They're traveling on opposite sides of the world, but photography keeps them close.

Becca Siegal and Dan Gold are a couple dating long distance. Really long distance.

They met in New York, but Dan, 28, was offered the opportunity to travel the world, traversing four continents and visiting a new city every month with the Remote Year program. A kindred spirit, Becca, also 28, had previously spent two and a half years traveling in China and Hong Kong, and still takes international trips on the regular.

For now, these lovebirds are flying solo.


Photo by Halfhalftravel/Caters News Agency.

To stay connected and share their experiences with each other, Becca and Dan are matching up their travel photos side by side.

They called the project Half Half Travel, and share their images from international destinations on their Instagram and website of the same name. As the couple said in their bio, "Our cameras meet in the middle when we can't."

"Together" in Guatapé, Colombia, and Lisbon, Portugal. Photo by Halfhalftravel/Caters News Agency.

Becca and Dan are both freelance photographers, so these aren't your run-of-the-mill travel photos. Their jaw-dropping compositions will give you major wanderlust.

Just try to make it through some of their amazing shots without saying "I want to go to there."

1. No matter the time of day, this world has so much to offer.

Two capital cities, Washington D.C., and Lima, Peru, at dawn and dusk. Photo by Halfhalftravel/Caters News Agency.

2. Each locale has its own rhythm, vibe, and animals.  

A cow on a farm in Colombia and a zebra on safari on South Africa. Photo by Halfhalftravel/Caters News Agency.

3. Even the hustle and bustle of city traffic changes with every latitude line.  

Not much legroom in this "hybrid" car, from New York and Prague, but you probably wouldn't get many tickets. Photo by Halfhalftravel/Caters News Agency.

4. With travel comes new perspectives and bright ideas.

From Lima to Brooklyn? Those are some very big glasses. Photo by Halfhalftravel/Caters News Agency.

5. And before long, instead of just seeing the differences, it's easier to see what unites us.

Dinner dates may look a little different from Morocco to Brooklyn, but they're still delicious. Photo by Halfhalftravel/Caters News Agency.

6. No matter how we get there...

Dan flew from Morocco to Spain, while Becca flew from California to New York. Photo by Halfhalftravel/Caters News Agency.

7. ... or what we see and experience ...

Like these tags in Barcelona and Lisbon. Photo by Halfhalftravel/Caters News Agency.

8. ...we can find common ground wherever we land.

Photo by Halfhalftravel/Caters News Agency.

9.  And those connections make the world a little smaller, a little brighter, and lot more fun.

These shots are from Lima and Concord, New Hampshire. And, yes, even professional photographers take feet photos. Photo by Halfhalftravel/Caters News Agency.

Half Half Travel is the perfect mashup of #travelgoals and #relationshipgoals.

Each photo Becca and Dan took was remarkable and complete on its own, but side by side, they were something new and equally beautiful. The same can be said for the couple. Dating long distance isn't easy, but for any relationship to work, it helps to be good at being together and being apart. In pictures and in life, a partner only complements our greatness — they don't complete it.

Dan and Becca "together" in Spain and Colombia. Photo by Halfhalftravel/Caters News Agency.

This story was updated 5/22/2017.

True

When Sue Hoppin was in college, she met the man she was going to marry. "I was attending the University of Denver, and he was at the Air Force Academy," she says. "My dad had also attended the University of Denver and warned me not to date those flyboys from the Springs."

"He didn't say anything about marrying one of them," she says. And so began her life as a military spouse.

The life brings some real advantages, like opportunities to live abroad — her family got to live all around the US, Japan, and Germany — but it also comes with some downsides, like having to put your spouse's career over your own goals.

"Though we choose to marry someone in the military, we had career goals before we got married, and those didn't just disappear."

Career aspirations become more difficult to achieve, and progress comes with lots of starts and stops. After experiencing these unique challenges firsthand, Sue founded an organization to help other military spouses in similar situations.

Sue had gotten a degree in international relations because she wanted to pursue a career in diplomacy, but for fourteen years she wasn't able to make any headway — not until they moved back to the DC area. "Eighteen months later, many rejections later, it became apparent that this was going to be more challenging than I could ever imagine," she says.

Eighteen months is halfway through a typical assignment, and by then, most spouses are looking for their next assignment. "If I couldn't find a job in my own 'hometown' with multiple degrees and a great network, this didn't bode well for other military spouses," she says.

She's not wrong. Military spouses spend most of their lives moving with their partners, which means they're often far from family and other support networks. When they do find a job, they often make less than their civilian counterparts — and they're more likely to experience underemployment or unemployment. In fact, on some deployments, spouses are not even allowed to work.

Before the pandemic, military spouse unemployment was 22%. Since the pandemic, it's expected to rise to 35%.

Sue eventually found a job working at a military-focused nonprofit, and it helped her get the experience she needed to create her own dedicated military spouse program. She wrote a book and started saving up enough money to start the National Military Spouse Network (NMSN), which she founded in 2010 as the first organization of its kind.

"I founded the NMSN to help professional military spouses develop flexible careers they could perform from any location."

"Over the years, the program has expanded to include a free digital magazine, professional development events, drafting annual White Papers and organizing national and local advocacy to address the issues of most concern to the professional military spouse community," she says.

Not only was NMSN's mission important to Sue on a personal level she also saw it as part of something bigger than herself.

"Gone are the days when families can thrive on one salary. Like everyone else, most military families rely on two salaries to make ends meet. If a military spouse wants or needs to work, they should be able to," she says.

"When less than one percent of our population serves in the military," she continues, "we need to be able to not only recruit the best and the brightest but also retain them."

"We lose out as a nation when service members leave the force because their spouse is unable to find employment. We see it as a national security issue."

"The NMSN team has worked tirelessly to jumpstart the discussion and keep the challenges affecting military spouses top of mind. We have elevated the conversation to Congress and the White House," she continues. "I'm so proud of the fact that corporations, the government, and the general public are increasingly interested in the issues affecting military spouses and recognizing the employment roadblocks they unfairly have faced."

"We have collectively made other people care, and in doing so, we elevated the issues of military spouse unemployment to a national and global level," she adds. "In the process, we've also empowered military spouses to advocate for themselves and our community so that military spouse employment issues can continue to remain at the forefront."

Not only has NMSN become a sought-after leader in the military spouse employment space, but Sue has also seen the career she dreamed of materializing for herself. She was recently invited to participate in the public re-launch of Joining Forces, a White House initiative supporting military and veteran families, with First Lady Dr. Jill Biden.

She has also had two of her recommendations for practical solutions introduced into legislation just this year. She was the first in the Air Force community to show leadership the power of social media to reach both their airmen and their military families.

That is why Sue is one of Tory Burch's "Empowered Women" this year. The $5,000 donation will be going to The Madeira School, a school that Sue herself attended when she was in high school because, she says, "the lessons I learned there as a student pretty much set the tone for my personal and professional life. It's so meaningful to know that the donation will go towards making a Madeira education more accessible to those who may not otherwise be able to afford it and providing them with a life-changing opportunity."

Most military children will move one to three times during high school so having a continuous four-year experience at one high school can be an important gift. After traveling for much of her formative years, Sue attended Madeira and found herself "in an environment that fostered confidence and empowerment. As young women, we were expected to have a voice and advocate not just for ourselves, but for those around us."

To learn more about Tory Burch and Upworthy's Empowered Women program visit https://www.toryburch.com/empoweredwomen/. Nominate an inspiring woman in your community today!

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