Who am I? What is Fish Ear Soup?

My goal is to present solutions or tips I have for independent travel. I try to focus on places without easy to find logistical information or different ways of approaching common destinations.

I have made traveling a priority for over 20 years. I love cities, archaeology, and nature. I have been Scuba diving since 2003 and am a Divemaster. Much of my travel is focused on underwater destinations.

I travel independently, with my husband who does not want to be on the internet. Since 2013 I have been traveling for stints of 2-4 months a few times a year. My time pre Covid was split about 6 months a year abroad 6 months in the US. My trips combine new and familiar places. I eventually hope to get to every country but am not focusing on this.

I currently travel on a mid range budget. I use airline points occasionally but am not focused on this aspect. I stay in mid range budget hotels with private bathrooms or apartments.

I have completed longer, low budget backpacking trips in the past. Although I never have opted for dorms I have stayed in many hostels and very inexpensive accommodations. I completed my first RTW trip in 1998 when Round The World tickets were very much a thing and a great way to save on airfare. In 2003 I took a year off and traveled from El Salvador to Antarctica. In 2008 15 months off work brought me to Asia (Indian, Nepal, Middle East, South East Asia) and a road trip across the United States.

Country Count

I enjoy the site Nomadmania They list the countries by all the different lists as well as many subcategories that are interesting and provide inspiration for travel. My count currently (and holding during Covid-19) is 125 UN countries 156 UN Plus, this includes places people popularly consider countries including spots like Kosovo, Aruba etc. I also count TCC countries. This is an international travel club I am a local coordinator for. They have a unique list for countries and territories. By their list I am at 181.

Why Fish Ear Soup?

Honestly if I had started blogging when I first started seriously traveling it would be different. All top choices for a name were long ago taken. Seeing this soup label in Russia made me laugh and I decided to name the blog after it. A reminder to never take myself or travel too seriously.