Tag Archives | adventure travel

Remembering Pearl Harbor

In the early hours of December 7th, 1941, the Empire of Japan launched a massive attack on the naval base just outside of Honolulu, Hawaii.  This attack would result in a declaration of war, the entry of the United States of America into WWII.   Both Luci and I have ancestors that fought in the Pacific.  During our recent visit to Hawaii, we spent the morning paying our respects to those that lost their lives in this attack.  The Pearl Harbor visitors center is a helpful resources to learn about the history of this fateful event.  Once you have had the chance to visit the museum, you are ushered into a theater to watch a short documentary on the attack.  From the theatre you board a small shuttle boat that takes you out to the USS Arizona memorial.   Below are a few of our pictures from our visit.

Visiting Pearl Harbor:

Official Website:  http://www.nps.gov/valr/index.htm

twitter:  https://twitter.com/PacificNPS

The Pearl Harbor Visitor Center is open daily from 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Pearl Harbor, Oahu, Hawaii

Pearl Harbor, Oahu, Hawaii

 

A beautiful white building is situated over the underwater wreckage of the ship.

A beautiful white building is situated over the underwater wreckage of the ship.

The rusting hull of the USS Arizona can be viewed from the memorial.  A small amount of oil continues to leak from the underwater tanks of the ship.

The rusting hull of the USS Arizona can be viewed from the memorial. A small amount of oil continues to leak from the underwater tanks of the ship.

Over 1000 servicemen died as a result of the attack.   Listed on the wall of the memorial are crew members that were killed aboard the USS Arizona.  Survivors can elect to have their remains interred in the ship when they pass away.

Over 1000 servicemen died as a result of the attack. Listed on the wall of the memorial are crew members that were killed aboard the USS Arizona. Survivors can elect to have their remains interred in the ship when they pass away.

battleship

USS Missouri (BB-63) nicknamed the “Mighty Mo”. The Missouri was the last battleship commissioned by the United States and was the site of the surrender of the Empire of Japan which ended World War II. The ship (now a museum) stands on guard watching over Pearl Harbor.

In an address to congress President Franklin D. Roosevelt penned the famous "Infamy" speech.  An hour after the speech, congress declared war.

In an address to congress President Franklin D. Roosevelt penned the famous “Infamy” speech. An hour after the speech, congress declared war.

Pearl Harbor and the USS Arizona Memorial are reminders of the sacrifice of so many for freedom.   The Fighting Couple salutes those service men and women and their families that have given their all that we may live free.  Thank you.

Pearl Harbor and the USS Arizona Memorial are reminders of the sacrifice of so many for freedom. The Fighting Couple salutes those service men and women and their families that have given their all that we may live free. Thank you.

3

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

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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0

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

Adventure: Horses that Walk on Water

Northern Germany has much to offer traveling couples, but this is one experience we never imagined:  riding on water!  The morning before our adventure, our good friends in Cuxhaven, Germany, took us down to the seaside and said, “Tomorrow we are going to take a horse ride across the sea to the lighthouse.”  We thought that something might have been lost in translation.  German is one of the languages where certain words take on different meaning in English.  Nothing could prepare us for the next day’s adventure.

In the morning. our wonderful hosts said, “We are going to the post office to pick up our horses.”  We chuckled and said we were game.  We bundled up as it was a brisk fall morning expecting the worst.  As promised, we arrived at the Wattwagen Poste (loosely translated Mud Wagon Post.)   The wagons double as tourist carriers and delivering mail.

 

Sea horses

Boarding our yellow “mud wagon.”

All Aboard!

We met our wagon master.  He was a chipper fellow and he instantly had all on board that spoke German in stitches laughing the entire trip.  Those of us that were Germaniclly challenged, just nodded and smiled.  I need to work on my Deutsche.  We climbed up the yellow elevated carriage and wrapped up in woolen blankets.  With a whistle and a snap of the whip, our driver encouraged our two steeds onward.  We crested the dike and lo and behold, the tide was out…letting us travel across the sea on dry ground!

Cuxhaven mud wagon

Headed our to sea in a horse drawn wagon.

 Yellow Wagons!

Our yellow wagon train headed across the sea!  The horses loved traipsing through the water puddles and little tidal streams.  There were bundles of sticks set every so often to mark the best path out to our destination, a lighthouse in the distance.

Wattwagen

Follow the sticks!

Along the path, there were elevated cages.  Our friends explained that these are rescue pods for the high tide.  If the water starts to rise and trap you between the island and the shore, you simply climb up one of these.  You have two options…wait it out or send up a flare.  Option two comes with a stiff fine and fee as a rescue boat is send out to deliver you back to terra firma.

Rescue pods

Rescue pods along the way. Rumor is there is some whiskey in the first aid kit.

 Neuwerk Lighthouse

Our journey across the water ended at the island of Neuwerk.  Population 39.  Is it really an island, if you can take a carriage to it?  The focal point of the entire island is one of the most quaint light houses we have toured.  For a small ticket (5 euros)  you are allowed to climb the circular staircase up to the top of the lighthouse.  What is most interesting, the lighthouse…and the entire island for that matter is officially a part of Hamburg, Germany (the city is 75 miles away).  Technically the lighthouse which was built in 1367 is the oldest surviving building in Hamburg.  For its age, the entire lighthouse is in very good shape.  The views from the top show the sea and Cuxhaven.

Neuwerk Lighthouse

Stairs of the Neuwerk Lighthouse

During the summer, you can walk around the island and see the farm. There is also a nice museum that explains the ecology of the area. After we had milled around for a time, our wagon master mustered us up again, we boarded our yellow carriage and headed back to the mainland.  It was a great day trip.

Hamburg horses

What a great day! Who knew we could walk on water?

Cuxhaven and Neuwerk are wonderful off the beaten path locations to visit as a couple.

12

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

I am a Menu Coward

Every word on the menu looks Greek…and you are in Poland.  What to do?  

I have something to confess.  I am a recovering menu coward.  Luci and I are supposed to be the adventure couple travel gurus.  We are supposed to try anything, anywhere, from any roadside stand.  Sorry, I cant do it.   When we travel, I nervously scan the menu for words that remotely look like steak, chicken, pasta or better yet….have pizza in its name or description.

In order to understand my eating history…you must know where I come from.   I grew up in the rural western US.  Really good Pad Thai, balut, or even casu marzu were nowhere to be found.  Steak and potatoes were the plate de jour.  Right after high school all that was about to change.  I moved to Taiwan.  Food culture shock!  Thank heaven for fried rice or Chao Fan as the Taiwanese say.  I basically survived for three months eating one thing, and one thing only.  Then I slowly got brave.

Meat and potatoes

Meat and potatoes…the old standby.

One of the beauties of international travel is that it takes you outside your comfort zone in so many ways.  One of the biggest ways to get out of that zone is breaking our menu coward-ness.  There is so much delicious food out there!  In today’s flat world you could live on McDonald’s hamburgers and fries just about anywhere in the world you travel.

What follows is our 5 step program to overcoming menu cowardness.

Eat Breakfast

So often what halts us from trying something adventurous while we are traveling is that we are hungry!  After tramping around Rome all day, you are famished and frankly, you want something that you know that you are going to like.  This happens to us all the time.  Key is load up on a good breakfast.  Stateside, I am not a breakfast food eater.  If my mother in law is reading this….sorry.  I know, I know it is the most important meal of the day…ya.  Seriously, most nation’s breakfasts are the same.  Fruit?  Check.  Some form of cereal? Yep.  Bacon!  Need we say more.  Our advice to traveling couples is load up on breakfast.  If the hotel has a buffet.  Eat to full.  This allows you to have the energy to hit the tourist trail and not be weak at your “menu”  moment.

I will NOT have what she is having

One of the recommendations we make to traveling couples is seeking off the beaten path sites and eateries.  Many of these restaurants…the really good ones…. don’t have English menus.  In fact if a restaurant has an English menu, it is likely not frequented by the locals.  Another thing that Luci and I try to do is always order something different from each other.  This is a great way to cover more bases.  One of us is bound to get something that we like.  Sometimes this “sharing” disintegrates into a fight…but that’s just us.

macaron

Yummy macarons!

Hunt and Peck

One of our favorite pastimes in France is stopping at every boulangerie.  As we see the sites, we stop occasionally and buy a croissant or a pastry.  In Thailand, we would hit the fruit smoothie stands for a pick me up snack.  Eating a little throughout the day helps us to avoid the hunger blindness that can hit you late in the day.  That monster tells you it is ok to go get a burger.  Don’t surrender to the hunger.  Eat a little during the day.  Keep the blood sugar levels up.

Listen to Food & Travel Bloggers

One of the very best ways to overcome you fear of the unknown is to do what you are right now!  Read food and travel blogs.  Bloggers are great guinea pigs.  They know where to go to eat.  They know what to eat once you get there.  Case in point.  I had never had “real” goulash.  When we were in Budapest this past spring, I made it my mission that I was going to goulash.  I just put it out there onto twitter

 

Goulash

Goulash at Kadar’s

The Fighting Couple ‏@1000Fights

Calling all #Budapest #foodie‘s- where is the best goulash? #hungary

And within seconds…boom -we had an answer from @ConfusedJulia.  She told us what to eat at Kadar Resteraunt.  LOVED it! She even followed up with us to see if we liked it!

Julia ‏@ConfusedJulia

@1000Fights Awesome! So glad you went to Kadar – we loved the goulash there :)

Travel bloggers and foodies are a great sources of info and can help you make the right choice.  While you are eating breakfast with the free wifi, put it out there on twitter…what should I eat in #________.  Use the pound sign to cast your net a little wider to the world.  If in doubt…ask @ConfusedJulia!

Cheaters Always Win

Ok, you have followed our guidance from above.  You are in the right place.  Not a lick of English on the card.  Every word on the menu looks Greek…and you are in Poland.  What to do?   We always survey the room.  Pay attention to what the waiters are bringing out of the kitchen.  You can test drive a meal before buying.  Another strategy is to engage the waiter.  Ask a few questions, ask them to describe some of the dishes.  If you happen to be allergic to some food or ingredient… you must learn the words for those items in every language you may be eating in.  If all else fails…throw caution to the wind.  Order the Shiokara!

Ok..its your turn.  What do you do when you don’t understand the menu?

What is the craziest thing you have eaten?

Leave us a comment below, we would love to hear from you.

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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.)

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