If you're not our close friends or family, you're probably wondering what happened to those two travelers The Love & Adventure? You're not alone. We have friends thinking we're still somewhere out there in the world adventuring. Some people still think that we teach English at a school in Vietnam. Most people have no idea where we are or what we're doing. Well, we are here for a much-needed update!
In December 2018, we told a little lie to our loved ones and told them we were in Mexico for Christmas. We even posted fake photos of our fake hotel on the beach, talked about how we were eating tacos and drinking margaritas on the beach, and put nonexistent events in our shared Google calendar so that our parents would believe the lie. However, we actually booked a flight home to Colorado to surprise our family. On a sunny cold day, we parked our rental car down the street from my parents' house and tip-toed up to their front door. We rang the doorbell and waited for what felt like an eternity. Finally, Dad opened up the door with a shocked looked on his face and said, "what the hell?!" Mom immediately burst into tears. A few minutes later, we finally got to hold our sweet niece Penelope for the first time. Penny was born while we were traveling, so at 13 months old, it was our first time meeting her. The next morning, we walked into Grandma's house and confused the heck out of her. You can see the reaction videos below.
We spent the holidays cross-country skiing, swimming in hot springs, and staying up all night playing card games with friends and family. For the next few months, we didn't know if we wanted to move to Mexico, continue to travel the world, or settle down somewhere (but where?). We felt totally lost. After 15 continuous months on the road, we were both having a difficult time processing our travels and adjusting to a "normal" life. We felt like life took a little bit of a pause for us to sleep, finish up our blogging, and catch up with family. For a few days in late January, we road tripped down to Sedona, Arizona to see Daniel's parents and brother. Nestled in those magical red rocks, we had a beautiful few days soaking up the sunshine and family love.
It took us until the end of February to do some soul-searching and make a decision. Together, Daniel and I decided that we had such a strong community in Colorado and a love for the state. We weren't ready to leave, so at last: we excitedly settled on moving to Fort Collins, Colorado.
Fast forward to May 2019: we are in such a good place! We live downtown and each have a five-minute walk to work every day. I was the first of us to land a job. I'm working at a design build company called Forge + Bow. We specialize in high-end residential remodels. We typically renovate entire homes, often adding additions. After working in the commercial design industry for 4+ years, it's nice to utilize my creativity again and help clients bring their dream home to fruition. The owners of Forge + Bow were featured on HGTV last year, so they're almost like local celebrities. Their company is expanding fairly steadily and I'm now a part of a 10 person team. We're very busy!
A few weeks after I started work, Daniel landed a job at a local nonprofit called No Barriers USA. Daniel has always dreamed of having a career that makes a difference in other peoples' lives, and this is a big opportunity. No Barriers works with many populations including youth, veterans, and individuals living with disabilities. Through transformative experiences that include an educational curriculum and a travel experience, No Barriers helps to lift those that are in need. The core principal of the company is that everyone faces barriers, whether they're physical, mental, or spiritual. Through our tools, No Barriers helps people overcome their barriers and have unforgettable life experiences. Although Daniel is the Annual Giving Coordinator, he is also training to become a Youth Expedition Leader to lead youth on international travel experiences.
In our free time, we've purchased a car (we truly are Coloradans now with our Subaru), brought home lots of new houseplants, exercised on the Poudre trail, danced to live music, and biked to lots of breweries. I haven't lived in Fort Collins since I graduated from university in 2013, so it's fun to see all of the new businesses that have popped up. We've reconnected with many of our friends and met some incredible new ones. The majority of our good friends live in or around the Denver metro area, so we see many of them on the weekends.
And, our biggest life change is that we are shopping for a home! Our current lease ends at the end of July, so we'll be moving regardless around that time. It's difficult for us to justify paying exorbitant rent prices when a mortgage is nearly the same cost each month. We're working with our realtor and we're ready to jump the second we find a home we're interested in. If anyone wants to come visit us, we won't be leaving anytime soon.
Daniel and I still plan to travel as much as possible. He'll likely have the opportunity to do some international travel with his job. Maybe I can join him at the end of his work trip and we can adventure once again. Although it's nice to have a home base, I am craving that travel life again! We'll make some smaller trips this year before heading to Mexico to celebrate the holidays with family.
We hope that everyone is doing well! Feel free to leave a comment and let us know what you're up to. We've been a bit 'offline' in terms of social media, so we're a bit out of the loop. Sending love and good vibes to everyone. We love you.