Tommy and I spent a couple weeks back in the Midwest while we were in the process of switching continents (we are now back in Asia!), so blogging once again took a break. Whoops! But I am still dedicated to catching up on each and every place we visited this past year, so I return with some photos from one of our longest-ago trips – Paris, back in late September/early October 2018!
As Tommy can attest to, you cannot take an art history major to Paris without them going absolutely bananas. Over the course of 6 days, we went to 5 art museums and a whole bunch of chapels and other historic buildings that were either full of art or fell into the category of architecture-as-art. (I also spent a lot of time eating cheese plates, drinking cheap wine, and talking about how romantic everything was. I love France!)
Some of you might know that our last 2 years of full-time traveling & teaching started with the simple idea to backpack around South America for one month. While that idea never panned out, one location that I had begun researching really stuck in my head: Patagonia. The beautiful, wild landscapes that dominate the southernmost region of South America just kept calling my name. So when Tommy and I decided to settle in Chile for a couple months, I knew we needed to take a trip to Torres del Paine National Park – one of the most famous and awe-inspiring destinations in Patagonia! The remote location and “natural” paths of the park made it one of our more challenging mini-vacations, but it was 100% worth it.
It’s hard to pick highlights in South America because we visited so many unique places. But if we had to choose, Easter Island would definitely be towards the top of our list! Although our stay was short, the wild coastal landscapes and mysterious historical sites absolutely took our breath away.
One of the weirdest travel habits that Tommy and I have picked up this past year is looking for long layovers. It started on our journey from America to Europe, when WOW Airlines (now-bankrupt) had a steal of a deal from Chicago to Germany… with a 17-hour layover in Iceland. We decided to make the best of it and spent our afternoon soaking stress away in the beautiful Blue Lagoon. Ever since then, we’ve kept our eyes peeled for layovers just long enough to squeeze in a top attraction or two! On our way from Romania to Egypt in December 2018, we found another opportunity for a “free” mini-trip – this time to the Parthenon in Athens, Greece.
If you missed it, our first stop in Peru was Cusco (Adventure in the Andes 😉). Our second major adventure was visiting the Amazon rainforest (one of the new 7 wonders of the natural world!). After completing his Peace Corps service, my late great-uncle Peter Jenson built Explorama Lodge in the mid-1960s. Located 50 miles down the Amazon River from Iquitos, his company has since expanded to also include 4 other accommodations and one of the world’s longest canopy walkways. 😲 Tommy and I spent an amazing 3 days there (+1 in Iquitos) exploring the river and rainforest.