Passport Potatoes [pas-pawrt puh-tey-tohs] noun, a person or persons whose leisure time is spent sitting on a plane, train, or automobile to discover something new in the world upon their arrival.
About Keith and Randi
Our travel story started off with possibly the hardest place to travel in the world…India. If you can survive India as a couple then you can pretty much survive anything that travel is going to throw at you. It is still one of the best trips we have ever been on because of the great food, amazing culture, crazy logistics, and fantastic people. On that trip we also paraglided in Nepal, saw the birthplace of Buddha, and ran through the streets with kukri knives (that’s a story for another post!).
In 2019 we got married and flew off to Oktoberfest in Munich to celebrate. Since then, we are travel warriors together and have been to India, Spain, Germany, Austria, Liechtenstein, Hungary, Slovakia, Morocco, Canada, Switzerland, and Japan. We moved to Japan in 2020, amidst a pandemic no less, where we hope to to find safe and creative ways to explore all of Asia. There are very few places these two travel potatoes won’t go as long as they are together.
I grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio and my first experience with real travel was having the opportunity to go on a Spanish class trip when I was a freshman in high school. It was a unique opportunity at a very young age to break out of the typical midwestern mold of going to vacation to Florida or Hilton Head every summer and seeing what else was in the world. The trip took me to Spain (Madrid, Barcelona and Toledo), France (Paris, Carcassonne and Nice), Monaco, Italy (Florence, Pisa and Rome) and Vatican City and it was life changing. If you are a traveler at heart then you know what the travel bug is and on my first trip I got it. Over the next three years I was able to return to Europe twice more and by then I felt like a traveling veteran.
Since 1994 I have had the opportunity to travel to Africa, South America, Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Central America. I have seen over 30+ countries and feel like I have only scratched the surface on what there is to do and see. I think that traveling is a commitment to see the world, the good and the bad places. Every country has a unique culture, food and experience and it adds to someone being more well-rounded. The biggest thing that I have learned about traveling around the world has been that there are a lot of misconceptions of culture and people, especially in America. The Middle East is not scary, Africans do not all live in mud huts and Europeans don’t hate American tourists (except the French of course, and anyone that is loud).
Bucket List: places at the top of my list to one day get to are: Antarctica, Thailand, Egypt and Croatia.
Travel strengths: logistics, planning, always knows a travel hack, patience when things go wrong, and a total readiness to try anything.
I was born in Austin, Texas. My family worked hard to travel regularly and we took a trip almost every year. Our most exotic one was to Mexico when you could still physically touch all of the ancient Mayan stones at Chichen Itza. We took my grandparents with us on that trip while my gramps battled fatal disease. I remember him being so fatigued, but so happy. I also remember how proud my parents were to be able to show him one of the seven wonders of the world.
Even on local trips, my family always took time to discover the history of each place rather than just sitting on the beach (we are all very pale, so that probably contributed). This planted the seed of my interest in travel for curiosity’s sake rather than relaxation’s sake. We visited museums, churches, wolf sanctuaries, butterfly gardens, theatres, waterfalls, and more. I joined the military at age 18 and by age 19 had saved enough for a major adventure, so I flew to Jordan with my childhood bestie (still the best bestie there ever was). This was a true coming of age trip for us (cue background music from Stand By Me) and cemented my desire for world travel. I now take at least one big vacation a year to a place completely different from my home. My favorite experiences are usually food-oriented, but also include learning about local religions, wildlife, languages, and fashion.
In the past 10 years I’ve traveled solo, in groups of strangers, with boyfriends, friends, and also with friends that didn’t stay friends. I’ve slept in caves and I’ve slept in 5 star hotels. No matter where you go or how you get there, there is absolutely nothing better than traveling with a ride-or-die like my husband Keith. I expect we’ll be hitting all the continents together soon.
Bucket list: surprisingly not in existence. I crossed off my first few destinations already, and with a travel-hungry husband, I know I’ll never lack travel experiences. I’m ready to enjoy whatever destination we end up taking, no matter where it is.
Travel strengths: loves prior research, light packer, always brings medicine (also always gets sick…), bi-lingual, hearty eater.