sunrise, sunset

Day breaks as we arrive in Dubrovnik, Croatia by ferry.

The first colours of light over the island of Anafi, Greece.

A few moments later the sun peaks out over the horizon.

The much acclaimed sunset view from Oia, Santorini, Greece.

Watching the sunset while fishing from the boardwalk is a part of daily life in Izmir, Turkey.

Making the most of living ocean-side in Pulau Penang, Malaysia.

 Ahhh, Koh Chang, Thailand. I miss this.

The nightly view from our ocean-side hut on Bamboo Island, Cambodia.

Did you ever think that Vietnam could be quite so idyllic? It is on the island of Phu Quoc.


Now that we are home...

We came home to the most beautiful spring in Manitoba. Unlike other years on record, our end of April arrival meant no snow, plus 20 degree Celsius temperatures, budding trees and blooming flowers. Ahhh, our perpetual summer continues...

We made it home just in time to walk in the MS Walk, which is near and dear to our hearts because our friend Emily lives with MS.

Then there was my experimentation with becoming a baker of vegan whoopie pies. I decided that was too involved and I had to jump through too many hoops to become a licensed bakery for just one product. However, I can still whip up a batch for any of you who might want them for a special occasion and be willing to pay $3.50 per cookie :) They are worth it...for reals! Just don't expect to want to walk anywhere until the next day.

We spent a couple of nights at Dorothy Lake in the Whiteshell Provincial Park with the BFFs. We explored Rainbow Falls and Bannock Point, swam in the hotel pool and generally had a grand time.

I became the 'official' photographer for emmsgems. I've been taking lots of photos of Emily's amazing collection and we even had a live model session with my cousin Janell one afternoon. It's been exciting to see some of the pieces that Em has been making with the Karen Hill-tribe silver that we picked up for her in Thailand and the seed and nut beads from Peru.

We've spent time at Jay's parents' lake-front cabin at Royal Lake, Ontario. This is one of my favourite summertime activities, getting out of the city and hanging out on the dock.

I drove to Vancouver with my brother Mark in his band's van leaving late Monday afternoon and arriving just after midnight on Tuesday. We picked up some hitchhikers which was a first for both of us. At one point we had a couple from Quebec, a guy from Saskatchewan and a girl from Germany along for the ride. There would have been room for Jay in the van (it seats 15) but he decided to be responsible and look for a job. 

While I was in Vancouver I spent some time with my brother Michael who was without his family (they joined him earlier this month - you can read about their adventure over the next year). I also had a great time visiting with Jay's brother and family, Craig, Mathy and little Coco (Yohan).

The last six weeks have been a blur. We spent a week at Jay's brother's place stripping wall paper and painting the kitchen among other things. We said goodbye to Michael and Karla and my nieces for a year. Jay found a job similar to the one he had before we left as a Showroom Salesperson for an upscale plumbing company. I've been dabbling with getting a new blog started and experimenting with making fine silver jewelry with Emily. Jay and I have been apartment hunting now that one of us is employed. While living with my parents has been virtually painless and very easy on the budget it is time for us to be our own family unit with our two kitties again. I'm sure my parents will be relieved to finally see us go after 4 months of us living in their guest room.

So that's what we've been up to since we got home. As for how this trip has changed us...I'm still struggling to figure that out. Our RTW traveling friend Ali wrote a post recently that I felt summed it up perfectly. Maybe one day I'll find my own words to express it but for now I'll just know in my heart that this trip was the right thing for me/us at the time that we did it. I wouldn't trade the experience for anything.



The four corners of the globe

Because I am a little bit of a freak and I like to look at these kind of things, I have decided to make a post about it. Of what do I speak, you ask? What were the furthest points of our journey to the North, South, East, and West, in our 27 country tour.

Our furthest point West was in our home country and first stop, Vancouver, with a western geographical co-ordinates of 123° 6′ 0″. With both of our family now represented in Vancouver it has been and will be a "go to" destination. A home away from home if you will.

Canada Place, Vancouver

Our furthest point East was located in the exotic and aptly named "Far East". Tokyo has co-ordinates of 139° 42′ 54" East. One of our top picks to get back to one day, Tokyo was everything we look for in a urban destination. Of all the places we visited it was the only one I recall that Corina instantly decided that she could live. A very attractive idea admittedly, as Tokyo was in the top five for the both of us.

Tokyo's Shinjuku district.

Our Northern-most point was another of our top picks and one of the prettiest cities we saw, in my humble opinion. I speak of the so called "Athens of the North", Edinburgh, with co-ordinates of 55° 56′ 58″ North. Considering their passion for stuffed potatoes who could not fall for this northern beauty. Both regal and warm, Edinburgh was another top fiver for us.

Edinburgh's royal mile.

Our Southern-most point was Santiago with co-ordinates at 33° 27′ 0″ South. Due to some travel fatigue and some home-sickness it was the least explored of our four corners. Santiago was charming, set snug in a valley in the midst of the high Andies. Given half a chance Santiago was arguably one of the niceset, safest of our South American cities (earthquakes not withstanding).

Santiago from atop Cerro San Cristobal

I can't post this without a shout-out to Winnipeg our starting point, our center to these four corners and our home. It is located at 49° 54′ 0″ N, 97° 8′ 0″ W. One great city, a former slogan for our home town, now "The Heart of the Continent" and it holds a special place in ours. I suppose home will always hold that place in most peoples' heart no matter where they call it.

Sign welcoming you to Winnipeg.

Thanks all for indulging my need to quantify and correlate this trip of ours. It helps me keep it straight in my head.