2014 We traveled for four months in Southeast Asia. We spent one month in Cambodia, one month in Laos, and one month in Vietnam, followed by a week in Bangkok and ten days in Japan. Highlights included Angkor Wat in Cambodia, a zipline jungle adventure in Laos, touring by motorcycle in Vietnam, and walking through endless orange gates at a temple in Kyoto.
2015 We drove down the entire length of the Baja Peninsula, Mexico and got to pet gray whales, release baby sea turtles, swim with whale sharks, and spot blue whales. We put a lot of miles on our car with another trip to Glacier National Park and Banff, Alberta. Our big international trip was to Brazil where we explored the Amazon and Pantanal and went hang gliding in Rio.
2016 A big year for travel. In Morocco we explored Marrakech and Fez and rode camels in the Sahara. We hiked to the top of the Rock of Gibraltar. We visited some of the top cities in Spain. The highlight of the year was hiking the Camino de Santiago -- a trek of some 500 miles through the French Pyrenees and Spain. Afterwards we toured Portugal and finished off with a whirlwind spin through Ireland plus a one-month stay in southern Ireland.
2017 More explorations on the other side of the world. In Malaysia we ascended the Petronis Towers and savored fusion food in Penang. We fell in love with Gardens by the Bay in Singapore. In Indonesia we toured Borobudur and Prambanan temples and explored Bali for the first time. Nearly a month in Thailand let us revel in its stunning islands and visit Chiang Mai in the north.
2018 In Guatemala we witnessed erupting Fuego Volcano, toured the temples of Tikal, and celebrated Easter Week in Antigua. We swam through ATM water cave in Belize, snorkeled its barrier reef, and flew over the Blue Hole. On a whirlwind two-week trip to Iceland we drove its famous Ring Road and visited two of its premier hiking destinations: Thorsmork and Landmannalaugar.
2019 Our one big trip abroad this year was Down Under to Australia. We spent ten days in Sydney, ten days in Tasmania, ten days in Brisbane and Lady Elliot Island on the Great Barrier Reef, ten days in Melbourne and the Great Ocean Road, and seven days in the Australian Outback in Alice Springs and Uluru.
2020 We were fortunate to fit in one trip abroad to Colombia before Covid hit. A definite highlight was Carnival in Barranquilla (2nd biggest Carnival in the world after Rio). We also saw Bogota, Medellin, Cartagena, colorful coffee country towns, Zipaquira Salt Cathedral, and the tiny Caribbean island of Providencia.
2021 What's next? Who knows! We still have the travel bug and expect to continue seeing and doing for the next twenty years and beyond. If you like, you can continue to follow our travels on our Where We Be Facebook page. Here's wishing you fun travels and adventures in the years to come!
We Be Robert & Robin Charlton
2006 We actually began traveling on short but exciting adventure trips during our last year or two at work -- cruising the Panama Canal, hiking to Machu Picchu in Peru, going on safari in Kenya and Tanzania, taking a cruise down the Nile in Egypt, seeing the highlights of China, and visiting Italy and the Mediterranean.
2007 In 2007, celebrating our newfound freedom, we went on a five- month trip to New Zealand and Fiji and pushed our personal limits with adventures like skydiving, bungy jumping, hang gliding, jet boating, and aerobatic flying. We swam with dolphins and seals, snorkeled with sharks, romped with lion cubs, rolled downhill in a Zorb, kayaked in Doubtful Sound, and logged 300 miles on New Zealand trails, including such Great Walks as the Milford, Kepler, Routeburn, and Abel Tasman.
2008 In autumn 2007 we sold our Colorado home of 16 years, loaded up our customized van, and hit the road. For the rest of 2007 and throughout 2008 we were "vagabonds by choice," making what we affectionately call "The Big Loop" through the USA.
2009 We spent five months touring Argentina and Chile, beginning with a two-week South America cruise around Cape Horn. Highlights included seeing Iguazu Falls, hiking Torres del Paine and the Fitzroy Range in Patagonia, and sailing the Chilean Fjords by freighter ship. Back in the U.S., we purchased a tiny condo (380 sf!) in Boulder, CO, our base when not traveling.
2010 We traveled for three months in Northern India and Nepal. In India a Bengal tiger held our jeep at bay. We got covered with paint during Holi, rowed the Ganges at sunrise, and finally saw the Taj Mahal with our own eyes. In Nepal we spent a month hiking the Annapurna Circuit in the Himalayas, reaching a top elevation of 17,873 ft (5,416 m). We also weathered a Maoist strike in Kathmandu and went flightseeing to Mount Everest.
2011 We spent a month in Italy, cruised to Greece and Turkey, then spent a month in Switzerland. Undoubtedly our most expensive trip ever: a 25th anniversary splurge! We saw Athens, Istanbul, and Ephesus for the first time, toured Tuscany and Umbria for two weeks, lived in Venice for a week, loved our room with a view at Lake Como, saw the Matterhorn on a picture-perfect day, and hiked the stunning Jungfrau region for two weeks.
2012 This was our year for Ecuador and the Galapagos. We toured the Galapagos by yacht then island-hopped on our own. On the mainland we celebrated Easter in Cuenca, flew Superman-style across a canyon in Baños, and went on an Amazon adventure full of tarantulas and snakes. In October we went on a cruise to Hawaii. A highlight was our doors-off helicopter tour of Kauai.
2013 In Jordan we saw the cliff-carved buildings of Petra lit up by a thousand candles, rode camels in the Wadi Rum desert, and slept in a Bedouin tent. In Israel we dipped our feet in the Sea of Galilee, explored Jerusalem, and took mud baths before floating in the Dead Sea. Our autumn road trip to Canada's Maritime Provinces included Nova Scotia and PEI.
In December 2006, at the age of 43, we retired from our jobs -- Robin as a registered nurse, Robert as a proposal manager at an aerospace firm -- so we could travel the world and live life more fully. We saved hard to make this happen (see Early Retirement for details) and have absolutely no regrets about doing so -- in fact we consider it one of the best decisions of our lives.
We prefer to travel slowly and on foot, staying in a country for weeks or months at a time, and that just isn't feasible with a full- time job in the U.S. So we chose time over money, saving up "just enough," and took off for parts unknown (to us, anyway). Most of our trips involve hiking or trekking in some form or other, and we usually choose natural scenery and small towns over big cities.
We think of travel as a "lifetime project," one that will keep us happily busy for the rest of our days. Just the mention of some small detail from one of our past trips is enough to put a smile on both our faces.
When we're not traveling, we like to hike the trails in our home town of Boulder, Colorado or take long beach walks on whatever beach we happen to plunk ourselves down on in the depths of winter. Robin enjoys doing genealogy in her spare time, and Robert likes to write and take photos (can you tell?). He has published his first sci-fi novel, called Takeover, and is still trying to get his first crossword puzzle published in The New York Times. (Even after you retire it's good to have goals!)
This photo was taken shortly before we retired early in 2006. No wonder we look so happy!