Over the course of ten months, we’re traveling across ten countries to get to Tokyo.

It started in June 2018 when we stuffed what we could into a 5 x 10 storage unit and sold the rest. We said “see ya later” to our hometown, rented a Ford Fiesta and drove one-way from San Luis Obispo, California to LAX to hop on a plane with nothing but a couple of oversized backpacks. Now we’re venturing to experience the world from the perspectives of the people who live in the places we visit—one city, one month, and one Airbnb at a time. This is our story about those people’s stories.


We’re Erika and Matt, the travelers behind Ten To Tokyo.

When we met in 2015, we instantly bonded over a shared love of travel.

Within a month of dating, we hopped in Matt’s FJ for a weekend ski trip to Mammoth, California. A few months after that, over beers at a favorite local pub, we decided to hop on a plane to celebrate 4th of July somewhere—but we weren’t sure where. So, we tore up a napkin and drew names from a hat. The winner: Seattle, Washington. (Although, Matt’s contribution of Taco Bell was a close second.)

Later that summer, Erika accepted a new job. Naturally, it made sense to take a couple weeks off between jobs to travel. This time we threw together a two-week whirlwind through Germany, Switzerland, Amsterdam, and Iceland.

Between our jaunts around the United States and Europe, we dreamed of packing up and making a life of travel. Time to actually live in places and experience the cultures.

And so the scheming began. In December 2017, we booked the first leg of the yearlong journey we’d spent so much time talking about: a flight from Los Angeles to London on June 27, 2018. With only a vague idea to end up in Tokyo in the spring, we started booking one city, one month at a time.

Between December and June, we scheduled ten cities from London to Tokyo, living in each for about a month, for a total of ten months, with nothing more than a couple of 80-liter backpacks and the good graces of our Airbnb hosts.

While we didn’t pick these ten cities out of a hat, we did pick them based on some spontaneity and a few friendly recommendations. Here, you’ll find photos and stories based on our experiences living as digital nomads around the world.


The Aspiring Artist

This California girl was born in Santa Cruz, California where she spent her first 13 years in a small surf community known lovingly as Pleasure Point. At the start of high school, her parents traded the sounds of rolling waves for mooing cows in the rural town of Templeton, California. A copywriter by trade, Erika enjoys channeling her inner F. Scott Fitzgerald and practicing yoga in her spare time. She’s also a certified 200-hour yoga teacher.

Born: Santa Cruz, California

Hometown: San Luis Obispo, California

Occupation: Copywriter

Hobbies: Yoga, creative writing, reading fiction, cooking

Most likely: At a local yoga studio or craft beer brewery


The Tech Guy

Born and raised in San Luis Obispo, California, Matt enjoys creating killer web and mobile experiences using the latest and greatest nerd tech out there. When he’s not slapping the keyboard, he’s slapping bass in 80’s pop cover band Makeover. While living in Japan for six months, Matt learned to speak some Japanese. It’s now questionable at best. Find him scouting the local arcade scene or getting air on the disc golf course.

Born: San Luis Obispo, California

Hometown: San Luis Obispo, California

Occupation: Software Developer  

Hobbies: Running, playing music, disc golf, arcade games

Most likely: Playing pinball or running laps around Erika


The 10 Countries

United Kingdom 🇬🇧
Netherlands 🇳🇱
Sweden 🇸🇪
Croatia 🇭🇷
Sri Lanka 🇱🇰

Indonesia 🇮🇩
Australia 🇦🇺
New Zealand 🇳🇿
Thailand 🇹🇭
Japan 🇯🇵