by Mark & Kristen Morgan

Meet The Morgans

Hi, we’re Kristen & Mark, an ‘American woman’ and an ‘Englishman in New York’. We put our scientific careers on hold in 2018 and followed our dreams to explore the world together as we embarked upon a never-ending  honeymoon!

Mark and Kristen on motorbike Hai Van Pass Vietnam
mark & kristen zion valley backdrop angels landing

Want To Know More About "Where Are Those Morgans?"

Growing up we were both lucky enough to travel, but we always had the itch to see more. After working in the corporate environment for almost a decade, we had a decision to make – work or travel? We certainly weren’t getting any younger and the world was waiting. 

Since making the life changing decision to temporarily throw everything we owned into storage and hang up our lab coats, we have traveled to over 30 countries across 4 continents together and we’ve never looked back.

About Kristen

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Hi I’m Kristen. I am from a tiny little town outside of Rochester, NY that no one ever knows. I wouldn’t change it for the world because I grew up riding four wheelers, taking care of farm animals and boating in the summer on the local lake.

I love science and I knew I always wanted to go into healthcare. After graduating university with a degree in medical technology, I also bought my first house at the age of 22. I worked in various laboratory roles for the next several years, but something wasn’t right with my American dream. I had a great job and a house, but I was commuting almost an hour to work and burning the candle at both ends. I felt unhappy and unfulfilled in this wake up and repeat lifestyle.

I’ve always loved travel. In high school, I was selected for a science based trip to Puerto Rico and participated in a foreign exchange program in Spain. I also studied abroad in college (actually in England, I like to think of this as a foreshadow to marrying my wonderful English husband). My life changing revelation came when I was driving home from work one day and I asked myself where I wanted to be in five years? The answer was simple. I wanted to travel more than ever.  

Talk about fate because it was about this point in my life when I met Mark. We instantly connected over our desire for travel and discovered we had the same long term goals. Our careers had been great, but we wanted so much more. We had A LOT of hurdles to overcome to make this dream a reality so we buckled down to save up a lot of money and eventually took the leap of faith. But damn, was it worth it!

My favorite bucket-list experience has been interailing for several months around Europe.  It was a dream to be able to hop on any train to any destination I wanted. That’s a picture of me with the Swiss Alpine cows. Before I saw the cows, I naively thought the sound was very nice wind-chimes haha! The cows were a much better surprise…

Kristen in Vietnam

Lounging about and taking in the lush green beauty of Sapa, Vietnam

Kristen in Japan

Acting touristy at the Fushimi Inari-taisha shrine in Kyoto Japan.

Kristen on Machu Picchu

Despite the horrible weather on our Inca trail trek to Machu Picchu, I still got my photo with a llama!

Interesting Facts About Me

1) I was born and raised in upstate NY and it just so happens my birthday also falls in October. This means autumn is my absolute favorite season! Nothing beats the beautiful fall foliage, pumpkin spice lattes, apple picking and perfect cool temperatures.

2) I have a rescue kitty back at home named Mr. Grumps. Someone left him in a snow mound on the side of the road in the middle of winter (insert swearing emoji)! But he’s never missed a beat because he’s part Maine Coon and has a ton of sass! He stays with my parents when we travel (and yes, I always have to see him on facetime when calling home)! 

3) I am a country girl at heart. I prefer being outdoors in big open spaces compared to being locked up in a city. This is something that I have learned about myself while traveling because after a few days in a city, I always crave the tranquility of the great outdoors. I’ve found turning on a little country music helps to transport me back to my familiar place… Miranda Lambert anyone? 

4) I was a gymnast growing up and I really miss coaching it too. I believe gymnastics is something you never really grow out of so I probably do way more handstands than appropriate.

5) I finished the last year of my masters degree in health systems administration during our traveling honeymoon. I am going to be honest, it was one of the hardest things I have ever done, but my motto has always been work hard, play harder. My goal is to show others that you don’t have to give up a career to travel long term.

Kristen's Travel Life

My favorite destination to date?
Switzerland, breathtaking views everywhere!

My favorite food from traveling?
Argentinian Steak, best I’ve ever had!

My favorite hike so far?
The Roof of Japan (Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route) – a cable car, a tunnel trolley,  hiking Mt. Oyama, the Kurobe dam and a train – all in one day (and on my birthday).

My guilty pleasure?
Cheese, cheese & more cheese.

Worst Travel Day?
The horrific winding 4 hour mini bus journey from Chiang Mai to Pai in Thailand with dengue fever.

What I miss the most?
Mr. Grumps, my baby boy 🙂

What I can’t travel without?
Headphones and packing cubes.

Longest time away from home?
8 months.

Favorite Airline?
Thomas Cook, amazing service and always comfortable (though no longer in business)!

My top travel tip?
Pack light – you don’t need tons of gear and chances are, you won’t use all of it.

About Mark

I’m from York in England (and no, that’s not in London – there are other places in England!!). York is a historic city in the North famous for Vikings, its Minster, Roman walls, chocolate production and its railway museum.

York is a lovely small city but I always held a burning desire to see more. I went to University in Plymouth, joined the football team (more for the socials!) and picked up a commercial scuba diving qualification.

After flying to Singapore and the US on business trips, I would tag on a week of solo traveling to places such as New York City or Thailand. In my early 20’s, I’d bore the life out of my friend group repeatedly explaining how much I wanted to travel but never quite found the courage to leave my career and the concept of societal norm. Until I met Kristen, who shared the exact same aspirations and outlook on life.

I left my job as a Senior Flow Cytometry Scientist in York, married Kristen, set off to travel the world for a year and submitted an application for a US Immigrant Visa all within 2 weeks.

I’m big into sport; football, running, swimming, skiing and scuba diving. We were traveling Europe in 2018 when the football World Cup was played. We were lucky enough to be in countries like Croatia (I may or may not have planned our route around games) when they won in the quarter finals – Zagreb knows how to party!

When I look at my bucket-list catalogue, one of my favourite big ticks is when I finally got to ride the Shinkansen or Bullet Train in Japan – that’s me getting off with a cheesy grin plastered all over my chops!

My best Gandalf impression "you shall not pass!"

My very best Gandalf impression in El Chalten, Argentina: "You shall not pass!"

Mark in Dubai

Attempting to run sand dune shuttles in the scorching 40C Dubai desert.

Mark in Austria

Blowing the eerie clouds off the top of Hitler's Eagle's Nest in Berchtesgaden, Germany.

Mark's Travel Life

My favorite destination to date?
The hardest question of all! Tough to narrow down to one but for an overall experience, I would have to say Japan; where Ancient meets modern world.

My favorite food from traveling?
Pizza in Naples! Italy is on a different level.

My favorite hike so far?
W Trek, Chilean Patagonia.

My guilty pleasure?
Netflix binges and beer … I am British after all!

Worst Travel Day?
The 25 hour bus journey from Bariloche to El Chalten in Argentina isn’t the best day I’ve ever had.

What I miss the most?
Proper English cup of tea. The water isn’t the same anywhere else.

What I can’t travel without?
A comfortable pair of running shoes.

Longest time away from home?
4 months, but having recently immigrated to the US, that number may be about to change.

Favorite Airline?
Norwegian Air for value without question, great job Norway! For luxury, Singapore Airlines.

My top travel tip?
Be flexible, you’ll save so much money!

Interesting Things About Me

1) My Yorkshire heritage means that I consume more tea than water. Tea bags simply have to be in my backpack for any trip. Unfortunately, I ran out of the world’s greatest brew – Yorkshire tea – during our honeymoon and since I moved to the US, it now costs $20 to order a box online. Looks like I’ll be bringing them in by the suitcase load every time I visit the UK.

2) A favourite topic of mine is geography. I love a map and can name all 197 countries in the world in less than 15 minutes on Sporcle! In the real world that translates to genuinely enjoying planning our travel routes in every country, win! Leading me onto…

3) A particularly embarrassing moment of mine is when I went on Eggheads quiz show on British national television. Our team had ventured out in Glasgow, Scotland the night before and consumed one too many beers. With basically no sleep and more alcohol than blood in our veins, we arrived on set at the hair and makeup team, who had a job on their hands. Craving a bed and feeling very jaded, I sat in front of a camera with the TV team staring at me and lights blazing down on me. In a sweaty mess, I went up against an Egghead in Geography but couldn’t speak or process anything. Needless to say, I had an absolute shocker.

4) I’m a Manchester United fan … yes it’s been tough post Sir Alex! It was awesome watching games all over the world. The most obscure place we caught a game was on a tiny Thai island called Koh Muk in the Andaman Sea. Football is the best universal language!

5) I love being in the kitchen cooking up a storm. When we travel, we prefer to stay in places with kitchens so I can knock up something nutritious and delicious.

Our Story

Mark and Kristen First Date

How We Met

The story of how we met always makes people happy. We both worked for the same scientific company but on separate continents; Mark in the UK and Kristen in the US. We had conferences on the phone for years without ever meeting, but our paths officially crossed when Mark was sent to train Kristen in the US. As they say, the rest is history (photo throwback to one of our first dates).

Every few months we would visit each other from across ‘the Pond’ and each trip we added in a new spot to visit. These trips every few months only further enhanced our love for travel and we decided to make a change. We wanted to see the world together!

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Mark and Kristen wedding photo under tree

Tying The Knot

In May 2018, just before we set off to travel, we were married at Bolton Castle in the Yorkshire Dales, England. Yes, you read that right, a 14th-century castle! If you have ever been to England, you know it is always raining. The week leading up to our wedding was constant rain showers and we were terrified it would be a cold rainy wedding day.

However, the weather Gods were shining upon us because it ended up being one of the hottest days in May on record! Besides there being no cloud in the sky, we got married while harps played, candles glistened and an owl delivered the rings. We even cut our wedding cake with a medieval sword. It truly was a magical day!

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Sunset in Thailand

Our Honeymoon

A week after we became husband and wife, we left England to embark upon a never-ending honeymoon, which would encompass chasing the sun across Europe, Asia, South America and North America. Each day brings new adventures and challenges that we embrace with open arms. It’s an unbelievably rewarding and satisfying feeling when we tick off our bucket list experiences.

Traveling the world together was undoubtedly the best decision we have made. We look forward to sharing all the incredible, the terrible and the downright bizarre things we experience with you. Maybe we can even inspire some of you to take a honeymoon that circumnavigates the globe!

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Ready for your next adventure?

Take a look at our destination guides, planning a trip, packing & gear and leading a healthy lifestyle on the road resources before your next trip!

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