Two years ago, Seth and Olivia Hanson quit their jobs (his in banking and hers in property management), sold their home in Austin, Texas, and took off for a six-month trip around the world. It was a dream vacation for this married couple.
"One night we were talking about how great it would be to just take some time off and travel, so we took out a piece of paper and wrote down our dream destinations," Seth Hanson told Business Insider. "Our lists turned out almost identical."
Wasting no time, they decided to start actually planning the trip to make it a reality. The couple ultimately settled on Brazil, Peru, Ecuador, Hong Kong, Bali, Singapore, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, and India.
They planned out about 50% of the sites they would visit and tried to keep it cheap, allotting $12,000 per person for the entire trip.Click to go straight to the photos >
During their first stop in South America, they realized large tourist destinations like Rio de Janeiro and Machu Picchu, weren't going to be their favorite. The crowds and the hype were off-putting. They soon realized that they prefer more secluded, unique destinations, like Jericoara, Brazil, or Jaisalmer, India.
They felt that India was the most authentic place they traveled: There they befriended locals who invited them to dinner, played cricket with the local kids around the country, and ate $1 meals along the side of the road.
"We stumbled on some Jain temple and walked to the top and could see the whole city," Seth said, recalling his time in an Indian city. "Olivia was crying because it was so beautiful. It was just one of those moments."
Seth and Olivia shared some photos of their journey. We've included them here, along with their original captions.
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The Stairs of Selarón in Rio, Brazil.
The secluded city of Jericoacoara in north Brazil was a favorite. To get there you have to take multiple buses through sand dunes, and it's pretty slow going. But you end up in this undiscovered oasis. There's sand and wind boarding, fresh oysters, great hotels and restaurants.
The landscape in Jericoacoara was farm-meets-desert-meets-beach. This was the most beautiful place to me. The colors are indescribable.
Seeing Iguazu Falls, on the Argentina side, was one of the most amazing moments of the trip.
In Peru, we encountered some of the biggest radishes we'd ever seen.
Walking underneath water in Lima, Peru.
Overlooking Huacachina, a village in the Ica Region, in southwestern Peru.
The area near Ica is filled with endless sand dunes. We explored them in a dune buggy.
We stayed with a family on an island in Lake Titicaca, Peru. Our host, Simon, loves to play guitar for visitors and he sang his heart out that night.
Some cool rock sculptures over Lake Titicaca, Peru.
Alpacas are Peru's unofficial mascots. We were invited to an alpaca beauty contest in Cuzco, Peru.
Couldn't believe we were able to capture this moment.
This is how cargo gets transported in Ecuador.
We had the best non-traditional Thanksgiving meal ever in Cuenca, Ecuador.
Overlooking the jungle in Ecuador.
A woman overlooking the crater of Quilotoa, a volcano in the Ecuadorian Andes.
A little girl leaving school in Cotacachi, Ecuador.
After traveling around South America, we flew to Asia. In Bali, we saw a beautiful bridge in the Monkey Forest.
The Singapore Zoo is filled with tropical plants and animals.
The landscape in Sapa, in northern Vietnam, was incredible.
We stayed with a host family in Sapa, where we shared a traditional Vietnamese meal.
We tried a fish spa in Siem Reap, Cambodia, where little fish cleaned our feet. It tickled like crazy.
We posed in front of the iconic temple at Angkor Wat, Cambodia.
The temples of Angkor Wat are really beautiful.
This little girl at the Doi Suthep Temple near Chiang Mai, Thailand, was adorable, but she was begging for money.
Most of the places in southeast Asia that we traveled to after South America are more or less Westernized, even some of the more remote areas. Out of everywhere we went, we liked India the best because it seemed the most true to itself.
One of the best parts of India was meeting the kids. They loved the camera.
India is such a colorful country — literally. This vendor in Pushkar sold different colored powders during Holi, the Festival of Colors.
We stopped on the side of the road for refreshments while on our way to Ranakpur, India, where we made some friends.
My first "man shave" in Bikaner, India. I was a little nervous, but after the shave I had never been so smooth!
Of course seeing the iconic Taj Mahal is a requisite part of any trip to India.
You've seen one way to travel the world.
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