Finding our Dogs a New Home

Meet Juno & Okra. These are the four-legged fur babies we love and adore, and now we have to leave them behind. Going through the process of what we were going to do with them was emotionally difficult. However, it had to be part of the process.  

Juno is a six year old rat terrier mix. We first rescued her in 2011 and she quickly became our little girl. She has lived with us since our first home, a condo in Oak Lawn, to now, our extended stay hotel. Along the way we entered her into the Cutest Dog in North Texas contest and she made it to the top 4 dogs. She officially became the cutest mutt in north Texas in our eyes. We tried getting another dog, but Juno liked having us all to herself. After a few years we decided a partner in crime was not in the cards for Juno, or so we thought…

Okra, the accidental partner in crime, was a dog from the streets. One Saturday, Kevin was driving home through the neighborhood and saw this dog running down the middle of the street just as happy as could be. After chasing her for three blocks and bribing her with he leftover crumbs from his blueberry muffin, he finally caught her. The moment Okra leaped through the door of our home and met Juno they were best of friends! Our chocolate brown Chiweenie, has now been part of the family for just over a year. It’s funny how the unexpected happenings in life become the happiest.     

When looking at every decision we had to make when talking about traveling the world, we knew that the dogs would be one of the most difficult. At first we thought we would look into trying to take them with us. We knew they would want to see the world! Correction, Okra would want to see the world, Juno is a little scaredy-cat, but she would survive.

We found that taking our dogs with you around the world is almost impossible. A lot of countries will keep your dog in quarantine until they give them a clean bill of health. For example, in New Zealand you are required to have an import permit you have to get prior to arriving and our dogs would be quarantined for a minimum of ten days. Additionally, if we had a certain breed of dog, they would have been banned outright. Things like this would not only make our WTR travels much more difficult it would not be fair for Juno and Okra.

Aside from taking them with us, the solution that made most sense was finding them a new home. This was an important decision to make. First there are a number of factors we had to consider when narrowing down potential new homes for the dogs. We had to decide if we wanted them to stay with a friend, family or someone completely new. Fortunately, we both come from pet loving families, however, seeing if someone will keep your dogs for an indefinite amount of time is a lot to ask. In the end Kevin’s Dad and Step-Mom agreed to watch Juno and Okra. They already have two big outside dogs, two small inside dogs, and a cat. Two more dogs would not be too difficult. Kevin also has a teenage brother and sister who live there which would be great for the dogs. Specifically, Kevin’s brother is naturally drawn to animals and will be a protector of our dogs. 

The hardest truth we had to come to terms with is the fact we may never get our dogs back. We are aware that over the course of a year, our family may become very attached to Juno and Okra and it would be wrong for us to come back and take them away. 

At the end of the day, the most important thing is what is best for the dogs. We feel confident in knowing that they will be provided for and loved while we are gone. We will miss our girls very much but are excited to come back and tell them about our awesome adventures. 

Juno and Okra are two en route to a new home.

Unique Ways our Family Follows our Journey

We have been so excited to see how our family has become inspired to come up with neat and fun ways to follow our trip around the world. It means the world to us to have so much support from the ones we love the most. Thank you to our family! We love you so much!

Our niece and nephew wanted to get a globe and map our journey. They are learning about the world one stop at a time with us. A globe or map is a great way to see how big and beautiful the world is. Their globe even lights up!

 Mapping our Journey on their globe
Mapping our Journey on their globe
 They love learning with their globe
They love learning with their globe

Kevin’s Dad, Mom, and two younger siblings decided to follow our journey to places through food. Some places we travel to, they find things from that country and try them. Such a fun way to experience the world with us. Sometimes they are eating better then us!

 Eastern European style plum bread
Eastern European style plum bread
 Traditional Bavarian meal
Traditional Bavarian meal
 Being goofballs with Iceland items
Being goofballs with Iceland items

Brad’s parents follow our journey on our facebook, twitter, and this blog. It is always so great to get a message from them about the places we are. They have wanderlust in the soul.

The trip around the world continues to be fun, educational, and delicious to us and our families. Our lives are filled with love from them and we send it back from wherever we are!

 Kevin wishing his sister a happy birthday from Oktoberfest
Kevin wishing his sister a happy birthday from Oktoberfest

We are two en route to travel with family in our hearts  

Our Copenhagen Pride featured on Brazilian Blog!

We are so honored to share our experience at Copenhagen Pride with Brazil’s number one gay travel blog, Viaja Bi! Click here to read all about our fun time! 

Here is a link to the English google translated version for those of you, like us, who can’t speak Portuguese. 

 

How We Balance Down Time and Tourism

Have you ever felt more tired after a vacation? We sure have!

Being on the road we are constantly in new places with new sights to see and it is easy to fall into the habit of constantly go-go-going. We have found that it is important to balance the continual urge to see it all with the need for down time. Much like being at home, we sometimes need breaks during the day, relaxing evening, a good night sleep, and “weekends” to unwind from a week of doing.  

 Relaxing on the Black Sand Beach, Vík, Iclenad, 2016
Relaxing on the Black Sand Beach, Vík, Iclenad, 2016

We have learned how significant regular breaks during the day can be. Not only do we get to rest our feet, but we get to rest our minds. An easy way for us to do this is to find a café, have a cup of coffee, and people watch. Sitting in silence and letting our mind slow down gives us a second wind for more sight-seeing. 

 Coffee Date. Oslo, Norway, 2016
Coffee Date. Oslo, Norway, 2016

Every night cannot be a night on the town.  Sometimes the best remedy for a long day is a relaxing evening. Dive into a good book, relax in a park, binge watch a tv show, or even nodding off into an early sleep. 

 Kevin relaxing while listening to a good book. Ålä, Sweden, 2016
Kevin relaxing while listening to a good book. Ålä, Sweden, 2016

Another way we have learned to balance our downtime with our tourism is by allowing ourselves to not set wakeup alarms and simply sleeping in. Before traveling the world, we always heard how not getting enough sleep can effect many aspects of your life and it is very true. A good night’s sleep is essential for a good day of sight-seeing.

 Seeing the sights after a good night sleep. Iceland, 2016
Seeing the sights after a good night sleep. Iceland, 2016

Too many consecutive days of being on the go can lead to getting burnt out. After a few weeks of not having a day off from traveling and sight seeing it was time for us to take a weekend. Two consecutive days of hanging around with nothing planned was pure bliss. It reinvigorated us. From that point on we decided that allowing ourselves to have weekends was one of the most important ways of balancing downtime with our tourism. 

 Enjoying a weekend with nothing planned. Copenhagen, Denmark
Enjoying a weekend with nothing planned. Copenhagen, Denmark

We had to let go of being on a schedule to see everything, rather, experience the place we are visiting. A good way to do this is to balance being a tourist with simple being someone living on the move.     

We are two en route for balanced travel.

Stockholm’s Underground Art Scene

Stockholm claims the title “Capital of Scandinavia.”  It is the largest city with some of the most beautiful architecture and has an extensive collection of galleried art. However, did you know some of the most fascinating art can be found underground? You literally have to go under the city and into the subways to find it. 

On our first trip into the subway, when we arrived into Stockholm, we noticed something was different. The walls were alive with interest. From that moment, we decided to do a little research and found out that 90% of Stockholm’s subway stations host some of the coolest and most unique works of art. A few days into our stay we decided to hop from station to station to feast our eyes on more. Here are a few of our favorites. Enjoy!

 Stadion Station - Red Line
Stadion Station – Red Line
 Stadion Station - Red Line
Stadion Station – Red Line
 Hötorget Station - Green Line
Hötorget Station – Green Line
 T-Centralen Station - Blue Line
T-Centralen Station – Blue Line
 T-Centralen Station - Blue Line
T-Centralen Station – Blue Line
 Stadshagen Station - Blue Line
Stadshagen Station – Blue Line
 Stadshagen Station - Blue Line
Stadshagen Station – Blue Line
 Stadshagen Station - Blue Line
Stadshagen Station – Blue Line
 Kungsträdgården Station - Blue Line
Kungsträdgården Station – Blue Line
 Kungsträdgården Station - Blue Line
Kungsträdgården Station – Blue Line

We are two en route to explore more underground art. 

Brown Cheese…Quintessentially Norway

We love to try new and different foods that are unique to the places we are traveling. Norwegians have their own unique food item and that is Brown Cheese. Why is it called brown cheese? Well… It’s brown in color. 

 Brown Cheese on Toast, Norway, 2016
Brown Cheese on Toast, Norway, 2016

After some internet research we learned that the best way to eat brown cheese is to simply toast some bread, put two slices on, and enjoy! We are sure you are wondering what it tastes like. To both of us brown cheese had a medium firmness, tasted a little sweet and finished with a heavily preserved fish saltiness. It may sound strange however, it tasted good. It was not the best cheese we’ve ever had but recommended for a try if you are in Norway. 

 Brad trying Brown Cheese, Norway, 2016
Brad trying Brown Cheese, Norway, 2016

After buying the smallest package we could find, because we did not know if we would like it, we still had some cheese left over. The following day we made brown cheese and ham sandwiches; delicious. 

We are two en route with brown cheese in our belly.

7 of Our Favorite Churches around Iceland

As we spent the last week driving around the entire country of Iceland, which is about as big as the state of Ohio, we noticed that everywhere we looked we saw a church. It kind of felt like we were back home in Texas. No matter how big or small the town we were in, there a church stood. Here are 7 of our favorite churches around Iceland.  

1. Búðir

Búðir is a small church located in the west of Iceland. It was completed in 1847 and stands at the end of a peninsula with the ocean to one side and mountains to the other. We love how it is painted black which sets it off from the colorful background of nature. 

2. Stykkishólmskirkja

This church is very modern in the rustic port town of Stykkishólmur. The swooping bell tower is representative of a whale’s vertebra. Inside is a fantastic painting of Madonna. The ceiling sparkles with hundreds of exposed hanging Edison style light bulbs. 

3. Siglufjarðarkirkja

Not only is this a spectacular church with parts of it’s history dating back to the 16th century, it also doubles as the towns high school. The church is in the town of Siglufjörður which sits in a beautiful Fjörd. 

4. Akureyrarkirkj

The Church of Akureyri is in the center of town on top of a hill. When we ascended the steps the church began to become even grander. As we walked through the door we noticed refreshing modern stain glass windows and nods to Iceland’s Nordic history all around. 

5. Seyðisfjörður Kirkjan

What makes this church one of our favorites was the unique powder blue color. Seyðisfjörður is located in the north east of Iceland nestled in a fjörd. This vibrant city and unique church is a must see. 

6. Hellnar Church

Not at all a famous church or even a church that is the center of attention. What caught our eye is how this church shows the wear time has on a building. Located in Hellnar, an other fishing town in the west of Iceland, this church sits off by itself serving as a constant reminder of time. 

7. Hallgrimskirkja

Probably Iceland’s most iconic church, Hallgrimskirkja is at the center of Reykjavik. The design of this church is supposed to be symbolic of the basalts you see coming out of the ocean onto the coast from around the country. It connects with the heart of Iceland’s volcanic history.

From the spectacular displays of nature to the man made structures, we can not get enough of Iceland!

We are two en route to explore Iceland’s churches