Podcast Episode #35: National Parks for History Buffs, ft. Mesa Verde & Hot Springs

When most people picture a national park, what comes to mind usually fits into the “natural beauty” category of what is protected within the National Park System: mountains, shores, canyons, and giant trees. But there is another half of the NPS’s mission that is often overlooked: The National Park Service preserves unimpaired the natural and cultural resources… Read more »

Podcast Episode #34: Our Top Ten National Parks that Aren’t “Parks”

In the United States, national monuments, preserves, scenic rivers, battlefields, and historic sites come together to create a wide overview of what we deem important in our country. We call these important places “national parks,” and we protect them with the National Park Service. When Cole and I started planning our big national parks trip,… Read more »

BONUS POST: Amazon Prime Day!

Affiliate links included in this post. It’s Amazon Prime Day! I know we don’t usually promote buying into the idea that you have to have stuff, like right now, but a good deal is a good deal, and I thought we’d pass some on to you today. One of the biggest ways we are able to acquire… Read more »

Podcast Episode #33: Interview with Mikah Meyer, epic National Parks traveler

Whooaaaaaa. I can’t believe it’s already Tuesday and time for another episode of Switchbacks! 4th of July last week super messed with my understanding of time. Hope you all had a great short holiday week and were able to spend some time celebrating our country! Even though it’s hard sometimes to be proud of where… Read more »

Podcast Episode #32: Gateway Cities of the National Parks, ft. Acadia and Olympic

Of all 32 podcasts we have recorded so far, this might be one of the biggest. Why? Well, today we’re talking about Acadia National Park and Olympic National Park. We are on the record as naming these two in our Top 5 of the national parks. We loved Acadia and Olympic for their natural beauty,… Read more »

Podcast Episode #31: Big City Getaways in the National Parks, ft. North Cascades and Channel Islands

Last weekend, we got away from the city. It was wonderful. Even though St. Louis isn’t the biggest metropolis in the country, we often find the desire to get totally away. We drove down just two hours into the Ozark mountains, to the Ozark National Scenic Riverway, one of the NPS sites in Missouri that… Read more »

Unique Travel Opportunities with Voluntourism

Travel is a win. Volunteering is a win. Travel+Volunteering is a win+win.   “Voluntourism” a simple equation, but one I feel like too few people take advantage of. So I’m aiming to share my experiences and maybe help you brainstorm the broader possibilities for your next trip.   Over the past 11 years, I’ve taken… Read more »

Podcast Episode #30: BONUS Episode: Our Three-Week Southeast Asia Adventure

If you aren’t following us on Instagram, you may or may not know that we just came home from a dream three-week trip in Southeast Asia. I say dream trip because we have been working on this one for awhile. Since as far back as I have been traveling, I have wanted to visit this area… Read more »

VIDEO: The Perfect Great Lakes National Parks Road Trip

We’ve mentioned before that our trip to all 59 National Parks only lengthened our list of must-see spots around the U.S. The only National Parks in the Great Lakes region are Voyageurs in MN, Isle Royale in MI and Cuyahoga Valley near Cleveland. So we missed a lot of great spots. We decided before our… Read more »

Podcast Episode #29: Luxury in the National Parks, ft. Virgin Islands and Kenai Fjords

Cole and I speaking to luxury in the national parks is almost laughable, but stick with us. In our year on the road visiting all 59 national parks, we averaged about 4.5 days per park, most of that time out of cell service range. We lived out of our car and small backpacking tent, cooking… Read more »

  • One Week in Bariloche: Our Itinerary

    After spending one week running all over Buenos Aires — visiting museums, historic neighborhoods, and monuments — Cole and I were more than ready to get some fresh air in the mountains of northern Patagonia. We flew from Buenos Aires to Bariloche through the Aeroparque Jorge Newbury Airport (different than their international airport where we… Read more »

  • Year of Disarray

    It’s January 24th… perfect day to start thinking about New Year’s resolutions, right? Cole has never really been into setting resolutions for the new year, but I love the cyclical nature of starting fresh each January. I know that change can obviously happen throughout the rest of the year, but I do love using this… Read more »

  • One Week in Buenos Aires: Our Itinerary

    Hola, amigos! Cole and I just finished up our two-week trip to Argentina — like, we’re actually still in the airport — and are just itching to share all the details. We spent one week in Buenos Aires and one week redeeming our Price is Right prize in Bariloche (northern Patagonia region). We spent a lot of time… Read more »

  • Switchbacks Episode #12: The (Park) Road Less Traveled, ft. Big Bend & Kobuk Valley National Parks

    Wellllll, we’re off! Just about off, at least. We’re literally sitting in the airport in St. Louis, scrambling to upload our podcast in the ridiculously stingy 20 minutes of free wifi that this place offers. So here goes nothing! This week’s episode is about two very lonely parks. They’re relatively unpopular (at least for normal… Read more »

  • Switchbacks Episode #11: Our Top Ten Easy-Access Campsites

    Hi everyone! Hope you are all in a semi-comatose cookie-laden state of relaxation like we are this week. With Cole being in school and me being back on a teacher’s schedule, this week in between Christmas and New Year’s is especially lazy. We’re spending a lot of time with family and friends, catching up on… Read more »

  • Switchbacks Episode #10: Interview with Darius Nabors of #59in59

    One of the absolute best parts of our year-long trip was connecting with other national park travelers along the way. Before we started our trip, we connected in Kansas City with Don and Shelly Hafner of 59NationalParks fame. They became mentors of sorts, since they completed their all-59 trek just before we started ours. (If… Read more »

  • Switchbacks Episode #9: Parks that Live in the Shadows, ft. Pinnacles and Biscayne

    While on our trip, we often came across parks that we felt were extremely under-hyped. We. LOVE. These. Parks. We love the underdog. Love the pleasant surprise. Love the feeling of standing somewhere a million people haven’t already Instagrammed.

  • Switchbacks Episode #8: National Parks in Motion, ft. Glacier & Hawai’i Volcanoes

    Well, it’s better late than never! Yes, we know it’s Wednesday. Night. Like 11 p.m. We have tried to get our new podcast episode out by Tuesday each week, but this week we have an excuse. We are so sick! Cole brought home something gross from his flight back from NYC last weekend, and since… Read more »

  • Switchbacks Episode #7: National Parks: Are They For Everyone? Ft. Dry Tortugas and Lake Clark National Parks

    It’s the first real holiday since Cole and I have been home, and we are big-time taking advantage of living close to people we love again. Last night, we hosted a Friendsgiving with my best friends from high school, tomorrow morning we leave to spend a few days with Cole’s family, Saturday will be with… Read more »

  • Switchbacks Episode #6: Our Top Ten Day Hikes

    How are we already 6 weeks into this podcast thang? We still don’t really know what we’re doing, but we’re glad to hear that at least a few people are listening! A big reason why we wanted to record weekly podcasts is similar to why we started our blog in the first place: to not… Read more »