Our Story: Two Small Potatoes, One Big Adventure

Yeah, Travis is the cute little tyke on the right.  Carrie is the one rockin' the bowl cut on the left. Mom, what were you thinking?!

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 your life 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!

Meet Carrie and Travis, 'Two Small Potatoes' from Idaho who sold everything to move half-way around the world to Europe - 3 pets in tow. This is our story!Click to Tweet

We firmly believe that travel isn’t a luxury only some can afford.  Travel can be possible if you love it and make it a priority. 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.

Kayaking on the Oregon Coast, USA

Trav plays in the surf at 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!

Our story continues on the Obsidian Trail in Oregon, USA

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.

This is the story of two small potatoes from Idaho who decided to sell everything and move half-way around the world to Europe - one dog and two cats in tow. Click to Tweet
Our story will always include adventure travel, Oregon, USA

View 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.”

Our story continues 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 !

So that’s it in a nutshell, that’s our story.

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: road tripping, staying at unique and rustic lodging, seeking out adventure travel of any kind, exploring wilderness areas – both on foot and by kayak, and sharing our experiences to inspire others to live their own adventure.

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, almost anyone can.



Wondering why the name of our blog sounds more like it’s for a cooking website than a travel site?

You’re not the first!

To find out why we decided Two Small Potatoes was the perfect name for our site, check out “Two Small Potatoes” Genisys.

Want to share our crazy journey?  Take a minute to PIN it!

Drop Us A Line Below

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I once had a cat named “Mocha”. She used to get up early to eat cereal with me before work. One day she made eye contact with my sister in law while they were separated by nearly eight feet. The heavy dresser that Mocha was standing on at the time was knocked completely over when she sprang like a ferrel Manx at my poor sister in law. They say animals can detect things in people that other humans can’t, but who knows, it could have been a coincidence.

Christy Zabo
Christy Zabo

Hello and greetings from PDX! We are moving back to Frankfurt very soon and of all things need a cat carrier for Condor. Any suggestions?


Hey Christy! You have lots of options for cat carriers. We were stressed about what would be approved before we flew, but we worried too much. I assume you’re flying with your kitty in cabin? If so, the biggest concerns are weight and size. For Condor, the crate + kitty have to weigh less than 8 kg and measure no more than 55x40x20 cm (same as hand baggage). We used a rectangular soft shell backpack carrier with lots of mesh. Just make sure the bag can fit down by your feet. I think we bought ours at PetSmart for about… Read more »


Nice to hear all about your adventures guys. I accidentally found your website on the net when I was searching for the Peles castle in Romania. Great photos and descriptions. Thanks a lot.
Wish you all the best for your future endeavours.

Floyd and Debby

Enjoying your story and photos–our territory has been Washington, Oregon, Idaho and now the Mojave Desert in California with excursions (mostly camping) to Massachusetts, Alaska, and Panama. Now our grandchildren do the hiking and camping, and we travel vicariously, via books and Internet.

Hétore Hernandez
Hétore Hernandez



¡Muchas gracias, Hétore!