About The Unconventional Route

Our Mission


To fight complacency, which lulls us into going back and forth in our lives’ paths until the ruts we erode are too deep to climb out of.

We’ll do so by enthusiastically exploring and blazing our best possible paths. And we’ll try to haul as many people as possible out of their ruts to do the same.

Because a rut-less world where everyone makes the most of their trips through life would be an extra extraordinary place.

What do you think?

If you want to be rut-less with us, join us as we explore something new every 10 days in our newsletter, Consider This:

Next Issue: 10 questions to double-check if you're going the right way.

Kim piggybacking on Chris at our wedding

About Us


We’re Kim and Chris, a recently-married couple from Vancouver, Canada who fight boringness a living.

This blog is our biggest weapon. Over 150,000 people read it every month (and growing!). And we friggin love working on it.

That’s enough about us.

But if you really want to know more, skip to one of the sections below:

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About Kim


Kim catching an orange in Valencia

Kim first caught the blogging bug back in 2010 with her food and travel blog, The Hungry Hapa. While she mastered the art of dinner parties and ignited a love for travel, the blog didn’t make it past its second birthday.

After leaving a corporate job in mining for a 6-month backpacking trip with friends, she decided to move abroad.

She started up her own granola company, got certified as a personal trainer, and taught herself web and graphic design.

Kim’s in charge of photography, social, and other creative elements for this blog, supplements her modest blog income with freelance work and has recently launched a dinner party blog.

About Chris

Chris wearing everything in his minimalist men's packing list.

Chris grew up in Vancouver, studied in Toronto and France, Microsoft Excel-ed in Switzerland and Panama, pretired, exported blueberries to Mexico, co-owned a hostel in Squamish and tried (and failed) to market a butter made from bug fat.

He likes basketball, nachos, Kim, and trying to convince people to do things with his writing.

He dislikes cold weather, cooking, noisy large groups of people, and being told exactly how to do things. (Best check out his personal user manual before meeting him.)

On the Unconventional Route, Chris does the writing, editing, research, and analysis.

Need a Push?

Get your free ebooklet with 8 quick challenges to try today to expand your comfort zone.

8 Not Too Crazy Challenges to Burst Your Puny Comfort Zone's Bubble
Kim and Chris laughing after shisha in Jordan
Shisha giggles in Jordan, our first of what would be many, many trips down The Unconventional Route together.

Our Past

How we met and stumbled into this blog.

Kim’s sister is married to Chris’ cousin. We met at a dinner with them in December 2013 in Vancouver, Canada. Kim was home for the holidays while studying in Dubai. Chris was “pretired.”

When Kim told Chris she planned to travel to Jordan in March, Chris bought a ticket and invited himself. He then spent the next two months convincing Kim via text message that it wasn’t weird to “keep it in the family.”

Our relationship developed and yada, yada, yada until November 2017, when we had to vacate our Vancouver apartment before it was torn down on top of us. Kim suggested blowing this popsicle stand, so we moved to Medellin, Colombia.

We didn’t have much to do in Medellin but discovered lots of cool things nobody was writing about. So we wrote about them.

The Unconventional Route took off from there, evolving from a travel blog into a travel blog for life.

Chris and Kim on a recent getaway up North.

Our Present

What’re we up to right now? (November 2020)

Foraging for mushrooms and otherwise hiding out from the rain in Vancouver, Canada as we count down the days until we flip hemispheres back down to stunning Cape Town in December.

(Please, please don’t restrict us from coming, South African government!)

Business challenges we’re tackling:

  1. YouTube. Chris has switched his camera to video mode to see if he can succeed at getting YouTube viewers to get on their own Unconventional Routes. His first attempt is at chronicling his first-ever 3-day fast.
  2. Newsletter. Even though it’s highly unlikely we reach our goal of getting 10,000 subscribers onto our Consider This newsletter by the end of 2020 (we’re just over 3,000), we’re giving it one last push.

Other things we’re doing:

  • Researching and Writing: The Unconventional Route way. What “unconventional” is, what it isn’t, and fine-tuning our strategies for winning at life.
  • Watching: Schitt’s Creek and Babies on Netflix.
  • Reading: Storyworthy, which so far has definitely been read-worthy.
  • Struggling with: Credibility. Networking has been hard because we’re seen as just “bloggers” without a big social media following.
Chris looking at a tiny bird on our safari in Sri Lanka

Our Future

Plans

Fingers crossed that we’re allowed to go to Cape Town on December 7. If so, we’ll stay there until April, when we have to come back to Canada so that Kim can give birth to our baby!

Goals

  • Have 10,000 “Consider This” subscribers who make 1,000 or more clicks per email by December 2020. (Join us!)
  • By the end of 2020, be making $10,000 a month from this website. Getting there!
  • Infect the world with a curious, extraordinary, and unconventional mindset. So kind of like the coronavirus, but with opposite results.
  • Figure out a way to start and raise a family in a stable environment surrounded by a community of amazing friends and family without being stuck in one place (especially a cold one).
  • To win at life.
Chris making funny face at sunset

What About You?


First, keep in touch with us and get a new, routine-breaking ideas from our “Consider This” newsletter.

Second, be strange but don’t be a stranger. Tell us what you’re up to, what challenges you have, and what unconventional ideas you’re pursuing via email or in the comments below.

Need a Push?

Get your free ebooklet with 8 quick challenges to try today to expand your comfort zone.

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26 thoughts on “About The Unconventional Route”

  1. Hi Chris and Kim,
    Really enjoying your blog. I was searching for Mexico City recomendations and was very pleased by your submissions on what to do and where to stay. We leave in October for 2 1/2 month in Mexico house sitting and exploring.

    We are a retired couple from Vancouver and have traded home and possessions for 2 suit cases and two back packs. We have been to many places in the world traveling and housesitting. We write about our experiences here: http://www.lifephasenext.com.

    We look forward to following you along.

    Reply
  2. Love your blog! We’ve started to use it nearly exclusively after our trip to Cartagena (way too touristy) left us in search of the unconventional route ourselves. Look forward to following along!

    Reply
    • Thanks so much Michelle! Yes, I thought the exact same when I took my parents to Cartagena. So many more authentic places in Colombia to be discovered. Will you make it to the Pacific Coast? Happy travels!

      Reply
  3. Hi there Chris & Kim,

    Firstly I would like to thank you for the fabulous review and amazing comments of Wildebraam Berry Estate, we hope that your blog will entice many other to visit us for the Wildebraam Experience. We really hope that you both will join us again in the picturesque Hermitage Valley of Swellendam. I cant stop reading your amazing blogs, you two are really inspiring.

    Reply
  4. Hello Kim and Chris,
    I just subscribed to your blog. My husband and I started a travel blog about 7 months ago. https://oopswrongturn.com/
    I found you by doing research for one of our next adventures. We are signed up to do the Put Foot Rally starting in Cape Town. I enjoyed reading your blog and found lots of good information!
    Thanks, Tam Faukner
    OopsWrongTurn.com

    Reply
  5. Hey guys, just found your blog, fellow Vancouverite (West End). I moved from Vancouver to Mexico 7 years ago due to a chronic mood disorder centering around lack of high quality of light and too much rain. Living in Mexico pretty much alleviated all my symptoms. Now I am looking at Medellin as my next “out of the box” experience. How would you compare it to Vancouver for brightness- sunshine and rain. I love warmer temperatures, green space and the cosmopolitan feel Medellin has to offer. Thank you for providing so much information on your blog. Raymond

    Reply
  6. Hey Raymond! Thanks for your comments. And a great choice for moving down to Mexico. Whereabouts were you living? Medellin has pretty fantastic weather all year round and is nothing like the weather in Vancouver. It’s relatively dry and can reach highs of 25-30 during the day but because of the elevation, its pleasantly cool at night. When it rains, it pours and often comes with thunder and lightning but it never lasts very long. Air pollution can be poor at times so pick your accommodation wisely.
    Good luck and enjoy Colombia!
    Kim

    Reply
  7. Hello, hope all is well. I will be going to Mexico City next weekend. I have a few questions to ask you guys. Firs question is do you know how far the Estadio Azteca is from the Mexico City Airport? And my second question is what documents are needed to fly out of mexico city airport to the United States of America? And do I need to fill out a special form to give to customs before exiting the airplane in USA? Thank you have a good evening.

    Reply
  8. Hi Jose! Thanks for your comment. The docs you need traveling into the US will depend on the passport you hold. I’m sure a quick Google search will give you the answer you’re looking for. As for Estadio Azteca, it will depend on the time of day but it looks to be about 20km from the airport…so it could be as little as 25 mins but likely more. Enjoy DF!

    Reply
  9. Hi Kim and Chris! My husband, Ryan, and I (www.ryanandalex.com) discovered your blog when we were living in MedellΓ­n earlier this year. Thanks for all of those tips on the hikes!

    Have you ever thought of housesitting or petsitting? When I was reading your About page and seeing how Chris is always looking for ways for savvier savings, I wanted to share a post we wrote about our experience with TrustedHousesitters.com (https://www.ryanandalex.com/blog/trustedhousesitters-review-experience-success-tips/). Ryan and I have been traveling full-time for two years, and only discovered housesitting last year. In 2019, it saved us $7000 in rent. We find longterm pet sits, 3-18 months, and have now sat in Colombia, Panama, Costa Rica, and Mexico. It might be something for you both to consider if you haven’t thought of it yet. It’s such a relief to begin in a new country, knowing exactly where you’re living and can settle in an immediate routine.

    Safe travels, we love your blog! Let us know if you’re in San Miguel de Allende πŸ™‚

    Sincerely,
    Alex (another hapa) with her gringo husband, Ryan. “Pretired” as well, and “flexpatting” abroad like you guys! Thanks for all of the new vocab πŸ˜‰

    Reply
  10. Hey guys! Sorry for the late reply.
    I’m glad you found our Medellin content helpful!
    Thank you for the link to your article! It sounds like you guys have made it work. We signed up for Trusted Housesitters last year but didn’t really use it because we couldn’t find places where we could stay for long periods of time (~6 months) and in cities. But we’re definitely open to the idea because rent can definitely add up. And I appreciate a fully-stocked and beautiful kitchen! πŸ˜‰
    We’ll definitely let you know if we come to San Miguel de Allende. Are you guys there FT?
    Saludos from windy Cape Town!

    Reply
  11. Hi Chris and Kim! I’m currently planning for my family’s trip to Marrakech and happened upon your very detailed and useful article. I can’t seem to open the free map. I tried it on my computer first, then on my phone. Would you mind helping me out? Many thanks!

    Reply
    • Hi Janine, thanks for letting us know! I just sent you an email with the link. It should be up and working again now. Enjoy your time with your family in Marrakech. πŸ™‚

      Reply
  12. Hi, so happy I found your blog this morning! We are newly blended family with three kids (9, 8, and 5) living what appears to be a pretty mundane life in Minneapolis, but already plotting our early retirement and travel adventures. Which will likely happen when kids are done with high school, because we couldn’t up and leave with them now due to the other set of parents, and besides it sounds hellish to travel with them at this point anyway. Many more thoughts on that but I’ll keep it brief. Let us know if you’re ever passing through MN, I’ve browsed through some of our city’s tour books and wouldn’t/haven’t done most of the things in them despite being a lifelong resident. There is cool stuff here, it’s just harder to find πŸ˜‰

    Reply
    • Thanks for your comment, Kelly! I’m sure the kids will be done highschool before you know it. Any idea where you want to retire or travel to? Chris and I will definitely let you know if we pass through MN to get your tips and recommendations. Cheers!

      Reply
  13. Hi Chris and Kim!

    I’m Alex from London and I’ve just been reading you blog “11 Off-the-Beaten Path Things to Do in Coron and Busuanga Island’. You mention that hiring a moped is a must – I’m excited by this but want to know if you used it to get around the island too, e.g. when you went up to the north of the island, such as when you went kayaking in North Busuanga?

    If so, is it a long ride and are the roads as safe as you say? I’m visiting Coron with my girlfriend in a few weeks, so any help would be amazing.

    Thank you in advance.

    Alex

    Reply
    • Hi Alex! Sorry for the delay in getting back to you. We just got back from Rwanda. We did use our motorcycle to get around in North Busuanga and felt safe. We left our bigger bags with Boyet but some people on the post have mentioned that he might not be the best person to rent from now. Either way, the roads were totally fine and we felt safe riding up to go kayaking in the north. Please let us know how you get on, have a wonderful trip!

      Reply
  14. Another Canuck here, spending some time in Colombia. Ran across your site while looking for ideas of what to do in Medellin. It was very helpful. We have now been in Medellin for a week and will be heading out to the coffee region in a couple of days. Keep posting your tips and good luck in reaching your plans.

    Reply
    • Hey JC, thanks for comment! You made an excellent call to escape the most depressing time of year in Vancouver πŸ™‚ Enjoy the coffee and let us know if you discover anything cool and unique during your travels. Saludos!

      Reply
  15. Hi, thanks for all your tips on your blog. My boyfriend and I moved to Cape Town from France two months ago. We’d like to stay at least one year. Your blog was so helpful to find an accommodation. Among all tips you mentioned in your blog, what is your favorite healthy restaurant here ? Kim, for buying a beautiful dress, what brand/store do you recommend to me ? Hope you enjoy your time here in CT. Thanks so much !

    Reply
    • Hi Amelie, sorry for the late reply. I’m not sure how I missed this! Thanks for your comment. Are you still in Cape Town? We just got back to Vancouver after an extended trip due to lockdown. As for dresses, I like Hannah Lavery and August 1983, both from South Africa. Enjoy your time in one of our favorite cities!

      Reply

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