October 22nd
2011
written by Alonna

I’ve been dreading this blog, and I sort of have a rule that I don’t bother with things that I don’t feel like doing (unless it’s necessary). But today, a moment of inspiration hit me so I thought I better quick get this posted before it’s gone.

Summary: Life is great, we love Colorado, please come visit us :)

The easiest way to write a blog post is to fill it entirely with photos. So, here’s a photo for each month we’ve been here. (more…)

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January 15th
2011
written by Alonna

Occasionally in life, things just fall into place. That’s how I feel about our recent move from Idaho to Colorado, and I couldn’t be happier with how everything has turned out.  Here are the highlights:

Colorado!

  • A new job : After 3 months of searching, I accepted a position with Seagate in Longmont, Colorado.  The new job has gotten off to a great start.  I’m excited about the work (ASIC Verification for SSD drives), I like my boss and coworkers, I’m happy with the pay and benefits, and the location is perfect.  And an added bonus: part of my team works in Shakopee, MN only 20 minutes from my parents’ house.  This means I can occasionally work remotely from that site while visiting family and friends.
  • A new home : At the last minute, we found a rental condo in a NE Boulder community called “Gunbarrel”.  We are loving this area – we have easy access to both Boulder and my job in Longmont, yet are surrounded by farms, open space hiking and biking trails, and great mountain views.  While the rental is only temporary, we’re thinking about sticking to this area when we search for a new place.
  • Boise House – SOLD! After only 3 days on the market, we accepted a full-price offer on our house in Boise.  We credit this to the perfect combination of a nice house in a great location, setting the right price, a lot of preparation, presentation and staging, and a good dose of luck.
  • Enjoying the Rockies : With a little bit of summer left when we arrived, we were able to get in some mountain biking and hiking.  With winter is in full swing, we’ve been hitting the slopes, and Colorado snow has not disappointed us! (more…)
September 24th
2010
written by Alonna

Unfortunately, moving on in life means leaving something behind. Here’s a few things that Ben and I will miss the most about Idaho:

Goodbye Boise, we'll miss you

Goodbye Boise, we'll miss you

Thursday Night Mountain Biking
For 7 years we’ve been mountain biking on Thursday nights with a fun group of friends, usually followed by pizza and beer.  Thursday night will never be the same again…

HP Lunch Volleyball
Summer at HP means volleyball! During lunch I ducked out of work to play sand and grass volleyball.  Any volleyball skills I may have, I owe to these guys.  They’re awesome players and friends, and I will never forget them.

Friends and Coworkers
Ben and I have gotten to know a lot of really great people here in Boise.  The hardest part of saying goodbye is knowing that we’re losing the potential of spending more time with them.  To all of our friends and coworkers – we will miss you!

Alonna’s Soccer Team
I’ve had a blast playing on a women’s soccer team in Boise.  Anything we lack in skills we’ve more than made up for by running our butts off and never giving up. Go Bombers!

Ridges to Rivers trail system
They just keep getting better – (more…)

September 11th
2010
written by Alonna

After seven years in Boise, Idaho, Ben and I are moving back to the place we’ve always thought of as ‘home’ – Colorado. Alonna scored a great job with Seagate in Longmont, and Ben is more than happy to tag along. Although we’ve grown to love Idaho and will miss a lot of things about living here, we’re both very excited for this move. We can’t wait to go play in the Rocky Mountains!

And so now begins a whirlwind of packing, moving, house selling, and saying goodbye. As with any major change like this, emotions are mixed with sadness for what we’re leaving behind, but excitement for what’s ahead. But for us, this is what life’s about – making conscious decisions to pursue a life that makes us happy.

You are all welcome to visit us in our new home – we hope to see you soon!

Ben & Alonna in Colorado 2006

Ben & Alonna in Colorado 2006

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August 14th
2010
written by Alonna

I know, I know, we’ve been quiet lately. Returning home from our year of traveling has been a bit of an adjustment. While it was exciting to return home to our things and see our friends and family, putting the trip behind me and returning to work was harder than I expected. But after 4 weeks on the job I’m starting to get the hang of it, and feeling pretty good about life again! Meanwhile, Ben and I have had a great summer… here’s a few highlights.

Mountain Biking

The first bunch of photos is from our annual camping trip to Stanley, Idaho with our HP biking group. The rest are (more…)

July 6th
2010
written by Alonna

After returning from Europe last November, I created some photo collages from our trip using Ben’s awesome home-made program. With another 9,000 photos taken on our Round-the-World trip, I created a few more. Here’s three that turned out well…
 

Sphinx – Giza, Egypt

The Great Sphinx in Egypt Photo Mosaic created by Ben's program
 

Elephant – Kruger National Park, South Africa

Elephant in South Africa Photo Mosaic created by Ben's program
 

Opera House – Sydney, Australia

(more…)

July 1st
2010
written by Bullet-Point Ben

Let’s say you’re thinking about taking some time off and traveling the world like we recently did.

It’s a given that you won’t come back from a world-wide walkabout as exactly same person.  Some people write books about their life-changing experiences, but for most travelers, the changes are small. To friends and family, the only immediately noticeable difference will be an annoying tendency to share world travel related anecdotes. “This reminds me of the time I was grilling kangaroo meat in Australia….”

But even if you have an “ordinary” world travel experience, here are some of the ways that world travel might affect you: (more…)

June 22nd
2010
written by Alonna

Sometimes photos can’t quite capture the moment the way a short video clip can. Here’s a few fun videos that we took while traveling around the world. Warning – these were taken with the low-quality of our point & shoot cameras, and the poor videomanship of moi. I hope you find them entertaining anyway!
 

Big Ice

Remember when we hiked around on a glacier in Argentina? Well here’s what ice crunching under your cramp-ons sounds like.
 

 

Sounds of Islam

Our introduction to the Islamic call to prayer was in Istanbul, where the eerily beautiful chants provided occasional background music to our sightseeing. At our next stop in Cairo, Egypt (more…)

June 11th
2010
written by Alonna

Curious how much we spent this past year on traveling, but too shy to ask? Well don’t be, because we’re not shy to talk about it. In fact, I’ll just lay it all out for you. Analyzing the cost of something like this is really interesting to me – it seems like so much money,

Traveling the world

The trip of a lifetime

but it all comes down to your priorities in life, and what you want to spend your time and money doing. We chose to spend a good chunk of both on traveling around the world. Was it worth it? Absolutely.
 

The Costs

Total Travel Costs

Item Time Cost
Europe Travel 3 months $15,600
Europe Plane Tickets (Airline Miles) - $130
RTW Travel 5 months $18,580
RTW Plane Tickets - $9,530
Total (8 months) $43,710

Travel Costs by Country (more…)

June 6th
2010
written by Alonna

Our home in Boise

Our home in Boise

We’re home! Ben and I have been back in Boise for almost a week now, and we’re happy to be home. Of course, there are some mixed feelings ending a trip like this. On the road, every day brings something new and exciting, whereas back home we have quickly fallen into a daily routine in a familiar setting. Looking back at the incredible things we’ve seen and done this past year, it’s a little sad to see it come to an end – especially when I know there’s a lot more out in the world that I’d like to see! But, on top of the fact that we’ve depleted most of our savings and have no choice but to return to work, it feels great to be home.
 

Re-Discovering our House

Something I never anticipated was how nice it would be to return to our house and belongings after living out of a backpack and in hostels for 5 months. In some ways it’s liberating to have only a few sets of clothes and just the essentials with you at all times. While backpacking, you can’t help but wonder why you need that house full of “stuff” anyway – you’re doing fine with just these 30lbs. But, you forget about all the little things that make life so much easier and more comfortable. No – I didn’t miss the lawnmower or vacuum cleaner – but I was surprised to remember that I love wearing high heels and jewelry, and I now have the choice between at least 5 pairs of jeans and hundreds of tops. In addition to clothing, we have a kitchen full of nice dishes and appliances. We cooked a lot while traveling to save money, but the kitchens in hostels are nothing like your own kitchen back home. Dull knives, missing utensils, tiny fridges packed full of people’s food, and no cupboard with of your favorite spices and cooking supplies. Like I said, it’s really nice to be home.
 

What’s Next?

Now that we’re back, you might be curious about our plans for the future. We are too! We don’t have any solid plans yet, but I promise I’ll let you know when we do.

As for the blog – it will live on! We still have a lot to say about our past year of traveling, and we’ll continue to share photos of any interesting adventures that come our way. Some topics in the works include the cost of our trip, things we’ve learned, and more photo collages. Is there anything you’d like to know about? Please leave a comment and we’ll try to address it.

Thank you for following us on this incredible journey!

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