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Travel is the only thing we buy, that makes us richer.

For years, friends have been telling us we plan the best trips (insert subtly envious tone) with the follow up question usually being something along the lines of, “Do you guys ever work?” (insert much less subtle, straight up indignant tone, but delivered with a gentle chuckle). The truth is, of course we work, we work really hard (John as a photographer, and myself as an art director), but we do probably travel more than the average family.

So how do we pull it off? The answer is two-fold: 1. We make traveling our priority (trips instead of material presents for Christmas, birthdays, etc; public school education for our son instead of private school tuition) and 2. We put a lot of research into each trip, finding places with that just right combination of local character/good design at a middle-class budget. Instead of “champagne taste on a beer budget”, let’s call it craft beer taste on a macro beer budget.

Our style of travel isn’t for everyone. We may forego air conditioning in favor of charm or location. We avoid large hotel chains whenever possible, instead opting for locally-owned, boutique hotels or apartment/house rentals. Many of our destinations require landing in a tourist area only long enough to hop on a tiny puddle-jumper plane to our actual destination. Sometimes we’re taken out of our comfort zone, whether it’s culturally, culinarily or just plain getting lost – but to us, that’s the difference between travel and a vacation. To be clear, we’re rarely roughing it, we just prefer a certain degree of local authenticity thrown into the mix. In our minds, that’s when the memories are made.

So the point of this blog is to serve as a guide to those of you who, like us, want to live the life well travelled.

– john & tesia

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