Hey there! Welcome to our Travel Blog. We are Michael and Halef. We are a couple from Atlanta, Georgia. We’ve been together since 2008 and in 2013, we traveled to New York City to get married!
While we’ve both been in the United States for about two decades, neither of us is originally from here.
So let us introduce ourselves.
After getting a M.Sc. (Education), I moved to Atlanta from Canada to work at a university. Hated it! Since then, I’ve been working for a large telcom in their Learning and Development Department.
I’ve been doing this kind of work for 25 years now and love my job. The great thing about sticking with a company for so long is that I’ve built up a lot of vacation time.
I’m not rich, but I make enough to be able to save! As the saying goes, “Money can’t buy happiness. But it can buy plane tickets and that’s the same thing!”
Currently, I’ve visited about 50 countries. My longest trip has been a month; my shortest was a day and a half in Singapore.
But it’s never enough.
My goal is to see everything.
My first language is English; however, I can get by fairly well in French. I also do OK in Indonesian and want to become fluent when we go to Indonesia.
I was born and grew up in Bandung, Indonesia. After high school, I moved to the States for college. I ended up at Iowa State University. My American college life was enjoyable.
I even spent several months in a study abroad program in Rome, Italy.
I’m a Landscape Architect by profession, but a traveler at heart. My travel has taken me to over 50 countries where I love to learn new cultures and languages!
I have interests in brushing up on my Italian, Mandarin, and American Sign Language.
Travel books are my favorite things to read, and I have an obsession with producing travel journals, which probably explains why I became a travel writer.
When we travel, Halef always carries his college Mascot – Cy, short for Iowa State Cyclones. He’s a red, stuffed cardinal who has been to all seven continents and about 80 countries.
He even tagged along with other travelers. Check out Cy’s Facebook page.
Anyway, just wanted to let you know about him because he sometimes turns up here!
Travel brings us together
We’re from two completely different cultures, obviously. There’s 9 years separating us.
Michael works from home all day and he’s just happy to relax on the couch at night and binge on the latest thing he found on Netflix or HBO Now.
Halef is a perfect match for Michael because Halef is a great travel planner.
He loves to read his travel books and blogs, while daydreaming about the endless possibilities of where the road will take us next.
Michael loves to tag along and his outgoing personality and wittiness entertain the people around him.
We see everything. We do more. And we learn more.
Best of all, we do it together.
What you will find here
Our mission is to, hopefully, inspire you to travel more. We’ll give you tips on dozens of travel-related subjects, like:
- Interesting things to include in your travel journal
- Our experience diving on Liveaboards
- Food around the world (for example, Indonesia!)
- Stuff to consider before traveling to remote places
- Quirky stuff, like diving in aquariums!
- Weird places to visit
- and ideas that worked for us
In addition to all of the above, you’ll find lots of information about Couchsurfing here. We’re Couchsurfing experts – having hosted nearly 500 people and surfed dozens of couches and spare bedrooms around the world.
From creating a profile, writing Couch requests, to hosting and surfing, you’ll find advice here that’s worked well for us.
Our Round The World mission
Eventually, we would like to travel full-time – and planning it is a fun part of the process. As of right now, our goal is to highlight past travels – reviews, unique experiences, and travel tips we’ve learned about over the years.
We’ll still do plenty of travel between now and when we are ready to embark on our full time Round the World journey.
But for now, our focus will be on:
- Saving lots of money
- Getting this blog figured out and building an audience
- Figuring out how to make money from it by establishing great networking and clients
Where will we go?
While we love Western countries, we will likely concentrate on more developing countries during our round the world trip. We’ve both been to Western Europe, so we won’t need to spend much, if any time, in places like the U.K., France, or Scandinavia.
We’ve already done all that, so avoiding Western Europe should be a big money saver for us!
Our current round the world plan, which changes weekly (or whenever someone who stays with us from Couchsurfing offers alternatives), is to fly from Atlanta to Peru in South America. We’ll likely travel around there for some time.
Our tentative RTW Itinerary
After spending some time in South America we’ll do the following:
- Come back to Atlanta and apply for Michael’s citizenship
- Fly to Indonesia and spend 2-3 months there.
- Next to China and Mongolia for awhile
- Maybe take the Trans-Siberian Railway through Russia
- Down through some of the “-stans” and India
- Through Iran and over to Turkey
- Fly to Dubai and then to Djibouti for an overland trip all the way to South Africa
- Somehow, we’ll make our way to France and visit friends for a week or so – a vacation from our vacation
- Then, … who knows?
All in 2 years? Or 5-10? Permanently?
We’re not sure.
But for a glimpse of some of the stuff we want to do, here is our Ultimate round the world bucket list!
We think this is a good list!
We really don’t know where our round the world ticket will take us. We just know we’re doing it.
Not a day goes by that we don’t talk about it.
And not a day goes by that we don’t get a little more excited about leaving this life for something different. In large part because we’re doing it together.
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