Whenever we have talked about CouchSurfing on the site, people have remarked in the comments about how lucky we are that our experiences across the board have been unequivocally excellent. Although I will allow that there is inherently some element of uncertainty and risk when you agree to meet strangers from the internet in real life, I don’t think that our positive experiences are the result of chance. Heck, I don’t even think it’s because the world is predominantly made up of good people and that CouchSurfing has attracted an unusually high proportion of said individuals.
The truth is, Tony & I take CouchSurfing pretty seriously. If we’ve had good success with the people we’ve met through the site, it’s because we are really picky and put a lot of time and effort into selecting potential hosts. Maybe some Surfers just see the program as a means to a free bed, but we know that if we don’t choose our hosts wisely and simply fire off requests to anyone offering up a place to stay, we’re far less likely to enjoy the experience. To really make the most of the program, we approach every CouchSurfing situation as an opportunity to make a new friend, which means we make a considerable effort to thoroughly read profiles and only approach people we genuinely think we will be compatible with and enjoy meeting. On average, we send no more than three requests for any given city and I spend about 20 minutes crafting our initial inquiry. It’s a lot of work to put into something that might not work out or even elicit a response in return, but for us, the effort has absolutely been worth it; I’m sure our diligence plays no small part in why our CouchSurfing experiences go so well.
I promise that one day I will write a post about our time in Malaysia that is not focused on food. Today, however, is not that day.
I loved the city of Melaka and want to tell you all about it, but the truth is that I keep coming back to the food. It was so good, that I just can’t seem to talk about anything else. We had always heard that competing UNESCO rival George Town up in Penang province was the country’s food capital, so you can imagine our delight when Melaka unexpectedly provided us with the perfect setting for an impeccable and authentic Malaysian food bender. No disrespect to George Town (we ate really well there, too!), but in Melaka, we came for the historic buildings and stayed for the food… if that’s not a glowing recommendation, I don’t know what is!
So, let’s cut to the chase. Here’s what we tucked into during our stay:
Celebrating 15 months on the road in the mountains of Nepal
When Tony & I initially set out on this trip, we thought we’d be gone for the standard 1 year, maybe 18 months if we were lucky. But we’ve now been traveling long enough that when people we meet along the way ask us how long we’ve been on the road we actually have to stop and really think about it. I was astounded when I did just this last week and realized that we’ve now been traveling for over 15 months! Best of all, we’re still going strong and have no plans to stop any time soon.
Of course, it hasn’t been smooth sailing the entire time we’ve been out here; as is to be expected, we’ve hit bumps in the road. Some of them were unavoidable, but others we certainly look back on and grimace at the naiveté and ignorance that led to them. Still, at the end of the day, it’s all part of the adventure and the mistakes we’ve made have only served to make us better, more enlightened travelers. Also, we haven’t been running around out here like complete nincompoops—though it’s easy to beat ourselves up about our blunders, there are a few important things that we’ve definitely done right on this journey.
So, to celebrate 15 months of continuous travel, I put together a list confessing ten of our mistakes, and praising five choices we’re so glad we made.
Back before we packed up our own bags and started our own travels, Tony & I were both avid travel-blog readers (we still are!) who loved living vicariously through the adventures of other intrepid souls who had eschewed a conventional life in pursuit of their worldwide dreams. When we stumbled upon the epic and hilarious blog, Landing Standing, run by the delightful and daring Meg and Tony, we knew that if our paths ever crossed somewhere on our travels, we’d have some serious partners in crime when it came to tackling the local food scene.
A little background on Meg and Tony: Back in January 2013, the two left their jobs to go RTW and try out the location-independent lifestyle. Apparently it took, because although these two aspiring entrepreneurs and digital nomads are now back in the US from their adventure around the world they have been house sitting for several months in Northern California in the beautiful Sierra Nevadas. Together, they continue to blog about travel, food, and all things ridiculous over at LandingStanding!
Unfortunately, a real-life meetup between the four of us hasn’t happened… yet! But I’m sure that it’s only a matter of time before we find ourselves in the same city (for now, I’d settle for the same continent!). And when we do, things are going to get wild! In the interim, I’ll just have to tide myself over like the rest of you with this week’s Chewing the Fat. If anything, Meg’s enthusiasm and excitement for all things food has just whet my appetite for that eventual meeting all the more! Join us as we chat about the beauty of “binge” days, the hidden gems of the South American food scene, how food and romance go hand-in-hand while on the road, and so much more!