Boston, MA

Four Months of Traveling the World: A Few of our Favorite Things

Traveling Graces

It’s been 4 months since our family left home and headed to Boston. We’ve had a lot of fun, made a lot of memories, made a lot of mistakes, and have learned a lot from traveling the world. Some of our learning has surprised us. For example, we all agree that we’d rather take a long bus instead of a plane. For reference, our longest bus ride was 10 hours and overnight.

Here are some transportation totals after 4 continents, 17 countries, and 24 accommodations: 21 bus rides, 31 trains, 7 flights, 20 metros, 19 taxis, 9 tuk-tuks, 5 rental cars, and 1 monorail. We always walk if it’s 1 hour or less (and sometimes longer) and have yet to get lost. Well, at least we haven’t gotten THAT lost.

For the 4-month mark, we are going to share extensively about the good, the bad, the ugly, how our gear is holding up, and our mistakes. We hope that you can learn from our experiences, enjoy the good parts and save yourself some of the pain!

**This post contains affiliate links. All opinions are our own.

First up, cue the Sound of Music (in honor of our recent visit), here are a few of our favorite things:


  • Ashley: The Sound of Music Tour in Salzburg, Austria. We made a 1-night detour from Slovenia to check off a childhood dream.
  • Jon: Murchison Falls National Park safari in Uganda
  • Brandon: Snorkel tour of Wasini Island in Kenya
  • Abigail: Golf cart tour in Rome with Liv Tours.

Meals: our entire family would agree that the traditional Thanksgiving meal we shared with the team at SOS Ministries in Uganda was the best. But we also give our personal favorites:

  • Ashley: Home-made pasta and tiramisu in Rome with Eat and Walk Italy.
  • Jon: Dinner at the Emirates Palace with a close friend I hadn’t seen in years. Also, our first (and only) meal without kids in 4 months
  • Brandon: Sarajevo 84 in Piran, Slovenia. A huge family meat platter after 2 days of travel and eating only snacks? Yes, please.
  • Abigail: Budapest dinner cruise. Live music, fancy dress, and unlimited food win her heart.

Adventure activities:

  • Ashley: White-water rafting in Slovenia with Adventure Rafting Bled
  • Jon: Surfing the coast of Portugal and sandboarding the dunes in Abu Dhabi
  • Brandon: Atlantis Waterpark in Dubai.
  • Abigail: Canyoning in Malaga with Tuur Adventures.

Athletic activities:

  • Ashley: Hiking the full length of the Cinque Terre. Our longest family hike was over 10 miles.
  • Jon: Biking 29 miles of hills along the coast of Slovenia with a local friend.
  • Brandon: Playing soccer with local kids in each country.
  • Abigail: Horse-back riding in Slovenia at our Airbnb.

Favorite City:

  • Ashley: Monterosso, Italy.
  • Jon: Piran, Slovenia.
  • Brandon: Venice, Italy. It had been a long day, but he cried when it was time to leave.
  • Abigail: Missionary village near Luweero, Uganda.

Historical landmarks:

  • Ashley: The Eiffel Tower’s sparkle show at night.
  • Jon: The beaches of Normandy and the American cemetery.
  • Brandon: The Colosseum.
  • Abigail: Versaille Palace.

Natural beauty:

  • Ashley: Cinque Terre in Italy.
  • Jon: Slovenia had it all. Amazing sunsets in Piran, Triglav National Park, and Slap Perichnik, a waterfall you can hike behind.
  • Brandon: Tomlin Gorge in Slovenia.
  • Abigail: Plitvice Lakes in Croatia.

International food and drink (not necessarily together):

  • Ashley: Orangina and chapati (African tortilla).
  • Jon: Espresso and doner kebab in pita bread (Eastern Europe staple).
  • Brandon: Orange Fanta (it’s everywhere!) and gelato.
  • Abigail: Coconut water and Moroccan chicken and potatoes (eaten in Paris)

Magical moment:

  • Ashley: Walking into Disneyland Paris.
  • Jon: Providing physical therapy services to people in Uganda. Also, every time our booked accommodations work as planned. Spoiler alert: read the next article.
  • Brandon: Burj Khalifa lights and fountain show in Dubai.
  • Abigail: Hugging Gramma and Grandpa in Slovenia and hugging a dolphin at Atlantis.

Favorite thing in our backpacks:

  • Ashley: Kids’ journals.
  • Jon: Huk fishing shorts – zippered pocket, breathable, and dries super fast. Perfect travel shorts.
  • Brandon: Legos.
  • Abigail: Lovey.

Little things from home that we miss. We all agree not seeing our family and friends is the biggest:

  • Ashley: Always having a washing machine. We’ve gotten used to no microwaves, dishwashers, and driers no problem. We have consistently used our travel clothesline but washing clothes by hand isn’t a favorite thing.
  • Jon: Cans of cold Diet Pepsi. We have only found Diet Pepsi in the UAE.
  • Brandon: Playing with friends.
  • Abigail: Piano lessons with Nana.

There you have it, a few of our favorite things. Some of this list we predicted, others are surprises, but we are doing our best to learn and adapt.

Check out our “when the dog bites, when the bee stings, when I’m feeling sad” content next!

**This post contains affiliate links. All opinions are our own.

We plan to continue adding to our travels and memories! To see the pictures that accompany this list of our world travel adventures, head over to our Instagram page.

Comment below with any questions you have or add a few of your favorite things!

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Our family set off on a trip around the world, have visited 17 countries in 6 months, and are sharing our adventures along the way. We have a passion for strengthening our family with shared new experiences through travel.

Kentucky State

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