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“Welcome home.”

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This blog has been something that we didn’t really know what it would look like when we started it. It was truly just a place for me (us) to process our time on this wonderful road and reflect on the lessons we learned along the way. It was a place for us to store memories- memories of people and places that we will forever treasure and hold close to our hearts. It was a place that we hoped would inspire you to get out there and experience this amazing world (when the COVID-19 epidemic has passed, of course). Little did I know that it would be something that I would treasure so dearly as I try to process and figure out what this wonderful road looks like right now.
It’s funny because every so often as we’ve been traveling I’ve thought of a blog post that I wanted to someday come back and write. Maybe something not location specific, but just thoughts and ponderings from our travels. In the fall, I put one in our post archives just entitled “Welcome home” with the mindset that I would u…

Bangkok

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After a fun-filled week in Delhi, we hopped on a plane and headed southeast to Bangkok, Thailand. We both love Southeast Asia. The kind and friendly people, the delicious (and cheap) food, the warm weather and sunshine…it really doesn’t get much better than this part of the world. For this reason, Thailand is somewhere that we had been looking forward to for a long time. Our plan was to start our time in Bangkok, then head to Chiang Mai and onto Phuket after that, but COVID-19 had other plans (more on that in a future post, but for now we’re back in the U.S.). We were excited to begin our Thai adventure in Bangkok with the opportunity to explore the Thai capital and learn about this amazing country.
I (Haley) had visited Bangkok for about a week in 2011 while staying with some friends (who are like my second family) in between my time in Beijing and India. We took a short trip from their home in south China (Shenzhen) during the holidays. It was just enough time to dip my toes into thi…

Delhi

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After an emotional goodbye in Hyderabad, Perry and I boarded a short-ish flight to Delhi, the capital of India. Before we had ever really done much planning for this adventure, getting to Delhi during this week was on the calendar. Why, you might ask. Well, every year India celebrates a festival called “Holi” that we really wanted to make it to on March 11th. You may have heard or seen this festival. The U.S. has a 5k race that started several years ago called the “Color Run” that is based on the festival. During Holi, people purchase colored chalk and throw it all over each other along with shooting water guns and throwing water balloons filled with colored water. It’s even more fun than it sounds.
And the best part about this week in Delhi and getting to celebrate Holi? My cousin, Megan, and her husband, Josh, met us in Delhi to join in on the fun. It was fantastic to have them along. We had a blast!

Delhi is a pretty interesting city. Though I had visited it for a few days about 8 ye…

Ongole and Hyderabad

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“Weeping may come for the night, but joy comes in the morning…” Psalm 30:5
This last week, we returned to a country and a place that has kept pieces of my heart over the years. Each time that I arrive, my heart beats a little bit faster at what awaits once the wheels on the plane touch down. And each time I depart, another piece of my heart gets left behind.
When I first arrived in South India in January 2012, I had no idea what was awaiting me. I was excited and nervous about accepting an opportunity to volunteer at Sarah’s Covenant Homes (SCH) in Ongole. India was a country that I had always dreamed of visiting after reading the stories of Mother Teresa’s work in Kolkata. When Sarah (founder and namesake of SCH) emailed me a couple weeks before my arrival and asked if I would be interested in helping start and run a foster home for 12 girls ages 2 to 13, I thought, “Sure, why not?” Little did I know that those months would be some of the most difficult and joyful of my whole life. And…

Dubai and Middle East Cruise

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Over the last two weeks, we’ve spent time in the Middle East within the United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.) and on a Middle Eastern cruise. When we started planning this trip and talking about where to go, we kept coming back to the idea of finding a way to visit the Middle East in a way that would make our parents happy…so after some thought and research, we found a cruise that left from Dubai, U.A.E. and starting planning around that.
We started our time out in Dubai for a few days, boarded a 7 night Royal Caribbean cruise and then returned to Dubai for several days. And honestly, it was all so nice.
I’m not sure what you picture when you hear the words “Middle East.” But for me, there was definitely a lot of sand, hot temperatures and Islamic clothing. If you thought of these things then you’d be correct most of the year (it can sometimes reach almost 130 degrees in the summer, but it “cools” off to the 70s and 80s in the winter, which is now…). But I think too, I have a lot of images that…

Egypt

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Pharaohs, pyramids, hieroglyphics, temples and the Nile River…all are things that I remember learning about in school as a child, but this week, Perry and I had the opportunity to experience them in person. From Kenya, we traveled north to one of the most ancient civilizations on the planet. Egypt really is full of as much history as you might imagine it to have. I remember being fascinated by it as a child, but seeing something like the Great Pyramids of Giza before your eyes is truly incredible.

There are three spans of history that ancient Egypt is split into: the New Kingdom (around 1550-1070 BC), the Middle Kingdom (around 2055-1550 BC) and the Old Kingdom (around 2685-2180 BC). Just think: the Old Kingdom dates back almost 5000 YEARS from today. It kind of blows my mind. Most of what we saw this week is from the Old and New Kingdoms. Throughout each kingdom, the capital city of the country changed around: Memphis (close to Cairo): Old; Thebes: Middle; and Luxor: New. No matter wh…

Masai Mara

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In all honesty I don’t even know where to start with this post. If you’ve seen our Instagram stories lately then you know that after spending about a month in South America, we hopped on a plane and headed east to Kenya. It took us about 34 hours to finally reach Nairobi (14 hour flight to Paris, 12 hour layover in Paris, and 8 hour flight to Nairobi) so we were exhausted, but we knew it would soon all be worth it.
When Perry and I started talking seriously about this adventure over 1.5 years ago, one of the first places that we put on our list to visit was Kenya and specifically the Masai Mara. We had seen TV shows and YouTube Channels talk about the incredible landscapes and animals of the Mara, and we knew we had to get there. Everything we read and saw about the Mara drew us in to this place. So when I say we had high expectations, I mean we had HUGE expectations about our time here. But I will say that the last week exceeded those expectations on all accounts. As I sit here writin…

Buenos Aires

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From Rio, we traveled south to the land of tango for our final stop in South America: Buenos Aires, Argentina. When we had originally planned this adventure, Buenos Aires was not on our list. Mostly because our time window in South America was short, but when we realized we had a few more days than originally planned, it didn’t take long for B.A. to get added to the itinerary. And we are both happy it did!

Buenos Aires is a pretty unique city in South America. With a large portion of their population made up of European immigrants who arrived in the mid 1800s from countries like Italy, Spain and Ireland, it has a fairly Western European feel to it. The city is nicknamed “the Paris of the South”, and after walking the streets for a short time, you can quickly see why. The buildings reflect a very Parisian style of architecture with their own Argentine feel to it. The people are kind and friendly, and while they all speak Spanish, all of the population doesn’t necessarily look like what …

Rio de Janeiro

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After exploring the mountains of Peru on the west coast of South America, we crossed the continent to find the beaches of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on the east coast. Our first introduction to the city came as we flew into Rio’s SDU airport where you circle through the Guanabara Bay, past Sugarloaf Mountain and Christ the Redeemer before landing. To say it’s impressive is an understatement. Rio is certainly full of breathtaking topography with beaches and mountains that sprawl for miles throughout the city.

As a Portuguese colony, Brazil is similar to other countries in Latin America, but with its own unique Portuguese twist on history. And Rio itself has an identity and personality all its own. Its people are colorful and vibrant with a laidback beach style in the heart of a huge city. It’s honestly hard to put into words what it’s like without going there and experiencing it yourself. There are colors everywhere…especially when it comes to the street art, which I have to say was one of …

Peru (Cusco and Machu Picchu)

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After spending about five weeks in the States visiting with family and friends, planning for the spring, and eating way too much of our favorite foods, we set out on January 2nd for Peru to once again travel this wonderful journey we’re on. Neither Perry nor I had ever visited Peru before, but after hearing stories from people who had, our expectations were high. And after spending the last eight days there, to say that those expectations have been exceeded may be an understatement.
Our flight pattern to reach our final destination of Cusco was long and a little crazy so once we arrived, we were quite happy and tired. Unfortunately, to get to Cusco from the U.S., you almost certainly have an overnight connection through Lima (although this will hopefully change once Cusco opens their new airport around 2026). Yes, this can be a bit of a struggle, but trust me, it’s all worth it once you reach Cusco :)
For some background on Cusco, it was once the capital of the Incan Empire from the ear…

TransAtlantic Cruise and Canary Islands

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Some of you may have wondered why we started in Europe in August only to work our way all the way to Australia and then end up back in Spain again in November...good question! Geographically it doesn’t make a ton of sense, we know! But it’s all because of this silly yet wonderful way for us to travel home to the U.S. for the holidays...a TransAtlantic/Repositioning Cruise!

Each year, in the fall and the spring, large international cruise companies such as Royal Caribbean and Carnival move their cruise ships between different areas of the world based on the seasons/weather. In the summer months, there’s a large cruising industry in the Mediterranean Sea around Europe, but as winter approaches in Europe, the cruise season there ends and ramps up in the Caribbean. For this reason, the ships based in Europe in the summer cross the Atlantic to work in the Caribbean for the winter. The same goes for the Alaskan and Australian areas of the world. And you can travel on these cruises all for a …