Two years ago, Seth and Olivia Hanson quit their jobs (his in banking and hers in property management), sold their home in Austin, Texas, and took off for a six-month trip around the world. It was a dream vacation for this married couple.
“One night we were talking about how great it would be to just take some time off and travel, so we took out a piece of paper and wrote down our dream destinations,” Seth Hanson told Business Insider. “Our lists turned out almost identical.”
Wasting no time, they decided to start actually planning the trip to make it a reality. The couple ultimately settled on Brazil, Peru, Ecuador, Hong Kong, Bali, Singapore, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, and India.
They planned out about 50% of the sites they would visit and tried to keep it cheap, allotting $12,000 per person for the entire trip.
During their first stop in South America, they realised large tourist destinations like Rio de Janeiro and Machu Picchu, weren’t going to be their favourite. The crowds and the hype were off-putting. They soon realised that they prefer more secluded, unique destinations, like Jericoara, Brazil, or Jaisalmer, India.
They felt that India was the most authentic place they traveled: There they befriended locals who invited them to dinner, played cricket with the local kids around the country, and ate $US1 meals along the side of the road.
“We stumbled on some Jain temple and walked to the top and could see the whole city,” Seth said, recalling his time in an Indian city. “Olivia was crying because it was so beautiful. It was just one of those moments.”
Seth and Olivia shared some photos of their journey. We’ve included them here, along with their original captions.
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The first time we experienced solitude. Found ourselves all alone on the other side of Ilha Grande, Brazil.
The secluded city of Jericoacoara in north Brazil was a favourite. To get there you have to take multiple buses through sand dunes, and it's pretty slow going. But you end up in this undiscovered oasis. There's sand and wind boarding, fresh oysters, great hotels and restaurants.
The landscape in Jericoacoara was farm-meets-desert-meets-beach. This was the most beautiful place to me. The colours are indescribable.
We stayed with a family on an island in Lake Titicaca, Peru. Our host, Simon, loves to play guitar for visitors and he sang his heart out that night.
After travelling around South America, we flew to Asia. In Bali, we saw a beautiful bridge in the Monkey Forest.
We tried a fish spa in Siem Reap, Cambodia, where little fish cleaned our feet. It tickled like crazy.
This little girl at the Doi Suthep Temple near Chiang Mai, Thailand, was adorable, but she was begging for money.
Most of the places in southeast Asia that we traveled to after South America are more or less Westernized, even some of the more remote areas. Out of everywhere we went, we liked India the best because it seemed the most true to itself.
India is such a colourful country -- literally. This vendor in Pushkar sold different coloured powders during Holi, the Festival of Colours.
We stopped on the side of the road for refreshments while on our way to Ranakpur, India, where we made some friends.
My first 'man shave' in Bikaner, India. I was a little nervous, but after the shave I had never been so smooth!
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