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#rtwsoon Interview: Chris & Tawny – Captain and Clark

#rtwsoon Interview: Chris & Tawny – Captain and Clark

We’re delighted to bring you a second #rtwsoon interview in two weeks, this time with “Captain and Clark” who are heading around the world in approximately a month’s time. The story behind Chris and Tawny’s travel plans is so unique and sounds truly awesome – but you’ll have to read on to find out more.

Captain and ClarkWho are you?

We are Chris Staudinger and Tawny Clark. We met back in 2008 while climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. Sounds romantic, but after using baby wipes to “shower” and regurgitating your last meals on summit day, it’s a wonder we were remotely attracted to each other.

After graduating from college, we decided to take off to South Korea where we lived and taught English for 2 years. We just returned home to Washington state in June and we’re already anxious to get back out on the road.

Chris has traveled to over 30 countries and spent a year at sea, circumnavigating the globe, hence the title “Captain”. He majored in English and Theater which is proudly displayed while in front of the camera. Tawny was a little late to the travel game, but always had a passion for exploration and adventure. She majored in French and Global Studies but has never actually been to mainland France (she studied in Martinique)! Together, we’ve been to over 15 countries, filming and blogging along the way. We like to think of ourselves as “modern cartographers”… mapping out the world through our videos and posts and hopefully inspiring others to travel as well.

Tiger Cubs in Thailand

Tiger Cubs in Thailand

Where are you going on your RTW?

Ah, the big question.  Our RTW all started with a small post barrel in the Galapagos.  For the past 200 years a whiskey barrel has been used by sailors, whalers, and tourists alike to reach loved ones back home.  Back in the day, whalers would leave letters addressed to friends and family in the barrel.  When another ship came in, the sailors would go through the letters and pick up ones addressed to their future ports.  When they reached the port, they would then hand deliver the letters that they found in the barrel.  The tradition continues today and tourists to the Galapagos can leave addressed letters (sans postage) in the barrel and other tourists going home to that country or city will take them and then hand deliver them to those strangers.

In September, we headed to the Galapagos and scooped up 22 letters addressed to all corners of the globe.  We plan on hand delivering these letters while documenting the story of communication with our videos and travel posts.  A sampling of our letters will take us to Canada, Colombia, Iceland, the Netherlands, Spain, France, Morocco, India, South Korea, Japan, New Zealand, and Jordan.

We are absolutely giddy with anticipation!

(Video can be found & embedded here with more info)  :)

Galapagos Post Barrel

Galapagos Post Barrel

When are you leaving?

If everything goes as planned, we’ll be embarking in early December.  We still have a few kinks to work out but we’re remaining optimistic.  We’re currently debating whether we want to fly, go by ship, stay overland as much as possible, or a combination of all three.  Originally we wanted to do the whole journey by sea to keep to the tradition, but wanted to have a little more control over when we arrived at each destination.

Why did you decide to go on this trip?

This adventure has been at the forefront of Chris’s mind since he heard of the post barrel seven years ago.  We knew we wouldsomeday do it – we just didn’t know when.  We spent our two years in Korea planning and saving up for this trip.  Chris has been on a RTW before and loved it.  Tawny has had a RTW trip on her bucket list for years and was in from the start.

What will you be doing to pass the time before your travels?

Planning and producing some local travel videos in our home state of Washington.  We’re also trying to soak up as much of the U.S. as we can.  There are so many things that we missed while in Korea and we plan on taking full advantage of them while we’re home.  Tawny is extremely excited to be home for Thanksgiving and Chris looks forward to Halloween, and the crisp, colorful autumn.

If you could give just one piece of advice to a fellow #rtwsoon traveler, what would it be?

Keep an open mind.  Things will not always work out the way your want them to, but it might be for the best.  Travel will throw you some amazing curve balls and the way you react to them will make your experiences positive or… not so positive.

Visit Chris & Tawny’s Website: Captain and Clark
Follow Chris & Tawny’s on Twitter: @CaptainandClark

If you’re heading around-the-world in the next 12 months and would like to be featured here, please contact us.


  1. Posted November 2, 2011 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

    I’m from Washington State! What city?

    The post barrel is the coolest thing I have EVER heard. You guys have to write a book/make a movie about it… PLEASE!

    Best of luck in all your travels. Hit me up if you are coming Australia anytime soon! :)
    Annie recently posted..Help Me Plan My Aussie Travels!

    • Posted November 3, 2011 at 3:18 am | Permalink

      Hey Annie! Tawny is from Bremerton/Silverdale and Chris is from Spokane.. but we both went to Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma. Where in WA are you from?

      We’d love to make a book/series/movie about the trip. Hopefully something like that works out for us in the future.

      We have a letter addressed to New Zealand and definitely want to visit Australia. How long will you be there? It’d be great to meet up!
      Tawny recently posted..“Imps of Darkness” roaming the Galapagos

  2. Posted November 3, 2011 at 12:19 am | Permalink

    Nice, question for Chris and Tawny – how long do you reckon it’ll take you to deliver all the letters. ps. Tiger cubs look like awesome fun!

    • Posted November 3, 2011 at 4:29 am | Permalink

      Hey Sam! We’re thinking it will take anywhere from 4 months to a year. We could deliver all of the letters in a couple of months, but want to take our time and see/experience as much as we can.

      The tiger cubs were amazing! Definitely something to check out if you’re ever in Chiang Mai.
      Tawny recently posted..“Imps of Darkness” roaming the Galapagos

  3. Posted November 3, 2011 at 3:16 am | Permalink

    Thanks again Amy and Kieron for featuring us. We had so much fun with your questions and we cannot WAIT to embark on our journey! We owe you a drink :) Hopefully see you out there soon.
    Tawny recently posted..“Imps of Darkness” roaming the Galapagos

    • Posted November 4, 2011 at 4:15 am | Permalink

      Not a problem – as we said in the intro, we totally love your story and it was great to be able to share it with our readers. Hope to cross paths soon! :)

  4. hunterX0506
    Posted November 3, 2011 at 3:45 am | Permalink

    The post barrel is the coolest thing I have EVER heard. You guys have to write a book/make a movie about it… PLEASE!

  5. Posted November 3, 2011 at 6:32 am | Permalink

    Whaddup, fellow #rtwsooners! Don’t forget we have a date halfway across the globe even if we don’t have a letter addressed to us. Lol. Awesome interview and I can’t wait to see your awesome videos! :)
    Kieu ~ GQ trippin recently posted..Memphis Tours Egypt: Day 2 of 2

    • Posted November 3, 2011 at 8:09 am | Permalink

      Done! We should all try to get together somewhere in the world- Amy & Kieron… hope you’re there too! Not too long until you and G depart. We’re so excited for you guys and can’t wait to follow along on your adventures!

    • Posted November 4, 2011 at 4:15 am | Permalink

      Sounds like a plan!

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