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Well, what is there to say about me? For starters, I was born and grew up just outside San Francisco, California. When I was younger, I never traveled internationally although, my family traveled domestically quite a lot. I have fond memories of visiting Graceland, Orlando, and New York (the family was a bit Disneyland and World obsessed and apparently fannypack obsessed as well or at least just me…)
I have always been interested in history and archaeology thanks to growing up watching Indiana Jones and I have always loved learning about the past and far off civilizations. This love for the ancient past and distant destinations really blossomed when my godmothers took me and a few friends to Italy after my high school graduation. Although, I had been to Spain when I was sixteen, this was the first time I fell head over heels with travel and a foreign city, Rome. I vowed then and there that I would come back and live in Rome. Thus, my great love affair with travel began.
That first trip to Rome shaped me in ways I couldn’t have expected at the time. The love of travel, new destinations, ancient history, food, and drinks (thank you Linda for taking me to the Martini Bar!) was imbedded in me and I could not resist the sirens’ calls to travel. As I entered into university, I found a way to incorporate my growing wanderlust with my studies and decided to major in Classical Archaeology so that I could study abroad in both Greece and Rome.
After university, possessing my difficult to employ degree, I decided that my best chance of employment lay across the pond in the city I first fell in love with, Rome. With serious thought and deliberation, aka I thought up the idea and then bought a flight, I saved enough money to make my dreams come true. Ten months after my graduation I found myself in Rome with no job, no apartment and $3000. Well I somehow found a way to make it work and along the way met Alex. Together the two of us ate and drank our way through the Eternal City and numerous other European cities as well.
When we decided to return to California in 2012, we knew that travel was always going to be an integral part of our life. We started this travel blog in 2013 and ended up visiting Southeast Asia that November. It was around this time that I realized how much food and drinks are apart of the cultures that we are so interested in. There is something about trying a local speciality or sitting down with some locals for a drink that gives you a connection with a culture and its people.
It was also on this trip to Asia that I began to develop a growing passion for photography. I have always loved taking photos but it wasn’t till Southeast Asia that I developed a passion for it. Photos are such a powerful way to capture a moment and I will treasure all the photos from our adventures.
After trying the settled life and getting jobs we loved, as a wedding planner and tasting room associate, in a town we loved, Healdsburg, CA, we realized that we just HAD to travel. The settled life was great, we love Healdsburg and all of our amazing friends there, but something was missing and that was travel. So in April 2015 we sold our belongings and set off on this grand adventure!
We are shaping our round the world adventure through what we really love: eating and drinking. We are setting out to share our love of other cultures by getting to know them through their street markets, their local spirits, their traditional cuisine. There is so much this world offers and we are going out there to find it!
Q&A with Ashley:
What has been your most memorable experience traveling?
The awe I first felt seeing the Pantheon. It is one thing to read about this immense building but nothing can prepare you for it. The fact that is was built by Emperor Hadrian in 126CE and to this day, no one knows how exactly it was constructed, is one of the reasons I went into archaeology.
My second most memorable experience would have to be snorkeling Silfra in Iceland. This was something that I had read about and it was always a dream, but it came true in May and it was the COOLEST thing EVER! I mean who can say that they have snorkeled in glacier water between two tectonic plates?
What is your favorite dish you have had on your travels? And the most memorable?
We have had some amazing food on our travels that it is hard to pick just one dish but perhaps my favorite is any meal I have at Le Collimaçon in Paris. I have been to this restaurant three times and it is a must go whenever we are in Paris. I actually hunted down this restaurant based on memory when Alex and I went to Paris for the first time together, that’s how much I love this place!
Perhaps my most memorable meal however, is the bowl of green curry we ate in Rawaii, Thailand. This was by far the SPICIEST thing I have ever eaten but so freaking delicious! While we were eating it Alex was actually crying! I normally don’t do well with spicy food but I was in heaven, for the first bowl at least… We tried to order more rice because it was so spicy but instead of just bring us more rice so actually brought us rice AND another bowl of curry! It was a challenge to finish but thankfully we had a lot of Chang beers to finish it all!
Do you have a favorite destination?
Crete is probably my favorite place in the world. I haven’t been back to this island since I studied abroad there in 2006 but I have this deep connection to the island a do recommend it to everyone. From the proud and friendly people, to the amazing food, to raki and of course the history there is just something about Crete which resonates with me.
What is your dream destination?
I think the destination I have dreamt the most about is Machu Picchu. Ever since I was little and my parents gave me a mini archaeological set of the ruins I have dreamed about visiting. However, I want to “do it right” in my opinion and that means hiking the Inca Trail. I should probably start working out if I want to accomplish that one….
What do you do when you are not traveling?
When I am not traveling or even when I am, I am a voracious reader. I have always loved reading and would even contrive to lock myself in the bathroom to read and get out of homework when I was little. I also love photography, nerding out at museums (I love ancient art, Impressionism and modernism up to the 1960s including Klimt, Van Gogh and Picasso), wine tasting, eating, and planning travels. I am a nut when it comes to planning our travels and finding random flights all over the world!