Archive for the Category ◊ Pre-Trip Prep ◊

25 Apr 2009 World Malaria Day – April 25
 |  Category: Kenya, Pre-Trip Prep, Volunteer  | Tags:  | One Comment

Today is World Malaria Day, which is a day that is set aside to raise awareness of what a huge problem Malaria has become.  Malaria is a disease that kills nearly 1 million people every year. Eighty six percent of malaria cases occur in Africa, but it also remains a global problem that affects countries in large parts of Asia and Latin America. This mosquito-born disease is preventable, yet every 30 seconds one child dies from it.  Celebrities such as Oprah and Ashton Kutcher have also been working on raising awareness on this serious issue.  We can all do our part to help.   Before leaving on our world tour, Rana and I threw an event to raise funds to purchase nets through the non-profit organization, Netting Nations.  We will be arriving in Nairobi, Kenya in June to distribute these nets to the children who so desperately need them. We thank all of our friends an family who donated funds.  If you would like to donate you can do so by going to or by clicking on the “Donations” tab above.

04 Mar 2009 The Best Footwear Ever
 |  Category: Our Trip, Pre-Trip Prep  | Tags:  | Leave a Comment

Trying to pack for a trip like this is not easy.  How to limit the items, the weight and manage to fit it all in a rather small backpack that you’ll be living out of for the next five months is quite a challenge.  Especially when it comes to shoes.  Thankfully the guys at Sanuk solved our footwear crisis and totally hooked us up with some amazing sandals and sidewalk surfers!  They are all super lightweight and pack really well. 

Plus they are so comfortable!!!  I’m loving the Ibiza and the Yoga Mat. Sherri’s favorite so far the sidewalk surfer’s in this really cute print. I have the open back sidewalk surfer’s in the same print…perfect for airports when you have to take your shoes off to go through security and great for just cruising around town.

Jeff Kelley you are the best!  Thanks so much to you and all the crew over at Sanuk!

20 Feb 2009 The Perfect Travel Pack
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I have traveled all over Europe 4 times before and every time I wished that I had a travel pack that I could throw on my back when I went up stairs and then could also wheel around in airports and other flat surfaces...well I finally found the perfect travel pack at REI, just in time for my big trip.  It fits carry on, has a detachable day pack, plenty of pockets and straps and best of all...super durable wheels that glide smoothly, even over bumpy surfaces.  This perfect travel pack is called the Osprey Meridian 22".  You can also get the bigger 28" one, but it doesn't fit carry on. When I was at REI, Brad, the helpful associate, put 35lbs of weights in the pack so that I could make sure it fit right.  Funny thing is, when I got to the airport, I put my full pack on the weigh machine and it was exactly 35lbs!

14 Feb 2009 Visaaahhhhhsss!
 |  Category: Pre-Trip Prep  | One Comment

Wow, planning a trip like this is so much more complicated than we ever could have imagined.  We need visas for just about every country that we are going to and we are quickly running out of time!  Each country has its own procedures when it comes to obtaining a visa…some are super simple while others are very complicated.  Australia was has a simple application over the Internet and a small fee ($20 Australian). For China ($150) we had to go up the the Consulate in LA and drop off our passports and then go back and pick them up the next day.   The Kenya Consulate ($60) in LA was really nice and gave our passports back in about an hour.  After we had these visas added to our passports, we realized that we didn’t have enough blank pages in our passports to last the entire trip.  We became a little frantic because we weren’t sure if you had to give your old passport back to get a new one (meaning “goodbye” to the visas we had just gotten) or would we be able to have pages added to our current passports?  The passport office confirmed that we could add more pages to our current passport for a fee ($60)…unfortunately our only options to do this was either to mail our passports in for 10 days or go back up to LA to the Federal Building and drop them off and go back the next day to pick them up.  We have seen way more LA traffic in the last two weeks than we’ve ever wanted to see.  Once our pages were added, we sent our passports off to a service in San Francisco to get our India visas ($152 including expediting) and expect to get them back sometime next week, thanks to Jason at We’re still figuring out how to get our Brazil visas because they expire 90 days after the issue date and we won’t be in Brazil for over 120 days from now.  So far the only options we have is to either drop our passports off at the Brazilian Consulates in New Delhi, India or Johannesburg, South Africa.  But we’re a little worried because in most of these countries it is very difficult to travel around without your passports.  They usually want to keep your passports when you check into a hostel. So we still have to figure that part out…but that’s just part of the adventure! :)

29 Jan 2009 Here we come…
 |  Category: Our Trip, Pre-Trip Prep  | 4 Comments

There’s no turning back now, we’ve finally bought our tickets! After many days spent on the phone and internet, we realized we were going way too many places to only purchase one around the world ticket. The two largest airline alliances, One World and Star Alliance, both have a limit of 16 segments as well as a mileage limit. What a surprise…we went way over the limit.  So we had to rethink a couple of countries and buy our Southeast Asia tickets and South Africa tickets separately.  We’d like to thank Casey at United for her patience while staying on the phone with us for two hours, reconfirming our flight details and renegotiating our ticket price that had changed since the reservation was put on hold. 

Our Adventure Begins…

Feb. 23rd LA to Sydney, Australia…drive up to the Gold Coast.

Mar. 9th Brisbane to Bali…volunteer at an orphanage and meet up with The Norberg’s.

Mar. 23rd Bali to Bangkok…we’ve got about a month to explore the regions of Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia.  We’re unsure whether we’ll want to fly into all of the places we want to see in these countries or look into other means of transportation, but Bangkok is a centrally located airport in Thailand and flights from there are supposedly cheaper…especially since our schedule is flexible.

April 21st Bangkok to Hong Kong…visit our friend Aaron.

April 27th Hong Kong to Beijing…hike the Great Wall of China.

May 2nd Beijing to Calcutta, India…volunteer at a convent and practice yoga at an Ashram. 

May 24th Calcutta to Nairobi, Kenya…volunteer in villages and distribute malaria nets.

June 4th Nairobi to Johannesburg to Durban, South Africa 

June 10th Durban to Cape Town

June 18th Cape Town to Johannesburg to Sao Paulo, Brazil…visit family friends.

July 3rd Sao Paulo to LA

Arriving home July 4th!!!  There better be a party with fireworks for us! ;)

09 Jan 2009 Ouch!
 |  Category: Pre-Trip Prep  | 5 Comments

We got started on our vaccinations…wow, who would’ve guessed we would need so many?  Sherri has never been vaccinated (even as a child) so she needed a few more then me!  I had to get 5 shots…3 in 1 arm & 2 in the other arm!  Ouch! 
Ok…they didn’t hurt as bad as I expected, but I’m a total wimp when it comes to needles.  I had to sit down in the chair at the Dr’s office & cover my head with my jacket so that I wouldn’t see the needle and freak out!  I think Sherri handled it a bit better than I did.
Unfortunately these vaccinations are not covered by insurance…cha ching $$$. Between the two of us our vaccinations cost over $1,300 so far and supposedly we’re not done yet.  The travel doctor said we should still get the vaccination for Japanese Encephalitis…it’s a 3 series & costs $150 per shot ($450 for one vaccine!)  We’re still doing a bit more research on that one…if you have had this vaccine or have traveled into the rural areas of the countries where we’re visiting please email & let us know!
xo, Rana

03 Nov 2008 Welcome to our Greatest Adventure!
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The Rambo Hike Near Hana.

The Rambo Hike Near Hana.





Aloha from Maui!

We have just begun our pre-trip preparations for our trip around the world.  In order to get a feel for what is to come, we thought a quick trip to Maui, Hawaii would get the blood flowing.  We visited our friends Natalie and Chris and had a great time celebrating Halloween in Lahaina.

We also went on a great hike near Hana, aptly names “THE RAMBO HIKE.”

Please follow us as we explore the globe over the next few months.

Some of the many places we plan on visiting include:

Australia, Bali, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, China, India, Kenya, South Africa and Brazil.