Our Story

Apart from some uninteresting childhood hobbies, we both had typical Midwestern upbringings.

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Every grade school boy figure skated and performed in shows, right?

We met selling running shoes together in our final semester of college. We moved to California, got corporate jobs, and eventually moved in together.  

We quit those jobs after a little more than a year of working. We moved to Ethiopia.

Living in Addis Ababa exposed us to new food, friends, and culture.

Living in Addis Ababa exposed us to new food, friends, and culture.

After 6 months in Ethiopia, we moved back. A couple years later, post-more schooling and working, we set off on our first big hike together.

Julie’s first backpacking trip ever was a thru hike of the Pacific Crest Trail in 2007. We amazingly stuck together through this, and arguably came through it stronger as a couple.

Big Pack

We packed way too much!

We embarked on our corporate career experiences. We both worked for Fisher Investments. In order to taste the career life, we felt like a 3 year minimum was required. We lasted 3.5 years. During that time we got married and we saved money, our “Freedom Fund”.

We hiked some more, this time completing the Appalachian Trail in 2011. It kicked our butts, but we stayed together. We also started Urbyville.

Katahdin

Our last day on the Appalachian Trail with a finish atop Mt. Katahdin.

Since we’d saved up money this time around, after the AT we didn’t go back to work. We went bicycling. We bought bikes in Portland, Oregon and rode them down the coast to Mexico.

Matt with bikes

Life on a bike!

We then began a series of world travels, spending time in Mexico.

Baja Moments

We lived near the beach in Baja for a few weeks.

 Guatemala. 

Guatemala classroom

We studied Spanish for 5 weeks and lived with a local family.

We continued our lifelong hobby of running, and raced in lots of interesting places.

Julie after Prague marathon

We raced across the US, in Guatemala, and in Europe.

We went to Europe for two months.

Ireland and Italy were our big stops, though we visited 8 countries in all during this trip.

Ireland and Italy were our big stops, though we visited 8 countries in all during this trip.

 (We snuck in a quick 486 mile hike on the Colorado Trail)

Beautiful country and trail!

Beautiful country and trail!

And Southeast Asia.

We spent a month, predominantly in Thailand eating, walking, and scuba diving.

We spent a month, predominantly in Thailand eating, walking, and scuba diving.

We also drove our Honda Element all around the USA. Along the way, Julie wrote books about our hikes and published them.

Then we hiked again. This time completing the Continental Divide Trail through the Rocky Mountains.

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We had a deadline to finish the CDT because Matt had nursing school to begin in Seattle, WA.

The summer of 2015 was a big one for us. Matt pass Level II of the CFA Exam, he graduated from nursing school and passed the NCLEX, thus becoming a real RN, and we were expecting a baby boy in early December. All the while Julie worked a corporate job in Seattle and Matt had also started a coaching business .

Paavo Jefferson Urbanski greeted the world on December 7th, 2015 and has definitely changed our world for the better, though Julie is still struggling with the sleep deprivation.

Paavo-12

Ideas are brewing for the next adventure with our family of 3. We already have some races on the calendar but are quickly forming other plans for grand adventures with Paavo.

Starting new projects and ending current projects has gotten easier as we’ve done it more. We often tell folks that the hardest part of any adventure is stopping what you’re currently doing and actually making the change to start your new adventure. Our aim is to continue to change, continue to experience the world, and continue to grow in our love for each other and our new one on the way. We’ve crossed paths with tons of good people on our journeys and we look forward to all the great new people and experiences ahead.

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