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 Stephanie and Daniel of the blog The Passport Lifestyle, an American couple who just spent several years in Japan.

Stephanie and Daniel: The photographer and her high-school sweetheart

Fifteen years ago, Daniel and Stephanie were still high school students. Daniel used to sit behind Stephanie in English class but it took them a whole year to actually start talking. Soon after that, Daniel left for college on the east coast and Stephanie on the opposite side of the country. For a year and a half, as friends, they talked every single day through Instant Messenger and on the phone. “My friends were confused about who this “friend” of mine was and then I soon realized this wasn’t quite normal! We started dating a year and a half later and the rest is history.” recalls Stephanie.

But as if their long distance relationship was not complicated enough, Stephanie then moved to Europe. Despite all the challenges ahead, Stephanie and Daniel stuck together through all the college years. “There was so much love and momentum between us as youngsters in love which actually made the long distance thing quite effortless. We were both really busy at the time so having space apart helped in order to accomplish our goals without distraction. But it was also very hard missing him.” Stephanie says.

When she came back to the United States, she and Daniel got married and soon after, they started traveling together. “Daniel’s job moved us to Japan. Although it didn’t pay for the rest of our travels around the world, it did allow us to live there for four incredible years and to travel Asia as a base. He worked for the government and I had a background in Public Policy. In Japan, we both had a lot of unusual time off, so we took our time and money and hit the road! Moving abroad forced me to change up my career and priorities based on our new circumstances. I started focusing more on photography when we got to Asia. Right now I’m a full time blogger, writer, photographer.”

Stephanie created  “The Passport Lifestyle” after years of traveling. “I’ve always loved sharing tips and reviews on Yelp, so I felt I had a ton of travel tips to share. I also have a love for photography and I wanted an outlet to share my photographs. Daniel helps to keep the website tidy and polished. He loves doing typical “webmastering” tasks for the site and helping me with all the little things you need to keep up on when self-hosting your website.”

During four years, Stephanie shared her love for the world and especially for Japan on her blog. When I ask them what was their best memory there, Stephanie and Daniel answer : “Four years living in Japan was the best experience of our lives. We both loved living there so much and didn’t want to leave. We love so many things about this country : its amazing energy and deep-rooted culture, but mostly how orderly and seamless society runs. It was fascinating to see how well run the country is in terms of infrastructure, society, and efficiency. Trains are never late, there’s an intolerance to crime, people are polite to fault, children can be trusted to walk to school alone, and there’s so much beauty and appreciation of details. The phrase “God is in the details” is found everywhere in the country.”

The couple resettled last year in the United States. “Moving to Boston was tremendously difficult,”  they admit. “Tokyo and Japan was our home for four years and we grew to love it there so much. The things we cherished the most about living in Japan seemingly didn’t exist in Boston. It took us both about a year to get over reverse culture shock.” To fight this feeling, the couple often travels to different places. “We just got back from a long road trip through Iceland and Scotland which was incredible. This summer we are excited about spending some time in Cape Cod and Maine. We are really looking forward to exploring more of what the East Coast has to offer…”

Before leaving them, I ask Daniel and Stephanie what would be their advice for couples willing to blog and travel : “I’d say that if you have an opportunity to travel and you really want to travel, you should do it,” says Stephanie. “If traveling is important to you, it’s important to envision long-term what kinds of opportunities or jobs can set you up to make this happen. While abroad, we had a unique schedule that permitted us to travel, but several years before, neither one of us was able to take off any significant time to travel. We started envisioning how to make this happen, so in most ways, it was a calculated strategy on our part to get there. If a window of opportunity opens up, don’t be afraid to take it and spend the necessary money to make it happen.”

If you want to follow Stephanie and Daniel on their new adventures, make sure to check out the Passport Lifestyle blog, Facebook,  Instagram, and Twitter.


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