About Us

Our family is taking a “gap year” together. We hope to increase our understanding of other cultures, explore the beauty and wonder of both the ordinary and extraordinary around the world, and grow closer as a family. We’re travelling light, and instead of collecting physical souvenirs, we are collecting recipes, reflections and memorable experiences. Phase 1 (July to Nov 2021): four months of living in Costa Rica (smaller house, less stuff), increasing our Spanish language proficiency and living out of our backpacks during some “dress rehearsal” trips. Phase 2 (Nov 2021 to Jan 2022): Travel around South America. Phase 3 (Jan – June 2022): Head across the Pacific and keep going west until we get back to California.

Why “Chasing Chicharrones”?

James is a little obsessed with chicharrones.* Corbin, Asher and Gloria don’t quite share his obsession, but all agree that salty, savory, crispy, fatty, porky meat snacks are super-tasty.** Perhaps more importantly, we appreciate how he managed to finagle invitations to multiple home-cooked meals during our stay in Costa Rica simply by talking about how much he loves them. (Apparently, many Ticos are pleased to show off their chicharrone-making prowess.) On this trip, we want to learn more about the way people in other countries live, and these dinners have been a lovely opportunity to get to know our hosts in their homes. And since Corbin and Gloria are both foodies, we are also getting a chance to help out some terrific home cooks and learn local recipes in the process. [We’re posting some of the recipes we’re collecting on this blog.] And of course, we hope our family adventures on this trip will be like delicious and juicy chicharrones: worth seeking out, appreciating and remembering.  


*A few weeks ago, Merriam-Webster announced that they have officially added “chicharron” to the dictionary! (Definition: a small piece of pork belly or pig skin that is fried and eaten usually as a snack.) 

** An important note about our chosen diet: Last year, at Corbin’s suggestion, we learned more about the climate impact of industrial meat production and the health benefits of a vegan lifestyle. As a result, we all went vegan for one month. It was a successful experiment. Gloria learned lots of interesting techniques for making delicious vegan food, and still cooks vegan and vegetarian meals regularly. We are “plant-forward omnivores” and as part of our travels, we plan to eat lots of different local foods as an important way to learn about other cultures.