. We both believe that life is too short to not follow your own path and for us, that means exploring as much of the World as we can.

1) What is the story behind you blog name? Divergent?

This story starts much the same as every other blog, I suppose. We were trying to come up with something catchy and different, yet modern. David gets the credit for coming up with it, we were shooting emails back and forth one day with various names and plays on words and he sent me that one and it just felt right. The definition of Divergent really hit home for us. Something divergent is moving away from what is expected. Divergent people are changing course- moving off the beaten path. It just seemed fitting as we were leaving the American dream behind to pursue a life on our own terms.

Have you voted for the Fighting Couple in the USA Today Couple travel contest?  Please vote for us?

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: Michael Weston, you know, the really cool spy guy from Burn Notice.
She Said: My two best friends, Meghan and Melissa. The three of us are like sisters and we are all Geminis, so we just ‘get’ each other.

Tongariro Crossing, New Zealand

Tongariro Crossing, New Zealand

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

He said: Mexico, specifically the Yucatan. I love the culture and the easy way of living there. Plus, despite what Lina says, I want to live there someday.
She said: This question is SO hard, there are so many. But if I have to pick just one, I am going to say Peru. We did so many amazing things in that country and it was my first time getting a chance to really work on my Spanish, as I was taking classes before I visited that country. Machu Picchu is a given, but we also visited the Amazon which was mind-blowing and we already have plans to return to that same area and do some volunteer work at the Tambopata Research Center.

4)  Lina, we understand you are quite the equestrian talent!  Wow!  Tell us a little about your interest in horses.

My co-workers used to joke that when talking to me, nobody should mention travel or horses unless they had hours to sit and chat. I think that is still a truth!! (you didn’t know what you were getting into with this question!) I’ve been around horses my whole life and it is an absolute PASSION of mine. I love horses and I love the sport of show jumping. When I graduated from high school I spent the whole summer running a horse farm with show horses. For the next 2 years I spent my summers working for some of the top Olympic riders in the USA at Spruce Meadows in Calagary Canada as a professional groom and exercise rider. After I graduated college I spent a lot of time shipping horses coast to coast in America and working on the circuits for prominent riders and I would spend my winters living and riding in West Palm Beach.  After all that, I bought some horses of my own and started competing locally and before we left totravel, I showed all over the Midwest in class A competitions. When we left to travel, I sold all my project horses and kept just one horse. He is currently being leased so he can continue to show while I am on the road. While traveling, I have several plans (some already executed) for getting my horse fix.

5)  Travel can be tough on relationships.  How do you make it work together out on the road?

He said: Let her win.
She said: For the record, he’s a liar… he NEVER just lets me win! We try to make sure we both get to see and do the things we want. Sometimes we just need timeouts from each other too, which seems to help being together 24/7 easier at times. It certainly isn’t easy and you do have to work at it.
Sunrise at Mt Bromo in Java

Sunrise at Mt Bromo in Java

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

He said: Come up with a system that doesn’t revolve around money.
She said: I’d really love to see a trash disposal system in place for the third world countries. It is so disheartening for me to see these beautiful locations so littered with trash.

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

He said: We had some pretty good fights over where to camp with our campervan while road tripping through Australia! It would never fail that the sun would start to set and we hadn’t picked a place to camp. Knowing we had to make dinner and needed to find a safe, cheap (free) place to camp and make dinner was one sure way to light up the campervan!
She said: When David lost his wedding band in a raging river in Bukit Lawang, Sumatra! We had been swimming in a swimming hole that had currents on the outside of it, he got this bright idea that he was going to ride the current down the river and get out further down. I tried to tell him it wasn’t a good idea, but he did it anyways. Long story short, the current was strong and he had trouble getting out of the water. When I ran down to help him out of the water, he climbed out and showed me his hand…. No ring! While he had been grabbing onto rocks waiting for me, his ring came off. You can imagine how this went down… Lucky for him, the next day we told the guesthouse staff and after an hour of them searching the river with masks on, they FOUND it.  No joke, he lost and found his wedding ring in a raging river in the jungle.
A HUGE thanks to Lina and David for taking some time to share a little about their travel philosophy.   (If you are wondering David, letting her always win is a great ideas.)  Thanks for being one of the very best blogging couples out there.
3

Take a Kissing Tour!

A kiss is a lovely trick designed by nature to stop speech when words become superfluous.– Ingrid Bergman

Now a soft kiss – Aye, by that kiss, I vow an endless bliss.— John Keats

This installment of our 7 questions series features none other than the kissing couple Tara & Mike Myers of the Kissing Tour.  Their self proclaimed mission is to live big and kiss often.  This wonderful motto comes alive on the Myers blog.  Lets get to know a little more about Tara and Mike:

Blog:  http://kissing-tour.com/

Twitter: @kissingtour

Facebook: Kissingtour

Instagram: Kissingtour

 

First off…tell us a little about the two of you. How did you meet? What inspired you to travel? How long have you been together? Do you travel full time? Do you have day jobs?

Tara and Mike Myers are a Las Vegas-turned-Chicago couple who donated 80 combined years of “stuff,” exited the mainstream and traded conventional comforts for what they call a “less-is-fabulous” lifestyle filled with love. They say they don’t know anything about tarot cards or tea leaves, but they do know the universe conspired to bring them together. They say they met in the most unusual way. They share a brain. Possibly a childhood. Definitely a heart. The kissers became “The Myers” on September 1, 2012, when they traded their own vows at the PrayerBook Cross in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park. There were no guests, just a very special female Buddhist monk they met on Facebook and her student, who served as witness and photographer with Tara and Mike’s weather-beaten point-and-shoot camera.

Mike, 46, retired as fire chief from the City of Las Vegas in early 2013. Six months later, his wife Tara, 36, resigned her position as a national brand director in Chicago so they could spend every minute together. It would give them time to focus on their lifetime project – journaling their life one kiss at a time – at www.kissingtour.com.

Having both been divorced and consumed with distractions – big houses, big jobs, big negotiations, big wardrobes, big stress and big to-do lists – they learned countless important lessons. The most valuable? Live big, kiss often. That mantra has had such a profound, positive impact on them that they’re now inspiring others through the kisses they capture on their blog and Instagram account.

kissing in london

London Kissing!

It started on Capitol Hill. Couples posed rigidly. Tara and Mike kissed passionately. At the White House. The Washington Monument. The Smithsonian. People clapped. Giggled. Snapped away. Even a 7 year old. That night, they conceived www.kissingtour.com on a barstool. They vowed to journal their life one kiss at a time, and they have. From San Francisco to Sweden. From Paul Bunyan’s boot to the Papal apartment. From New Mexico’s fiestas to the Chicago Blackhawk’s victory parade. In 7 countries, 16 states…and counting.

When they’re not kissing, this inseparable, coffee drinking, vegetarian couple who loves to make homemade guacamole, can be found running, hiking, talking, reading, laughing, traveling and chatting it up with locals. They may be mistaken for wanderlusts, but they actually live a deliberate, albeit non-traditional, lifestyle so they can focus on what’s truly important to them. They have a lifelong strategic plan and live by 10 values (tattooed on their ribs, ouch!). They travel as often as possible. Sometimes that means a weekend road trip to Notre Dame in Indiana. Sometimes it means a three-month hiatus to travel 18,000 miles across 5 countries, 26 cities via 12 planes, 16 trains, 31 buses, 3 taxis, 8 host rides and 1 hitchhike.

People ask Tara and Mike how they stay in love. Onlookers cheer and encourage them to keep kissing. Most of all, they want to know if the kissers are writing a book. The kissers have decided to tell their love story, and they’re busily writing from their matching pink velvet chairs in their 450-square-foot Chicago apartment. Pink Chair, No Underwear is due out by summer.

1) We love your travel motto: Live Big, Kiss Often. Tell us why you chose this and what it means to you two.

Oddly enough, we never sat down and said, “We need to adopt a really catchy travel motto. Let’s strategize.” We just started saying it, signing off with it, and it’s stuck. People love it, and so do we. Our philosophy is exactly that, every single day, we live big (take every single possible opportunity to experience people and places, right down to chatting it up with the clerk at the grocery store) and kiss often (no explanation needed!)

2) If you had to travel with someone else besides your travel partner, who would it be?

He Said: The Dalai Lama

She Said: A super hero with magical bug-zapping powers, because the world is big, and so are its bugs.

kiss castle

Kissing in Ireland

3) We have to ask…what has been the very best kiss? Where?

He said: Our very first kiss, on a perch overlooking Vegas. How did I react? I whispered, “I knew it.” And then last night’s…that was really good.

She said: Our very first kiss. We were sitting atop a picnic table watching the sun rise over Las Vegas’ mountains. It was a special spot because we learned that each of us had previously gone there to meditate and think quietly before we ever met. When we kissed, Mike said, “I knew it.” So did I.

With all this kissing talk, ever wondered if you are doing it right?  Click here for a quick Kissing lesson.

4) On your motivation page, you list the book Anthem as one of your inspirations (one of our faves!) Tell us what inspires you about this powerful book.

He said: The power of the human is in individuality, uniqueness, creativity. We appreciated the book because we’re creative and dynamic individually, but together the synergy, love and innovation is explosive.

She said: Very simply put, there is another way. Don’t be fooled.

5) We must ask…what is your secret? You two are obviously madly in love. How do you keep the fires burning.

He said: That is a long story. There is no secret. It’s about being with the perfect person. I don’t have to keep the fires burning. There is no manual stoking of the fire, it just burns ever brighter, ever longer.

She said: What he said. Exactly.

kissing in Las Vegas

Kissing on the Rocks!

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

He said: Indifference. It boggles my mind that most people go through life in a shoulder-shrugging passive state, hoping life will get better. They wait for the phone to ring…love to come…the weather to change.

She said: Gross over-consumption.

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

He said: It wasn’t between us. It was between us and the “Corpo della Gendarmeria” (The Vatican police). We thought we were in line to see the Sistene Chapel, so we waited for an hour in the rain. When it was our turn to enter things got a little hot under the guard’s collar, as he explained in Italian, which we don’t speak, that only one of us could go. So we bailed. Turns out, we weren’t in line to see the chapel, we were in line to see The Pope! If only one of us could go, neither of us would go. Take that “Corpo della Gendarmeria.”

She said: One of the most amazing, unbelievable things about us is that we are completely on the same page, about everything. Every single thing. We know it sounds ridiculous and stranger than fiction, but I actually spent serious time trying to answer this question. I can’t.

1000Fights:  ok, we think the fight response was a little on the weak side!  Thanks to Mike and Tara for being so much fun.  They are both an inspiration to us couple travelers.

5

A Tax Attorney Turned Tenacious Traveler

We love highlighting unique traveling couples!  In this installment of our seven questions, we want to introduce you to our new found friends Amber and Eric of the Husband in Tow.  They were kind enough to break away from their hectic lifestyle in Bali to share with us a little about their adventures and path to full time couple travel.  If this couple travelling around the world doesn’t inspire you to book your next trip, we don’t know what will!

Blog:  www.WithHusbandinTow.com

Twitter: @husbandinTow

Facebook: WithHusbandinTow

traveling couple

Eric and Amber of Husband in Tow in Dubai

First off, tell us a little more about this traveling duo:

Amber and Eric met at university, way back when, in 1997.  They were married in 2001, while Amber was attending law school in Washington DC.  They took their first overseas trip to visit family in Ireland in 1997, followed by a mess of trips to Europe, but their thirst for travel really did not kick in until their first trip to Asia in 2006.  In 2009, they left their jobs and traveled the world for 14 months.  After thier first big trip, (aka the Master Plan) their goal was to return to the US, and to Amber’s big law job.  The plan was to stay five years, save money, then plan their ultimate escape.  As plans sometimes do, the plan changed.  They barely made it two years when they caught a bad case of wanderlust.  They headed back on the road!  This time it was permanent.  They have been on the road since July 2012.  Amber is now a recovering tax attorney, blogger, and yoga teacher, while Eric is a budding entrepreneur and independent advertising sales executive.   What an amazing traveling couple!

Amber and Eric were kind enough to face our dreaded 7 questions:

1) Amber, we are so impressed by you.  Leaving a heady job for the life of a traveler.  What has been the hardest things about leaving the corporate world behind?

Amber: The large paychecks.  That’s about it.  Seriously.

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: Mario Batali.  Jersey bred celebrity chef, with a speciality in Italian, Spanish, and Asian cuisine, helping me eat my way around the world.  Come on.

She Said:  Karl Pilkington.  I have been fascinated by the number of hours I can sit and watch Ricky Gervais play an enormous joke on his long time friend Karl, by sending him around the world. I  would love to travel with Karl myself to seethe world through his strange eyes.  And, if I could have Ricky laughing in the background, so much the better.

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

He said: Vietnam.

She said: After so many years together, we share a brain so he said, she said, is a little hard for us.  Vietnam as well. We taught English there twice back in 2009, and just experienced the country in a whole different way.  It is just a place that is special for both of us.

Love

With Husband in Tow in Thailand

4)  Bali is our next destination.  Fill us in!  What three things do you love about Bali?

He said: 1) Babi gluing, which is Balinese roast pig; 2) warm weather, but always with a breeze; and 3) the remoteness, it is not easy to get here from The States.

She said: 1) The Balinese Hindu traditions; 2) the stunningly gorgeous rice paddies; and 3) high caliber yoga teachers to keep me healthy and happy.

5)  We love the book section on your blog.  (Why is it most travelers are readers?) What is your favorite traveling read?  What are you reading now?

He said: I read The Quiet American every time we go to Vietnam.  It’s the only book I’ve read more than once.

She said: I’ve been reading a lot about happiness and how to find it and enjoy it.  Right now, I am reading The Happiness Makeover by M.J. Ryan.

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

He said: Land mines and unexploded ordinance

She said: Women’s equality and security in the developing world.

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

She said: We had a good one in the rain in Hanoi in 2009.  I felt I was organizing all of our RTP, writing a blog, managing our finances, etc. But, when Eric tries to help I get a little control freaky, so it is really not his fault.  Our biggest mistake, though, was traveling with only one lap top back then – it was our only internet device, so we fought over it all the time.  We learned our lesson and have multiple devices now – a lot less fighting.

He said: Does it make a difference, they are all my fault, right?

1000Fights:  We think that is a bit of a cop-out…but you have learned an important lesson.  Would you mind teaching Mike?

Thanks again to Eric and Amber for sharing with us a little couple travel inspiration!  The key takeaway for sure is that there isn’t just one way to travel.    Find the path that works for you and yours.  Stay tuned, this is not the end of this story!  Yes, the Fighting Couple is definitely looking forward to meeting up with the tax attorney and the husband in tow this May in Bali!!!!

Calling all traveling couple, contact us, we would love to feature you.

5

We are giving away a Handmade Santa Fe Leather Journal!

This Giveaway Has Ended.

 

The giving season is upon us and the Fighting Couple is in the mood to give!  For all of you traveling couples (and solos) out there we have just the thing.  We are giving away a lovingly handmade, leather journal made by our fave journal artisan Jenni Bick.  (www.jennibick.com).   You may remember, we gave away a journal this past spring.  We have talked Jenni into letting us do it again!

We are giving away a Santa Fe Leather Journal!

leather diary

Mike capturing a few thoughts in Budapest

This is no ordinary journal.  This is a work of art.  Each one is one of a kind.  Made from the fine heavyweight paper to the soft leather cover, this is a must have.

Specifics on the Santa Fe journal:

  • Measures 5″ x 7″
  • 240 pages (120 leaves)
  • LINED pages in a crisp ivory laid finish
  • Leather colors will vary from buckskin tan to deep espresso brown.
  • Handcrafted on Martha’s Vineyard by Jenni Bick.

It is no secret that both Luci and I are journalists.  Not in the pencil behind the ear, newspaper sense, but in the personal “diary” sense of the word.  Both of us have kept journals for years.  Our blog is kind of an outgrowth of our journals.  We have found it a great way to track the ups and downs of life and bring back great material to FIGHT with!

Entering this giveaway is super simple.  Just three easy steps:

1) Give The Fighting Couple a like on Facebook (here).

2) Give Jenni Bick a Like on Facebook (here).

3) Leave us a comment in the comment section below and say:  Send me a Bick!

 

Easy huh?

 

Should you journal?  Yes!!!  The benefits of journaling are well documented:

Health benefits of Journaling  http://psychcentral.com/lib/the-health-benefits-of-journaling/000721

100 Benefits of Journaling  http://www.appleseeds.org/100_journaling.htm

It is rumored that even Mae West kept a diary!

 

The fine print (sorry, we don’t look good in stripes):

1) To enter, you must be a resident of USA or Canada.  (Sorry Uzbekistan, catch you next time?)

2) Void where prohibited.  (Void is such a weird word…..Void.)

3)  Just so you know, Jenni Bick was kind enough to provide a journal for us to review, and one for us to give away to one of our fabulous readers.  Does this affect our love of our journal?  Nope.  Not one bit. Never.  Ever.

4) Contest rules are subject to change.  (Unless Luci changes her mind….which NEVER happens.)

5)  Contest ends on December 8, 2013 at midnight MST.  (All good things must come to an end.)

5.5)  18 years old and above only to win.  (This is the most fun adults get to have…no kids allowed!)

6)  We will then pick a winner via random.org.  (There are no rules against crossing your fingers.)

106

Seven Questions: What is an AngloItalian?

In this installment of our Seven Questions series we want to introduce you to a new traveling couple species: An Angloitalian.  Dale & Franca combine to make a traveling couple that are always up for an adventure!

Blog:  AngloItalian

twitter:  @AI_FollowUs

Facebook: angloitalian

Google +: Angloitalian

1) What in the world is an Angloitalian?

Angloitalian is a word that originates from one of our first dates. On the second time we met up we decided that we’d walk around the town we were living to take some night time shots of our surroundings and each other. Inject some tomfoolery, some timed multi-shot laughs and a Facebook photo album the day after named ”The Anglo-Italian Connection Photo Session” and you’ve the origins of a cute name we thought identified not just that night, but our origins from different countries and the idea that great things can happen when you travel to see things and meet people.

traveling couple

The Traveling AngloItalian

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: One running joke we have between us is my sarcastic ‘interest’ in the great Italian historical of Garibaldi.

During our few trips to Italy it’s always been fun to note just how many streets and statues in Italy are dedicated to this man who’s (after uniting Italy) actually had quite a shady past.  I’d love to have been around Garibaldi to see the man as he really was, not as he’s remembered.

She Said: I needed to think a little bit about this question, but I’ve finally come out with an answer.

I’d love to spend some time with Anish Kapoor to get to know him better and what a better occasion if not a trip. I absolutely love his work and I’d love to see other sides of his personality. It could turn into a disaster and that he turned out to not be the man I imagined him to be but I could say that at least I tried it and seen the day-to-day life as an international artist.

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

He said: During the beginning of October of this year we spent a week with some fantastic friends in Slovenia who across a number of days took us on road trips all over the country showing us just how much there is to see and do in a country full of fantastic countryside, magnificent ski slopes and cities full of magnificent culinary delights.

She said: It’s such a difficult question to answer, every place I’ve visited has something special to be remembered for. If I have to choose I’d probably say Japan because is such a unique country in many ways. Its culture and lifestyle are very different to any of the ones I know of. The food is probably the best in my opinion too, I’d love to go back there one day.

 1000Fights: Do you LOVE couple travel?  Want to be featured in our 7 questions?  Just get in touch with us (here).

4)  One of our fave parts of your blog is your quest to capture interesting designs from around the globe.  Could you share with us your fave?

He said: We love to highlight all kinds of design from coffee shops to local trinkets and some items of clothing but by far I think the one we love the most are the Pandism tshirts from Bangkok, Thailand.

She said: I loved a small and cozy coffee shop in Bangkok that we went to called ‘Gallery Drip Coffee’. The interior design is simple, very nice and goes perfectly with their mission which is all about serving the best coffee by looking after every detail from the preparation to the serving.

Traveling couple

5)  How do you guys stay on budget so well? We are very impressed!

He said: I think it’s purely built out of the fear of running out of cash and finding ourselves stranded somewhere!

She said: We simply choose what to do carefully and skip all the activities that are ‘not necessary’ for us, in this way we can spend more on what we love like visiting art exhibitions or similar events and places.   We also try to live more like locals instead of eating and staying in touristic places, couchsurfing helped a lot for sure!

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

He said: This is a tough one to answer as unfortunately there are many problems in the world that need solving.

She said: I agree with Dale, it’s hard to choose only one. I’d definitely love to save the animals in danger to make sure they can survive and live in their natural habit without human disturbance.

 

traveling couple

The angloItalians…always looking for the next adventure.

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

He said: We won’t lie and say that we never fight, but we fall out all the time, generally over silly things so those moments don’t last all that long; but there was one moment near the beginning of our travels where we both got pretty darn angry with each other.

She said: It was during the first week or two of our travels and we were in Rome. What happened was that we were wondering around the city and whilst we just like to wonder without knowing where we’re headed, there are moments when knowing where we’re headed on a map is pretty handy, trouble is, Dale’s sense of direction and knowing where he is pretty amazing and before he’s looked at a map he knows where he is and where we’re headed, so when he wasn’t showing me the map to point where we were headed I got pretty cross.

It was such a silly thing but I like to know where I’m headed, it takes me a little while to figure it all on the map but I liked to know at that point. To cut a long story short, I got angry because I didn’t know where we were headed, Dale got angry because he was annoyed that I might doubt him.

Fast forward a year and I’m so glad that Dale is so good with the map that I tend to never look as it’s completely unnecessary. We can wonder anywhere and I know he’ll know the way to get back somewhere else and it’s actually enhanced our ability to wonder around the ‘off the beaten path’ places because I know he’ll get us back with ease.

Again, it’s only a silly thing, but at the time it felt like all out war. All couples will fight and those who say they don’t are lying. Spending every hour of every day month after month can be stressful, it’s how you learn to work with it that makes the relationship stronger in our eyes.

1000Fights: Wow!  AngloItalian thanks for sharing your story with us!  You can tell that they have a ton of spunk!  Give their blog (AngloItaliana follow!

 

 

 

.

5