Minimalistic living = Maximum joy

Hi and welcome to our adventure, we are so happy to have crossed paths with you! We are a family of four traveling full time across the planet in search of adventure. In January of 2016 my husband Gregg and I decided we wanted to sell everything and travel, but there was a catch… at the time we had a three month old and three year old. How would we do it? Can we work, play and explore different countries with small children? The answer was yes, or more realistically, let’s find out! So over the next six months we decided to plan our wedding and a trip around the world with our kids. Did I mention we were going to sell all of our belongings too? * what we hope to get out of this experience * Simply put, we believe minimal living will bring maximum joy. Together as a family we will dive into different cultures, taste new foods, explore this beautiful planet and do our best to live as earth conscious as possible. We anticipate rough roads and communication barriers and it excites us as the same time. We hope to share travel tips and share our experiences with other families and aspiring globe trotters to show just how realistic it is to travel whatever your circumstances might be.

 

We would love to hear from you:

 

Do you have suggestions or recommendations of things we need to experience or places we need to stay for our upcoming adventures. Let us know here


 

Here are a few accounts of our recent travels, blogs, experiences:


Viva Italia – The place you’ll never want to leave

Viva Italia – The place you’ll never want to leave

 “Italy is a dream that keeps returning for the rest of your life.” – Anna Akhmatova Although long overdue , here we have it… ITALY! Gregg and I agree, Italy was our favorite country that we explored. We did things a little differently travel wise; instead of staying in one country for thirty days and traveling out from the destination, we hoped around every 2-7 days. In just under thirty days we were able to travel to Milan, Venice, Florence, Rome, the Amalfi coast (Vietri, Positano, Amalfi, Paestum and Sorrento), Pompeii and finally Naples. It was quite the whirlwind adventure made even better by the food, wine, scenery and company. One of my oldest and best friends Lauren came all the way from India and braved traveling with us for close to two weeks! Having a friend there to travel with was exactly what I needed. So, what were some of our very favorite experiences??? I’ve grouped some of our favorite spots by location … 1. Milan: Milan was stop number one for us and we weren’t in the city for even 24 hours. The train station is an absolute must see! The architecture reminded me of Barcelona… dark, gothic and fabulous. We got to our apartment thanks to Air BnB, asked where we could find the best pizza and Gregg was on his way. We had three pizzas which were out of this world, just as we imagined. 2. Venice: Oh, Venice! You are romantic and one of a kind. Venice is unlike any place I have ever visited, and sadly we didn’t feel like two days was...

By the Ocean

Bonjour from Cannes, France! We arrived here in Cannes on August 30th after a whirlwind thirty days in Barcelona. Before we left the Gothic Quarter we knew Cannes was going to be a completely new experience just judging by the Air BnB we had rented months prior. This apartment was located just steps from a small beach peninsula while the busy beaches of Barcelona were almost a twenty minute walk from our little apartment in the city center. When Gregg and I decided to come to France we immediately fell in love with the pictures and, I mean, how could you not? Look at this view! We are located on the side of the coast that attracts fewer tourists because it is a little further from the main tourist-y street La Croisette which houses all of the super posh, super expensive restaurants, hotels and shops. Our little nook of Cannes has a lot of retired French men and women and a few families here and there. Every morning and through the afternoon you see these ladies and gents taking casual strolls through the shallow water exercising, gossiping and doing an overall patrol of the beach. You might be thinking, a patrol? What does she mean by they’re patrolling the beach? I have learned that the French, among many of their positive attributes, are very involved in their community and the “better” of their community.  For example, I have been asked AT LEAST ten times “où est son chapeau” or “where is his hat?” The one time I didn’t have one with me I was shamed at the grocery store,...

What have we learned? 7 tips for traveling with kids!

Here I sit in the quiet apartment of Cannes reflecting back on our time in Germany, Spain and now France. We have been to three different countries with three very different cultures, and I am incredibly grateful for this experience. I will say, the picture I had in my mind regarding this tour of Europe and beyond has turned out to be almost 100% different than it has played out. We have learned SO MUCH on our travels and one of the most important aspects of travel we have learned is HOW TO PLAN! When I was in high school my parents took my siblings and I on a trip of a lifetime — Rome, Florence, London and Paris over summer break. This was in 2006 (I think??) when the world of technology was in a much difference place. No unlimited data usage, no FaceTime, no GPS at the push of a button and little to no quick and easy way to schedule train rides, airplane reservations, hotel reviews, etc. The sheer amount of planning that goes into a trip is unbelievable. Then you have to factor in how to get train tickets, where to stand on a platform, where to look for schedules and more all in a language that is most likely foreign… IT IS A LOT! Hats off to you travelers who went around the world before 2011…. I don’t know how you survived! We did so much research before we left for our trip…. SO MUCH. Looking back now we didn’t even scratch the surface! So, what have we learned so far? Quite a lot...

First 2 Weeks in Barcelona

Barcelona Hola! We made it to Barcelona three weeks ago and have loved every minute of this incredible city. To change things up a little bit I thought I would highlight the top 10 sites we have been to so you a) aren’t reading forever and b) can see some of our incredible pictures we have taken thus far. Before I get onto the list, here are some fun facts about Barcelona Not all the shops close for a siesta, but they do operate at completely random times and I cannot keep track of when they open for business, are closed for the day or go on vacation Every street is lined with at least six ice cream shops, bakeries, supermarkets and pharmacies. When you turn the corner you will undoubtedly be met with more bakeries, more ice cream shops and more pharmacies Diapers are cheap, food is cheaper and liquor is cheapest You rarely see dogs on leashes, no one asks to pet them and they all pee in the street (which is also cleaned every morning) You are constantly finding hidden treasures within the streets and alleyways There are not as many incidents of pick-pocketing as we were warned about (currently knocking on wood) Actually getting to sit outside without having to wait for an hour is kind of an honor here, although you won’t get to stand on a podium to receive a metal—mostly because you don’t want to give up your spot There aren’t as many cats as I imagined there would be. Actually we’ve only seen 3 and one was a giant statue Spaniards...
3 Days in Frankfurt Germany

3 Days in Frankfurt Germany

Germany, you were HOT! My phone said it was 86°F the day we got there, but it was the hottest 86° I’ve ever felt, and I lived in Atlanta, GA for three years. Plus we were in an AirBnB apartment with no A/C which would have been fine with a house fan, but there was no fan either. So 86°. . . humid. . . very little breeze, and WiFi that only worked sometimes if we were standing on the bed in the master bedroom.   I did not account for Germany potentially being so warm but I also didn’t expect to be insanely sleep deprived and jet lagged. I feel a little salty about you Frankfurt…. Is it just me or my jet lag talking? (I think it was the jet lag, the heat, the lack of WiFi, and her cold. I rather enjoyed Frankfurt excluding where we stayed).  Frankfurt was a nice enough stopping point and if we had the chance to stay longer I’m sure I would have enjoyed it more. It was especially green and one of the three days we were there the afternoon had a gorgeous rain shower. We looked out the window and there was a family of hares just hanging out under a tree! How very German!!!! Here is a list of the finer points we experienced in Deutschland 1. The beer is really good, and it’s really, really cheap– quite literally cheaper than water by volume. 2. You have to pay for pretty much everything: shopping carts, shopping bags, water…keep that in mind when you go shopping. We didn’t know...

Pregnancy Tests and Pinkeye

When we first decided to travel there was a lot of concern from other people as to how on earth we’d possibly care for our kids without the pediatrician next door. We were kind of winging it in that regard. We have travelers insurance that covers both unexpected illness and emergencies/urgent care situations for the whole family, but we didn’t map out where doctor offices were in proximity to our apartment. The finer details were missed , but we had the bigger picture down. Back in the states we could take the kids in to the doctor whenever we wanted, I figured we would just figure it out when we needed to abroad. Well, the time called.  We got familiar with the Farmicia real quick. And thanks to our friend Taylor Williams, an attorney in Scottsdale that sat down with us and mapped out a plan of travel dos and don’ts, we had a sheet of English speaking doctors and places to get checked out in Spain if we needed to use it (thanks Taylor!). Rewind :: Before we left for Germany Griffin started to get ill and then I was closely behind. We hit our cold peaks in Germany where slapped on top of jet lag and no sleep from Portland to Germany, I was not a happy camper. Eventually I got over it as many colds resolve themselves and that was that. Day 7 in Barcelona I thought to myself, “hmmm , that’s weird. I think I should have gotten my period…” In an extreme panic I looked at the calendar…”oh my god, I’m three days late.” Well...

Just under 11 hours in the air

Traveling abroad – Planes, busses and taxi cabs… Well we finally did it. We made it across the country by plane. 11 hours from Portland to Frankfurt under our belts, we are now experts in travel and explorers of the unknown, right?!? Wrong. I have a confession– traveling with kids on an international flight was really, really, really, really hard. Nolan and Griffin have only been on flights that are less than four hours long from Arizona to Illinois (technically Griffin was still in the womb), so while I thought I was prepared for the 10 hour flight from Portland to Frankfurt, I was not. When we decided to travel it all seemed very romantic; take the kids, sell everything and explore the world. Great, right?! Yes. Very…. and at the same time when it was time to go, the day of our flight I became absolutely fucking terrified. I was standing bouncing Griffin for the fourth straight hour in the isle of the plane , surrounded by people peacefully watching a movie or sleeping thinking , “why am I doing this? This is insane. How was this idea even considered a possibility?” My terror grew with each passing hour of being awake when technically it was the middle of the night. I missed my mom, I wanted to sleep in a bed and the thought of five more hours of confinement within the airplane was straight up terrifying. At one point I went into the bathroom and just started sobbing. The sleep deprivation had finally set in. I felt alone with my baby who refuses to sleep and...

Why Terrorism Won’t Stop Our Family From Traveling

Why terrorism won’t stop our family from traveling   The recent terrorist attack in Nice, France brought quite a bit of unrest to our family and friends who are concerned with our choice to travel abroad despite recent terrorism in Europe; especially because we have chosen a city in France as one of our major travel destinations . WHY on earth would we travel NOW when times are so turbulent abroad?!? Let me first say, I completely understand the reservation and anxiety that is expressed to us from our loved ones. If I was in their shoes I would absolutely express similar sentiments. I’m also not downplaying the tragedies that have befallen our neighbors domestically and abroad; they are all real and horrifying. Our continued thoughts of sympathy go out to the victims and their families for their unimaginable losses. Even with that being said — terrorism won’t stop our family from traveling and here is why: The statistics are in our favor — from 2005-2015 71 Americans died abroad as a result of terrorism; compare those statistics to the 301,797 Americans who were killed by gun violence domestically in the same time period and you can see where the threat truly lies. To make our case even stronger, mass shootings killing four or more people in the United States have taken place in almost 100 metro cities within the last 12 months alone. Even with the statistics above, I’m still more likely to die as a result of drowning in my bathtub (1 in 800,000) than die as a result of terrorism (1 in 20 million). That, to me is...

Week 2 Sisters OR

Week 2 – Yellow Jacket Stings, Birthday Party, and a Treasure Map ️ Week 2 – July 5th- July 12th Major lesson learned in week 2; it’s much harder than week one. In the second week we kind of started twirling our fingers thinking about what we could do because we did a major week 1 overload Vacation is also hard on the kids ( boo hoo, right?). The schedules Gregg and I had so rigorously set into place in Phoenix went out the window as we crawled out way into week two. Both kids are staying up wayyyyyy past their bedtimes , going 150% during the day and just absolutely crashing at night. Plus side? They sleep in ; when you have 6am risers on a normal day and all the sudden that changes to 8:30am, you celebrate Despite the occasional bad behavior from the children and week 1 overload we did find some super awesome, interesting and beautiful things to do and we’ve broken them down below 🏼 Let us start out with the most traumatic event of the week , and probably of Nolan’s little life — the yellow jacket stings… We were playing cornhole in the driveway and Nolan stepped on a hive (on the ground) and “the bad bees” stung his lip, arm (twice) and we suspect his stomach. It was absolutely the worst sound a mother could hear — the “I’m in serious pain” cry. His poor lip was swollen and as I carried him inside he looked at me dead in the eyes and said “WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO?” Kill...

Week 1(ish) Sisters OR

🌲 Week 1 (ish)- Black Butte Ranch located in: Sisters, Oregon 🌲 When I was a child there was a place we went to every summer. My parents had gone since the beginning of my marriage and my dad long before he met my mom. This is a place where some of my memories of childhood are held nearest and dearest to my heart. As a parent you dream of a place like this; a place where your children walk, run and ride their bikes throughout the ranch without worrying about stranger danger, distracted drivers, highways or even busy roads. Here there is wildlife all around , yet modern conveniences like wifi, a general store and Dechutes beer on tap at all the ranch restaurants. The view here is simply breathtaking, so much so it takes a lot of effort to take a BAD picture. This is a place where you can drink fresh water out of the tap, which to Arizonians is a real treat. There are fresh fruit and produce stands, friendly faces and immaculate golf courses…. Did I mention the thing about the view??? There is so much to do here. I’ve compiled a little snip-it into what we have been up to our first week here on the ranch — mostly through pictures 😜📸 ☀️ June 23-July 4th 2016☀️ 🚴🏻 Almost immediately we were going on bike rides. My parents “went into town” (Bend, Oregon) and got Nolan a brand new Avengers bike with training wheels. It took three days but now he is a complete master of the hill, Prince of pedaling and overall...