Welcome to
The Slow Road!

We’re Melissa and Chris. In 2008, after years of fantasizing and planning, we gave in to our wanderlust and embraced our vagabond dreams.

Portrait of Chris and Melissa

This noncommercial website is a huge labor of love. It records our impressions of the places we visit in words and photos—to inspire fellow travelers and to open a window on the world for loved ones back home. Melissa is the photographer and web designer of the pair, and Chris is the writer.

Our Story

We’ve have been partners in life and travel since 2003. We lived for many years in Washington, D.C., working as editors but longing to travel for more than our few weeks of annual vacation.

So in 2008, we sold our house and most of our possessions, quit our jobs, and set off to see the world. For the next year and a half, we traveled around Western Europe and Central America.

After a five-year stay back in Washington, we resumed our travels in 2014 as full-time vagabonds, house sitters, and freelance editors working from the road. Since then we’ve explored Southeast Asia, parts of South America, and new places in Europe and North America.

Portrait of Chris and Melissa

Interested in having us take care of your house and pets while you travel?


Curious about how we travel?


Take a look at some of our favorite places and experiences!


Or send a note to say hello!

Contact Us

About Chris

Melissa on a mountain

Chris Howlett was born in 1963 and grew up in the north central United States (Illinois, Ohio, Pennsylvania). After graduating from college with degrees in environmental studies and ancient Greek, she became a journalist (makes sense, right?). Chris worked as a reporter and copyeditor for several newspapers and for a magazine about African rural development.

She later spent two decades as an editor at the U.S. Congressional Budget Office (CBO), helping government economists write in regular English so other people could understand them. She now works for CBO as a freelance editor.

Chris is happiest when traveling, exploring art museums, learning about history, hiking in beautiful places, watching birds and other wildlife, snorkeling, reading a good book, listening to classical or Celtic music, and savoring good food.

About Melissa

Melissa on a mountain

Melissa Kuhnell was born in 1975 and grew up near Cincinnati, Ohio. She has university degrees in biology, linguistics, and science journalism, which makes her perfectly qualified to interview bilingual bacteria.

Melissa has worked as a researcher in university biology laboratories, as a veterinarian’s technician, and as an editor for a magazine about chemistry. For the past decade, she has been working as a freelance editor, focusing on scientific papers and documents written by non-native English speakers.

Melissa loves to travel, cook, take photographs, snorkel, read, play with cats, play with art supplies, and immerse herself in new projects. Her favorite places include snow-topped mountains, coral reefs, and anywhere with abundant markets full of fresh produce.