Matt and Megan


Matt and Megan

After more than 10 years together, Matt and Megan recently got engaged and are planning their wedding for May of 2012. They spent the first of their 8 years together living in Berkeley, Miami, and abroad. Matt attended UC Berkeley, then joined Megan in Miami where she was attending the University of Miami and studying Marine Policy. When Megan finished graduate school, also at UM, they took off and spent 8 months traveling through Southeast Asia and Europe. They have now been back living in their hometown of Encinitas, California for almost 3 years and are settled down with Matt teaching and Megan working as an environmental planner at a local firm. Despite settling down, the desire to travel has never waned, so they're taking off for a short six week trip to Nicaragua and Costa Rica. And so, back to the blog we come!

Wow. We are finally back to our blog after almost four years of no travels. It has felt amazing to be back on the road again, even if this trip is only six weeks and not eight months like the last, and each day inspires us to keep traveling. We arrived in Managua, Nicaragua on the night of December 27thafter a smooth and relatively short flight from San Diego to Houston and then Houston to Managua. We had pre-booked our hotel in Managua since we knew we would be arriving so late and they even picked us up at the airport (what luxury!). Our driver, Gerrison, was our first introduction to the incredibly amazing friendliness of the Nicas (Nicaraguans) as he happily practiced our Spanish with us while detailing the highlights of Nicaragua. After a quick ... read more
Granada's plaza mayor

Europe » Spain May 1st 2009

We rented a Citroen C2, which is roughly the size of a shopping cart, but which pleasantly surprised us with it's awesome gas mileage (roughly 65 miles to a gallon) and was plenty spacious for the two of us. We took off from Alicante and headed north through Valencia along the Mediterranean until we finally reached Barcelona-it was a much longer drive than expected because after testing out our first toll road we decided that $8 for every 5 miles of road couldn't possibly be worth the time it saved us, and so we stuck with the national highways. We spent two nights in Barcelona at our first youth hostel of our entire trip-The Garden House. We spent our full day in the city touring the usual sights...Gaudi's Sagrada Familia, the beach, La Rambla, etc. After ... read more
the gate to Valencia
bike backpackers
La Rambla

Europe » Spain » Valencian Community » Alicante April 11th 2009

We arrived in Alicante after a short flight from London into the open arms of our good friend Bristol. Bristol was in my Master's program at UM and is now getting her PhD in neuroscience at a the University of Miguel Hernandez in Alicante, Spain. She took us back to her new apartment, where we made ourselves right at home eating her food and drinking her wine/beer. Her apartment is quite large and is right downtown in the small pueblo of San Juan de Alicante, with a view all the way to the ocean. She shares it with two other students, Blanca and Ivan who are both natives of Spain (and great Spanish practice for Bristol...and now us!) They are also both incredibley nice and welcomed us openly. We spent our first few days exploring the ... read more
view from Bristol's apartment
Beer Pong
street of Altea

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Essex » Romford March 28th 2009

As we were settling into to our plush Air Asia X seats eagerly awaiting our take-off the captain came over the PA with all the usual pre-flight info: names of crew, expected altitude, weather and wind (strong head-wind) and flight time dooor to door: 14 hrs. What, 14 hrs? For some reason Meg and I had thought the flight would be in the range of 6-8hrs; perhaps because neither of us bothered to look at a map or calculate the time difference of Kuala Lampur and London (8 hrs) plus the ETD (10 AM) and ETA (4PM). Oops! After our long, long flight, which actually wasn't bad at all (apparently SE Asia had made long travel in a comfortable plane seat with movies seem easy compared to some of our other modes of transport) we tottered ... read more
Jamie with Matt & I
Tower Bridge
the local pub

Asia » Indonesia » Bali » Bukit Peninsula March 28th 2009

In keeping with our decision to make our time in Indo as relaxing and chill as possible, we decided to spend our last week or so in the country close to our home base of Kuta, Bali rather than spending hours upon hours on buses and ferries trying to cram in as many sights as possible. So, we arrived in Kuta after a long day of travel from Lombok and tagged along with the Spanish/Polish couple (an odd combo you'd think, but they were awesome together) to a hotel they had stayed at previously, the Hotel Lusa. It was a bit nicer than where we had crashed our last time in Kuta and we were happy with the comfy bed and nice pool area. We went for dinner together then headed back to the hotel to ... read more
break at Ulu Watu
cliffside restaurants
Ulu Watu coastline

Asia » Indonesia » Lombok » Gilli Trawangan March 24th 2009

As we write this blog, we are only days away from the end of our tour of SE Asia. We have been traveling for 6 months and a handful of days (about two months more than we originally predicted), but we aren't quite ready to come home yet...though we're getting awfully close (which is both a very scary and very exciting thought). In 48 hours, we leave Indo to fly to Kuala Lampur, from where we'll continue on to London. We're planning on spending 3 days in London with our friend Jamie who we met in Vietnam, then are flying to Spain to spend two weeks with Bristol in Alicante. From there, the plans are still up in the air. We're hoping to do a short mini-tour of Europe (just a few weeks at most) to ... read more
Gili T
Pondok Sederhana
After our snorkel on Gili T

Asia » Indonesia » Java » Bandung March 24th 2009

Welcome to the Java blog, Matt style. Meg's been doing a great job keeping you all up to date but I decided I should pitch in and help catch us up (or you guys up actually) before we start making our way home. Don't worry, this won't take long. After leaving Kota Kinabalu, Borneo we headed for Bandung, Java via the capital of Indonesia, Jakarta. We stayed one night in a hot Mosquito farm owned by an incredibly nice little man in Jakarta for $4 and caught an early train the next morning for Bandung and the sanctuary you find when you stay with a best friend of 13 years. The first class train ride from Jakarta to Bandung was filled with spectacular sites and all the AC and music videos you could get. Upon arrival ... read more
More View
chow time
Bandung neighborhood

Asia » Malaysia » Sabah » Kinabatangan February 27th 2009

After spending a few days in Sandakan (at the homey Winho Lodge) trying to wait out the floods at Uncle Tan's Wildlife Camp, we finally decided that it was time to get a move on and instead booked our Kinabatagan River safari through the Bilit Safari camp. Turns out this place was flooded too (I guess the week before we arrived in Borneo they had experienced some torrential downpours, and while we were lucky enough to arrive afterwards, we still came across some of the flooding aftermath), however, they had an alternate plan in place. We were picked up by some random dude in his Toyota Corolla about 45 minutes before we had arranged-which sent us into a frantic packing frenzy-and transported two and a half hours south to the Kinabatagan River. The river is "the" ... read more
Kinabatangan River
wild orangutan
a baby macaque monkey

Asia » Malaysia » Sabah » Mount Kinabalu February 17th 2009

Ok. So, we didn't literally climb to heaven, but after 8.7km of climbing straight up (they haven't mastered switchbacks in this country yet!) it certainly felt like it. And the views couldn't have been much better either. In one of our most amazing adventures yet during our travels, Matt and I successfuly completed the summit climb to Lowe's Peak on Mt. Kinabalu, on the northern coast of Borneo Malaysia. After two days of enjoying the park scenery and relaxing at park headquaters, we began our two day summit climb. The first day consists of a 6km climb from the trailhead to base camp at the Laban Rata huts. While six kilometers doesn't sound like much-that's just a little over 3 miles-it was much more challenging than we ever expected. The night before, Matt and I were ... read more
the peaks
the "Before" Picture
view from halfway up

Asia » Malaysia » Sabah » Sandakan February 17th 2009

The word Orangutan literally translates in Malay to "the people of the forest." For centuries these creatures have held a special place in the hearts of natives living throughout SE Asia, and being in their presence on our visit to the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Center it was easy to see why. The SORC was set up to take in orphaned orangutans or ones who have been displaced by habitat loss and introduce them to the skills they will need to live on their own in the wild. The center either prepares and/or re-releases them into a forest reserve twice the size of Singapore where they eventually live on their own as true wild orangutans. The orangutan was once found all across SE Asia, however today they only exist on the islands of Sumatra and Borneo. Because ... read more
getting fed
making a mess out of her  banana

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