Our Top Four Travel Gear Items for 2019

After almost seven months of intense travel through Asia in 2019, we’ve figured out what travel gear we absolutely can’t live without. There are four items we find ourselves continually reaching for, day in and day out. We feel that these are so crucial to our daily routines that we can’t imagine traveling without them–at least on a trip like ours. We wanted to share them with you!


Pu Luong Nature Reserve: a remote oasis amid Vietnam’s rice terraces

Pu Luong is a refreshingly secluded option for exploring Vietnam’s beautiful countryside

If you’re looking to get away from tourists and crowds in Vietnam, Pu Luong nature reserve is a perfect, low-key escape. With its lush green rice terraces and untouched natural setting, you’ll feel like you’re the only visitor around for miles. Pu Luong is more remote and much less well-known than the more famous Sapa, and therefore can make a great alternative to that tourist-heavy area. That does mean, however, that it’s a little harder to get to, and food/accommodations are more rustic. We viewed this as a plus, though, and would recommend this little enclave of Northern Vietnam to anyone looking for some quiet relaxation.


The Ha Giang Loop: The most stunning motorbike ride in Vietnam

“It’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey.”

Ha Giang, the northernmost province of Vietnam, is known for some of the most spectacular mountain scenery in Southeast Asia. The “final frontier” of Vietnam is famous among travelers for its Ha Giang Loop, a several-hundred kilometer collection of winding, mountainous roads best explored by motorbike. The roads, carved high into the mountains with switchback curves and sheer drops, are both exceedingly dangerous and breathtakingly beautiful. When we heard about it, we knew we’d have to see it for ourselves.

We decided to do an extended trip that would include Ha Giang Province as well as Cao Bang, where Vietnam’s most famous waterfall is located. Here’s how we explored this area.


7 Days Off the Beaten Path in Hanoi, Vietnam

How to travel like a local in Vietnam’s capital city

Hanoi is one of those cities where you can immediately feel the pulsing energy. When you step out into the city air, it assaults your senses. The sights, smells, sounds, and feel of the air around you come together to create a wonderful rush of excitement. After a week spent immersing ourselves in Hanoi, we think the best way to experience this city is to venture off the beaten path.

Hanoi is a city full of tourists with a thriving hostel culture, so if you wanted, you could spend a week only hanging out with Westerners and eating hamburgers and French fries the whole time. Don’t get us wrong–sometimes we definitely want our creature comforts! But for this trip, we wanted to experience local Hanoi to the greatest extent possible. Here are some ideas to help unlock the richness that Hanoi has to offer.


Five Tips for Eating Vegetarian While Traveling

Many people are vegetarian for a variety of reasons, including for health, the environment, and religion. I fall somewhere in between all these categories. When I travel, I often worry about being able to eat vegetarian, particularly in remote places where it’s less common and more misunderstood. That fear even includes the United States, where I’m from! Here are some tricks I’ve used to stay comfortable and happy while maintaining my vegetarian diet while traveling.


Itinerary: Three Days In Mexico City

Mexico City is a huge metropolis with seemingly infinite things to do. We visited Mexico City over President’s Day weekend, so we had three full days to explore. We’d gotten so many recommendations from friends that we found it really hard to narrow down everything into just a weekend! Here’s the itinerary we’d recommend if you only have three days to explore this bustling and vibrant city.