Lisa & Sasha – About Us
“You only live once, but if you do it right, that’s all you need.”
Aloha! My name is Lisa and I am delighted that you have stopped by! I was raised primarily on O’ahu, Hawaii, but I now call “home” anywhere we are currently traveling in the world. I have a healthy addiction to chocolate and sunshine, I am a certified yoga sculpt instructor, love to cook, sing, write, laugh and hug, and my greatest passions in life are hiking and traveling (more specifically learning about other cultures and connecting with people through lifestyle and food.) My education and career background is in sales and tourism, but I believe that your career does not necessarily define who you are. The mountains are my sanctuary and the outdoors is my happy place, especially by the sea.
In 2014 I traded rubber “slippahs”, bikinis and kukui nut leis for warm boots, fleece scarves and REI gear when I moved to Seattle, Washington to move out of my little island comfort zone. I lived in the Emerald City for two and a half years where I met the love of my life and now Fiance, Sasha. Born in Russia and raised all over the world, he calls home a tie between Boulder, Colorado and St. Petersburg, Russia. For over two years, Sasha and I worked for three of Seattle’s icons; he was a manager for Boeing in Research and Technology, and I was the Tourism Development Sales Manager for the Space Needle and Chihuly Garden and Glass.
While our jobs were great to us and our experience was invaluable, the world was calling and we ached to explore it. We longed to be outside our cubicle walls with fluorescent lighting, and instead climbing mountains, swimming in sparkling seas, eating ethnic foods, and meeting new people from different cultures.
Highly inspired by several books, including Tim Ferriss’ The Four-Hour Workweek, Robert Kiyosaki’s Rich Dad, Poor Dad, and Rolf Potts’ Vagabonding – An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term World Travel, we decided to take a big chance and make a life-changing move. We decided that adventure was calling and we must go. Because what you will learn outside the confines of four walls will be a far greater experience than anything else life can offer you. Sasha and I are both in our early thirties, so before we have kids, before we have a mortgage and increased responsibilities, we decided to act upon the travel itch in a somewhat unconventional way; we left our jobs, became minimalist by putting our life into a 65-liter backpack each, and took off on a “mini retirement”.
In April of 2017, Sasha and I waved goodbye to the Seattle gloom and rain, and left the country. We traveled the world for half a year creating a lifestyle design of adventure and open possibilities.
This blog documents our adventures including top things to do and best places to eat in each city/country as well as tips on how to travel and save money in each country. I am a self-proclaimed foodie, so a huge focus in my blog is on the different foods of other cultures. I have made a conscious decision not to monetize my blog, which means that you won’t see advertisements, and all of the opinions in this blog are my honest observations and recommendations based on what we enjoyed, not based on what companies would pay me as I receive no commissions from any products or restaurants noted. I provide links to make it easier for the reader to research further information if they so wish. I also include a breakdown of our spending analysis for each country so that you can get a sense of what the costs are in each country we visit.
Sasha and I prefer nature and hiking over partying and nightlife, and Airbnb accommodation over hostel dorms or fancy hotels. We also use the Trusted HouseSitter site because we love animals and the feeling of having a home away from home while we are on the road. All photos in this blog are mine unless otherwise noted. I shoot with a Nikon D3300 DSLR and the panorama photos are from Sasha’s iPhone6.
I hope that you will find inspiration and wanderlust and have the courage to live out your dreams as well, whatever they may be, travel-related or not. Remember that the greatest luxury in life is being free. You are the artist of your own life. It’s okay to start over on a blank canvas from time to time. Think carefully about what you will create, and make it a beautiful one.
Feel free to leave a comment or ask a question anytime! I’m happy to help. 🙂
*UPDATE* as of September, 2017: After nearly six months of international travels, we have returned to the states to start the next chapter of our lives whilst reintegrating back into the “real world”, though if you ask me, there is nothing more real in the world than traveling and exploring it. We will be in Seattle through the end of the 2017 year, and then relocating back to my original home on O’ahu! We plan to take full advantage of being closer to Asia and will also be exploring the Hawaiian islands in depth. I will be rejoining my former employer, Expedia Local Expert, doing activity sales as a concierge in Waikiki. I worked in this role for 2.5 years from 2012 – 2014 and loved it. Sasha will continue working on his real estate investment business remotely from our home in Hawaii.
On this trip from April – September 2017, we have visited the following countries:
- U.S. National Parks
- Italy & The Vatican City (technically its own country!)
I have written blog posts on each of the cities and regions we visited within each country, which you can find on the home page of my blog under the categories tab.
And here’s what’s on our wish list for the future:
- Patagonia & Torres Del Paine (Chile & Argentina)
- Southern Italy (we only explored the Northern regions on this trip)
- Georgia (the country, not the state) 🙂
- New Zealand
Follow me on Instagram!: @contoursofatravelersmap
With gratitude, hugs and aloha,
Lisa & Sasha