Josh & Liz are married travelers who have a passion for exploring the world, and for sharing it with others on their blog, Peanuts or Pretzels. You can count on them to ﬁnd the “fun” in just about anything. They are always up for laughter, a good adventure and a bit of geocaching! Their goal is to help their readers discover their love for travel and inspire them to plan their next adventure. For more updates, follow them on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.
What do you think you would be doing if you were not on the road now?
Josh: I honestly think I’d be stuck in the same boring and unhappy job at home in Atlanta, and wishing that we were doing what we are doing now. We would be continuing to work miracles in our schedules to get even an extra day out of vacation. I don’t think life would be a great as it is now that we took the leap and are living out our dreams on the road.
Liz: Well, surely we would still be back at home in Atlanta. Don’t get me wrong, life was really good there. But we wanted the freedom to travel more, and longer. I would be working at my old corporate job, and while it was a good job, it was stressful and I often had to deal with challenging personalities. I have no doubt that we would be counting down until our next trip!
How do you share your work while traveling? Who does what?
Josh: Well, we do our best to split the work between us while also playing to each other’s strengths. Luckily, we compliment each other really well and have different strengths and weaknesses. Which is why we work well as a team. While Liz takes care of all the website work, coding, design, SEO, etc. I handle most all of the photography.
Liz: When it comes to writing, both of us share that work, but we split it by interest. For example, Josh usually does the Geocaching writing because he is the most passionate about it. But I do a lot of the tips and organization posts because I’m the “Type A” personality. Plus, I love that kind of stuff!
With regard to promotion and social media, we both share that responsibility; however, Josh is the master of this domain because I honestly have less patience with it. I also do most of the business strategy and research around technology, trends, etc. to help improve our skills, but Josh is the true networker and salesman. So we really are a good team!
How do you take decisions together for next destinations?
Liz: We both keep our eyes peeled for potential places that we want to go. Whether it is stumbling across articles online, reading the news, seeing cool photos online, etc. We are always talking to each other about places that we want to go, or new places that we’ve heard about.
When it comes time to actually planning the next move, we always have a tough time narrowing it down. That’s when my spreadsheets come in. Yeah, I really am a nerd sometimes. I’ll take our ideas and put them on paper along with important details like transportation, visas, etc. That helps us to look at the pros and cons, and the feasibility of a trip.
Josh: While Liz does a lot of the planning and the logistics behind our travels (that’s why I keep her around), I like to think I plan the fun activities using Geocaching and doing research by reading reviews from other bloggers. I’m the idea guy.
But the most important thing is that we always make the decisions together, and are careful to include things during the trip that will make both of us happy. It’s never one-sided.
Are there any personality changes that you can observe on yourself and on your partner since you have hit the road?
Josh: Honestly, I don’t think that my personality has changed too much since we set out on our Around the World Adventure. I’ve always had a carefree attitude, so perhaps that has gotten even more carefree.
I have a feeling that my friends and family at home may think my personality has changed since leaving out on this journey around the world. But it’s impossible not to change as you see new things and learn and grow. Seeing what most would think of as poverty from a distance, then realizing up close the smiles on peoples faces, puts the world into perspective and makes you realize you don’t need much to be happy.
As far as changes in Liz’s personality, I will have say that I think she has done so much to get outside her comfort zone since being on the road. She jumped off a 8 foot waterfall and lived to tell about it. That was something she wouldn’t have done before.
I think that is what this trip is about. It’s about getting outside our comfort zone and experiencing life in a new way. Maybe next we can get her to jump off a bridge or out of a plane or something! I’m so proud of my best friend and partner for life, I wouldn’t change a thing about you!
Liz: I think that being on this trip has given me a renewed sense of adventure, and carefree attitude. I have always been a “worrier” and I sometimes can’t believe that I quit my job to travel. Not having a steady income is scary, but I’ve realized that I rarely think about it!
With regard to Josh, he is still the same ol’ carefree, happy-go-lucky guy as ever. Which is what I love about him. I can tell he is really loving this journey that we are on, and I’m so happy about that. But I have seen him change a bit recently because of his new English teaching job here in China. For the first time since I’ve known him, I can tell that he enjoys his job. He’s a great teacher, and wonderful with kids. So I’m very proud of him! (Check this great article if you want to teach English abroad).
Living and traveling together 24/7 may bring stressful moments related to disagreements, changes of mood or misunderstandings. How do you cope with these situations?
Josh: Luckily, we are usually agreeable. But there have definitely been some stressful times on the road and being together 24/7 can make it tough. There are differing levels of disagreements, most are trivial, but occasionally they can be more intense.
Overall, Liz tends to get the most worked up. I am much more laid back and go with the flow. Usually we balance each other out, but occasionally it may feel like we are on different planets!
Liz: We always talk things out and try to work together, but on rare occasions, things have gotten a bit heated. If that happens, then we try to take a short break from each other. Maybe one of us will go for a walk, run an errand, or go work in another location in the hotel (or wherever we are staying). But it doesn’t take long before we are texting notes or calling each other to apologize and talk it out.
Luckily, the two of us don’t hold on to things. Once it’s done, we let it go and move ahead together.
Which is the most beautiful moment you are glad you have experienced together?
Josh: Wow, there have been so many that it took us 15 minutes to decide on our favorites! I think that it would have to be watching the sunrise together at Heleakala National Park on the Island of Maui, Hawaii.
We woke up super early (3:30 am) to drive to the summit of the crater. Then we sat there in the dark freezing our butts off, because it was very cold up that high. We were bundled in our jackets and blankets, but we got a great spot.
We sat up the tripod and awaited the sunrise. The coolest part was that we were so high on this mountain that we were above the clouds. If you have never seen a sunrise from above the clouds, we have to say, it’s pretty crazy!
Liz: I would have to agree with Josh. The sunrise at Heleakala is my favorite as well. It really was the dawn of a new life for us on the road. And sitting there (freezing) up on that mountain in the early morning hours gave me a lot of time to reflect on the situation, and realize just how happy I am to be able to live out my dream of travel with my very best friend.
Can you tell us about one crazy or risky thing you’ve done while traveling that you would and one that you wouldn’t want to repeat again?
Josh: Honestly, there are a few things that we have done that could be considered crazy or risky to some people. But I think we would do all of them again! However, going after the hardest geocache we’ve ever found stands out to me.
On the island of Maui, we had to go on a 4 hour trek in to grab a 5/5 geocache -the hardest you can find!
We went on a hike through a bamboo jungle, crossing over rivers and eventually making it to a waterfall. Then we had to go up and over that water fall using a sketchy rope. Then we hiked along the river further until we reached yet another waterfall. Then we had to climb up a rock face using a SUPER sketchy ladder and ropes to get us to the top.
Then we walked along the river further until we came to a fairly deep and narrow canyon. The river became deep and slow, and there was nowhere to walk along the banks anymore. We actually had to jump in and swim a good 300 meters in the water to yet another water fall (waterfall #3) and we actually had to climb up the face of this waterfall! Luckily, it was only about 8 feet high…but it was challenging.
Then we followed the river further until we came to an opening were there was a huge waterfall. This is where the cache was hidden, and it was an amazing pool where we could have a picnic and go swimming. It was an epic adventure and we actually documented it on our GoPro and put together a video that you can check out here!
Liz: I would say that the craziest thing I did was learn to ride a motorbike like the locals in Thailand! It’s actually incredibly dangerous, but it’s how most people get around. I was really scared at first, because I value my life. But finally, I gave in because I knew it would really make our experience living in Thailand so much better.
I always thought that riding a motorbike at high speeds on a “super” highway would be the most dangerous part. But we realized that driving around in middle of town with traffic (and hardly anyone following a traffic law) is probably the most dangerous of all.
Unfortunately, we still saw many wrecks on the bikes first hand during our time in Thailand. And one night when we were at one of the markets in Chiang Mai, I saw a young male traveler hobbling in pain, with bandages all down his leg, arm, and face. I couldn’t help but think it might have been a motorbike accident. Knock on wood…we were safe! But we would do it again!