US in the Faroe Islands!
Hello there! Welcome!
We are glad and grateful you found us. Travel is what we always seem to be doing. CrazyUS is twenty years old!
Because this is our “About” page, I would love to provide you a little background on how this here website began. We began CrazyUS as a travelblog in the summer of 2002. 2002 was also the year we [re-]earned the adjective “crazy.”
Us next to our camper van 2002!
David, my lovely husband, was semi-retired. It was 2002. (*Oh, the ancient dot.com years, they were good to us.) One day he (nonchalantly) proclaimed, “I want to buy a VW camper van that I found on eBay and drive it around the country. It is located in West Palm Beach, Florida.” (True Story.)
As a result, I stood there like a deer in headlights with my mouth agape. Before drool pools drained from my lips, I closed my mouth and took a deep breath. Shortly thereafter, we took the leap.
By August 2002, as newly minted van-lifers, in a world that was years away from hashtags, specifically, #VanLife, we took our almost new VW camper van, our two young sons (Eli, eight months, and Kyle, almost three), and traveled for the next eighteen months throughout the United States and Canada. We loved our adventure. And now in 2022, it both delights us and fills us with pride that to be referred to as the “OGs of #VanLife!” 😂
Us next to our VW Eurovan Camper, Arches National Park, 2002
In truth, we did not blog as often as we would have liked. Instead, we used our blog to let our our family know that, “yes, we are alive,” and, “no, we have not killed each other.” Dave & I loved our nearly two years on the road. We loved our camper van and still dream about buying another one someday.
Since our #VanLife days, our baby humans have become baby adults. Kyle attends college overseas and Eli is loving attending college and staying local.
Dave built a giant house with his bare hands [yes, another reason to call us crazy]. We lived in San Francisco for a short spell. Soon, we returned to Utah and quickly gutted and remodeled another home. (During the Covid pandemic, we did another addition. To date, we have done three additions. We are currently planning our fourth.)
As for me, since our #VanLife days, I spent years reconciling my infertility [yes, I felt crazy]. I graduated with a degree in English, finishing my last, and very delayed, semester of college Brigham Young University campus with all A’s & one on B+. I even managed to graduate before the boys graduated high school. (Honestly, I think my return to BYU deserves a memoir.)
We are also survivors. Since our early days we have collectively experienced a traumatic brain injury, several stitches, Eli’s broken jaw, a broken nose, and a Copperhead Snake bite. We nearly lost Kyle in 2011 due to a rare illness (Stevens-Johnson Syndrome) and I suffered a terrible bout of Covid early in the pandemic. Oh and we survived an unconscionable amount of theft. At the end of the day, we made it through.
As far as this blog goes, I continued expressing my deepest thoughts, hopes and wishes online. When I do blog, (or post on instagram), I promise my subjects will stay true to my voice. My brain likes to deconstruct, analyze and wander. Consequently, please understand it will be hard to limit myself.
Ultimately, as much as I love building houses, dealing with life-threatening illnesses, and narrative writing, TRAVEL is and has always been my love. Our blog started with travel, and here we are again.
Regarding How We Travel:
As a family, we never stopped traveling. Since those van life days, we have visited almost all fifty states. (We have one or three states left — depending on who you ask.)
As the backdrop, Dave and I fell in love twenty-five years ago with our shared [business] travel. Since then, we are always moving. We road trip. We camper van trip. We stay-cate. We fly as much and often as we can. We see the world, one corner at a time. I still cannot believe we flew to Hong Kong for four days one Thanksgiving.
To date, we travel as much and as often as we can. Dave and I each qualified for 1K on United this past year. Just a few days ago, we returned from New Orleans. In less than a week, we are leaving for Spain’s Basque country.
During this Covid19 pandemic, we did not stop traveling. We learned how to travel safely, or as safely as we could. We became unexpected experts on several countries’ ever-changing entry requirements, reentering the United States and individual states entry requirements, including participating in United Airline’s CLEAR pre-clearance pilot program to enter Hawaii last spring. Maybe my proudest pandemic moment is after arriving in the United Arab Emirates, we downloaded the ALHOSN App and met all the requirements within twelve hours. We have been told that it takes months for some to sync the app their entry visas, Covid vaccine records, and negative Covid test results. We owe it to our hotel concierge at Hyatt’s Andaz Capitol Gate Abu Dhabi for matching our dogged persistence and understanding the system. Hopefully someday soon we will move beyond the Covid Pandemic.
As far as our travel style goes, walking and taking in our surroundings is what we do.
I would also consider us to be flexible travelers, or better stated, we are hard to pin down. We love on-the-path travel, and are also adventurous. For many years, Disneyland was a favorite. We also do not shy away from the occasional Kowloon or Chiang-Mai restaurant adventure. This summer Dave and I are heading to Peru to hike the Inca Trail and tag along with our friend who is obsessed with Michelin-starred restaurants.
When I initially wrote this post, Dave, the boys and I were traveling. I was writing this post, sitting in my hotel bed on the twenty-second floor of the Vdara Hotel Las Vegas. At the time I mentioned that a common refrain we hear is, “Beth, Dave, you all travel more than anyone else I know.”
I do not disagree. I also do not think much has changed. Travel is still a bit of an addiction. When I talk with other travelers, they often say the same: “I have to travel. I cannot sit still.”
Our boys are older [young adults], and at this point they probably know more about travel than I do. They are seasoned travelers, knowing their way around airport security lines. They know who TSA is and why they should not say words like, “bomb,” or, “gun” when the agents are nearby. They know where the Global Entry Line is, and they are grateful that our expansive travel has allowed them to qualify for TSA Pre-check. Foreign travel does not phase them, nor does canyoneering in the high desert. They love trying to speak other languages and looking for water sources (yes, in the city and the backcountry). The boys have home-schooled on the road. And as I mentioned, now Kyle attends college halfway around the world.
On a daily basis, I am asked about travel. I get it. People know that Dave and I both have become skilled with miles, points, status matches, mileage runs, memberships, and really anything that maximizes your travel value. I completely support how we leverage various credit card and airline systems.
What you will find here: Here we offer you our story, and then tell you how we made it work (including the various emotions and introspection we experience — including the fights 😘).
Travel is entertaining. It is real life. The stomach flu will not wait until you get home, nor will a menstrual cycle or marital conflict. I will tell you about our epic fight on Palatine Hill while also including how we got into the Roman forum. I like the combination. We hope you do too. PS our #wanderhive podcast is coming soon! #travel #wanderlust #traveladdict
is a chief product officer, an entrepreneur, software designer, technology journalist, and expert travel hacker. After pioneering e-commerce and Software as a Service in the late 1990s, he played a pivotal part in popularizing open source software in the 2000s, then in the 2010s, he helped create key technology for the travel industry including software used by many of the world’s largest meetings and events operators and destination management companies. Dave, Beth, and their sons have travelled the continent by camper van, rambled around the world using the millions of points and miles that Dave has earned through credit cards and other promotions, and they are 3/4 of the way through visiting every National Park in the system.
worked in high tech as an internet marketing & product manager where she met Dave. She has continued her career as a project manager and travel consultant, with an emphasis in narrative writing and travel planning. She and Dave began CrazyUs in 2002 as a way to document their 28,000 mile journey around North America in a VW Camper van.
After they sold their van, Beth took over CrazyUs and became one of the internet’s most popular mommy bloggers. As the boys grew and became more independent, the topic of crazyus.com shifted back to travel, as Dave’s (and now Beth’s) obsession with exploiting rewards programs to collect millions of points and miles enabled them to travel the world in style on a shoestring. As Dave focuses on collecting, Beth has become an ace redeeming, finding the best flights and stays while getting the best redemption value.
Beth, Dave, Kyle and Eli have most recently traveled to Portugal, Copenhagen, and the Faroe Islands. They have also traveled to New Zealand, Australia, Hong Kong, Thailand, (technically) Japan, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Costa Rica, Mexico, Italy (including the Dolomites and the Amalfi Coast), Greece, The Netherlands, Belgium, Hungary, Austria, Germany, Sweden, Norway, Switzerland, France, Spain, Andorra, San Marino, Liechtenstein, Slovakia, Canada, the United Arab Emirates, and most of the continental United States.
This Adams family is also obsessed with National Parks and monuments. Some of their favorites include Colorado National Monument; Acadia, Volcanos, Haleakalā, Saguaro, Badlands, Grand Teton, Great Sand Dunes, Black Canyon of the Gunnison, Muir Woods, Yellowstone, Yosemite, Great Basin, Zion, Kolob Canyon and Arches National Park. Of course, they have a special place in their heart for Southern Utah, where they love canyoneering.
Specific Travel Favorites:
As far as specific travel goes, Beth loves just about everything, including the utter joy of road-tripping (all over the world). Beth, Dave, Kyle and Eli road trip as often as possible. Besides the many road trips to Moab, road-tripping favorites also traveling from Utah to Colorado (back-roading it), driving from San Francisco to Los Angeles on the Pacific Coast Highway, traveling from Cornwall to Wales, circumnavigating Ireland, Scotland, Maui, Oahu, and the Big Island, crossing all the bridges and tunnels in the Faroe Islands, traveling from the north tip of the South Island of New Zealand to the southernmost fjord, and crisscrossing the South of France and the North of Italy.
Another top travel favorite:
As odd as it may seem, grocery stores in every imaginable place hit the top of Beth’s things-that-bring-us-JOY travel list. There is nothing like the wild-card-aspect of buying food in another country and not understanding the ingredients. On several occasions Beth has purchased what she thought was yogurt only to find out it was soy pudding: gross and completely delightful!
Favorite Places to Travel:
Rome is definitely a solid family favorite. Beth has been there six times, and cannot wait to go back. While in Rome we always visit Giolitti’s for gelato and sorbetto.
France is also amazing! Southern France is a place we could get lost in for years. Traveling to Chamonix and seeing Mont Blanc up close completely blew our minds. The tiny town of Minerve, France comes straight out of a storybook. We kept looking for knights, a princess, and yes, we did see a catapult.
Hawaii is anti-anxiety relief for the soul. Because of its accessibility, Beth has decided that Oahu is her favorite island. If you make it there, try the best shave ice ever at Shimazu Store.
New Zealand is amazing!
Ruins, Unesco Heritage Sites and National Trust Sites all around the world are always a win.
Visiting National Parks in every country has become an obsession. Colorado’s Black Canyon of the Gunnison is an unexpected gem. Ireland’s Killarney National Park is a stunner. England’s South Downs National Park (Beachy Head) is something we will never forget. Hong Kong’s Tian Tan Budha may not be a National Park, but it its spectacular beauty and amazing setting makes it feel like one.
Comments and Contacting Us:
Please feel free to email us here, or message us at any of these places. We look forward to hearing from you!