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Annie and Jon left corporate America to do some world traveling. This blog chronicles their unconventional path and hopefully provides a little inspiration along the way.

Most Recent Updates
On the Kindle
  • Warrior of the Light: A Manual
    Warrior of the Light: A Manual
  • First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers (P.S.)
    First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers (P.S.)
  • Gandhi & Churchill: The Epic Rivalry that Destroyed an Empire and Forged Our Age
    Gandhi & Churchill: The Epic Rivalry that Destroyed an Empire and Forged Our Age
  • Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within (Shambhala Library)
    Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within (Shambhala Library)

new on you tube

Some people have informed us that they are unable to view our videos on Vimeo and so we decided to create a You Tube page to allow for a wider audience. I have uploaded the videos in HD and encourage you to select 720p option for the best viewing experience. I am hard at work on the Cambodia recap and will post it shortly. In the meantime, check out our newly created You Tube page here to see our past recap videos.

Let us know what you think and if you have a preference between You Tube or Vimeo.


travel tips - finances

1. Create a savings plan and use it. 

Before discussing a savings plan let’s first talk about debt. Debt isn’t a sexy subject but the reality is that large amounts of it can make extended travel difficult. It might be wise to take a little extra time to chip away at any debt before heading out on the road. It is possible to travel with debt as long as it is a manageable sum and you are able to continue paying it while you travel. We met a couple that rented their house while traveling and that in turn allowed them to continue paying their mortgage. 

Of course the ideal situation is to pay off all your debt beforehand, which can be done with a structured savings plan. After nine years of paying my student loans I still owed $14K. We attended a financial seminar and adopted a savings plan, which you can read about it here. This savings plan allowed me to pay off my loans within a year and at the same time save for our travels. 

Come up with a plan for your money and stick to it. You will be amazed at how quickly it accumulates. It will require some short-term sacrifices but it is a worthy goal when you hit the road and your primary focus is enjoying your travels, not how to make your next minimum payment.  

2. Read I Will Teach You to be Rich by Ramit Sethi.

This book offered us practical financial advice on avoiding unnecessary bank fees and overall money management techniques. Regardless of your plans on extended travel the book is worth a read for a financial tune-up.

Click to read more ...


potw - alms giving

Every morning at 6am in Luang Prabang two hundred local monks take to the streets to gather food for the day. Many of the locals honor this tradition by providing the monks with sticky rice and for one day I joined in the procession. To learn more about the experience please check out the daily details post. Also, to see all the photos from our travels in Laos visit the photo gallery


potw - muang ngoi neua

Annie and I spent a day in this beautifully quaint river village named Muang Ngoi Neua. The village only has electricity from 7pm to 10pm provided by a local generator. There are no roads to the the village, the only way to visit is by boat. I took this photo just before dinner as the sun was setting below the surrounding mountains. Many of the locals were bathing in the river as we enjoyed some food and live music from our restaurant patio. Muang Ngoi Neua is seven hours north of Luang Prabang and the boat ride south looked very much like what you see in this photograph. We have been pleasantly surprised at the beautiful scenery of Laos. Check out the daily details for the full recap of our stay.


travel tips - planning

During our travels family and friends have asked for advice on how to pull off their own long term trip. A common theme is that most feel daunted on where to start and if it is even possible. In an effort to answer people’s questions we developed a guide. The guide is broken down into ten categories: planning, finances, 60 days before departure, useful websites, packing, transportation, culture, safety, technology, and necessities. We will post one category at a time over the next few months. While some tips may seem like common sense, we also plan to drill down into specific details and strategies. In the end we plan to combine the 100 tips into a downloadable PDF document. Our hope is that people will give us feedback as we progress through the list. 

Let’s get started with our first category…planning.

1. Take a look in the mirror.

Investigate your real motivations for world travel. It is not always as glamorous as one may think and while it sounds like a sexy idea, not everyone will enjoy traveling for an extended period of time. It may seem odd we put this first but it is important to be honest with yourself. Long flights, uncomfortable bus rides, unfamiliar food, and conflicts with traveling partner(s) will certainly happen. For us, these are minor annoyances and a means to an end. The incredible adventures we have experienced vastly outweigh the negatives.

It is important to think about being crammed in the back of an enclosed pickup truck seated next to someone with a bag full of live bats, which will be eaten that night for dinner. How would you handle incredibly expensive, slow, and unreliable internet or no television for the length of your travel? Would you be comfortable waking up in the morning and having no idea as to where you would be sleeping that night? Are you okay with nightly checks of your bed to assure there are no bed bugs? I am assuming since you are reading this, the answer is an enthusiastic yes but for some, the lack of everyday conveniences will take a toll and can become a very unpleasant experience. Put some thought into this and see if you can go a week without internet or TV, it can be quite rewarding but may also lead to some unexpected anxieties. 

2. Read Vagabonding by Rolf Pots.

Vagabonding served as our inspiration and offers a multitude of long-term travel tips. It could be just the right amount of push to get you on the road. It was for us.

Click to read more ...


new zealand unmapped

New Zealand Unmapped from Jon Carr on Vimeo.

It has been a long time coming. Annie and I spent five weeks exploring the north and south island of New Zealand and while it was one of our first stops, it still remains one of our favorites. In reality, this video is just a glimpse into our entire experience but I hope it provides some perspective of our adventures in this beautiful country. The video is one of the largest I have assembled in a long time and couldn't have been done without the encouragement of Annie, the help of Pai, and the hospitality of Pete and Danielle. Thank you.

I hope you enjoy and check back often because there are several more in the pipeline. Thanks for the patience and if you like it, please pass it along as we continue to build the base. I would encourage everyone to check out this video at Vimeo for a larger viewing experience.


photo of the week - akha silver

The northern region of Thailand is full of several nomadic tribes that inhabit the hill region to cultivate the land. The tribes have a notorious history in the Golden Triangle region for growing poppies to make opium. They aren't actual residents of Thailand and are not entitled to the benefits of the Thai people. There are several different tribes and each is known for their distinctive traditional dress. Much of the clothing is very elaborate and can take an entire year to craft. This photo was taken at a roadside stall in Mae Salong where this Akha woman sold us sunflower seeds. We asked for a photo as we were told to do because it is said that the tribespeople believe that when you take their photo, you are taking a part of their soul. I think there is truth to this because she allowed me to take it but when I showed her, she got upset. It was beautiful clothing especially the intricate headpiece. Check out the recap in the daily details.


computer love

We have been traveling for over five months on buses, slow boats, long tailed boats, water taxi's, trains, planes, tuk tuks, rickshaws, and by foot. We have visited seven countries and countless cities, towns, and villages. It has added up to a lot of wear and tear on both Annie and I as well as our belongings. I have pushed my computer hard working on photos and video and it finally gave out. My hard drive crashed last night. We were fortunate to be in Chiang Mai that has a Apple service center and I was up to speed within a few hours with a new hard drive but unfortunately the data on my old drive was lost. 

The good thing is I backed up my computer last week. The frustrating thing is the back up is on a slow boat from Thailand that will arrive in the US in two months. What this means for the blog is that I won't be able to post pictures from Indonesia, Cambodia, and Thailand for at least two months. Laos will be the first update upon departure. When I have access to the backup, I will post the remaining photos. We lost our photos from Chiang Mai and won't have any photos for a few daily details updates. Video updates are on hold until I can get a back up of my software shipped from the US. I currently have no editing software on my computer. This is a little unfortunate because I am 95% done with the New Zealand recap and it turned out great. Hopefully I should be up and running by next week.

The positive from this is that we will lose very little. It will also be nice to catch my breath for a short time as management of the photos and video is a lot of work. The blog post will keep coming and we have some travel tips postings in the pipeline as we begin the home stretch of our trip. As always thanks for the kind messages and support.


lonely planet travel mosiac

Our friend, Lisa, emailed Jon about a competition hosted by Lonely Planet. To celebrate their 100 millionth guidebook they asked travelers to submit their favorite photos. The grand prize is a trip around the world. 200 finalists will be announced on Aug. 18th and the grand prize winner on Aug 26th.

We had taken loads of pictures over the last five months. Jon decided to submit a picture for each of us just to see what would happen. I didn't even know anything about the competition until I got an email from Lonely Planet saying my photo had been added to the travel mosaic. Regardless if we are a finalist we are just excited to part of the millions of pictures on LP. Jon says I can now honestly claim I'm a published photographer.

Click here to check out our photo.


kindness without boundaries

The Principles of Thai Cookery from Jon Carr on Vimeo.

Chef McDang and I first met at the California Culinary Academy (CCA) two years ago. The Royal Thai Consulate General in Los Angeles contacted CCA about an opportunity to have a Thai chef come for a week to conduct lectures and demos about Thai cookery. At the end of the week, the students participated in a competition cooking Pad Thai where the winners won a one-week all expenses paid culinary trip hosted by the Thai chef compliments of the Royal Thai Consulate General office. How can any school turn down that kind of an offer?!

I didn’t know what to expect of the Thai chef and just hoped he spoke English well enough for our students to understand him. He showed up promptly at 9am on the first day with his entourage of four sous chefs and said with a British-American twang something along the lines of, “show me my kitchen and I’ll take care of everything else.” From that moment I knew he was going to be a lot of fun.

Click to read more ...