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gili air indonesia

Hi, I’m Shelley!

Twelve years ago, I officially retired from cubicle life in Canada, to live life on my own terms. I planned to NEVER work in such a limiting way again. It just wasn’t for me.

Since the happiest day of my life (you know, the one where I stopped working in any traditional sense), I moved halfway around the world to Seoul, South Korea, married an itchy footed European on a Thai beach, survived the ensuing all-out brawl during the reception (no lie), and welcomed an adorable little half Korean, half-Albanian baby globetrotter into my life at the ripe, old age of 42.

koh samui thailand
hoi an vietnam

Along the way, I saw a cheetah kill in Tanzania, trekked the 42km Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, fearfully tried ayahuasca in Bogota, released baby turtles into the sea in Borneo, gawked at the fairytale landscapes of Cappadocia from high up in a hot air balloon, and yelled MUSH at a team of huskies in Norway.

lefkada greece
Lunch with new friends in Cuba
SONY DSC
dervishes konya turkey

I’ve stayed in a favela in Rio, floating raft houses in Thailand, completely off the grid at a coconut plantation by the sea in Colombia, camped under the stars in the Thar Desert, slept in a capsule hotel, and in a tent surrounded by the sound of elephants, lions and zebra all around me in the Serengeti.

I’ve traveled by plane, hydrofoil, camel, 4×4 jeep, in a motorcade surrounded by armed drivers, taxi, classic Royal Enfield motorcycle, longtail boat, tuk tuk, high speed train, low speed sleeper bus, Arabian horse, and of course, by foot … usually accompanied by just a carry-on.

Thar Desert india

Travel isn’t always pretty. It isn’t always comfortable…

But that’s okay. The journey changes you; it should change you.

It leaves marks on your memory, on your consciousness, on your heart, and on your body.

You take something with you. Hopefully, you leave something good behind.

~ Anthony Bourdain

india

Why is the blog called Travel-Stained?

I called the blog “Travel-Stained” because I believe there’s a big difference between traveling and being on vacation.

Being on vacation usually involves a comfortable bubble that’s not so different from home. It often includes chain hotels where service is very familiar, ‘safe’ dining experiences, guided tours to the most well-known tourist destinations and very little contact with locals outside of a service environment.

Of course, there’s nothing wrong with this, and I’ve very giddily taken all-inclusive vacation packages to Cuba and Ibiza myself, and been very, very happy about it… but, at it’s best, I believe travel has the capacity to mark you, to change the way you look at the world, and to question your place in it.

delhi india
stone town zanzibar tanzania

It’s when you stray from the well-known tourist trail, risk eating at street side food stands that don’t necessarily look ‘clean,’ and throw yourself into the local experience as much as possible, that travel truly becomes magical.

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salvador de bahia brazil
fort kochi india

This is what we strive for most in our travels – to allow our lives and perceptions

to be touched, marked and stained by the world.

nami island korea
namsan seoul korea
delhi india

This blog is about (mostly) independent travel to 61 countries around the world. You’ll find stories, no-nonsense destination guides, down to earth travel advice, and practical advice you can actually use to plan a trip.

I’ve been lucky enough to visit multiple countries, multiple times, so you’ll find more in-depth knowledge about places like Albania, Italy, Greece, Japan, Canada, Korea, and Thailand on this blog. You can check out the Destinations page for guides and related articles about specific countries.

Wherever possible, I’ve tried to impart as much local knowledge as possible – especially for places like Albania or Korea – where language can cause difficulties in accessing the very best travel experiences, and getting around. Be sure to get in touch if you have questions.

gili air indonesia

Comments:

  • February 21, 2013

    Hi there! I just was nominated myself, and now I’m nominating you for the Liebster Award. It recognizes up-and-coming blogs, particularly those with less than 200 followers. Visit my blog for all the details, and thanks for inspiring me. Congratulations! —Jadi

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    • February 21, 2013

      Hi Jadi, thank you for the nomination and for your great writing too! I’m enjoying it a lot.

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  • February 21, 2013

    It was my pleasure, and thanks for the compliment! —Jadi

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  • February 24, 2013

    I stopped by to thank you for liking one of my recent blog posts. It never fails to give me a lift when I see that.

    So, thank you! πŸ™‚

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    • February 27, 2013

      I love the idea behind your blog and look forward to reading more!! πŸ™‚

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  • April 1, 2013

    Hey there! I really like reading your blog, and I have nominated you for the Very Inspiring Blog Award! Click the link to take a look!

    http://thevintagepostcard.wordpress.com/2013/04/01/very-inspiring-blog-award/

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  • May 26, 2013

    Hey, we love your blog so much we’ve gone and nominated it for an award! Visit to see what here I think?! Anyway – http://timandgemma.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=882&action=edit&message=6&postpost=v2. Yeah, sorry for the massive link…

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  • June 7, 2013

    I love your story. I went to Korea when I was too young to appreciate it (I’m Korean-Canadian), but I would love to go back one day. I think you and I are cut from the same cloth, although you have much more travel experience than I do. Very inspiring πŸ˜‰

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    • June 9, 2013

      A fellow Korean-Canadian! Oh, Seoul is a wonderful city to live in…and the pace of growth here is relentless. It’s amazing how fast things change.

      Have you seen this gorgeous timelapse of Seoul. It really captures the energy, pace and size of the city: http://vimeo.com/49360706#

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  • July 4, 2013

    Shelley, I know that we have exchanged one-off article comments, but thank you for following our food & travel adventures this year at 4feet2mouths. We appreciate you as a reader.

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  • August 5, 2013

    Hi Shelley and Agri,
    How wonderful to ‘meet’ fellow multi-cultural like-minded wanderers. First of all thank you for checking into my blog and secondly, absolutely love your ‘stained’ metaphor. This is exactly what travel does to your soul, mind…and even your body (battle scars welcome!)

    I’ll just take a look see at the rest of your blog, looking forward to learning more about your adventures. Agri your home country, Albania, was one of the friendliest we encountered over the last 11 months. It is still in somewhat of a sad state of affairs, but that coast has so much potential. Hopefully tourism will see it rise and rise where it belongs, at the top of the Adriatic must-see country list.
    Cheers for now
    Laura

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    • August 9, 2013

      Hi Laura! Thank you for taking the time to read! We still have a lot to write about – would you believe we’re a whole year behind on our writing!? I don’t understand how people who do RTW trips keep up with their blogs. We found it impossible, but we’re committed to writing about everything…even if it takes forever!! πŸ™‚

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  • August 22, 2013

    Your histories are fascinating. I love the multilingualism. I wonder how Shelley will process this post based on the portrait of a Korean mother:

    http://aholisticjourney.wordpress.com/2013/05/12/the-invisible-woman-who-whipped-her-son/

    Diana

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    • August 26, 2013

      Hey! Thanks for connecting! πŸ™‚ Very interesting portrait…I see it all over the place here…for some reason Korean motherhood and suffering/denial/martyrdom has to go together somehow. Surely there must be another way…?

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      • August 26, 2013

        See it everywhere, huh? When you travel as you do? SO interesting. I’ve begun a fresh exploration of the subject – from the inside out. If you can manage the time, you might want to chk out the two st r u gg ling artist poems I put out recently. Speaks directly into the motherhood/denial… Keep up the great site and…happy trails.

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  • January 4, 2014

    Hi Shelley, just wanted to say thanks for the follow.

    And we have something rare in common. My first big international trip was to Russia as well, though I was 21 when I made it. I was blown away by the beauty of the place and the people. Cheers to being bitten by “the bug” in Russia!

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    • January 8, 2014

      We’re actually heading back to Russia – St. Petersburg – in February! I’m super curious to see how it looks to me now. When I first visited, I was 13, on a school trip and it was the communist Soviet Union. Now I’m 40, and things have changed an awful lot there, I’m sure. Should be super interesting!!

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  • January 13, 2014

    You’re inspirational as a couple making travel work together. Loved your explanation of the blog name, too!

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    • January 15, 2014

      Aww, thanks! πŸ™‚ I think every couple should be forced to live in a small hotel room together for 1 full year… if you can make it through that, you can make it through anything!! πŸ˜‰

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  • January 21, 2014

    Hi,

    Thanks for liking my post and it is awesome reading bout both of you, a very international couple I would say πŸ™‚ I am following your blog now and can’t wait for more updates! πŸ™‚

    Stay calm and keep travelling!

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  • February 20, 2014

    Great blog! I can’t wait to follow along πŸ™‚

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  • March 1, 2014

    I’m happy to nominate you for One Lovely Blog Award. The rules are the same as those for a Versatile Blogger Award. Check them out here: http://versatilebloggeraward.wordpress.com/vba-rules/ Congratulations! β€”Jadi

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    • March 2, 2014

      Hi Jadi. I am simply awful at writing up these things, but thank you very much for the positive vibes! πŸ™‚

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      • March 4, 2014

        No strings attached and I completely understand. The reason I respond to being nominated myself is that it gives me a chance to promote the blogs I like. I knew you were going on one of those lists!

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  • March 4, 2014

    Such an awesome thing to have: bitten by a travel bug or born with it! I really want to experience such thing! I love traveling but making it a reality is not quite easy for me! But this post (and you blog) really gives me a lot of inspiration! Thanks for liking my latest post!

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    • March 5, 2014

      Ahh, but you have made it all the way to Seoul, so traveling has become a reality for you already! πŸ™‚ It’s really easy to travel around Korea too, and inexpensive – there’s a lot of free buses and travel programs for foreigners here. Once you start looking into it, you’ll be surprised by how easy it is!!

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      • March 7, 2014

        Aw thanks!^^ Really? :O I just started school so didn’t have the time to look into traveling in Korea, but I really want to do it after the midterm exams! Where in Korea du recommend the most??

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        • March 9, 2014

          Hmm, well since you just got here, you can start by exploring Seoul!! It’s such a huge city and all of the areas are very different. Start over by Gwanghwamun or Anguk subway station and stroll around. The royal palaces, and traditional areas are there and they are lovely. I especially love Samcheong-dong. πŸ™‚

          From there, just keep your eyes peeled for festivals and free offers around the country. They are often posted, and I think that your school will probably make you aware of a lot of them. Here’s an offer for a free bus from Seoul to Jeonju for foreigners for example: https://english.visitkorea.or.kr/enu/FU/FU_EN_15.jsp?cid=1797480

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          • March 11, 2014

            Thank you very much for the great information! It’ll just make my stay in Korean even more amazing! πŸ˜€ May you keep inspiring others to travel!

  • March 8, 2014

    We totally agree with you that travelling together (I.e. with your best friend) is so incredible! It’s wonderful that you both have the sense of adventure. Look forward to your stories.

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    • March 9, 2014

      I always read about the perks of traveling solo, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. We are closer than ever, but I guess being trapped in a small hotel room together all the time, helps you maintain that. πŸ˜‰ Thanks for reading. πŸ™‚

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  • March 10, 2014

    Love the stained metaphor πŸ™‚ We are also a couple who love traveling, but we haven’t yet taken the leap for a round the world trip like you two. Hopefully one day, fingers crossed.

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    • March 11, 2014

      Traveling long-term is an unforgettable experience that continues to live with you long after the trip is over. I’ll cross my fingers for you too. πŸ™‚

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  • JChen

    March 12, 2014

    Hi Shelley, thank you for stopping by at my blog. Wow….I can’t help but envy your RTW journey. Awesome! Daebak!

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  • sternenkleid

    March 27, 2014

    A very nice blog and beautiful pictures.

    Greetings from Austria

    http://www.unserideenreich.wordpress.com

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    • March 28, 2014

      Hey, thanks for visiting and commenting!! I traveled to Vienna many years ago – long before the real age of blogging, and before I really knew how to “travel.” I have always longed to return. Greetings from Seoul! πŸ˜€

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  • March 30, 2014

    thank you so much for the like of my ‘street life’ photo. Kind of pales in comparison to the streets you have seen. Your blog is simply fascinating! And you are right–it is much more fun to travel with someone, not just yourself. And you made it to the US, too. Yay! Have fun.

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    • March 31, 2014

      Aww thanks!! πŸ™‚ I’ve been extremely lucky, especially with Rome, because a lot of my husband’s family lives there. We “have” to visit there quite often because of it. Terrible, right? πŸ˜‰

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  • April 8, 2014

    Hey πŸ™‚ Just stopped by from WKB 2014. Your story is phenomenal, it was like reading about the things I wish for everyday. I cannot wait to start travelling the world and quenching my thirst for adventure. However before that happens, I look forward to experiencing it vicariously through your stories. Nice to meet you πŸ™‚

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    • April 8, 2014

      Hey Amira!! Thanks for stopping by. It’s gonna be a fun year, I think. Aww, thanks for your sweet comment. It’s very nice to meet you to. I’m gonna check out your blog now. πŸ˜€

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  • April 9, 2014

    Hi Shelley and Agri,
    I have nominated you for the Liebster Award. Should you wish to accept the award, do check out this link http://tanzalongs.wordpress.com/2014/04/08/ive-been-nominated-for-the-liebster-award/ and follow the instructions.
    There is no requirement to do this (this is not a chain letter), just a chance to promote other blogs from one blogger to another.

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    • April 10, 2014

      Hi there!! Thank you so much for the nomination! We’re honoured. πŸ˜€ But I must admit that we are absolutely terrible at writing these up. One day, I am going to do something about them…one day… πŸ˜‰

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  • April 12, 2014

    You do have a great blog and a truly lovely story behind it! Stay happy bloggers and enjoy! πŸ™‚
    Greetings from the North, Dina

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  • April 16, 2014

    A very entertaining ‘About’ page. πŸ™‚

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  • sf

    April 21, 2014

    A global couple indeed! Lovely!

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  • April 25, 2014

    I am not sure if I thanked you for the follow over at CTB :D… but thanks for the visits, follow and all the great comments πŸ™‚ Very nice to ‘meet’ you.

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  • MM

    April 26, 2014

    Awesome story! Keep on travelling you two! πŸ™‚

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  • April 26, 2014

    I was recently nominated for my first blog award and I’ve nominated you for the WordPress Family Award as well!
    More about it here: http://tessa-rose.com/awards/
    Happy travels!

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  • May 4, 2014

    Hello! I’ve really been enjoying reading your blog and have nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award: http://ellisgoesonholiday.wordpress.com/2014/05/03/the-versatile-blogger-award/
    Happy Blogging!

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  • May 20, 2014

    You both are such a cute couple! Anytime you guys are in the U.S.A (more specifically in Dallas, Texas), just let us know and we’ll show you around!

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    • May 21, 2014

      Aww, that’s so sweet!! Would you believe we’ve been to Dallas? We have some good friends that live there, so we made it one of the stops on our RTW tour, before we headed to South America. Miss all the Tex-Mex!

      If we ever get there, we’ll definitely get in touch. Love meeting other blogging couples! πŸ˜€ And likewise, if you ever make it to Seoul. There’s a lot of great hiking around here…not high mountains, but very rocky and usually involving a bit of climbing at the top. Quite a different experience than the US or Canada.

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      • May 21, 2014

        Anytime and thanks for the offer as well! Getting out and exploring is always a great idea. :o)

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  • May 25, 2014

    Thanks for visiting. You have a wonderful blog here and great story. Looking forward to more.

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  • June 12, 2014

    Beautiful blog! I look forward to reading about more of your adventures πŸ™‚

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  • June 14, 2014

    Wonderful about page. I’m so glad you all are making your dreams come true and I really like your travel philosophy. πŸ™‚ Your header is fabulous!

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    • June 16, 2014

      Thank you so much for your beautiful comment. We feel truly blessed to live the life we do. πŸ˜€

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  • June 16, 2014

    I couldn’t agree more that travel leaves a colourful ‘mark’ on our perceptions and characters forever. What an extraordinary global story you two have! Thanks for sharing it and for stopping by my blog πŸ˜‰

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    • July 3, 2014

      It’s really the true beauty of traveling isn’t it? To allow ourselves to be changed by our experiences in the world. It’s such a privilege to wander the world as we do. πŸ˜€

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  • July 11, 2014

    Hi Shelley, I know you’ve already been nominated, but I wanted to give you the shout-out for a Versatile Blogger Award because I’ve loved following your blog and learning about things like dogsleds in Norway. Great work!

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  • July 29, 2014

    Can’t believe I’ve only just discovered this. Keep up the good work, looking forward to your next post! Follow back if you will, thank you.

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    • July 30, 2014

      Hey! thanks for following…will take a browse around your site when we get back to home base. πŸ™‚ On the road at the moment, so the next post might be some time coming… πŸ˜‰

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      • August 1, 2014

        Thank you for your reply. No worries. I will blog as frequently as time allows! Thanks again.

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  • August 12, 2014

    Hi Shelley and Agri! Great story, and wonderful blog! Looking forward to see and read more from your travels, because here you have one new follower!
    Cheers,
    Hanne

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  • August 30, 2014

    Really nice blog! By the way, I can recognize your wedding place. Is it in Koh Samui, Thailand, the Library hotel?! Such a nice place there!

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    • August 31, 2014

      Hey Sasha, thanks a lot! πŸ˜€ Yes! you’re absolutely right! It’s The Library hotel in Samui – pretty distinctive design. And yes, soooo nice. We only had 3 nights there during our wedding and it was so hectic, we didn’t get enough time to really just relax and enjoy the hotel. Will have to go back one day for sure. Did you stay there? Isn’t the breakfast on the beach just amazing!!?

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      • August 31, 2014

        Their breakfast on the beach is one of the most amazing experiences! I went there for my baby moon. It was really a special trip!

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  • September 2, 2014

    Just wanted to say that your blogs are really good. I nominated you for the β€œOne Lovely Blog Award!” http://wp.me/p4kBRo-24D

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  • September 2, 2014

    Hello Shelley and Agri! πŸ™‚ wow! what a beautiful story you have there πŸ™‚ continue to inspire others with your travel adventures. thanks for liking my post btw πŸ™‚

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    • September 2, 2014

      Hi Karen! Aww, thanks for your beautiful comment and welcome to the blog. Happy to have you with us. πŸ™‚

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  • September 22, 2014

    Amazing story you guys! Again, I’m really happy to e-meet you, and I look forward to seeing what you both get up to on here.
    We’re hoping to do a similar round the world trip in the next 2-3 years, once our budget is in place! From the sounds of it, you hit up a lot of the same places we hope to experience as well. can’t wait to read about it!
    ~ Andrea <3

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    • September 23, 2014

      Ooooh, you’re planning a RTW! So amazing! I wish we could go on another one. πŸ˜‰ The great thing is that Korea is one of the best places to book a RTW ticket from…it’s much cheaper than if you started in Canada, for example. Our routing cost $3000 LESS, simply because we left from Seoul, instead of Toronto, for the exact same thing!

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      • September 23, 2014

        That’s amazingly great to know!! Thank you for that!
        If you don’t mind me asking – what kind of budget did you guys set for your trip? I find that to be the trickiest part of it all, as does everyone it seems! πŸ˜€
        ~ <3

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        • September 23, 2014

          That’s the million dollar question isn’t it!? Definitely the hardest part to determine in advance. We aimed for $100/day overall for both of us, not including international flights, and a few big ticket items (like safari in Tanzania and trekking Machu Picchu). I still haven’t completely tabulated how much we actually spent, but I’m pretty sure it was more than that.

          I haven’t finished writing about everything yet, but if you check under the Prep and Planning tab on the menu, you’ll see a series of posts called “The Breakdown.” I break out what we spent in those posts. We can definitely give you some tips on which countries were cheap and which were surprisingly expensive (like Argentina). It can make a big difference to your overall budget, where you choose to go. Feel free to ask us anything. πŸ™‚

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          • September 24, 2014

            You’re amazing Shelley!! Thank you so much for this, it’s so incredibly helpful!! πŸ˜€
            I look forward to perusing your breakdown tips! A RTW trip is one of those things you don’t feel is entirely real until you actually wrap your mind around the cost. Until then it sort of feels like a pipe dream, so to hear $100/day makes it feel more real to me!
            Again, thanks so much!!
            ~ Andrea <3

  • October 5, 2014

    Love your stories and especially love the header! Happy travels!

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    • October 5, 2014

      Hi there and welcome! I was lucky enough to have a super talented little niece that came up with and designed the entire header for me. I’m glad you like it. πŸ˜€

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  • October 10, 2014

    I loved your blog at first sight, but the more I read the more I like it. I’m glad you found me! πŸ™‚ Looking forward to reading more.
    -M

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  • October 13, 2014

    Shelley, you’ve got such a wonderful blog! And a lot of practical advice for the serious traveller. South America, Ireland, and Borneo are all on our wish list. Glad to have found your blog and look forward to exploring it, at length. πŸ™‚
    – Cheryl

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    • October 14, 2014

      Hi Cheryl, it’s very nice to meet you and welcome. πŸ™‚ Gorgeous photography on your blog! I would def recommend South America and Borneo…you’ll need a lot of time to explore in those places. I was only in Ireland for a few days and didn’t get to do too much unfortunately… hope you make it to these countries soon!!! πŸ˜€

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  • October 17, 2014

    Hi
    First, thanks so much for stopping in and liking my post; I’m a new blogger and have already encountered dozens of incredible like minded stories that show me how boring my 30 years of working has been; what a waste of time; well, maybe not; we are wimps and didn’t have the guts to start the adventures of expatriating and traveling in “non vacation” style until we had an investment portfolio and some pensions. But never mind us. Diane also went to Communist Europe on a school trip from Canada; Anyway, we hope you keep following us and we will do the same
    Regards from Rodi

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    • October 18, 2014

      Hey Rodi, I hear ya! I didn’t start REALLY traveling until I turned 33…so it’s never too late to start. I don’t think it makes you a “wimp” to wait until you’ve got your financial eggs in a row… that’s what I did, and it’s very liberating to know that you can travel without worrying about coming back to, well…nothing. πŸ™‚

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  • October 25, 2014

    Hey Shelley, you guys have a wonderful blog over here. I loved your post on Lake Louise. Scandinavia is a litte strange, I can absolute relate to your experience with the Northern Lights. I happened to notice that Scandinavian countries would advertise things one could only see or experience with a large part of luck (Pulpit Rock in Norway for instance is covered in clouds for most of the year…) Happy travels!

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    • October 25, 2014

      Thanks so much Suze! It’s so nice to get positive feedback. πŸ™‚ We haven’t spent anywhere close to enough time in Scandinavia, just got a little taste, but agree that we have to take travel advertising almost anywhere with a grain of salt. There’s so much luck involved in seeing sites at their ideal. We hiked 4 days to Machu Picchu and were rewarded with a view of fog. Couldn’t see a thing… same for the Taj Mahal… cold and foggy, but c’est la vie. Gotta try, right? πŸ˜‰

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  • October 30, 2014

    Thanks so much for visiting my blog and for your comments – I’m delighted to have discovered your blog in turn! I feel well and truly homesick for Korea after having a nose around here. Looking forward to following and reading more πŸ™‚

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    • October 30, 2014

      Welcome Natalie! When were you in Korea? Things have changed quite a bit in the last few years, so maybe it’s time for a visit back! πŸ™‚

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      • October 30, 2014

        I was there for three years between 2007-2011 (with a couple of gaps to travel!). During that time it felt like things were changing so fast so I can imagine there would already be lots of surprises if I visited again. One day!

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  • November 7, 2014

    What a wunderful blog of two people with very interesting – and international – backgrounds. Would love to take off a year for travelling too bit I guess I need to start working to be able to have year off πŸ˜€ All best, Polly

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    • November 7, 2014

      Hi Polly! Welcome and thank you! πŸ™‚ Lol…the ideal situation is to not work at all as far as I’m concerned. πŸ˜‰ Our year of traveling was truly amazing…and I’d recommend that anyone travel long-term if they can. It’s completely different than just taking a few weeks off here and there. I’d love to do it again and visit some places we missed the first time.

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  • November 21, 2014

    Love the top of your blog! Did you design that?? It’s wonderful!

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    • November 25, 2014

      Hi Kayleigh. Thank you! πŸ˜€ I was fortunate enough to have an uber-talented niece come up with the concept and design for me. I really had no idea what to do, and was so happy when she showed me this idea! Thank goodness for talented relatives!! πŸ˜‰

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  • December 7, 2014

    Awesome blog Shelley and Agri- snappy articles, beautiful layout and I love the about us section (you two have particularly lovely wedding photos). Thank you so much for liking my last blog post, it means a lot from people with such an accomplished blog πŸ™‚ I look forward to reading all your future posts/looking at all your future photos.

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    • December 7, 2014

      Hi Olivia, thanks so much for dropping by and for your lovely comment. It really makes our day when we wake to such lovely thoughts. πŸ™‚

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  • December 29, 2014

    ur life story is very interesting πŸ™‚
    enjoy your travels!
    regards
    PedroL

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  • December 29, 2014

    I’m excited to follow your travel journey. From one traveler to another,
    Jessica, Turquoise Compass

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  • January 15, 2015

    I love your blog so far, though I’ve only scratched the surface. Can’t wait to read more about your adventures! (and I agree with you, Shelley, my favorite travel experience is also to sit in a cafe with a cup of coffee for hours, and just soak it all up). πŸ™‚

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    • January 15, 2015

      Hi Nadine, thanks for dropping by and reading. πŸ™‚ Maybe we’ll run into each other in a cafe in some weird part of the world one day. You never know… πŸ˜‰

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  • January 19, 2015

    Shelley, beautiful blog….love you and hubby’s diverse background!

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  • February 3, 2015

    Your love story is amazing! πŸ™‚

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    • February 4, 2015

      Thank you! We can’t really complain about a wedding on the beach in Thailand, can we? πŸ˜€

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  • February 5, 2015

    This is just amazing international story! The world is your playground!! Awesome ! Following you on here and facebook πŸ™‚

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    • February 6, 2015

      I love the world as playground!! and though we love living in Seoul, I’m always wondering where we should live next? πŸ˜€

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      • February 6, 2015

        haha.. that is exactly what I meant πŸ˜€

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  • February 6, 2015

    Hey guys, just hopping over to check out your blog! LOVE IT, keep up the good work and thanks for commenting!

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  • March 5, 2015

    I’ve been following you two for a while, but I’m not sure I read this About section before (I must have …). Anyway, you guys are awesome!

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    • March 5, 2015

      Aww, thanks Lex for following, and also for all your lovely comments. It’s always nice to be told you are awesome. πŸ˜‰

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  • March 5, 2015

    Hey Shelley, thanks for following, just to let you know you followed my old site – but I’ve deleted it now as I’ve just realised I’ve had several followers to it without realising! Hope to connect on the new one – I love reading about your adventures. πŸ™‚

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    • March 6, 2015

      Oh no! I followed your FB page, but is it possible to follow you through WP, or are you self-hosted now?

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      • March 6, 2015

        Oh yes, you can follow me through WP – it’s just a self-hosted version πŸ™‚

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        • March 7, 2015

          Hmm, I tried to load your site a couple of times in the last few days, and it doesn’t seem to be connecting. πŸ™ I just have a spinning wheel that seems to go on forever. Is it me?

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          • March 8, 2015

            Oh no – that’s annoying. I’m not sure – I didn’t realise the site was slow to upload… I hope you manage to get on it at some point! http://www.my-travelmonkey.com
            Thanks so much for trying though… really appreciate your effort πŸ™‚

  • March 13, 2015

    Good!!!!!

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  • Judy

    March 18, 2015

    I love this couple a lot!

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  • June 21, 2015

    Hello there! I just wanted to say that you have an incredible blog, and I enjoy reading your short stories and various works. I also think your writing is insightful, refreshing, and apt!

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  • July 22, 2015

    I love the concept behind “travel stained” – I completely agree with the difference of being a traveller and being “on vacation.” Occasionally I find myself slipping into vacation mode (of course it sometimes depends on the city/country I’m in), but I always strive to be a traveller! Glad to have found your blog!

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    • July 22, 2015

      Hi Victoria, thanks for stopping by! πŸ™‚ Lol, the funny thing is, the older I get, the more I seem to crave the comforts of being on “vacation,” but of course, my idea of vacation just means staying in a nice place, but still eating out at all the local places and street stalls, and interacting with the people. We’re actually headed to the Maldives on Monday, and staying on one of the local, inhabited islands. Can’t wait!! πŸ˜€

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      • July 22, 2015

        I agree…I find it harder to “rough it” – say in a dingy youth hostel, albeit I guess I might be too old for the youngsters there anyway! Safe travels and have fun in Maldives!

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  • Kat

    September 6, 2015

    Hi! I’m just dropping by to say hello. I love your blog & I can’t wait to be “travel-stained” myself. πŸ™‚

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    • September 8, 2015

      Hi Kat, thanks for dropping by and commenting. Lol…the process of getting travel-stained has been one of the best experiences in my life. πŸ˜‰ Hope you get well and stained thoughout your lifetime! πŸ™‚

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  • September 6, 2015

    Hello Shelley and Agri;

    Pleasure to make your aquaintance. Many thanks for visiting our humble site and your kind responses.

    Huge Congratulations on the fast approaching birth of your first child. I can guarantee that despite any negatives people may impart, you are about to embark on the biggest, most wonderful, most surprising adventure of your lifetimes. We ourselves have never been happier as a family. It will not stop you travelling but it will change your perspective – in a magical way. Enjoy! πŸ™‚

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    • September 8, 2015

      Hey there, thank you so much. It’s a whole new world we’re facing, but we’re definitely looking forward to it with excitement, and more than a little apprehension. Can’t wait to get on the road with the little one and experience the world through her eyes… πŸ˜€

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  • December 4, 2015

    Love your blog! I’m currently in Seoul now, and it’s definitely a cool place. I look forward to reading more posts!!

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    • December 7, 2015

      Hi Mimi! Thanks for stopping by. Are you here on holiday or for work? We’ve been in Seoul for quite a long time now, and still absolutely love living here. Enjoy your time! πŸ™‚

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      • December 7, 2015

        Thanks!! I’m working as an English teacher and I’ve been here for about a year and 4 months now.

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  • January 11, 2016

    An awesome introduction. I just loved the way you pointed out the difference between ‘traveling’ and ‘being on vacation.” So far, I never got the opportunity of traveling much, but hope to pack the bags soon.

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    • January 12, 2016

      Thanks Sonia. Great to meet you and welcome. πŸ™‚ I hope you get to pack up your bags and wander the world soon…even if the trip is not too far from home. All the best for 2016!

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  • February 4, 2016

    Hi Shelley (& Agri, I suppose you reply to comments together eh?) Fellow Asian-Canadian here πŸ™‚ I really like your guys’ travel story & how you met each other in Canada (was it Toronto??). You’re already living the life that I one day dream to live!

    Happy globe-trotting & continue giving hope to young travellers/writers/bloggers like me πŸ™‚

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    • February 5, 2016

      Welcome! Yes, we did meet in Toronto, in a club of all places…believe it or not. We feel so happy and blessed to be able to live the life we do…it really is like a dream sometimes. πŸ˜€ Whereabouts are you from?

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      • February 7, 2016

        Wow, what a way to meet! I’m glad it worked out & in the process, led to all this πŸ™‚ Family is from Hong Kong, but we immigrated to the Vancouver area when I was a wee babe~ I study in Toronto now though! How’s living in Korea compared to here?

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        • February 11, 2016

          Honestly, I much prefer the lifestyle here in Seoul…though I loved Toronto too. Everything is just so much more affordable and convenient here, it’s incredible safe, and there’s always so much going on…and well, there’s the whole winter thing in Canada…brr, not sure how I managed to survive all those long winters before. πŸ™‚

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  • March 9, 2016

    Loved the story! I am looking forward to reading more of your posts.
    I have been regularly traveling in Europe since a couple of years, but I would so love to permanently travel one day! I am strongly dreaming about that possibility a lot lately.
    Pooja

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    • March 11, 2016

      Hi Pooja, thanks for stopping by. Europe is such a wonderful place to travel. You can travel just a few hours and be in a completely different place. We are headed there this summer ourselves for a few months, and really looking forward to it! πŸ™‚ What’s been your favourite place so far?

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      • March 14, 2016

        Hi! I agree that Europe is fascinating.. It’s hard to pick a favorite place as every country offers unique specialties and experiences. If I had to pick a city, it would be Prague! Maybe it was that sunny April weekend, but I loved Prague. Country-wise, I have been only to Rome in Italy but I am very interested in exploring more of that country.. πŸ™‚

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        • March 15, 2016

          Funny, Rome is where we’re flying into this summer. Hubby grew up there, so it’s kind of a second (third, fourth?) home for us. Such an amazing city, but you could visit a hundred times and never see everything! πŸ˜€

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  • May 23, 2016

    Wonderful couple with interesting love story and passion to travel

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  • May 24, 2016

    Wow! Hashtag relationship goals right here! You guys are made for each other. You’ve been almost everywhere… How inspiring. I love your blog, I’ll be keeping an eye on it for sure.

    Happy travels and cheers to wanderlust!

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    • May 26, 2016

      Unfortunately we haven’t been close to everywhere…yet. Still working on that one. I imagine it’ll be a lifelong project, one we’ll happily undertake. Cheers to wanderlust indeed! πŸ™‚

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  • June 20, 2016

    Wow, bloggwalking and just found this interesting blog. πŸ™‚

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    • June 26, 2016

      Hi Yuna, sorry for the late reply! Traveling in Europe at the moment and difficult to keep up with things. Anyway welcome! πŸ˜€

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  • July 19, 2016

    I love love LOVE your blog and your story! So happy to have found you and I know I am going to be spending many hours poring over all your content πŸ™‚

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    • July 22, 2016

      Welcome Diya! Thanks for stopping by and for your sweet comment. We’re a bit slow on posts these days – currently traveling in Europe for 3 months – but hope to get some new stuff up soon. Glad you are enjoying the blog! πŸ˜€

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      • July 24, 2016

        Haha… I’m sooo jealous! πŸ˜€ Have a great trip and can’t wait to hear about your adventures as and when you are able to post πŸ™‚ Safe travels! πŸ™‚

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  • December 6, 2016

    Lovely photos that capture the allure of Cinque Terre. When we began our nomadic journey over five years ago Cinque Terre was the second place we went to. Damanhur near Torino was the first. We spent five days in Cinque Terre and loved every minute. Thanks for bringing back some wonderful memories.
    Alison

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    • December 8, 2016

      The Cinque Terre must’ve been quite a different place 5 years ago! It was literally crawling with tourists, and I think the “cap” that they are creating is probably really needed. It feels like travel has really accelerated at an exponential pace over the last few years…for better or for worse.

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  • July 28, 2017

    Hi Shelley!
    I have nominated your for a fun Q&A called ABCs of Travel, feel free to participate or not. You can find it here: https://lostinprettyeurope.wordpress.com/2017/07/28/abcs-of-travel-tag/
    Have a good day! ?

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  • May 18, 2018

    This is a great story, it takes a lot of courage for one to pursue their dreams. Your one year travel around the world is so inspiring!

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      • May 18, 2018

        It must be very different traveling with kids πŸ™‚ I’m planning a trip to France and Italy this summer πŸ™‚

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  • Adele

    November 21, 2018

    That year off you took just to travel is what I would love to do once I get up my guts – so yeah thats awesome! Thanks for the good reads- I am just starting out but I hope to be somewhere near as awesome πŸ™‚

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