The Epic Travels of Kara and Nate

A plane flying featuring a beautiful blue sky.

Tara Smith, Junior Editor

In January of 2016, Kara and Nate Buchanan moved out of their apartment, sold their cars, put all of their belongings in storage, and boarded a one way flight to Tokyo, Japan. Before they left, they gained over 2 million miles and points through travel hacking. Travel hacking is working within the rules of existing airlines, credit cards, and hotels to earn free travel which can include flights, lodging, and other upgrades. The original plan was to travel for a year, exploring the world and learning about different cultures, before heading back to Nashville, Tennessee to settle down. This one year plan turned into four plus years of full time travel and a full-time job on YouTube, their channel amassing 2.12 million subscribers. Kara and Nate are high school sweethearts who are now in their 30s and together they have been to one hundred countries across all seven continents on their travel journey throughout the years. Before they pandemic, they mostly traveled internationally, discovering unique accommodations as well as the culture and history of where they are. Here are my personal favorite videos on their channel.

10 – Incredible Futuristic Mountain Hut

In this episode, Kara and Nate hiked 6 hours over a glacier to get to where they were sleeping for the night in a futuristic mountain hut in Zermatt, Switzerland. Switzerland was their 92nd country out of 100. This video has incredible drone footage and will keep you on the edge of your seat. This is one of the many cool accommodations that Kara and Nate have stayed in on their travels.

9 – Almost Disastrous Hike In the Dolomites 

Kara and Nate take on Italy in this episode. This video takes place in Kara and Nate’s 91st country out of 100 in Dolomites, Italy. This episode is an epic hiking adventure with gorgeous scenery of mountain peaks, a very beautiful blue lake, and gorgeous green meadows with some cute cows. It wouldn’t be a Kara and Nate video without drone footage and this video is no exception. Kara and Nate hike in the mountains of Italy that remind them of the Swiss Alps.

8 – We rented an entire island in the Philippines

In this video Kara and Nate took a risk and rented an entire “cheap” private island in the Philippines with very little information on it in hopes of discovering a hidden gem. This video is great to see the culture of the Philippines and gain some knowledge about their cuisine and lifestyle. It wouldn’t be a Kara and Nate video without gorgeous views and spectacular drone footage. 

7 – We slept in a jungle tree house (overlooking an active volcano)

This video takes place in their 99th country of Vanuatu on the island Tanna. On this island, Kara and Nate stayed in a tree house overlooking an active volcano. Tanna is home to one of the world’s most active volcanoes and the footage of it is incredible! In this video the culture of the people is explored as well as the nature of Tanna. Something interesting about the tree house they stay in is that the locals build them in Banyan trees.

6 – World’s ONLY Glass Tee-pee & Baby Huskies

In Kara and Nate’s 90th country they take on Rovaniemi, Finland where they sleep in the world’s only glass roof tee-pee which is one of the more unique accommodations they have slept in. They also go on a dog sledding adventure with lots and lots of huskies. 

5 – Our Norwegian Tiny Home Treehouse

In their 95th country of Norway, Kara and Nate stay in a tiny home tree house which is a very unique accommodation. Gorgeous views, no internet, and a cozy fireplace is what Kara and Nate experience in this episode.

4 – Our tiny home in the Swiss Alps

This video has incredible views as well as astounding drone footage of the mountains. The tiny house is on the top of a mountain and takes two hours to hike to. If you are a fan of mountains watch Kara and Nate’s trek and experience the natural beauty of the Swiss Alps.

3 – Incredible off-the-grid houseboat (Coron, Philippines)

The nature and views in this video are absolutely stunning. Kara and Nate stay in a houseboat in a blue lagoon in the Philippines and it is so beautiful. The notorious drone footage is epic in this installment of Kara and Nate’s travels.

2 – Maldives Most Luxurious Resort 

This is the most luxurious resort in the Maldives and has amazing drone footage and crystal clear blue water. If you are looking for a really epic tour of an over-water villa this video is for you! Admire the beauty of the Maldives and experience some escapism by watching Kara and Nate take on the Maldives.

1 – First Impressions of Antarctica (our 7th continent)

In this video, Kara and Nate step on their seventh continent of Antarctica for the first time. You get to see the cruise ship they are travelling on. This vlog has beautiful drone footage as well as lots of native animals to Antarctica in their natural habitat. 

Due to the pandemic, 2020 led Kara and Nate back to the United States for the first time in a while. They booked an Airbnb in Tennessee and quarantined when they got back to the U.S from Singapore. After a couple months of not knowing what to do next they bought a converted Sprinter van and set off to travel the United States abiding by travel restrictions along the way. So far they have been to Colorado where Nate biked the entire Colorado trail as well as Oregon and Washington where they explored the Pacific Northwest. After aimless wandering in the summer of 2020, they have decided to make a goal of visiting all 50 states. More recently they visited a ghost town in California and slept overnight in an old nuclear bunker from the Cold War located in Arkansas. You can follow along with their journey over on their YouTube Channel ‘Kara and Nate’.