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Seed Bark and Root: Inspirations and Lessons Learned

Seed Bark and Root, a website based on a dream is run by husband and wife, Joe and Kayci. They left San Francisco in early January and are traveling the world for approximately a year, although they hope to  stretch their trip for longer. They document their travels on their website, posting blogs, pictures and video whenever they can. Their goal is to inspire others to travel the world through documenting all of  the amazing and inspirational people and places they meet along the way. Below they discuss what they have learned on their month on the road, and what inspired them to take the leap in the first place. 

Joe & Kayci WeaverSeed Bark and Root: Inspirations and Lessons Learned

Joe and I both came from the service industry, where we worked in a Michelin rated restaurant in San  Francisco. The service industry, although incredibly rewarding, can be very tough on your relationships both romantic and familial. We worked when most other people we relaxing and playing, for six years we only took a week a year to see family. So, when we decided to get married we saw it as the perfect opportunity to take some time off and figure out what we might want to do next. We chose to have a minimalist wedding and no honeymoon, choosing to just take one day afterwards to spend with family. We figured if we could swing a year off the coming year, it would act as our delayed honeymoon. 

The  restaurant we were at offered the staff a lot of education, not only about wine, but also food, where ingredients came from and where cooking techniques had been invented and perfected. There was a global focus on our education, quizzing ensured we were always on our toes about all of the above and more. Often we read and studied outside of work, making sure we knew dishes and ingredients forwards and backwards. It was inspirational to be surrounded by so many beautiful ingredients, and at a special spice seminar for the staff, we became inspired to travel by a magnificent vanilla bean.

The presentation was given by Le Sanctuaire, a source company located out of San Francisco and run by siblings with a passion for fine ingredients. They are know to have the highest quality spices, and seeing the beautiful products they had to show us was life changing. 

We realized that we had so much to learn about the fantastic cooking in other countries, and wanted to speak with chefs and farmers worldwide to gather a more well rounded vision of food around the world. Our dream is to supply other people with the finest ingredients sourced worldwide, perhaps as a spice importer, but who knows the idea is still just a seed.

So here we are, one month on the road, still relatively green in the rtw travel game, but we have learned some tips that we would love to share. We are sticking to a $50 dollar a day per person budget, and so far we have been fairly successful at sticking with it. There have been more expensive days that are evened out by less expensive ones and so on. Something we knew before and has really hit home is the fact that lodging can really suck you daily budget dry quickly, so shopping around for housing is very important. We stay at a mixture of hostels and Airbnbs, always making sure that breakfast is an included amenity, excellent to saving the budget! Couch surfing and house sitting are on our radars as well, but nothing has aligned in that field yet.

Eating in Peru varies greatly from pace to place. It is possible to spend almost nothing on food, and it is also possible to spend a weeks budget on a meal. Dining is king here, most people taking intense pride in their national cuisine. Although you can find many different styles of food here, most we have tried, not even knowing what they were had been delicious. Street carts serving local snacks and bites to be great budget way to eat, as well as a great way to try the food the locals eat. Also high up on our budget saving list is the menu of the day for lunch, which is the big meal of the day here. Usually somewhere between two and three courses it comes served with a drink. From what we have seen so far, these usually range from around  $3-10 US dollars.

We have been traveling primarily by bus, often overnight when we can, to save for the cost of lodging. Sleeping on a bus isn't always easy, but if you are on a tight budget, it's definitely the way to go. We only have experience using Cruz del Sur, and it has all been positive. One of the longest running companies in Peru, they have many standards and procedures for ensuring the optimal safety of their passengers.

It definitely important to keep a sharp eye on your budget, but don't deprive yourself of a once in a life time experience just to make sure you stay under for the day, tighten the belt on other days you can afford to skimp to make up for the occasional splurges. It is important to keep balanced and make sure that you feel like you are having fun while living on a shoestring, not just barely scraping by.

That brings us to our favorite tip of the day, having fun. We definitely recommend traveling with a very light itinerary, having just the large details sketched out allows for you to go with the flow of traveling. We have had so many amazing opportunities fall into our lap, simply because we meet other travelers or people, who invite us to go do something with them, and nothing is easier than just saying yes. Yes, yes yes yes yes! That's our word of the year, and the word that has brought us to some of the most remote, beautiful places in Peru that we would have never seen without having an empty schedule. It's also the same thing that will put us on a five week road trip in March, from Lima to Santiago. 

Your trip, no matter how long, is about having fun, learning and meeting new people, and not necessarily in that order. Travel is great to connect you with experiences that can only happen when you are no longer in your comfort zone, the place where you can say why not, and try something new. 

Thanks for taking the time to read this, we have our website at www.seedbarkroot.com, where we are sharing our experiences with you, and invite you to share your experiences with others. We feature guest bloggers writing about whatever travel related topics they are interested. Maybe we will see you there!

- Kayci and Joe 

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