Patrick and I are on a mission to fulfill some life time goals. Learning and experiencing other cultures has always been a passion for the both of us. Traveling to a place where we are able to experience a new culture is an important and a rewarding aspect of this trip. Meeting new and wonderful people a priority.
Secondly, we want to fine tune and venture further into our outdoors loves; white water kayaking, camping, and for Patrick, scuba diving.
Finally, a main ambition is attaining hands on skills. Life skills in permaculture, earth building, bread baking, cheese making, and food growing. The list really is endless.
Therefore, we are off to New Zealand in March. We often hear about how friendly and welcoming New Zealanders are and this is place we want to be.
May 23rd 2012
So yeah, we're home. It’s an interesting concept 'home'. My home in the past 6 years has been where I’ve put my heart, Calgary and New Zealand. Now Guelph, Ontario. We had no idea where we'd come to when we got back, but we knew that it would be in Ontario somewhere. We were ready to be closer to family. So, we threw a dart at the map and it landed on Guelph. But really, we choose this place for a few reasons. Close to Toronto, close to Niagara Peninsula- our mom's, close to Orangeville - my Oma, but mostly because we heard amazing things about this small city. It has a population of 118,000 and it’s rocking. The level of consciousness in this city amazes me. I've asked most people I've met if they like ... read more
March 5th 2012
We’ve left New Zealand. We’re feeling good about it too. This past year has been life altering beyond words and I believe we really won’t understand the full effect of how this year has changed us until we settle back home. Honestly though, we’re on the E of D-O-N-E. I just want a freaking place to keep my tooth brush for longer than a month, I really want my electric tooth brush back. We’re both ready to buy property and settle done a bit. The past two months in New Zealand were unbelievable. The beginning of February brought us to a fabulous festival called Luminate. It was on top of a crystal mountain in the middle of nowhere, outside of Nelson, with about 2,000, earth loving, spiritually enlightened individuals. The festival was composed of both music ... read more
January 30th 2012
Its true. We’ve almost been here for a year. I really cannot believe it, a year of living out of our van and oh how I’ll miss Van-Demon. We met the father of the women who sold us our van and he was mentioning that Van-Demon was an early explorer of New Zealand and the reason they named the van after him, our van is a true exploring machine. We’ve spent some time doing all kinds of things in these past months. Wwoofing on sheep farms, tramping, more tramping, visiting with family, sea kayaking and more wwoofing. My sister has been travelling with us for the past two months and she is buying our van from us when we leave. One of the most interesting wwoof’s we’ve done thus far was last week. We wwoofed at ... read more
November 7th 2011
I have to feel inspired to write. Its not something I enjoy very much. Articulation in general is something I work hard to achieve in a cohesive manner. Writing my blog is a task that I have to work up to doing. Hence my tardiness. We said our final goodbyes in Cairns at the beginning of October. It wasn’t so hard, as saying goodbye is something we’ve become quite familiar with. I don’t enjoy them and sometimes would just rather slip off without anyone noticing. Its easier that way. Easier than feeling the guilt for creating the beautiful relationship, only to leave it just as quickly. A week before we left, we embarked on a week long wilderness biking trip through the far north of Queensland. We were both volunteering. It was more than I could ... read more
August 25th 2011
Life has been splendid. It has felt amazing to be settled in one place for longer than a day and to be able to integrate into the local culture. I quit the first job I got. I began receiving big, fat whiffs of deja vous; an employer who has absolutely no respect for their employees. Its been so long since I’ve been told, “Do not lean against the wall” or after commenting on how busy the lunch rush was my ‘boss’ would respond “be thankful, it pays your wage” or being paid far less than any other restaurant in the city just because Im a backpaker and therefore “disposable”. The straw that broke the camels back was when after a really long, busy night I was closing the sliding glass doors, perhaps a bit too ... read more
July 13th 2011
After travelling about half the South Island, we ventured to the North Island. It was an instant shock. After being on an Island with ¼ of the countries population, and where each town has a nominal population and everything shuts down at 5:00 pm, landing in Wellington on the North Island was a cheap high! The lights, the cars and the diversity of food was a welcome surprise. The North Island even has true highways! Our final destination was just North of Auckland where we would be wwoofing for a couple, named Lily and Steve. We took our time getting there and stopped in national parks and tried to hike but it rained so bad that we weren’t allowed to hike. A much-needed stop was in Rotaura, famous for their hot springs. They even have a ... read more
May 24th 2011
Our life during the past month can best be described as transient. We left Simon and Carols on April 23rd and hiked the Abel Tasmen which was wonderful. Some of the most beautiful views followed by camping on wonderful beaches. After the hike we started our month long adventure traveling the northern half of the South Island. We travelled for roughly twenty-five days out of which it rained twenty. That changed things for us quite a bit and really made us question the purpose of our travels. Why? Why are we doing this? What is the purpose of being stuck in our van while it was a torrential down pour outside? Anyone who ever tells me again that traveling is the most fun they’ve constantly ever had, I will not believed they’ve really travelled. It really ... read more
April 26th 2011
Well we have left our beloved ‘family’. Our little piece of familiarity has been given up for pure travel. The last week at Simon and Carols was wonderful. We took two days off around my birthday and traveled around the Golden Bay area. Its truly is a beautiful place. We went caving, exploring waterfalls, lunches on the beach, reading, beer and good conversation. The day of my birthday we went on a drive about 35 kms down a dirt road until we came to the Naked Possum. As mentioned in my past posts, every damn animal here except the birds are considered pests. Therefore, the possums make excellent fur. To the point that Simon and Carol and the Rainbow Valley Community used to make all their income from the creation of possum fur jackets and appropriately ... read more
April 12th 2011
Its crazy to think that we’ve almost been here for a month now. Its so true what they say, time flies when you’re having fun. Our time with Simon and Carol has been very homey. It’s been really great to be a part of a family. We both truly feel at home here. We’ve started quite the routine. Up everyday at 7:45, coffee, breakfast, then getting the worst part of my day over with - brushing my teeth. After, up to the house where I milk the goats and Patrick does ‘boy stuff’ like build the house. I do ‘girl stuff’ like garden and cook. I actually really quite enjoy it. Carol and I have made a wonderful connection. My mom away from mom. One of my favourite parts so far is meeting the locals. The ... read more
March 28th 2011
These past couple days have been a real adventure to say the least. While in Nelson we finally bought our “Van-Demon”. We love him very much. We bought him off a local couple that was so lovely. The guy has looked after this van so well. Even for its age it’s in wonderful condition. It just felt so good to finally have a vehicle because a set of wheels equals freedom. We stopped on our way to Rainbow Valley- our wwoofing farm- at a beach called Kaiteriteria located at the gateway to the Abel Tasmen National Park. It was so fun. We swam in a river that connected to the ocean. Needless to say, I scraped myself real good on the leg trying to eddie out of the current and Patrick stepped on a rock and ... read more