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Every Country We Visited – A Brief Recap of 2012

by Tony · 20 comments

14 countries in one year

It’s been almost two years since we finished our around the world trip. While we haven’t stopped traveling, our pace has definitely slowed down. I don’t think we’ll ever top 14 countries in one year!

This site has grown a lot since we started writing on it and even more since we finished our trip, so we thought it would be helpful to highlight a few articles on each country we visited to help other travelers who are planning their own trip. They are shown below in the order we visited them.

We also have broken down our budget from the trip so if you’re curious about how much our trip cost, click here. And since a lot of you still can’t believe Europe was cheaper than South America, click here.


Valparaiso Chile

Our second impression of Santiago, Chile.

One of the most incredible hikes we have ever done. The difficult, but beautiful, hike in Torres del Paine on the Las Torres trail.


Argentina Perito Moreno Glacier

Where I ask myself… “How could a place like this only require a good pair of sneakers and working up a good sweat?” The awesome backpacking town of El Chalten in Patagonia. A must visit if you are venturing this far south.

Buenos Aires was fantastic. The architecture was great, the people were nice, and the food… This closed door secret dining experience at Cocina Sunae was truly a one of a kind experience and barely scratched the surface of what the city had to offer for foodies.

Our first impression of Buenos Aires – and it only got better from there.


Bolivia Salt Flats

Without question, our most controversial article ever written. Just check out the comments! People do not like our opinion of La Paz… but we did love the rest of our time in Bolivia.

We also have so much more to write on our time in this country, so stay tuned. Especially for our experiences at Lake Titicaca and the Bolivian Salt Flats.


Peru Machu Picchu

We ended up loving Lima, but we were really just coasting on the lingering bliss from hiking the Inca Trail and visiting Machu Picchu. Check out Meg’s piece on “things we wish we had known” about the inca trail hike.

People loved the insight on the hike so she followed up by answering everyone’s questions on how to prepare for Machu Picchu!


France Mont Saint Michel

Everyone talks about the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, or Normandy when speaking about France. So I was incredibly surprised when we rented a car and took a day trip to see the magnificent Mont Saint-Michel in Northern France. A castle built on a sand bar… awesome.

If you are going to visit something as talked about as the Louvre, make sure you know how to skip the line by using the Louvre’s secret entrance.

Quality vs. quantity and Meg’s thoughts on how not to drool in public when looking at Parisian cuisine.



Dining on Lago Maggiore with friends… ’nuff said! And no. We didn’t see George Clooney – he lives on the neighboring Lake Como :)


Italy Tuscany

Part of our trip was about experiencing many different ways to travel, so we were eager to try WWOOFing on a tuscan farm. We were NOT disappointed!

We ate well while on the farm with all of that fresh produce, but the best meal we ate in Italy had to be at this all-day private Umbrian cooking class hosted by a mother/daughter duo who just… kept… feeding us!


Turkey Istanbul

We have more to write about our awesome trip to Turkey, but since we seemingly have to write about food whenever we visit a country, we couldn’t help but have a Baklava hunt while in Istanbul.



By the time we made it to Croatia, we had gotten a little road weary. That’s why it was the perfect time to take a travel break. We explain why every long term traveler probably gets “travel sick” at some point.

Part of the reason we got “travel sick” was the close to 24-hour journey we took to get to our apartment! While taking the overnight ferry from Italy to Croatia sounded romantic… sleeping on a concrete floor is anything but.

Whenever we tell anyone how much we loved our time in Croatia, they just say, “CROATIA?!?!” So here are all of your questions about Croatia answered and why you should probably book a trip to visit in the near future.


Germany Berlin

Do we enjoy food tours? YES. Historical tours? Not so much…

But we were surprised by how much we enjoyed the two history tours we took in Berlin. Context Travel led us on a fascinating tour through Berlin and discussed the 700 year history of “Jewish Berlin.” While this tour was great, the highlight of our historical tours in Berlin was the underground WWII bunkers the German civilian population used during the war. So much of it was still available to see and it really brought the history to life.



The award for best title we’ve ever written goes to Meg: “What A Bug Bite On My Butt Crack Taught Me About Thailand: An Itch I’ll Never Scratch.”

We get asked a lot about housesitting and we always highly recommend it as a great way to save money while traveling. If you’re curious, check out how much we lucked out the first time tried housesitting at this enormous Thai mansion (it had both east and west wing pools!).

The first time we cooked Thai food for ourselves… we now have green curry at least once per week!


Malaysia Kuala Lumpur

Our time in Malaysia was centered around using Kuala Lumpur as a travel hub to get around Asia. But we did spend close to a week in the city and loved the street food. Check out some of our quick thoughts about the great Chinatown in Kuala Lumpur.



Indonesia was… incredible. A lot of it had to do with our visit being so late in our travels and really only having any interest in beaches. And boy did we enjoy the beautiful beaches of Indonesia!

I got SCUBA certified, learned to surf in Bali, and lived on an island so small that cars were not allowed and you could walk around it in 45 minutes. Pure paradise!


Australia Sydney

What a great way to transition from international travel back to life in the US. A foreign country, but English speaking… knowing a countries language makes travel so much easier – shocking, right?

We rekindled friendships in Hunter Valley that were forged over wine earlier in our travels, saw Sydney Harbor by boat on an elegant half-day cruise, learned to surf  at Bondi beach (yes again… I needed the help), and tried out our photography skills on a night time tour of the city.

It was the perfect end to a year of adventure, with memories to last a life time!

Which Country Do You Want To Hear More About?

So now that you have a taste of the places we’ve gone and the things that have done, what would you like to learn more about? Please tell us in the comments and we will be sure to write about it!

About Tony
Quit his job to try actually following his dreams for once... and is currently loving it. He is working hard to to make this life-style permanent by writing about his adventures and brainstorming money making opportunities with his partner-in-crime, Meg.

kelsey September 2, 2014 at 4:56 pm

this is really amazing! :) what an experience – scary to drop everything but rich in experience!

Tony September 3, 2014 at 1:37 pm

Thanks, Kelsey! It was fun recapping our adventures here as we realized there is a whole bunch of stuff we haven’t written about yet. Stay tuned!

Create/Enjoy September 2, 2014 at 9:23 pm

Wow, amazing! I can’t imagine so many countries in one year. Or in my lifetime, actually! House-sitting in Thailand sounds perfect!

Tony September 3, 2014 at 1:38 pm

We couldn’t either until we made the leap to quit our jobs and travel for a year… it seemed surreal! House sitting was incredible. Definitely a highlight for us :)

Laetitia - French Fries and Apple Pie September 3, 2014 at 1:49 am

Wow, what a journey! Being French (not Parisian) I couldn’t agree more with you. Paris and the Louvre are nice, but there’s so much more to see in France, outside of Paris! I’m glad you took that trip to Mont St Michel… which I haven’t visited yet. My hometown was quite the opposite way…

I’d love to know more about Bolivia. I have only recently discovered the country (I mean I knew it existed, but never had actually seen pictures of the place) and I must say it got me very excited. It looks gorgeous… I hope to visit on of these days… After Hawaii and British Columbia :)

Tony September 3, 2014 at 2:47 pm

So glad to hear that you agree with us about France! Living in the countryside of Normandy for a week was truly incredible. Felt like a movie!

Lake Titicaca was incredible – definitely a must visit. And while it seems like every backpacker does the Bolivian Salt Flat tour, there really is a reason for it. Truly a unique experience. We’ll have to write more about our experiences so be sure to check back in when we do!

Thanks Laetitia!

Rachel Lloyd September 3, 2014 at 11:48 am

I am SO jealous of this post!!! Amazing.

Tony September 3, 2014 at 1:39 pm

hahaha Thanks Rachel! I checked out your site and love the pics from your recent trip to Boston. That’s our hometown!

Melinda September 3, 2014 at 12:39 pm

I’m so jealous that you had a year to travel! I’d love to hear more about your European travels! My husband and I traveled through Europe on our honeymoon and we’re planning to do another trip when our kids are older.

Tony September 3, 2014 at 1:41 pm

Europe for the honeymoon sounds amazingly perfect, Melinda! We loved Europe and especially were surprised by Croatia and Berlin. Two of our absolute most favorite places and two places I never would have guessed would be at the top of our list before we left on our trip.

We’ll definitely write more about our European adventures!

Bee September 3, 2014 at 9:54 pm

WOW–very ambitious couple! I would love to learn more about your travels in South America as that is on my bucket list. Also–what steps do you take to blend in when traveling? I would also be interested to know what “traveling light” means to you both–it’s so easy to weigh oneself down with things you don’t really need. Thanks for sharing on the Portland Bloggers Feed!

Tony September 4, 2014 at 11:57 am

Thanks so much, Bee!

We will definitely be writing more about South America. It was a whirlwind for us as it was the first 3 months of our trip and we overpacked it with stuff to do. Traveling light for us meant that we each had one 32 Liter backpack and I had a durable laptop bag with both our laptops in it. That was it! We usually had the smallest bags at any hostel we stayed in… What does traveling light mean to you?

P.S. We’ll be in Chicago in a few weeks so we’d love any tips you have on your hometown!

Renée B. September 4, 2014 at 2:04 pm

What an amazing adventure of a year! What I love about your individual posts about the places your visit is that not only do they inform and inspire, but they make the idea of going oneself seem approachable and doable. Thanks so much for sharing!

Tony September 4, 2014 at 4:51 pm

Thank you, Renee!

It means a lot to hear you enjoy our posts and I appreciate you looking around. Look forward to seeing more of your thoughts in the comments!

Erin September 8, 2014 at 12:40 pm

I love this! Gorgeous photos. I can’t wait to read all of these posts and read all about your adventures.

Tony September 8, 2014 at 2:58 pm

Thanks, Erin! I can’t wait to hear about all of your adventures in Thailand… so jealous that it’s right around the corner!

Geoff (Steep Stories) September 9, 2014 at 12:24 am

Duuude, I’m jealous you guys made it to Mont Saint-Michele. That’s been on my dream travel list for awhile.

Tony September 9, 2014 at 12:57 pm

I had never even heard of it before we got to the Normandy region and did a search on what to see… Definitely a must visit, Geoff! It’s insanely cool and the self guided tour lets you walk right through the town and the monastery at the top of the tiny island. It was so fantastic that it almost felt fake…

Riris September 13, 2014 at 11:43 pm

Lucky you, Tony! such a wonderful trip.. u should go back to indonesia, and visit another place, not only Bali.. indonesia has alot of another ‘Paradise’

Tony September 14, 2014 at 1:21 pm

We spent 3 week in the Gili’s as well… definitely a favorite part of our trip since I got certified to SCUBA!

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