Most Recent Blog Posts
Highlights from our Walking with the Buddha 2022 Journeys
Enjoy some of Lauren’s photos from our November and December 2022 journeys through India and Nepal, following in the footsteps of the Buddha.
BJ’s Top 20 of the Past 10 Years!
See BJ’s favorite 20 photos from the past ten years of living full-time on the road.
Photos from our Kenya Safari 2022
Enjoy some scenes from our 2022 Kenya Luxe Safari!
Umoja Women’s Village
Learn more about Umoja Women’s Village and how to support these courageous women & children.
Madagascar 2022 Exploration Photos
Take a tour of Madagascar–today through photos, but next year, in person!
Guest Spotlight: Randall Buskirk
We have the coolest guests! An adventure isn’t just about the itinerary–it’s also about who you share it with. We want to turn the spotlight on some of our guests and what projects they’re working on.When is a guest more than a guest? When they're our very first...
How to make the Maldivian dish Mas Huni
Learn how to make mas huni, the tuna and coconut breakfast found in the Maldives. You can make vegan alternatives, as well!
Guest Spotlight: Alicia Zambelli
Meet Alicia Zambelli, world-traveling vet extraordinaire! Lucky you if you & your pet live around Portland, OR–you can meet her yourself.
Photos from our March 2022 Sri Lanka Adventure
Enjoy some scenes from our March 2022 journey to Sri Lanka, from Buddhas to beaches, spices to safaris.
Guest Spotlight: Tyler Jacobson
Our guests are the coolest! This month meet legendary fantasy illustrator Tyler Jacobson.
December 2021 Galapagos Photo Album
Enjoy some scenes from our December 2021 journey to the Galapagos islands!
November 2021 Galapagos Photo Album
Come along with us as we explore the Galapagos with our amazing guests!
Celebrating Kukur Tihar in Nepal
Learn about the Nepali holiday that honors dogs, Kukur Tihar, and learn how YOU can help street dogs, too!
2021 Rwanda Gorilla & Chimpanzee photos
Enjoy some of Lauren’s photos from our 2021 gorilla & chimpanzee treks in Rwanda.
Kenya 2021 Safari Photos
We hope you enjoy some scenes from our 2021 Kenyan safari!
Guest Spotlight: Janie Heinrich
Learn more about the fabulous Janie Heinrich and Mobility Service Dogs—West Coast Project.
Guest Spotlight: Christy Rupp
This month the spotlight is on New York-based eco-artist Christy Rupp, whose new book comes out this November!
How to Easily Resize Your Photos for Visa Applications
You may need to make your photos smaller to upload them to visa application sites—here’s a great website to reduce your photos to any size you need.
How to Organize Your Passport Stamps with Post-it Notes
We have a simple solution for keeping your passport stamps organized and to prolong the life of your passport’s pages with sticky notes.
How to Reduce Your Environmental Impact When Traveling
“Leave this world a little better than you found it.” Do you want to be a good steward in your host country but you’re not sure where to start? We’ll give you some tips on how to avoid plastic waste and protect the local resources.
How to Choose a Safe Sunscreen for your Vacation
We’ll help you choose the best, safest natural sunscreen to protect you and the environment on your next vacation.
Guest Spotlight: Claudia Reese
A sunrise trip to Angkor Wat on our 2018 Around the World trip inspired ceramic artist Claudia Reese in gorgeous ways!
Our 2021 American Southwest Road Trip
We explored the national parks of the American Southwest in late April 2021, driving from Denver, CO to Palm Springs, CA.
Guest Spotlight: Jane Plitt
We have the coolest guests! Learn more about Jane Plitt, her advocacy, and her literary love affair with the woman who invented franchising.
Guest Spotlight: Dina Mussano
Out first guest spotlight is one of our very first guests, the co-founder of Shrine and designer extraordinaire.
How to Prevent and Treat Altitude Sickness
Make the most of your high-altitude vacation and prevent altitude sickness (AMS) with these tips from our own experience and the latest medical advice.
How to Prevent and Treat Traveler’s Diarrhea
Don’t let an upset stomach ruin your vacation. Learn how to prevent and treat traveler’s diarrhea with these helpful tips.
Wildlife Photography in the Pantanal Wetlands of Brazil
A tour of the Pantanal wetlands of Brazil reveals all of the wildlife you expect to see in the Amazon Rainforest, including jaguars, tapir, hyacinth macaws, capybara, and more.
Favorite product highlight: Skin Food
Weleda Skin Food is a must-have for your travels!
Our Favorite Breakfasts Around the World
From samosa soup to barley flour, barbacoa tacos to pad thai, these are some of our favorite breakfasts from around the world!
Galapagos Field Guide
Enjoy our custom Galapagos Field guide, focusing on the animals of Isabela and San Cristobal, with special sections on Españole and the life of Charles Darwin!
Galapagos Zoom Backgrounds
Enjoy these Zoom backgrounds and work remotely from the Galapagos!
Scenes from our Easter Island tour
Enjoy some scenes from beautiful Rapa Nui, or Easter Island!
Photos from our January 2020 Galapagos Tour
Enjoy some scenes from our January 2020 journey to the Galapagos!
Wildlife Photos from our Kenya Exploration Tour
Enjoy some scenes from our 2019 wildlife exploration of Kenya. Check our menu above for our current Kenyan safari tours! Follow us
Scenes from Walking with the Buddha 2019
Enjoy some scenes from our 2019 Walking with the Buddha pilgrimage, where we walked in the footsteps of the Buddha in India and Nepal with Tricycle Magazine.
Pick & Cheese: London’s Cheese Conveyor Belt Restaurant
We explored London’s “Pick & Cheese” conveyor belt restaurant and can’t wait to return!
Treat, Spay, Love: Volunteering with Street Dogs in Ladakh, India
For years we’ve wanted to combine our passion for empowering people to travel with our love of helping street dogs. That dream became a reality with our inaugural “Treat, Spay, Love” journey to Ladakh, on the Tibetan Plateau in India. Six volunteers, including three veterinarians, joined us at our home base of Thiksey Monastery the last week of May 2019 in order to enjoy the sights and also offer their time, care, and expertise.
Photos from our 2019 Mongolian itinerary research
Enjoy some scenes from our Summer 2019 Mongolian itinerary research. We explored this land of the eternal blue sky in order to create the best tours for you!
Egypt 2019 Photo Album
Take a look at all of the fun we had on our Spring 2019 Egyptian adventures!
Galapagos 2018 Adventure Trip Photos
Enjoy a few photos from our December 2018 Galapagos adventure!
Around the World Tour 2018 Photo Album
Please enjoy some scenes from our 2018 28-day, 9-country Around the World journey with RetreaTours!
Applying for your Cambodian e-Visa
Here are some easy-to-follow instructions for completing your Cambodia e-Visa online (updated in 2019)
Intro to Delhi’s Aerocity
Staying at Delhi’s Aerocity is a good choice for those who arrive late at night or with an early morning departure (or the unfortunate combination of both!) It is just an easy 8-10 minute drive to the airport, allowing you more time resting at your hotel than sitting in Delhi traffic.
Here are some tips to make your stay in Aerocity more familiar.
Delhi Airport Departure Tips
Air travel is relatively similar all over the world, but those slight differences in a new place can throw you off your game! Here is a brief preview as to what you can expect when checking into Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi, India. Entering the...
Jordan Travel Photography 2018
Enjoy some visuals from our January 2018 trip to Jordan. From the salts of the Dead Sea to the red sands of Wadi Rum and all of the breathtaking carvings at Petra and ruins at Jerash, we fell in love with Jordan!
Street Dog Care Rabies Vaccination Campaign 2018
Once again, Street Dog Care vaccinated 1,000 street dogs against rabies in their annual campaign in the Boudhanath neighborhoods of Kathmandu, Nepal.
Island of the Dolls, Mexico
Detail about how to get to the Island of the Dolls, plus photos from our recent visit outside Mexico City in November 2017.
Day of the Dead celebrations in and around Mexico City 2017
Enjoy some visuals from Day of the Dead in 2017, in and around Mexico City!Follow us
Elephants aren’t for riding
We do not support the riding of elephants on any of our tours. Click here to learn why.
Tips on Choosing Luggage
The luggage you already have in your closet is probably A-OK, but if you are in the market for a new piece, here are our suggestions!
Navigating the Leh Airport in Ladakh, India
How to navigate arrivals and departures from Leh’s airport, Kushok Bakula Rimpochee Airport (IXL).
Huitlacoche in Mexico: A Very Smutty Soup Indeed
While in Ajijic, Mexico, I tried my hand at making my own huitlacoche (aka, Corn Fungus) soup—pictures inside!
My Darjeeling Experience or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Tea
Makaibari Tea has ruined me for life, in the best possible way. Let me tell you why...but it might take a minute to get there. Pour yourself a cup of tea and settle in. As the owners of a tour company, my husband BJ and I travel all year long, staying in hotels every...
How to Save Money on ATM Fees While Traveling!
Learn how to avoid paying steep fees for ATM usage overseas by using a Charles Schwab ATM card. It’s super easy and can save you hundreds of dollars!
Nepal Earthquake Relief Donation Recipients, June 2015
A huge, heartfelt thank you to all of our donors who participated in our donation drive! BJ and I left Nepal on April 12th for our Spring Indonesian tours, just two weeks before the earthquake. When we completed those tours, we knew we had to return to our beloved...
Thanaka: The Secret to Burmese beauty
Myanmar (Burma) is a special place with its own unique flavor & style, from the delightful tea leaf salads to the fashionable longyi. However, there is perhaps nothing more quintessentially Burmese than thanaka (pronounced TAWN-uh-kuh). What is thanaka? Thanaka is...
In Praise of Packing Cubes
How should I pack for my vacation or retreat? I'll admit it: I am a hardcore packing cube fan. I literally live out of them! You may have mastered the art of rolling and tucking and magically arranging your clothing in a suitcase, but the minute you take one thing...
A Short Visit to Singapore (What you can do in 6 hours to 4 days!)
If you are joining one of our tours to Bali, you will probably pass through Singapore, most likely arriving late at night. You will have already made the choice of booking a flight the next day to Bali or spending a couple days in Singapore. We'll give some ideas...
The Buzz: Malaria & Mosquitos in South and Southeast Asia
The Buzz: Malaria & Mosquitos in South and Southeast Asia What is malaria, anyways? One of the most frequent and most important questions we get is about malaria. Malaria is a mosquito-borne infectious disease of humans and other animals caused by...
Best Vegetarian Restaurant in Hoi An, Vietnam
(Written in 2014) Maybe the title of this post should be "Best Vegetarian Restaurant in Vietnam"...or maybe in the world? I'm not ashamed to admit that I ate here for a majority of my meals while staying in the UNESCO heritage town of Hoi An. Let's get to it: I'm...
Flying to New Delhi (DEL) from the USA
What's the best way to get fly India? Getting to India's Indira Gandhi International airport is pretty straightforward from the United States. Depending on where you begin your travels in the US, you can typically buy return tickets for between $1100-$1500 (economy...
Kuang Si Waterfalls in Luang Prabang, Laos
I'm a sucker for waterfalls, perhaps for one reason: waterfalls imply "elevation." A born & bred Floridian (where our highest point is 345 feet high—and that hill is practically in Georgia), waterfalls evoke images of hills, mountains, forests and running...
A Brief Indonesian Food Primer
A big concern for many travelers is "What will I eat overseas?!" There are so many TV shows these days that showcase international dishes that seem unusual, bizarre, or even downright unappetizing to Western palates. As entertaining as these shows might be, I think...
Flying from the U.S. to Bali
What is the best way to fly from the U.S. to Bali? From most of the USA, the flight to Bali is one of the farthest places you can travel to on the globe. It’s a long way to travel, but we assure you that it’s entirely worth it, and there are a number of options for...
How to Dramatically Lessen the Effects of Jet Lag
How to Prevent Jet Lag If you’re taking a trip (with us or on your own) you may be traversing a number of time zones. This, as so many of you know, can wreak havoc on your biological clock. But there are things that you can do that can mitigate the effects of jet...
Eating Tarantulas in Cambodia: The Good, The Bad & The Eight-Legged
Once in a while we have a concerned guest that asks us, “Am I going to have to eat ‘weird’ things?” To that, I say two things: (1) Weird is relative. I think egg whites are the weirdest thing on earth. (2) Of course not! You have to get pretty far off the beaten...
Burmese Food: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Salads
Burmese cuisine is not something on the radar of most Americans; unless you live near one of the small handful of Burmese restaurants, it might not even occur to you that Burmese folks don't eat, oh, you know, a mix of Thai, Indian, and Chinese food. But Burmese food...
Top 10 Foods in Penang, Malaysia
Here’s BJ’s take on the top ten recommended foods in Penang, Malaysia, which he sampled during our early 2013 visit to George Town.
Clear Care & AO Sept in Asia: The Great Hunt
A reader-compiled list of WHERE to find your precious peroxide-based contact solution when traveling the world!
The Black Jelly Bandwagon
The idea of eating something called Grass Jelly, or Black Jelly, doesn't give most American palates the "warm fuzzies," whether it's due to a cloying wheatgrass experience or from childhood culinary traumas with jello-mold cuisine. However, make no mistake: grass...
The perfect solution for downsizing your library—scan your books!
When BJ & I knew for certain that we were shedding our belongings and moving overseas to focus on RetreaTours, it was almost a relief. Getting rid of all sorts of clothes I didn't wear, shoes I forgot I owned, kitchen appliances I didn't even know how to...
Let the Fun Ferment! Cultured foods & probiotics in Asia
Let the Fun Ferment! Cultured foods & probiotics in AsiaShortly after arriving in Nepal, I found myself on a round of antibiotics; don’t worry, they were for nothing travel-related! I can’t even remember the last time I was on antibiotics in the States, preferring...
Gear Review: Audio-Technica ATH-ANC23 QuietPoint Noise Canceling ear buds
Update: This review was originally written in 2013 and I still stand by every word in 2021! While I do use Apple AirPods much of the time, I still rely on these for flights and any other long-haul trip. I had always thought noise-canceling headphones were for rich...
The so-called Leh Berry: Insight into Sea Buckthorn
"Leh Berries" Sea Buckthorn in LadakhAs I stood by the Indus River in Ladakh, our friend Chamba, a monk at Thiksey Monastery, pointed out shrubs full of berries. “Leh berries,” he called them, named after the main town in this region, Leh (pronounced "Lay"). At the...
Thiksey Monastery in ‘Samsara’
We finally got to see the film Samsara today, director Ron Fricke's follow-up to 1992's Baraka. BJ had hoped for a follow-up film since he saw Baraka in 1996, and was delighted to learn that Baraka was being made several years ago. These films are non-verbal...