A Grand West Coast Train Adventure on Amtrak’s Coast Starlight

Amtrak's Coast Starlight: A Grand West Coast Train Adventure from LA to Seattle

All aboard! Last December Ian and I jumped on Amtrak’s Coast Starlight train — simply to experience a new method of getting from Point A to Point B — and it became one of our most off-beat and unexpectedly enjoyable travel adventures yet.

If you’re looking for a short and unique getaway that won’t require spending all of your savings, this 35-hour train ride could be your perfect trip. Continue reading

Our Favorite Places

Our Favorite Places in the Whole World on North to South

Living the life of a digital nomad sparks a lot of interesting conversation. We do our fair share of chatting about blogging, self employment, what traveling together full-time is like, and how to make money while traveling.

But actually the question we’re asked most has nothing to do with making a living while traveling.

Everyone wants to know which, of all the destinations we’ve visited, is our favorite. Since our answer to this question is ever-evolving and we can never pick one absolute best, here we share the five destinations that currently top our listContinue reading

7 Reasons to Visit Alaska in Fall

7 Reasons to Visit Alaska in Fall (or Spring)

The most popular seasons to visit Alaska are summer and winter, but the offseason has plenty to offer too. If Alaska’s on your bucket list but you’re not sure what season to book, here are some great reasons to plan your trip for fall!  Continue reading

How to Fly from the U.S. to Europe for Under $200 [Budget Travel Secrets]

How to Fly from the U.S. to Europe for Under $200 dollars





This post was originally published in January 2015, but due to its popularity I update it regularly (last update November 2016).

I used to expect to pay over $1000 for round-trip tickets to Europe. Now I’d never pay over $500. And one-way tickets for $200 or less are more common than you’d think. When we started traveling full time, our frugal beginner’s travel budget forced us to find the cheapest method to fly to Europe. And now I’m sharing it with you.

Traveling on the cheap from the U.S. to Europe is quite simple, really. It involves just three things:

  • a flexible travel schedule
  • packing light
  • my new favorite airline

Continue reading

One Epic U.S. Road Trip: 50 States by Plane, Train and (mostly) Automobile

One Epic U.S. Road Trip: 50 States by Plane, Train and (mostly) Automobile

One year. One couple. One small car… Fifty states.

We hadn’t originally set out to explore our entire home country, but location independence is a beautiful thing. See how our 6-state plan turned into a 50-state quest on our 2015 road trip in the U.S.! Continue reading

Burning Man Packing List for Two Burners in a Tiny Car

Burning Man Packing List: Two Burners in a Tiny Car

Driving a small car to Burning Man? That’s what we did for our last two Burns, and it certainly posed some packing challenges for our week-long camping trip in the dusty playa. If you’re wondering what you can reasonably pack for two people in that tiny car you own, take a look at our Burning Man packing list to find out!

Continue reading

Burning Man 2016: Portraits of a Camp

Burning Man 2016: Portraits of a Camp by Diana Southern and Ian Norman

I say this every year, but I say it because it’s true. The people are what makes Burning Man such an incredible experience — friends and strangers alike. I don’t know what my Burn would have been this year without that group spiral hug at the Hug Deli, the helpful strangers who lowered me back down from that MAGIC artpiece I climbed, or the hilarious nude portraits we captured of some of our spontaneously sparkly friends.

In my three years of burning, I’ve found it’s the people closest to you — your campmates — who have the biggest impact on your Burn. You camp together, eat together, explore together. You experience Burning Man together. So this year we again turned the spotlight on our campmates for a sunset portrait session in the open playa.

With 14 Burners, ample booze, and a brief appearance by “El Guaco” (I still can’t believe I missed that), Ian and I did our best to capture the spirit of our Burner family on camera.  Continue reading

U.S. Road Trip Re-Cap: Week Nineteen (Maryland, West Virginia and Kentucky)

U.S. Road Trip Re-Cap: Week Nineteen -- Maryland, Delaware, West Virginia and Kentucky on northtosouth.us

We may have crossed several state borders, multiple times, but we spent most of our time in West Virginia and Kentucky this week. Starry skies, friendly goats, and lakeside camping made this week memorably awesome!

Note: I’m still catching up on our weekly road trip re-caps! This one covers September 13-19.  Continue reading

U.S. Road Trip Re-Cap: Week Eighteen (Niagara Falls to Washington D.C.)

North to South U.S. road trip recap week eighteen

I can’t even express what a good time we had riding the Maid of the Mist around Niagara Falls! Who knew you could have so much fun being soaking wet?

Niagara Falls has been on my Must See list forever, so when we left the Adirondacks, we headed west to experience the cool mist on a hot day. It was perfect. And after that it was back to the East Coast to finish off the week in our nation’s capital.

Note: I’m still catching up on our weekly road trip re-caps! This one covers September 6-12.  Continue reading

North to South’s Quick Guide to Niagara Falls (New York, USA)

A Quick Guide to Niagara Falls: things to do, when to go, where to park, and more!

Planning your first visit to Niagara Falls? You’re in for a treat! Niagara Falls is one of the most fun, unique places we’ve ever visited in the U.S.

Want to plan an amazing afternoon at Niagara Falls U.S.? Get our insider tips here!  Continue reading