Oh, the places we have been!
Three days with a rental car driving through some of the most epic landscapes we’ve seen anywhere on this planet. Save up your money and go to Iceland. It was our first destination and we still talk about it all the time. VIDEO
Dublin is a wonderful city but what we loved most about this island was renting a car and driving around Northern Ireland. From Carrick a Rede to the Giant’s Causeway to . . . just driving. We loved the Irish countryside. We even made a video.
The Czech Republic
Getting close to Eastern Europe, everyone knows Prague. It’s gorgeous, of course, but we preferred it’s Moravian cousin to the south, Brno. Equally beautiful, but smaller and more approachable with an amazing science centre (Vida!) and some cool caves nearby.
Krakow was a bit of a gamble but I’m glad we went. The food and beer were fantastic (pork knee anyone?) and we could have wandered the old city centre with it’s surrounding park for days. Zakopane, a vacation town in the mountains to the south, was not worth the trip. The Polish Aviation Museum definitely was!
Everywhere we looked in Italy, we could see the beauty that once was. Unfortunately, the shine has come off a little. We loved the market outside our apartment in Catania, the beaches in Balestrate, and our incredible walking tour of Pompeii. But next time, we might pass on the broken glass and dog poop and choose to explore northern Italy instead.
Valledemossa, a little old village in the mountains blew us away with it’s beauty. Felanix in the south was quaint and friendly. Sailing around the island for a week in a 46′ catamaran was a life-changing experience.
Making friends in the beachtown of Gandia, then exploring Valencia for a few days, we fell in love with Spain. From the Science Centre to Gulliver’s park to the food (the FOOD!) – Spain is definitely on our list of countries to go back to. This was also the time when I started to question my travel endurance.
A wildcard country – the cheapest flight that moved us east. Surprise, surprise – Bulgaria is wonderful. The road less traveled is fascinating, delicious, friendly and cheaper than other options. We loved our walking tour in Sofia and the city centre of Plovidiv.
Slowing down after months of travel. We booked six weeks in an Airbnb in Kuzguncuk – a little neighbourhood in the Asian side of Istanbul. It couldn’t have turned out better. We made friends, Linds learned how to cook in a cafe down the road, the kids painted with a local artist . . . the warmth of the people in this Muslim country is still overwhelming when we think about it now.
A meeting place for Canadian family to come out to visit us for Christmas! Our big house up on the hill outside of Peyia bustled with activity for three weeks. Hiking in the arid mountain behind our place and exploring ancient ruins around Paphos were highlights.
For three weeks it felt like we were living in a zoo! The wonderful staff at our villa outside of Weligama took such good care of us while we learned to surf, went snorkeling with sea turtles, and went on safari to see the wild elephants. Linds and I even got our PADI scuba certifications.
If there was one place we would be tempted to live, Penang was it. Awesome food, excellent infrastructure, friendly people – all for about 1/3 of the cost of living in Canada. We liked it so much, we returned on our way back from Vietnam.
Thailand is not what it was 20 years ago when I was there as a 25 year old backpacker but it is still beautiful. I persevered with an unstable captain to get my RYA Day Skipper certification, while Linds and the boys stayed at a fantastic little resort in Krabi. Then my parents flew out to spend a week with us, chillin’ at the pool and taking a long-tail boat tour of the spectacular islands.
I had wanted to see the jungle temples around Siem Reap since my early twenties and they did not disappoint. For two days, we walked through temple after temple, awestruck. But perhaps the greater impact Cambodia had on us was learning about it’s recent history and the time we spent talking about it all with our wonderfully kind Airbnb hostess.
The closest we would get to the world’s newest superpower, China – but still so distinct. Our Airbnb was right on the edge of the Old Quarter.
Food that flooded our senses with flavour, swarms of motorbikes honking outside our door and trains rumbling past the tracks beside the apartment – it was all part of the experience.
Our first English-speaking developed country in eight months. On the other side of the world but so familiar. (And so expensive!)