Life is either a daring adventure… (aka #HermerHoliday)

So, as I mentioned last week, one of the things that came out of our Burning Man experience was the realization that “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.” We all get so much more when we push ourselves – when we are living just beyond our comfort zones. Matt and I are both inspired more – as parents, as a couple, and as entrepreneurs, when we are living just beyond the edge. This isn’t to say that we don’t love our nights in pajamas with a good boxset (Ozarks anyone?!) but we’ve learned that it is all about the mix for our family.

A couple things happened this last month in the Hermer household: 1. We signed on our first restaurant site in Los Angeles (YAY! – proper announcement to come when we get all our ducks in a row) but due to timing, this won’t open until 2018 so we have a window of time before we need to get working on it 2.: I’m working on a new EXCITING project (YAY!) but the first few months of my new startup can be done remotely. 3. As we make Los Angeles our home, we’ve decided to sell our home in London. 4. We learned that California law requires children to be formal school from the 1st grade (our eldest Max is in Kindergarten this year).

Suddenly, we realized that we have a pocket of time in our lives as a family to do whatever we want. As we are going to sell our home in London, I wanted to go back to London and say goodbye to the home we built and where we raised our family. Building the house was Matt and my first big project together – it really was a labor of love. And though the time is right to close that chapter as we live our California chapter, I also think it is important for us as a family to say goodbye to our London home.

Max and Jake have also been missing their London friends and family – in particular, Max misses the London rainy puddles, Jake misses the big red buses, and we miss our friends and family (I’m not forgetting Sadie here, but to be honest, she is pretty happy if she is on my hip). So we thought that it would be a good time to go back to London, say goodbye to our home, and visit friends and family.

And then, Matt and I thought, well, we are in London, and we have some time – lets do something else… while we still can. While we still can educate our children in the school of life – before 1st grade starts. So, we’ve gotten a bit adventurous and in the spirit of YOLO (and hatching this plan in Burning Man – uh oh!), we’ve booked tickets from London to Southeast Asia FOR 8 WEEKS. Are we crazy? YES! Are we excited? YES YES YES!

Though we are still in the process of planning the trip (which does give me some level of anxiety as we are leaving for London on October 1st – less that 2 weeks!), we’ve decided to throw Sadie on our backs with Max and Jake in our hands and head to Thailand, Cambodia, Sri Lanka and Vietnam. Even as I write this, I’m thinking WHAT ARE WE THINKING and yet, this year has been all about adventure and Matt and I want to continue it as long as we can, while we can.

While our children are young, we want to soak them up – away from the screens and away from the daily schedule of life – and actively make memories as. SO in the next 10 days, we’ve got a lot to do. First of all, if anyone has suggestions on where to stay or what to do in Thailand, Sri Lanka, Cambodia and Vietnam, please comment below! AND if you have suggestions on what to bring traveling with young children – comment below! The next 10 days are going to be crazy as we try to plan this trip, pack for everything from London life to Angkor Wat for a family of 5, and wrap up the work that we’ve started in LA, so that when we come back in January, we can hit the ground running.

Wish us luck – and of course I will be figuring it out along the way – so expect more blog posts on how to get through an around the world trip with toddlers (and enjoy it).

Love xx

Below are a few pix from our attempts to get our Southeast Asia visas. For years, we’ve always said SMILE when a camera is shoved in our children’s faces – so needless to say, Max, Jake, and even Sadie are well trained to say CHEEEEESE when they see a lens. For visa pictures though, they DON’T want a smile. You are just supposed to look serious. I was crying with laughter trying to get our munchkins to be serious – it is SO hard to be serious during these moments…

Let the adventures begin!


Sadie is JUST starting to take a few steps. I’ve got to video her more as it is the cutest thing I’ve ever seen. The CVS we went to in the Palisades also doesn’t really have a passport booth for pictures – we had to do a makeshift shopping cart situation to make her sit still for a moment.

Forget about getting Sadie to give the camera a serious face – we just had to get her to LOOK at the camera. It took our entire family – and some other shoppers – to get the shot.

This was taken before we explained that visa pictures were nonsmiling pictures. I’m not actually sure this is a smiling picture, but it is the face Max makes when we asked him to smile. Which is actually hilarious – and makes us all smile.

This is his serious face.

Jake trying not to smile. It is SO hard for a 3 year old to be serious!

We got there in the end! Perfect not-smiling picture!




24 replies
  1. Gil
    Gil says:

    I went to Thailand as a U.S. citizen and didn’t require visa. What countries required UK/US citizens visa? Sorry

  2. Chrissie
    Chrissie says:

    Four seasons Koh samui – beautiful and amazing with kids. Great rooms with children annex and kids club on a private beach

    Outrigger Phuket – not fancy but you can get a good size room. Great waterslide and kids club, right on the beach. Kids are very happy here! Absolutely do a boat day around Phuket. It’s the most beautiful place to see from the water.

    The Sukhothai Bangkok – a little oasis in the middle of Bangkok. Big rooms/suites for families, great restaurants and pool and close to everything but still quiet and relaxed.

  3. Eva Sims
    Eva Sims says:

    You should contact Marianne with Cantik Travels immediately. She knows SE Asia and specializes in these types of vacations. She has traveled the world with young children, ailing parents, & her late husband who suffered from MS. She planned my trip a few years ago to Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, & Myanmar – I too was nervous but there wasn’t a single glitch in our schedule. You will not regret learning from her! Safe travels – can’t wait to see photos ♥️ Her direct contact is

  4. Aimee
    Aimee says:

    Omg! So excited for you. In Sri Lanka I hope you can stay at Villa Indisch, along the beach near Galle, it’s a beautiful house right on the water. Has a great yard, pool, even a playground/jungle gym for the kids. The staff is fantastic – I want to be there right now!! Also check out the Tea Trails properties if you’re heading inland. I’m sure you’re probably sorted for Colombo. The Tintagel is a cool boutique hotel there. But I wouldn’t spend too much time in the city. Have so much fun! What a fantastic outcome from the burn.

  5. Lindsey
    Lindsey says:

    Hi Marissa,
    I’m a friend of Kim Loewen (Bohy now). 🙂


    Check out The Elephant Park outside of Chiang Mai; Chaing Mai is a great city: good food, sites, and such. Take the night train from Bangkok.

    The Sukhothai Historical Park is amazing. You can rent bikes and see all the sites.

    Stay at The Shanti Lodge in Bangkok. The food is amazing especially the muesli; and it’s location is quick to hop on the river boats to see the city by water.

    Consider getting your vaccines in Thailand at a local hospital. It’s quick, easy, and far less money than US.

    Have fun!

  6. Lesley
    Lesley says:

    Enjoy Hermer family! Sounds wonderful, I adore Southeast Asia.

    That’s a great website about a dad who is constantly traveling the globe with his children!

    A kid friendly day trip from Bangkok, Thailand is Elephants World Sanctuary. Hire a driver to take you to and from as it’s a few hours away in rural Thailand. Non-profit sanctuary where volunteers feed and bathe Asian elephants for the day! Lots of great photo ops.

  7. Gabrielle
    Gabrielle says:

    I would say airbnb but with some of those locations, like Thailand, I think a resort might be best. Any chance of taping for another season of Ladies of London while in the UK? Have fun & safe family travels!

  8. Inka
    Inka says:

    Hi Hermer family!
    What a great decision. We are actually in the same situation (beginning of school next summer equals end of flexibility and time), but still quarrel with the adventure of leaving home and job behind for a certain time. So your plans are very inspiring and may even be somewhat of a kick butt for us.
    Sri Lanka is a beautiful Island, great food, super surf, paradise beaches especially in the south, massages to die for, super friendly people.

    BUT: Sri Lanka has confirmed Dengue cases nationally. Most affected districts include Colombo, Gampaha, Kalutara, Galle, Kandy, Ratnapura, Jaffna and Trincolmalee.
    There are two peak seasons for Dengue transmission in Sri Lanka: one is from October to December; another is from May to July.
    We have booked Sri Lanka for three weeks starting from Dec 26th this year and really think about canceling it. You do not want to expose the children to the risk of this infectious disease. Might be over by the time you’ll get there. And us. And if so, we might meet then. Let’s cross fingers and have an Arak Caiparinha together (and coconut milk for the kids). All the best, Inka from Hamburg / Germany

  9. Annie
    Annie says:

    Enjoy your trip Marissa, such a great idea!! I’d definitely recommend the Akaryn hotels for places to stay in Thailand. The Aleenta Phuket has great luxurious villas for families and the akyra Beach Club right down the road is really amazing for kids.

  10. Dana
    Dana says:

    You are amazing. Be bold and brave. Enjoy the adventure. You are inspiring. So glad to meet you at the NJ book signing.

  11. Molly G
    Molly G says:

    If you haven’t already, check out @mumpacktravel on Instagram. She and her daughter have been traveling the world and stayed in the areas you are going for a while. It’s truly inspirational! Have so much fun!

  12. Truc
    Truc says:

    Make sure to visit Hoi An in Central Vietnam. The most charming, idyllic place with the best banh mi in the world…I can say that bc I’m Vietnamese and have eaten a ton in my lifetime.

  13. Jeanna Wieselmann
    Jeanna Wieselmann says:

    My husband and I are in Asia from the US for 14 weeks (Japan for the majority of the time) and are planning to visit Vietnam as well. It seems Halong Bay is a must-see there!

  14. Lisa Dinsmoor
    Lisa Dinsmoor says:

    I loved Thailand so much! My most favorite place was Chang Mai, its in the mountains and is so beautiful. I stayed in the old city on the street that has a night market once a week. Take the kids to see the tigers, they would love being in with the baby one 💕 not to worry, they are friendly. Of course time with the elephants is a must. I took a cooking class but not sure if the kids would enjoy but it was really fun. So excited for your adventures!! Can’t wait to follow along with you all 😊

  15. Laurel
    Laurel says:

    My fiance and I traveled to Thailand in January this year and it was the most amazing experience! We spent a lot of time in Bangkok – definitely hop on a Tuk Tuk for transport in the city at some point. Also, make a trip out to the floating markets, the boat ride to get there will be so fun for your kids, I’m sure! Have an amazing trip! 🙂

  16. Melissa
    Melissa says:

    How exciting and fun!! With all the fun water activities pack a good pair of water shoes for each of the children and life jackets. You can never be too safe with the little ones

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