We are two American's who decided after one of us got laid off in Jan 2009 and the other one of us who hated their boss to make a life change and move to China to make a go at starting our own company, travel, teach English and live in a completely different culture.

We just never know what life changes will throw at us or how we will deal with those changes. What we do know is that we have a passion for travel and adventure. Please follow along as we travel around and experience life to the fullest.

“If you reject the food, ignore the customs, fear the religion and avoid the people, you might better stay at home.” – James Michener

This blog was created for our families and friends to follow our experiences and journeys and so we could remember what we have encountered during our time abroad. If you have stumbled upon our blog we hope that you have found it helpful for your travels or an interesting insight to our experience. We are grateful for your comments as it keeps us going on those hard days we endure.

Elyse- 29 countries & 40 States and DC
Pete- 20 countries and 16 States

North America » United States » California June 24th 2013

Since my last post about walking in the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer in Santa Barbara, CA on Sept 7-8th. Two of my former coworkers have signed up to do the walk with me. By the generosity of 28 donors and 5 weeks I hit my $1800 goal and have surpassed the goal by raising $2406. Now I am asking you to help my friend raise the remaining 90% as she has raised $180 of her $1800 goal to walk. My newest and closest friend in Orange County is struggling to raise money as she didn't grow up with the typical nuclear family. At the age of 9 she bounced around from foster home to foster home after her mother died at the age of 33. She has the biggest heart and the will power stronger ... read more
Jess' 30th Birthday Balloon Release
watched until we couldn't see any more
it was such a beautiful day

North America » United States » California March 8th 2013

Traveling is a passion of mine; Santa Barbara, California is one of my favorite local escapes and now I get to combine these two for one great event. I've committed to participating in the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer. It's a big commitment one that will require me to spend the next several months training and fundraising. But breast cancer is a big disease one that still affects far too many people and I'm determined to do everything I can to help put an end to it. The money I raise will be managed and disbursed by the Avon Foundation Breast Cancer Crusade to help provide access to care for those who most need it fund educational programs and accelerate research into new treatments and potential cures. I'll be just one of thousands of people who ... read more

North America » United States » Oregon » Portland February 2nd 2013

I am so glad to write this blog as I have really missed writing and keeping up with others in the Travelblog community. It has been great being back closer to family and friends but Travelblog became such a part of our lives over the last 3.5 years that I miss all of you avid followers. Six months ago, we decided to stay in the US and make a go at this so called "Real Life". As if living in China, teaching English 16 hours a week and having numerous vacations to countries many never even dream of experiencing wasn't "Real Life". It sure was a pretty cool life but after a few years it always felt like we were missing out on life in the US. Strange to think how many times over the last ... read more

North America » United States » Illinois August 7th 2012

Where are You From? Me: "Originally?" I find this question very hard to answer since I have technically lived in Illinois (22 yrs), Las Vegas, Nevada (5 months), Orlando, Florida (3 months), San Diego, California (6 yrs), Shenzhen & Hangzhou, China (combined 2.5 yrs) and Portland, Oregon (combined 9.5 months). I am the newer generation that doesn't stay put for very long, unlike the majority of the rest of my family who have been in Illinois the majority, if not all of their life. While on the farm, my parent's home and where I spent my childhood, we enjoyed the peace and quite, long walks seeing lots of corn and soybean fields, many miles in the car (not so fun) and most of all being with family and seeing friends. I think we spent more time ... read more
Carroll Open 2012
Love these 2 Boys
Carroll Open 2012

North America » United States » Wisconsin » Madison August 2nd 2012

Madison is the capital of Wisconsin, home to Univ of WI Badgers and our friend Maggie who we met our first year teaching in China. Pete had never been to the state of Wisconsin before this trip and we had a wonderful day there with Maggie. Madison is an amazing small city and offers what we enjoy about the USA: walkable, beautiful and ecclectic. We started off our day with lunch at a Nepalese restaurant, enjoyed Indian beer and people watched. People watching is much more enjoyable in the USA due to the diversity. We then strolled along State St to the Capital building, where we climbed up to the 4th floor to the observation deck to take in the views of Lake Mendota & Minona. We wandered around the beautiful building taking in the views ... read more
Main Rotunda
WI State Senate

North America » United States » Illinois » Chicago July 27th 2012

Chicago is at the top of my list for Top 5 Favorite Cities in the World, but the weather knocks it down the list of places to ever live. I have always thought if I could combine Chicago with San Dieogo's weather, well that would be where I would live but that isn't the case so I just visit there every trip to my homestate of Illinois. This time we spent 3 nights on the north side in the Lakeview East neighborhood with my cousin and her boyfriend. One reason I love Chicago is you can take the "L" or buses all around the city without ever needing a car, hard to get this in many US cities. You def see a different side of any city when riding public transportation and we sure did this ... read more
Friends since Grade School
U505  - Museum of Science & Industry
Being an Aunt is SO COOL

North America » United States » California July 23rd 2012

We've flown into San Francisco dozens of time and have had great luck with the weather each time; this would not be one of those times. After two canceled flights we got on a third that ended up being three hours later than we hoped. Fortunately, for us our friend Nash is pretty great guy. He picked us up at SFO a little before 1 am. Our schedule was tight since we know so many people in the Bay area and we wanted to make sure we were able to see as many of them as possible. The main reason for our visit was for our good friend Chris' wedding. He was the photographer at our wedding, a former roommate of mine in San Diego, a friend from my high school days in Oregon and is ... read more
Alcatraz in the background
Art Installation downtown Palo Alto
A night out on the town with the Guys

North America » United States » California July 16th 2012

July 10th-16th We arrived at LAX on Southwest Airlines, my favorite domestic airline for so many reasons: great customer service, amazing Rapid Rewards program, free bags and snacks. My goal for this trip was to do something new in each city, as we have been to all the places on our tirp many times. First stop, was to see my Brother in Laws, who all live in Westwood. We had a great outdoor lunch with Rob & Mike in Venice Beach, sushi in Westwood with Tim & Connor, cheered on Tim & Rob at their weekly co-ed softball game, met Tim's girlfriend, Lisette (also a Midwest girl), strolled around Venice's canals & Abbott Kinney Blvd, got a visit from Stephanie Wold a former employee from Enterprise and hiked Temescal Canyon all while in LA for 3 ... read more
Aunt Carole, Pete & Georgianna
Winter Cousin Dinner
Sarah, Denise & I at OTL

North America » United States » Oregon July 9th 2012

I can't believe our two weeks in Oregon went by so fast. It took us about one week to adjust to the 15 hour time difference before we could go to bed and wake up at a decent time. This blog will be more about the amazing videos and photos than words but here is a quick rundown of what we have done. Enjoyed 4 days with my Mother in Law Dinner with Laura and her boyfriend 4th of July on the Portland Waterfront Mani/Pedi with Staci Toured around SE Portland neighborhoods & Reed College Breakfast at Bob's Red Mill Overnight trip to the Oregon Coast Dinner at Noel & Debbie's house Lots of yard word/projects around the house & organizing our belongings It is great to be back, driving a car comes back naturally but ... read more
almost time for the firework show
Oregon 022
Picnic at a view point in Girabaldi, OR

North America » United States » Oregon » Milwaukie July 1st 2012

On Saturday evening, we attended a Farewell Potluck for Father Maxy and Father Mark. Father Mark came to St Johns Baptist (SJB) last Summer but we never got to meet him as he contracted Malaria during his visit home to Kenya and needed to be in quarantined for 30 days upon his return to the US. Father Maxy on the otherhand we got to know very well. We always enjoyed attending his masses during our visits to Portland. Then we got to know him on another level when we moved to Portland in December 2010 during my Father in Law's battle with Cancer. Father Maxy was there for the family during his illness, funeral planning, burial and grieving process. He then performed our Marriage Sacrament in June 2011. I was raised in the Catholic Church and ... read more
Father Maxy & David at Reception Dinner

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