about We are Akila and Patrick. Our minds (and waistlines) expand as we travel, cook, and eat our way around the world with our two dogs.
Want to know how to take a trip like ours, the fears you’ll face, and the things you’ll love?
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five years!

Five years!  Five years ago, Patrick and I quit our jobs to travel around the world.

Last year was the year of staying still .  But, this year, we've found our traveling feet again, learning --- albeit slowly --- how to travel with a baby/toddler.

Costa Rica
Costa Rica chips Cheese in Costa Rica
Sloth at Manuel Antonio Costa Rica monkey
Costa Rica hiking with a baby Costa Rica with Akila

Highlights from our trip to Costa Rica

Costa Rica : Our first international trip with Amara was to Costa Rica.  The people in that country embrace pura vida and were so welcoming and accommodating of us, as we learned how (not) to travel with a baby .  We didn't pack enough clothes for her so we were constantly doing laundry.  We didn't realize that the time change would affect her so significantly so that by 7:00 p.m., she couldn't stay awake another moment longer.  We didn't count on how heavy a 14 pound baby can get on a four hour hike.

Despite the hiccups, we learned how to see the world through her eyes .  We spent leisurely afternoons, playing with plastic water bottles and meandering through butterfly gardens and jungles in Costa Rica.  We gorged on maduros and panela cheese.  We drank coconut water in the shade.  We pointed out sloths and monkeys to our baby.

We traveled and loved it.  Yes, our baby was a traveler and we were going to love traveling with her.

Airavatesvara Temple
Puducherry  hotel Sai temple
India with my family India

Highlights from India

India: Then, we headed to India for a month. Chennai is not picturesque, charming , or particularly interesting.  Rather, its main attraction is the love that envelops us as soon as we enter that city.  I have over 150 relatives in Chennai, who, despite not seeing us for years or years, welcome us every time with open arms, gifts, and (what I appreciate the most) platters of food.

And, this time around, we brought Amara with us, who quickly endeared herself to everyone.  She was pampered in Chennai and so were we.  There were always ten other hands who wanted to hold, feed, rock, and carry her.  Amara woke us up at 5:00 in the morning when the sun rose and the temple bells started clanging, and we handed her over to my uncle, aunt, and grandmother, and she happily played with them until we arose.  My cousins bought toys and beautiful silk pavadais for her.  My great-aunt made her fresh homemade yogurt each day.  And, when we walked from temple to temple, someone was always ready to pray for her.

We left Chennai for a week and a half to explore other parts of Tamil Nadu.  We swam in the mostly empty pool at our (very reasonably priced) resort in Puducherry and walked the deserted beaches.  We drove to Tanjore and Kumbakonam to visit the stunning Chola Temples , which surprised me with their gorgeous carvings, rivaling those we saw in Angkor Wat.

And, did I mention that we ate?  Oh, yes, we ate so much that we all gained several pounds by our return.  Highlights included the banana flower curries prepared by my aunt, the stunning assortment of food at the Chennai fresh market, and the thin, crisp dosas filled with masala in Puducherry.

Amara Amara at the Ferry Building
Crepe in San Francisco San Francisco
Peach sliders Atlanta Food and Wine Festival

Highlights from our United States travels

United States : For much of the remainder of the year, we've traveled within the United States.  We spent a week in San Francisco, enjoying plump pierogis at the Picnic at the Presidio , eating homemade ricotta from Cowgirl Creamery's shop in the Ferry Building, and eating our favorite dim sum at the always wonderful Yank Sing.  Back in the Southeast, we explored Atlanta with our toddler .  And, we gorged on peach doughnut sliders, the "perfect" brisket (according to Patrick), maple and smoked sea salt sipping chocolate, and sweet moonshine at our favorite foodie event of last year, the Atlanta Food & Wine Festival .

It's been a great year and we're kicking off the new one with two weeks in Brazil.  Thanks for joining us as we roam the world.  Happy travels to everyone reading and happy holidays!

March 2013

amara's oh the places you'll go! nursery
March 27, 2013

pregnancy is like backpacking through southeast asia
March 13, 2013

January 2013

chewy and abby do europe
January 21, 2013

November 2012

on stuff and things
November 27, 2012

October 2012

three years!
October 16, 2012

September 2012

because the world is a good place
September 4, 2012

August 2012

marriott rewards what's your travel type giveaway
win marriott rewards points
August 21, 2012

June 2012

on making money blogging
June 5, 2012

May 2012

why take guided tours
as an independent traveler
May 22, 2012

April 2012

airing that dirty laundry abroad
wash, dry, repeat
April 24, 2012

February 2012

the unvarnished truth on travel with pets
February 21, 2012

January 2012

when travel loses its charm
January 5, 2012

shiny 2012
January 2, 2012

November 2011

stocking stuffers for the traveler
November 28, 2011

thankfulness for firsts
November 24, 2011

gear review: asus eee pad slider
November 10, 2011

October 2011

swept: love with a chance of drowning book review
October 25, 2011

September 2011

the taste of two years
September 30, 2011

two years of dog toys
September 22, 2011

two years!
September 19, 2011

Traveling With Pets Isn't Crazy
September 7, 2011

July 2011

easycanvasprints giveaway + we're off (again)
July 27, 2011

seven links from our archives
July 6, 2011

June 2011

in real life: thoughts on tbex 2011
June 15, 2011

May 2011

on fear
May 16, 2011

April 2011

an unhelpful guide to planning a rtw itinerary
April 28, 2011

introducing the road unleashed!
April 18, 2011

travel credit cards and bank accounts
April 7, 2011

March 2011

travelers talk back: unusual savings tricks
March 29, 2011

unusual travel saving tricks
March 24, 2011

the digital nomad's electronics death toll
March 8, 2011

travelers talk back: working while traveling
March 1, 2011

February 2011

aqua hotels hawaiian vacation giveaway
February 25, 2011

working as a digital nomad
February 24, 2011

travelers talk back: budgeting
February 22, 2011

how we budgeted for our round-the-world trip
February 17, 2011

travelers talk back: funding travels
February 15, 2011

how we (don't) fund our travels
February 10, 2011

rtw planning in retrospect community project
February 9, 2011

awardwallet review + free upgrade!
February 7, 2011

January 2011

new year, new site
January 3, 2011

December 2010

our santa
December 28, 2010

chewy's silver screen soiree
December 6, 2010

October 2010

one year of photography
October 1, 2010

September 2010

one year of dog toys
September 27, 2010

99 lessons learned traveling
September 24, 2010

one year!
September 20, 2010

a man's round-the-world packing list
September 10, 2010

August 2010

$60 CSN Stores Giveaway!
August 9, 2010

July 2010

what americans take for granted
July 4, 2010

June 2010

why i decided to travel the world
June 18, 2010

May 2010

sweet georgia skies
May 25, 2010

writing down dreams + giveaway winner
May 19, 2010

the lost girls book review + giveaway
May 11, 2010

April 2010

April 22, 2010

March 2010

how to not be a stupid tourist in thailand
March 4, 2010

February 2010

kindle for travelers
February 27, 2010

December 2009

an electronics junkie's round-the-world packing list
December 15, 2009

three best kept foodie travel secrets
December 8, 2009

November 2009

essential resources for new travel bloggers: photography and SEO
November 5, 2009

October 2009

canon wp-dc29 underwater camera
October 20, 2009

September 2009

essential resources for new travel bloggers: creating content
September 8, 2009

August 2009

the pre-world trip freak out
August 24, 2009

essential resources for new travel bloggers: setting up
August 10, 2009

July 2009

why we plan our round-the-world itinerary
July 28, 2009

how to plan a trip to australia online
July 23, 2009

a woman's round-the-world packing list
July 19, 2009

three ways travel strengthens a marriage
July 8, 2009