How and when did you meet?

We can’t really recall our first time actually meeting each other, but Heather vividly remembers the first time she saw Jason. Walking into the same room as him at a friend’s house, she had to walk right back out of the house because she got this overwhelming feeling she was going to marry that boy sitting on the couch. We don't even think we talked that night, but we can sum up meeting through mutual friends in youth group during 2006/2007.

How long have you been together?

We started dating in March 2008 (after six months of Heather falling for this boy, while Jay wanted nothing more than to be friends). Jay proposed in December 2012, and we got married shortly after in July 2013.

DIG A LITTLE DEEPER : Our Mountain Top Wedding (Video Style)

What’s your favorite place you’ve been?

Without a shadow of a doubt, our all-time favorite place we’ve been is Patagonia. It’s so clean and untouched there – truly like anywhere else we’ve ever been! Although, we must say.. we really like Norway, Iceland, and Croatia as well!

How long have you been traveling?

In summer 2014, we began selling most our belongings before packing up, moving out, and hitting the road in August. We traveled through the United States and South America until January 2016 when we moved to Scotland. We're currently living in a van and traveling somewhere new nearly every weekend and every break from school.. so for nearly three years?

What made you start traveling?

Growing up we both traveled here and there with family. But in 2011, we traveled to Greece and Italy together before Jason did an Erasmus program in Finland while Heather did a teaching internship in Tanzania. — This is when we really fueled the traveling desire, and haven’t stopped adventuring together since.

Do you ever miss home?

While we miss our family and friends, we 100% believe that home is where we are together. Whether that’s back in Oregon, on the road in a new country, or in our van in Scotland, as long as we’re together, that’s home to us.

How do you afford to travel?

The million-dollar question!! Before we packed up and left in 2013, we both worked a ton and saved everything we had. We sold a lot of our belongings and again, saved that too, using it all to travel. We live really cheap lives. Since we live in a van, we don’t pay rent or really any other bills, and we basically travel to where we find the cheapest deals. It’s all about where you choose to spend the money you have, and we chose to travel cheap, and live even cheaper.

DIG A LITTLE DEEPER : How We Began Traveling

How much money did you save to travel?

When we were both working our booties off and saved up just over $30,000 USD. That money not only initiated our travels, but lasted us for about two years including moving expenses to Scotland. That number doesn’t really mean anything though, because in the end, whatever amount you save is only as good as how you spend it.

DIG A LITTLE DEEPER : How Much You Need to Travel 

What camera do you use?

When we first started traveling we were shooting with this handheld Nikon. However, we’ve since gotten really into photography and now shoot with this camera using this lens. All our underwater photos are with this camera.

Where are you going to settle down?

Honestly, we have NO idea. We’re playing it by ear, waiting for the Lord to open doors and show us where He has us. We don’t think we’ll “settle down” anytime soon, but who knows!

How do you get money abroad?

When we travel, we use our travel credit card. It has no foreign fees, and allows us to rack up the points to use later! However, there are times we have to pull out cash, and since we still don’t have a Charles Schwab account, we kick ourselves in the butt every time we do so. Opening a Charles Schwab account allows for pulling out money from an ATM without any fees – we really need to get one of those!

Do you always travel together?

Yes. Maybe it’s the way we’re wired, but we truly don’t want to experience things without each other. We travel together perfectly wanting to see and do the same things, and wouldn’t have it any other way.

How do you handle each other 24/7?

OH. MY. GOODNESS. We can’t tell you a number of times we’ve had some form of this question asked, and here’s our answer - because we love each other. Not just an “I love you” kind of love, a love founded within the Lord. Our souls were meant for each other, and we honestly love being around each other ALL. THE. TIME. We find our happiness in the joy each other has, and that in itself makes it so easy to always be around each other.

When will you be done traveling?

In short, never. We have traveling souls. We’ll never see all the Creation across the globe or meet people for all different cultures, so we’ll never be done. Traveling isn’t just a way for us to pass the time, it’s a lifestyle we’ve chosen, and as far as we can see, there’s no stopping anytime soon.

What’s next?

People usually ask us this in reference to Jason finishing up PT school in April. And again, we don’t really know what’s next for us. We have a few different ideas up our sleeves, but honestly are just going where we feel led to go. Jay’s last placement is an elective placement that can be completed anywhere in the world, so come February/March we may be moving somewhere new, but really have no idea at this point! – If you know any PT’s that want to take on a student, let us know.. maybe we’ll come near you! 😉

What do you pack for a trip abroad?

Each of us carries the following...

  • 4 x’s the underwear
  • 2 x’s socks
  • 2 x’s bra – for Heather obviously. One sports bra, one regular bra. I love ones like this (can cross in the back and pack small!)
  • 2 x’s bottoms – two shorts if we’re in warm weather and one shorts & one pants if traveling somewhere cooler.
  • 3 x’s t-shirt – if it’s warmer weather, it’s 2 x’s tank tops and 1 x’s t-shirt for Heather
  • 1 x’s long sleeve that works as a warm layer
  • 1 x’s rain jacket
  • 1 x’s hydroflask
  • 3 oz Doctor Bonner’s Soap – this stuff is the shizzz!!
  • Normal toiletries like razor, toothbrush, floss, brush, deodorant, and toothpaste.

DIG A LITTLE DEEPER:  What’s In Our Packs (coming soon)

What bag do you use?

When we backpacked in South America, we both had our Osprey Packs, and we love them. (Head to your local outdoors shop to get fitted for one for you.) We use these when we go places where we’re bringing our camping gear with us. For all our other trips, anywhere from weekend getaways to month-long journey’s, we use this PeakDesign bag. We cannot recommend these bad boys enough.

DIG A LITTLE DEEPER : Our PeakDesign Everyday Backpack, Possibly Our One True Love 😉 (coming soon)  

How much do you spend traveling?

This honestly depends on where we are traveling to. When we were in South America, we were living off of about 10 USD a day per person, while that wouldn’t even get you a place to stay in most places in Europe. We will say, wherever we go, we check the prices of flights/accommodation/food and see if it fits our budget for that time.

What travel gear do you recommend for first-time travelers?

Check out this post (coming soon) for our recommended travel gear. It gives an idea of the things we use all the time and is a great place to start for any trip abroad.

What about when kids come?

To give our {future} children the life we think they deserve, we’ll continue traveling/camping/hiking/adventuring with little ones in tow. We know it will be completely different than the way we travel now, but we still want to show them the world.  

Where do you stay when you travel/How do you book accommodation?

For longer stays, we tend to find AirBnB’s with kitchenettes so we can cook and feel at home. Otherwise, we find places on for Europe, and for SE Asia. We also always compare prices with and if they’re cheaper or about the same on there, we book through them, as after you stay for 10 nights, you get the eleventh night for free. Give us all the freebies!

If you’re new to AirBnB, use this link to get a discount on your first AirBnB stay!

How do you pick where to go?

Honestly, because we are terrible at planning in advance, we tend to travel to the cheapest place we can find. This includes weighing out costs of flights with cost of living in different places. When we find good deals, we just can’t pass them up.. Like when we booked last minute flights to Thailand or bought tickets to surprise our family in Oregon like two days before flying out! There are a few places across the globe we really want to see, but we know the time will come to see them when we find a deal we just can’t pass on!

How do you travel while in school?

We’re lucky enough for Jay to be in a program that isn’t as stressful or demanding as programs in the states. He has more time off than we ever thought he would, so we try to take advantage of every long weekend or break he gets. And honestly, sometimes our travels look like writing a paper in a public square, or just experiencing places in the evenings around dinner time – so being flexible with where we work has been a huge part of how often we can travel.  

How do you make money?

We make money with ArboursAbroad a couple different ways. One obvious way is through ads on our website and YouTube channel. When these ads are viewed, we get a (very small) amount of money in our pocket. We also use affiliate linking programs. So when you click on the affiliate links within our posts, we again make a small commission off those bookings and sales. – This is a huge one for us… So, if you’re looking at our gear reviews, or want to buy products we recommend, please buy through the links we provide! 🙂 Lastly, we make money by helping other people plan their dream holidays/travels. If you’re interested in us helping you book a trip abroad, shoot us an email. We’d love to help you out!

Do you vlog?

Yes, we certainly do! We’re really new to it, but absolutely love capturing our travels in video! You can check out our vlog on our ArboursAbroad Channel, and more about us living in a van on our Vantrails Channel.

How long have you been vlogging?

We just started recording our travels via videos in January 2017. Definitely still babies in the vlogging world!

What made you start this website?

ArboursAbroad started as a place to stay connected to friends and family back home when we first left for South America. We wanted a place to share more than just photos with a small caption, and instead, share deeper meaningful stories and lessons we learned on the road. After a year of travel, we had too many photos being stored to continue using the free WordPress, and we had to either buy more space or purchase our own domain. We decided to go with the second one, and now we have… our own little slice of internet heaven.

Where do you find your flights?

If we’re flying in and around Europe, we use the budget airlines for our flights, booking through their own individual sites. For travels outside of Europe, we use both Skyscanner and Momondo.

DIG A LITTLE DEEPER: Finding the Cheapest Flights for Your Next Holiday  

Any tips for first-time travelers?

Don’t try and see it all. Have a few ideas planned out for what you’re going to see and do, but be open to those plans changing! And, when you get stressed out, remember how blessed you are to be able to see a new part of the world!

DIG A LITTLE DEEPER : 11 Things Not to do Abroad  




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