By Travel with Kate, on October 23, 2014

Blogger spotlight: Captain and Clark

Captain and Clark, also known as Chris Staudinger and Tawny Clark, are a married couple who decided to create life on their own terms. Together they have been traveling the world full-time, creating videos and written content for major online publications. They do it all with energetic and positive attitudes and a quirky sense of humor.

Their story began with a very serendipitous international meeting. During their college years, Tawny dreamed of becoming a journalist and documentary filmmaker, while Chris was looking forward to a career as a stage actor. But when they met during their last year of college on a study abroad program in Tanzania (atop Mt. Kilimanjaro, no less) their relationship became very serious, very quickly. Not long after graduation they made the courageous decision to move to a small town in South Korea together to teach English.

During their two-year stint in South Korea, Chris and Tawny began creating videos about their new home. Gradually, as the worlds of travel blogging and YouTube gained momentum, their passions for travel and storytelling turned into a career.

Since then, Chris and Tawny have developed a preference for showcasing adventure and foodie experiences. Their focus is on popular destinations from Italy to India; the duo explores these places in ways that feel unique and personal. As a young couple they also seek out romantic departures to enjoy together. Case in point: On a trip to India, in front of the Taj Mahal, they got engaged!

I recently sat down with this lovely duo—a couple clearly still very much in love with each other and traveling after 7 years—and learned more about their perspectives on travel.

Captain and Clark at the Taj Mahal in India

Kate Thomas (KT): Where are you from?

Clark: We both hail from Washington State. And we currently live in Tacoma. But I was born and semi-raised in Hawaii.

KT: Where is your favorite place on earth?

Clark: Croatia. We were there in the fall, during the off-season, but the weather was gorgeous in October. I think it was in the 70s. There is so much rich history and delicious food there. And I love that you have the Austria/Hungary side and the Italian side and they kind of mix together and influence Croatia. It is all the best parts of each place.

Staudinger: I was going to go with Croatia. But she stole it from me. So I am going to go for my other favorite place in the world, which is South Korea. We lived there for two years. And we became South Korean experts. I think for a lot of people, it is such an unexplored territory. It still has a rich non-tourist-diluted culture that is really easy to explore. And it’s very welcoming.

KT: What are three things you cannot live without when traveling?

Clark: Dry shampoo. Dry shampoo is the best thing that ever happened to us. Sometimes I check a bag just so I can take it with me.

Staudinger: Dry Sacks. They are waterproof bags that you twist down and seal. Especially doing all of the video work that we do, they are perfect for any situation. If you are sea kayaking, if it starts raining in Tokyo, or whatever is going on, you can put any type of equipment in there, and you just seal the top of it.

Clark: One more. It’s gotta be a charger for all of our electronic devises.


Captain and Clark outside the Louvre in Paris

KT: What is your philosophy on travel?

Clark: Travel for me has been the best way to learn about myself and to learn how I react in different situations. It allows me to see the good parts of me and parts I need to fix, as well as how I deal with stress. I take away something from almost every trip.

Staudinger: I think travel, whether it is a weekend trip nearby or an extended trip abroad, always is a rebirth of some kind. It takes the things that are true about you and brings them to the forefront and takes the things that are not true about you and causes you to abandon them. You can go someplace and realize an ignorance you had. Or you can find something you are connected to and never knew about. Like I said, from the simplest weekend road trip to living somewhere for three years as an expat, you’ll always find out the truest parts of yourself. And you have to confront them. And it is almost always a good thing.

Chris and Tawny live life from one adventure to next, pushing the boundaries of what one can expect of a career and of marriage. To check out their work (which is full of useful travel tales, tips, and their signature sense of humor), make sure to click on over to their website or read some of their posts for the Expedia Viewfinder.