As you know, we have started introducing you to our favorite traveling couples and decided to make this a series. Next up in our spotlight are Chris and Kelly of the blog Life Abundant: a lovely duo taking us to breathtaking places, mostly located in Europe!

01_Kelly and Chris

Kelly & Chris: The off-the-beaten paths enthusiasts

Remember when I told you that studying abroad could literally change who you are and the course of your life? Well, if you missed my post, here’s your second chance to find out why. Today, I am introducing you to two living proofs that going to study in another country can sometimes open even more doors than you think.

And because this feature is also about love-stories, let me first take you to romantic Italy. “It all started in 2010” recalls Kelly. “Chris was studying architecture during a semester abroad in Rome.  At the end of his program, I visited him for two weeks. We found that we both enjoyed exploring off the beaten path, having a plan but also a willingness to divert from it, valuing authentic local experiences instead of “touristy” fabricated ones, getting up early, staying up late, and making the most of every moment that we were privileged to spend in each new place. This experience was also when we discovered that we were PERFECT travel partners!”

02_Kelly and ChrisA few years later, Chris’ studies took the couple to beautiful Spain, for more European adventures and explorations. That’s when he and Kelly decided to create The Road Less Traveled. “We chose to name the blog because that is the journey that we desire to take in our travels and in our lives.  We find life at its fullest when we step outside our comfort zone and onto a path that may be less trodden.  It is there that we stand truer to ourselves, our calling; that we are stretched and grow; that we learn how to better love.” explains Kelly. The couple quickly started to document their adventures abroad, traveling any time they had the chance to different countries close-by, like France or Morocco. Kelly was doing most of the writing and taking care of the (AMAZING) pictures, while Chris took on the role of editor.

03_Kelly and Chris

Just as in their everyday life, the couple showed perfect compatibility when it came to working together on a blog. When I ask Kelly about their secret for such a great relationship, she answers: “We are husband and wife, life adventure partners, teammates, but above all, we are each other’s greatest fans and cheerleaders.” And what would be the advice she’d give to a new couple of travelers? “Be flexible and be willing to laugh things off.  Things will not always go as you plan them too, and that’s part of the adventure and fun in travel!  Instead of letting those unexpected twists and turns make you stressed and take away from your experience together, embrace them and make the most of every circumstance.  Experience both the incredible moments and the unexpected occurrences together, some of our greatest memories of our travels are created in those moments.  It’s in experiencing the adventure of life together that we find joy and encourage each other to be the best version of us that we can be! »

06_Kelly and Chris

Recently, the couple left Europe for America and has resettled in Lakeside Montana.  « We both just started working for an architectural non-profit organization located here, called 100 Fold Studio, which provides architectural services to non-profit and missions organizations around the world.  We are planning to be based in Montana for about 2 years, but will travel to a number of international sites during that time, and will most likely spend several months each year living in Battambang, Cambodia to work on one of their projects. » they explain. Yes, because not only do Kelly and Chris have an amazing outlook on life, they also are travelers with a good heart!

07_Kelly and Chris

Learning about their present and future plans makes me wonder: how does this couple chooses its travel destination and what has been the best one so far? « Most of the time we choose our next destinations by talking with some of our friends who also have a passion for travel.  Who better to recommend a place than someone who has been there right? » explains Kelly. Chris adds: « But although we usually love everywhere we go, these days we tend to be more interested in places with beautiful natural landscapes and a small town feel. Our favorites up until now have been the more off the beaten path destinations, like Norway.  We spent 10 days there this past August and absolutely loved every moment of it!  The people are so friendly and their culture and history run deep.  Each hike we trekked, fjord we encountered, and waterfall we discovered was more breathtaking than the last!  Every turn you take leaves you standing in awe of the landscape around you, it’s drastic, inspiring, and unlike anything else we have ever seen! »

The couple seems to have a strong connection to humans, but also to nature; which is something I really admire. Kelly goes on, telling me about another great travel memory: “One of the most unforgettable experiences we had was during our anniversary trip to Costa Rica.  We decided to spend a few days hopping from town to town on the Nicoya Peninsula soaking up some sun along the beautiful Pacific Ocean.  We were there in early September and to our surprise we found that this time of year was when baby sea turtles hatch!  We made friends with a few wildlife conservation volunteers who were there helping monitor a protected sea turtle nesting area on the beach close to where we were staying.  They encouraged us to stop by the nesting grounds later that afternoon as one of the nests was ready to hatch at any moment.  We went horse riding along the beach after lunch, and on our way back stopped at the nesting grounds.  Sure enough, five little sea turtles had hatched, and they were getting ready to release them from the site.  For the next two hours Chris and I marveled at these incredible little creatures and helped protect them from predators as they shimmied across the long sandy beach and tumbled into their first salty ocean wave”.

Chris and Kelly’s passion for the world, its nature and its people is just obvious when you take a look at their blog. Each one of their beautiful pictures tells us a different story of their travels, and each post they write seem really thought of. Though I have to finish the interview for this feature, I will make sure to follow up on their adventures. And if you want to do it to, know that you can also check their Pinterest, Instagram or Kelly’s Facebook.

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This post was written by Elisa Fourt.
Elisa Fourt was part of the Travelettes team from 2015 to 2017.  Elisa usually describes herself as a world citizen. She has lived, studied, worked and travelled in more than 60 countries throughout her life and she loves to share her passion for the world with others. When she is not planning her next trip or writing about the last one, Elisa likes to help people in need and get involved in various not-for-profit projects. She currently works for a NGO in the Middle-East. Follow her on Instagram @lisou.me