Category ‘0ther’

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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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 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!

January 17th
2010
written by Bullet-Point Ben

Ben-Franklin-PirateBenjamin Franklin, inventor, pirate, and patriot, would have been 304 today.

Mr Franklin had an idea: what if I buy a book and then share it with as many people as I can, even strangers?!  In that spirit, he founded the first public lending library.  Today this basic concept has been ultra-optimized, thanks to the Internet, and is generally referred to as piracy.  An elaborate set of contradictory and confusing laws and precedents have been put in place so that libraries are legal and sharing mp3s on the Intertubes is illegal*.  But don’t kid yourself, when you check a book out from the library you are STEALING from the author as surely as if you put it in your pocket and walked out of Barnes and Noble without paying.

But Ben Franklin would approve – of checking out library books, anyway.  He might have approved of pirating mp3s too.  This is a guy who never patented any of his many inventions because he felt they should be used for the good of everyone.  He was also involved in a revolution, so you could argue he had problems with authority. If he were alive today, Franklin would probably be a member of the EFF.

*Downloading mp3s is not the same as checking a book out of the library because when you download an mp3 you make a copy whereas you have to return the book to the library.  Don’t worry, this loophole will be closed eventually.

November 30th
2009
written by Alonna

Now that we’ve been home for a couple weeks, I’ve had a chance to sort through our photos. It has been fun to re-live our trip through the photos (all 8,000+ of them!). I found some good ones that never made it on the site during our trip, so I will post some of them here and there. But before that, here’s a little more on our time in Rome…
 
Rome at night


Pantheon

We’ve seen some amazing churches, but you gotta love the simplicity and ancient grandeur of this Roman “church” (more…)

July 12th
2009
written by Alonna

As you can tell, we have a new website design.  I thought it was time for a new look, I hope you like it!

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March 12th
2009
written by Alonna

I’ve recently discovered an excellent movie genre: Foreign Films.  They can be a refreshing change of pace from typical Hollywood movies, and I’ve especially enjoyed watching movies that teach me something about history or another part of the world.

For example, I recently watched a move called The Lives of Others, (more…)

February 28th
2009
written by Bullet-Point Ben

Alonna and I made an interesting discovery recently: there is no longer any need at all for cable TV.

The chief reason we were paying $45 a month in the first place is not so we could watch TNT or the History Channel, but because TV antennas suck.  Most of the TV we watch is the main channels – NBC, CBS, ABC, Fox – so we were basically paying to receive a crystal clear reception of these channels.  But here’s the thing: for 2 years we’ve been watching standard def television on our HD TV, and the experience is really grating.  Every time I check what it would cost to get these channels in HD, it’s in the $50 range.  That’s $50 on top of the $45 we were already paying.  But you can get most of those same HDTV channels with a digital antenna.

(more…)

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