About the Traveling Monkeys
Since we began our travels in 2010, we've lived on a ranch, in suburbs, in cities, in a car, on a motorcycle, in the woods, in the mountains, on the coast, on an island and in the jungle. We've driven, floated, flown, dived, bicycled, scootered, ridden, trekked and walked. A lot. We've studied, taught, built, practiced, and learned to survive. We've cooked our meals on rocks, in the dirt, in parking lots, over fires on the beach, and beside the road. We've put our bodies through ruptured eardrums, sprained ankles, muffler burns, the occasional infectious disease and harbored an untold number of parasites in the pursuit of travel. In search of the ultimate lightweight kit, we've sent more equipment back home than we currently carry on us. At times we've been overwhelmed, embarrassed, frightened, angry, and totally confused. But our memories of these experiences, we've found, are rarely negative. We realize this journey is not for everyone, and we don't begrudge you if you find it crazy. Well, maybe a little.
We're not your typical adrenaline junkies. We love to push our own boundaries culturally, but we're not much for bungie jumping. We've been diving into the sea and out of the sky and have been hiking plenty close to the edges of cliffs. But day-to-day the most danger we see is food, water, and roads.
We are not contrarians by heart, but we do find ourselves residing in the margins. We aim to challenge any and all preconceived notions of travel. A lot of our memories include days that felt like months because we were re-learning everything all over again. It's humbling and exhilarating to be small and unknowing and to not be able to express or understand even the simplest of thoughts. We think most toddlers would agree. We generally start, quite deliberately, with only what little we know already. We especially relish those initial moments in an unfamiliar place where we have the rare opportunity for a real exchange, human-to-human, with a stranger. This usually involves smiles, awkward pauses, lots of mangled language (verbal and bodily), and giggles. Eventually, all the other stuff comes crashing back in. In many places, we spend the rest of our time trying to find that place of access again. We learn about the language, customs, food, transportation, all with the express interest of getting to know something or someone. From these experiences, we've learned there are two entry points to travel - the unfamiliar and the familiar. We are currently enjoying the former in pursuit of the latter.
We generally take it slow, unplanned, and open-minded. As a rule we avoid too much research at the onset; only those things that will keep us safe. Of course we're curious and analytical (perhaps to a fault), so whatever we don't come knowing in, we usually make up for in the end.
While we share our loves, our fears and comforts are our own. Anjuli is terrified of the usual: snakes and spiders, high ledges, crowds and telephones. Her comforts are dark green things, hot showers, and movement. Matt is still searching for his boundaries. His comforts are freshly baked bread, dairy in any which way possible, open spaces and a good bed. Things we can't get used to are brushing your teeth with bottled water, car horns, and not having room to stretch your legs. Oh, and most aspects of the global tourism industry. There you have it.
We think you could spend a lifetime exploring the different faces on this planet.
We love traveler's stories. Or, really, any story you'd like to tell us.
We'd prefer a home-cooked meal and a homestay to hotels and restaurant food any day of the year, anywhere in the world.
Through traveling, we've realized we like trees and walking in fresh air. A lot.
In addition to our friends and family, we desperately miss beer, New England fall light and chill air, and Mom's cooking.
We're survivors of New York City.