We believe everyone can (and should) pursue their passion and follow their dream – wherever it may lead. Our goal is to provide both inspiration and practical advice to get you there.
Who are we? “We” are just a normal American family who happens to be following our dreams and chasing rainbows. We are adventure seekers and modern-day explorers who are limited only by our imaginations – and we have very vivid imaginations! We learned early to live life to the fullest; to grab life by the horns and enjoy the ride.
So much so that we spent three years riding bicycles from Alaska to Argentina together as a family.
Time is passing quickly. We can never go back. We can only take advantage of every moment we have. We’re here to help you do exactly that.
We get asked a lot about how we got to this point. How did we get to the point where we were willing to quit our jobs and take our precious children on bicycles from one end of the world to the other? Here’s a brief run-down of our background.
John (aka Dad)
John grew up in Rhode Island and never traveled beyond New England until he went to college in Colorado. At some point in his college years he discovered bike touring and spent the next ten or fifteen years biking wherever he went. He crossed the USA quite a few times before getting more adventurous and venturing a bit farther from home.
One summer he flew to Alaska and cycled back to New Mexico (where he was living at the time). Another summer he cycled Iceland and Norway. Then came Australia. And then India.
All that time he was working as a teacher and traveling in the summers.
Nancy (aka Mom)
I grew up in Boise, Idaho and had the opportunity to travel each summer to a different place. Although we only traveled for a few weeks, every summer my parents loaded all five of us kids into the station wagon and took off for parts unknown.
When I was 16, my parents took us to Mexico – and my eyes were opened to the fact that there was a big, wide world out there. As soon as I arrived home, I saw a commercial for the Peace Corps and made the decision to join it as soon as I could.
True to the decision I made when I was sixteen years old, I joined the Peace Corps upon graduation from university. For the next 2.5 years I helped develop a Special Ed program in Honduras and formed a team for the Special Olympics.
Peace Corps gives volunteers a chunk of money when they leave in order to help them get established in the USA. I took the money and spent seven months traveling in South America instead.
Upon my return to the USA, I moved to the Navajo Indian Reservation where I taught for the next three years. During my first summer back in the USA I took off on my bike and cycled from Norfolk, Virginia to New Orleans. The next summer I visited my brother who was serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Malawi.
Our lives together
That brings us to spring of 1990 when a series of unusual events brought John and me together to cycle in Pakistan.
We spent the school year 1990/91 cycling Pakistan, China, India, Nepal, & Bangladesh. The first weekend of the following school year we got married.
We lasted a grand total of two years in Albuquerque before going nuts. We got jobs at an American school in Alexandria, Egypt and took off to explore a new part of the world.
From 1993 – 1995 we lived in Alexandria and traveled extensively in the area. We went to Israel and Jordan, Greece and Turkey. We spent a summer cycling the Sinai Peninsula and Israel.
After two years in Egypt, we moved to Ethiopia to teach in another international school. From there, we explored Yemen and Mali on bikes and visited many other countries by bus.
Our sons were born our third year in Ethiopia, and we continued to travel with kids in tow. The boys celebrated their first birthday in Egypt, their second in Vietnam. They turned three in Thailand and four in Ethiopia.
After living in Ethiopia for seven years, John and I got teaching jobs in an American school in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. We explored Taiwan and Bali and Myanmar during the two years we lived there.
After a brief stint in Malaysia, we returned to the USA shortly after the boys turned seven. We lasted a grand total of fifteen months before we hopped on our bikes and headed out to see our own home turf.
We spent the 2006-07 school year (the boys’ third grade year) cycling 9300 miles through the USA and Mexico. John and the boys were on a bicycle built for three and I rode a single bike alongside them. We visited nineteen US states and five Mexican states in twelve months on the road.
We returned to Boise for fourth grade and spent that year planning and preparing to hit the road again – this time to cycle from Alaska to Argentina.
In June 2008, we headed out – this time John and Daryl rode a tandem bike while Davy and I were on singles. After cycling 17,300 miles in nearly three years, we reached the southernmost tip of South America on March 21, 2011.
Now we want to inspire you to pursue your passion and follow your dream. We believe you can.
Update Summer 2018: We are still chasing after our dreams, although those dreams look very different than they did a decade ago. Davy and Daryl are now 20 years old, and are starting their third year of university. Davy is studying Electrical Engineering, while Daryl chose Computer Science and Software Engineering.
Nancy is now working full time as a metalsmith, making jewelry from recycled copper and brass. She sells her work at art shows around the country. You can see her work and find her show schedule at www.nancysathrevogel.com
John has turned his passion toward long distance hiking and rebuilding an old cottage. He has documented his hikes on this blog.