This is me, Jill. The voice behind the blog.
I was born and raised in Jakarta, Indonesia but I call San Francisco home now. My parents often joke that I was raised in a car because we traveled so much when I was growing up. I guess that was where my love for roadtrips first came about.
I love whiskey, red wine, and craft beer and I have a morbid, self-deprecating sense of humor that often lead to some awkward conversations. I don’t take myself too seriously and you shouldn’t either 😉
My husband and I have different styles of travel and there are parts of the world that Jack has no desire to visit. So I figure… I could either fiddle my thumbs and wait for a travel mate to fall into my lap or I can just go travel by myself.
Nobody ever told me why I couldn’t or shouldn’t.
So, the next thing you know I traveled solo to places like Nicaragua, Cuba, Guatemala, Ethiopia, South Korea, many parts of Europe and the US. I do more adventurous stuff when Jack and I travel together (he’s the best adventure buddy) but I love the freedom of solo traveling. I wouldn’t trade it for anything else.
This is Jack. He’s been my best friend and adventure buddy for the past 15 years.
Jack’s first international trip was to Jakarta, Indonesia to visit my parents. The fact that he survived it (if you’ve been to Jakarta, you know it’s nothing short but overwhelming) made him realise that he can survive it, he can survive anything. He’s as comfortable underwater as when he’s hanging off a cliff. As good behind a computer as getting (me) out of uncomfortable situations. Truly the best adventure buddy anyone can ask for.
How it started (work in progress)
2007: The official start of “adulting”. We graduated, got married, got our first full-time jobs.
Spring 2008: We went on our honeymoon to Alaska where we went backpacking in trail-less Denali National Park. As total noobs. Totally not smart, nor romantic. We got cold, sick, and lost. But we did see grizzlies in the wild. Totally.worth.it.
Summer 2008: We hiked Mt. Whitney, the highest mountain in continental US in one day. It was a 22 mile round trip hike and it took us 20 hours. 10 years later I still vow that it’s something that strictly belongs in “once in a lifetime camp”. I’ll never do that again.
Fall 2008: We went skydiving for my birthday. This was when I fell in love with jumping off things. I dream of going base jumping someday but Jack keeps saying “over my dead body.” Men do die younger than women, so statistics on my side that I’ll get to basejump someday. (Yes, we’re morbid).
Summer 2009: We hiked the JMT. It was an incredible experience that every hiker should definitely do.
2010: We started Jack and Jill Travel (the site you’re on, right now… in case you don’t know).
2011: We took a year off to travel (you know – the whole quit your job and travel the world thing).
2012: We’re currently based in San Francisco and proud owners of a orange tabby, but we haven’t stopped traveling. And sharing stories.
We did it again! We left the cat with a friend, quit our jobs and moved out of SF, and bought a Sprinter van! We’re currently traveling North America in our converted Sprinter van and climbing our heart out. Come follow our van life journey!
We moved to Germany. Because… well, why not?
It turned out that Europe wasn’t quite ready for us yet. We moved back to San Francisco and reunited with our cat. We’re saving up and dreaming of our next van trip while still traveling as much as we could (7 countries and 9 National Parks!). Will it be yet another Sprinter van (his) or a teardrop trailer (hers)? The debate continues.
New region alert! I finally made it to Central Asia (Turkmenistan and Kyrgyzstan). I did a short visit to Flores, Indonesia – an island known for its Komodo Dragons and pink beaches. Also, Dia de Los Muertos in Oaxaca, climbing in Spain, diving in Maui, and more. New states: Alabama and Missouri. And oh a climbing incident that led to broken ribs and a helicopter rescue. TLDR: another not-so-quiet year. The way we like ’em to be.
How can we afford to travel so much?
Time: I work as a freelance web developer and thus have the flexibility that allows me to be location independent. I do like having a home base though. So does our cat.
Money: I set a yearly travel budget and work within it. So that means in one year we can either do a few expensive trips (Hello, Europe and Antarctica!) or many/longer trips to budget places like Asia or Central America. Not being too picky about destinations and being able to travel in shoulder seasons definitely helps.
We also spend money carefully. We don’t buy a lot of stuff preferring to borrow/rent (we don’t even own cars, we rent one when we need it – the math just works out better). When we do buy stuff, we buy used or high quality items that will last a lifetime. You can read about the different ways we save for travel here.
Sorry to say there’s no silver bullet when it comes to affording a travel lifestyle. I save and budget like a responsible adult my parents always want me to be (thanks mom and dad!). I chose to make travel a priority and everything else just follows: where I live (near an international airport), what type of job (freelance == time flexibility), what I do (developer == $$), what kind of pet to adopt (senior == short commitment. See? Morbid.)
Not sure where to start?
Here’s a collection of our past posts in selected categories just to get you started:
Saving and Financial of Long Term Travel
- How Much Does A RTW Trip Cost?
- How Much Does A RTW Trip Cost (Part 2)?
- How We Afford Our Travel Lifestyle
- Even More Ways to Save Up For Travel
- Travel cost in Ecuador, Colombia, Peru
- Cuzco on a Budget
- Tips for Traveling to Ethiopia, Nicaragua, South Korea
- Brain dumps on Seoul, Fez
- Our favorite cenotes in Yucatan, Mexico
- Or browse posts by destinations
We like to climb things. We simply love being around mountains: climbing them, walking on them, taking pictures of them. See all our climbing related posts or check out some of some of our favorites:
- Climbing in the Bugaboos
- Stuck on Castleton Tower
- The Iron Road in Telluride
- Climbing Half Dome in Yosemite
Talk to Us?
- Atlas Obscura: An Explorer's Guide to the World's Hidden Wonders, for those who love anything weird and offbeat.
- Resource Toolbox: How I find cheap flights, accommodations, and other travel hacks.
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