“We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us.” – Unknown
We are a married couple from Oregon, USA.
Todd and I lived out of backpacks for the last 16 months, starting with eight months in Asia. Then we jumped to Europe and put 14,000 km on a Fiat Ducato getting ‘back to basics’ living the vanlife. Currently we are transitioning to more of a normal routine in Vietnam, making a living teaching English. Welcome to our odyssey!
More about Mairin:
I have had the travel bug since I was little. Growing up in Pennsylvania, I explored much of the East Coast but always wanted more. My grandparents were avid travelers and I loved looking through their pictures of trips abroad. I also loved the unique gifts they would bring back!
In college I spent a semester in London. It was a whirlwind three months of exploring Europe and left me craving for more. I vowed to return as soon as I could. That was 1999, clearly I’m overdue. My next long trip was driving around the contiguous US with a good friend just after college. The inspiration for that came from my mom, who had done something similar in the 70’s. We logged almost 12,000 miles, camping and couch surfing along the way and hitting a lot of National Parks. I discovered my love of the West Coast on that trip and couldn’t fathom settling elsewhere. Less than a year from returning I moved to Portland, OR with friends.
Fast forward sixteen years – I’m happily married to an awesome partner and have racked up twenty years of restaurant experience. Todd and I have explored much of the Pacific Northwest together, but despite several short trips we had not traveled abroad for an extended period. After returning from Mexico on a typical ten day vacation the winter of 2016, Todd and I started to rethink our goals. Long-term travel topped the list and so we made it a priority while we had the means.
Other stuff: I love to dance, especially to bluegrass and other jammy music. I cook pretty damn well, make a mean cocktail and believe a smile goes a long way. I am a cat whisperer, enjoy sipping on delicious NW beer & wine, hiking, and generally being outdoors.
More about Todd:
I had the unique opportunity to move around the country while growing up. I lived in South Florida, Ohio and New York before finally settling in Portland, OR. While I have traveled a lot within the US I have always had the desire to explore more of the world’s many countries and cultures.
It was a vacation to Belize in 2011 that really stayed with me and made me want to discover more. From the tropical beaches and islands to the Mayan ruins, I was sold. Then our love of chimichurri and red wine led to our honeymoon in Uruguay, Argentina and Chile in 2012. We really meshed with the friendly people and the relaxed way of life. Three weeks was long to us, but seemed short compared to the many other people we met, most of whom were traveling for several months. Both of us returned from that trip with the far flung notion of being able to move to South America to live and work!
While we have always discussed going abroad for an extended period, this idea really took shape during a 2016 winter getaway to Sayulita, Mexico. Upon returning home, Mairin and I made individual lists of countries we longed to visit and looked into volunteering in those areas. After a few revisions of our list we settled on an open timeframe in SE Asia, Europe and India.
Other stuff: I love listening to music, watching movies and exploring the great outdoors. I am a great sous chef to my wife Mairin and also the baker of the family. I enjoy local craft beer and watching the sunset and believe life is too short for regrets.