Have paddleboards, will travel: Cali Dansie and Molly Garfield


Paddleboards are the must-have travel equipment for Cali Dansie (right) and Molly Garfield (left).

Cali Dansie and Molly Garfield rarely travel without their favorite accessory — giant backpacks containing bright yellow paddleboards.

“Most people backpack Europe; we paddleboarded Europe,” Cali says.

Cali and Molly first met during internships at Timberline Middle School as they carpooled from Provo to Alpine. Now the two teach at the school and do a roommate carpool from their home in American Fork.

But the drive to Alpine isn’t the only trip they take. Together they have visited 26 countries and 42 states.

When they travel, they decide whether their primary purpose is to have experiences or to relax. With teacher’s salaries, their trips may not be luxurious but they are always memorable.

“Everyone has a dream of what Europe is like and then you show up and it’s a grimy hotel in the Czech Republic that smells like dead animals and you stay there overnight,” Molly laughs.

The hiccups are part of the journey. As a history teacher, Cali knows the historic meaning of “Remember the Alamo!” But for Cali and Molly (who teaches health), they remember the Alamo as the place someone robbed their van and stole all their clothes.

“Embrace what’s happening to you because not everything is going to be pleasant on a trip but it’s going to memorable.” — Molly Garfield, teacher at Timberline Middle School

“Embrace what’s happening to you because not everything is going to be pleasant on a trip but it’s going to memorable,” Molly says. “Sometimes you’re surfing for your first time and three hours later you get stung by a jellyfish.”

Between their travels and their lives as roommates, the friends share much of their present lives, but they’ve also discovered connections prior to their time at Timberline. While at the Missionary Training Center, Molly would smell popcorn every single night. She later learned it came from the popcorn maker of Cali’s MTC companion. The two are also sixth cousins.

When it comes to planning trips, Molly brings the deal-finding and scores plane tickets and lodging at great prices. Cali brings the adventure, although she admits she had to warn Molly a year in advance before they bungee jumped from a gondola in the Swiss Alps.

The two have traveling down.

“Pack light, expect nothing and enjoy the journey,” Cali says.

This is one of 11 stories featured in the partnership section of Utah Valley Magazine. Read all the stories here.


Utah Valley is Lindsey's home away from her Colorado Springs home. She writes for Utah Valley Magazine, UtahValley360.com and Prosper Magazine. Follow her on Twitter: @lindsey5brooke.

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