Ben’s six-month check-up

Muzieko Science Centre. Bulgaria – October 2018

Half of a year is a lot of traveling but we still haven’t been to South America, Africa, Oceania or Antarctica (though I’m not wishing to go there). Anyway, I want to keep on traveling because we get new experiences like climbing a volcano, seeing geysers, surfing, walking through thousand year old cities, even learning traditional dances. And there are other experiences that we did like going inside a statue, those are just some of them. I have some new favorite things from each country like:


Getting wet at Gullfoss Falls. Iceland – July 2018

Iceland is still the capital of nature for our trip and though it’s language is probably the hardest language so far, we actually were able to go to many places like a lagoon, waterfalls, geysers, etc. I’m glad we rented a car because I only saw one bus which was in Reykjavik (the capital city).


Northern Ireland – August 2018

In Ireland I felt like I was in Europe for sure! There were all sorts of monuments and memorials and nearly everything that makes a country historical. In Dublin we went on a tour bus and now I only remember things like in the 1900’s the more windows you have the richer you are. They even had fan lights which were crescent shaped windows that they put over their doors. I really liked Northern Ireland too because it had so many natural monuments except humans did a tiny bit of the work.


Waiting for the subway in Prague. August 2018

I loved Prague and Brno, we went caving and went to Riviera Waterpark. In Prague we saw the bridge of legions and some very gothic style churches. In Czechia we tried a dessert called trdlo which is rolled up dough with sugar sprinkled on it. Usually they fill the inside with ice cream except we didn’t try that.


Outside the Polish Aviation Musem. Krakow, Poland – August 2018

Poland was amazing. We ate so many different types of perogies and we climbed inside of a statue and we could peek our heads through the eyes too. When we went to Zakopane we saw the mountains that border Poland and Slovakia. When we went back to Krakow for our flight to Italy we found out there was an awesome park that was very close to us so we went there and it was amazing!


The view from Mount Etna. Sicily – September 2018

Italy was awesome. We were able to eat freshly made calamari that mommy bought at the market. We made some amazing new friends and even explored the lost city of Pompeii. In Italy we tried gelato which was one of the best desserts we’ve had during our travels. We even got to climb an active volcano called Mount Etna which is where a Greek monster named Typhon was trapped in by Zeus.


Are we cut out for sailing? Mallorca, Spain October 2018

In Valldemossa it was so clean that I didn’t even see one cigarette on the ground – I was amazed! We even went on a sailing trip around Mallorca with a captain to steer the boat for us. It made us know what it feels like to sail in case we wanted to do that after backpacking. While sailing we saw some some amazingly beautiful fish. Sailing was a lot of fun. Then we flew to the mainland of Spain (Gandia) and went to parks and ate tapas which was a lot of fun. Then we went to Valencia and explored Gulliver’s park and went to an amazing Science Center!


“Alyosha” – a monument to fallen Soviet soldiers in WW II. Plovidiv, Bulgaria – October 2018

Bulgaria has a lot more history than you think. We went to Sofia and Plovdiv which were both amazing city’s. Even though we didn’t go to central Bulgaria and smell all the beautiful roses, we did explore the depths of history of Bulgaria. Like in Plovdiv, no one would dig in their backyard because usually they would end up finding some Roman ruins and their whole house would have to be excavated. Then they would have to be moved out and all that stuff. In Sofia their was this special spring water that with all sorts of special minerals in it. The water came from special fountains all over the city. The water even helps colds and sore throats.

Istanbul, Turkey

Dilek and Ben during art class. Istanbul, Turkey – November 2018

We loved Istanbul, especially the little neighborhood that we stayed in, called Kuzguncuk. I don’t think we would have liked other places in Istanbul as much because Kuzguncuk was beautiful and there were so many nice people there. We were able to go to art class and put our own imagination into a picture. We even found out that the teacher’s husband was a famous artist! Another awesome thing about Kuzguncuk is that there are so many cats. We would name some of the cats – like there was Charles, Jimmy and Carlos. We saw The Blue Mosque, Miniaturk and the Prince Islands and a few more but I think our favourite days were when we walked around Kuzguncuk. Over top of one of the malls in Istanbul was an awesome park with a slide that went through the paving of the park and a little bridge over top of a different slide. There even was a two story high pole that we were able to slide down.

Peyia, Cyprus

Quality time with the cousins. Cyprus – December 2018

Cyprus is probably the easiest place to spend the holidays with family. We hiked mountains, went to a Christmas bizarre, an archeological site, the tombs of the kings and even did the polar bear swim on New Year’s Day. It was awesome in Cyprus. It’s funny though because we were on the Greek side and we saw Greek signs and went to Greek historical sites but I didn’t feel like I was in a Greek place. Most of the time we went on hikes and sandy beaches and only twice we went to historical places (the tombs of the kings and the archeological site) but I don’t think Greece is known for its nature.

What would Ben do without Plus Plus blocks?

Sri Lanka

Surfing lessons. Weligama, Sri Lanka – January 2018

We loved Sri Lanka especially because of the animals. There’s snakes, elephants, peacocks, land monitors, jackals, deer all sorts of bugs and so much more. To me the best thing about Sri Lanka is the ocean surrounding it. The beaches are amazing too like a medium sized wave would come and we would sometimes ride on our belly’s on it but then a huge wave would come after it which we would ride instead. There’s a lot I can explain about us playing in the waves but I’ll move on to the other ocean stuff. We even tried surfing which is a lot easier than it looks. Mommy and Daddy tried scuba diving and it looks like they liked it a lot. We even went snorkeling and saw some fish like dog fish. At the end of the snorkeling we saw an enormous sea turtle too!

No fear. Sri Lanka – January 2019

Well that’s what I think about the country’s over our trip and if we go sailing we’ll have even more adventure in us!


  1. Ben that was the most awesome blog. You are a great writer! Now let’s talk about those snakes…I can barely look at them wrapped over your shoulders!
    I know you are having so much fun, so enjoy, learn, stay healthy and see you when we see you. (That is not easy for me to say) lol

  2. Ben,

    I’ve been following your trip from afar and have enjoyed reading all about it. We just left Thailand a week and a half ago. Since we were so close it’s too bad we didn’t get the opportunity to see you and your family.

    It looks like you are staying very close to where we stayed on Bangtao Beach in Phuket. There is a small island that you can see from the beach. If you get the chance, the snorkelling is good. It’s not the Corral Reef but it’s warm and there are lots of fish.

    Did you happen to notice the chaotic traffic? Thailand has one of the highest accident rates in the world.
    Do you have any thoughts as to how Thailand can improve their road safety?

    I wish you and the family a continued safe and fun journey.


  3. We haven’t ventured out very much yet but I think the traffic is very similar to other Asian countrys we’ve been to. In Sri Lanka some buses looked like they were about to tip over! In Malaysia the motorcycles were pretty crazy (and loud). Thailand could have less of a traffic rate by making more straight roads and some more lights on the side of roads for the dark.
    Hope you have a good time in Laos and Hong Kong!

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