Michellendave's Traveler Profile

I have traveled to 39 countries, posted 22,085 pictures and written 721 entries in 20 travel blogs
Michellendave's picture
Wherever I hang my hat is my home,
United States Flag of United States
Member Since
Oct 26, 2009

About Michellendave

Retired (both)
Favourite music
MICHELLE: Reggae, R&B, Jazz, Pop / DAVE: Guitar players from the 70's and 80's mostly. Lennon's Imagine is an all time favorite.
MICHELLE: Amsterdam / DAVE: Utah
Favourite movie
We're not a big movie buffs but Michelle enjoyed:Tootsie, Forrest Gump, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, the Good Earth. Dave liked Star Wars (a new hope) 1977, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Mash, Woman Under the influence 1974, Airplane, Django Unchained.
MICHELLE: Dutch, English, rusty German / DAVE: American
Favourite quote
My take on the quote by Saint Francis of Assisi...accept the things I cannot change, have the courage the change the things I can, and have the wisdom to know the difference.
Interests and hobbies
MICHELLE: Travel, Backpacking, Trekking, Bicycling, Scuba Diving, Pickleball, Decorative Painting, Reading / DAVE: Outdoor activities & travel
One thing I want to do before I die
Cycle around the world. Through-hike the AT
Favourite book
MICHELLE: A Fine Balance By Rohinton Mistry / DAVE: BF Skinner's Beyond Freedom and Dignity was seminal.
My friends describe me as
Adventurous (both)
The most amazing moment in my life so far
MICHELLE: There have been so many. Of course being a woman who has given birth to 2 daughters, that definitely has to rate right up there. DAVE: I don't have one aha moment but a series of events which taught me the only limits we have are self imposed.
"michellendave " is our writings and photographs which morphed from Michelle's travel diaries which she has always kept. Dave is the blog and photo editor. Michelle keeps a journal on her iPad. Dave copies it, dots I's and crosses the T's, add punctuation and formatting. If Michelle is uninspired or leaves gaps, Dave writes, usually keeping it in Michelle's voice. The written history is for us but we hope that making it public will inspire others.

I was born in the Netherlands and the oldest of three. At age 18, I immigrated (with mother, brother and sister) to the USA (Utah). I took to it like a fish to water and LOVED our life here. The relaxed atmosphere and the mountains made me feel like I was on holiday every day. The fact that my brother and I went from being totally 'not cool' in Holland to being the coolest kids on the block didn't hurt either! We moved to Santa Barbara, CA in 1968 and too soon I married and had 2 daughters. Over the next 12 years lived in Germany, England and Canada then back to Santa Barbara and divorced. In 1980, I met the love of my life....Dave. And 3 years later we married. Dave introduced me to the finer things in life .......backpacking, snowshoeing and how to light a bonfire. An athletic and adventurous side of me emerged and the rest is history. After the kids left home and our finances improved, we ventured further away from home and more off the beaten path. We added our PADI Scuba Certification to our repertoire and traveled to Europe, Peru, Bolivia, Guatemala, India, China, Tibet, Nepal, Indonesia (including Irian Jaya), Bhutan, Myanmar, Laos etc, etc. Dave and I moved to Michigan in 1998 and beginning 2000, we lived for 3 amazing years in Japan followed by 9 months in China.

I was born in Utah, youngest of four Catholic children. I was quiet and reserved while my older siblings were cool in school which cast a halo and protected me from bullies. My only fight was in the 5th grade and it was over with one punch. I was part of Boy Scout's of America and still believe in it's motto, oath & code. We had a great scout master who led us on a 50 mile hike in the Uintas and canoeing in Yellowstone. I've loved the outdoors ever since. My family never traveled and it was having summer jobs in the Northwest, while going to University, that gave me a travel bug. I got the feeling that there was a whole big world out there for me to explore. After University, I embarked on a grand road trip in my old Opel Kadette. First stop, after 900 miles, was to visit Michelle in Santa Barbara. We fell in love. I never continued that road trip and have been with Michelle ever since. Typical of Americans, I had anxiety about traveling to counties where English is not the first language. I soon learned that that was just one of many obstacles to overcome. 

MICHELLENDAVE: While living in Japan, we joined a fully supported cycle tour from Seoul, Korea to Osaka Japan, sponsored by Japan Airlines. One hundred and fifty people from all over the world participated. That gave us the confidence that we could do and enjoy long distance cycling on our own. From then on we made yearly bike tours lasting 2 to 3 weeks. Including: The Pacific Coast from Eureka to Oxnard, CA, an extremely scenic coastal trip. Nashville to New Orleans along the historical Natchez Trace, Connecticut to Bar Harbor, Maine, We circled Lake Michigan and rode Pittsburgh to Washington DC along the Allegheny Passage and C&O. We did several fantastic cycle trips in Holland, the country made for cycling. In 2008 we cycled from Holland to Paris. In 2009 we again cycled Pittsburgh to Washington DC. We self-published books about those trips. See: & 
In 2009, Dave accepted early retirement from General Motors. We sold our home and cars and were ready to live our dream, to see the world in slow motion!!  That word 'healthy' suddenly came in perspective and we learned how quickly things can change. More reason to enjoy every moment and give a little back along the way. In July 2010, we finally were able to leave on our bicycles from Oxnard, CA going south--> Baja, MX--> Mexico--> Guatemala--> El Salvador-> Nicaragua -> Costa Rica. We stored the bikes and took backpacks to Asia in 2011. We cycled the Donauradweg beginning April 2013 and finished at the Black Sea in July 2013! Donauradweg is the 2875 kilometer long cycling path along the Danube river that starts in Donaueschingen Germany and ends in Romania at the Black Sea. We plan to keep going as long as we think it is fun and as long as we are healthy.
We consider tourist/travelers ambassadors for their countries. We travel with humility and respect. And in our small way spreading good will, tolerance and understanding for our differences, knowing that in the end, the people on earth are more alike than different.

Recent Entries by Michellendave

  • Baños to Ambato to Lago Agrio ($16.50 each) By bus (430km in 12.5 hours) Hotel Platinum Class $25 AC Double without breakfast NIGHT RIDE TO LAGO It was raining when our bus left Baños ...

  • Making a Splash in Baños - Apr 28, 2017

    Alausi to Baños via Riobamba (106km by bus) Hostal Monte Caramelo - $25 double including breakfast Busing It! We'd just finished our devil's nose train tour. We packed up and checked o...

  • Devil of a Ride - Apr 27, 2017

    Ingapirca to Aliusi - 111 Kilometers by Taxi - $65.00 Hotel Noris Alausi - $73.00 - View Double with breakfast 4/27 - Throwing Money at the Problem We ordered a taxi to take us from our...

Travel Blogs by Michellendave

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