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Apr
17
2013

Ironically, sometimes the hardest part about being a travel blogger is writing about the places you have visited. I’m not talking about the actual act of writing or the frustration of writer’s block—though that does indeed strike with exasperating regularity—but rather, sometimes you visit it a place and it is so completely perfect that you develop a fierce protectiveness for it, one that does battle with your mission to share your adventures with the world. Sometimes you find a place that’s not squarely on the tourist trail and you tumble so head over heels in love with it that you get a little bit selfish and don’t want to share.

I never feel as exhilarated or as free as I do when I’m riding a motorcycle. Maybe I’ve got something of a daredevil streak in me that motorcycles allow me to indulge, but there are few things that give me the visceral joy that I experience when I’m zipping along on two wheels, the wind gently caressing my face. It’s by far my favorite way to travel, as it lets me feel far more connected to my surroundings than I do in a car or even a train; there’s nothing between me and the world but the air I breathe deep into my lungs.

Feb
23
2013

With a PhD in Psychology, I’ve accrued tons of information over the years that our switch to a full-time travel lifestyle has largely made irrelevant. Ok, not entirely, since Psychology is all about the scientific study of the human mind, and as it turns out, the world is populated with people… so while, I may not be putting my degree to its obvious purpose by pursuing a degree in academia, I still get to observe psychological tenets in action every day and feel smugly superior to those around me who are oblivious to the principles that they are unknowingly guided by.

Feb
18
2013

11 Questions

Written by Stephenie Harrison February 18, 2013
Posted in Musings

Confession: We have no idea what the Liebster Blog Awards are, but apparently they are something that are by New Bloggers, for New Bloggers? And while we don’t really do many meme-type things on this site, when the lovely Rika over at Cubicle Throwdown nominated us for this mysterious award, we felt the least we could do is answer the questions she threw out to the people she tagged. Truly, the internet is one of the places where we can say that just being nominated is an honor and not be lying through our teeth.

Feb
11
2013

Just last week I was writing about hitting a major milestone—turning 30—and now it is time for another: it hardly seems possible, but Tony & I have now been traveling for six months. I know it’s true, and yet I can hardly wrap my head around it.

My mind balks at the thought we’ve been gone for HALF A YEAR now. Half a year! That empirically seems incredibly long but, in reality, it has felt like no amount of time at all. And yet I can’t deny the changes that I have undergone, changes that no amount of wishing or wishful thinking will bring about, but only result from the thing resembling the spiritual bootcamp that we have constructed for ourselves.

Feb
03
2013

Reaching Thirty

Written by Stephenie Harrison February 3, 2013
Posted in Musings

When I was fifteen, I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt my life would end at thirty. I didn’t have a death wish — at least not one any greater than your average teenager prone to fits of melodrama — but at that time in my life, the number thirty seemed so far away that I was certain that by the time I reached it, I would have done all the living I could possibly do and be ready to throw in the towel and go out on top. Trying to see past thirty was like trying to see the stars through the haze kicked up into the skies of big cities, the future obscured by a smog of uncertainty.

Dec
24
2012

Seasons Greetings from Singapore!

Written by Tony December 24, 2012
Posted in Musings

‘Tis the season for many things, one of them being a break from chronology! While we won’t actually be covering Singapore for a while yet here on 20YH, Singapore is in fact where we find ourselves this year for Christmas. We have the good fortune of crashing with a friend from Steph’s grad school days, so although there is no snow here, and we can’t be with our families, this is by far the best scenario we could have dreamed.

Sep
23
2012

Melting Down in Matsumoto

Written by Stephenie Harrison September 23, 2012
Posted in Japan, Musings

In many ways, our first week of full-time travel was a lot harder than I predicted. I’ve mentioned it before, but the thing that I perhaps struggled with the most during this time was the food & dining element of travel, which was really surprising to me. We’ve established that neither Tony nor I are afraid of taking chances with our meals or of trying something new and unusual, so this was the last area where I expected to short circuit.

Although you wouldn’t think it to look at our blog, today marks one month since Tony and I left North America to travel long-term! We have been doing our best to get the blog a little more up-to-date and hopefully the gulf between our posts and reality will eventually lessen, but I wanted to break from chronology to share some reflections on our first month on the road. It seems important to share these thoughts now rather than wait until we’ve finished writing about Japan, so that these musings are still fresh, accurate & relevant. Rest assured, we’ll have more posts & pictures about our time in Japan up for you soon!

Aug
08
2012

Intermission

Written by Stephenie Harrison August 8, 2012
Posted in Musings, Pre-trip

One of the things Tony and I hope to do on our RTW trip is see a Bollywood movie while we are actually in India. I am on the record as being staunchly pro-musicals, so it is no surprise that the melodrama and numerous singing and dancing routines that we all know are really the […]

I can’t be entirely certain, but I have read enough savings and pre-trip posts on enough blogs to assert that Tony and I may be the very first long-term travel bloggers who decided NOT to sell our car on the path to our travel dreams. I know most people argue that cars are money pits […]

Jul
23
2012

I think that anyone who has ever set off on a RTW trip has had some kind of dealbreaker – one thing that, should it happen (or not happen), would take the prospect of traveling off the table. Maybe it’s failing to sell your house, getting offered a life-changing job opportunity, a family member getting […]

Jun
23
2012

The Best Laid Plans

Written by Stephenie Harrison June 23, 2012
Posted in Musings, Pre-trip

I think if there’s any lesson I need to learn prior to our trip, it’s to stop planning so very much. Over the past few months, without fail, whenever I draw up elaborate schemes and plan, life has a way of completely buggering them up. Back in May, the only way I was able to […]

  When Tony quit his job a few weeks ago, I expected there to be an immediate shift in his mood. After being unhappy and feeling burnt out by his job for several years, I thought that making a concerted effort to remove a source of stress and anguish would have him over the moon […]

May
06
2012

Thanks to everyone who gave advice about where we should start our trip! Whether you commented based on gut feelings or personal experience, everything you said helped us make our decision about where to start our big adventure. We spent several sleepless nights agonizing over this decision, recognizing the entire time that there was no […]