Hello and welcome!

We are Katie and Andy Swanson, a couple of Oklahomans who decided to make our “someday” dreams come true. We set off on a world-traveling adventure in 2019. Our trip was open-ended and fueled by one-way tickets. Once we quit our jobs, we declared “we’ll be back in a year or whenever the money runs out.”

Before leaving for our trip, I set up an Instagram page under the name @TheSwanderers. This is a play on our last name of Swanson and “wanderers”. We were starting our trip with two long-distance hikes, so and I knew I didn’t want to lug around a laptop to keep up with a blog. Still, I wanted to be able to share pictures and experiences along the way. Instagram seemed like a good compromise.

Before Covid hit and shut down international travel, we had:

  • traveled to 25 countries,
  • walked about 1000 miles across 3 countries on foot, and
  • spent over 30 nights in a tent while wild camping across Scandinavia.

All within 9 months of leaving our home in Oklahoma City.

We were in China in January 2020 when word of coronavirus started spreading. We took the necessary precautions, buying and wearing our masks and washing our hands a lot. A couple months later, things got real weird. Everything slowed down as this new virus spread across the globe. Our lives and the whole world came to a screeching halt. No one could plan ahead because no one knew what any of this meant. We still don’t.

This blog came from my desire to capture the Swanderers story from those days gloriously known as BC (Before Covid). Back in the days where we could freely move between borders with no quarantine. I also wanted to capture the transition of our story. We spent 9 months backpacking across Europe into Asia, then we were living in one country for over a year as we waited out the pandemic. Our spinning wheels came to a grinding halt.

Being in one place for such a long time (and having little else to do) has given us time and space to reminisce on those days. And buying a used laptop in a Vietnamese computer shop has given me the opportunity to compose this story.

In this blog, I want to share some of our adventures from this trip and our lives together. I hope it will inspire others to take action on their own “someday” dreams, be it travel or something else. Life is too short and good health is too fragile to put off big dreams until “someday”.

My plan is to turn these stories into a book– a travel memoir of sorts. I look forward to sharing the best (and less savory but still valuable) moments of this journey.

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Thank you for joining and I look forward to our adventures together,

The Swanderers