Archive for June, 2009

Getting Immunized

We’ve just returned from our second trip to the doctor’s office, where we’ve received even more immunizations and advice. Meg got off easy today—only one shot, while I had four! After two shots in each shoulder, my arms are guaranteed to be useless tomorrow. It’s been fun going in to talk to the nurse and trying to convey the nature of our trip. For obvious reasons, she is continuously trying to determine where we are going, and how long we will be staying once we get there. For the most part, we answered with a lot of “we’ll probably go there” and “somewhere in the range of one to six months over there”. In the end, we basically got everything: typhoid, yellow fever, malarial pills, MMR and tetanus/diptheria boosters, hepatitis A and B, and meningococcal something-or-other. There may be one or two specific vaccinations required for some specific locations, but we were advised that we would be able to locate reputable distributers when the time arose.

My arms are aching already…

Farewell Ottawa

hot air balloon

For Christmas last year my amazing mom surprised us with a hot air balloon ride. We booked it for this past weekend thinking it would be a fantastic way to say goodbye to Ottawa before we leave. It was also a way for Mark and I to celebrate our 6 year anniversary (woah time flies!)

Take off was a bit hectic because the wind was up. There were guys on the ground running all over the place trying to time our lift off and make sure we could go up instead of side-to-side into trees and power lines. The wind finally paused just long enough and away we went. Higher and higher and higher. Once up in the air, inside the tiny basket of the hot air balloon, it was peaceful…and wicked!!!


43 Days and counting…

To Do

We’ve added a countdown to the sidebar – it’s counting down the days until we set sail from New York, and our adventure begins! It’s amazing how the time has flown by. It feels like only yesterday that we were counting down in months, and now it’s only days. We still have so much to do before we go. Over the next few weeks, it will be important for us to keep things in perspective. There have been days lately where we have felt overwhelmed, trying to balance work, planning, studying, and friends and family. We haven’t been able to give as much time or attention to any of these things as they deserve, simply because we feel pulled in so many directions at once. But I think it is important to remember that whether or not we get everything done, we are still leaving to wander the planet in 43 days. With that kind of light at the end of the tunnel, everything else seems to be a lot easier to handle.

I will be writing my last three Architectural Registration Exams this week, as I push to get my license to practice architecture before leaving. Wish me luck!



I’ve been doing a lot of reading and staring at maps in anticipation of our great journey. This is a quote from Alain de Botton’s book The Art of Travel which I’ve read and re-read a few times. I like it. Every sentence in his book is beautifully crafted. This paragraph resonates with me for some reason.

“If our lives are dominated by a search for happiness, then perhaps few activities reveal as much about the dynamics of this quest — in all its ardour and paradoxes — than our travels. They express, however inarticulately, an understanding of what life might be about, outside the constraints of work and the struggle for survival. Yet rarely are they considered to present philosophical problems — that is, issues requiring thought beyond the practical. We are inundated with advice on where to travel to; we hear little of why and how we should go — though the art of travel seems naturally to sustain a number of questions neither so simple nor so trivial and whose study might in modest ways contribute to an understanding of what the Greek philosophers beautifully termed eudaimonia or human flourishing.”

~ Alain de Botton, The Art of Travel, Penguin Books 2003


Photos from Jamaica

We’ve got some pictures posted from our Jamaican vacation. Check them out on our photos page!

Sunrise in Jamaica

We are freshly back from our week in Jamaica, where we took part in our friends’ destination wedding. We had a great time! It was fun to travel with so many friends. Now that we are back in Ottawa, the planning for our big adventure has begun in earnest. It has been interesting to reflect on and compare the trip that we have just taken to the trip that we are leaving on in less than two months. Clearly the purpose and aim of the two trips are vastly different. This trip was lavish, luxurious, relaxing, and focused on good times with good friends. Our big adventure will be about challenging experiences, great unknowns, and about Meg and I facing it all together.