Peace in Nature

The sun shown brightly overhead as I swayed in my hammock. Fish jumped for flies and the only sound was the whistle-like singing of the birds in the trees. Dappled sunlight reflected off the water as I soaked in the beauty of the lake. And I remembered why I love backpacking.


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Skiing in Borovets: Where to Stay?


Ski holidays in Bulgaria are some of the most up and coming options you could choose for your winter break this year. While Bulgaria hasn’t quite achieved the bigwig status like the alpine destinations of France, Austria and Italy have just yet, its authenticity and rustic charm is appealing to more and more holidaymakers every year.

Perfect for families and full of character, Bulgaria is a real delight and a Borovets ski holiday is a great place to start. Ideal for those learning to ski, with some super facilities and a fun-filled atmosphere, Borovets lies in the heart of the Rila Mountains and has access to tree-lined slopes with astonishing panoramas.

As for where to stay, there’s a great selection of accommodation available in the resort, to suit your personal requirements and budget, including:

Hotel Lion Borovets boasts elegance and affordability, located on the edge of the resort. While its position may mean a more peaceful stay, away from the bustle of the main town, you will still within easy access of the local amenities. Inside, there’s a pool, two saunas and a hot tub – perfect to unwind in after a hard day on the hill.

The Hotel Rila and Studios can be found in the heart of the resort, on the doorstep of all the local facilities meaning you will never feel left out. Just a few metres from the slopes, you can hop on to the lifts, ski during the day and return back to the hotel with absolute ease. Once back at base, you could take your pick from a dip in the pool, a soak in the hot tub or some quality dining in the on-site restaurants.

The Hotel Festa Winter Palace provides 5* luxury in the heart of Borovets, that is not only elegant and chic, but is the sort of hotel you’d find adorning a postcard. While still reasonably priced, this unique hotel is as pretty as it is stylish, with plenty of facilities to utilise, including a spa and bars.

Three fantastic options for your Borovets stay – none of which will overstretch your budget but will guarantee an unforgettable stay in the picturesque Rila Mountains.

Cruises from Southampton


Just because you don’t like flying doesn’t mean you can’t still explore some of the world’s most far-flung and exotic locations. With cruises from Southampton you can set sail from the UK without an aircraft terminal in sight, and enjoy anything from a weekend mini cruise to a three-month sea-faring voyage of adventure.

Holidaymakers opt for UK cruise departures for many different reasons – and not just because some people can’t bear the thought of flying. Cruises from the UK can be cheaper, given that there are no flights involved. They can be more accessible, thanks to extensive on-site car parking facilities and local road networks. And, perhaps most importantly of all, cruises from Southampton offer some of the most incredible cruise itineraries on the market.

Far from being limited by sea-based transportation, it can open up a whole new world of holidays, taking you to destinations you never thought possible. With UK cruises you can explore the sizzling sights of the Mediterranean, perhaps spending time on the sun-baked French Riviera, the chic cities of coastal Spain, or soaking up the heritage and world-famous landmarks of Italy.

You could head out into the Atlantic to enjoy Lisbon’s cobbled streets, the volcanic wonders of the Canary Islands or the beautiful, flora-rich island of Madeira.

Some UK cruises even travel to the Caribbean islands. It’s the perfect chance to discover these spectacular islands in all their laid-back, exotic glory – complete with paradise shores and cheerful, bustling towns and cities. Some Caribbean itineraries include a return flight to shorten the trip, while others offer a round-trip by sea.

The Caribbean usually features strongly in even more adventurous itineraries, such as round-the-world cruises. This is a unique once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to travel to some of the world’s most spectacular locations without setting foot on a plane. How’s that for an unforgettable holiday experience?


“Knee deep in the water somewhere, got the blue sky breeze blowing wind through my hair, only worry in the world is the tide going to reach my chair” – Zac Brown Band with Jimmy Buffet

It’s not news to anyone that we love the beach. Not only do we camp there regularly here in the Pacific Northwest, but we’ve made a point of visiting great beaches wherever we travel around the world. This week, in honor of our upcoming vacation to the beaches of Puerto Vallarta, we bring you some of our favorites from near and far.

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Dinner at the Ronald McDonald House

Saturday night we, once again, prepared dinner for the Ronald McDonald House of Portland. There are two such houses in town, and are a continuing inspiration to us.

The houses were created in 1982 by several organizations that realized that families whom had to travel to Portland so their sick children could get treatment at OHSU and Doernbecher Childrens Hospital had no comfortable and convenient place to stay. The west side house offers 17 room and the east side 16 rooms. Both are very comfortable with full kitchens, living rooms, and a semblance of a home, so, even while families spend much of their time at the hospital they have a place to spend their free time. Continue reading

The Power of a Sundowner

Around the world, Sundown is a time of reverence. People pause for a moment in their day to pay homage to the power of mother nature and acknowledge the continuance of life, moving into the next day.

On thing we miss here at home is the USA is the practice of a sundowner, taking a few minutes to stop and enjoy the moment. We have made a commitment to re-introduce this into our daily habit and appreciate the passing of another day, the blessing of being alive, and the respect for the cycle of life.

We had many miraculous sundowners in the course of our life, and here we’ll share a few of our favorites whether the moment be in Zanzibar, off the coast of East Africa:


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Featured on Briefcase to Backpack!

Not long ago, Jim & I were featured on the Career Break pages of Briefcase to Backpack, a site encouraging and teaching others how to take a successful and long-term career break. We were contacted by them after last years Meet, Plan, Go meetings when an encouraging numbers of newbies to extended travel were wondering just how it’s done!

The article turned out great. Check it out here: