Hurricane Maria and a little help for our friend Andrew

By , October 21, 2017 9:11 pm

So far, it’s been an amazing adventure. We haven’t posted since for quite awhile because so much has been happening. Our life in Dominica was settling into a wonderful routine, of school, beaches, and exploring the island when, in a matter of hours, it all was all over. Along came Hurricane Maria, a Category 5 hurricane with 160mph winds that made a direct hit on our little island of 75,000, and our world changed.

We were lucky. We were evacuated off the island three days after the eye crossed the island, and relocated to the island of Saint Lucia, then sent back to Seattle until further notice. We were lucky. Our friends on Dominica weren’t as lucky as we were, and are still on the island, struggling to adapt to their new devastated life.

One of our friends is Andrew, and has lost everything. He is a farmer who grew bananas, plantains, dashine, and passion fruit. Almost every evening, after coming home from a hard days work on his farm, he would see our front door open and bring us mangos, avocados, passion fruits, and plantains.  He was always so happy to share his wonderful bounty with us. Andrew is a person brings happiness, compassion,  and friendship where ever he goes, and to everyone he comes into contact with.

Hurricane Maria scraped the farmland from Dominica and his crops are gone. He lived in a simple two room wooden shack, and escaped with only the clothes on his back. His home was not only destroyed, but the scraps, pieces, and all his possessions were blown away and he is left with only a little plot of land where his life used to be.


The arrow points to where Andrew used to have a simple wooden shack, which was blown away in Hurricane Maria


We want to help Andrew build a safe concrete home, and you can help as well. We’ve created a GoFundMe page to help him rebuild his life.

Andrew has been living in the shelter at a nearby primary school since the hurricane passed over the island on September 18. If you’re able, please consider helping to rebuild this dear man’s home. He is a wonderful man who deserves a simple and safe place to call home.

Anything helps and is much appreciated. Thank you so very much.


Click here to be taken to our GoFundMe page and learn how you can help Andrew build a safe home


The following video shows the path of Hurricane Maria and its landfall on the island of Dominica.



Peace Corps Here We Come!

By , June 4, 2017 1:19 pm

Photo of Mojitos @ the Ball and Chain, Little Havana MiamiOMG!!!! Where to start on this first post of our Peace Corps (Eastern Caribbean) adventure. Most of you all know that I (Christine) am a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer (96-98 Jamaica) and some of you know that it was a very difficult experience for various reasons. If it weren’t for my Peace Corps Fellows experience at Columbia Teachers College, I would never have wanted to do it again. Thankfully, I met people who served in many different countries and their stories were quite different from mine, so from then on, I knew I would do the Peace Corps again someday. Luckily, I met a great man who would be game to do it with me.

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What to Bring??

By , May 15, 2017 5:48 pm

Your mission, should you choose to accept it is to fit all that you hold dear and important into only two suitcases. Each cannot weigh more than 50 pounds or have a combined dimension of 62″. Sounds like you’ll be packing a lot of stuff, doesn’t it?

Think about everything you own in your home, your apartment, your storage, your nooks and crannies, your space – all the stuff that fills it and makes it comfortable, welcoming….yours. Clothes, shoes, books, electronics, games, and memories. What would you need for the next 2.5 years?

What would you pack?


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Peace Corps

By , May 10, 2017 7:59 am


Map of Eastern Caribbean

Holy cow!!!  This is really happening.

Bert and Patty are going into the Peace Corps!!!  21 years ago I (Bert…aka Christine) was just as excited for this exact same reason.  I was, and am now, sorting, packing, selling, donating and plain ol’ stressing about all the stuff we have.  For two people who pride themselves on being minimalists, we have managed, in the past six years, to accumulate a lot of stuff.  Luckily, we have a very small condo or it could have been worse.  This is the third time for me and the second time for Paul, of completely downsizing to what fits in a backpack and a few boxes.  I have to say, it feels very good.  We have gotten rid of quite a bit of stuff in the past few weeks and honestly, I cannot even remember what we got rid of let alone miss it.

Can you think of a few things you can get rid of and not even miss?

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Beverly Hills 9021 . . . oh!

By , June 26, 2014 8:51 pm

Enjoying the Emmy's in Beverly HillsThe Sea-Tac Southwest Airlines gate side cattle call and subsequent scramble for a seat was an adventure in itself and once that hurdle was overcome the rest of the flight to California was uneventful. Within minutes of exiting the airport, we were picked up in our Uber car and whisked away to the next leg of our journey. We arrived to the Beverly Hilton to paparazzi flashbulbs and an elevated frenzy . . . how did they know we were coming?? Well, they didn’t . . . There was really only one tidbit of trivia we knew about this hotel is that it hosted the television Emmy awards every year, and our Uber black town car just happened to arrive in the middle of  “celebrity drop off” – nothing like a red carpet and disappointed photographers to welcome a pair of backpackers!

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Let the Adventures Begin!!

By , June 22, 2014 11:21 am
Sound Transit Light Rail

Sound Transit Light Rail

The 6:30am alarm didn’t stand a chance in being helpful this morning . . . we were up already and eager to go. Though our flight wasn’t to leave until after 11am, we were already making coffee, shuffling around the house, and making last minute adjustments to our bags and electronics inventory. Bag . . . check, passports . . . check, music/movies on the tablet . . . check, local currencies and flight info . . . you bet!

The bus arrived at the stop right as we did, which was good because we’d have to wait 35 minutes for the next one, and our transfer to the Light Rail was met with an equally efficient flow – although eight minutes to the next train would’ve been quite easy to accept. We’re not in a hurry anyways . . .

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Write Around The World

By , October 10, 2012 10:51 am

Christine and I went to see a friend give a talk last night @ Wide World Books and Maps in Wallingford. His name is Mike Lewis, and he used to be Christine’s chiropractor. He had worked hard and built up his practice, his abilities and ultimately his desire to escape his daily life.


Mike had earned his life and didn’t want to waste it, so he felt it was time to cash in on some freedom. The plan was to travel the world solo on his motorcycle with goals of reaching the top and the bottom of our major land masses as he made his around the world west to east, hoping to experience culture and people in a way he never thought possible. The route he took between these “end points” was dictated by among other things, the advice he got on the road, and the weather.


His faithful companion for this adventure was his 2002 BMW R1150 GS Adventure motorcycle that had been adjusted and modified for the years of exposure and abuse in the form of unmaintained roads, washouts and rainy season mud that lay ahead. Mike left Seattle in March 2009 and systematically logged over 60,000 miles, six continents and over 40 countries in his epic journey.

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Meet Plan Go . . . Seattle!

By , October 6, 2012 1:43 pm

It’s that time of year again and Meet Plan Go is coming back to town. Last year, we were fortunate enough to have been the Meet Plan Go Seattle 2011 hosts and had a great time in the process. It allowed us to reflect on our journey (physical/emotional), meet new people and among other things, share our experiences with those with a passion for travel.

This year the torch has been passed to Lori Stone and it will be a great time. We’ll be there as the evenings keynote speakers, and are looking forward to sharing the evening with so many wonderful panelists, travelers and numerous travel stories of inspiration, curiosity and desire.

On October 16th, we’ll be meeting @ “HasOffers” in Seattle neighborhood of Belltown and it will be an inspirational evening for all involved. Find all the details on the MeetPlanGoSeattle page, and tickets are available on EventBrite.

The panellists represent a wide range of travelers and experiences and it’s worth grabbing a drink, sitting on the couch with your laptop/tablet, and exploring their fascinating worlds.

We’re hoping you’ll check out Meet Plan Go in your city (it’s happening in 9 cities in the US, and in Toronto as well) – it’s gonna be a great time!

National Refugee Week

By , June 21, 2011 1:21 pm

As travellers, we want a deal. We want to travel cheaply, eat cheaply, and sleep cheaply. We intentionally seek out and freely move through third world countries with often oppressed cultures and tend not fully understand the lives of those who pass us in a blur. We are restricted only by our visa dates and transport schedules. As we look out the window while on a bus or train, we see disheveled farmers tending to sparse fields and malnourished animals. We wave away relentless street vendors eeking out a substandard living, while we eat breakfast and sip organic coffee in a cafe, often times the meal will cost more than they’ll make in a 12 hour day.

We “put up with them” for the sake of our own travels. But who are they? How bad does their life have to be to sell books on the street, to beg for change . . . to watch their families go without a meal. How bad does it have to be to gather your family, pack a bag (or no bag, just the clothes on your back) and leave your home, your community, your country; and set out on a pilgrimage to find a better life. To run away from the destruction of your current life.

Close your eyes for a moment. The government has taken away your business or run you off your land. Members of your family have been killed by violence. You’ve been chased away from all that you’re familiar with and after years of running, potentially living in a refugee camp for 10-15 years, you are able to make it to a safe country and start over. You don’t speak the language, you cannot communicate, you may not even have services or support to help navigate your new world . . . what do you do?

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Long term travel, The perfect job for a job interview

By , June 16, 2011 6:00 am

Long term travel is an amazing experience. It’s captivating, educational, challenging, and inspirational. Those who have done it have laptops and smartphones full of photos of far away places and email addresses from those whom they’ve spent a few days with; sharing taxis, hostels, hikes, museums, beach side bars and overnight trains.

Let’s face it though. Most of us aren’t witty travel writers and we’re not glamorous TV stars. We’re not going to spend the rest of our lives traveling the world, submitting creative blog posts or poignant documentaries from exotic distant lands. Of course there are those doing it, but they’re the minority in the global travel community. The travel community is made up of people like you and me. Most who mark the calendars, strap on a backpack and look forward to scuba diving, mountain trekking and passport stamps are the temporary traveller. We’re able to take 3-12 months and head out into the world – seeking to learn about the unknown in other countries, and deep within ourselves. Sooner or later, the trip will come to a conclusion and you’ll be back in the job market, nervously anticipating sitting across the table from a prospective employer in an interview.

Was your trip a waste of time?

Was it a job killer?

Honestly . . . no.

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