We’re so happy you’re here! We’re Kari & Ryan—self-proclaimed Spunky Travelers.
Why Spunky Travelers?
Being spunky means having fun and living large. It’s about being fiercely determined and doing things that scare you. Spunky Travelers is about snatching up exciting adventures and making happy memories to expel even life’s darkest junctures.
Welcome to Spunky Travelers
Whether you’re an expat, first-time traveler to Europe, or simply want to enjoy nature more, we want to show you that anyone can travel and enjoy the great outdoors.
We believe in hiking, taking the dog along, letting spontaneity decide, and enjoying the lives we’ve been given while we call the day, today.
What Made Us Choose Europe?
We never actually planned on becoming European travelers. A job opportunity fell into Ryan’s lap in 2019 through, of all places, Facebook. He turned to Kari and said, “How would you feel about living in Germany?”
Kari responded, “Let’s do it!”
Just for fun, we hit restart on our lives and made an international move.
Before meeting and marrying Ryan, Kari had already been captivated with Europe.
She had completed a 21-day European itinerary in 2011, and later spent 19 months as a volunteer in Slovakia. Ryan did the same volunteer work, but for 2 years in Mexico. Even if we didn’t know it then, our international experience prepared us to become successful, traveling swashbucklers.
In 2015, a few months after our marriage, we returned for an 8-day blitz through Europe, rapidly exploring 4 countries and skipping out on the first week of our university’s semester. (Stay in school, kids.) It was insanely fast.
Four years later, we’re still checking off bucket list items and blazing our way through Europe.
Our Travel Journey
Many see travel as the ultimate escape route from the daily grind. Not us.
For us, travel has never been about an escape.
In fact, we still work 9-5 jobs. We enjoy the stability and security of regular employment.
We like our lives, but we also know life can be incredibly hard and needs pick-me-ups.
After almost 3 years of dreaming about starting our family, we needed a new dream.
When infertility dropped in for a visit and hung around like the relative who overstays their welcome… we felt disheartened. After infertility, we needed something to look forward to, to heal us, to bring us closer together, and to give us joy.
So, we did what any sane couple would do—we started saving money for IVF, and then spent any extra we earned on having silly, fun adventures throughout Europe.
How Do We Afford to Travel?
We’ve learned that you don’t have to be rich to see Europe, but you do have to save and spend wisely. Sometimes, it even requires making considerable sacrifices. Don’t worry, it all works out in the end!
We don’t have a financial background, but we know a thing or two about avoiding debt.
Since we started traveling, we “adopted” a dog, established an emergency fund, graduated with two Master’s Degrees, and have even started saving for retirement. We’re proud to say our only debt is a car payment.
How have we managed this? I’d like to think our secret recipe is research, planning, hard work, and a dash of karma. We try to be generous givers. We always look for good deals. We share what we find, and we’re ever grateful for every chance we get to see this beautiful planet.
Spunky Travelers Mission
Traveling isn’t just about relaxing on a beach or eating 42 different flavors of gelato (okay…sometimes it is…)
Traveling is about growing into our humanity and venturing into the unknown. It’s even about falling down and getting back up. It’s about trying new foods, horribly mispronouncing foreign words, and having ridiculous adventures.
We’ve adopted the mantra, “If it scares you—do it!” Find the things that bring you joy, and do more of those things. Take advantage of every weekend. Infuse life with deep joy. Start meaningful conversations. Have a lot of fun.
The End Goal
With this blog, we hope to
inspire you to travel more
and find hope.
By sharing our journeys, and silly stories, we’d love to help you start or continue your own European adventures.