What We’re Up to — July 2016

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And just like that, it’s July.

It’s hard to believe we’ve been back in Europe for an entire month now, and that we’ve been out of Mexico for just over 2 months now. When we look back (and yearn for tacos), it feels like it’s been ages since we left Mexico at the end of April, with so much happening in the meantime: a visit home, a trip to Milwaukee, a conference, publishing our second adult coloring book, and spending 10 days with my mom in Portugal.

We’ve had a great start to the summer, with more cool things coming up. Here’s what we’re up to in July…

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Are We Too Old for Hostels?

We finished up our housesit in Central Portugal yesterday, bidding Harry the sweet orange cat a sad farewell.

Originally, we’d planned to take a quick trip out of Portugal, but our July travel plans took an unexpected turn (for the better…more details below), and we found ourselves with 10 days to kill somewhere in Portugal before moving on to our next country.

With no real plans, we figured we’d answer a question that’s been sneaking up on us over the last few years…are we too old for hostels?

At 35 and 39, comfort is becoming increasingly important to us as we travel. We like nice decor, comfy beds, and peace and quiet. But we also miss the social aspects of hosteling, and the connections we’ve made while staying in hostels. When we stayed in Belgrade for a few weeks, for example, we rented an Airbnb apartment, but I regretted the decision after going for weeks without meeting any other travelers. We tried hostelling again in Merida, Mexico, but both ended up being too sick to enjoy it…and it was definitely on the gritty side of the scale, which doesn’t really suit our style of travel anymore.

With no real plans, time to kill, and finding ourselves in a country known amongst travelers as having some of the best hostels in the world, we figured we’d do a self-guided hostel tour, and check out some of the best hostels in a country known for having the best hostels.

We’re currently in Porto, checking out Tattva Design Hostel. We’ll be here for a few days, and then we’re heading to Braga, a city we’ve never been to in the north of Portugal, to stay at Collector’s Hostel.

After figuring out whether thirty-somethings (and more!) can enjoy hostels, we’ll have a few days in Lisbon before our next stop…

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Rome…with Context Tours

On July 12, we’re saying Ciao to Portugal after a full 40 days exploring the country, and we’re heading to a country we’ve been to before, but a city that is (mostly) brand new …

ROME!

We’ll be in Rome for 10 days with Context Travel. If you’re not familiar with Context, we’re excited to be the ones to introduce you. Their entire focus is offering small group walking tours for the intellectually curious traveler.

It’s a mission we love.

Context’s tour guides are not tour guides…they are docents. Their walking tours aren’t tours…they’re walking seminars. And the  best part is, it’s not all a marketing gimmick…all of their docents are experts in their fields, holding a masters or PhD in the subject of the tour. In a nutshell, we’ll be learning about Rome, in Rome, from Rome experts.

The plan for Rome is to explore the city through a series of Context experiences, and tell the story of the city (through photos, video, the blog, social media, etc) as we see it and learn about it through Context’s docents.

It feels like a fantastic fit with what we’re trying to do on the blog, and in our own travels…cultural and meaning travel experiences around the world. You can see what we’re up to on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram (and – of course, on this blog!) with the hashtag #DeepTravel.

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Ending July in Budapest

We’re planning on ending July in a city we’ve both been to and both love, but haven’t spent nearly enough time in…Budapest.

The plan is to stay in a friend’s apartment for a few days before moving into a house-sit to care for a greyhound named Bruno while his humans go on holidays! After the house-sit, we’ll probably spend a few more days back in our friend’s apartment, exploring Budapest sans Bruno: spa baths and ruin pubs are on the agenda.

By mid-August, we’ll be ready to leave Budapest. And while we have a pretty good idea of where we’re off to, we’re not quite ready to announce it yet.

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Coming Up on the Blog this Month

Last month, were really excited to publish our first free coloring page in June — Coloring Milwaukee — and we’re going to continue to do that as much as we can, especially when we’re not in a place long enough to make an entire adult coloring book from our experiences.

Coming up this month, we’ll be telling the stories of our time in Portugal, living in a small village in the centre of the country and exploring on roadtrips (I think we drove about 3000 kms!).

We’ll report back on our are we too old for hostels tour, and create reviews of the places we stay. In the past, we haven’t focused on accommodation reviews, preferring to tell the stories of the cities themselves, and our experiences in them.

In the past year, however, we’ve been getting more and more emails from readers asking us where we stay on our travels, as well asking for specific recommendations and opinions on hotels and hostels. Because of this, we’ve decided to start putting more effort into telling the stories of the places we stay and the beds we sleep in!

You may have seen this already with our Where to Stay Guides, which are written by people who really know the city well. We currently have Where to Stay in Prague, Where to Stay in Vancouver, and Where to Stay in Seville, and will be publishing Where to Stay in Berlin (written by Cheryl Howard, a Canadian expat in Berlin), ASAP.

Now, we’re going to also write about specific accommodations as well. Since we love the idea of design hostels, and we really believe hostels can be appealing for 30-something and 40-something travelers, we figured this was a good time to get started!

And of course, we’ll be starting to tell the stories of Rome and Budapest, as they happen.

Happy travels everyone!

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