Riga, Latvia

Latvia, like Estonia, is a Baltic State. The countries, however, have very distinct cultures and backgrounds that make for very different experiences for visitors. We had a tour guide in Tallinn who was a native Estonian. He told us that Estonians tend to be very private and antisocial people, even joking that that is why…

Tallinn, Estonia

Estonia is a country of less than one and a half million people, but with a long and rich history. The Baltic States (Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania) have been much sought after throughout the centuries by powerful countries such as Germany, Denmark, Sweden, and Russia. Although the area has been occupied since the Neolithic period,…

Saint Petersburg, Russia

Many of you have probably read or heard the quote, “The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.” Saint Augustine I’ve never much cared for this saying. As a traveler, I would never presume to be more worldly or knowledgeable than someone who has never left their hometown….

Moscow, Russia

Kindness We all have preconceived notions about countries we have never been to. It’s human nature to take whatever information we have and attempt to fill in the blanks. The problem is, these images sketched out by our minds often differ greatly from reality. This usually isn’t due to willful ignorance, no matter how much…

Kotor, Montenegro

This is the third time on our trip that we have spent a whole month in one location. The first was Mykonos, Greece, the second was Durrёs, Albania, and now we’ve been in Stoliv, Montenegro near Kotor for a month. In August we will spend a month in Switzerland, but in two different cities, Zürich…

Croatia

Our last two and a half weeks were spent exploring the scenic coastal country of Croatia. After a month of relative stability in Albania, it was exciting to be back on the “road” again. We don’t necessarily consider ourselves backpackers, although all of our possessions fit in our carry-on-sized backpacks. When we’re moving from place…

Tirana & Saying Goodbye to Albania

Tirana, Albania We spent one glorious day exploring Tirana – Albania’s capital city. This was a whole-day affair. We walked to the Durrës bus station in the morning and caught the bus to Tirana just as it was pulling out of the station (we literally hopped on as it was moving). For just 130 LEK…

Life in the Balkans

The Balkan Peninsula is a section of southeastern Europe, bordered by the Mediterranean (Aegean and Ionian), Adriatic, and Black Seas. Albania, where we will be for the month of April, and Montenegro, where we will be for a month in May and June, are both fully within the Balkans. The rest of our time in…

Snapshot of a Travel Day

I’d like to invite you to join us on our 26-hour journey from Sofia, Bulgaria to Dubrovnik, Croatia. If you look at a map, you’ll think I’m crazy. I think I might agree with you. However, there is simply no direct way to travel between these two countries. We could have spent about the same…

Budapest, Hungary

Today is the last of our eleven days in Budapest, at midnight we will be in Sofia, Bulgaria and tomorrow marks 6 months since we left on our trip. 80 percent of those 6 months were spent housesitting. Neither Jake nor I realized quite how exhausted we were by the constantly changing responsibilities and expectations…

Mykonos, Greece

We’ve been in Mykonos, Greece for just over a month. It has been a month of self-reflection and hard work with good memories and fun times with new friends mixed in. When most people, us included, hear that someone is going to Greece, they imagine sandy beaches, white-washed houses, turquoise water, Greek music and dancing,…