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Category: The Traveler’s Blog

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

– Mark Twain

My Island Paradise: Siargao, Philippines

My Island Paradise: Siargao, Philippines

Some of you may be wondering where we’ve been for the past two months. Detained in a prison in Thailand? Lost at sea somewhere off the coast of Vietnam? Hiding out on a tropical island full of coconut trees and surfers? Our last month of travel (Yes, the last – for now! Sadly, I write this from New Jersey.) was spent on one of the 7,107 islands in the Philippines. Siargao (pronounced Shar-gow) is a small teardrop shaped island packed…

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A Weekend with our Best Thai Friend

A Weekend with our Best Thai Friend

We just got back from spending two days with our best Thai friend Vit, his family and friends. Vit invited us to his hometown for a festival at the Buddhist temple to celebrate the completion of a new building. Town festivals like this one only happen once every five years, so it was going to be a big event. How could we decline the invitation? Within the first hour of being in Vit’s hometown, we drank fresh coconut juice from…

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Still Smiling in Thailand

Still Smiling in Thailand

Well, it’s been radio silence here at KickingOutWindows.com but if you’ve been following us on Facebook (as you should, tsk tsk!), you already know we’ve been in Thailand for a while. Actually, we’ve been in Thailand for over six weeks and four of those weeks were spent with Todd’s son Jake. He came to visit us for his winter break from college. Having the band back together after six months apart was better than old times and it brought happiness…

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The Cultural Triangle of Sri Lanka

The Cultural Triangle of Sri Lanka

Many people come to Sri Lanka just for a beach holiday, but they are missing out on the best this country has to offer. We are just finishing up thirty days in Sri Lanka and found the country and people beautiful and welcoming while the ancient historical sites are truly amazing.  Getting around the island by bus and train may be slow, but it’s easy, cheap and convenient. From the airport or the capital of Colombo, tourists either go east to…

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Playing catch up…5 weeks in Italy

Playing catch up…5 weeks in Italy

Oh, I’ve been very bad! Here I am in the heat and rain of Sri Lanka’s jungle forests finally writing a post about our 5 weeks in Italy and Sicily! Meglio tardi che mai (better late than never)! So, where did we leave off? After a week of picking grapes in the tranquility of the Slovenian vineyard, Todd and I met my parents in Poggibonsi, Italy – a small, nondescript town in the Tuscan hills. The four of us stayed…

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What we’ve been up to: Central Europe, August 13 to September 12

What we’ve been up to: Central Europe, August 13 to September 12

If you’re following our Kicking Out Windows page on Facebook, you already know we spent one month, from mid-August to mid-September, in central Europe: specifically Estonia, Latvia, Poland, Czech Republic and Slovenia. Visiting these former communist countries was both eye-opening and refreshing: we thought that they’d be cold and grey, but they were surprisingly lively and friendly. Even in these countries, we went over budget and met up with too many tourists almost everywhere we went. But, we rolled with…

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It’s not all Roses and Rainbows

It’s not all Roses and Rainbows

The Facebook and blog reels show sunny photos of cool places, big smiles and delicious food. But let’s be honest: traveling long-term is not always roses and rainbows. I’m still Rachel, just in different cities and countries. I still get stressed and worried. Sometimes I take for granted where I am and what I’m doing. Travel is not the fairy godmother that grants wishes and I’m not Bobo the Clown happy 100% of the time. Todd still drives me crazy…

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Quilotoa Loop, Ecuador

Quilotoa Loop, Ecuador

Another highlight in Ecuador is hiking the Quilotoa Loop. It’s a multiday trek through mountainous farmlands and valleys from one remote village to another including the turquoise Quilotoa crater lake. Some people hike through six towns, but we chose to hike through three (Insilivi – Chugchilan – Quilotoa). The landscape was breathtakingly beautiful and walking through the indigenous people’s farms gave us a glimpse of lives hidden for hundreds of years in between the mountain walls. Hiking from village to…

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Experiencing Expat Life in Ecuador

Experiencing Expat Life in Ecuador

Call it a rookie traveler mistake, but we foolishly booked a flight from Ecuador to Spain three months in advance. Even before leaving New Jersey, we had broken our first agreement that we’d leave our itinerary open. Now, wherever the wind blew us in South America, we’d have to be at the airport in Quito on August 11 at 8:35am to catch a flight to Madrid. We had six weeks to spend in Ecuador – a country the size of…

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