Sasha and Rachel – that’s us (Sasha is the dude, by the way) – from Detroit, MI and Johnson City, TN respectively. Music is a huge part of our lives. Our favorite music comes from jam bands, a genre of music that was started in large part by the Grateful Dead.
As most of the music played by jam bands is improvised, so too are our lives. To improvise means “to create or perform without preparation.”
We don’t have 5-year plans for our lives; we can’t even tell you what we’ll be doing this time next year. But we do know that it will be awesome and you should follow along!
We want to show the world that your life doesn’t have to follow a clear cut path. Let loose and see where it takes you – improvise your life!
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It is our belief that we live on both a very big and very small planet, and traveling is an important way to understand and appreciate people and our diverse cultures.
Read on to hear our back story….
We first met at Rothbury music festival in the summer of 2008. It was fleeting and Rachel didn’t remember it so well. Perhaps the bag of wine Sasha was toting around had something to do with that. Sasha remembered and two weeks later at Camp Bisco (another music festival) he proposed with a Ring Pop – down on one knee and everything – and just said “Will you?” That certainly had Rachel’s attention.
Sasha already had plans to move to Beijing, China – talk about bad timing! He said the only thing that would bring him back early was if the band Phish got back together. At the end of that year Phish announced their come-back tour for summer 2009. We made plans, bought lots of tickets and spent that entire summer seeing music, living out of tents and on couches, making long drives across the country and partying like rock stars. In the midst of all of it we professed our love (for each other, love for music had been expressed long before) and decided to continue the fun past the summer.
Because of our love of music, we moved to Nashville in 2009. We lived in a friend’s attic. We searched for jobs for six months. Not a nibble. We scraped by on food stamps. Then, our house and car was robbed. No fun! We bought one-way flights to Sasha’s beloved Beijing. Best decision ever! Teaching English in China allowed us to travel to places we never thought possible.
After working for over three years in Beijing we took a leap and hit the road for a 14 month long gap year around the USA and SE Asia. After that we moved to Kunming (also in China) for a year, teaching English and blogging.
Sasha was accepted into the 2015/2016 Darmasiswa program in Bali, Indonesia where he studied the language and culture. We lived there for 9 months and had an amazing time jet setting around on our motor scooter, making new friends and taking in the beauty of the Island of the Gods. From volunteering at the Bali Spirit Festival to participating in the annual Nypepi festival, our time was nothing short of amazing.
The summer of 2016 saw us back on American soil for an epic month of music and plenty of time with family and friends. We decided to stick around through the holidays – mainly so we could catch Phish’s Halloween run in Vegas – and save up energy and money.
We plan to spend all of 2017 traveling Central and South America. It’s part gap-year and part research. As we’re both working online now, we can travel slowly and really get to know the places we visit. We’re hoping to find a new home base. Fast internet, fun nightlife and delicious food are our main requirements so if you know a place that ticks those boxes, please feel free to share!
How We Can Help You
The primary purpose of this website is simply to share our experiences traveling and living on the road. Whether you’re simply bored at work, looking for travel tips, or just enjoy reading a good story, looking at photos, and watching videos, we hope you can find something both interesting and helpful here.
Travel Tales – This section is a running blog of stories from the road plus tips and photos about places we visit.
Live Music – Read about our experiences at concerts and music festivals. You can also check out our video series Streets, Beats & Eats where we highlight a cool place to hang out, mouth-watering local food and a good dose of nightlife spotlighting live music spots and cool bars
Trip Planning – Read all about our gap year and how we prepared for it.
Live Abroad – Here you can find all the information we think you could need about places abroad we have lived. So far we just have info about China. Stay tuned for info about Bali.
Country Profiles – Detailed information about all the countries we have lived and traveled in plus links to posts about those places.
Timeline – Chronological photo documentation of the things we’ve done in a calendar year.