Archive for the ‘Thoughts’ Category

Lovey

A couple weeks ago we were contacted by the Travel + Escape television channel and asked to film ourselves answering some questions about traveling as a couple. This video is the result. It’s up on their site to go along with the February theme of love.

They did a great job with the edits considering we just babbled, unrehearsed, in front of an iPhone during my rushed work lunch hour. It made us both a bit teary and reminded us of how much we loved out travels…and each other.

Adjusting

Adjusting to being home, so far, has been much more difficult than I thought it would be. Part of me was looking forward to coming home and being in one place for a while, but now, all I want to do is leave again.

The past year + has given us a new outlook on our day-to-day. We have gained perspective. We’re trying to make the most of everything we do and to maintain a positive outlook. There is so much to be grateful for. We know and appreciate how fortunate we are to live in a country like Canada and to have such terrific families and friends, especially at this time of year. We also appreciate how lucky we are to have been able to go on an adventure like we did. The difficulties we’re having now are worth it. Especially if it enables us to get out there again for wewander part 2.

We wish you all a Happy Christmas. Make the most of it, wherever you may be.

Are we lost?

Life has been a whirlwind since coming back home. Our travels already feel so long ago. Since coming home, it has been Canadian Thanksgiving weekend in Ottawa followed by a sister’s wedding in Canmore. We have good intentions to write about all of it. Our wanderings have not ended yet! We still have loads to still write about, including our time in Canada plus reviews and reflections on our world travels.

We’ve been asked a lot about what our plans are now that we’re home. The plan is to stay in the rocky mountains for a few more weeks. We’re housesitting and dogsitting while Mark’s sis is on her honeymoon. Not a bad place to be. The Canadian Rockies are absolutely stunning. With more certainty than ever, I can now say that Canmore is one of the most beautiful towns in the World. Mid-November we’ll be heading back to Ottawa for a dose of reality. We’ll be living at my parent’s house and working — trying to get ourselves back onto financially stable ground. Ottawa certainly ain’t so bad either. After traveling far and wide, there is no place like home. This is our turf, it’s where our lives are and, most importantly, where our friends are. We hope to have things sorted out by the summertime. We’ll have either (1) found our dreamjobs and relocate to wherever in the world they may be, (2) have decided that Ottawa is where we want to call home, or (3) we’ll set off traveling again. So you see, we’re still wandering.

The blog will continue so we hope you’ll keep checking in.

A tale of two buildings

Istanbul's Blue Mosque

The overnight bus to Istanbul was long and uncomfortable, but as we pulled into the multi-level bus station — where there were at least four hundred million other buses, I swear — and the sun climbed into the sky, we peered from under our sleepy eyelids into the sprawling city around us with excitement. Istanbul’s reputation as a magical city where east meets west preceded it, and as we made our way through the streets to our hostel, we truly felt as though we’d arrived back in Europe. Many of Meg’s reflections on Turkey in this post hold especially true in Istanbul, so I won’t dwell on them too much here. Rather, I want to write specifically about two famous buildings in Istanbul that were the highlights of our visit: the Blue Mosque, and Hagia Sophia.

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Turkey: East or West?

Any tourist literature on Turkey will say it has one foot in the West and one in the East. We spent only a week in Turkey, so I’m no expert, but I’d say it has two feet in the West and a pinky finger in the East. Here’s why:

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Reflections on the Middle East

My Middle East includes Egypt, Jordan and Syria because those are the countries we went through. Turkey doesn’t really make this list for reasons I’ll describe in my next post.

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Dreaming of denim

Ok, so we’re falling behind with our posts. We’re in Vienna but we’re writing about Aleppo. We know this. Our travels are happening at such breakneck speed at the mo’. We’re still visiting some fantastic places, but our minds are part here and part at home. We’re pretty excited to be on our way back to Canada. That’s good, right? Hopefully, if all goes smoothly and there’s no hurricane blowing up the coast of Nova Scotia early October, we’ll be back in Ottawa on the 9th.

We have a top five list of ‘things we miss about home’, not including people. People is a given, we miss all our friends and family. We both can’t wait to sip a cold Lugtread Ale, savour a delicious Works burger, and see our cat Metric. I know this sounds crazy, but I’m soooo looking forward to wearing a pair of jeans again. It’s been nearly 16 months of wearing one pair of black quick-dry pants. Mark too, although he won’t be writing about his denim dreams. We are so lucky to have options.

Until Ottawa, we have many places to go and lots of writing to go. Be patient and stay tuned. Thanks!

Lens letdown

About a month ago, our main camera lens (Canon EF-s 18-200mm IS) gave up on us. Something has gone haywire in the circuits, and it no longer focuses or registers light properly with the camera, and effectively reducing it to a heavy glass paperweight in our bag. Needless to say, we’ve been very frustrated, but two people have come to our rescue over the past 4 weeks. While we were still with the Oasis truck, Becky kindly lent us her fancy Canon 10-22mm wide angle lens, which was a treat to play with when visiting Egypt’s ancient temples and tombs. Since joining Toon in Jordan, he’s generously offered up his newer/fancier/still working Canon DSLR to us whenever we’ve needed to capture a moment, and he’s also sharing all of his own photos with us. We’re still using our 50mm prime lens with our DSLR and our little Sony point-and-shoot to capture our wanderings as best we can, but we’ve been spoiled now, and a point-and-shoot simply doesn’t satisfy anymore. So this post is to say a big thank-you to Becky and Toon for helping to keep this website populated with pictures. We would have missed out on so many great photographic opportunities without you both!

We’re hoping to find a Canon service center in Istanbul next week…hopefully something can be done to bring our ailing lens back to life!

Petra: a how-to guide

The Treasury all to ourselves

My previous post was dedicated to gushing about Petra, a tourist attraction that simply blew me away. But as you can imagine, I’m not alone — over 400,000 tourists visit Petra annually, and if you’ve ever met “tourists”, you’ll know that they are at their worst in big groups. Crowding, shouting, and a general lack of consideration for others is often the rule rather than the exception in these situations. It was the one thing about visiting Petra that I most dreaded, because nothing can ruin your day quite as quickly as being surrounded by a hoard of loud, ignorant, disrespectful people, all vying for the same photographs, the cheapest Coca-Cola, or the cutest sand bottle. But the most amazing thing happened on our visit to Petra: this dreadful hoard simply didn’t appear. We enjoyed a very long, very relaxing day, in relative peace and quiet. Obviously this had a large impact on how wonderful our day at Petra was. How did this happen? Are we just the luckiest travelers around? Or did we do something right? Let me tell you how we “did” Petra, in the hopes that other travelers might have equally wonderful experiences.

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The Ethiopian landscape

Ethiopia feels unique amongst the other 11 African countries we’ve visited so far. The borders separating Ethiopia from its neighbours feel natural, whereas most borders in Africa were created for the convenience of the colonizers — mashing together or splitting apart a multitude of different tribes and religions under one flag. As soon as we crossed over from Kenya into Ethiopia, things were decidedly different. We started climbing. The scenery in Ethiopia is some of the best we’ve seen anywhere in the world. It rises to a plateau, spanning most of the country in a spectacular highland of mountains and valleys. No wonder Ethiopia produces some of the world’s top runners! There are endemic plants and animals found nowhere else, including the very cool gelada baboon, the mountain ibex and the Ethiopian wolf.

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