Aloha! We’re Betsy and Pete!

Now in our sixth year of location independence, we’ve road-tripped, sold all our stuff, and will soon celebrate our two year anniversary of traveling the world full-time. After visiting more than 30 countries since this journey began, we know happiness can be found in a simple, travel-centered life! Join us as we're PassingThru!

Suomenlinna: UNESCO Heritage Site in Helsinki

The Consulate of Djibouti is (inexplicably?) located in this building on Suomenlinna. Note the brass doorplate.

One of seven World Heritage sites in Finland, Suomenlinna (literally, “Finnish castle”) has been a garrison protecting Helsinki and its harbor since the mid-18th century. Falling under the flags of three countries - Sweden (1748-1808), Russa (1808-1918) and independent Finland (1918 - present), Suomenlinna has also been home to civilian residents throughout its history. Suomenlinna was constructed to protect Sweden against Russian invaders If you look at the map of Finland, you’ll see the Continue Reading

Summer in Dalarna: Simple Swedish Traditions

summer in Dalarna

Visitors to central Sweden can enjoy summer in Dalarna at a mountain pasture farm and country guesthouse with beautiful, simple traditions. The northern light spills in through windows framed by crisp white muslin, dancing upward from a gleaming brass candlestick to follow the steam rising from our coffee. It’s time for morning fika, the customary Swedish break between meals. Here, next to an imposing 17th-century hearth in one of the weathered log cabins of Karl Tövåsen’s fäbod, Tin Continue Reading

Dala Horse: A Painted Swedish Icon

Courtesy of Nils Olsson Dalahästar

The painted Dala horse is a Swedish icon. During a visit to the Dalarna province, we learned about its history and how it is made today. Chances are when you see a gaily painted red wooden horse, you know that it’s from Sweden. During a recent visit to the Dalarna province of central Sweden, we looked forward to learning more about the Dala horse, and seeing how it was made. The Dala horse can be found throughout our home state of Minnesota We’re from Minnesota, where numerous Swedes Continue Reading

Oktoberfest Getaway in Munich

Oktoberfest Getaway in Munich

Fall is the perfect opportunity to check off a bucket list item with beer, brats and even lederhosen at an Oktoberfest getaway in Munich! We love Munich and have visited several times, but never during Oktoberfest. When we looked at prices of airfare to Europe going down, down, down over the past several months, we knew: This fall would be the perfect opportunity for an Oktoberfest getaway in Munich. Munich, the seat of the German state of Bavaria, has held Oktoberfest (which really occurs Continue Reading

Kuala Lumpur Wish List

Kuala Lumpur Wish List

Our Kuala Lumpur wish list includes day trips, garden visits, and hunting down architectural treasures, all of which reflect Malaysia’s diversity. We’ve visited Malaysia twice now, but we still haven’t been to Kuala Lumpur! KL is usually the first place visitors go in this remarkably diverse country. We loved our previous stays, and could see ourselves returning to Malaysia for at least a week or two. So, when Traveloka asked us to share our wishlist, I allowed myself to be distracted by their Continue Reading

Roseville, Minnesota: Friendly and Familiar

Roseville, Minnesota Bent Brewstillery

The vibe in Roseville, Minnesota is friendly and familiar to those seeking a close-in location equidistant between Minneapolis and St. Paul. Small towns that turned into suburbs feel welcoming and familiar to me, after having lived in more than half a dozen: Camarillo, San Pedro (CA), Mt. Clemens, Wyoming (MI), Chanhassen, Minnetonka, Deephaven, St. Louis Park, and Maple Grove (MN). It’s tempting for self-appointed sophisticates to relegate these communities to anonymity, thinking that they Continue Reading

Home2 Suites by Hilton – Roseville Minneapolis

Home2 Suites Roseville Minneapolis

Home2 Suites by Hilton - Roseville Minneapolis showcases Hilton’s new, contemporary extended-stay concept in a great Twin Cities location. Our Experience: We were excited to stay at the brand new Home2 Suites by Hilton - Roseville Minneapolis. A couple of months prior, we had been taken on a pre-opening tour to introduce us to the concept. Now, we couldn’t wait to experience the finished product. Home2 Suites by Hilton was envisioned as a stylish option for mid-range, extended-stay Continue Reading