Our Story: Two Small Potatoes, One Big Adventure

Hi!  We’re Carrie & Travis, two small potatoes from Idaho, transplanted to Switzerland as expats in search of adventure.  Now “ex-potatoes” living in Germany, we write about what it’s like uprooting our lives to move half way around the world.  We share lots of helpful guides for future expats looking to make the leap, but we also just love to travel in general, so you’ll find even more content about incredible places to visit in Europe and beyond.

We firmly believe that travel isn’t a luxury only some can afford.  Travel can be possible for anyone who loves it.  If you don’t have a ton of money or time to spend in Tahiti or the Himalayas, explore what’s right beyond your own backyard!  You’d be amazed how many times we’ve moved somewhere new or visited an attraction only to have locals tell us they’ve lived there their whole life and never visited/tried X, Y, Z.  When you adopt the attitude that you’ll go anywhere or do anything, the whole world becomes filled with travel opportunities.  Dream big, but if you can’t make those dreams happen just yet, start small.  We know it’s possible because that’s exactly what we did!

So what’s our story?  Who are we?

Waaayyyy back in the day, the two of us were born at different cabins in the boondocks of northern Idaho less than 60 miles apart as a crow flies.

Though we wouldn’t meet for a few years yet, we’ve known each other since we were knee-high to a grasshopper.  We spent the endless long hot summers swimming in the Saint Maries River and traipsing through heavenly scented pine forests.  After moving away to attend different colleges, we realized two small potatoes were better than one.

Our story begins in North Idaho

Camping near the north fork of the Clearwater River in Idaho

Travel, a need for adventure, and a love of the outdoors are the glue that bind us together.

Together we share a love of travel, adventure, and the outdoors.  True to our roots, we always do it on a shoestring budget.  If we won the lotto, we’d still prefer camping in the tules in grizzly-infested woods with grizzly-sized mosquitoes to any 5-star hotel.  Sorry Paris, the Hilton’s just not for us.

Whitewater kayaking on the Oregon Coast, USA

Travis kayaking the surf along the coast near Beachside, Oregon.

Moving overseas once you’ve put down roots is insanely hard, but it can be done.  You won’t regret it.  Probably.

After living for years in Washington State, several months in Alaska and Costa Rica, and then a spectacular year in the Southwest, we landed in Oregon for nearly 7 years while Travis completed his PhD.  We bought a house, put down roots, accumulated pets, and spent all our free time kayaking, camping, and exploring the outdoors from the Canadian border down through California.  If you haven’t been to Oregon and you love the outdoors, it should be on your list.

Seriously, what are you doing right now?  GO to Oregon!

hiking the obsidian trail in the oregon wilderness

Hiking the Obsidian Trail with our dog in the Three Sisters Wilderness, Oregon

Sniffle – we miss you, Oregon.

After Trav graduated in 2013, we spent 3 weeks traveling from Sweden to Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, and the UK for a series of job interviews.  In May, he accepted a job offer at the University of Fribourg in Switzerland, land of chocolate, wine, and cheese.  I resigned from my job of almost 7 years as a social worker, we put our house up for rent with no plans to move back to Oregon, sold our cars, all of our furniture, and most of our belongings, packed up a few boxes to be shipped, said goodbye to friends and family, and crammed what we could into 2 suitcases and 3 pet crates.

chicken's rest on mt thielsen, oregon

Views from Chicken’s Rest on Mt. Thielsen, Oregon

Some sad times are in store for Two Small Potatoes.

Once in Switzerland, we found a beautiful home in the countryside to rent, furnished it with secondhand items, started learning French, and made some life-long friends.  Then, after less than nine months in Switzerland and just when we’d adjusted to life with the constant tinkling of cow bells, we found out Trav’s employer wouldn’t be honoring his original job offer for his post doc, resulting in “Two ‘Unemployed’ Small Potatoes In Switzerland.”

hiking near the matterhorn in switzerland

Hiking the 5-Seenweg trail above Grindjisee with Matterhorn views, Switzerland

Germany comes to the rescue.

Luckily Travis was offered a new biology post-doc research position at the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry in Göttingen.  With a mixture of sadness and excitement, we tearfully said goodbye to Switzerland and relocated again, this time just across the border.  We’re again slowly adjusting to life in a new country with a new language (why couldn’t we have lived in the German-speaking part of Switzerland?!), new laws, new food (the apfeltaschen are scrumptious), and thankfully, a budget more akin to ours in Oregon.

We don’t know how long we’ll be in Germany, but hopefully you’ll #rollwithus wherever these Two Small Potatoes end up next !

As the dust settles on this new big change for us, we’re looking forward to returning to doing what we’ve always loved to do: traveling, meeting interesting people, seeking out adventure wherever we go, exploring the outdoors – especially by kayak, and sharing our experiences with others.  Hopefully if you’re reading this, you’ll see that if Two Small Potatoes from a tiny logging community in North Idaho can move to Europe and travel the world, anyone can.

Why are we called “Two Small Potatoes”?

If you’re wondering why the name of our blog is Two Small Potatoes, check out “Two Small Potatoes” Genisys.



10 Responses

  1. Cedric Angermann

    Awesome people. I just saw them in a store I work at and it was just a bliss to meet you guys. I hope we’ll stay in contact a lot because you two seem so awesome. It was a honor to meet you and I hope you guys feel the same. Much love !!

  2. Anonymous

    Hey Carrie, I can finally read your blog after you moved! Before I can’t get access to it.-Yan

  3. bevchen

    Ex-potatoes! Funny 🙂

    I was just going through the Switzerland tag on WordPress when I came across you. I’m (probably) moving to Switzerland soon, but the German part.

  4. Sherri

    I love what you are doing Carrie, I look forward to getting the email notifications. Your pictures are truly beautiful. I was sad though to read that you don’t plan on coming back to Eugene…You are sorely missed.

    • Two Small Potatoes

      Thanks so much, Sherri. Unfortunately, job prospects for Travis in his field aren’t great in Eugene, but who knows what the future holds in store for us…maybe we’ll retire there someday, if we ever retire. It is just about the most perfect place to live, and I have a huge hug for you when we visit!


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