Babymoon in Italy

Amanda is 26 weeks pregnant with our little Mars and we’re off to Italy to celebrate, relax, and enjoy our peaceful time together while we have it. There isn’t a better place to do that than Italy! The baby weight gained on this trip was the most enjoyed pounds put on due to the delizioso pizza and pasta!

There are a few key differences traveling with a pregnant Amanda compared to earlier adventures: 1) she wants to sleep a lot more including being happy to join me in my constant quest for daily naps! 2) we walk slower and take more breaks which is a good reminder to take in the beauty and not rush from place to place.


Trastevere, Castelgandalfo, and Polambara Sabina

First stop Rome! We stayed in a lively, trendy, local-heavy neighborhood just on the west side of the Tiber River from all the tourist attractions in Rome. This cute little neighborhood was by far our favorite part of Rome. We enjoyed wandering around the winding cobblestone streets finding seemingly hidden cafes, pizzerias, and gelaterias. It was fun and interesting eating meals and walking through streets side-by-side with the local Romans.

One of many little cobblestone winding streets of Trastevere.
One of many little cobblestone winding streets of Trastevere.


I worked in the evenings in Rome to be online from early morning to just after lunch back home. I decided this would be lower stress for me than taking a full two weeks off as I feel like I have a lot to do before the baby comes to be prepared to take a low-stress paternity leave. It was fun to adventure during the day and then come back and work in the evenings in some ways taking a break to go get dinner. It felt like we were living in Europe! We could definitely do this one day with me working an odd but totally doable schedule.

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Amanda with her baby bump out snapping some good pics of the Coliseum
Part of the same “pretty pregnant lady taking photos” series. This time the Roman Forum.
We found our own private dock at Lake Castelgandolfo about an hour train ride south of Rome. It was a beautiful place for a picnic!

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I love olive oil! Since we couldn’t go wine tasting I convinced Amanda to go olive oil tasting with me. We had a fantastic experience getting a private tasting experience in a kitchen with an amazing view of Rome. There are some very good olive oils out there!
We ate a lot of pizza. This was one of our favorite spots called Pizzeria Marmi. We were the only non-Italians in the place and it was a very lively dining experience!
We took a cooking class in Polambara Sabina that was really fun! It is a small town about 1.5 hours northeast of Rome and the class was a girl and her grandma teaching us how to make several pasta dishes from scratch. We’re thinking we’ll make raviolis at the holidays with family from flour and eggs!
Rome was all about stair workouts for us. Lots of stairs! In case anyone was wondering, Amanda kicks your butt as a trainer. She seems to think I’m in better shape than I am and I can’t let her know I’m not in good shape so I just run up and down the stairs as much as she challenges me to until I feel like I’m going to die. These stairs had pretty art! There is tons of “street art” in Trastevere, most of it not nearly as pretty as this.

Amalfi Coast

Praiano, Praia, Nocelle, and Positano

The Amalfi coast is one of our favorite places. We came here together our first time traveling together. I met Amanda at the airport in Rome 6 years ago when we just graduated from Cal Poly and embarked on the several hour journey on trains and busses to the Amalfi coast. That trip was special and was really a turning point in our relationship.

This time it has been just as enjoyable!

In the Amalfi Coast we have really unplugged and relaxed for a week. We spent days laying on the beach, wandering around the cute towns, kayaking, swimming and cooking fresh Italian food. We also did a lot of yoga in the mornings – a perfect way to start the day together.

We spent time discussing how to be the best parents we can be and establishing and writing down family values to help steer our decision making around our family. I think we’re going to get these written down and hung on the wall in our home so you won’t have to guess what they are for too long!

We decided the Amalfi Coast is our second favorite vacation spot besides Thailand! We also found maybe our second favorite AirBNB ever in the spot we stayed in Praiano called Casa Dionisia. It had a cozy bedroom, easy-to-use kitchen, breathtaking private patio, and fun outdoor shower. Plus, our hostess Melinda brought us fresh fruit and eggs from her garden that were all delicious!

We spent three days in Praiano and loved how quiet it is sitting between the increasingly touristy Amalfi and Positano. Positano has about 4000 locals and grows to 50,000 in the peak summer months!

Swimming and hanging out on the beach in Praiano
Swimming and hanging out on the beach in Praiano
Enjoying the view of the coastline from our balcony
Enjoying the view of the coastline from our balcony


Dusk view off our awesome Praiano terrace :)
Dusk view off our awesome Praiano terrace :)
Our favorite little hangout spot in Praiano. Spectacular view and tasty lemon granitas
Our favorite little hangout spot in Praiano. Spectacular view and tasty lemon granitas (aka slushy)
From that favorite spot, Cafe Miramonte
From that favorite spot, Cafe Mirante
I ran to the top of the town one morning to catch the sunrise with my dog friend I made. Very steep, lots of stairs. Worth it.
I ran to the top of the town one morning to catch the sunrise with my dog friend I made. Very steep, lots of stairs. Worth it.
Cute little "streets" in Praiano
Cute little “streets” in Praiano


In the main town square in Praiano. In the evening the kids would play soccer in this square in front of the church.
In the main town square in Praiano. In the evening the kids would play soccer in this square in front of the church.
This is Praia Beach basically in Praiano. Fun for exploring and swimming. There are some cool restaurants around the corner to the right here built into caves in the hillside.
This is Praia Beach basically in Praiano. Fun for exploring and swimming. There are some cool restaurants around the corner to the right here built into caves in the hillside.
Pretty impressive this 6 month pregnant lady is cruising around with this pack on with no problems
Pretty impressive this 6 month pregnant lady is cruising around with this pack on with no problems
She does like to fall sleep randomly though :)
She does like to fall asleep randomly though :)

After Praiano, we ventured to small town of Noccelle that sits in the very quiet hills above Positano. It was a fun location! You can only get to town by walking. To get up to our place you take a very local bus from Positano to the last stop and then walk about 5 minutes down a bunch of stairs. To get into Positano and the beaches it is an absurd probably 1000 stairs down to the coastline. It takes about 40 minutes and Amanda braves through all the steps with a smile even carrying little Mars along the way! (we could take the bus down if we wanted but that’s no fun)

Positano is a very cute little town. It is certainly picturesque. It is also full of tourists and is expensive. We found our favorite little areas that are more off-the-beaten-path. The farther, smaller Fernillo Beach is awesome. Better than the more popular main beach in every way: prettier, calmer, cheaper, more rocks to climb on and jump off, caves to explore, less boats, etc.

From Fernillo beach we kayaked out around the corner to the west exploring caves, a castle on the cliffside and lots of very pretty rock formations. It was a fun adventure!

Our AirBNB in Noccelle may be haunted and has very uncomfortable beds, rocks for pillows, and a fan in the bathroom that howls like a pack of wolves for minutes even after you’ve turned it off. We wouldn’t recommend it. Makes for a story though! However, it’s nice to wake up with the sound and smell of nature and an amazing view.

Amanda blending in on the local bus.
Amanda blending in on the local bus to Noccelle
Taking a break. This is generally a new concept for us!
Taking a break. This is generally a new concept for us!
Our small hillside town of Noccelle above Positano uses donkeys to take trash and other heavy things in and out as there are a lot of stairs and no roads!
Our small hillside town of Noccelle above Positano uses donkeys to take trash and other heavy things in and out as there are a lot of stairs and no roads!



We went to a couple fancy restaurants with beautiful views in Positano!
We went to a couple fancy restaurants with beautiful views in Positano!
Having a relaxing lunch at Da Ferdinando on Fernillo Beach in Positano
Having a relaxing lunch at Da Ferdinando on Fernillo Beach in Positano


This cave was below a castle build into a point protecting Positano. We're assuming this is a secret passageway to/from the castle.
This cave was below a castle build into a point protecting Positano. We’re assuming this is a secret passageway to/from the castle.
Eric's version of deepwater soloing. Did eventually make it up to the top of that rock and jump off!
Eric’s version of deepwater soloing. Did eventually make it up to the top of that rock and jump off!


What a great trip! You can see a bunch more of the photos from our trip to Italy on our new SmugMug account here.

A Few Months Starting a Nest in Muhanga, Rwanda

Between mid July and Christmas this year I spent almost three months in Muhanga, Rwanda on three separate trips of 3-4 weeks. The overarching goal for my time in Muhanga has been to start our first Zipline Distribution Center (or in internally lingo, our first “Nest”).
Its been hard being away from Amanda and the rest of my friends and family this much. Traveling about half the time away from home is certainly not sustainable for either Amanda or I. She has been incredibly supportive (as always) throughout the challenges and we have made sacrifices as a family to help achieve Zipline’s goals. Thankfully, we know even more that we have a solid support network we couldn’t be more grateful for.

Even though I only took one day off to do something fun in my 11 weeks in Rwanda, I feel like I understand the country and culture fairly well mainly thanks to the 18 Rwandese staff we have hired full time so far and hundreds of part-time contractors. I not only worked closely with this team, I lived with 7 of them in our first company house in Rwanda.

The Legacy of the Genocide

Rwanda is a peaceful and accepting country as the horrors of racism and violence are still fresh in everyone’s mind.

Rwandans are hard, tough people. The two locals I became closest with and also the only people I spoke in detail about the genocide about, Abdoul and Placide, both lost their entire families in the genocide. Abdoul was 3 years old and was left for dead when his older sisters and parents were slain in their home. He has a scar on his head from a machete mark left before his uncle found him in their home as the only survivor and then raised him as his own son from then on.

Current Political Situation

President Paul Kagame is a benevolent dictator. He got “elected” by 98% in the last election and recently changed the constitution to remove the term cap for presidents so he could continue to run for president. Two concerns I heard repeatedly from our local team behind closed doors:
1) There is no freedom of speech, you can’t say negative things about the government or else bad things happen. This didn’t explicitly bother everyone on our team, many just stated this like a fact without opinion: “we don’t have the right to express our opinion about the government”
2) The government has their hand in many “private” businesses. For example, the government will see someone starting to become successful in an industry, then they will approach them and make an “investment” to buy a bug part of the company. Now the government will use regulation and pressure to close down any competition to make sure this business is very successful.

Economic Divide

There is a big economic divide. If you just spent time in the capital of Kigali you would think the country was doing quite well. It’s clean, most people seem to have jobs and are busy during the day. However, out in the more remote areas many people aren’t wearing shoes, stand around all day without any work and have small gardens or goats to feed their hungry family and survive. Rwanda is one of the natural resource poorest countries in Africa. There isn’t much money or many jobs to go around.

This is a picture of our car crossing a bridge on our way out to a hospital we deliver blood to. You can imagine our Zip flying in a straight line at 60 mph gets there much faster than a car could on these roads.

Welcoming Culture

I didn’t get any negative attention being a Muzungu (what they call non-black foreigners) in Rwanda. In some cases it was because they saw me as a potential walking wallet, but in the majority of cases locals were just happy to see a Muzungu.

Another Rwandan I got to know well is the head of Rwanda’s Air Traffic Control, Kizito. He told me every time he sees white people in Rwanda it makes him proud of the progress his country is making.

I went on a lot of jogs through the rural village near the Nest in the outskirts of Muhanga. Three cute little kids about 2-4 years old lived a block or so down the road I lived on. Every time I went on a jog they would see me coming, run out onto the road with a huge smile and arms wide open and give me a hug – both on my way out and my way back. Honestly, this was probably my favorite part apart being Rwanda :)

A handful of other times on those runs, kids would just start running with me. Typically just a small group, but one time I ran by a school at recess when there were about 40 kids playing touch rugby. When I ran by the game stopped and I had a 40 kid support group on my run for probably two blocks before they turned back to school.

My Three Trips

Each trip had a different specific goal for me and really were very different experiences.

Trip 1 | Setting up infrastructure

The goal here was to go from empty leveled gravel pad and 17 crates going through customs to a fully setup Nest including:
– Getting a road from the main road to our gravel pad big trucks could drive on to deliver our equipment
– Weather protection: Big circus type tent we brought and three modified shipping containers we sourced from Kenya
– Getting water, internet, power on site
– Power system setup with generator and UPS (uninterruptible power supply) so we can operate without grid power
– Launchers
– Lightning protection towers, grounding rods, and copper cabling
– Two recovery systems to catch the planes out of the air
– Beacon tower and electronics setup to communicate with planes
– All the ground support equipment we use with planes including storage racks, preflight check stands, etc

Also, getting our living conditions livable. We arrived to a house with beds but no blankets, no internet, no backup power so power was on about 1/2 the time, no hot water and water only available about 1/3 of the time as there is one tank for the village that fills at night and when it runs dry for the day it’s dry.

This is our first crew that got to Rwanda with the shipment. We are trying to figure out where to put things and how to properly build a Nest. It was pretty rushed hitting out shipment deadline, so not nearly as much thought went into this before we arrived as should have.
How do you unload these crates with about 20 dudes that don’t speak your language and a tractor? That’s what we’re trying to figure out too. Some of these crates weighed over 4000 pounds. It was stressful, but it worked out!

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Trip 2 | Getting to first delivery

My second trip was spent getting us to and through our first couple dozen flights. For me, this was primarily:
1) Driving our relationship with the RCAA (Rwanda Civial Aviation Authority, like our FAA) to jump through the right hoops to have them let us start flying first within line of sight and then beyond line of sight.
2) Debugging issues with our newly setup ground equipment and reassembled planes getting everything working smoothly for first flights
3) Surveying the area around the Nest, the transit routes to our first two hospitals, and surveying obstacles at the hospitals after talking with the doctors about where they wanted the blood to land

This trip was the hardest on me personally. I was stretched very thin, didn’t sleep, eat or exercise properly, spent a lot of time dealing with regulators which I don’t like doing, and the rest of our US team was pretty burned out so morale was poor. When I left I felt the most emotionally and physically drained I ever have. I’ll never forget how it felt to have Amanda waiting for me at the arrivals gate at SFO though :)


This is the crew that made our launch event go off seemlessly (well this solid crew and some luck :)
That’s President Paul Kigame (known as His Excellency in Rwanda) standing next to Keller (our CEO) at our launch event, watching a plane land

Trip 3 | Getting the Nest operational without US-based engineers

My third and hopefully last trip for a while was mainly spent training and figuring out how to handle unique operational cases around blood ordering, handling, and delivery. We have a lot of experience flying planes, but very little experience handling customer service, time-critical orders, and blood.

I led training for our COO (Will, head of operations) and second in command in the operations team (Nick) to be “Nest leads” to know how to run a nest basically. I led training for one Rwandan (Abdoul) and one US based technician (Jon) to be “Technical leads” for the nest. That basically means they need to know how to fix most things when they break and communicate well with our CA engineering team when it’s a new technical problem that requires support.

Our 4 person flight operations team had already been heavily trained by mainly the team in Rwanda before me, but we definitely spent a lot of time finishing training for them to know how to make the planes fly safely.

Every time the plane flies over the town out beyond line of sight, I get a little freaked out.

Teamwork and my last day

Most of the work I mention above I led but had the incredible support of not only the US and Rwandan team in country but also a team of engineers back in California that I woke up frequently during the middle of the night for help.

On my last day we fulfilled an order to Kabgayi hospital of three units of children’s red blood cells. That made the struggle and sacrifice worth while.

A Night in China

Amanda and I spent 15 hours in Wuhan, the biggest city in central China. It was an interesting experience :) This is what happened, it’s a bit long but it was quite a night:

  • We arrived and made it through customs at midnight with a 24 hour transit visa
  • The only way to get to the city center an hour away at night was via taxi
  • Basically no one speaks English to help us find an ATM
  • Once we find an ATM it won’t read any of our cards and the money exchange centers are closed
  • We try to get a taxi to take us to a different ATM and to our hostel in the city center
  • They can’t read English characters which is how we have the address and name of our hostel written
  • We find a nice Chinese friend who used to live in America, she can’t translate the address into Chinese characters and doesn’t know where it is
  • We realize the free wifi works but just all Google websites and apps are blocked in China
  • We find our hostel on a map!
  • We find a different ATM at the other terminal! One of them eats my ATM card, but we get money with Amanda’s
  • We get a taxi, a gruff old Chinese man who knows zero English
  • I talk him down from 200 to 100 yuan, he’s not happy about it
  • We drive around for over an hour talking/yelling with the taxi driver and pointing at maps a lot without much success
  • We find our street! It’s dark with no businesses and lots of abandoned looking (but still lived in) apartment buildings, certainly no signs of a hostel.
  • So we have him drop us off at a Holiday Inn nearby we drove past
  • The driver demands more money, we give him the 100 yuan and hurry into the Holiday Inn as he yells at us
  • Thankfully there is a very nice receptionist who tells us they have rooms and also gives us directions to the hostel we have booked, he says we’re close!
  • We look for the hostel for 30 minutes with no success so we walk back to the Holiday Inn and get a room
  • We get to our room at 4am and pass out in the most comfortable bed we’ve stayed in in months
  • Then, we woke up, took some photos from our nice room view and jumped in a taxi to the airport which took about 90 minutes through traffic, showing us a glimpse into a bunch of the city

It was an adventure! We’re glad we did it but it could have worked out a little smoother. In general, the Chinese people were very friendly but the language barrier is intense. To a lot of people it seems like the English characters look just as foreign as Chinese characters look to us.



Exploring Laos

We spent a week in Laos and it was quite the experience. It’s definitely like stepping back in time compared to Thailand, which is a fairly developed country. I just looked it up out of curiosity and Laos’ GDP is $12B where Thailand’s GDP is $370B.

We traveled via local bus to the Thailand/Laos border which was awesome! A slow, open air red bus with way too many people and luggage than space. The Thai people are quick to slide over on their 2 person bench seats to make room for a new passenger and Amanda and I both were the third person on our two person bench seats with Thai ladies :)

Then, we crossed the border, spent one night and jumped on a packed slow boat down the Mekong river heading south away from nearby China and toward Luang Prabang. The two day slow boat ride was both Amanda and my favorite part of our Laos adventure. It was extremely pretty and peaceful. You turn a corner and there will be a handful of naked local boys playing on the beach. They get SO excited to see the boat and go crazy waving and jumping around. Very interesting glimpse into the rural life of an extremely undeveloped country. Check out the pictures of the boat ride:

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We sat next to an insanely friendly and bubbly Israeli man who taught us Hebrew and dance moves from Israel

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The only group of kids that tried to sell us things (smart parents I’d say!) at a “port” when we dropped off a Laos family on the side of the river in the middle of nowhere. A lady ended up buying some bracelets from her once she waded out up to her armpits in the water asking everyone on the boat. Powerful moment and great photography skills by Amanda

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Then we arrived in Luang Prabang which is the old capital of Laos but is still only a 30,000 person city. It sits between the Mekong and another smaller river and is a very pretty town with steep hills around as well. It was fairly touristy and expensive with a big French influence (Laos used to be a French colony). Also, there were Chinese people EVERYWHERE as it’s Chinese new year and they get two months off work and school. Many of them bus into Laos sort of like we go into Mexico it seems.

This waterfall a 45 minute motorbike ride out of Luang Prabang was our favorite thing we did there. It is breathtaking and is fantastic for swimming in the blue waters of the pools!

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Buddhist places of offering like this are all over the place in Thailand and Laos – even more than the number of Wats (Buddhist temples). I thought this one was awesome because of all the weird offerings people gave. Who knew Buddha likes fruit jello so much?!

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Chiang Mai – Northern Thailand

We ventured around Northern Thailand for 4 days, and it was great! One day we explored beyond the city limits of Chiang Mai by going on a nice bike ride to the mountains and then a hike. Another day we went to an elephant sanctuary where we got to feed elephants, give them a bath, and then play with them in the mud.

For the other two days we ventured to Pai, a town about 3 hours north of Chiang Mai. Once there, we rented a scooter for a day and drove up and down the hills and mountains, stopping in some small villages. We saw a lot of the Thai agriculture, many locals just livin’ life, and some great views. These pictures of our time in Northern Thailand will tell you more than I can describe in words :)

Here’s a whole separate post of the elephant pictures because there are too many great ones!

Bike ride from Chiang Mai!
After biking to the base of a mountain, we had a picnic in this cute river hut!
After biking to the base of a mountain, we had a picnic in this cute river hut!

Picnic time!

Then we hiked through the jungle...
Then we hiked through the jungle…


To this waterfall!! Then we biked back to Chiang Mai and made it just before dark
To this waterfall!! Then we biked back to Chiang Mai and made it just before dark
A pit stop on our scooter ride through Pai
A pit stop on our scooter ride through Pai
Pretending to fish with a bamboo pole we found


Sometimes the hills were too steep and we had to have one person walk up the hill and the other walk the bike up hahah :)

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Elephant Sanctuary in Chiang Mai!

Here are a few of the many pictures we took on our day with the elephants, what amazing animals! Quote from Amanda… “Elephants are like a mix between aliens and dinosaurs” :)

A baby!!
Elephant kisses!
Elephant kisses!!
This one was trying to sneakily grab the bananas from behind Eric’s back!

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Quick Day in Bangkok #2

As we travel from the south to the north of Thailand, we swung through Bangkok for another day of exploring. It’s a great break between the 12 hour ferry/bus ride from Koh Tao, and the 14 hour train ride we are about to embark on to Chiang Mai. We slept in, got breakfast, then went for a jog through the city to the train station to get our tickets for later that evening. Then Eric & I walked around and grabbed a water taxi back to our hostel.

The water taxi was quite the experience! I just kept laughing as the boat workers were yelling in Thai, jam-packing people onto the boat. They’d be shouting in Thai, and shaking this metal tube filled with change. This went on for a little while, then with the use of universally understood hand motions we (and the other few non-Thai tourists) realized they were trying to get us to go even further into the boat, which seemed like an impossible task. Let’s just say you quickly get to know all your neighbors, and whether or not they’ve showered recently… hahaha. And it was like that at every stop along the river! So by the time you reach your stop, of course you’re way at the front of the boat, problem is the boats are loaded and unloaded from the back, so now it’s time to wiggle and weave back through the people in order to get off the taxi boat. It was an awesome, authentic Thai experience as we were jammed next to Thai kids, adults going to work and monks, all of us going down the river together.

After the awesome taxi boat, we grabbed some snacks for our journey ahead and some street food for dinner. We then took a regular taxi (which are all bright pink in Bangkok) and just barely caught our train.

By the way, I’ve always thought the traffic in the Bay Area was the absolute worst, but that was before experiencing the traffic in Bangkok… It took us twice as long in the taxi than it took us when we ran to the train station earlier that morning. Thus the reason we nearly missed our train. I’m convinced that some intersections don’t have traffic lights, I think the drivers just have this pact to wait behind a crosswalk until one risky motorbike decides to make a go for it across the intersection, then everyone else follows suit!

But good news is, we didn’t miss our train, and we had an awesome taxi driver who laughed at everything he said (must have been a funny guy, but we couldn’t understand him so we just laughed along anyways).

We’ll get one more stop in Bangkok right before we leave Thailand to come home, but for now – off to Chiang Mai!!

PS – this is us so in need of somethung to do on the train that we guessed how many raisins were in the pack, then counted them hahah. Eric won, my estimation was pitiful :)

So long Koh Tao!

The time has come for us to leave Koh Tao, nooo! This is the first place that I was really sad to leave, its no wonder why a big chunk of the island population is 30 year old ex-pats that travelled there, found a job and never left…the island sucks you in!

What will we miss? Daily beach visits, jungle hikes, delicious food, friendly Thai locals, awesome other backpackers, amazing scuba diving, and many cool cafes and bars right on the beach.

Plus, we both treated our 3 1/2 week on Koh Tao as a “mini fitness retreat” haha. No doubt we’ve been active nearly everyday while traveling, but it’s just not the same as getting tough workouts in. So we both joined gyms and whipped our own butts into shape, successfully! Eric did a lot of Muy Thai (sometimes two training sessions in one day!) and lifted at the gym. I joined a crossfit gym and ran. We also did several steep hikes. Plus, it’s soo humid here, we were just constantly sweating haha. It was fun and we both reached our goals, yipee!

We’ve got the chill island, laid back vibe going on and it’s not bad :) I highly recommend Koh Tao if you’re planning a trip to Thailand anytime in the future. Next up? A quick day in Bangkok, then a night train up to Chaing Mai, in northern Thailand. We’ll keep you posted!


So… We’re Still on Koh Tao in Thailand

So 9 days later and we are still on the island of Koh Tao! We originally were planning on staying here for only 5 days, but the night before our ferry off the island (my birthday) we didn’t want to leave – this place is too amazing! So we decided to stay an extra three weeks here! :) Here’s what we’ve been up to and why we are loving Koh Tao…

  • The island life is so relaxing. This is the happiest and most relaxed I’ve felt all trip! (The same for Eric as well)
  • It is beautiful and hot here, I mean look at these pictures!
  • The hiking is great! Steep and very very sweaty
  • The snorkeling is amazing – best I’ve ever seen
  • …Which is what lead us to getting scuba diving certified! You’re looking at (reading about) two officially certified divers as of today!
  • Koh Tao is one of the best diving locations in the world, we can’t wait to get in a few more dives while we are here – there are SO many different dive sights all around the island!
  • The Thai culture is neat and the Thai people are so nice
  • The tourists here are also a great group of people. Koh Tao is a hard island to get to, so it really attracts what I would call “dedicated travelers and backpackers”, people who are here for the adventure. Almost all of the tourists here, or the ex-pats that are living or temporarily living here, are age 20-35, super adventurous, very chill & down to earth, and are up to join you for a hike, swim or dive followed by a few drinks on the beach.
  • You have to (GET TO!) take of your shoes before entering any store, restaurant, hostel, dive shop, or home as it is a sign of respect. It’s quite free-ing to be barefoot all the time :)
  • The Thai food is DELICIOUS!!! Our go to restaurant is Su Chili’s, we go there about every other night now because nothing else beats it. Best street food = pad thai, fried chicken over rice, or a fresh fruit and muesli bowl. We have amazing fruit smoothies every day, and sometimes grab a peanut butter banana Thai “pancake” for dessert. Yum!
  • Many, many beach bars to grab a drink at and watch the beautiful sunset
  • There are also many cool coffee shops and cafes for us to duck into midday to beat the heat and work a bit (I’m still working on my fitness certification & Eric still has some contracting he is doing)
  • IT IS CHEAP. Very Cheap. $8/hour Thai massage cheap. Less than $2 pad thai cheap. Really nice dinner for two = $12…
  • The jungle is cool



Can you see the massive spider??


This is our FAVORITE place to get Pad Thai, best pad thai on the island! We like is so much we asked our gal Pe-noot if she could teach us how to make it – she agreed and let us take the reins! Now we can make you delicious pad thai :)
The end result of our pad thai skills!
One of many beautiful hikes
We are now scuba certified! Can’t wait to go on more dives during our two more weeks here.