We get a little defensive when our weekly jetsetter is clearly cooler than us, but Tawny fits the bill. For one, she’s one half of the Captain and Clark, which sounds like a crime-fighting duo. For another, she met her co-blogging travel buddy ON Kilimanjaro. We met on the seventh grade school bus. Sigh.
After you’re finished being impressed by royal falcon training and her genuine use of the word rucksack (HOW WILL WE EVER MEASURE UP?), hop on over to twitter to keep on keeping up!
Favorite Place: Not fair! You started with one of the hardest questions first. I’d have to say that my heart is torn between Bolivia, South Korea, and Bahrain. Bolivia is truly one of the most beautiful and diverse countries that I’ve ever seen. I was able to spend a month traveling around during college and fell in love with the country. I can’t wait to take Chris there some day.
South Korea is like my second home. Chris and I lived there for two years and met some of the most incredible people. Our Hapkido master is like family to us and we are dying to head back to Korea to see his daughter (she was 3 months old when we left) and the new bundle on the way. It’s one of those countries that we’ll probably visit every year for the rest of our lives.
As for Bahrain, it’s probably the country where I learned the most. We were only there for a few days, but we saw and experienced so much. Our friend, May, took us around and we were able to watch the royal falcons being trained how to hunt as well as experience Ashura, a Shi’a mourning ritual.
More importantly, favorite meal: What?! Another tough question! I’m going to have to go with Pad Thai Gai from Thailand. You really can’t go wrong with noodles, spice, and chicken. It’s a meal that I won’t ever turn down.
The moment you caught the travel bug: I think that the travel bug was hereditary in my case. My paternal grandfather was a Green Beret in the army and traveled extensively. He’s been to more countries than I can keep track of. My dad left the Hawaiian islands when he was 18 and flew to mainland U.S. and hitchhiked his way around the country. He knew no one and only packed a small rucksack and a gun. I can definitely see where my sense of adventure comes from.
There’s never been a time where I haven’t wanted to travel. I moved around a lot as a child so seeing new places was natural for me. That being said, it wasn’t until I was 19 that I took my first trip outside of North America. Crazy, right?
First experience traveling alone: The first time I traveled without my family was when I studied abroad in Martinique. It was the first time that I lived away from home and with a host family. I couldn’t have chosen a better place for my first “abroad” experience. I was learning French in the Caribbean, getting tan, and stuffing my face with pain au chocolat. It was glorious.
Ever been (or thought you’ve been) in imminent danger while traveling?: Chris and I have been extremely fortunate in our travels. There’s never been a defining moment where we felt endangered. That being said, we were overly cautious in Quito, Ecuador. We had heard horror story after horror story about taxi robberies, street beatings, and theft that we made sure we played it safe. It’s probably the country that we were most on guard.
Worst hotel/hostel experience: Our most interesting hotel experience would be a certain love motel in South Korea. Love motels are just that, where people pay by the hour to “make love.” Foreigners take advantage of the low rates and often use these hotels when traveling around the country. We were on a cross country Korean road trip and needed a room for the night.
We had stayed in love motels before, but this one was a little different. The bed was circular à la Hugh Hefner. There was a bookshelf of porn on one side of the room and the only lighting that we had was a red light that was dangling from the ceiling. The room has a certain smell to it, and we were too scared to sleep on the sheets. While we appreciated it’s low cost, we would have preferred something a little more… sanitary.
Best hotel/hostel experience: I think my favorite hotel experience would have to be our stay at Casa de la Playa in Siquijor, Philippines. The resort was run by Terry, a German expat who fell in love with the island. We had our very own beachfront villa where we binged on banana milkshakes and lumpia. Terry even took us on a tour of the entire island where we got to meet and party with the locals.
As we were there on Christmas, Terry invited us to the resorts special Christmas party complete with a lechon feast. It was a hotel where we weren’t just treated as guests, but as family.
Favorite family vacation: Another tough one! I think my favorite family vacation would have to be the one we spent on a dude ranch in Durango, Colorado. Through his work my dad won an all-expense paid vacation for the whole family. We stayed in these adorable log cabins and would spend our days fly fishing, white water rafting, and horseback riding. I was a high schooler back then and I barely thought anything was “cool”, but I absolutely loved our time on the ranch. I’m secretly hoping that I’ll be able to take Chris to Wit’s End Ranch some day.
Must-have packing item: A scarf! I can’t tell you how many times packing a scarf has come in handy on my travels. A scarf can double as a pillow, towel, headband, skirt, blanket, and even handcuffs (don’t ask). They’re also pretty fashionable if I say so myself. I rarely leave home without one.
Most unbelievable travel experience: Well, since I’ve already mentioned our time in Bahrain (which was amazing) I think I’m going to have to go with our 3-week cross country road trip across the U.S. Thanks to Rand McNally and USA Today we were able to travel the U.S. and experience some of the best small towns around.
Words can’t explain how the trip changed the way we viewed the U.S. and its deep and layered history. We are so grateful for the experience.
Favorite “I can’t believe I’m doing this” moment: I’ve definitely experienced a few of these moments. I think my favorite would be when Chris and I went to Thailand so that we could receive our sak yant tattoos from a Buddhist monk. It was as he started repeatedly piercing my skin with his long needle that I began questioning my decision. Not only is a tattoo a lifelong commitment, but it also hurt like hell.
Place you can’t wait to return to: Bolivia. Easy.
Place you can’t be paid to return to: Right now you could pretty much pay me to go anywhere. We’re travel bloggers after all. Any money we make goes towards our next trip.
Any exciting trips coming up?: Our next trip is to the Grand Canyon in August for my dad’s birthday. Everyone in my family has been to the Grand Canyon and we actually have a wall in my parent’s house that is dedicated to pictures taken while there. Sadly, I’ve never been there and have yet to make it on the wall. I am constantly teased about it.
Only a couple weeks separate me from that wall! We’ll spend a few days hiking the Grand Canyon with my dad and then we’ll all head to Vegas where we’ll get a little R&R (read: sun and booze).
Dream vacation: FRANCE! Le sigh. I have never been to Europe aside from an 8 hour layover in Heathrow. It’s tragic. I even got my bachelor’s in French. For me, a dream vacation would be a month spent eating my way through France. It’d also be great if we didn’t have a budget and I could drink all the French wine and eat all of the French cheese imaginable.
I’ll even make a confession. I think I would do all the touristy things one could while there. We’d picnic under the Eiffel Tower, visit the Louvre, wear a beret and a striped shirt- the whole nine yards!
Now I’m sad.
Favorite tourist attraction: I think my favorite tourist attraction would have to be Pike Place Market in Seattle. We live just a quick ferry ride from Seattle and I can’t count how many times I’ve strolled through Pike Place, but it just never gets old. I guess I’m not really a tourist since I practically live in the area, but still.
Favorite “I’m trying not to look like a tourist” attraction: Another toughie. I think it would have to be wandering the local markets in South Korea. There are so many new sights, sounds, and smells that you just don’t get in the U.S. Buy a couple food items (we recommend ho-tteok) and wander around until you’re on sensory overload.
This one! Not because it’s a fantastic photo of either of us, but because of the story behind it. It represents one of our biggest dreams becoming a reality. This picture was taken on the island of Floreana in the Galapagos islands. It was there that was picked up 22 letters addressed all across the globe. Letters that we’ll be delivering by hand. You can read more about the Maverick Expedition here.
Wanna be our next jetsetter? We’ll let you!! Especially if you ask nicely. And compliment us.
the romantic & the wino