We have been traveling together ever since we met. While we were still dating we went on road trips together. After we got married we made our first journey overseas. And once our daughter Lisa was born, we began planning for our biggest journey of all, a year of slow travel in Europe that began in January of 2017. Here is a list of every city we have been to and blogged about. We’ll be forever playing catch up with this list – we keep on moving and we can only write so fast – but we’ll share our stories and our experience just as fast as we can.
If you’re curious about how long we can keep this going, head over to Operation Digital Nomad, our running column about monetizing our blog to to achieve location independence. If you’re wondering why we spend so much time in each location, check out our article about the concept of slow travel, and why we think it’s the best way to experience the world (if you can pull it off).
Lijiang, China is one of the most popular tourist destinations for Chinese travelers, and it’s not without reason. It’s famous Old Town isn’t exactly authentic, but it makes up for that through a spectacle of vibrant colors, cobblestone streets, bridges and picturesque natural surroundings. It’s easier than ever for western travelers to visit thanks to improved roads and rails, and a concerted effort by the government to make it friendly to foreigners. We’ve been there twice and we’ll probably be back.
We made our first visit to Bangkok as part of a visa run from China, but we quickly discovered that it was an incredible place to explore (ok, we already kind of suspected as much). We split our time between tasting the local vegetarian cuisine, photographing the sights, celebrating our anniversary, and recovering from a brutal red-eye.
We only planned on visiting Dali, China for the months of March and April, but since arriving, we’ve decided to take slow travel to the next level. We’re going to make Dali our home base for exploring the beautiful Yunnan Province, which means we’ll be here for the better part of 2018. We expect to become pretty well acquainted with the area, so keep checking this link for photography, activities, and travel tips in this stunning mountain city that most western travelers overlook.
Even though it’s a popular destination for westerners visiting China, we actually wound up there as a side trip during our longer adventures in Asia. It’s a beautiful and modern city, and it is really big. We were very busy taking care of some business and sneaking in some exploration during our spare time. We know we are going to come back sometime soon to photograph more of the amazing sights we only got to see in passing.
Kunming, the largest city in the Yunnan Province of China is one of the cities we’ve visited the most frequently, if only for very short stays. It’s a hub for the region, whether you are traveling by train, bus or plane. If you are visiting any other city in Yunnan, expect to have a layover – or at least a stop – in Kunming. Don’t worry, there’s plenty to do and see while you are there.
We loved our month in Taiwan. February may have been rainy season in the north for our stay in Taipei and Jiufen, but halfway through we hopped on a train and made our way to the southern city of Kaohsiung. If the rest of Taiwan is as packed with beautiful scenery and friendly people as the parts that we saw, then it’s definitely a place we want to visit again.
Xiamen is the beautiful city where we spent the first month of our year (2018) in Asia. It’s a popular winter destination for Chinese travelers, but except for a few expats, it’s largely ignored by westerners. Xiamen is a modern city, but most travelers from the United States and Europe will find that it to be a little more challenging than some of the other Chinese ports that are more heavily traveled. But Xiamen still has plenty to explore, especially if you speak Mandarin or are willing to do some translating.
A tiny Island with a lot to see. Between shopping, Chinese visas and walking along Victoria Harbor, we kept busy in Hong Kong. We barely scratched the surface though, and when we return in the future we have a long list sites to explore and photographs to take.
Vienna, Austria, famous for its Christmas Markets and light displays, felt like the perfect place to spend the holiday season and wrap up our first year of full time travel. It might have been a little colder and windier than we were expecting, but the scenery and the festivities didn’t disappoint. If we go there again, we’d like to try visiting in the Spring or Summer so we can walk around without our jackets.
While we were planning our year in Europe, we kept finding photos, checking where they were taken, and learning that Budapest was incredibly beautiful. We made it our home for the month of November, and the scenery didn’t disappoint. But apart from the photography, we didn’t do a lot of research about the city before we arrived, and we had a lot of fun learning about Budapest the hard way, by walking the streets and discovering it in person.
Prague is sometimes called the “Thousand Spice City,” and looking out over the rooftops, it feels like a visual metaphor as much as anything. It is a diverse place, with people, architecture and culture from near and far, old and new. There’s a lot of world left for us to explore, but as of now, Prague is reigning supreme as our favorite destination so far. We spent October of 2017 enjoying the food and the foliage there.
Glencoe is nestled amongst the mountains and lochs of Scotland. It was the last leg of our three month tent camping trip, and we were surprised that it was the most difficult. By the time we arrived, being out in the elements had already started to wear us down, and as the temperature dropped and the days got rainier, our moral started to waiver a little bit. We still managed to get our photos in, but we were ready to pack it up and head back to the big cities.
The Isle of Skye was clearly designed just for photographers like us. Vast landscapes of cliffs, mountains, waterfalls and waves were as ubiquitous as the sheep. This was our favorite place from our Summer of camping in Scotland. It was the place we were most nervous about, given it’s reputation for midges and bad weather, but we found that both were somewhat exaggerated (except when they weren’t!).
Dunbar is a lovely little town not far from the larger city of Edinburgh. It’s not necessarily a famous destination, but its proximity to civilization and it’s beautiful seascapes made it a great place for us to test out our camping skills before we headed farther into the Scottish highlands. The ruined castle in Dunbar is set on a small cliff and is truly stunning.
The Loire River flows through central France, and the central portion of that river defines what is known as the Loire Valley, nicknamed the Valley of Kings because of its numerous magnificent chateaux. We spent a week in the region and it was pretty much the epitome of slow travel. This was one of the areas we could have stayed in for a much longer time, but we certainly made the most of our stay.
The Provence region of France was where we chose to spend most of the month of June. We made our home base in the small, peaceful city of Avignon, and while we weren’t enjoying farmer’s markets or relaxing above a papal palace, we were making day trips (or weekend trips) out into the countryside to picnic in front of aqueducts or explore vast fields of amazing lavender. Provence must be one of the most beautiful places on Earth.
Paris… perhaps you’ve heard of it? Sometimes when one travels, the reality of a place doesn’t quite live up to ones expectations. Paris is not one of those places. It’s hard to take a picture in Paris that isn’t filled, frame to frame with gorgeous monuments, opulent palaces, and immaculately manicured gardens. Paris has so much to do and see that it’s almost overwhelming. Between our two stays there, one in the Fall and one in the Spring, we have spent about a month in the City of Light, and it still hasn’t been enough time for us to take it all in (at least not at the pace we like to travel).
Venice is a remarkable place. It was more beautiful than we had expected (and our expectations were high). The canals, the architecture and the history make this city so unique and so magical that it is one of the top tourist destinations in the world, despite being much smaller than many modern cities. With no automobiles on the island, it’s also a great place to get a lot of exercise while you explore.
The Eternal City! We spent the month of April, 2017 staying right next to the Roman Colosseum, and boy did we learn a lot about avoiding the crowds. The shoulder season (or even the off season) is definitely the best time to visit this famous city, and we left it carrying with us many memories of gelato, shopping, walking amongst ancient columns, and exploring in the early morning before tourists and sunshine turned the streets into another reality.
Kotor, Montenegro was our home for March of 2017. It’s old town is a labyrinth, and from there it’s an easy climb upward to amazing mountain views of the Bay of Kotor and the rooftops of churches and cathedrals. Kotor was easily one of the most beautiful cities we have visited, and we could easily imagine returning someday.
Split is not the most famous city in Croatia, but it was full of delightful surprises. From amazing roman ruins, to a beautiful modern waterfront promenade and a glorious hillside park, we were never without opportunities for exploration, relaxation and photography. We spent February of 2017 in Split, and as we often find is the case, a month goes by more quickly than you’d expect.
Dubrovnik, Croatia was the first city in our great slow travel adventure. We spent the entire month of January in Dubrovnik. It’s sometimes referred to as the Pearl of the Adriatic, and with good reason – the shimmering white stone walls of it’s old town streets are a like gateways to a fantasy world. It’s no wonder it was chosen as the filming site for much of the popular HBO series, Game of Thrones.