Category Archives: Travel

The Toyota Corolla Wouldn’t Make It | Costa Rica Vlog 3

We spend the morning in search of hiking trails in Escazu/San Antonio, Costa Rica. Eventually we make our way to Pico Blanco with a gorgeous view of the valley.

If you’re ever traveling and don’t know if you’ll have cell service or wifi, check out the “maps.me” app. Not only does it allow you to download offline maps, but gives you turn-by-turn directions without using any data. (Note: We have no affiliation with the app, we were just REALL grateful to find it when we couldn’t get directions home from the airport.)

Meeting our Realtor at McDonald’s | Costa Rica Vlog 2

After arriving in Costa Rica, it took about 2 hours to get through customs, immigration, and pick up our rental car. Just in time to meet our realtors at a McDonald’s about 10 minutes away from the hotel.

We discussed how much land we want (3-10 acres) for how much ($20-100k) and in what areas. They gave us a list of 6 regions to check out on our own before bringing them along to see actual property for sale.

Giving Birth Abroad

Giving birth abroad has been something we’ve been thinking about since backpacking Europe. We discovered the rest of the world is not very accommodating to people with US passports, since we are so strict with immigration here in the States.

We also thought dual citizenship would be an extremely cool/useful/valuable gift we could give our children. After ruling out Europe and Canada, we found Costa Rica.

Our tickets and AirBnb is booked, and appointments are made. This is happening for real!

We’re not the first people to do this:
http://www.ticotimes.net/2015/08/15/west-side-birth-story-isla-arrives-at-cima
https://www.american-european.net/article-moving-to-costa-rica-while-pregnant-297.html
http://puravidaculture.com/having-a-baby-in-costa-rica/
http://familyfreedomproject.com/having-baby-costa-rica/
http://www.welovecostarica.com/public/Giving_Birth_Again_at_Hospital_CIMA_in_Costa_Rica.cfm

Traveling the Most Expensive Country in the World on a Budget

This will be our last video about our trip to Norway. Since we share all of our financials in our monthly newsletter, we wanted to break down the costs of gear and travel in this video.

If you’re thinking about going to Norway, our number one tip is to avoid restaurants. Everything else is actually pretty reasonable. (Note: A lot of that has to do with the current exchange rate being more favorable than in the past.)

Mike’s First Attempt at Photography

I’ve always been jealous of professional photographers.  Not bored housewives with $600 DSLR cameras on auto-mode, but artists who can turn any scene into something worth looking at.

Most of the technical knowledge I’ve gained from making videos directly translates to photography.  Setting up a camera to properly capture light comes naturally now.  What doesn’t come naturally is composing good looking shots into a single frame.

Before leaving for Norway I decided I wanted to hone my photography and editing skills. Landscapes seemed like a good place to start and who could ask for better landscape than fjords, glacial rivers, and sandy beaches all in one trip.

My hope going into the trip was that I would come out with 3 or 4 photos that accurately represented the country. I’m happy to say I think I accomplished that goal.

Photo 1
sunnyrock
I think this one is my favorite because it came out looking so natural. Some of my other pictures look more “processed.” It’s interesting, though, since the sun beam and rain drops in this one were enhanced dramatically (see original).

Photo 2
shipwreck
This is a ship wreck at low tide in Tromso. Editing this image showed me how versatile shooting in RAW can be. The original was really underexposed to capture the detail of the sky and mountains in the background, but I was able to brighten up the ship without any problems. This turned out a little too sharp in my opinion. I need to go back in and fix it at some point.

Photo 3
mountainside
This one is definitely the most print worthy. As we came around a bend in the road this mountain side village revealed itself. The road was a series switchbacks with no real place to pull off so I quickly put on our blinker, jumped out of the car, snapped this picture and kept driving. The original looked amazing by itself, I just adjusted the colors and added a few highlights.

Photo 4
beachhouse
This photo was taken from the window of the car. We were exploring the Lofoten Islands and saw this barn sitting on what looks like a tropical beach.  We’re actually above the Arctic Circle. (Original)

Photo 5
northernlightsWe’ll remember two things from our trip to Norway forever- The glacier hike and the northern lights. I increased the exposure and adjusted the white balance to more accurately reflect the colors we saw. In the original, the lights were greener than in real life. They were actually more of a teal-ish color like in the edited photo.

I hope you enjoyed! I learned a lot in this process about taking and editing photographs. By the end of my editing session I had a much better understanding about RAW files, dodging and burning, and finding interesting subject matter.