photo of travis and carrie as kids

Our Story

Hi!  Bonjour!  Hallo.  Two Small Potatoes are Travis and Carrie, two American expats originally from North Idaho, now “ex-potatoes” living in Germany.

What’s our story?

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.

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
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 were informed that Trav’s employer wouldn’t be unable to honor his original job offer due to some sketchy reasons we won’t discuss here, 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 live in Germany or where we’ll end up next, but hopefully you’ll follow #rollwithus as these Two Small Potatoes keep on rollin’ ’round the world!

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.

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




10 thoughts on “Our Story”

  1. 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. 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.

  3. 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.

    1. 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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