BELIZE VIDEO: So many reasons to explore, so many excursions in Belize

The highest compliment we ever get is when people tell us they were inspired by our blog to take their next trip. Well, we (mostly Elizabeth) follows a few other travel bloggers and one of them inspired us to travel to Belize.   Elizabeth read all about a famous bloggers adventures in Belize and that… Read more »

Podcast Episode #28: Our Top Ten Short Hikes in the National Parks

Hello and welcome to our week of crazy! We have been running around like crazy people this week, tying up loose ends and booking flights and buses for our trip to Southeast Asia this weekend. Amidst the hustle and the eVisas, it was so nice to sit down in my childhood closet and record this… Read more »

Podcast Episode #27: Interview with Alison & Dan of Happy People Hike

If there’s one thing I like, it’s mixing business with pleasure. It’s why my students always got Blow Pops after taking their state tests. And now, it’s why we were more than happy to combine our Michigan road trip with an in-person podcast interview. We’ve worked with Alison & Dan of Happy People Hike from… Read more »

Long-Lost DSLR Pictures from Our Year on the Road

So, it’s funny. We traveled to some of the greatest places in the country last year, and we took only about 100 pictures with our “real” camera. Ninety-nine percent of the time, we were traveling too lightly, or — more often — our MacBook Air was out of disk space to upload any pictures. iPhone… Read more »

Podcast Episode #26: Weighing Your Options at the National Parks, ft. Glacier Bay and Denali National Parks

Alaska brings back so many fond memories for us. Camping along the bluest-of-blues Lake Kontrashibuna in Lake Clark. Walking around on the glacier in Wrangell-St. Elias Not getting eaten by a bear at Katmai. But it also brings back memorie$. You know, remembering how much money we forked over during our month visiting all 8… Read more »

Podcast Episode #25: National Parks Camping 101, ft. Guadalupe Mountains and Badlands

Ahh, national parks camping. We are experts, you guys. Experts. I think we have earned that status after tent-camping our way through all 59 national parks in the country. But I don’t know. I could be wrong. We’re certainly not experts in showering or staying in hotels. ThatsallIcansay. We have written several posts — like this… Read more »

Podcast Episode #24: Budgeting for Our Year in the Parks, ft. Capitol Reef and Redwood

We have shared many times about our budget for a year of travel (here about our budget, here about flight hacking, and here regarding our thoughts on millennials crowdfunding their vacations) and some of you might know that we set out in August 2015 with the goal of spending just $20,000 for our year — including all… Read more »

San Ignacio: High Adventure in Inland Belize

Last week we shared about our experiences in Caye Caulker, Belize, which covered the first two days of our week in Belize. Today we’re moving on to the next three days in and around the San Ignacio area. Next week, we’ll wrap up by sharing our thoughts on the final two days of our trip,… Read more »

How to Miss the National Parks Less

This post features products from a small business called Sage Hollow Supply Co. They provided products in exchange for a review. All opinions are our own! I love being home. It’s the biggest reason why we knew we weren’t going to live on the road full-time. I love traveling, but I equally love coming home to… Read more »

Podcast Episode #23: Our Top Ten National Park Ranger Programs

In our time visiting the national parks, rangers programs were typically the cherry on top of an already-sweet national park experience. We never went to a park because of a particular program, but we were often blown away by the programs and tours available throughout the NPS. From boat tours to fossil hunts to cave crawling, rangers led… Read more »

  • Switchbacks Episode #5: Interview with Don & Shelly

    “Customarily, particularly in America, when you meet someone, the first question is ‘what do you do for a living?’ But people we would meet, we would say, ‘did you see this waterfall? What about that herd of bison, a few miles back?’ That’s what we were focused on. We could have a very long conversation… Read more »

  • So, what do you do?

    These days, it only takes five little words to make me straight-up panic. “So, what do you do?” I did not notice how often people ask this well-intended question two years ago when I had a simpler answer: “I’m a sixth grade teacher.” A teacher, respectable. A sixth grade teacher, easy conversation starter. Without saying much more,… Read more »

  • Switchbacks Episode #4: People of the Parks

    Even though they primarily feature very natural elements, the national parks would not be what they are without people. People advocate for the preservation of parks, people work to maintain these beautiful places, and people take time out of their lives to visit the parks. People.

  • Our National Park Hall of Fame

    I’m sitting here in my nice comfy bed in a house with electricity, having just eaten a dinner cooked in an oven and taken a long relaxing bath with soap and it’s hard to believe that just three months ago, Cole and I were living such a different life. For a year, we relaxed by lounging… Read more »

  • Switchbacks Episode #3: Are We Loving Our National Parks to Death?

    Episode #3, yo! We are settling into a nice routine with this whole podcasting thing now that we are 3 episodes deep. We are pretty basic with the music and editing, and we are doing it all ourselves, so of course there was a steep learning curve. BUT I think I’m getting better and better…. Read more »

  • Parks that Aren’t “Parks” – Part I

    Every time we talk to national parks people — rangers, travelers, and enthusiasts — we have to clarify that we visited all of the 59 “capitol-P” parks, not all of the 413 national park units. It’s necessary to be specific about these things, as certain people loved to remind us. It became an automatic disclosure we included… Read more »

  • Switchbacks Episode #2: There’s No Wrong Way to Visit a National Park

    There’s no wrong way to visit a national park. Do you agree with this? We certainly didn’t when we started our trip a year ago. We thought that the “right” way to visit the parks was to camp in a tent, hike a bunch of trails, and try to get off the beaten path as… Read more »

  • Silver Falls State Park: Double-digit waterfalls, single-digit miles

    Our mission to hit all 59 National Parks in one year didn’t leave much room to spare. But we made a few rare departures from our itinerary to visit some spectacular non-National Park spots (Niagara Falls, The Price is Right, Seward Sea Life Center, Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, etc.). When we were up around Crater Lake… Read more »

  • Our Podcast is Live! (Episode #1: Our Top Ten National Parks)

    You guys! We started a podcast! It’s very exciting and new. And it only took about five hours to figure out how to submit our RSS feed to iTunes. But we are officially on the air. Our podcast is called Switchbacks and, as you might have guessed, it will cover our experiences, insights, and advice… Read more »

  • How We Pack for a Day of Hiking: The 10 Essentials

    *Elizabeth wrote this post months ago and we’ve never had a chance to finish and publish it until now. But don’t worry, these essentials are timeless! Cole and I are by no means expert hikers. Let’s just start there. We are constantly learning, trying new things, and making mistakes when it comes to packing for a… Read more »