Welcome to our new travel blog!

Sea kayaking in Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska

Welcome, and let us take a minute to introduce ourselves. Jeff is a high school science, math, and business teacher, and Erin is a a school librarian and professional photographer. We live in Portland, Oregon, with our adorable cat, Bonkers, and we’ve spent nearly every summer of the last twenty plus years traveling and squeezed in a lot of travel weeks and weekends in between.

Our top travel goals are to visit every continent and every U.S. national park. So far, we’ve been to four continents (North America, Europe, Africa, and Australia) and 37 of our 58 amazing national parks. We just heard last week they’re about to add a 59th park, so we’d better get moving on that goal!

We love to meet new people and explore new places. We also believe that traveling makes people better stewards of our planet and better citizens of the world. We also know that traveling can be expensive and that most Americans have limited time for travel. We hope this blog will help you maximize both your time and your money as you travel and explore for a week or a weekend. We’d love to learn from your experiences as well, so leave us a note in the comments section and introduce yourself.

Enjoy your next travel adventure, whether it’s for a week or a weekend!


Bonkers

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7 thoughts on “Welcome to our new travel blog!

  1. Wow! Can’t wait to read more. You two have all the qualities (adventure, frugality, humor, great writers) and wealth of travel experiences (with amazing photography to go along) to fill this blog with great material. It’s about time you shared it all with the wider world!

  2. Looking forward to all your wonderful travel stories…it is fun to vacation vicariously through your photos…such a talent!

  3. For 20+ years I have enjoyed hearing about your travels near and far. With a click of a shutter the best moments captured, forever on a photo. Living through you both on all of your travels I’m Bonkers’ for the Bjorn’s. Enjoying a cat friendly blog as well >^..^<

    • Julie,

      Well, we have a motto that was inspired by a card Erin bought for me years ago: “May you always be traveling in the opposite direction of the tour bus.” 🙂

      While tour companies handle logistics & itinerary planning, the pace can be less than relaxing and the mix of personalities a crapshoot. Independent travel is liberating, and there’s no angst from not being able to spend an extra hour at your favorite sight because the tour bus is leaving.

      Our favorite European travel resource –by far– is Rick Steves. He’s evolved from a teenaged pamphlet-printing backpacker to a 50-something experienced budget travel guru. You can buy his guidebooks and get tons of free information on his website to plan your own tour. He also has shows on PBS and NPR. We’ve used his guidebooks nearly exclusively for four European adventures and he’s never steered us wrong. If you do it, too, you’ll undoubtedly run into other Rick followers along the way. Traveling in Europe isn’t difficult, and you can easily do it on your own with Rick’s help.

      Having said that, if we were going to go on a European tour, a Rick Steves tour would be our only choice! We’ve heard nothing but great things about his tours: smaller groups, local guides, good mixes of people.

      E-mail us if you have any more questions – we’ve been to both cities and loved them!

      Thanks for stopping by our blog, Julie!

      Jeff

  4. Can’t wait for your take on the greatest spots in this great land. You guys are not only collectors of National Parks, but also of Park adventures. Looking forward to looking at these beautiful places through your eyes as you guys continue to explore from sea to shining see!

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