Through the looking glass and a little bit more

After picking up the questions posted by Mrs. Bean for the Outstanding Blogging Award, here we are receiving the same nomination from Sunny Days with Juliette. Thank you for remembering us, Juliette!

She is one of the first blogs we followed because her radiant energy cannot be denied. Reading her is so refreshing. And now, on to her interesting questions!

What is one thing you would like to see/visit/do at least once in your life?

Markus: Spend a night in the desert. I have a pretty romantic notion of it that’s probably not accurate, but it’s been in my head ever since I read “Seven Pillars of Wisdom”.

Micah: I would like to see the Aurora. I imagine it is the closest I can get to seeing space stuff from out there. Side note: Here is my favorite science vlog if you are into that.

When traveling, what was your biggest cultural shock or “oh wow – this culture is so different from mine” moment?

Turns out we were ahead of the times.

Markus: I tend to cope well with difference, but what struck me was the super wide-spread use of betel nut in Burma and the bleedy-looking gums associated with it.

Micah: In India and Kota Kinabalu, I had a hard time with the dress code for women. Intellectually, I understand the culture and why these restrictions are in place but I could not, for the life of me, digest it emotionally.

Is there something that you saw in another country that you wish could be in yours (it can be anything: objects, food, nature, etc.)?

Markus: I’d love to have fresh coconut and mango in Germany.

Micah: I have a lot of respect for the Balinese on how they have kept their traditional way of lives despite massive Western influence. I always fantasize about pre-colonial Philippines and am overjoyed when I learn more about it.

“Where were we going again?”

How do you plan your holidays – if you plan them at all?

Markus + Micah: No plan, for better or worse.

When the pandemic is over, you are granted a whole month off from work/studying. What would you do?

Markus: Be at the tiny house and travel, no question.

Micah: Oddly the same things that I have been doing during the pandemic, which is cook simple food, look after the plants, support the turtles, and welcome guests to our tiny house. Of course, I will briefly travel somewhere but unlike pre-pandemic where I am overseas full-time. This is just speculation though. Life is funny sometimes.

Tell us about one interesting person you met when traveling, even if you only met them very briefly.

Markus: Anyone who carved out an existence for themselves that is completely divergent from the norm fascinates me. I’ve known someone who does dive instructing and winemaking, depending on the time of year. Another person who lives on nothing and just takes photos. Someone else who has taught English everywhere from the Middle East to Thailand. Inspiring.

Micah: Mark Kuan inspires me. Markus has spent more time with him but Mark’s actions and philosophies in business and in life have guided me in making decisions for our tiny house and how it will move forward.

A high school student from your town wants to take a gap year to travel before starting university. Where would you tell them to go? Why?

Ever been to Ocam-Ocam Beach?

Markus: Traveling Southeast Asia has been incredible and I can only recommend it to anyone not from there who would like to dip their toes in a new environment and culture. Most paths are reasonably well-traveled, so even if you get lost, you will be fine.

Micah: Explore every inch of The Philippines! It is an enormous country with thousands of islands and different cultures on every rock. Much of the country is Americanized but discovering the more remote regions will lend a clue to who we were and who we are and why we matter on equal footing with everyone else around the world.

If you are keen, we would love to hear your answers to these same questions, too. We thought they were very good. Looking forward to learning more about you!

Published by Markus + Micah

We are Markus + Micah. We live in a tiny house by the sea, grow our plants, cook plant-based food, travel, and design wellness retreats and mindful programs so we can all live meaningful lives.

42 thoughts on “Through the looking glass and a little bit more

  1. I like that you also don’t have strict plans when you travel. I used to travel with someone with a strict itinerary and it was more stressful than fun 😅 i would love to see the Aurora too! And thanks for the science vlog. My son and I will enjoy watching this ❤


    1. Oh Anton has the most interesting videos every day. I hope you two enjoy it. And yes, we just arrive at a place and see what happens. Sometimes it is more fun, other times it is challenging. Haha. What was the last place you visited before the pandemic?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I can’t remember if Cebu or Baguio. But there was a year when we were traveling a lot for local book events and comic cons! Once we even went to Cagayan de Oro. Those were the days 🥲


  2. This was such a great read, I love to learn more about the couple behind the blog! I can’t wait to visit South Aisa and see the Northern Lights too! Thanks for sharing x


  3. This was really interesting, cultural differences can be an odd one when you travel. No matter how good you are at adapting and embracing the differences, some things can be difficult to get used to. The Northern Lights are on my list too.


  4. Here are my answers!

    I would love to backpack around Machu Picchu during the summer solstice.

    My biggest culture shock was when my grandparents took me to Egypt when I was young. We went through several towns via train and seeing the living conditions of those less fortunate was hard for me. I was about 13 or 14 and it was the first time I was really able to take it in and understand.

    I wish we could have the food from when we visited family in Israel!! It was so fresh and delicious. I will never forget it. My favorite thing was all of the appetizers they would bring out before dinner. If you weren’t careful you would be full before the main event!!

    I am very meticulous about planning when we visit places. I want to make sure everybody gets to see what they would like to see. But I also like to leave “free” days within our trips because we always discover something we want to do or see that we didn’t know about before we went there!

    I have a little one and a small farm to take care of so we probably wouldn’t go far if my husband was granted some time off. I would imagine we would go camping and horseback riding somewhere close.

    When my mom and I took a trip to New Orleans together we met a man that was performing at a tiny bar that we decided to stop in to have a drink and a break from walking around the French Quarter all day. The man played many instruments and also sang. He was extremely talented and we were shocked to find him performing at such a small venue. We ended up staying half the night to enjoy and dance to his music. I often wonder what he is up to now.

    I would also tell a student to visit Asia. Specifically Malaysia. I lived in Kuala Lumpur for a few summers and the diversity of people, sights, and food is unmatched. I would also recommend as many side trips as possible to near by islands and countries.


    1. Your answers are so interesting! Why on summer solstice specifically? We also look forward to exploring South America. And you have family in Israel? Wow, the food you must have eaten. It is one dream food destination for us because for sure we will learn a lot and find more inspiration for our kitchen. We are also big fans of hummus and shakshouka. The Egypt trip sounds serious. My cousin from the US also had the same experience when she saw The Ph for the first time. At least it gave you a wider perspective of the world. What was some of your favorite Malaysian dishes?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I would love to be there the moment the sun lights up the valley on the solstice. It sounds quite magical.

        My step mother and her family were immigrants to Israel from Russia back in the 80s. They have a wonderful mixture of Russian and Israeli cuisine for us to try when we visit. ❤️ If you go you should visit Dr. Shakshouka. We didn’t get time to go when we were there but I’ve heard it is a must. I am putting for sure going on the next visit! If I remember right his store is in Jaffa.

        Egypt was supposed to be a light hearted side vacation while we were living in Dubai for the summer. But it really put some things into perspective for me.

        The seafood in Malaysia was my favorite. Specifically the peppered crab from Mei King Fatt in KL. We don’t get a lot of fresh seafood in our landlocked home so I take advantage when the opportunity presents itself. 😁


        1. I have heard of Dr. Shakshouka from a Netflix show. I am very sure we will make it to Israel. The food is just too good to delay. And what is Russian food mostly? Oh, here there is plenty of seafood. As you know, we live by the beach! Wishing you were here.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. My babushka makes a lot of pickled things and potatoes… and my dedushka always has some sort of smoked fish that he’s made and a bottle of vodka available😁 There is nothing better than a fresh plate of seafood by the beach!


  5. The Northern Lights are on my bucket list too – I saw them up on the far North of Scotland once and they were magical, but I’d love to see them from Iceland as well 🙂


      1. I still want to go to Glastonbury and Wales in the UK. We were supposed to go last year but obviously couldn’t. Glastonbury has the world’s best preserved medieval kitchen, the graves of King Arthur and Guinevere (not real but still interesting and very old) and there is an iron age village close by. The best one in the world apparently.


    1. Very good question. Not sure, haha. Definitely a sandy desert, so no icy wastelands. I’m imagining camels, tents, and banking bread + brewing coffee on a fireplace. Also, a majestic night’s sky. Hopefully no snakes. So I guess that narrows it down to a Middle Eastern / North African desert.


  6. My answers:

    I’d like to visit Australia.

    Culture shock: being in Hawaii for Christmas & seeing a traditional pine Christmas tree decorated with only Japanese origami cranes. Beautiful, but unlike anything I’d ever seen before.

    I’d enjoy having bakery-fresh scones and Devonshire clotted cream available.

    Should we be able to travel again, it’ll be without much planning, just get up and go.

    I’d love to go to a beach along an ocean, walk it every morning, nap every afternoon, then eat fresh fish every night.

    I met an older gentleman who was a trust fund baby. He’d never worked a day in his life. He just did what he wanted, like being a cattle rancher, then being a yachtsman, and then being the benefactor for a local theater guild. Lovely man, not stressed by life!

    For a gap year I’d suggest following your heart. Do what makes sense to you so that when you go to college you’ll feel comfortable in your own skin and know what you want to learn.


    1. Oh, thanks for sharing your answers! The pine tree sounds lovely and it would be interesting to have a conversation with a trust fund baby, to see what that life is like or where motivation comes from. And the life you described sounds like everyday at our tiny house. We hope you see it one day!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I enjoyed your answers, thoughtful and fun. I am so content living in the mountains of North Carolina that I don’t dream of travel any more. I like chatting with people from all around the world via WordPress.


  8. I know nothing of boats but would love to sail around the Pacific visiting islands – everything would be a cultural shock and brilliant – freshly baked bread and pastries (French) – don’t plan, just go – a beach location with sunshine with access to a print workshop – I could be on the moon and probably meet someone from my home town – know your own landscape. 😎🙏


      1. I have some writing that I would like to illustrate (lino/woodblock) and I think I need to shut a lot of things out and get on with developing my ideas. A desert island would be perfect as long as I had all the materials to hand and it wasn’t the storm season!


        1. That sounds cool. I suppose being in a new environment with plenty of space gives us the opportunity to get on with these projects. For me, one of these is focusing on making a decent ramen from home.

          Liked by 1 person

        1. Yes, I read this post when you published it and remembered being distracted by the food. I forgot how many times we spoke about this, but it is just something that excites me every time. Thanks for the well-wishes. It will happen!


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