Welcome to Roaming Around the World
Hi there! We are Heather & John and we’re addicted to travel. We have been on a grand adventure traveling around the globe for the past 3+ years, across 60+ countries. We’ve always had an insatiable thirst for travel & adventure, so one day we finally decided to put our normal lives on pause in attempts to quench this thirst. We got rid of it all to travel the world!
This website was assembled as a labor of love in order to share our travel stories throughout the journey and to offer our first-hand travel advice about the interesting far-flung destinations we’ve been roaming around.
If you love to travel too, you’re in the right place. Welcome! We’re happy to have you virtually joining along for the adventure.
A Brief Background about the Duo Behind Roaming Around the World
We’re both born and raised in Florida. Heather grew up in Melbourne, FL while I roamed around Fort Lauderdale. Travel was always a part of our relationship. We first met while living in Orlando and mutual friends had planned a fateful journey down to Key West. As college students during this time, we squeezed into one small car for this trip down South, so Heather was forced to sit on my lap the entire way as we traveled across the Overseas Highway. I suppose I made a decent cushion, because the rest is history.
Fast forward a few years filled with countless trips around the US and we finally decided to take a few weeks out of our increasingly busy lives to explore Thailand. It was our first real big international trip together. These travels went so well that in the beautiful Phi Phi islands, I decided to propose to her.
It was around this time that we also decided that we wanted more travel together. So that’s when we began planning and plotting just how we could make that possible. We were leading normal American lives. But that was all going to change.
Meanwhile we got hitched in 2011. That’s also when we relocated to Detroit, MI for a job. Who moves from Florida to Detroit? We do. And it was actually pretty awesome despite our preconceived notions about the area. I worked doing geeky things in the field of Marketing Intelligence while Heather spent her days in Human Resources hiring and firing people. We lived quite modestly and well below our means during these days. By doing that combined with some very strategic financial planning over the course of 5+ years, it allowed us to bank and save a decent chunk of change, which is partially how we funded the beginning of our round the world travels. (We now work remotely to sustain an income.)
In December 2013, we finally ditched our corporate jobs and got rid of it all in order to pursue our dream of a 1-year trip around the world. Somewhere along the way that 1-year trip has evolved into a lifestyle of constant travel. Oops! Nearly four years later and we’re still moving around this awesome planet!
We’re still adventuring, eating, and drinking around the globe, maximizing a tight budget, all while trying our best to provide you with travel ideas, tips, and inspiration along the way.
Our Travel Style
We’re all over the map, both geographically and in terms of our varied travel style. Some people find it difficult to pin down our travel style since we regularly go backcountry camping and bunk-up at hostels; yet also love cruises and 5-star resorts. Sometimes we enjoy seeing some of the major touristic sites just as much as we enjoy getting off the beaten track. We’re a world of conflict. But there are many aspects about our travel style does stay consistent: We love adventure, travel value, and drinking around the world.
A perfect day of travel for us involves an exciting adventure during the day, followed by a delicious local dish for dinner, then winding down the night by enjoying the area’s brews or drinks and accomplishing all of that at half the cost. We do enjoy visiting the major sites as we tend to find they are often well-visited for good reason. But we also find it extremely rewarding to get off the tourist trail to explore the road less traveled. This site chronicles our love for adventure, local cuisine and drinking culture around the world both on and off the beaten path.
We really enjoy roughing it for a great experience. Yet after spending multiple nights camping in tents and on overnight buses, we’ve found that it can feel absolutely amazing to spruce up our travel game with a little luxury. After all, it’s all about having an amazing experience. We’ve had equally incredible experiences while backpacking through the dense Borneo jungle, sleeping on the floors when we could find a dry spot to set up camp; just as we’ve had sailing across the Atlantic on a luxury cruise ship, stopping at exotic islands along the way. These are two completely different experiences, yet both extremely enjoyable to us, as long as we’re able to do each of them affordably. So whether you call this “affordable luxury,” “flashpacking,” “value travel” or some other travel buzzword-of-the-week, we’re all about it!
Really, we absolutely love a good travel bargain and that may best reveal some of the reasons for our sometimes seemingly strange ways. We have champagne tastes with a Budweiser budget. Somehow we usually uncover creative methods to get the metaphorical champagne at Bud prices (like taking a two-week luxury cruise for only $300!) Before embarking on this crazy adventure, I spent the last ten years working in the discounts and promotions industry back in the States, so I know all too well the science of getting a good deal. I look forward to continue sharing some of the world’s best travel values we’ve found during our journey.
Where in the World?
We’ve begun roaming around the world in December 2013, departing from our home in Birmingham, Michigan.
Segment 1: Central America
The first leg of our global tour was Central America in which we made our way from Mexico down to Colombia, entirely overland and water. Check out our top adventures, eats, and drinks in Central America from the awesome first three months of our trip!
Segment 2: Morocco + Europe
Then we crossed the Atlantic by sea snagging our first repositioning cruise deal so we could get down to exotic Morocco for a month. That was a prelude to exploring all over Europe during the summer and fall of 2014 again taking a lengthy overland journey from Spain to Turkey, taking in nearly a dozen countries in between. Spain was our favorite. We swooned over beers in Belgium. Couldn’t get enough of the Alps in Germany & Austria. Meanwhile Ukraine was the most interesting. Turkey was the most surprising (in a good way). And we still dream about all the delicious Greek food.
Year 1 Highlights: These were our favorite experiences from our first year roaming around the world.
Segment 3: Southern South America
We then grabbed another last minute cruise ship deal in the Fall of 2014 to cross back across the Atlantic to visit the States. After nearly a entire year of travel this was supposed to be where we came home a restarted our normal lives again. But we decided to go for a second year!
So our visit back to the States would be a short one because we’d soon set sail yet again! This time we went through the Panama Canal to explore the very southern reaches of South America, which began our second year of this zig-zagging trip around the world. We started in Chile and crossed back and forth into Argentina making our way to the southern tip of this continent, AKA the end of the world! Making our way through the Andes of Patagonia really satiated our craving for adventure.
Segment 4: New Zealand & Australia
After 3 months exploring Chile & Argentina, we took a 5 day flight (no, really) over to New Zealand, where all the crazy adventures continued. New Zealand has been our dream destination so we tried to pack in as much as we possibly could within the 28 days we spent there. It was awesome! We then hopped over to Australia for just a few quick days before transferring to our next continent.
Segment 5: SE Asia
Segment 6: Middle East to Middle Europe (plus Cuba!)
We caught a flight to Dubai then spent a few very interesting and hot weeks in Egypt. From there it was time to return to Europe to see some new-to-us countries starting with Hungary. We then traveled through SE Europe visiting Serbia, Montenegro, Croatia, and Slovenia before finally making our way into Germany to investigate How To Travel to Oktoberfest on a Budget.
We then made a beeline to England where we caught our 4th repositioning cruise, this time returning to the US, which marked the completion of entirely circumnavigating the globe! We then finished out the year with a trip to Cuba!
Year 2 Highlights: These were our favorite experiences from our second year of roaming around the world.
Here is a video recap of our third year of travel:
Segment 7: Slowing Down in Mexico
We tried to slow our travels by enjoying some longer stays in Mexico. We stayed for a month each in Merida, San Cristobal de las Casas, and Oaxaca, with many adventures in between. We then roamed back around the US for a little while and took the brand new Fathom cruise to the Dominican Republic.
Segment 8: Repositioning to Portugal & Spain
We then took yet another repositioning cruise, this time from Panama to Portugal on the Pullmantur Monarch, our cheapest cruise yet – only $159! (Read Pullmantur Monarch Review.) We then enjoyed exploring Portugal and the Andalusia region of Spain.
Segment 9: A Grand Adventure Across Africa
We wended our third year of travel with one of our biggest adventures yet – a 3 month trip across Africa. We started in Kenya and hopped on a 56-Day Oasis Overland Safari from Nairobi to Cape Town. We then spent a month traveling across South Africa on our own.
Year 4 & Where to Next?
We decided to spend the first few months of 2017 exploring Ecuador. That’s where we investigated How to Travel to the Galapagos on a Budget. Back on mainland Ecuador, we traveled through the Amazon to get to Peru. Of course, we had to see Machu Picchu and so we went the most adventurous way possible: The Jungle Trek. We continued southbound on this Andes adventure into Bolivia and Northern Argentina, before ultimately returning to one of our favorite countries: Mexico.
After this? We’re not entirely sure, but I promise it won’t be boring!
We are briefly returning to the US in Summer 2017. But we can’t sit still for too long, so are currently working out onward travel plans!
Despite traveling now for almost four years straight, we always have a hundreds more places we want to see and experience. We invite you to follow along our crazy adventures (and misadventures) as we figure out where our next destination will be.
Happy Travels to You!
Want to learn more about this unconventional path we’ve taken? Have a look around the site or click through some of the links we just listed. You can also visit our FAQ page which answers some of the questions that curious minds want to know such as how we afford to travel the world and what is our favorite countries.
Also, see where in the world we are right now by joining us and the other thousands of travelers on our Facebook Page, where we continue to give out daily travel inspiration, tips, and ideas!
-John & Heather