2017 – Year around the world

Looking back on 2017 and our trip around the world

We’ve had one incredible year traveling around the world! We visited 5 continents, 27 countries, and over 110 cities (see the full list on our travel page).

Below I’ve broken down the year month-by-month with highlights and lowlights (because travel isn’t all rainbows & butterflies and I want to give you guys a glimpse at the full story). The following is in list form because if I were to go into more detail on each one, this blog post would legitimately be a novel.

Many events on the list are hyperlinked to corresponding blog posts and photos/videos – so don’t forget to click on the topics you are most curious about!

If there’s anything you want to hear more about, leave a comment below to let us know which experiences/locations you would like to see evolve into their own blog posts.

January – Chile, Argentina

January Highlights

Torres del Paine, Patagonia, Chile
Torres del Paine, Patagonia, Chile
Perito Moreno Glacier in Patagonia, Argentina
Perito Moreno Glacier in Patagonia, Argentina

January Lowlights

  • The men’s bathroom in our first hostel in Santiago (according to Matt)
  • Trying to find our first couchsurfing host in Valparaiso (blog here) – but it all worked out and we had a fabulous time!

February – Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil

February Highlights 

Pink sunset on the beach in La Paloma, Uruguay
No filter needed for the most gorgeous sunset of 2017! La Paloma, Uruguay
  • Fly fishing in Patagonia (one of Matt’s top highlights of the year)
  • All the Parrillas (steakhouses) in Argentina and chocolate in Bariloche
  • Kickboxing class in Bahia Blanca at the gym owned by our couchsurfing host
  • Pre-Carnival parade celebration in Montevideo (where we ignored our usual caution about street food and ate the best hotdog-things way home)
  • Matt’s birthday in Punta del Diablo (we spent the day at the beach boogie boarding and the night in the countryside in the middle of local drum line practicing for Carnival illuminated only by the stars)
  • Punta del Este stay in the Conrad hotel (thanks to my dad for letting us use his hotel points!)
  • The BEST sunset of the trip in La Paloma, Uruguay and one of the most fun sunsets (due to the saxophone guy) in Punta del Este
  • Carnaval in Rio de Janiero with our Brazilian, French, and Danish crew
Celebrating Carnaval in Rio de Janeiro
Celebrating Carnaval in Rio de Janeiro

February Lowlights

Mount Fitz Roy from the road
Gorgeous view of Mount Fitz Roy on our 14-hour bus ride through Patagonia on Ruta 40
  • Busing all of Argentina (14-hour bus, 23-hour bus, 9-hour bus, 14-hour bus) within a couple weeks – but on the plus side we had some of the most amazing views while busing through Patagonia
  • Matt’s iPhone getting pickpocketed in the metro in Buenos Aires(luckily travel insurance eventually covered it)
  • Sleeping next to the scariest spider in Cabo Polonio, Uruguay
  • Witnessing a guy get jumped and the sh*t kicked out of him by a big group of guys on Ipanema beach very close to us during Carnaval in Rio de Janeiro
Giant spider in Cabo Polonio hostel in Uruguay
The giant spider (palm sized) we slept next to in the same bottom bunk in a hostel in Cabo Polonio, protected only by a net (with several large holes in it). Thankfully Matt slept spider side.

March – Brazil, Paraguay

March Highlights

Cliffside kiss in Brazil
Our most popular Instagram of 2017 – taken on a hike south of Rio de Janeiro
Iguazu Falls on the Brazil side
Iguazu Falls on the Brazilian side

March Lowlights

  • Getting denied a Paraguayan visa on arrival and having to walk back across the border to Brazil as it was getting dark without any Brazilian money (we had already exchanged our remaining currency into Paraguayan currency)
  • Getting our Paraguayan visa at the Paraguayan consulate in Brazil the following day (so unorganized and time-consuming!)
  • Leaving my sister (it was so sad)
  • Our cold, damp, and moldy Airbnb in Cusco (but on the plus side, we met awesome people there!)
Sisters in Paraguay on the roof of a basilica in Caacupe
With my sister on her birthday in Paraguay – it was so sad leaving her!

April – Peru

April Highlights

Travel couple at Machu Picchu
Trekking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu
Floating island sunset Lake Titicaca Peru
Spending the night on a floating island on Lake Titicaca wearing traditional Peruvian clothes

April Lowlights

  • Matt catching too much air and wiping out on his sandboard to receive a face (and whole body) full of sand
  • Bad stomachs in Peru…especially for me on the Inca Trail

May – Colombia, Panama, Costa Rica

May Highlights

Sailboat in San Blas Islands Panama
San Blas Islands in Panama – Sailing from Colombia to Panama
Infinity pool sunset in Costa Rica
Sunset in Costa Rica at the Airbnb we stayed at with Matt’s parents

May Lowlights

  • Not catching any fish on the deep-sea fishing day trip in Costa Rica (at least we saw a lot of dolphins)
Roosterfish in Costa Rica
We didn’t catch any fish on the deep-sea day trip, but at least Matt caught plenty of roosterfish in Costa Rica to make up for it

June – Costa Rica, United States, Portugal, Spain

June Highlights

Islas Cies in Spain
Islas Cies, Spain
Base Surf Camp
Wedding guest surf and yoga day (that I taught pre-surf beach yoga at!) in A Coruna, Spain. Thanks, Liz, Lois & Base Surf Camp. Photo by Jonathan Gipaya

June Lowlights

  • Matt getting seven painful stitches in the bottom of his foot the night before Spain’s big San Juan festival
  • Leaving our hard drive with all our photos in our BlaBlaCar (thankfully he shipped it to us!)
Matt getting stitches in his foot
Matt getting seven painful stitches in his foot after a surfing incident in Arteixo, Spain

July – Spain, Morocco, Ireland

July Highlights

Running with the Bulls in Pamploma
Right before running with the bulls in Pamploma, Spain – the most adrenaline filled moment of our trip
In the blue city of Morocco - Chefchaouen
In the blue city of Morocco – Chefchaouen

July Lowlights

  • The tiny, uncomfortable twin bed we had to share in Salamanca because of an Airbnb booking mishap (mistake on our end)
  • The insane heat in Morocco in July! 50 degrees Celcius (122 degrees Fahrenheit) at the hottest
  • Matt’s camel collapsing, causing Matt to fall off and get the wind knocked out of him in the Sahara desert
  • Metro machine eating our 20 euro bill in Valencia

August – Ireland, Scotland, England, Greece

August Highlights

Dingle Peninsula in Ireland on a sunny day
A sunny day driving around the Dingle Peninsula in Ireland
Shipwreck Beach in Zakynthos, Greece
Shipwreck Beach in Zakynthos, Greece
Acropolis in Athens, Greece
Acropolis in Athens, Greece

August Lowlights

  • The brutal daily hike up to our Airbnb with our backpacks in Corfu, Greece with a rude host who gave us our only bad (and undeserved) review of the trip! Although we took care of the cutest little rescue kitten there.
Cats in Corfu Greece
The hike to our Airbnb in Corfu was brutal but at least there were plenty of cats to keep us entertained along the way 😉

September – Albania, Montenegro, Croatia, Germany

September Highlights

Krka waterfalls in Croatia
Krka waterfalls in Croatia
Old City Wall in Dubrovnik, Croatia
Old City Wall in Dubrovnik, Croatia
Hacker Tent at Oktoberfest in Munich
Oktoberfest in Munich

September Lowlights

October – Netherlands, Singapore, United States

October Highlights

Amsterdam at dusk
Amsterdam at dusk
  • Eating too many delicious stroopwafels in Amsterdam
  • Singapore exceeding our expectations and being a beautiful city (watch our drone highlight video)
  • Visiting Gardens by the Bay and the Night Safari in Singapore with media passes!
  • Reuniting with our amazing family and friends for our unexpected trip home (and getting to attend a winning Husky home game on a beautiful fall day)
  • Repacking and lightening our loads to return to southeast Asia!
Gardens by the Bay in Singapore at night
Gardens by the Bay in Singapore

October Lowlights (when sh*t hit the fan)

November – Philippines, Malaysia

November Highlights

Kawasan Falls
Bamboo raft ride at Kawasan Falls
  • Chasing waterfalls in the Philippines (read about our four favorites here)
  • Swimming with whale sharks (one of the most exhilarating moments of the trip!) and sea turtles in the Philippines
  • Making an awesome group of friends from around the world on Panglao Island
  • Island hopping in Port Barton, El Nido, and Coron
  • Surfing at Duli Beach in El Nido
  • The Philippines became one of our favorite countries in the world with the nicest people!
  • Visiting the Batu Caves (so many monkeys!) and taking the Dark Caves tour in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Swimming with whale sharks in the Philippines
Swimming with whale sharks in the Philippines

November Lowlights

  • City transportation struggles in Kuala Lumpur (closed trains stations, expensive cabs, Ubers that would cancel after we waited and waited and waited)
  • Getting many mosquito bites and fearing I would get malaria since we opted not to take the expensive and questionable malaria meds

December – Thailand

December Highlights

Palm tree over water in Koh Samui, Thailand
Koh Samui, Thailand
  • Full Moon Party madness in Koh Phagnan, Thailand
  • Exploring Koh Samui by motorbike (beaches, waterfalls, & temples)
  • Private boat tour on Cheow Lan Lake in Khao Sok National Park
  • Maya Bay booze cruise
  • Koh Rok & Koh Ha boat trip from Ko Lanta
  • Thai food! (All the curries!)
  • We haven’t posted photos from Malaysia or Thailand on Instagram yet so we will hyperlink the corresponding posts once they are live
Khao Sok National Park – Cheow Lan Lake

December Lowlights

  • Matt getting four stitches in his head the night before the Full Moon Party
  • Mosquitoes
Nursing Clinic in Thailand
The clinic where Matt got four stitches in his head the night before the Full Moon Party in Koh Phangan


Thanks for following along with our travels! This year has been a dream come true and we want to thank everyone who has been part of our journey.

Split, Croatia at night


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