Rowshan's and Tamia's Round the World Trip Site

About Rowshan

I was born in Tabriz and grew up in Tehran, Iran playing traditional Azeri and Persian music on the accordion and drum (Azeri naghara, tef and gosha naghara) with my family. After finishing my military service (during the war between Iran-Iraq) in 1992, I moved to Istanbul, Turkey to pursue a degree in Computer Engineering at Bosphorus University. While performing Azeri music with my brother at The James Joyce Irish Pub, I got hooked on traditional Irish music. Soon I was playing bodhran and accordion with the pub's house band. After graduating from the university, I moved to the United States and worked as a technical engineer and software developer.

When I am not playing music or programming software, I make ceramic drums and bamboo flutes. Samples of my music as well as photos of my drums can be found on my website, When I was young, I searched for other countries' music stations on my SW radio and dreamed about going to those countries one day. I never had such an opportunity, time or money to travel to more than one country in one trip. So, this trip will be a very important part of my life. Seeing different cultures, people and their life styles, nature or listening to different music and languages will be an amazing and wonderful experience for me. I hope to be able to see and document the work of other potters as well as jam with musicians. During our trip, I will be taking most of the photos and capturing videos for the blog.

About Tamia

I've been obsessed with traveling since I was a child. Perhaps it was because I was born while my parents were living in Asia and grew up flipping through photos of exotic places I'd been to but had been too young to remember. At one point I developed a hobby of collecting travel brochures from around the world by calling 1-800 numbers and filling out reader response cards in magazines. Fortunately for tourist offices everywhere, I became old enough to travel by myself and stopped scamming promotional materials from them.

My university “career” was broken up several times by trips overseas: backpacking around Europe; hanging out in Prague; studying Russian in St. Petersburg and traveling through the Baltics, Central Europe, Romania and Iceland. Eventually, I graduated with a degree in Russian Language and Literature and a minor in Music, and joined the Peace Corps. I was sent to a tiny village in the Jewish Autonomous Region of the Russian Far East. Upon my return, I became a graphic designer and found a job in Istanbul. During that time I kept a "blog" (before they were called blogs) about living in Istanbul. I stayed there 2 ½ years and met Rowshan.  We got married in 2000 and since 2001 we've lived in the Seattle and San Diego and managed to take trips to Thailand, Alaska, East Coast, and Hawaii, as well as a couple road trips.

Besides wandering, I enjoy writing, playing music (harp, kanun and guitar), and creating art. I'm doing most of the writing for the blog.

Our Round the World Trip, So Far (June 17, 2009)

On August 31, 2007, we started our trip around the world by flying from San Diego, CA to Lima Peru. We spent 3 months in Peru which included studying traditional Ayacuchan arts, doing volunteer disaster relief work, taking Spanish lessons, as well as seeing Machu Picchu. After Peru we spent some time exploring the varied and spectacular landscapes of Bolivia, then got to Argentina in time to celebrate Christmas in Salta. We got drenched in Iguazu Falls and had a fairly uneventful New Years celebration in Buenos Aires before heading south to Patagonia then back north into Chile. We relaxed in Chiloe then explored the vibrant art scenes of Santiago and Valparaiso before scurrying back to Buenos Aires to catch a flight in February to Madrid.

We spent Valentine's Day on the Mediterranean coast of France and managed to experience the beginning of Spring in Provence before heading back to Spain. We marveled at Gaudi's cathedral in Barcelona and were blown away by the Alhambra in Grenada. After crossing the Straits of Gibralter, we threw ourselves into the heady contrasts of Morocco: peaceful mountains, mazelike medinas, crowded streets and the zen emptiness of the Sahara.

Back in Europe we visited friends in England, Berlin and Vienna. We wandered around Prague and hiked in Czech Paradise. Croatia easily became one of our favorite places in Europe thanks to the Dalmatian Coast (off season). We admired the Bosnian spirit (and international aid) that rebuilt Mostar and got "homesick" for Turkey in the Ottoman quarter of Sarajevo.

After about 3 months in Istanbul, (minus a quick trip to Romania and Bulgaria), where we caught up with friends and family, we flew to Kazakhstan.

We spent the next 3.5 months traveling around Central Asia (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan) and then went to Iran to visit Rowshan's family. From Iran we flew to Nepal where we enjoyed both hiking in and views of the Himalayas.

From Nepal, we headed to South East Asia where we biked around the temples of Angkor in Cambodia, kayaked in Halong Bay in Vietnam, and enjoyed the peaceful atmosphere, green forests and friendly people of Laos. We arrived back in Thailand in time to spend more than a week being drenched during Songkran, then flew to the Philippines to meet several whale sharks. We are now back in the USA but still haven't finished our RTW trip because we are in Hawaii.

Articles by Tamia and Rowshan on the Web

Home | The Blog |

All contents of this website are ©2007-2008 Rowshan and Tamia Dowlatabadi