Thanks for checking out our travel diary! We, Mike and Jess, are a couple that have a passion for travel and adventure. We met during an international vacation and started writing a travel diary to keep friends and family up-to-date with our whereabouts and share our stories during our Honeymoon – a 3 week vacation in Thailand. We have continued to document our travelling so we can look back on our adventures, and so you can come along!

Favorite Destination: Thailand will always hold a special place in our hearts because it was our first time in Asia and is the trip that really sparked our strong passion for travel. 

Biggest Travel Disappointment: When we visit somewhere that has become overrun with tourists. We are tourists when we travel, so it’s strange to say, but when a city is over traveled, it loses it’s authenticity. We first experienced this is Bruges, Belgium. We later learned that few locals live in the city because so many of the homes were bought out by non-locals, that it’s too expensive to try to live there. Therefore, all the shops and restaurants are geared only to tourists, making it feel more like Disneyland than Belgium. 

Bucket List Destinations: Our destination list is never-ending, but on the top is South Africa, New Zealand, Vietnam, Iceland, and Patagonia.

Favorite Part of Travel: Experiencing how others live and realizing how small our bubble is. Travelling really opens our eyes and minds. It helps remind us that people on the other side of the world are so similar to us, yet live such different and wonderful lives. Travelling has made us more compassionate, patient, and humbled people.

Least Favorite Part of Travel: The actual travelling, hands down. We hate airports, plane travel, busses and taxis. We have grown to quite enjoy train travel, though!

Advice for Others Looking to Travel:

-Smile. Be Kind. Be Patient.

-It’s easy to get caught up in your experience when travelling, but we try to remind ourselves that we have chosen to visit another country, other people’s home towns. We always research local customs, simple phrases in the region’s language, do’s and dont’s so we don’t disrespect or offend. Basically, we try to be respectful of where we are visiting since it is their home, not ours.

-Always download maps of the regions you are travelling. You never know when you will lose signal.

-Always use cell data while travelling. we tried using paper maps to get around Munich to try to save money on data charges. That lasted 10 minutes. A lot of the large companies charge a flat daily rate for international data. It’s worth every penny.

-We have been moving away from using AirBNB when we travel. It used to be cheap and less prevalent. Now, cities are being overrun by people buying up the real estate and renting out on AirBNB, forcing locals out of the cities. Unless the hotels in the area you are looking at are unreasonable or booked up, we recommend choosing them. 

-When we research for an upcoming trip, we look at the travel blogs and “best to do in” articles, but avoid sticking only to what’s recommended in them. Tourist spots are popular for a reason, but we have found the best experiences are often off the most popular tracks. We have started looking at Google Maps and simply clicking around at what looks interesting on the map in the area you are in. We found the most incredible castle we had visited in all of Ireland, Germany, Austria, England, and Wales not by looking at a travel blog, but clicking around on the map. We had the grounds to ourselves because it wasn’t mentioned in travel blogs!