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2013: Our Year in Review

2013. It’s been a big year.

14 countries and one hell of a roller coaster. To all of you who took the ride with us, we say a heartfelt THANK YOU!

Here are some of the highlights of the year that was.

We brought in the New Year at the “big red torii gate in the water” on Miyajima Island, Japan.

Itsukushima Shrine, Miyajima Island, Japan

We experienced Tokyo’s heaviest snowfall in 6 years.

Snowfall Coming of Age Day 2013, Tokyo, Japan

Two years on, we got to eat the oysters we helped fishermen cultivate from larvae following the 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

Oyster Party, Tokyo, Japan

We appeared in our first Japanese TV commercial, with “sexy teacher glasses” to boot.

Japanese commercial filming, Tokyo, Japan

After eluding us the first time, we finally conquered this Tokyo ice cream challenge.

Tokudai ice cream challenge, Tokyo, Japan

We attended Japan’s infamous “Penis Festival”.


We witnessed a multi-day kite battle and found out first-hand the muscle required to fly a kite of such epic proportions.

Hamamatsu Kite Fighting Festival, Japan

We continued to organize events for Tohoku-based NPO It’s Not Just Mud, bringing our fundraising total for tsunami relief to ¥668,000, more than AUD$7,000.

3.11 Fundraising, Tokyo, Japan

We learned that Hai’s doppelgänger is a 70’s Japanese rock star.

Hai's doppelgänger, Japan

After four great years, we said heartfelt goodbyes to Japan and hired a kei truck to deliver our beloved possessions to friends around Tokyo.

Kei truck, Tokyo, Japan

We popped by Australia to visit family and friends.

Family, Melbourne, Australia

I was re-united with an old friend after 12 years and spent some of the most important days of her life with her during her wedding week.

Wedding, Makassar, Indonesia

We conquered South-East Asia’s highest mountain, Mt. Kinabalu!

Summit of Mt. Kinabalu, Malaysian Borneo

We saw moths as big as our hands in Borneo.

Huge moth, Malaysian Borneo

We did exercises with strangers in Ho Chi Minh City.

Public exercise machines, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Hai re-discovered his place of birth in Vietnam.

Hai's hometown, Tra Vinh, Vietnam

We rode countless scooters.

Riding scooter, Tra Vinh, Vietnam

Got adopted in the Mekong Delta.

Playing with kids, Cai Be, Vietnam

Ate tonnes of fruit.

Fruits of the world

We learned about natural medicines during our Vietnamese mountain homestay.

Traditional medicines, Sapa, Vietnam

And harvested corn the traditional way.

Harvesting corn, Sapa, Vietnam

We made fire in Mongolia.

Starting a fire, Mongolia

Got up close to a Golden Eagle.

Golden Eagle, Kharakorum, Mongolia

We made new friends on the Trans-Siberian.

Making friends in third class, Trans-Siberian train, Russia

We saw some of the world’s most renowned artworks.

Art, Hermitage Museum. St. Petersburg, Russia

And some world-class performances.

Kremlin Ballet, Moscow, Russia

We licked salt mine walls in Poland.

Wieliczka Salt Mine, Krakow, Poland

Met bloggers we admire at the TBEX Conference in Ireland.

TBEX Conference 2013, Dublin, Ireland

We learned how to pour the perfect pint in Dublin.

Pouring perfect pint, Guinness Storehouse, Dublin, Ireland

We took a bottle of Japanese sauce with us and posed with it around the world. Have you been in one of our sauce videos yet?

Polestar sauce, Luang Prabang, Laos

We visited every property on the British Monopoly board in London.

Visiting Monopoly board properties, London, The UK

We did our first house sitting assignment.

House sitting, The UK

We rode on a paternoster (non-stop open compartment chain elevator) in Stuttgart, Germany.

Paternoster elevator, Stuttgart, Germany

And we were invited to our first German Christmas.

German Christmas, Stuttgart, Germany

What were your favourite moments of 2013?

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Raymund Cruz

Monday 6th of January 2014

Great photos!

How do you two do it? My wife and I dream of something like that.

More travels this coming 2014.

Jessica Korteman

Thursday 16th of January 2014

Thanks, Raymund! In what way do you mean? Financially? Logistically? We are thinking about putting a post together on how we travel and it would be great to know some of the more specific areas our readers would be interested in knowing about.

Where do your travels take you in 2014?

Britt Skrabanek

Wednesday 1st of January 2014

What a rockin' year, you guys! I could scroll through this post over and over again. It's like a beautiful tribute to the world.

My favorite moments of 2013...figuring out that I'm still learning, and that's OK.

Happy New Year, doll!

Jessica Korteman

Friday 3rd of January 2014

Thank you, Britt and Happy New Year to you too, love!

If we ever have everything figured out, the world would be a pretty boring place! Here's to never-ending discovery!


Tuesday 31st of December 2013

Happy new year 2014!!! All the best for you! :-)

Jessica Korteman

Friday 3rd of January 2014

Thank you, Katha! Wishing you all the best for an amazing 2014! :)

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