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My Tan Feet

Dealing with culture shock: A conversation with a multi-cultural couple

I recently “met” Samantha and Yeison online, and was stuck by the sheer level of different cultures going on in their relationship. I’ve written about culture shock a few times, so figured they would be the idea couple to shed some light on the challenges and struggles of it. Samantha is American, of Taiwanese descent. [...]

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air ambulance

A medical evacuation story – and why you should never travel without medical evacuation insurance

“I’m so alone,” I sobbed into the phone. “I’m so totally alone. I’ve never been this alone before.” Tears streamed down my cheeks and my shoulders heaved as I tried telling my mother, thousands of miles away, what was going on. I was alone. More alone than I ever thought possible. I tried telling myself [...]

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Remembering 9/11 – and Ethiopian New Year

It was New Year’s Day according to the Ethiopian calendar – September 11, 2001. John and I lounged in Ethiopian carved wood chairs and enjoyed injera and wat, typical Ethiopian fare consisting of sourdough pancakes and spicy stew. We washed it down with tella, the traditional Ethiopian beer. As our young twins roamed and scampered [...]

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Cheap hostel in Nicaragua

Where to sleep while bike touring

One of the first questions people ask us is, “Where do you sleep at night?” It’s an uncomforting thought to think of being stranded on the side of the road with your children. What would we do if we couldn’t find a safe place to sleep? The good news is that we’ve always found a [...]

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americamap-small

How we chose our route from Alaska to Argentina?

I’ve been asked repeatedly to explain how we chose the route we followed from Alaska to Argentina. For the details, we followed the steps listed in this post. For the big picture, we had an overall idea of where we wanted to go. Prudhoe Bay had to be our starting point because of the world [...]

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map Boise area

Choosing a route for a bike tour

How do I choose a route for my upcoming bike tour? What are the best maps for bike touring? How do I know where to go? Cyclists new to bike touring often wonder about how they’ll find their way around, and especially how to figure out where to go in the first place. Really, it’s [...]

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When the unreasonable makes sense

If I’ve learned anything from pedaling thousands of miles around the globe, it’s that sometimes the unreasonable actually makes sense. A few years ago if you had asked me if it made sense to fly back to the USA in order to pick up a bicycle wheel, my response would have been along the lines [...]

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Health insurance options (or lack thereof)

Seeing as how this topic is bound to come up again in this blog – and maybe end up becoming a major theme (although I hope not) – I figured I’d start it now… We’re looking for health insurance. In the USA. And it’s not looking great. Before we left for our adventures we were [...]

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Five essential/useless items for travelers

Every traveler has them – those items they’d never be caught dead without. And, mostly likely, another traveler would consider those very things useless. It’s an interesting thing, this travel idea. With that in mind, a bunch of us family travel bloggers are all posting today with our lists of essential/useless items. I can’t wait [...]

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Dangers of family travel

Danger. It’s a word that strikes terror through our heart. It’s a place we would never go, and we most certainly wouldn’t take our kids there. I mean – it’s dangerous. And that’s a bad thing. Right? I’ve had a lot of fun putting this piece together. I contacted other traveling parents and asked if [...]

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How dangerous is family bike touring?

I’m never quite sure how to respond to the whole “danger” issue of bike touring. Although the vast majority of people understand that traveling on bike is not inherently any more dangerous than biking to school in your own city, not everyone sees that.  Biking is one of those activities that appears outrageously dangerous to [...]

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Risk assessment – A personal decision

I love it when people challenge my thoughts and ideas. Each time they do I learn something new and am challenged to think about the world and my actions in a different light. One man responded to a blog post I had written about cycling to the ends of the world. “I just don’t see [...]

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How we afford long term family travel

I don’t claim to be a financial guru – not even close.  I won’t even claim this post will have any information that might be helpful to you in planning your own family adventure.  What I will claim is that what I write here is totally honest and is how we managed to travel for [...]

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Tips for bike touring safely

“Isn’t it dangerous?”  We hear those words all the time and, frankly, I’m always a bit confused when I hear them.  Dangerous in what way?  What should we be afraid of? Yes, what we are doing is dangerous.  We could be hit by a car, bitten by rattlesnakes, die of food poisoning, or slip in [...]

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A Couple of Hours Left

We’re taking off in 2 1/2 hours.  I’ve got a tight little bundle of nerves wound up around the pit of my stomach.  We’ll know in a couple of hours how check-in went.  I’ll update again as soon as I can – most likely Fairbanks the last week of June.

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We’re OFF – to the Ends of the Earth!

This is it.  We’re off. Our plans for the next few weeks are fairly simple – fly to Prudhoe Bay, put the bikes together, and start pedaling southward.  Now if it could only pan out so easily… We will be out of touch until we arrive in Fairbanks – probably the last week in June.  [...]

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