Monthly Roundup

FLYING THE NEST: MONTH 7

I know we say this every month, but how is it already month 7?! Our goal has always been to last one whole year travelling full time … but there was always that voice in the back of our heads saying we were not going to make it. Yes, we have always been good at saving money, however we are self-confessed spenders when it comes to travel.

The hardest part about travelling full time is, and always will be, stretching our money out for as long as possible. We are pretty proud of ourselves we have been able to make it to month 7, and having all of your support is 100% the reason we have been able to make it this far. We just wanted to start off this monthly roundup with a massive THANK YOU to everyone that reads our blog, watches our videos, shares our photographs- thank you, thank you, thank you!!

Okay… ramble over … here is our month 7 round up.

Where We Went

12 days in Salt Lake City / Utah

2 days in Anchorage / Alaska 

2 days in McCarthy / Alaska 

1 day in Tangle Lakes / Alaska 

3 days in Denali National Park / Alaska 

3 days in Seward / Alaska 

2 days in Homer / Alaska 

1 day in Hope / Alaska 

4 days in San Jose / Costa Rica

Highlights

Paragliding in Utah. During our stay in Draper, Salt Lake City we realised we were minutes away from one of the best places to paraglide in all of Utah. We spent an incredible morning soaring high above Utah with fellow paragliders.

Exploring Alaska with TrekAmerica! We had the incredible opportunity to travel to Alaska for 13 days with TrekAmerica. It is by far the best experience we have had so far this year and a trip we will never forget.

Ice Climbing on a Glacier!!!! We never in our wildest dreams thought we would ever ice climb a glacier – but we did! Check out our YouTube video sharing our experience.

WE SAW THE NORTHERN LIGHTS…TWICE!!!! The northern lights has been at the top of our bucket list for as long as we can remember. Travelling to Alaska we knew there was a slight chance we could see them, however being there in the summer time we did not think this would happen… how wrong we were. We ended up seeing the northern lights twice – a moment we will never forget!

Alaska

Climbing FOUR mountains. We knew visiting Alaska would mean a lot of hiking, but we never thought we would be climbing 4 mountains! Yes each climb was tough, but every time we completed a climb we felt the biggest sense of accomplishment.

WE SAW A ORCA! Jess’s favourite animal has always been the killer whale, and during a cruise along the Kenai we not only saw a pod of orca, but also a number of humpback whales.

Moose, bears, caribou – oh my! While we explored Denali National Park we saw so many animals we had never seen in the wild before. Seeing moose, grizzly bears, caribou, beaver, dole sheep and mountain goats in their natural habitat was so special. Check out the video here.

Alaska 3

New friends from around the globe. During our trek through Alaska we were with 11 other travellers from around the world. After camping in the Alaskan wilderness together for 13 days we can say we have made some amazing new friends.

Hello Costa Rica. We have been given the amazing opportunity thanks to Go Eco Tours to travel to Costa Rica for 2 weeks and volunteer with different animal rescue centers. We are so excited to share our experience with you all.

Our first volunteer work experience. We are currently volunteering at the Costa Rica Animal Rescue Center. This is our first experience volunteering for an organising, and will definitely not be the last!

Alaska 2

Lowlights

Losing ALL our photos and footage from the past 7 months… Yep, we stupidly did not back up our hard drive and when we went to plug in during our time here in Costa Rica it stopped working. After many tears (as ALL our photos from the past 7 months is also on this hard drive) we have decided to not let it ruin our time here in Costa Rica. Once we leave and arrive in a country that has recovery support stores we will find out if we can get back all our footage/photos. In the meantime we just wanted to let you all know – BACK UP EVERYTHING!!!!

Breaking the vlogging camera. While we were in Alaska climbing glaciers our vlogging camera was dropped and stopped working. Again, we were in the wilderness and had no way of getting someone to look at our camera. Instead we filmed our entire Alaskan experience on our DSLR, and when we returned back to Utah the camera started working again – thank goodness!!! 

Goodbye to the US. Our holiday visa for the US officially ran out on the 6th of September, which means no more exploring the states until we return home and renew our visa. We LOVE travelling through the United States and it is our mission to explore every single state (one day).

The Funds

 

This month we had the opportunity to work with 2 companies during our travels. We really learnt the benefits of teaming up with travel brands that want to promote journeys rather then day trips. For the month we spent $2,226 for the two of us, most of this which went on last minute flights.

To break it down for you we spent $219 on food in Utah and $560 of food in Alaska (Alaska is pretty darn expensive to travel through). Activities in Utah came to $219 and $75 in Alaska. What made a dent in our savings this month was flights – flights to Alaska cost us $550 and return flights cost us $560. When we purchased our flights to Alaska we purchased one way as we were not sure where we would be travelling to next (which is obviously a more expensive way to do things – and something we will not be doing again).

** Flights to Costa were purchased using our flight center voucher we received from the Covermore Ultimate Traveller competition.

 

Quick Numbers So Far…

Flights taken: 19

Kilometres travelled: 55,585

Photographs taken: 13,474 … which may be lost 🙁

Days uploaded to YouTube: 210

Coffee’s Had: 170

Where To Next:

We will be spending most of September in Costa Rica volunteering with GoEco Tours. In October we decided it is time to see more of Canada. As we have travelled around the west coast, we decided to see what the east coast has to offer! We have a flight booked to Montreal, but that is all we really have planned for the moment. We will just have to wait and see what October may bring!

Thank you so much for coming along on our journey of leaving home and travelling the world!

Stephen and Jess signoff

WANT MORE? READ MONTH 1 // MONTH 2 // MONTH 3 // MONTH 4 //MONTH 5 // MONTH 6

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  • Congrats !! 🙂 It all sounds (and looks) pretty awesome 🙂

  • I definitely recommend visiting Ottawa and Quebec City when in Canada. I have also heard Nova Scotia is pretty beautiful, if you make it that far east. Enjoy yourselves!

    • Ahhh so many beautiful places to see on the east of Canada! We will try and see as much as possible 🙂

  • Krista

    WOO HOO! I did Montreal, Toronto (3 hour stopover) and Niagara Falls back in May/June. A lot of French is used in Montreal so be prepare 🙂
    Question for you, how long were your US visas? I know you went to America first and then to Canada. did you just buy a new US Visa from Canada? and how come you have to apply for a new one back home? can’t you do that overseas?

    • We are super excited to see Montreal (tho our French is not the best)! For the visa, we actually got a holiday visa for the US for 1 year which went from September 2014 to September 2015. We can organise another out of the country but we want to explore some different places before returning to the US 🙂

  • Wandering Wonderful

    That is a very impressive trip, the Northern Lights are definitely on my bucket list.

    • Thank you 🙂 We do hope you get to cross the Northern Lights off your bucket list some day – they are incredible!!

  • Megan M

    What an amazing month! If you’re looking to stretch your travel funds further, I would HIGHLY recommend heading up to Nicaragua. As Costa Rica sees more and more tourists, Nicaragua is becoming the “new Costa Rica” and even cheaper. Lots of $1 tacos, $2 beers, $10 hostel stays and $20/day motorbike rentals 🙂 My fiance and I visited and loved the surf town of San Juan del sur (we LOVED the Naked Tiger Hostel), Granada & Isla Ometepe. We also heard about but didn’t have time to venture to the relatively untouched beautiful Corn Islands, usually a $160 RT flight from Managua. It’s pretty easy and cheap to book shuttles from town to town too in Central America. Just my two cents, cheers!

    • We would LOVE to go to Nicaragua, but we only had 2 weeks to spend in Central America unfortunately. We are definitely planning to return, so will be putting your advice into our notes for upcoming trips – thank you!!!

  • Sorry to hear about your hard drive crash, I really hope you can get your photos back. With close on 70 000 photos and hundreds of hours of video in our library from the last 5 years, I am, to put it bluntly, extremely anal retentive about backing up. Time Machine on our Macbooks make this very easy and straightforward.

    • Yes, we have definitely learnt from what happened and hopefully it will NEVER happen again. Thanks for all your advice as well 🙂 Really appreciate it!

  • I wanted to say that I love your work and have watched every single one of your videos. My boyfriend refers to you as ‘my friends’, as in, ‘Are your friends back from Alaska yet?’. I really admire your stamina and work ethic.

    I’m really hoping that it turns out well with your hard drive. For what it’s worth, I had one that I thought was broken, but it turned out that just the part that the plug goes into was faulty. I had that fixed, and all the data was still on there.

    Just wondering which visa you were on in the US that requires you to return to Australia to renew it? If you were strictly following the rules, I figured you’d have got a B1/B2 visa, which is valid for 12 months, with maximum stays of 6 months at a time right?
    And if you were just using the visa waiver like a lot of Canadian working holiday visa holders do, can’t you just get a new waiver as soon as you return to the USA (having left USA/Canada/Mexico/Caribbean in the meantime)? In any case, I thought you could apply for a US visa at any embassy, not just ones in your home country. (I’m a bit of a nerd about visas and immigration and all that, sorry :P)

    I hope you get back to the USA someday. It’s my favourite country to visit – 34 states down, 16 to go!

    • Melanie, Can’t believe you have watched every single one of our videos. That is so incredible ahhh!!!! Where about’s in the US are you from???

      About the visa we got a B2 holiday visa which does last a year from the day we received it which was September 2014. We could renew it but we would prefer to save our money and travel to a few different countries before returning to the US. Our goal one day is to visit all 50 states 😀

      • I’m actually from Australia, although I now live in Belgium. I just love travelling in the USA – 34 states down, 16 to go 😀

        Ah, those B2 visas are expensive aren’t they? Once, I had to get one instead of using the visa waiver like I did the other times. I felt like I was constantly getting my wallet out throughout the whole (lengthy) process.

        Have fun in Canada, and let me know if you’re ever heading to Belgium!

  • I love your blog so much! I’m so sad to hear about your hard drive, but I really hope you’ll be able to recover it!
    I’ve just gotten back from Canada – I visited Niagra, Ottawa, Toronto and Montreal. Ottawa is gorgeous and I love Toronto – it’s like New York City but less busy and with a cooler vibe. Montreal is also gorgeous but I wasn’t prepared for how ‘french’ it is – naive of me for sure! Even the worker at good ol’ maccas didn’t speak English, so try and brush up on your French before you get there if you can!
    Your work in Costa Rica is amazing – I’d love to volunteer at a turtle conservation one day! I wish I could do what you guys are doing, spending a year travelling is my dream!

    http://www.kiwigirlgone.com