Let the adventure begin…

By D

After much planning, much saving, and much secret keeping, we can finally let the cat out of the bag! (That’s a terrible saying. Who is keeping a cat in a bag?). Sam and I will be leaving in less than a month for a six month adventure in southeast Asia. We have finally notified both of our works that we are leaving, and now we have no one to keep the secret from!

We will be flying into Bangkok, Thailand around January 14. From there, the world is our oyster!

SE Asia

Photo courtesy of Google Maps. I have a feeling you are going to be our new best friend.

Since we have announced this trip, people have asked us a ton of questions (and/or made some comments)! Here is an excerpt, for your reading pleasure:

  • Do you have a solid itinerary?

Nope! We have a general list of countries that we want to go to (and an idea of when would be the best time go to each place to avoid this northern-Minnesotan girl melting into a pile), but we are open to the idea of our plan totally changing. Generally, we would like to go to Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar, and Nepal. We are also thinking about Malaysia and Indonesia (mostly Borneo and Bali) and Taiwan (since we have announced our trip, we have gotten a few recommendations to go to Taiwan). All of this is up in the air though. If you have a suggestion, let us know! The only non-negotiable for me is Nepal. I really, really want to do some trekking there. I think Sam is pretty sold on Borneo and Bali, so that will probably happen too.

  • What do you pack for something like that?

Sam and I are each taking one backpack and one day pack. His is around 40 liters and mine is around 35 liters. We will do another blog post of exactly what we are taking! Spoiler alert: It isn’t much.

  • Where are your dogs going?

Ugh. This is a sore subject for us. Not that they aren’t going someplace wonderful.. they are just my babies, and I can’t even think about leaving them for six months. We were actually going to travel for one year, but I can’t handle leaving the kids for that long. Our current plan is to get back to the states after six months, and then continue vagabonding around the US and Canada with the pups for a few months. But back to the original question, the pups are going to stay at Green Machine Farm with Sam’s family. They LOVE the farm, so I’m not worried about them at all. I’m more worried about me.

  • Where are you going to live when you get back? Are you going to stay in Denver or move back to Minnesota or..?

Excellent question. We have no idea. We aren’t sure what we want to do or where we want to live when we get back. We’ll keep you posted.

  • How do your parents feel about this?

Hahahaha. In a few words, I’d say our parents (at least my parents) would rather we weren’t going. I think Sam’s parents are secretly excited because they think they’ll be able to steal Severus from us (Severus REALLY LOVES the farm). But they are overall supportive, I guess. Or maybe they’ve accepted they don’t have a choice! Love you parents!

  • Are you going to train when you are over there?

I think we are both hoping to run to some extent, but we’re not really sure how feasible it will be. From what we’ve read, road running sounds like it will be more difficult than we’re used to. And I’m all for some trail running, but I’m also somewhat terrified. I read this post, and it freaked me out a little. Wild dogs? Tigers? Vipers? And basically swarms of insects that you have no hope of escaping. That should be interesting. But, I’m still going to get out there as much as I can! It should be an interesting experience.

  • You are so lucky!

Yeah, we are! It’s true. We have our health, a willing partner, financial stability, and we were fortunate enough to be born in the greatest country in the world (some would debate this on the basis of Donald Trump’s poll numbers, but I still say we are darn lucky to live here). I mean, seriously, we had to debate whether we should travel for six or twelve months based on how much we would miss our dogs. Privilege much? All of this is a long-winded way of saying we are incredibly fortunate to have the option to quit our jobs and travel. We can so we are.

But… I think most everyone that has said this to us could be “lucky” too! It just takes some guts to book a ticket. We got our round trip plan ticket for $1,500 (for both of us). And our budget is $10,000 for the six months. I know that’s a lot of money, but it’s definitely less than we would spend to live in the USA for six months. Are we scared? Heck yes. It’s not easy to quit your jobs and buy a ticket to a foreign country with a ticket back six months later.. let alone, abandon your fur babies. We’re not super human. But, I think it will be totally worth it. #yolo, right?


So that’s all for now! If you have any tips for us, we’d love to hear them! We will aim to blog regularly during our travels, if for no other reason than to appease those worrying parents. =)


  1. a story about wanderlust · · Reply

    Good luck! Hope Asia treats you both well!


  2. You are going to have an awesome adventure! Not sure if you will find any tips but you will find some info about some south East Asian countries on our blog 😊


    1. Thanks much, we will check it out!


  3. momwizard · · Reply

    So check out Sherry Ott – ottsworld.com. 9 years ago she went on an around the world trip. She thought she would be gone for a year, but she is still traveling! She is the little sister of one of Lee’s coworkers from 3m. She has lots and lots of experience with career break traveling.

    We loved Laos, especially Luang Prabang. Angkor Watt is wonderful. If you go, get in touch with the Ponheary Ly Foundation. Don’t know if you are interested in doing some volunteering along the way but they do amazing work to help kids in the rural areas around Seim Reap get an education. And they provide tours of the temples too.

    Most places you will be able to run, just keep your wits about you. After all they hold a marathon in Bangkok (yikes!) and also one at the Angkor Watt temples.

    Sherry has done the Annapurna circuit with her 75 year old father. She has also volunteered at a remote village in Nepal.

    Bali is wonderful. Go to Ubud, check out the rice paddys, the gamlian dances.

    I would say go to Hong Kong, but I’m pretty prejudiced. If you decide you want to go there let me know, I can give you lots of pointers. There is amazing hiking in HongKong, really. Most of it is very rural.

    Have a great time! SE Asia will always have a special place in our hearts…..

    Love, Aunt Lynn

    Sent from my iPad



    1. This is wonderful. I am so glad to hear that we will be able to run too. Thank you!!!


  4. Mary Becker · · Reply

    Aww, I’m so proud of you! Had an insider track this was coming! Elsa and Sam are heading to Thailand on Dec 28 for 10 days — I’m sure they’ll be happy to give you any tidbits from their much shorter travels.


    1. I am bummed that we do not overlap at all! We will definitely be in contact with them though!


  5. Joanne Heisler · · Reply

    You two never cease to amaze me! Have a fabulous time. Mema


  6. Day 0.01 of no Danielle in the office. But I’ve only gotten through 9.75 stages of grief so far!

    Do you screen these for reals?


    1. For real for realz. 🙂


  7. You guys will have the time of your lives! Glad I was able to travel a bit with you both and see your thirst and passion for life!! We only regret the chances we don’t take, I’m glad you’re taking this trip : )


    1. Thanks much! We were just reminiscing about our HP world adventures last year. Such a great trip!


  8. If you go to Nepal I highly recommend the Annapurna region for trekking! I did the Panchassee trek right after it opened 3 years ago and it was amazing! Everest and the annapurna base treks can be overdone. I did it with Purna Yoga Treks and they are amazing people and took great care of us! Woke us up with Tibetan singing bowls and hot honey lemon water every morning. I was going to go back during a 3.5 month SEA trip this summer, but the border blockade is making me second guess. Let me know how it is when you get there!


    1. Awesome, thank you for the advice! Yes, we are hoping the blockade doesn’t impact anything. We are still planning on going!


  9. […] Bangkok. As we mentioned in our ‘announcement’ post, we did practically zero planning prior to arriving in Bangkok. We had a hostel booked. […]


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