This week we would like to introduce Amber of With Husband in Tow. After 10 years as an attorney, Amber left her job at the largest law firm in the world and decided to start living her life. She am now a recovering tax lawyer, perpetual nomad, intrepid foodie, and yoga teacher, traveling the world With Husband In Tow.  She plans, Eric follows, and after 65 countries and 12 years of marriage, she wants to share their travel tales with the world. Currently stalled in Ubud, Bali, she is also the author of Exploring Myanmar: Traveling the Dusty Roads of the New Burma.

1. What inspires you to travel, and how would you define the word ‘traveler’?

I just wanted to escape the predictable life I had before.  Travel provides me the flexibility to experience something new all the time, even if I am settled in one place for a bit. To me a traveler is someone who explores more than a tourist on a two week holiday.With-Husband-In-Tow-Dubai-300x205

2. How do you afford your travels?

I had a very good income during my 10 years as an attorney, so I saved a lot of money, along with a lot of miles and hotel points from all that business travel.  Being on the road for the last 18 months, we have been funding most of it still through savings and investments.  I’ve made some money from my blog and my ebook.  Eric is in the process of launching some new online products.  Currently, I am trying to teach yoga.  A little bit here, a little bit there…

3. Where was your first international trip and how old were you?

My father took me to see family in a dreary, rain soaked London when I was about 9.  Despite the typical British winter weather, perhaps I became hooked on travel then. I remember that even at 9, I was drinking a lot of tea.

4. Where has been your favorite destination? Where has been your least favorite?

Favorite has always been Vietnam.  I have been there several times and love it so much.  Least favorite? Chile.  After a fantastic several weeks with new friends in Argentina, Chile just could not compete.  It was not a fair fight.  The bar had been set way too high.

5. Have you ever had high hopes for a destination, tour, etc., only to be disappointed in the end? Or any travel mishaps?With-Husband-in-Tow-Etihad-Business-Class-300x225

I don’t know that I had high hopes for Central America, but assumed we would spend a lot of time on beaches. I wondered why so many Americans and Canadians retired there.  It was a mess though. We had been to the beaches of Belize previously, but I  came up with the bright idea of starting in Guatemala and working our way down to Panama, before hopping over to South America.

Guatemala was pleasant, and we made some good friends there.  But after that, things went south.  We just did not click with the region, from a culinary perspective, from a logistical perspective.  We rarely stayed beach side at all.  Instead of continuing onto South America, where we had been before and had friends to visit, we hopped a flight from Panama to Miami to Zurich to Bangkok to Kuala Lumpur.  About 39 hours of economy class travel to get ourselves as far away from Central America as possible and back into the welcoming arms of Southeast Asia, where our hearts truly lie.

6. What’s the funniest or weirdest cultural idiosyncrasy you’ve either witnessed or experienced?

I live in a house set in the rice paddies in Bali.  Just a few days ago, we were driving our motorbikes through the paddies to the road and spotted a local main on the side of the path in the small stream.  As always, I smiled at him.  He smiled back, but as I got closer I realized he was squatting down and using the stream to relieve himself.  I felt like I intruded on a bodily function that I generally keep a little more private, but for him, it was just a normal experience.  People here use these streams for all sorts of things, including bathing in public.  It is just part of the culture.

7. What keepsake do you have to get at all your destinations?

When Eric and first started traveling together, we collected Christmas ornaments.  After starting our first RTW in 2009, though, we realized we could not collect that many ornaments and keep them in our packs.  We also no longer have a home to display the ornaments at Christmas time.  Now, our souvenirs consist mostly of photographs and a collection of new friends.

8. How about the one thing you cannot travel without?With-Husband-In-Tow-Koh-Phagnan-Thailand-300x199

My Jade travel yoga mat.

9. Why did you begin blogging? And how did you come up with your blog name?

During our first RTW in 2009, I set up a simple blog just for friends and family on My Travel Blog. It got the job done for that trip.  Just before leaving the US in 2012, though, I knew I wanted something a little more, something with more freedom and creativity.  So, I launched a travel blog, and then rebranded to With Husband In Tow just a few months later.  As much as I occasionally catch some slack from men around the globe who feel threatened by the blog name, Eric actually came up with the title, and wears his “in tow” title with pride.

10. How did you finally make the switch from full-time tax attorney to nomadic traveler?

I probably started planning my escape from the law before I entered the profession, even though I did not realize it.  I was not meant to be a lawyer.  I am still not entirely sure what I am meant to be, other than happy.  I knew after we returned from our 14 month RTW trip in early 2010 that I could not be a lawyer forever.  I thought I would last 5 more years, though.  Instead, I lasted a little more than 2 years and we were back on the road again.  I have never looked back.

11. It sounds like you’ve been dragging your husband all over the world. How do you find travel has impacted your relationship, and what advice do you have for others traveling as a couple?  We are much closer now than we used to be.  You have to be close when you spend 24 hours a day together.  As for advice, don’t take each other too seriously, laugh often, at yourselves and each other.  And, don’t take each other for granted.  To be able to travel the world with a partner who wants the same things out of life, now that is a gift.With-Husband-In-Tow-Laugh-in-Thailand-300x225

12. What’s in store for 2014?

Staying put for a change.  We are heading to Taiwan in May for a visa run, and are planning to spend the first anniversary of Eric’s 39th birthday in Sri Lanka this July.  Later this year, we may return to Spain and Italy to eat like crazy and drink lots of wine.  I love my life in Bali, but sometimes the body needs a gluttonous splurge.

Traveler Toss-ups

Backpack or suitcase? The Osprey Porter 46, which is a hybrid.  Straps onto the back, but zips open like a suitcase.  My second love, behind The Husband.

Window or aisle? Definitely aisle.

Solo or group? I’m part of an annoying couple, but I love to add to our little group.With-Husband-In-Tow-Prague-300x199

Tapas or sushi? Depends on the beverage. Tapas with wine, sushi with sake.

Beach or mountains? Beach.

Be sure to follow along in all of Amber’s towings:

Visit Amber’s site: With Husband in Tow
Follow Amber on Twitter: @husbandintow
“Like” Amber on Facebook: With Husband in Tow

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