Floating Over Laos

We arrived at the launch pad just as the sun peeked over the horizon. Above us, the fire blazed incessantly, burning the top of our heads as we settled into the large wicker basket. Two seconds later, we had liftoff. We were floating, floating, floating... on a hot air balloon.

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How A 7-Month Journey Around the World Changed My Life

On August 2nd, 2016, I jumped on a plane to fulfill a dream: a long trip around the world. This Magellanesque adventure led me and my wife Jenn to on a literal trip around the globe, taking us across 15 countries on 4 continents in 220 days. We witnessed spectacular sights, met unforgettable people, ate unbelievable food. But it wasn’t easy. It took months — or, in some ways, years — of preparation, sacrifice, planning. It took tough choices, difficult conversations, plus loads of courage to overcome mountains of discomfort and self-doubt. It was wholly and entirely worth it.

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A Life-Changing Journey into Cambodia

Cambodia was just what we were looking for. In fact, this country—more than any other in our trip—changed both our lives forever. We were excited to be in a country that seemed so different from back home. Cambodia offered what we had imagined South East Asia would be like. In our three weeks there we learned it was a place that serves a taste of a simpler life, full of ancient treasures and beautiful people. 

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The Quest for the World’s Best Pad Thai

Let's be honest… when planning our trip to Thailand, the thing Jenn was most excited about was the Pad Thai (this might have even influenced our decision to go there). So knowing we’d be in Thailand, where this legendary dish originated, sparked great excitement. Jenn imagined Pad Thai for breakfast, lunch and dinner! Great food isn’t all that Thailand had to offer, of course. We had an amazing few weeks exploring this beautiful and diverse country.

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Rolando ArchilaComment
An Inspiring Visit to the Cambodian Children's Fund

Fate put Rolando at a breakfast table next to a couple during our stay in Chiang Mai, Thailand, and they struck up a conversation. It turned out the man was a part of the CCF’s Board of Directors, and had just returned from visiting the CCF. He spoke highly about the organization, how they were changing the face and destiny of an entire community in Phnom Pehn. We were intrigued, and seeing as we were visiting Phnom Pehn the next week, we asked if we could visit. He kindly offered to connect us with the organization to see if it was possible. We went, and what we saw would leave an enduring mark in our hearts. 

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Europe is Always a Good Idea

Somewhere along the way we decided to tack on a short two-week stint in Europe because why the hell not?? So, we found a cheap ticket to Paris and sailed for the old world. Our stopover took us to Paris, Vienna, Budapest, Salzburg, and Munich. Each city was unique and beautiful in its own way.

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Tripping USA, Part II

If you happened to grow up in the Midwest, it can be hard to imagine the sheer diversity of landscapes, unique rock formations and overall beauty that the US has to offer. Don’t get me wrong, Ohio is a great: peaceful and predictable, lots of flat land, fields, and slow rolling hills. But a trip out West blows your mind when you realize how glaciers, super-volcanos, earthquakes and other natural forces have shaped the Earth over millennia. Moreover, how can so many, diverse natural wonders exist in such a confined part of the world?

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Rolando Archila Comment
Tripping USA, Part I

It’s good to be home. That has been the feeling we’ve felt as we’ve journeyed through so much of the beauty, variety, quirkiness and adventure that the US has to offer. We thought we had gotten all the beauty we could take after our South American trip, but the US had a few surprises in store. This leg of the trip has taken us through a half dozen National Parks so far. We feel like we’re both becoming amateur geologists and amateur historians in the process, learning about tales of receding glaciers, exploding super volcanos, Westward expansion and Native Americans along the way. 

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5 Creativity Lessons from Pablo Neruda

During our recent visit to Chile, one of my favorite spots was La Chascona, one of Pablo Neruda’s three houses-turned-museums around the country. I liked it so much, in fact, that I decided to write a post separate from our usual “Wanderlist” outlining our favorite experiences at each place we visit. If you are in need of some creative inspiration for your job, art or business, I encourage you to read on.

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Hello From The End of the World

Chile is realizing its destiny. After coming from Ecuador and Peru, two countries that while unbelievably beautiful were also clearly in the “developing economy” stage, Chile amply stood out as being significantly more economically advanced—we sometimes felt more like we were in the US than Latin America. But as exemplified by the story above, this was not achieved without its share of pain and conflict. The incredible history and stunning natural beauty of Chile made our journey through the country an amazing experience.

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Rolando Archila Comment
World Wonder Wanderlustin’

3.30AM: The alarm blares its ugly tone. Rolando immediately jolts out of bed, something quite uncharacteristic of the “Morning Rolando” I’ve come to know. He can’t contain his excitement for the day ahead. 4.15AM: We quickly dress, eat a basic breakfast, and walk to the bus stop. We find ourselves 200 people deep in line for Machu Picchu, one of the 7 Wonders of the World. 5.15AM: An army of buses roll in to carry us up the mountain. As excited as we were, we never imagined the sights we were in for... in Machu Picchu.

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Literally Blown Away

“You guys are up for an adventure, right?” said Diego, our Airbnb host, looking back as we drove into the desert. At least we assumed it was the desert—in truth, we couldn’t see four feet in front of the car. We were in the middle of a sand storm, which are a frequent occurrence this time of year in Paracas. The name Paracas literally means “sand rain” in Quechua… as in sand storms. Needless to say, we were indeed up for an adventure.

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The Sweet Sound of... Garbage?

Tucked in a valley between green mountain walls with volcano-warmed water flowing over cliffs is a little hippy town called Baños.

When we first got to Baños the sun was out and the air was hot. Immediately, we heard the sound of an ice cream truck echoing through the streets. Excited, we rushed around the corner toward the noise. Salvation! To our surprise, the cheerful music was not coming from an ice cream truck… it was coming from a garbage truck. What a funny concept to grasp. 

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