Tuesday, April 30, 2019

New Blog Address

We have switched blog addresses! Due to difficulties adding photos and formatting the blog, we will now be blogging through Wordpress. Feel free to follow us at:


Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Working My Way Back To You

As the previous post points out, we spent some money over the summer in just a slightly more extravagent fashion than normal. It was our "Honeymoon", so the splurge was warranted, but it did deplete our bank account. Thus the following will describe how we replenished in Portland, OR and are currently sitting in an airport in Doha, Qatar. 

We returned from Europe at the end of September and immediately ventured out to Baltimore for a wedding between some good friends of ours. It was a fun few days and a lovely ceremony.

We settled back in Portland, taking advantage of my Dad's kindness and unoccupied basement. Julia had already lined up work covering a maternity leave for a clinic in the SE part of town and we knew we would be around at least through the holidays. I began to look for seasonal jobs to fill the time and bank account. When Julia was offered more work that could last into March, I got a seasonal job at Danner, a footwear company about a mile from my Dad's house, that wanted someone to help process returns until April. Things were lining up nicely; Julia could easily drop me off at work and I could walk home or call my Dad for a ride.

So we both worked. Things were kinda normal for those 6 months; pottery classes, hiking, disc golf, Julia running her Rodan + Fields side business like a boss. We took short weekend trips when we could and got to attend multiple family and friend gatherings. One notable change was Julia's sister, Angie and family, moving back to the United States from Nicaragua in the fall. The political unrest of 2018 severely hurt the tourist industry and their business, so they decided this was a good time to try life where the Pacific waters are a little colder. The counter weight to that joyous arrival, was that we both lost some dear relatives to cancer during those months, something that is becoming all too common.

Beach trip

Pottery Class Production

Zoo Lights

iFly w/ Hoelter kiddos                           Hiking up Multnomah Falls

Angel's Rest hike in the snow

Quick trip up to Seattle & Tacoma for some work and some play

Enjoying some Portland March sunshine 

There is not much else to say. As the paychecks kept coming in, we let ourselves buy plane tickets to the backpacking destination that we feel we need to do while one of us is still young. In a few hours a plane will take us to Nepal, where we will test our physical limits and oxygen intake. From there we will fly to the heart of the SE Asia backpacking circuit and see as much as we can see before coming back at the end of July. As sad as it is to say, working for 6 months straight has been rough but also a good way to acclimate for the eventual full time jobs we promise we will settle down and get someday. Thanks for reading, this should be fun.

Sunday, April 7, 2019

Price Tag

     Below are the statistics from our 2-month European Honeymoon Extravaganza. We enjoy keeping track of these numbers on a daily basis and posting them to help you budget a potential trip of your own. If you have any travel questions about the areas we have explored, please feel free to reach out to us and we will do our best to come up with an answer we think you will like.
     A few brief notes to help you consume the data below. About 60% of our travel was during the high tourist season. Prices for lodging and car rental dropped significantly once the calendar turned to September. The other major factor in the numbers is that we covered a lot of ground and spent few nights most places. The country most affected by this was Kosovo, where we only spent 1 night but drove through on 3 separate days, thus an extremely high "average cost per day" when calculating by # of nights slept. Same could be said for Macedonia, where we slept 2 nights and drove through on 4 separate days. Both of these country's "overall average cost per day" would fall more in line with Albania and Serbia, if we spent more time there.

The Numbers:

Total nights in Europe = 58
... countries visited = 16

Different places we spent the night = 30
# of free nights thanks to credit card points = 6 
Average lodging price per night = $49.09
... in Italy = $93.80 (4 nights)
... in France = $53.14 (4 nights)
... in Greece = $51.40 (4 paid nights, 10 actual)
... in Bosnia = $29.61 (6 nights)
... in Hungary =$55.69 (3 nights)
... in Slovakia = $45.72 (3 nights)
... in Poland = $57 (3 nights)
... in Czech Republic = $49.67 (4 nights)
... in Austria = $88.10 (1 night)
... in Slovenia =$56.50 (2 nights)
... in Croatia = $46.20 (9 nights)
... in Montenegro = $32.22 (3 nights)
...in Macedonia = $41.36 (2 nights)
... in Albania = $29.53 (2 nights)
... in Kosovo = $24.50 (1 night)
... in Serbia = $28.08 (1 night)

Most expensive lodging = $93.80 (Levanto, Italy)
Cheapest lodging = $23.80 (Banja Luka, Bosnia)

Average spent on food per day = $31.75
... in Italy = $46.23
... in France = $55.68
... in Greece = $31.30
... in Bosnia = $14.20
... in Hungary =$30.28
... in Slovakia = $21.70
... in Poland = $25.45
... in Czech Republic = $33.29
... in Austria = $42.68
... in Slovenia =$32.28
... in Croatia = $37.21
... in Montenegro = $27.25
...in Macedonia = $33.84
... in Albania = $16.27
... in Kosovo = $26.51
... in Serbia = $19.47

Most expensive dinner out = $71.49 (Marseille, France)
Cheapest dinner out = $9.23 (Banja Luka, Bosnia)
# of Gyros/Schwarma consumed = 16
# of Gelato servings = 23
Free breakfasts with lodging = 11
Servings of alcohol given to us by hosts = 7

 Average transportation cost per day = $44.31
... money spent on Trains = $223.23
... money spent on Ferries = $181.59
... money spent on local public transport/taxis = $215.63

Days with rental car = 39
... transportation cost per day with rental car = $51.39
Total kilometers driven = 6,517
... average kilometers per day = 167.10
... average daily cost of gas = $14.68
Money spent on tolls = $99.14
Money spent on parking = $33.21
Money spent on parking tickets = $7.80

Total spent on Souvenirs = $287.99
Average price per magnet = $2.74
# of tattoos = 1
Time spent on tattoo table = 7 minutes

Overall average cost per day = $132.47
... in Italy = $186.06
... in France = $171.95
... in Greece = $100.83
... in Bosnia = $90.56
... in Hungary =$160.71
... in Slovakia = $111.75
... in Poland = $136.90
... in Czech Republic = $155.55
... in Austria = $252.07
... in Slovenia =$146.62
... in Croatia = $143.86
... in Montenegro = $126.74
...in Macedonia = $119.62
... in Albania = $88.31
... in Kosovo = $139.89
... in Serbia = $73.45

Total European Honeymoon Cost =  $8,854.27
(including plane tickets)