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13 months
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13 months
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  buenos aires

Golden Gate Bridge
San Francisco, California, USA; Aug 14, 2004


about this site: We've made this site for our families and friends, and also as a keepsake for ourselves. However, after looking around on the web, we found that most round-the-world weblogs are authored by backpackers, so we hope to provide an alternative view. We'll consider it to be a success if our family and friends enjoy it, and if it encourages or helps even one more person to travel, then even better!

about us: We are Susan and Grace, a recently married couple. Grace (a nickname) is the husband and Susan is the wife. We are in our 30’s. We live (or we used to, before this trip, and so far plan to afterward) in San Francisco, California with our cat Chloe. As mentioned above, we are not backpackers (though we like taking long walks) and we are not wealthy (though we like to treat ourselves once in a while). Our accommodations will usually be somewhere above tents/hostels and below fancy hotels. If you’re wondering what that leaves, then read some of our entries. We're basically a fairly normal pre-kids couple on the adventure of our lives.

about this trip: Instead of taking a honeymoon, we decided to fulfill a lifelong dream and travel the world for a year (13 months, actually). We started slowly saving soon after we met, and with the proper planning, it all turned out to be more affordable than we originally anticipated (let us know if you'd like more info on this). With a few exceptions, we have opted to stay in each place for about a month. We think this approach allows us time to immerse ourselves in the culture and experience how different people live. We've also found it to be less stressful (not to mention cheaper) than traveling constantly for a year. We hope that it also allows some of our friends and family to visit.

our travel philosophy: We're more interested in finding out what life is like in a given place than we are in seeing all the tourist spots. That said, we don't "go native" when we arrive somewhere. We do some research before we reach each destination on what to see and do, but we also make things up as we go. We usually spend a fair amount of time just walking around to get to know a place and lifestyle - the "vibe," so to speak. We enjoy (most of the time) eating what the locals eat, but we'll occasionally indulge in an overpriced imported bag of M&M's or find a Western style pizza restaurant.

© 2004-2012 susan & grace, all rights reserved

-- comments from readers --


i wrote to you guys a couple times on your trip a couple years ago. i worked on south park and said you should publish your trip. ANYWAY, i am going to go to tanzania for a month [arusha, ngorongoro crater, masai warriors and zanzibar] and i was wondering how easy [or hard] it was for you to keep your site up? i am traveling with a group for two weeks [i'll be shooting a documentary on this school project in arusha] and then i'm in the bush for a week and then zanzibar for a week.

people on this trip have asked if it would be possible for me to have a site so their loved ones can keep up to date on where we are and how we're doing. i'd also like to have this site to upload photos of my travels for my family and friends to see as well. how did you design your site? and was it a big chore to keep that up while you were on your honeymoon?

--Tom V. (United States); Jun 6, 2007

We didn't do much updating from Uganda or Tanzania. For us, there were several reasons for this:

-We didn't actually launch our site until we arrived in South Africa (after Tanzania)
-It was difficult to find internet access. A few of the lodges had it, but many didn't (for example, if you're in a tent, there's no access). Also, the hours were sometimes limited and the bandwidth very low (not good if you're trying to upload pix).
-We didn't take our laptop on safari. We used a portable hard drive instead. We did this for security, convenience, and weight.
-We were so busy during Tanzania that we couldn't have done it anyway - hopefully you will also be just as busy!

Regarding site maintenance in general, there are many freebie travelogue services you can use that are easy and fast. We chose to build ours from scratch because it allowed us the maximum flexibility, and hey, we're just kinda' picky. But sure, it was a fair amount of work and if you're not into doing that sort of thing, it's certainly easier to use a freebie.

--Grace & Susan; Jun 30, 2007


My husband and I are currently on a RTW trip and stumbled upon your site - we couldn't believe it, and we had found it earlier. From the roller bags, to the Ryokan, to the $3 umbrella you purchased in Tokyo and the fact you bought your tickets through England - the similarities are amazing!

Of course we are tempted to make a comment about "great minds"...

One similarity we don't share, however is being adept at creating a website! We are setting it up now through and really liked your interactive map. Where did you get it, is it easily edited and do we need any special software? We think its great!

Also, regarding medical insurance - did you find that World Nomads covered you internationally and domestically (i.e. when you came back through SF you were insured, because we are doing the same thing back through LA). We were going to go with STA (we are still on cobra in the states right now), but they don't cover domestic. Any thoughts you have on insurance as a whole (though hopefully you didn't have to use it) would be really helpful.

And, most of all - congrats that you pulled off such a trip! We feel extremely lucky and are pleased that we finally pulled the trigger and took a little break from corporate america!

--Nate & Amanda R. (Santa Monica, California, USA); Jun 28, 2006

Regarding the interactive map, we're afraid that you’re not going to like this answer. We both work in the web, so we have an unfair advantage, having created numerous sites previously. As for the map, it was Grace’s it’s-really-about-time-I-learned-Flash project. So there’s a lot of custom code in there (and some of it’s not very clean since it was a learning project). Unfortunately, there’s no easy way of duplicating it for other people, else we would gladly hand it over to you. :(

Regarding insurance, we were not covered for our short stop in the US. When back in the US, we only went to the dentist, and just paid full price for it, though they did give us a small uninsured price break. We also elected to forgo coverage in Japan since we were only there for a short time and it decreased the cost somewhat.

And finally, we, too, are very glad to have taken a break - it was one of the best decisions of our lives!

--Grace & Susan; Jul 17, 2006


It is so amazing to see and hear all about your trip. You keep me busy with
you site, viewing your pictures one by one along with my smiling face. I
like traveling quite a lot. I sometime it comes with a daydream. How do you
like about Cambodia? What is the weather at time you were traveling? What you think about people??? (your honest opinion)

Most of you pictures are quite great! Did you learn it or your nature
talent??? :)

Congratulation you guys! You are so perfectly matched!

Grace, by the way would you telling me what nationality you are??? Kind
of curious! I am Cambodian nationality, it has been one year and half since I moved to the States with my wife who is an american (european nationality) and now living northern of Minnesota.

--Chhaya (Minnesota & Cambodia); Jun 8, 2006

Thanks so much for your very kind words; we're very happy that you're enjoying the site! In answer to your first question, we think the Cambodian people are great - all the people that we met were very nice to us. We do think that the country is not yet well-adjusted to tourism, however, and we hope that the negative impact of tourism is not too large. About your other question, I am actually quarter Chinese (though I know I don't look it), and the rest is just a mix, mostly of European ancestry. My anglo grandmother broke the mold and went to teach English in China as a young woman where she met my grandfather.

--Grace; Jul 15, 2006


About how much is this trip costing you total? And where is your cat while you are away? My boyfriend and I are in our 20s and planning a month long trip. We have 2 cats and are worried about even a month away from them :) I would like to be able to do a trip such as yours in the future, so would appreciate some monetary advice. Thanks!

--Allison (USA); Aug 19, 2005

We're working on a "cost" section since so many people ask. We're hoping to have it up soon. [It's up now: click here.] Our cat, fortunately, is staying with some friends who are subletting our apartment. It worked out very well for us.

--Grace; Aug 23, 2005


I am so excited to dig into your website. My brother Kevin let me know about it. You are sooo smart to do this trip now... my husband, Chris, and I have traveled a lot, but now that we just had our 3rd baby our trips are a bit shorter. Good for you for fulfilling your dream! However, travel doesn't stop post babies -- we've traveled internationally 3 times with kiddies in tow and plan to hit Greece next summer. Cheers to you!

--Jeanine (San Mateo, California, USA); Aug 18, 2005

Yay! It's great to know that we can keep traveling after we have kids. Kudos to you guys!

--Susan & Grace; Aug 23, 2005