Hello! We are Ryan and Louise and we are so honored to have you here to follow along on our adventures!
We are a married couple based in Canada with a shared love of travel, food and sneakers. We truly are "Solemates". Since day one of our relationship we have been on an international adventure, searching for the best off-the-beaten-path experiences, tastiest exotic dishes and rarest sneakers we can find.
A little about Ryan
Ryan was born in Portland, Oregon but grew up living in various states along the West Coast. His family is from Hawaii so he spent his summers on the islands of Oahu and Kauai. Ryan's parents enjoyed traveling and took the family to places all over the US. So, from a young age, Ryan was already an adventurer!
Growing up in Portland, Ryan's family lived next to a Nike employee and everyone in his family was always decked out in Nike gear. This inspired his love for sneakers and he started his collection on March 3rd, 2003 with the release of the Jordan 11 Cool Greys. It has been a constant search ever since to find the best sneaker shops in each city, always looking to add one more pair to the collection.
After college, Ryan found himself searching for a job when the US took an economic down turn. He had been working at the golf course and it was a dying industry. The idea of working abroad was appealing and highly encouraged by his parents. Ryan decided to take a chance and move to South Korea to teach English.
Korea turned out to be a great place to buy sneakers. Even better, though, was Japan. Ryan was able to visit his cousin there and meet up with a family friend who worked for Nike. His friend took him into the design studio and gave him a pass to shop in the employee store. From then on Ryan was addicted to traveling and sole searching!
A little about Louise
Louise was born in Canada after her family immigrated there from the Philippines. She grew up listening to her grandfather's stories of traveling around the world and what life was like on the other side of the planet. From a young age she dreamed of traveling and loved to stare at her grandfather's world globe in the living room, daydreaming of the adventures she would one day experience. Her favorite book in school was always the atlas and she loved to flip through the maps, fantasizing of visiting far away countries.
In 2007, Louise was studying Spanish in university and had the opportunity to study abroad while living with a home stay family. She was so fortunate that her grandfather agreed to fund the trip and she got to spend the summer semester studying in Chile. While in South America she also was able to take side trips to Argentina and Peru. This first solo adventure only increased her desire to travel and see more of the world.
After graduating university Louise knew she wanted to live abroad and thus applied for a job in South Korea. This is where the story of Solemate Adventures begins!
The story of Solemate Adventures
In 2009, Ryan was hiring a replacement to take over his teaching job in Korea. He was sifting through applications when he came across Louise's. He interviewed her over the phone and it was the easiest interview ever. They found it so easy to talk to one another and they shared similar interests.
Needless to say, Louise was hired and moved to South Korea. Sadly, her and Ryan did not get to meet as he had to leave the country one day before she arrived. They ended up keeping in touch over e-mail. Casual conversations about work led to them becoming friends on Facebook where they discovered a shared love for shoes!
That spring, Louise was discussing her desire to visit Japan when her and Ryan decided to book a trip together, despite them still not having met in person! In April Ryan returned to Korea to teach at the same elementary school as Louise and, as the saying goes, the rest is history!
After their adventures living abroad as expats they have since gotten married and Ryan has immigrated to Canada. They have made it their goal to visit at least one new country every year. So far they have traveled together to Japan, Vietnam, China, Indonesia, Jordan, United Arab Emirates, Germany, Panama, Spain, Morocco, the Netherlands, and Barbados, with many more destinations in the works!
In 2017, Ryan and Louise came up with the idea of starting Solemate Adventures to document their travels and make it easier to share their adventures with family and friends. They also hope to share their experiences with fellow travel-enthusiasts, foodies and sneakerheads!