So far, I haven’t done a single blog post on a country we’ve lived in because condensing 1-3 months into a single blog post felt intimidating. But today I decided to finally go for it and at least share part of our adventures in Romania with you all! Romania was the very first country we “based” ourselves in while teaching with VIPKID. We stayed in the capital, Bucharest, from October to December 2018. It was great stepping stone for us because it has a relatively low cost of living, high-speed internet, pretty scenery (I wanted autumn leaves & snowy winters!), and an airport with tons of cheap flights. We spent a lot of time teaching, but also did some sight-seeing around Bucharest and Transylvania. I’m saving Bucharest for a second post because we did actually visit Transylvania twice (once in October by ourselves, and once in November with my parents), so this post is pretty photo-heavy already! Anyways – on to our cheap European fairytale!
Some of you might know that our last 2 years of full-time traveling & teaching started with the simple idea to backpack around South America for one month. While that idea never panned out, one location that I had begun researching really stuck in my head: Patagonia. The beautiful, wild landscapes that dominate the southernmost region of South America just kept calling my name. So when Tommy and I decided to settle in Chile for a couple months, I knew we needed to take a trip to Torres del Paine National Park – one of the most famous and awe-inspiring destinations in Patagonia! The remote location and “natural” paths of the park made it one of our more challenging mini-vacations, but it was 100% worth it.
It’s hard to pick highlights in South America because we visited so many unique places. But if we had to choose, Easter Island would definitely be towards the top of our list! Although our stay was short, the wild coastal landscapes and mysterious historical sites absolutely took our breath away.
If you missed it, our first stop in Peru was Cusco (Adventure in the Andes 😉). Our second major adventure was visiting the Amazon rainforest (one of the new 7 wonders of the natural world!). After completing his Peace Corps service, my late great-uncle Peter Jenson built Explorama Lodge in the mid-1960s. Located 50 miles down the Amazon River from Iquitos, his company has since expanded to also include 4 other accommodations and one of the world’s longest canopy walkways. 😲 Tommy and I spent an amazing 3 days there (+1 in Iquitos) exploring the river and rainforest.