Exclusive Interview: Beers and Beans

Randy and Bethany have been snapping photos, working on organic farms (WWOOFing), and cataloging their experiences on their blog, Beers and Beans. Their travel blog is a great resource for travelers planning a trip, and covers everything from volunteer opportunities to photo essays. How’d they think of their blog’s name? Well, Randy likes beer and Bethany (a vegetarian) likes beans! Read where their favorite spots in the world are for beer, beans, plus more, in the interview below! 

1. Who or what inspires you to travel?

Randy Kalp: For me it’s the blending of history with modern times. There’s nothing like being able to walk in the steps of a famous artist from last century, then dine at a restaurant where that chef is creating his own history and art infused with his own culture.

Bethany Salvon: I really like to see how people live around the world and experience life in another culture. I also like to see what light looks like in different places and I still think that Paris has some of the most amazing light I have ever seen. 

2. What are three of your favorite global spots for vegetarian fare (Bethany) and beer (Randy)?

Randy Kalp: There are so many good beers being brewed around the world right now, but my top three countries for beer are the Czech Republic, England and the United States

Bethany Salvon: My top three vegetarian spots around the world are Turkey, Italy and Mexico. Turkey has the world’s best yogurt, Italy has the most amazing fresh veggies & fruits, and Mexico has fantastic beans!

3. What are the top three things you always pack?

Randy Kalp: I use to be a slacker packer, waiting to the last minute to throw everything into a bag before a trip; but, now I’m really into having everything organized because I realized it helped me save a lot more time and enabled me to carry a lighter load. My must-haves when packing are the Tom Bihn backpack packing cube, ExOfficio underwear and a pair of Vans shoes.

Bethany Salvon: Unlike Randy, I’ve always been into packing efficiently but when it comes to my three essentials, it has to be my camera, a sleep sheet and a journal.

4. We know traveling can sometimes be painful–what’s one of your most agonizing travel memories?

Randy Kalp: Witnessing Beth crying on the Venice train. It broke my heart.

Bethany Salvon: Being sick in Morocco was pretty painful and agonizing – that was definitely one of my most worst travel memories. 

5. I’m sure you have tons, but what’s one of your most ecstatic travel moments?

Randy: We both agree: seeing the sun rise up over the Atlantic and the black sand beaches of Iceland from the roadside of the country’s storied Ring Road were pretty amazing. We slept in our car at a campground, so we were up before dawn and by the time we got out to the rocky coastline, everything was in bloom.

Bethany: My most ecstatic travel moment was visiting Lacedonia, Italy and finding long lost family members on a whim while we were there. We ended up spending three days there and it was like a dream come true. 

6. You’re big advocates for WWOOF. Why should someone to try it?

Randy Kalp & Bethany Salvon: We believe there is no better way to connect with a country and its culture than through WWOOFing. Not only are you taking part in an environmental movement, you are also helping small farmers and businesses who are less worried about profit than the future generations. Honestly, we’ve both never laughed as hard or ate as well as when we were WWOOFing. It didn’t matter if it was in Italy or Serbia (both countries have phenomenal programs) the hosts poured their hearts into our stay.

To read more of Randy and Beth’s experiences around the globe, check out their blog, www.beersandbeans.com

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