A Road Trip Through the Japanese Alps

Neither of us had visited Japan before when we decided to take a small detour to the Land of the Rising Sun. Our road trip through the Japanese Alps, visiting tiny traditional villages and soaking in beautiful natural hot springs, turned out to be a highlight of our trip to Japan.

The Japanese Alps – the region a bit northeast of Kyoto – offers majestic scenery, delicious food, and (for the most part) an opportunity to explore a fascinating region without hordes of tourists everywhere you turn. We loved the freedom that renting a car in this region offered, and would highly recommend it. Before we get into the details, we’ll be up front: this adventure was not cheap for us. Especially compared with traveling throughout Southeast Asia for four months during low season. But if you can afford to splurge a bit, we highly recommend this little Japanese jaunt.

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What to know about Vietnam before you visit

Four things we loved (and didn’t) after two months of travel

Over two months, Daniela and I fell in love with Vietnam and its people. It’s a phenomenal, complicated place, filled with spectacular scenery, a rich and complex history, and no shortage of unique places to visit. I’d never spent that much time in a single country (apart from the US, of course), and that gave us plenty of opportunities to reflect on what made it such a fantastic place for us. Here are eight things anyone considering traveling to Vietnam should know before you visit this wonderful country.

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How does it feel a week after stepping off the proverbial cliff?

It’s now been a week since we stepped off the plane and into the drizzling mist and humidity of our first stop: Hanoi, Vietnam. We’ve spent a week eating, drinking, and wandering our way through Hanoi’s top sites and fascinating nooks and crannies. But the question remains: how do we feel about the fact that we’ve upended our lives to travel on a life sabbatical for the foreseeable future?

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