From those putting their hearts out on the field to those exploring the road less traveled, the SunglassWarehouse.com crew is pumped to introduce our latest series, where we highlight men and women committed to seizing the day and going Out & About. Check back each month as we interview individuals who have played, explored, lived, and gone the distance in the great outdoors.
Today’s Out & About post features Matt & Andrea of World Walk About, a travel blog they’ve dedicated to documenting their wanderlust as a couple. Soon after tying the knot, the duo left their home in Seattle and set off to teach English in South Korea — talk about a big adventure! We got the scoop on what sparked their love for travel, their favorite destinations, and their tips for jet-setting couples. Check out their responses and learn more about Matt & Andrea in our conversation below — we’ll be surprised if you aren’t itching to jump on the next flight out.
Could you give a brief introduction for our readers about yourselves, your family, and your interests and hobbies?
Matt & Andrea: We met in Seattle in 2007 through mutual friends. On the first date, Matt picked the pepperonis off of Andrea’s pizza (knowing she doesn’t like them), and that’s when Andrea knew he was a keeper. Almost exactly four years later, we tied the knot in Seattle. We both love books, cats, and of course, traveling. We embarked on our second big adventure soon after our wedding. We quit our jobs (Andrea as a marketing copywriter and Matt as a high school science teacher), put our belongings in storage, left our home in Seattle, and moved to South Korea to teach English. We spent a year learning Korean, trying new foods, and exploring as much of Korea as we could squeeze in. After our contracts in South Korea ended, we took off on a nearly three-month adventure through Southeast Asia, where we ate lots of street food, wandered through temples, and saw impossibly beautiful beaches. Now we’re back in the USA seeking out travel and adventure in our country!
When were you first bitten by the travel bug, and where did you go first?
Matt & Andrea: Neither of us traveled much as kids, but we always had the desire. Andrea’s first big travel experience (that started it all) was a college study abroad program in Rome. She took side trips all over Italy and other parts of Europe. Matt’s first big trip that was to Spain to visit a friend.
What advice would you give to a couple who wants to start traveling together?
Matt & Andrea: Traveling (especially for longer stretches of time) requires flexibility. You simply can’t predict what will happen around you, so it’s best to adopt a go-with-the-flow attitude, especially towards your partner! There’s no use in getting cranky with the only person around you who can speak your language. Traveling and living abroad together made us closer than ever, and it’s absolutely something we recommend to other couples!
What are some of your favorite places to visit and why? Can you share a few highlights from your travels?
Matt & Andrea: Matt’s favorite places are Hong Kong, Prague, and Paris. Andrea’s favorites are Hong Kong, Rome, Phnom Pehn, Amsterdam, and New York. We both love Hong Kong so much because it has everything we love about both Asia and Europe! Highlights of our travels include zip-lining over the jungle in Okinawa, Japan, playing with tigers in Chiang Mai, Thailand, riding elephants in Luang Prabang, Laos, riding bikes through various European cities, and experiencing both the Vatican and St. Peter’s.
What dishes did you have during your travels that you can’t stop dreaming of, and what is the one meal you could do without trying again?
Matt & Andrea: We were both obsessed with a dish in Cambodia called Khmer Amok — a yellow curry made with eggs and wrapped in banana leaves. We also both loved a smoked duck and pumpkin dish that we tried in Korea. Andrea was pretty into the dumplings and bubble teas sold on the streets of Taiwan, and Matt loved the kebabs in Paris. We both weren’t fans of anything with tofu in Taiwan or dishes with octopus in Korea.
You both also do a lot of national traveling. What is next on your destination road map?
Matt & Andrea: We’re always going to Eastern Washington and to Portland, Oregon. Our next big domestic trip will probably be to Southern California!
We are a sunglass store, after all, so we have to ask — which pair of Sunglass Warehouse shades would make your perfect travel companion?
Thanks again to Matt & Andrea for chatting with us! Stop by their blog to see where they’re off to next.