Do You Enjoy Travel Stories?

This website chronicles our trip around the world in 2006. It has lots of photos, videos and stories. We invite you to come in, relax and enjoy the scenery.

~Lee and Sachi LeFever

To see what we're up to now, check or

Our Recent Dispatches Are Below. RSS

A Dispatch is a report from our trip. Browse via keywords or global map.

Patrick Carrol's Trip

By: leelefever on October 5, 2005 - 6:55am
Chris Carfi pointed me to a site by New Zealander C. Patrick Carrol that documents his trip around the world in 2001.   Though it was before the days of blogs, he kept a journal and has lots of photos on his site.  I can get lost in sites like this, lost in a good way. Patrick is another person from which we can learn.  If you know of other round-the-world-trip sites, please let us know...

Adding More Countries

By: leelefever on October 5, 2005 - 6:30am

It's been so exciting to see people checking out the site.  Last night I was telling Sachi that whenever someone adds a travel experience it makes my day.  She looked at me like "Tell me something I don't know, nerd."

Recently we had a couple of great contributions that highlighted a shortcoming of our design so far- the potential countries. Basically, people have experiences in places that aren't on our current list.  Some, like Switzerland, were unintentional. Others, like Chile, we'd love to visit, but felt it was unlikley.  Originally, we limited the country list to keep it from being unweildy.

 We're rethinking it a bit now. While we're not going list every country in the world, I think we need to add some new countries into the mix. I'll get on that soon.

Speaking of countries, the stats for this site are public- you can click on the little "BF Mapstats" button at the bottom of the page to see a map of where our visitors are located.  Fun to watch. 



We Welcome You

By: leelefever on October 3, 2005 - 8:53pm
Over the next few days, we expect new folks to be checking out the site.  Our bet is that you are one of those folks.  If so, let me be the first to welcome you and say that you are looking magnificent. 
I've been asking myself what I should say to folks coming to the site for the first time. I would point you to all the things that get me excited, but I want you to find those for yourself. I would tell you about the trip and why we have this site, but that would be redundant.
So, let me give you a quick snapshot of our lives right now.  We are about two months from quitting our jobs and leaving our home for a year with backpacks.  Just today Sachi got custom-made orthotics for her hiking shoes (she has foot issues).  Yesterday we got a new bed for our 11 year old dog, who will be with Sachi's brother Mark here in Seattle while we're gone. I've been geeking out on a Palm Treo 650  (a phone/PDA) lately, preparing to use it to update this site from the road. Tonight we decided it was cool enough for a fire, so we built one.  It lasted about 15 minutes.
Virtually everything in our lives right now is focused on the trip.  From this point on, it's only going to get more intense.  We want to share the excitement with you. We hope you'll become a member so you can post comments and share your experiences.  We want this to be fun.
[Update] I awoke this morning to find that some changes were made last night that impact how the Maps on this site behaves in the Internet Explorer browser.  Sorry about that. It should be fixed soon. 

Tuesday is the Day

By: leelefever on October 2, 2005 - 8:20pm

We've been operating in a mostly slealthy mode for the last few months and that's about to change.  On Tuesday, I'll post links and descriptions to this site on my Common Craft blog, which will hopefully prompt others to link to TwinF and bring some attention to our little site here.

It's really hard to guess what will happen.  Of course, I'm expecting millions of new members and obscene glory. Confetti will fall from the sky and a helicopter will come and take us both to the Web 2.0 Conference, all expenses paid.

Really though, I'm super excited about the whole thing and a bit anxious. At the very least, I'll be interested to see if a few folks will come and check out the site. I'll be watching a free web stats tool called MapStats that I heard about from Boris. Fun times these days, fun times.


A Little Bit of Chaos (and Idiocy)

By: leelefever on September 30, 2005 - 11:42am

Sachi and I were married a little over a year ago.  Not unlike this trip, it was event that required a lot of planning. We heard a lot of advice from people and a piece that really stuck with us has to do with expectations of perfection.  For your wedding day, you want things to go perfectly- and it’s an impossible goal.


In the weeks before the wedding, we had a mantra that helped us set expectations.  It was “A little bit of chaos”.  When looking forward to the event, we learned to expect and even embrace a little bit of chaos.  This allowed us to let go – Que sera sera!


In looking forward to this next adventure, again, I think “a little bit of chaos” is an appropriate mantra. What’s different about this event is that chaos is absolutely unavoidable.  But, our reaction to it is not. We want to learn to expect the chaos of unfamiliar languages, people, and foods and work through it with smiles on our faces.


Rolf Potts pointed me to a quote from an interview with Anthony Bourdain that hit home…


“[He] praises "bullshit-free" destinations like Glasgow, and expresses an intention to travel "with an open mind, an empty stomach, and a willingness to take at face value whatever was offered" from his hosts. "I hope that by leaving myself open to misadventure, disaster, and the happy accident," he says, "good things will happen. I'm not afraid to look like an idiot." 


-Anthony Bourdain

Heh.  Looking like an idiot is unavoidable too.  Maybe our mantra should be “A little bit of chaos and idiocy”. 

Big Events We Will Miss (10 weeks to go)

By: sachilefever on September 29, 2005 - 3:56pm

Our friends Blake and Christi are expecting a new addition to their family anytime in the next few weeks - Yay! I'm glad we'll be able to see him and watch his almost 3-year old brother Griffin react to the changes.


It does remind us that we will be missing two other friends in the neighborhood start and add to their families - Kelly & Dean around Christmas and Eric & Gina in mid-January. The kids will be mobile, in their daily routines, and won't know us a bit when we return. How strange. Keep us updated with pictures!


By the way Kelly & Dean, the house looks great! We've been watching it transform in time for the new arrival.


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Travis' General Theory of Tourism

By: leelefever on September 29, 2005 - 8:34am

Our friends Travis and Susie from Hop Studios just got back from Singapore.  Their trip apparently inspired Travis to create a "General Theory of Tourism", based on a six-pointed Star of David style graphic:
tourism theory
 He follows with some useful perspectives:

Every possible tourist activity falls into one (or in a few cases, several) of those categories.  Satisfaction comes from doing something that is more extreme and interesting and new in one of these six ways.  Tourist activities cost money, of course, and the amount you’re willing to pay is increased by what extent it fulfills one of the six categories (and correspondingly limited by the total amount of funds you’ve got at your disposal).


 I'm digging Travis' perspectives.  Read more here.

Thanks to Geeky Traveler for the link. 

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What makes a Monetorium?

By: sachilefever on September 28, 2005 - 3:47pm

A question I have been asked more than a few times in the last few months...Here's what it means to us: The monetorium is our agreement to change our lifestyle in small ways to save money and benefit our travels. So what are some of these small changes?

* Make Meals at Home: We have changed from about 4-6 dinners/lunches per week dine-out or take out, to 0-2 per week. This change in mindset takes a week or two to get used to, but then it's easy. After all, it's about what's familiar, right?

* Avoid Daily Lattes: Well yes, but on Fridays Lee has his weekly latte, which he really enjoys. I like to take coffee from the office and walk with colleagues to a Starbucks table.

* Grocery Shop Smarter: My guidelines are no meat or seafood over 4.99/lb (it's usually closer to 2-3.99/lb, but ribeyes and salmon are so good and those sales are 4.99/lb) and no chicken over 1.69/lb. I clip coupons that make sense (such as $1 off a box of Kelloggs), but still purchase the items that make it nice to eat at home. If we had a bigger freezer, I could do this even better - maybe in 2007.

* Think About Drinks Dining Out: This is not to say we won't order wine or beer, but it does help us think if we really want it or if we order it out of habit. With our beverage cabinet at home, could we instead have after-dinner drinks there?

* Watch Netflix: These days movies can be out on DVD just two months after the theatre, so we have the 2-at-a-time Netflix subscription unless there really is a must-see in the theatre. This is also great for access to backpacker travel videos like Globetrekker.

* Buy for the Backpack: With no need to purchase material items for 2006 other than what goes into our backpacks, we have to ask the question - Is this for the backpacks? Only those clothes, that Benedryl, that pack towel, that pair of sandals etc. will be purchased now. The rest can wait until 2007. This has, for the most part, been in effect since last winter when we first decided on the trip.

* Entertain More at Home: We still want to see our friends! And home makes it easy for everyone to relax and bring the kids over. We can usually spend more time with them and we have multiple entertainment options...remember Netflix?

* Limit Concerts & Shows: We just don't go to these shows nearly as much as we used to and it has been just fine. Once in a while we'll consider going if it's a really good band in a small venue.

We often ask ourselves - What would this buy us in Thailand? The monetorium has been a playful challenge for us that has helped us review our lifestyle and appreciate our upcoming travels even more.

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Talking about the Adventure

By: leelefever on September 27, 2005 - 4:38pm


For the first time last night, I posted something about our plans to my professional blog at It was the first time I've ever mentioned anything specific about the trip.  It was quite a momentous occasion for me personally, as it's been something I've kept quiet for months and months.  It marks the beginning of trying to get people to come to the site via a little buzz.  In a couple of days, I will start linking to the site, which should be interesting.  You can read the post here.


I have to admit to some anxiety about the whole thing.  I always have such high expectation for things, it's just part of the way I look at the world.  I know that after putting so much love into this site, it will be hard for my expectations to be met, and that's a little sad me thinks.  I keep reminding myself that we are going on an amazing trip and the success of the site has very little to do with the success of the trip.  If it flames out, we're still going on the trip, and that's comforting.

So, right here before we see if the Internet cares, I'm trying to temper my expectations a bit and be happy with what happens. It's all a big experiment anyway.   



By: leelefever on September 26, 2005 - 10:40am

A little while back, Sachi and I went to the University of Washington Travel Clinic, which is a great resource for planning the health part of the trip. We don't want to be going along and get Polio, right?
We got a number of vaccines, including Typhoid, Diphtheria/Tetanus, Hepatitis A&B and Polio.  Plus, we got prescriptions for anti-malarials medicines, anti-sea sickness patches, etc.   Good stuff to have, though we had sore arms for a couple of days.