"OFF-SEASON" Katie&Jordi's Profile

From Spain&USA to China AND BACK... and MORE !!!!

Katie is from Chicago (USA) and I'm from Barcelona (Spain). We met in Spain a while ago, and have been doing many things since then.

Right now, after having spent a long and rich period of time in terms of travelling, we are back in Spain and have finally settled in Girona, a beautiful area and a very good place to live.

After our great trip to China (2004-2006), we have kept travelling. Shorter but still very nice trips. The world is huge and there are many places to see!!!

Also, we are continously trying to include more and more pics&comments on our VT pages. The next ones will be about our home countries and about old trips we've taken together (to be able to do that, we need our analogic pictures turned into digital ones).

Our trips together

Here is a summary of all the trips we have done together so far:

1) Three weeks in Guatemala and Honduras (We will start uploading photos soon, as this trip was BDC – before digital camera).

2) Three more weeks around Bulgaria, Serbia, Kosovo, Montenegro and Hrvatska (Croatia) (Same as above).

3) The great idea to move to China was decided while we were hiking to Castell del Montgri (Girona, Spain): it was just what we needed.
We had to be in China by late February in 2005 which gave us almost 5 months to make our way to China by land, taking as few planes as possible.
Always moving East, we left Spain in mid-October 2004 (Our site’s name OFF-SEASON comes from the fact that, for the first time in our lifes, we had the oppportunity to travel during Wintertime and we really enjoyed it), and we visited Italy, Greece, Turkey, Oman, India, Nepal, Thailand, Laos and Vietnam, and finally settled down in China.

4) Before we started our trip, we decided to say "bye-bye" to our respective homelands: we went to Chicago and New York (USA) to visit Katie's family, and then to Granada (Southern Spain) for our last taste of Spain (great food & music and beautiful landscape).

5) We have lived in China for one and a half years, and this has given us the opportunity to see a lot of this country.

6) During our 2006 Winter vacation, we decided to visit Hong Kong, Macao and the Philippines.

7) Our following big move came up when we decided to leave China and to go back to Spain: we would travel all the way back by land!!!! We'd cross Russia (with the Trans-Manchurian train from Beijing to Moscow) and visit Moscow, the Baltic countries -Estonia Tallinn, Latvia (Riga) & Lithuania (Vilnius)- and part of Eastern Europe -Poland (Krakow, Auschwitz/Oswiecim and Birkenau/Brzezinka) & Slovakia (Bratislava). From there, we'd fly to Italy (Bergamo) and, finally, to Spain.

After this, it has become more and more difficult to post everything we have done, but here we are with a very short summary of almost every place we have visited since 2006:

- 2007: Andalucía&Algarve (Summer), Dublin (October), USA (Xtmas).
- 2008: Montségur (January), GR83 (Summer), USA (Xtmas).
- 2009: Madrid (January), Lisboa (February), Malta (Easter), St. André Najac (May), Balkans (Summer), Luxembourg (October), USA (Xtmas).
- 2010: Liverpool (January), Prag (Easter), GR10 and Logroño (Summer), Puglia (December).
- 2011: London&Milano (Winter), Tunisia (Summer), Liechtenstein (October).
- 2012: Porto (January), China (Easter), Milano (June), Cyprus (Summer), San Marino (October).
- 2013: Prats de Molló (January), Qatar and Sri Lanka (Easter), Menorca by boat (June) and Santiago de Compostela (December).
- 2014: Amsterdam (January), Kuwait (Easter), Provence (July), Panama (Summer), Norway (September) and China (Shanghai, Hangzhou, Nanjing, Suzhou and Xiamen) for Xtmas.
- 2015: Paris (January).

In addition to this, we have taken many trekking trips to the Pyrenees.

What do we like to do when we travel?

There doesn’t seem to be a limit to this. Here are just some hints:
- We like trying to understand the places we visit. We try to learn a bit about the history, sometimes we read books related to these places, we try to learn and use a bit of the language, and we particularly enjoy exploring local food. Street life, local markets…. these are the types of places we like to walk through.
- We like moving fast and visiting as many places as possible. We were inspired from reading the travel stories from Jorge Sanchez. To us, it seems like the only way to travel now, “Sanchez style”.
- We like the outdoors, so we walk a lot, in cities, rural areas or mountain ranges.
- We really enjoy the “less famous” places, It seems more natural to visit a place untouched and unaltered by popular tourism.
- And, our favourite thing, is to enjoy the “4S’s” (sand, sea, sun and swim) as the perfect end to every trip.
A combination of all these is what makes a destination memorable for us.

One particular thing we have been realizing lately, is that stereotyped and prejudiced ideas and misunderstandings about far away places and cultures are very commonly found in the media. We know it is impossible to find out the truth about everything, but we realise that travelling leads to a better, first-hand understanding of people and places so unfairly depicted in the media.
One of the pleasantly surprising ways we have benefited from travelling to other parts of the world is being able to have the opportunity to check it out and decide for yourself, to talk to people who may have a different point of view and letting yourself come to your own conclusions (even if not 100% right). All in all, it really has, so far, has given us an alternative truth to help us 'process' and understand the information we receive about other parts of the world once we are back home.

What you will & won't find in our pages

- We have put all these words and pics together because we want to share our adventures with all of you. But we also see our pages as our own diary. So, we talk about places, and also we talk about ourselves and our feelings.
- You will find more pictures than words because we believe in the saying (A picture is worth more than a thousand words).
- You will not find 'artistic' pictures but rather normal shots: we like taking pictures of places, people and, sometimes, of ourselves.
- You will not find (with some notorious exceptions) tips about restaurants, hotels... Why? Because, even if we admit that specific tips can sometimes be useful, we like to find out about all this on our own, and we think that you may want to do so, too. On top of that, things change, and a good retaurant today can be a mediocre one tomorrow. Just follow your instincts, and go where the locals go. It always works.
- So, if not Tips... what can you find in our pages? We hope you can find some inspiration for your next adventure, some sort of inside voice ('I want to go there'), like the one we have sometimes heard when visiting other VT pages.
-The main VT feature we have used are the Travelogues. We think they are the perfect vehicle for us to describe the places we have been to, what we have done there, whether or not we liked it, and other things like this. Again, we want to give you ideas, our opinion (if you want to hear it). We do not intend to drive you from one point to the next one, like a 'ginkana' (a scavenger hunter).

Our Favourites

This is an old topic between us: everytime we travel, we start talking about our favourite places.

So, we have finally decided to really get to the bottom of it and truly define the following as a joint effort: our Top5 countries, our Top5 cities and our Top5 half-known (or even completely unknown) places.

We have included what we call 'honourable' mentions (HM), which is a sub-category we needed to use to mention almost Topfivers. (or did you think we agree on absolutely everything?)

We have decided not to include anything about the US or Spain. It's fair enough to exclude our home countries as it wouldn't necessarily be considered from the point of view of an outsider or traveller. As another standard for choosing, we could only choose from what we have seen.

Also, we want to keep this lists updated. We'll do so, as soon as we visit new places that we think should be included on any of the lists

So, these are our lists:

Top5 Countries
1.- Laos
2.- Philippines
3.- Oman
4.- China
5.- Bulgaria
HM.- Turkey
HM.- Croatia

Top5 Cities:
1.- Bangkok (Thailand)
2.- Hong Kong (China)
3.- Kolkata (India)
4.- Moscow (Russia)
5.- Edirne (Turkey)
HM.- Beijing (China)

Top 5 Places:
1.- Phalut (Nepal)
2.- (El Nido-I & El Nido-II) (Philippines)
3.- Dogubayazit (Turkey)
4.- (Xiahe-I & Xiahe-II) (China)
5.- Rila (Bulgaria)
HM.- Kega (Vietnam)
HM.- Olympia (Greece)

  • Intro Updated Jan 19, 2015
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Comments (7)

  • welshie26's Profile Photo
    Sep 13, 2010 at 10:27 AM

    Hi guys!! Just came across your profile and notice that you live in Girona! I am moving here in 2 weeks and am nervous but excited at the same time!! Would be great to get talking and find out some things i could do while im here! :) Sian x

  • jorgejuansanchez's Profile Photo
    Feb 15, 2007 at 1:12 PM

    Hola Katie y Jordi! Gracias por escribirme. Me alegro de tus palabras y de habernos conocido virtualmente. Os deseo buenos viajes! Jorge

  • hivaoa1's Profile Photo
    Jan 7, 2007 at 4:38 AM

    hello thanks so much for your nice comment! happy new year!

  • i-s-a's Profile Photo
    Jul 5, 2006 at 1:15 AM

    Love reading and looking into your adventures. Hope to hear more of it in the coming months. Happy travels!

  • Rastarigo's Profile Photo
    Jan 4, 2006 at 8:20 PM

    i just got back from boracay. r u in the phils. now? have fun! btw, those pix were fr a palawan resident

  • bretvanness's Profile Photo
    Aug 26, 2005 at 8:08 PM

    Hey...it looks fantastic! Can't wait to see the pictures of China. Hope your doing well.

  • May 20, 2005 at 2:47 PM

    Best of luck on your fantastic voyage to China :)

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Real Name
Katie Torras
Girona, Spain
Member Since
May 13, 2005

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