Here We Go! A Look Back, and Big Things Coming in 2016…

two for the road travel blog: nik and dusty at the airportSo. Yeah. Turns out, we’re terrible bloggers.

One of the cardinal sins of professional blogging, after all, is letting your blog go stale for any considerable length of time. To do it right, you have to keep your readers and viewers engaged and entertained with a steady, consistent, reliable supply of fresh and creative content. New blogs. New photos. New videos.  You’ve gotta feed the beast, as they say.

Well, as you may or may not have noticed, we’ve let the beast starve a bit lately.

Truthfully, since we returned from our latest adventure we’ve taken a couple of blissful weeks off from the website and social media. And you know what? It’s been absolutely fantastic. Do yourself a giant favor – if you think you can stomach it – and put Facebook and Twitter and Instagram all of that noise aside for a couple of weeks and don’t give it a thought. Just put it down, and walk away. It’s incredibly liberating. Especially for us blogger-types who tend to obsess over all the updates and edits and views and likes and shares and retweets and comments and all that other stuff.

But alas, we’re back! Having returned from our self-imposed online exile, refreshed, re-energized and ready to make 2016 one of our biggest and best years ever. So giddyup. But first, we thought we’d take a quick look back at the rollercoaster ride that was the last twelve months. Check it out:

2015: A Year of New Beginnings, Big Changes and Painful Loss

So 2015 was a crazy, crazy year for us. In a lot of crazy ways.

Two for the Road travel show Roku posterFrom a professional standpoint, it was a fantastic year for us and this whole little “Two for the Road” thing we’ve got going on. 🙂 Most notably we finally kicked off our online travel video series back in the spring, which was met with lots of excitement and really great feedback. And as a result, our website traffic and social media audience grew exponentially. All of which was friggin’ awesome. And in October, we finalized a deal to launch our own channel on Roku, bringing our weekly episodes to Roku-capable devices and TVs (look for it in the Roku travel section!). Most important of all though, is the fact that through the entire process we learned a lot, grew a lot as writers, shooters and editors, and we made many new really valuable contacts with some good people in both the travel and media industries. Good stuff.

And yes, we did a fair bit of actual traveling in 2015 as well. It was actually another epic year as far as that goes. Some of the highlights? We hiked to the top of Machu Picchu, camped under the stars in Yosemite, climbed the Great Wall of China, swam in the Mekong in Cambodia, ate fried scorpion in Bangkok, went fishing for piranha on the Amazon River, and did, saw, experienced and tasted so many more interesting and incredible things. (All of which we’ll be sharing, of course, in future posts and videos.)  So, yeah. 2015 was action-packed full of groovy adventures. Check out a few of the thousands of photos we snapped along the way! Click on any image below to open the slideshow. Then be sure to come back and keep reading! There’s more [mildly] interesting stuff continued below…

From a personal standpoint, 2015 was equally eventful for us – though it turned out to be a year marked by significant upheaval and some difficult and painful happenings. We actually spent most of 2015 homeless, after making the decision to give up the awesome little house we’d been renting outside of Austin for the last many years. Which was super tough. We absolutely loved, loved that place (and that entire area, really) and actually had grand hopes of buying the house at some point and making it our permanent “home base” between travels.  But it just wasn’t meant to be, unfortunately. The decision to leave was absolutely heartbreaking, but one that we made for a number of good reasons  – including the fact that we just couldn’t keep paying sizeable rent every month for a place that, because of our travels, we rarely got to enjoy.

So! Get this: for the second time in our adult lives we packed up all of our stuff, gave a great big chunk of it to Goodwill, put a few of our most important possessions in storage, and set out into the wild world without a plan or a place to live. That was back in March. We were once again officially “location independent,” as they say, drifting through life like leaves blowing in the wind. And it was equal parts exciting and terrifying. For the next several months, whenever we weren’t traveling we spent our “down time” crashing with friends and family. Which made running our business and keeping up with our blogs and videos extremely difficult, but we found ways to make it all work.

And then – in the midst of all that craziness – we lost a couple of remarkable women whom we loved very dearly. Nik’s grandmother Charlene and Dusty’s grandmother Gene both passed within a couple of months of each other this past summer, which was obviously painful and difficult for us and both our families.

But then, we can’t dwell on the negatives and the difficulties without finding plenty of positives in the mix. We did travel to some incredible places. We made lots of great progress toward some long-held personal goals. We learned a lot about ourselves and how good we can still be adapting to change together. And we got to spend some great quality time with family and friends that we’d been missing out on. And we are certainly very happy to report that after several months of being “location independent,” we’ve found a great little spot of our own that we now call our new base camp. It’s teeny-tiny, but still pretty awesome and all we need, really, especially since we don’t plan on “settling down” and taking a break from traveling anytime soon. It’s pretty sweet. We’ll give you a tour of the place one of these days.

So yeah! 2015 was a monster crazy time in our lives. But we’ve still got each other, we’ve got awesome family and friends, and we’re still living our dream of a life of travel and adventure. We’re truly blessed in more ways than we can possibly count.

So What’s Next? Moving Forward…

As we look ahead further into 2016 we see an equally exciting year shaping up. In addition to new webisodes and lots of fantastic stories from our adventures around the globe, we’ve got some amazing new trips in the works to some incredible, bucket-list worthy destinations.  And we look forward of course to sharing our adventures with you guys.

But more than anything we’re incredibly excited about a certain something that we’ve actually been working on these last couple of months. Something big. Something we’ve been dreaming about and working toward since we left our jobs and our “normal” lives and dedicated ourselves to traveling a decade ago. And it looks like 2016 will finally, actually be the year it happens! We hate to be cryptic, because truthfully we’re so freaking excited that we want to shout it from the rooftops. But one important thing that age and wisdom and (most importantly) experience has taught us, it’s there’s a right place and time for everything.  And while we’re close to getting this thing done, there are still a lot of details that need to be ironed out. We really hope to be able to make an announcement in the next few weeks. But in the meantime, keep your fingers crossed for us, wouldja?

That’s it! We’re glad to be back. New episodes begin next week! Who’s ready for more adventure?

Cheers gang! Happy travels, and here’s to an amazing 2016…

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3 Comments

  1. Deann Mancuso

    Can’t wait to find out what 2016 holds!! Love following y’all!! Many Blessings!! Remember to give God the Glory!! He is in charge!!

  2. So awesome! We cant wait to see what is in store for you guys! You’re so right that a break from social media is liberating! Also we are sorry to hear about your grandmothers.

    Hope to see you guys soon!

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