Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Luxuries that I miss....

To have more than 1 toilet available at any given time for 6 people.

To be able to brush my teeth using tap water (not pre bought, bottled water).


Drinking tap water. 

Not worrying when ordering food, as to whether my salad vegetables have been washed with safe drinking water. 

Not hesitating to order ice or ice blended drinks. 

Having my own room to sleep in, far away from my children! 

Being able to choose a different outfit from my closet. 

Having the choice of shoes. 

Buying something without converting the currency. 

Deciding what to cook when friends are coming over on the weekend. 

Many, many more things, but these are the main ones on my mind today! 

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Wonderful India

We are very lucky to be blessed with friends who want to share their world with us. 

India was a country we were concerned with visiting--we have talked to many people who have visited, and some have loved it, and others warned us not to go!  

We were most concerned with the health and sanitation standards, as we obviously didn't want everyone to be sick, as we still have a lot of travel left to do! 

Just two days before we arrived in New Delhi, Todd reached out to a friend, Sandeep, who is from the New Delhi area, just to ask for some advice, travel highlights, etc! Sandeep went above and beyond to show us the true India!  From Calgary, he arranged for us to spend a night with his wife's parents, the next with his parents, and a third night with his brother. All of our drivers were arranged, and we were treated to local cuisine and life! 

We have fallen in love with India, mostly due to the graciousness of the people. We were welcomed as family, even though we just met! What an amazing experience for all of us!  We are truly blessed to have been given this experience. Thank you so much to Sandeep and family!!! 


Friday, January 22, 2016


I can't believe how independent our boys have become.  They are confident in perusing a menu, asking questions about meals, and ordering for themselves (after figuring out how much their meal will cost in Canadian dollars!).

They are ok to go off and find their own meals at a food court and enter a 7-11 to buy treats.

It is amazing to see them not hesitate to ask questions about something, but in a polite way.  They are okay making deals at the local market, with money they've earned by offering mom and dad 10 minute foot massages (with payment in the local currency of course!).  It is interesting to see them weigh the balance of what they want, versus what money they have, versus what they want to carry for the next 6 months.

They are just confident kids!  We attended a cooking course yesterday, with Jacob and Josh cooking on their own, and Todd and I assisting Nathan and Noah.  I couldn't believe their skills.  They listened to instruction, followed it, were super safe using knives, open flame, and hot oil.  They stuck with it for 4 hours! I think that's pretty amazing for kids their age!

Monday, January 11, 2016

Flight #20

Flight number 20 landed us in Colombo, Sri Lanka.  It really feels like it has been more than twenty flights....

As we were landing, I realized I am never going to get over the panic I feel every time we land.  The last 10 minutes of any flight, I am holding on tight to the armrests, and I am in a clammy sweat.  One would think, that I would be used to the fact that we are hurtling towards the ground and will touch down ever so gently, but no....I'm not!!!

A few of our landings have been a little rougher than I would like, but overall, the flights and airplanes have been quite comfortable.

Tonight, we take flight number 21, back through Kuala Lumpur on our way to Phuket, Thailand.  Wish me luck!!!

Saturday, December 5, 2015


The boys have had the opportunity to see many different aspects of life as we have travelled. They have seen the very poor, the very rich.  They have seen unsafe drinking water, and varieties of living standards.  I think they realize how lucky they are to live where they do, and have access to the luxuries of their lives.

They have been witness to how others are treated, and how hard it might be to make a days living.  They have witnessed how fair things can be, and how unfair things can be.  They have witnessed how kind people are, and how money does not buy happiness.  I think they realize that our standard of living is pretty high, but that it is hard to compare one to another, when the scales are so vastly tipping in our favour.

The boys have been party to corruption....they have seen the effects of communist governments, filtering what is available as general knowledge to the public.  They watched our taxi driver bribe a police officer, so as not to be ticketed a full amount.  Their eyes have been opened to the greed and, perhaps, even the desperation of some....

They have played with children who speak a different language, communicating with open minds and welcoming smiles.  They have been ambassadors for our country, proudly wearing Canadian pins and offering warm hellos.

These are the character building blocks our boys are accumulating....these are the futures we are shaping....

Friday, December 4, 2015

We're still traveling....

Sorry for the absence of posts, but I have not had decent access to wifi in a very long time!  I guess that is one of the many things I have taken for granted!!!

We are currently in New Zealand, where we have been joined by my mom, dad and sister. We are having a fabulous time!  We are really enjoying the green, open spaces, and access to clean drinking water!  It's so nice to be able to brush your teeth using the tap water--something we haven't been able to do since we left Japan!!!

New Zealand certainly reminds us of home, at least the areas we have seen. We are on the North Island, traveling a circular loop, including Auckland, Hamilton, Taupo, Rotorua, and Tauranga. Not very extensive, but enough to let us know we want to come back!!!

The 2 older boys and I joined a Scout troop in Taupo, which was great!  The boys got to get some insider tips from kids their age, some new badges for their campfire blankets, and shared some of their knowledge of Canada!!! It was a fantastic experience!!!

We also took time out to enjoy an early Christmas dinner with Grandma, Grandpa and Auntie!  We had chicken, lamb, mashed potatoes, and a pavlova for dessert!  Almost like Christmas back home, except we were able to eat outside!!!  

Joshua proudly wearing his new Blue Jays hat with the maple leaf!!!

Ok, gotta run...Auntie's got a super fun filled afternoon planned with the boys, making Christmas goodies, while Grandma, Grandpa, Mom and Dad  go check out a few wineries in the Hawke's Bay area!!!

Monday, November 9, 2015

50 days! 5 Countries!

It's hard to believe we've already been travelling for 50 days.  It really doesn't feel like we've been gone that long, and I guess 50 days really isn't that long.... Everything has gone relatively smooth so far, no one has been super sick, or had a big bout of homesickness (it's usually me, but I've made it 50 day so far!!!).  I think our relaxing trip to Bali came at just the right time--time with friends, and just taking it easy!  I am finding all the big cities are just like one another--although I know they are not!--big building, busy streets, a hike to see the city from a view point!!!

Right now, we are relaxing on a beach, on a small island in the Philippines.  Again, I think it is perfectly timed!  And, in just a few short (long) weeks, we get to see my mom, dad and sister in New Zealand!  We are all very excited about that!!!  I've warned Grandma, Grandpa and Auntie to rest up now!!!!

We are continuing to slowly plug away at school work, making adjustments as we go!  The boys are pros at converting currencies, and their world geography is amazing!!  We have been learning about how different types of government affect people, and economics.

I have learned that my kids (probably all kids), have to learn space relations.  My boys are terrible at walking in crowded spaces--they just haven't figured out how to manage their steps to avoid bumping into someone, or stepping on our feet when we are standing still.  We are also working on keeping dinner time conversations at just our table, not talking so loud that everyone in the entire restaurant hears us!!

My boys have continued to surprise me by trying new dishes, with minimal whining.  I am also proud to say, that out in public, they are some of the most polite, well-behaved kids around!!  In the apartments/villas, a different story, but that's kids!!!

To those not on Facebook, I apologize, as most of the pictures go up on there!  It is quick and easy!!!

Please let me know what you want to hear about!!  I always struggle with what to write!!  I've updated the statistics at the side.  50 days, 5 countries!  We have made several stops in Manila, as that has been our transfer hub!!

Next up on our trip, after our week on Panglao Island; 2 days in Cebu City, Philippines, 1 day in Manila, 4 days in Jakarta, Indonesia, then 3 weeks in New Zealand with family!  That takes us to Dec 11. Christmas in Australia, New Years in Kuala Lumpur!