Days on the road...
We saved and sacrificed and are now fulfilling our dream, the one that so many people think they can’t accomplish or are afraid to embark on. Our lives in Los Angeles were filled with Blackberrys, Starbucks coffee, endless traffic, meetings and insane works weeks. We traded in everything we knew for backpacks, instant noodles, one inch thick mattresses, bed bugs, twelve hour bus journeys and the most amazing memories we could ask for. We are on a tighter budget than most, trying our best to live off $50 a day for both of us (TRYING is the key word) and blogging the truth of our travels. Traveling for us has opened our hearts, our eyes, our taste buds and our minds to the lifestyles of people around the world. We feel we have given ourselves a wonderful gift that will not only shape who we are while we’re away but for the rest of our lives! Where there is will, there is a way…you don't need have to have a lot of money to travel, just get out there and do it!!
We have committed to help those that are planning a trip or are currently exploring the world with the Traveler Tips we post in each blog. Please send us a message if you need any advice, we'd be more than happy to help.
Here's our tentative game plan (subject to change frequently)...
January - June: Hong Kong, Thailand, Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia
June - October: Malaysia, Borneo, Indonesia, Philippines, Singapore
November: New Zealand
December - March: Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama
March – July: Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia
July - February 2013: Thailand (again to show mom around), Sri Lanka, India...and back to our most favorite spot one last time before we are headed back to reality to replenish the bank account.
"We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure. There is no end to the adventures we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open." -Jawaharal Nehru
**We are also writing a kid friendly blog for Nate's mom's 2nd grade class and the kids in the family....you can follow along at: www.mytb.org/where-in-the-world-is-wylie
December 14th 2012
India Survival Guide! There are so many things that make India, well India, and so incredibly different from other countries in the world. From the shouting and chaos in the streets and the extreme poverty all around, to the intensity of the staring eyes and the touts constant harassment for one service or another. We heard one-liners from guys trying to pull us into their shops like we’ve never heard before. Luckily, we've been around the block a few times and were able to laugh off a lot of the pitches. Let us tell you, upon first arrival, we thought we were going to be just fine. We saved India for the end and felt like we've, "been there, done that" to many tough situations in the backpacking world. But, how wrong we were, it didn’t ... read more
December 13th 2012
Madurai, Pondicherry and Mamallapuram Arriving in Madurai as the sun was coming up was a recipe for disaster right off the bat. Even at this early hour, we were immediately followed and hassled by random men in the street trying to earn a commission for showing us to a hotel. It got so bad that we had to start walking in opposite directions of where we wanted to go just to throw them off our trail so we could walk in and check prices without having to pay for the “assistance” of the relentless leaches outside. The hotels in Madurai are a bit different than other places. Many of them literally won’t allow you to check in until at least noon, which really sucked ass for us at that point. There was no way in HELL ... read more
December 6th 2012
Kochi, Alleppey and Varkala Once again we were headed to a place we had heard lots of positive things about from other travelers, so we had fairly high hopes when making our way to the state of Kerala. We wouldn’t have another train ride like the one leaving Amritsar, thank God, but being seated next to the bathroom wasn’t exactly a slice of heaven. When it comes to the bathrooms on the trains, nobody even has to be using it for the wafts of piss to invade your nostrils. It definitely made the ride just a little less enjoyable. The only thing we could do was cover our noses when trying to get some rest. There’s just something about that baking smell of piss that can bring on the dry heaves. Seriously, cat piss isn’t even ... read more
November 23rd 2012
Hampi and Gokarna It was time for us to get back on the move again, something we’ve come to dread in India. To save a little money, we decided to take a rickshaw to the train station in town and hop on a quick general ticket car to the train that would take us to town close to Hampi. The bad part was that this also meant getting up at 4 in the morning to make the train. The “fun” part was finishing packing our bags in the dark with our torches since we didn’t have any electricity. At least the guy we arranged a ride with showed up on time (which we were sincerely worried about) and we didn’t have to worry about missing our train, so we were pretty grateful for that. Once we ... read more
November 15th 2012
It wasn’t exactly hard to say goodbye to Mumbai, but more importantly, we were heading to the one place we heard so many good things about, Goa. Goa may be the smallest state in India, but it’s also the wealthiest and it’s easy to see. As soon as you enter Goa you see less crap on the roads and railroad tracks, and the people aren’t quite as psycho as the others towards the north. It was almost as if we were in a cousin country to India instead of actually still in India. All we had heard our whole time in India was how amazing Goa is and how different the people are there, and we were definitely hoping this was true! Believe it or not, we actually decided to take a sleeper train for this ... read more
October 27th 2012
Udaipur and Mumbai By the time we arrived in Udaipur we were just about on hands and knees praying we had found a place we wanted to set our packs down for a while. Luckily we were at least smart enough to stop in Jodhpur for one more night before making our way here instead of trying to make it straight to Udaipur on an overnight bus. We know people take them all the time here, but for us, we still have just two little words for the thought of taking an overnight bus in India; “F^ THAT!” Sure things can go wrong on train tracks just as well, but with the way people drive in India you’d think they were all suicidal! One thing we weren’t expecting, however, was seeing so many makeshift beds in ... read more
October 18th 2012
Pushkar, Jodhpur, and Jaisalmer Even though Pushkar was only a 4 hour bus ride from Jaipur, we were struggling after losing so much energy being laid up in bed for a few days. By the time we got there we were dying to get off the bus and more than thankful we had someone coming to pick us up after pre-booking a room before arriving. Then again you kind of HAVE to when you don’t even know how long you can walk without either collapsing or needing a toilet immediately. Too bad one of the rickshaw drivers didn’t believe a word we said even though we were telling the truth. You’d think he would’ve gotten the hint when we said “no” to taking a ride about 15 times, but he just wouldn’t stop. Run down and ... read more
October 8th 2012
Agra and Jaipur We were feeling pretty burnt out from our brutal train ride, and unfortunately, Agra isn’t exactly a relaxing place to be either…more like a dirty hole. At least we found a place to stay with some pretty friendly guys running the hotel, but by this time, all the 3 of us wanted was a beer and a cigarette to try to regain at least SOME of our sanity. Truth be told, we actually booked our tickets out for the next day as soon as we arrived, knowing full well we didn’t want to see anything except the famous Taj Mahal. However, it was pretty interesting to see water buffalo being herded down the road and men leading camels past you in the streets. There probably aren’t too many places in the world where ... read more
October 3rd 2012
Varanasi had been quite the experience, but we knew we were just getting started. After much deliberation we decided the next stop was Amritsar, home of the famous Golden Temple. A place where people from all over India make a pilgrimage just to see, volunteer their time and worship at. With our train ride going to be a solid 24 hours, we decided to book ourselves an A/C sleeper since we weren’t quite sure what to expect with some of the other classes of trains yet. Not to mention we already heard some horror stories about the lower classes. The train itself was really nice…good food for dinner, bedding provided, chai tea just about whenever you wanted it. The only problem was the screaming child in the compartment with to us. It was literally hours of ... read more
September 28th 2012
Kolkata and Varanasi Is it possible? Could it be? How the hell are we already heading to India? It seemed as though this moment would never come, and here it is. With India about to be a country so different from any other we had been to yet, it wasn’t too big of a surprise that the flight was as well. Not only was this plane filled with literally 95% men, but it seemed like not one damn person on this plane listened to a word from the flight attendants. Now, most of us who are on planes now a days have flown before, and if we haven’t, we USUALLY have enough common sense/respect to listen to the attendants when they tell us to do something…say for instance, turning off your cell. We’re not sure if ... read more