About the Blog
I’m Tippins and I met my husband Rufio (pseudonym for his uncanny resemblance to a certain ill-fated Disney character) in May 2009. We were just shy of dating two months when he introduced me to the chaotic world of non-revenue pass travel. That trip would forever change our lives. Not only did we fall head over heels for each other on the warm shores of Maho Bay, USVI, but I became verifiably obsessed with the gamble of standby travel. Nearly six years later we have visited 25 countries together on standby (though we boast 35 countries/territories each).
We are standby sojourners, and for us every empty seat is an opportunity for adventure.
Rufio and I have full-time jobs that are based in Atlanta, Georgia. We do get to travel for our jobs, but not nearly as often as I would like or as varied as Rufio would like. Fortunately we can fly standby, and so we take advantage of every empty seat we can find to explore the globe. The caveat is that because of our job commitments and the standard 2 weeks of paid vacation, we have to be conservative with our time in each place we visit so that we can afford to travel throughout the year.
That is really what led me to sharing my stories here. Most of the travel blogs I follow are written by people who are traveling professionally, earning their living through their writing and photography. Their travel tales span months of backpacking through Southeast Asia or teaching snowboarding in Chile. Our tales, on the other hand, often span less than a week and usually involve us spending at least one of those days in some random city we tried to connect through, only to be stranded until seats open up the next day. The time commitments may be shorter, but we still manage to have unforgettable experiences. Our travels are different from those of the round-the-world bloggers I admire so much, but our lives are enriched by them nonetheless.
One cold January day, during a span of three weeks with no travel and thus ensuing boredom, I decided to begin sharing our experiences on this blog. I aim to show others that they can have truly enriching travel experience in a matter of days – that one doesn’t have to quit their 9-to-5, say goodbye to their friends and family and pack up for a year to have a rewarding experience. An adventure is but a moment away.
I’ll share our standby stories (and gaffes), plus tips and advice on how to get the most from your journeys in a short amount of time. I look forward to connecting with other travelers, so please leave comments and questions!
I’m from a very small beach town on the east coast of Florida called Ft. Pierce. I attended Florida State University and received my B.S. in Biological Sciences, with a minor in Spanish. After a few years as a biochemist, I received my MPH from Emory University in Global Epidemiology. I have worked as an epidemiologist since 2013. I work specifically with the U.S.-affiliated island jurisdictions in the Pacific, so I regularly travel to Micronesia and Polynesia for work when I’m not jet-setting with Rufio.
Rufio grew up in the suburbs of Little Rock, Arkansas. He graduated from Auburn University with a degree in aerospace engineering, and has worked in various engineering capacities since he moved to Atlanta. Recently he finds himself on the beaches of Oahu almost monthly for work.
Over the years we have honed a travel style that is uniquely ours. I’m responsible for any planning and research, but when my best laid travel plans inevitably go awry because of a snowstorm in the Northeast or a mechanical failure in Cincinnati, Rufio’s quick-thinking and spontaneity always saves the day. Our trips are always a balance of my love for obscure historical sites and the arts, Rufio’s love for food and nightlife and our shared obsession for sports and the outdoors. Follow us as we eat, drink and play our way around the world, one empty seat at a time.