Captain and Clark The Modern Cartographers, Charting Your World. Mon, 06 Jul 2015 05:12:36 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Sharing the aloha on Maui Wed, 17 Jun 2015 05:24:17 +0000 When it comes to my family tree, I am a tiny leaf on a long branch of Hawaii-born family members. My maternal great-grandfather came from the Philippines to work on one of the many pineapple farms on Maui.  And while my mother is technically full Filipino, she was born and raised on the islands and identifies more towards Hawaiian culture than Filipino.

Both of my parents were essentially raised on the island of Oahu. It’s where they met, fell in love, and eventually had me. Hawaiian culture is prevalent in our day-to-day lives. I still remove my shoes when I enter a house. I speak pidgin with my grandmother and other relatives still residing on the islands. I’ve taught Chris to say “pau” when he’s finished with something and “ono” when a meal is particularly delicious. And SPAM, rice, and eggs is one of my favorite breakfast meals of all time.

I have always felt close to the islands and I’ve really enjoyed introducing Chris to the nuances of Hawaiian culture. It’s been even more fun to explore new islands together. Just in the past two years, we’ve been to Hawai’i (commonly referred to as the Big Island), Kauai, and Lana’i- all islands I had never visited before.

As a child, I had been to Maui a few times but remember very little. Fortunately, Chris and I had the opportunity to visit last year for the first time and quickly fell in love with the island. We were thrilled when we learned that we were going to go back for our annual Expedia Viewfinder summit and this time we’d be with some of our favorite friends and travelers (click here to check out our fellow Expedia Viewfinders).

With a full seven days on the island, we knew we would have plenty of time for fellowship, exploration, and food. Lots of food.

I captured a few of my highlights and posted them to our Instagram account:



@tripstyler thoroughly enjoying our @fairmontkealani outrigger canoe adventure. We even saw Dolphins! #picturemaui


A photo posted by Tawny and Chris (@captainandclark) on


This is how we #pictureMaui. Look at the view from our home for the next 7 days at @GrandWailea Ho’olei 🌴🌴 A photo posted by Tawny and Chris (@captainandclark) on

Making beautiful leis at @FairmontKeaLani. They smell amazing! #PictureMaui A photo posted by Tawny and Chris (@captainandclark) on


Gorgeous rainbow trees on the road to Hana! #PictureMaui #TeamHana


A photo posted by Tawny and Chris (@captainandclark) on

Red sand beaches of Hana. We dig them. #PictureMaui #TeamHana A photo posted by Tawny and Chris (@captainandclark) on


We spent most of today at the @grandwailea pool. Lazy rivers, water slides, and yummy drinks all day long, #PictureMaui


A photo posted by Tawny and Chris (@captainandclark) on

While our last trip to Maui was simply magical, this time was a little different. In so many ways it was even more special than the first. I think what set it apart was the people that we were able to share the island with. Chris and I loved coming back to our Grand Wailea Ho’olei Villa that we shared with Kent and Canaan from No Vacation Required. It was fun to just hop over next door where Rick and Sandi (Midlife Roadtrip) and Kara (The Vacation Gals) were staying and borrow a cup of sugar wine. This sense of community–if only for a few days–really made Maui seem like home.

The best part was being able to share Maui with friends. To watch as they hunted for the perfect malasada. Or to be there when Sandi tackled her fears and stood proudly on her board while SUPing at Makena Point with Hawaiian Paddle Sports. I loved watching our troop make their own personal bowls of poke and witnessing everyone’s creativity emerge while stringing our own leis.   

Meals were obviously a personal favorite. Whether it was a locally foraged dinner at the Grand Wailea’s Humuhumunukunukuapua’a or unique Hawaiian fusion at The Fairmont Kea Lani, there’s nothing better than good food enjoyed with great people.  

What I took away from our time on Maui was that I have an overwhelming pride in my culture… but also in these people that I have come to call family. I feel so blessed to be able to work alongside this talented group of travelers and writers. I love our camaraderie and sheer love and respect that we have for one another. 

And this. I love this photo that the NVR guys took. I feel like it encapsulates all of the love and excitement we have when we’re together.

Disclosure: our time on Maui for our Expedia Viewfinder summit was hosted by Expedia and the Maui Visitors and Convention Bureau. As always, our thoughts and opinions remain our own. 
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Suprises in Estonia Sat, 13 Jun 2015 04:07:27 +0000 As an American (you know, complete with our whole Fourth of July backyard BBQ culture), it comes as a shock to most people that I’ve never really been a ribs person. For the same reason that I hate chicken wings. If I’m going to eat meat, I’d like it to be in big chunks that I can pop into my mouth and chew. I don’t want to have to work hard and navigate around bones in order to enjoy a few scraps of meat. It has to be a really tasty plate of ribs in order to make it worth the extra work… and the sticky mess. In over forty countries, I’ve managed to avoid any meat-related complications but that all changed on our most recent trip to Estonia.

Truth be told, Chris and I were thrilled when we were invited to experience the Baltics on a JayWay Travel tour through Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. We had our first taste of Estonia back in January and although we were only in Tallinn for a few days, we fell in love with the place. We spent those three days wandering around Old Town, ducking into medieval themed restaurants, and reveling in the spirit of the place. We were so enamored with Estonia that we knew it would be a country that we would have to make it back to.

Fun things to do in Tallinn, Estonia

I was giddy with excitement as we pulled up to our hotel for our three nights in Tallinn. Hotel Telegraaf is located in the heart of Old Town and is quite possibly one of the most comfortable hotels we’ve ever stayed in. The staff was incredibly helpful and friendly, always greeting us with smiles and waves. And while we absolutely adore Tallinn, we were torn between wanting to explore the town while simultaneously being tempted to spend the entire day in our amazing hotel room. It doesn’t hurt that one of the best restaurants, Tchaikovsky is located in the hotel. That’s winning all around.

But Tchaikovsky would have to wait for another day because our first meal in town was going to be at Porgu. While the name “Porgu” actually translates to “hell” in Estonian, the food tasted like sheer heaven. Located in a cellar underground one of Old Town’s beautifully preserved buildings, this cave-like restaurant serves up hearty meals traditional to the region. Our group was greeted by platters of anchovy sandwiches, pepper lard with rye bread chips, chili and garlic pickled olives, and duck carpaccio with rocket salad. The food was still coming as we arranged ourselves around a large wooden table in the back corner.

It was then that I noticed an overwhelming aroma of garlic. Set in front of me was a steaming plate of ribs and a large bowl of giant beans. Before I even knew what was happening, my hands were reaching for the ribs. I took one meager little bite just to see if I enjoyed the taste. The flavor hit me full on and before I knew it, there was a pile of bones on my plate. The ribs paired wonderfully with the garlic beans and I caught myself analyzing the two dishes so that I could recreate them at home. And for research sake, I had to order another plate.

If I had to choose one word to describe our time in Estonia, it would be: surprising.

Those ribs set the tone for the rest of our time in Estonia. The country seems to take things that we might encounter in every day life and make them extraordinary. From our bog walking and beaver eating experience to exploring the hipster district of Kalamaja, we were constantly finding ourselves in a state of awe and wonder.

A particular highlight was our walking tour around Tallinn. Chris and I stayed close to Old Town on our first trip, but this tour took us around the city and through the budding hipster district of Kalamaja. It’s definitely a place where I could see us living. Abandoned warehouses have been transformed into chic boutiques, quirky restaurants, and unique art galleries. Our lunch at F-hoone was the epitome of hipster chic with its eclectic decor and trendy entrees. I ordered a furger (aberdeen angus beef topped with smoked cream cheese, chili sauce, pickles, red onions, lettuce, and cheddar cheese) that was quite literally the size of my head. It was the perfect sustenance to keep me energized through our extensive tour.

Tallinn street art Kalamaja

On our free time, we managed to sneak away to one of our favorite haunts in Old Town, Ill Draaken. This tavern looks and feels like it’s straight out of Lord of the Rings or Game of Thrones. Head in and order from any of the serving wenches. Our personal favorites are the elk soup, meat pies, and any of their beers. Oh, and with your purchase you’ll have the opportunity to go pickle spearing in one of the large oak barrels. I would definitely recommend it as the pickles are delicious and when else will you have the opportunity ?

Our third day in Estonia was spent outside of the capital, bog walking through one of the biggest bogs in Europe. With my affinity for foraging, I had the best time searching for the tart cranberries found within the bog. I did keep a wary eye for bears and wolves that are sometimes spotted in the area.

Bog Walking Estonia

Dinner that night was at Farm. I remember the restaurant from our first visit. Their display window features taxidermy animals that appear to be having some sort of woodland tea party. The creativity carried through to the meal while was beautiful, tasty, and very unique. Take, for example, our dessert. Chris ordered the rich-caraway fresh cream sea-buckthorn jelly with chocolate spelt wheat cookies (I have no idea what 75% of those ingredients are) while I enjoyed the meringue with whipped cream, cream cheese, fresh berries, and farm-made muesli. Both were ridiculously good.

Farm restaurant in Tallinn, Estonia

Overall, our time in Estonia has just left me wanting more. Croatia has a run for its money as one of our top countries. The more we talk about countries we want to return to, the more Estonia has been popping up. I can’t wait to show you what the rest of our trip had in store.

What about you? What country have you visited that’s surprised you the most? Let us know in the comment section below. 



Our tour of the Baltic States was sponsored by JayWay Travel. As always, the thoughts and opinions expressed in this post remain our own. Be on the lookout for more posts from our trip and be sure to check out our instagram account (@captainandclark) to keep track of our travels. 
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Eating rodent for lunch in Estonia Mon, 18 May 2015 21:58:23 +0000 It smelled delicious. My stomach had started its hangry gurgle over an hour ago and I was more than ready for this meal. Our first course was a garden salad topped with shrimp and white fish. My aversion to all seafood (with the exception of canned tuna), had me quickly passing my plate to Chris before our hosts noticed my lack on enthusiasm for the starter. I had managed to enhale most of the bread and garlic butter that was placed on the table and was anxiously awaiting the main course. From the smell alone, I knew it was going to be hearty and delicious. It was also confirmed that it was meat.

Bog Walking in Estonia

When we initially reached this quirky home restaurant in the remote fishing village of Kolga Aabla outside of Tallinn, I had no idea what we were getting ourselves into. Our group of seven JayWay Travel bloggers had spent the morning walking through Estonia’s Kõnnu Suursoo bog. We sported “bog shoes” or what those of us in the Pacific Northwest would refer to as snow shoes, to prevent us from sinking as we squished and squashed through one of the country’s largest bogs. Our guide pointed out patches of wild cranberries and I happily stopped along our route to pick a handful here and there. And while fresh cranberries are delicious, a hearty meal they are not.

Cranberries in the Estonia bog

Mer Mer, the home restaurant, is perched on a wide piece of countryside overlooking the Juminda peninsula. Our hosts, Jaan and Merritt, greeted us as we cautiously entered their home. They are an older couple, Jaan sporting a furried, wild brow and pair of white pants that had colorful paint stains dripping down the legs. His partner, a smiling blonde, beckoned us in and helped us hang our damp jackets. A quick scan of the room revealed paintings of the couple in various scenarios. The one below had them looking remarkably younger… and darker.

Our quirky lunch hosts in Estonia

We took our seats around a large rectangular table and embraced the setting. Large glass windows revealed a beautiful water view with rippling waves that chased the distant rain clouds. From hidden speakers, soft rock hits from the early nineties were playing. The interior of the house was beautiful. Exposed beams and a flood of natural light made for the perfect ambiance. Perched on the wall opposite the table was a rather large and elaborate painting depicting the couple and their large bulldog, Hummer, on a grassy knoll. The mister was holding a large staff while his lady was nude and screaming. I struggled to grasp what exactly what happening in the painting before I become distracted by the delicious smells wafting from the open kitchen.

The main course from our home restaurant in Estonia. Eating beaver for lunch.

The main course was on its way and was accompanied by personal bowls of butter-drenched mashed potatoes. I peered into the large bowl and saw what appeared to be some sort of meat stew. I greedily scooped spoonful after spoonful onto my plate, looked around to make sure the others had started eating, and then stuffed a hearty helping into my mouth.

It was perfection. The meat had to have been boiling for hours and it practically melted in my mouth. The mashed potatoes? Heavenly. Merritt stood at the head of the table, just in front of the bewildering painting of herself, with a sly grin. “Do you know what you’re eating?” she asked. The seven of us peered up from our plates and silently shook our heads. “Go ahead and take a guess.”




We cautiously submitted our guesses. With each one Merritt shook her head. “No, it’s smaller.”

“Well, crap,” I thought. It was clearly red meat… but what is something smaller that is also edible? We couldn’t be eating rat, could we? It was that thought that eventually led me to the correct answer. Something bigger than a rat and clearly more delicious.

“Is it beaver?” I ventured.

Merritt smiled and nodded. “What do you think?”

Well, it was delicious. So delicious that I helped myself to another scoop on the spot. Apparently, beaver meat is one of the cleanest as the mammals, only eating tree bark and foliage. And it tasted it. There wasn’t the game-y flavor that typically accompanies foreign meat.

Of course, inappropriate references and jokes followed all through dessert, but it was definitely an experience that I’ll never forget. Or probably ever replicate. Because as Laura from Travel Addicts stated, “When does one eat beaver to Phil Collins?”

Please don’t answer that.

Dessert at Mer Mer home restaurant in Estonia




This day trip was arranged for us by the Estonian Tourist Board, during our tour of the Baltic States sponsored by JayWay Travel. As always, the thoughts and opinions expressed in this post remain our own. Be on the lookout for more posts from our trip and be sure to check out our instagram account (@captainandclark) to keep track of our travels. 


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Returning to Costa Brava Thu, 07 May 2015 22:01:58 +0000 We knew that our return to Costa Brava wasn’t going to be the same as our previous trip. Although it was exactly a year to the day that we first landed in the beautiful Spanish region, there were two key figures missing from our adventure.

Last year we spent ten incredible days exploring Costa Brava with our dear friends Kent and Caanan from No Vacation Required. We stormed castles, soared in a hot air balloon, pumped Iggy Azalea as we rolled through medieval towns, overdosed on bubbly cava and crema Catalana, and bonded over our shared love of adventure. By the end of our trip, the four of us were closer than ever before.

Chris and Tawny Captain and Clark in Spain

Enjoying daiquiris in Lloret de Mar

This time was different. For starters, it was just Chris and me. We had no one to finished our “Fancy” solos or ask us deep questions over six bottles of cava. And aside from our lacking our beloved companions, we only had 42 hours in the country. Since we knew there wasn’t a ton of time to explore one of our favorite places, we made a list of three “must dos.” Did we accomplish any of them? We’ll let you decide.

1. Surprise our friends

Reunited with fellow Travel Videographers Mike (Kick the Grind) & Steve (Backpacker).

Reunited with fellow Travel Videographers Mike (Kick the Grind) & Steve (Back-packer).

Nailed it. So many of our travel friends were attending the Travel Blogging Exchange (TBEX) conference in Lloret de Mar. A few pals that knew of our pit stop in Spain convinced us to drive the hour from Barcelona to Lloret de Mar in order to surprise our buddies at the conference. While we didn’t get in until midnight, we still managed to sneak into the after party and shock many of our pals.

2. Spend time in Girona

My Girona, Spain

I mean, come on. Girona is just plain magical. We knew we wanted to frequent the city for at least a few hours before jumping on our plane out of the country. Luck was on our side when our friends from Hecktic Travels offered us one of their spare Airbnb bedrooms that just so happened to be along the water, right in the heart of our favorite part of town.

The four of us managed to spend an entire day wandering the city and eating all the delicious things. There are very few cities in the world that appeal to us as places to settle down and Girona is definitely one of them.

3. Go back to Rocambolesc for a delicious gelato

My creative confection on Rocambolesc

My creative confection on Rocambolesc

That, my friends, is a coconut violet gelato that has been topped with rainbow star sprinkles, fresh strawberries, butter cookie crumbs, and a giant violet marshmallow. Rocambolesc Gelateria in Girona trumps any old ice cream shop back home. It tasted so good that I’m not even mad a friend on facebook referred to my concoction as unicorn poop.

In conclusion?

All in all, I would say it was a pretty successful trip. If I could change one thing it would be to extend our stay in Costa Brava by about ten extra days. Luckily, we have a project that is taking us to Barcelona in the fall and we’ve already decided to tag on a few extra days at the end.


Have you been to Spain? What were your favorite cities? Let us know in the comment section below. 

Keep track of our adventures on instagram: @captainandclark

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What it means to come back to Hawaii Mon, 13 Apr 2015 10:49:55 +0000 I’m sitting on the beach, waiting for my SPF 1000 to dry, as I flip through my Dad’s Facebook updates.  He’s on a quest to find our first Staudingers, the one’s that came across the Oregon trail and settled in. They made a home in Oregon, a home that led to us. “I’ve never felt so connected to a place,” he tells me on a call last week before Tawny and I flew here to Hawaii. It’s fitting somehow, because as I read his updates I’m about to free dive a reef and look for my first humuhumunukunukuapua’a (Hawaii’s state fish) and ultimately, we’re looking for the same thing.

I had never been to Oahu before Tawny came along. I had been to Maui, and docked once on the big island to refuel for an around the world voyage, but never Oahu. When Tawny and I first started dating she always told me stories (mostly about the food) of Oahu, the land of her birth. She used to talk about her great-grandfather, George, who was the first of her family to come to Hawaii from the Philippines. He was a stowaway on a merchant ship. All of these were stories she used to entice me to go with her. It wasn’t until we got engaged that we started to talk seriously about coming to the island together, not as stowaways, but as a real couple. This trip is now my third time to Oahu, and it feels different.

I wasn’t prepared the first time. I wasn’t prepared for how overwhelming the landscape would be. When I thought of Hawaii I thought of beaches but never the sheer, impassible, razor-edged mountains that sever the island in half. You can see all the pictures you want of the Hawaiian islands but it will never prepare you for how sweeping they are. The island of Oahu is divided right down the center by a mountain range. This effectively gives us the windward side (where the predominant winds blow from the Pacific) and the leeward (a calmer and sunnier side) of the islands. Tawny’s family lives on the leeward side. This is where my courtship with Hawaii began.

In so many ways, Tawny and I have a similar lineage. Our people just came to their homelands on different ships.


Tawny’s people.


My people.

That connection feels important somehow; as if we were two souls that got separated a long time ago and are just now finding one another. That first trip, back in 2013 was a wild ride. Not only did I get to drink in all the majestic and gut-wrenchingly beautiful landscape, but I was able to meet all of Tawny’s family for the first time. Tawny’s dad, a haole like me (“white guy” in Pidgin) warned me that it might be a lot to take in the first time. Tawny herself warned me, countless times, that I probably wouldn’t be able to understand grandpa. Certainly not on the first trip. Maybe not ever.

That was never an issue. The first time I walked through the door, Grandpa hugged me and said, “Wow. He tall. Good. He change all the lights.”

That set the tone for the rest of our relationship.

He never did ask me to change a light.


That first morning I got to sit down with grandma. I asked her, “What’s the story of great-grandpa George? I heard he stowed away on a ship and sailed away to Hawaii to escape the Philippines.”

“What you talking about?” she asked me. Shaking her head. “Nooooo, my dad come to Hawaii from outside Cebu, Philippines. My mom was born here on Hawaii, and she had to get married to someone working on the islands so that she wouldn’t get sent back to the Philippines.”

“Wait. What about someone stowing away on a ship and sneaking into Hawaii? That’s what Tawny told me.” I was very confused at this point.

“What you talking about? Sneaking on a ship? Maybe George? George the Loner. Yeah, he came later. He knew the family.”

That’s all it took for my world to be rocked and for Tawny to have to come into the kitchen and relearn her whole family history. We were both enthralled.

That was the pace of the first trip. Me learning Pidgin, “Why do we say, open the light, not turn it on?”

“That’s how it is, yeah,” Grandma says. (You have to add the yeah to the end of most sentences.)

“But we say, kodakum (take a picture)?”


“Got it.”

Or I was meeting the family. “This is Aunty Lee,” Grandma tells me.

“So, she’s your sister?” I asked.

“No. She lives next door, yeah.”

“Everyone is aunty,” Tawny tells me (a month too late).

“Got it.”

I got to know the family. I got to know the story. (The real one.)


Grandma and Grandpa BarutFullSizeRender(1)Grandma’s family. She’s the second from the left. You can tell because she always wore a different outfit than the rest of the family. “Pretty, yeah?” she asks when you point her out.

There was exploration. That trip was the first time I would see Byodo-In Temple. The phoenix temple. It’s our little sanctuary, hidden behind a graveyard on the windward side. We go there and feed the koi fish and ring the bell before I light incense for our ancestors. I always try to remember my own grandparents, who formed so much of my narrative today. They never stowed away, but they were pioneers. All of them. Today, Tawny and I go back every time and take the same picture, measuring our lives against the bamboo. Tradition is important, yeah.



Tawny took me around the house that she knew her whole life. She played the ukulele for us, and took me to the secret beaches of her youth. We roamed the whole island trying to uncover which memories of hers were real and which were fables.




That first trip, I was inundated with Hawaiian knowledge. Uncle Ron (actually an uncle) sat me down the first night to watch The Night Marchers. It’s a film that recounts the legend of the Night Marchers. They are the spirits of ancient Hawaiian warriors that return at night to protect sacred areas on the island. You can tell when they are coming because you see the torches and hear drums. To avoid harm, you need to get naked and lie face-down on the ground. When they see you in submission they will pass on by. Uncle Ron told me that the H3 Interstate was built across sacred ground and that a lot of the old-timers on Hawaii won’t take it, even though it is the fastest way across the island. I laughed a little the first time, but we took the H3 once and our transmission blew out. So, you can draw your own conclusions.

IMG_3902King Kamehameha unifying the Hawaiian islands. Coincidentally he is also driving his enemies off the cliff that overlooks H3 today.

No matter what you think, there is a magic here. You hear it in the way the people talk story about sacred areas. You feel it in the rain on the windward side. I saw it one time, when a group of native Hawaiians got together to roast a pig the old way, buried in the ground, surrounded by heated rocks. They buried the pig in the “imu” outside of a local church. They offered us Heineken and the chance to come back tomorrow and join them in the feast. There is real magic in the traditions and events, like the Merrie Monarch Festival. An annual event where elite hula dancers join together in Hilo, Hawaii and have a three day showcase/competition of hula. Real hula. Traditional hula, the kind that tells stories, and keeps history.

This is Hawaii. I get that now. There was supposed to be magic in the humuhumunukunukuapua’a, but of course, I had never seen one. It’s just fun to say.

IMG_0623From Merrie Monarch Festival 2015 – Shared from MANA Magazine, via Facebook.

On my second trip back to Oahu, it was for our wedding reception. This time I was in deep. I could speak Pidgin, understand Grandpa, and eat all the raw fish that Tawny still hates (for whatever reason.) Good thing too, since the family came out in force. Everyone who couldn’t make it to the mainland, came to the reception Grandpa and Grandma threw us.

This time, I was really family. I started to recognize the highways, and know which shop sells the best shave ice (it’s Matsumoto’s by the way.) I could tell the windward from the leeward side and knew which one was my favorite. I could tell you why the imu was important and why hula tells the story of the people, or that only men did hula in the old days. Hawaii had somehow become mine, a piece of it did anyway. Or maybe I became a part of it.


My dad is in Oregon right now, chasing our legacy, our story. He is finding a sense of place. As a counter point I’m here in Hawaii. We went to see Grandpa’s grave site today. He passed the spring of 2014, but I had gotten to know him. I had the chance to carry that piece of him in me, and make it mine. We’re family now. All of us. All of this on the day that I finally got to swim in Hanauma Bay. This was quite the feat, since the weather, or the jellyfish, or the tourists have always been too bad for us to get in.

It wasn’t the perfect water or the labyrinth of reef that made the bay so special today, it was the fish. Deep in a cove on the edge of the blue, where the current ran cold and wild into the sheltered bay, the was a lone humuhumunukunukuapua’a. It was the first one I have ever seen in real life and it was even more beautiful than I ever imagined. It flicked away into the ocean after a bit, but for a moment it wove itself into my story, and maybe I made it into his.


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Learn to make videos like a PRO Mon, 23 Mar 2015 17:45:15 +0000 Have you ever wanted to start making money as a travel videographer? Well, you’re in luck. We here at Captain and Clark have been working as professional travel videographers for the last 6 years and have taken everything we have learned along the way and put it into an easy to follow course. This course is designed for the entry-level videographer and has a heavy emphasis on shooting travel videos. However, it is acceptable and helpful for videographers of all skill levels and allows you to work at your own pace. You can go from having never picked up a camera to making a life out of shooting videos, just like we did.

We’ve been working closely with the hit brand, Travel Blog Success, to bring you the Videography for Travel Bloggers Course.


We tried to cover everything from how to select a camera to how to edit and upload your videos. Learn sweet tricks that will give your videos a cohesive feel, and master the mysterious art of digital storytelling. From shooting in the Galapagos to Croatia, we’ll help you take shots, stitch them together and even help you find music for your videos.

180814_565552207130_3791758_nWith over six years of video editing under our belts and working relationships with companies like, Expedia, USA Today, Travel Blog Success, The New York Times, TripFilms, and many more you can trust our expertise.

So what are you waiting for? Get out there and film your world!

Check out the course HERE!


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The Results of our Dell XPS-13 Review Wed, 18 Mar 2015 21:16:49 +0000
Well, dear Reader, the results are in.

We love the new Dell XPS-13. I have to be honest with you all, I really didn’t think I would. I am a hardcore Mac guy, but here I am, with a laptop I love. The weight and the construction are what really set this laptop apart for me.

The stout aluminum construction made me feel really secure when we were on the road with the laptop in the bag. That bezeled edge makes for such a sleek look when you’re working in the airport too. I had no complaints about speed or performance. I did end up working with Corel Video Studio Pro X7 to do some editing on the road.

Bear in mind that I came from working with a fully-loaded MacBook Pro. The two laptops aren’t comparable, just because the sheer power and function of the MacBook Pro is leagues ahead of the Dell XPS-13. However, in comparison to our business laptop, the MacBook Air I found that the Dell XPS-13 performed admirably.


Things I liked:

The weight. While it is only technically about a pound lighter than the MacBook air that makes a huge difference when you’re carrying it with the rest of your camera gear all day. I loved being able to stash it in my camera bag on a shoot in Austin recently. It gave me the freedom to pull video clips and photos mid-shoot and work with them, without huffing around a huge pack. The Gorilla Glass screen and aluminum construction felt great in the field. I wasn’t panicking that I would drop it and have my livelihood shatter into a million pieces.

The battery. We flew from Seattle, WA to Austin, TX and worked the whole trip without any incident using the battery. I even packed the new Dell Power Companion, just in case. I never had to use it. We got 16 hours of usage before I had to charge. Hot damn.


The accessories. Dell got me here, the Display Link is a sweet little device that allows you to use your Dell’s USB Port as a Swiss Army Knife of display options. USB, Ethernet, HDMI, and Monitor displays all plug into the adapter, while you save on space on the side of your laptop. Keeping the size down but the function up. Awesome.

The customization. I would have like more power in the laptop. Our review machine had 8GB or RAM and I really crave the full 16BG. While, we reviewed the 5th Generation Intel® Core™ i5-5200U Processor (3M Cache, up to 2.70 GHz), I know that the Dell XPS-13 can have a 3rd Gen Intel Core i7 and Core i7 Extreme Edition Processors. The customization options available on a PC are always nice.

The display. Wow. Not only was the touch screen fun and useful, but the 13.3-inch UltraSharp™ QHD+ (3200 x 1800) display was stunning. The images were so stunning and sharp that it was like looking at the world with super powers. Of course, that means that you have super powers, and the rest of the world doesn’t. I know this sounds foolish, but editing photos or video on a super HD display isn’t always the best because you don’t really know how it will look across most displays. I know, why would you choose less power? Still, as great as the display was, it wasn’t necessarily a selling point.

Things I didn’t like:

It is so hard to open. Since it is so perfectly built from a single piece of aluminum, there is not little catch to help you open the screen. This was the only time I felt unsure about how to use it.

The Windows interface. As an avid Mac user it was hard to transition back to Windows. So much has changed since I used Windows back in 2004. The new Windows tile display is like learning Greek. This has nothing to do with the machine’s performance, just the ever widening gap between Mac and PC. Once I re-learned the system it was nice to get reacquainted with my old-friend, the PC.

If you’re looking for a new travel laptop, you really can’t go wrong with the Dell XPS-13. Especially if you are a PC person. I found it comparable to the MacBook Air in almost every way and a little better in a few ways too. The only test I couldn’t run is longevity. My biggest love for Mac comes from the fact that you can run the same Mac for a decade and never have to replace it. In the past, PCs have a tendency of slowing down and degrading more rapidly. Ironically because they run so many more programs. Eventually the slew of conflicting programs can bog down a PC system, where as a Mac only runs Apple software and rarely runs into performance conflicts. It would be interesting to see the Dell’s performance in three years. The good news is, we have no intention of getting rid of this laptop and would fully recommend buying one.


For the traveler, looking for power, battery longevity, light construction, and sturdy performance, this is a phenomenal laptop.

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5 reasons to hop on a plane to South Korea right now Tue, 10 Mar 2015 05:52:53 +0000 There will always be a special place in my heart for South Korea. It’s essentially where Chris and I really got to know each other. We had to live together in a tiny studio apartment with a HUGE cat, all while experiencing a new country and culture for the first time. We fell in love with each other and with Korea relatively quickly. And now we want YOU to fall in love with it too. So, we’ve concoted a list of five reasons why you should travel to South Korea right NOW.

1. The food.

South Korea is the land of BBQ. Not in the traditional American way that you might think, but in the grill-it-yourself-at-your-table-with-a-plethora-of-side-dishes way. It’s amazing. We’re big fans of samgyupsal. It’s like thick pieces of bacon that you cook to perfection that is then wrapped inside a large piece of lettuce that’s filled with sprouts, roasted garlic, a spicy bean paste, and kimchi. Are you drooling yet?

South Korean BBQ in Seoul

Another favorite is the savory haejangguk. We would order this meal at least once a week while we lived in Korea. It’s a spicy soup made from oxtail and coagulated blood. Let’s just go ahead and state right here that there aren’t many Korean meals that cater to vegetarians. That being said, I’m not a big fan of strange food (read: blood) but I found this dish to be oddly addicting. It’s great with a side of rice and kkakdugi kimchi.

what is haejangguk in South Korea

2. Winter treats.

You might think I’m cheating with this one, but let me explain. There are a few dishes that can only be found in South Korea during the colder months. As spring is almost here, it is imperative that you hop a flight to South Korea to enjoy some of these morsels before they disappear for another 6 months.

I have two favorites when it comes to winter treats and both are found from street vendors. Bungeoppang is a ridiculously tasty dessert that is basically a fish-shaped doughnut that’s stuffed with either red bean paste or cream. I’m a big fan of the latter although both are served up warm and gooey and wonderful. The best part is the crispy outside that’s coupled with the warm sweet treat awaiting your tastebuds within.

bungeoppang street food in South Korea

Another special treat is hotteok. Don’t tell the bungeoppang, but I might like hotteok better. It’s basically a fried pancake that is stuffed with a medley of sugar, cinnamon, and nuts. It’s also served piping hot and the filling tends to drizzle all over you as you eat it- hence the plastic cups. Check the excitement over my first hotteok of the season below.

where to find hotteok in South Korea

3. Temples. 

South Korea is home to some of the most stunning and unique temples we’ve ever seen. One of my personal favorites is the dragon temple located just outside of Pohang. The outside is clearly shaped like a dragon and the inside is reminiscent of a windy cave. There’s little to no light, low ceilings, and hundreds of lanterns hanging throughout. It’s easily one of my favorite places in the country.

Dragon Temple in South Korea Pohang

Things to do in Pohang, South Korea

Definitely head to Korea and check out the temples. They come in all shapes and sizes and will welcome you with open arms. May 25th is the day that Buddha’s birthday will be celebrated in South Korea and there’s really no better time to explore the temples than this.

4. The [cat] cafes.

Korean’s take their coffee very seriously. There’s a plethora of unique coffee shops littered across the country. I’m a big fan of the cat cafes that have been popping up in the last few years. I don’t necessarily go there for the coffee… I go for the allergies. Kidding. I love being able to drink a latte, play with cats, and then leave before the litter box needs empyting.

Seoul cat cafe

Kitties aside, I love Korean coffee culture. Latte art usually accompanies every cup and most shops will give you a “service” or free treat. My only complaint is that it can be hard to find any milk substitutes. Those that are lactose intolerant might have to stick to americanos or drip coffee, but even those can be fancied-up.

South Korean coffee shops

5. The Markets

One of my favorite past times in Korea is visiting the local markets. Jukdo market was the place to be on the weekends. I loved strolling through the market, watching fisherman unload the catch of the day, smelling whatever the vendors were cooking, and partaking in some of the best people watching around. It’s also a great way to take in some of the culture. You can find traditional meals, pottery, paintings, and even a multitude of souvenirs for your friends and family back home.

South Korean markets


Just remember that South Korea isn’t just a place to visit if you’re going to teach ESL. It’s a country that is absolutely stunning with some of the friendliest people around. And if you DO end up going, let us know. We have a ton of recommendations for you. Spoiler alert: Most involve food.

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Book Review: The Nomad’s Nomad Sat, 28 Feb 2015 17:55:25 +0000 To be perfectly honest, I tend to shy away from book reviews. However, when a travel amigo of ours mentioned that they had just dropped their latest literary gem on the travel community I jumped on the chance to get my hands on one. After all, when a nomadic man who has claim to a Guatemalan mountain writes about adventure, you read it.

The Nomad’s Nomad is a series of short stories that recount the adventures of Mr. Armstrong as he travels around the world. From Mombasa to Iceland, this coming of age book recounts the trials of being a human being in an ever-growing world as we all struggle to find our sense of self. Luke’s writing is at once flippant and poignant.


Luke can transport you from the chaos of Manhattan to a sunny avocado glade in Guatemala mid-sentence. He will carry you with him through harrowing nights on the street and pulse quickening moments trying to meet Prime Ministers. A simple story about frogs or raccoons that you might otherwise neglect is spun out into a sonnet of existentialism with Mr. Armstrong. His avid passion for the raw and honest moments in life, that we all to often forget, is commendable. Not to mention, a solid reminder of where to place priority.

No matter if he is hawking goods on the streets of London or challenging nonsensical Kenyan rules you get a vivid picture of a young man rebelling against authority, not only in small deeds but in the very act of travel. This is a bound and printed war-cry of youth and boundless love for the world. It will renew your faith in kindness for strangers and in the hope you have for a better world.

By far the most compelling story is On Haphazard Guitar Strings. Luke finds himself in Granada, out on the town with a group of expats. An older Spanish gentlemen at a table tells them that they are trash, and Luke responds by winning this man over. How? You’ll just have to find out. This tale of overcoming reckless hate with tenacity and kindness so perfectly encapsulates the spirit of youth and exploration that makes travel so essential to forming a well-rounded person.

If you’re looking for a quick read and a stroll through the mad mind of a wandering poet, grab yourself a copy of The Nomad’s Nomad and travel the world with Luke Armstrong.

Buy it here!

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The New Dell XPS-13 Travel Laptop Review Tue, 24 Feb 2015 02:03:30 +0000 Recently we were approached by Dell to see if we would test drive their new Dell XPS-13. I was hesitant at first because I am a stanch Mac supporter, but I figured I’m also an avid explorer. In the name of exploration and scientific comparison, I said “let’s do it.” Over the next few weeks I’m going to be replacing my Mac Air 13” with the new Dell XPS-13 and seeing how they measure up.

At a glance we’ve got an Intel Core i5-5200U CPU @ 2.20GHz and 8GB of RAM with 64 bit Operating System and 230GB of memory.

For those of you who don’t speak numbers, I’m going to see if this bad boy can:

  • Edit videos
  • Pack light
  • Work on the road
  • Last without power ports&
  • Turn heads

As well as, or better than, my Mac. I swear to make the same promise to you, dear reader, that I always make. To be objective, honest, and pragmatic with a bucket of snarky humor on the side. We’ll see. I used to use a custom PC to edit video back when we were in Korea. That was my go-to laptop that carried us through two years in Asia. It also weighed the same amount as a 1990 Volvo.


This is the Dell XPS-13 sitting on top of the MacBook Air 13


After the initial unboxing of the new Dell XPS-13 I am pretty enamored with the size. The MacBook Air 13 looks enormous compared to the Dell. I often work on a MacBook Pro too. Considering the massive power of the MacBook Pro it didn’t make sense to compare it to the Dell, so I tried to measure it against the Air. The Air being a similar machine in the industry.

Ultimately I want a laptop that I can put my clips on and tool around with them before I return home and do the heavy editing. The new Dell is super responsive so far and it is incredibly light. 2.4 lbs to be exact. Damn. That’s 34 lbs less than my ego on any given day.

Tonight I’m going to install Dragon Age Inquisition and some video editing software and see what we can do with this bad boy. Over the next few days I will be taking it out on the town too to see how it travels. My initial thought is that it will do really nicely. The battery life is supposed to be unparalleled. As in, industry leading. I’m going to race it with the MacBook Air and let you know what we find.

Stay tuned, we’ll let you know our thoughts. As always, we’d love to hear from you too. Shout outs in the comments below are always welcome.

Want us to check the Dell XPS-13 for anything specific?



Dell provided us with a Dell XPS-13 free of charge to conduct our review. Our opinions, as always, remain our own.

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