Kristina and Phu


Kristina and Phu

We are two healthcare professionals from Virginia looking to explore the world on a budget. Food, people, and culture are what inspire us to travel, hoping we can incorporate a piece of each trip into our daily lives. Speed traveling is our forte, and we love experiencing as much as possible in as little time as possible. By taking advantage of long layovers and hopping between airports to combine multiple trips, we manage to cut costs. Whatever the travel method or where ever the destination, our goal is to soak up the world while we're still young, so follow us as we trek through countries and sail across oceans!

North America December 3rd 2016

The chaotic, urban jungle of the Northeast stands in stark contrast to the serene, natural beauty of the Southwest. As natives of the former, Kristina and I were elated to escape our hectic 9-to-5 to discover the wilderness of Arizona and Utah. Although it's been a lengthy 9 months since our last adventure, our wanderlust was still alive and well. In fact, the only cure for us, 2 healthcare professionals, was indeed the travelbug. Our first break from work since starting our new jobs was ironically, job-related, but Kristina's pharmacy conference in Las Vegas was the perfect jumping-point for a day-trip to Horseshoe Bend, Antelope Canyon, Coral Pink Sand Dunes Park, and Kanarraville Creek. Even better was the fact that Kristina's company reimbursed our travel expenses, and when your boss tells you he's picking up the ... read more
Lower Antelope Canyon
Coral Pink Sand Dunes Park
Kanarraville Creek

Europe » Italy » Liguria » Manarola February 28th 2016

Merely a decade ago, Cinque Terre was as popular as Mondays. But thanks to Rick Steves and the advent of social media, word about this hidden gem spread faster than ebola, becoming an epidemic in and of itself. So concerning is the influx of tourists that Italian officials will instate a quota on the number of visitors this summer to 1.5 million. The lottery system to determine the lucky souls able to visit these sleepy abodes atop the cliffs will help preserve the culture and sustainability of the area, which UNESCO dedicated as a World Heritage Site in 1997. While these backwaters are no longer the best-kept secret in travel, it still remains a largely untapped source of majestic beauty. Just don't expect to enter "Cinque Terre" into your GPS or that 5-star resorts are waiting ... read more
Pesto on Tagliatelle
Seared Tuna

Europe » Italy » Tuscany February 27th 2016

Tuscany is more synonymous to wine than Justin Bieber is to tattoos, only much easier on the eyes. But travelers don't realize the region offers more than just grape juice, such as art, history, and Kristina's favorite, food. When the combined genius of Leonardo da Vinci, Galileo, Fibonacci, Machiavelli, Amerigo Vespucci, Petrarch, Dante, and even Pinocchio called this place home, there's plenty to keep one happy and hungry. So join the party of millions who have been enchanted by the rolling hills of cypress trees and pull up a seat with a glass of merlot... because everything just feels better with a touch of alcohol. The most important thing to recognize about Italy is that it's barely older than the oldest person on record (Jeanne Calment, born 1875). Before their unification in 1861, each town was ... read more
San Gimignano
Piazza del Campo

Europe » Italy » Veneto » Venice February 26th 2016

If William Shakespeare had worked as a tour guide, his vivid depictions of Venice would've put Rick Steves out of business. Shakespeare's 16th century play, The Merchant of Venice, portrayed a bustling port on the Adriatic that at the time, was the envy of the world. It has since lost the status of a premier financial capital, although stuck in time are the beautiful architecture and romantic ambiance that only this city can exude. But hurry to book your trip because the Floating City won't be floating for long, as researchers have reported the town is sinking up to 20 cm each century, meaning the frequent winter flooding will only worsen. Some even estimate Venice will be submerged in 70 years, so unless you plan on donning scuba gear to visit St.Mark's, the time to go ... read more
Rialto Bridge
Squid-Ink Pasta

Europe » Italy » Lazio » Rome February 24th 2016

When in Rome, do as the tourists do. Sounds like terrible advice, but it's inevitable in the Eternal City. Life's too short to live like a travel guru who denounces "tourist traps," because if you're searching for an off-the-beaten-path itinerary, you probably should've looked at a tiny cave in Kenya or a Bill Cosby slumber party. In fact, the "All Roads Lead to Rome" phrase comes from a time when every street in the Empire was directed towards this city, hence its title of the "World's Capital." So skip the hipster method of eating insects and showering in rivers to get an "authentic" travel experience, because when in Rome, buy gelato by the liter, pasta by the meter, and pizza by the kilo. This is far from proclaiming gelato, pasta, and pizza are the only things ... read more
St.Peter's Basilica
Vatican Museums
Gelato by the Trevi Fountain

Europe February 23rd 2016

The birthplace of the Renaissance has itself experienced many rebirths. Not only did Florence survive the rule of the Romans, Byzantines, Austrians, and even a short guy named Napoleon, but it thrived by preserving the best aspects of each era. While their conquerors came and went like Kanye's money, the city planted its roots in fine art, architecture, and wine. Having celebrities like Michelangelo and da Vinci decorate their toilet seats was the wealthy Florentines' way of showcasing power, which sparked a tiny cultural revolution we now call the Renaissance. If the rich today took notice of Florence, they'd be spending more to maintain the world's treasures instead of dropping a fortune to feed their pet ostrich, but thanks to their "keeping up with the Jones'" mentality, folks like the Medici helped revitalize society's thirst for ... read more
The Duomo
Piazza della Signoria
Palazzo Vecchio

Europe » Germany » Brandenburg » Frankfurt December 21st 2015

Being considered a "Top 10 Most Disappointing Destination in the World" by is no claim to be proud of, but it wasn't by choice that Frankfurt earned this title. It's dubbed as "sterile and boring"--a description Kristina and I can vouch for--and if it hadn't been for a 2-hour delay on our connecting flight from Dublin, we and our friends would've never visited this town. Our trip up to this point had consisted of 5 flights, 2 shuttles, 1 bus, and countless excursions on public transit, which all ran without a hitch. But now on the journey's last leg, Kristina joked about how our luck might finally expire, which fulfilled the prophecy and landed us at the Frankfurt airport for 6 hours thanks to a strike by air-traffic controllers. We sighed of relief when our ... read more
Schnitzel Sandwich with Sauerkraut

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Greater Manchester » Manchester December 19th 2015

The city of Manchester missed the memo that Brits are supposed to be prim and proper. So unapologetically brash is this town, that even its pretentious older sibling, London, denies any association with this armpit of England. From the painfully harsh northern accent to its arid industrial landscape, Manchester is a spitting image of Pittsburgh and all its bad stereotypes; only difference is that it replaced "boys" with "lads" and "man" with "mate." But despite every preconception working against it, this town has managed to crawl up the list to become the "U.K.'s Second City," an unofficial title that Birmingham gladly forfeited just to avoid a brouhaha with its obnoxious cousin. Manchester has since established itself as the country's 2nd biggest urban area, has the U.K.'s 2nd biggest economy, and is the nation's 3rd most visited ... read more
East End
John Rylands Library
Albert Square Christmas Market

Europe » France » Île-de-France » Paris December 16th 2015

If you want food, go to a restaurant; if you want fashion, see a designer; if you want art, visit a museum; but when you need all three, come to Paris. It's clear the French have it down pat with regards to eating, so much so they come off as snobs. But can you blame them when the modern concept of a restaurant with menus, tablecloths, and waiters originated here? Or that the Holy Bible of pretentious dining, the Michelin Guide, awarded Paris the second most 3-starred restaurants in the world, trailing only Tokyo? Furthermore, this city is part of the fashion industry's Trifecta along with New York and Milan--the Brits would argue that London should be thrown in as well. It's home to the world's largest cosmetic brand, L'Oreal, as well as 3 of the ... read more
Chateau de Versailles
Cafe Constant
Luxembourg Gardens

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Greater London » London City December 14th 2015

On paper, London is the who's who of global cities. It's the world's most visited destination and has the busiest airport on Earth (Heathrow), making JFK look as empty as a Jags game. It has the most billionaires in the world (72), so plentiful that Sir Richard Branson is just another number. It's considered the world's leading financial center and top investment spot, even Forbes Magazine brushed aside New York City and Wall Street to call London the most influential city on the planet. The town's conglomerate of 43 universities was ranked #1 internationally for higher education, making Cambridge, Massachusetts feel like junior high. And if that weren't enough, it's the only city to host the Olympics 3 times, an ode to its incredible infrastructure that comprises of top-class museums, a theater scene second only to ... read more
Changing of the Guards at Buckingham Palace
Prime Meridian in Greenwich
Platform 9 3/4

Tot: 0.11s; Tpl: 0.008s; cc: 18; qc: 63; dbt: 0.0561s; 1; m:domysql w:travelblog (; sld: 1; ; mem: 1.2mb