The Beginning of the End (of the year)

I was just going through some journals and notes, and found this in one of my saved files.  Kinda sums up my feelings as we got ready to head home.

May 11, 2018

We have been sailing for the last 5 days, and have just spotted land this afternoon. We were supposed to arrive in Victoria tomorrow morning, but due to a passenger medical emergency, we are arriving this evening instead.  It kind of hit me that we are nearing the end of our amazing year of travels.  And I am sad.  I don’t want it to end.  I want to keep exploring and forget about “real” life.  I would make sure to check in and visit home more than once a year, but I would love to keep travelling forever.  I don’t know what it is about it, but I love it.  I am excited to see family and friends; to have regular hangouts again, and the social aspect of being with people I have a history with….friends you don’t have to work at getting to know, but can just hang out and talk about anything and everything.  The boys are excited (especially Isaac), to get back home and see friends, and get a little bit of their independence back.  But travelling has become our new normal.  We had our ups and downs, but it was a way of life for us for the past year, and it has become comfortable being uncomfortable. What I mean by that is things that used to make us uncomfortable are now comfortable:  picking up a new rental car, packing up after only two nights in a place, not knowing where we’re going in three days time, going out for coffee with friends we just made.  These are the realities of long term travelling.  I’m going to miss it.  I’m going to miss exploring new places and seeing them through Isaac’s and Jo’s eyes. They see things a little differently and with a little more magic than we do.  I’m going to miss learning about different cultures from local people while actually living in those cultures.  I’m going to miss travelling with other people.  There’s a bond that forms that you just don’t get through regular life. I know we were blessed to have this year together.  I know we were blessed with all we got to see and do.  I know our friends and family are waiting at home to hear all our stories and see all our pictures.  But it still hurts saying goodbye to a year that was a little bit magical, a little bit challenging, and a whole lot memorable.

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I’m so very grateful to have had this experience, and that we got to share it with all of you.  Thanks for riding along with us.  I am forever grateful.

Hawaii

Hi there!  Remember me?  It’s been awhile 😉  We have made it home, and I am waaaaay behind on this blog.  So here’s a quick catch up from our time in Hawaii.  I will post some more on our return and homecoming in the next week.

We spent a week on the island of Oahu.  We decided to stay in a less touristy area, and ended up at a nice condominium gated area in the northwest side of the island.  We fell asleep listening to peacocks cawing and the wind blowing through the palm trees.  We spent a couple days on the beach, snorkelling in Hanauma Bay (a volcanic crater with tonnes of tropical fish….we even saw an octopus!!!), and then, picking up Papa Mike.  He started the year with us as we left Canada, so it seemed only fitting that he would fly to Hawaii and help us end the year travelling back to Canada.  It was great to see my dad, and have some time with him in Hawaii before heading back home.  (My mom was not able to join us as someone had to stay home and make money to pay for his trip 😉 haha).  We had shave ice every day, and just enjoyed Hawaiian life.  I’m glad we stayed outside of Honolulu, as we were able to experience a more authentic Hawaiian lifestyle.  Lots of family picnics and barbecues on the beach, lots of local food, and less food chains.  We drove around the entire island, spent an afternoon at Pearl Harbor, and learned a lot about Hawaii’s history.

Then we hopped on another ship that took us to each of the Hawaiian islands before heading across the ocean to Vancouver.  From the beginning, we had always planned to end the year in Hawaii.  Originally we thought we would spend a month here.  I’m really glad we didn’t end up doing that.  Hawaii is gorgeous, and it was awesome to explore, but I think we were all ready to start the journey home, and felt like a week on Oahu was enough to see and explore all that we wanted to for this visit.  We ended up finding a cruise that went from Honolulu to Vancouver, stopping at 4 other Hawaiian islands along the way.  After pricing it out and realizing that we couldn’t fly to all these places and explore for the same price, we booked it.  We went to Lahaina, Maui and took a city bus up to one of the local beaches, where we snorkelled and I got to see my first turtle in Hawaii.  Nathan and I were out in the water, and all of a sudden I saw this turtle waaaay down below me.  When I popped my head up to tell Nathan, the turtle swam up right next to me and popped his head up too.  So cool!  We rented a car on Kauai and drove to Waimea Canyon, and then drove around the south of the island a little bit.  And finally, we went to Kona, on Hawaii (the Big Island), and took a bus tour a little up the coast, before getting off at another local beach and snorkelling for the afternoon.  I think I mentioned we had bought our own snorkel gear for the last leg of the trip, and we put that equipment to good use.  The islands are beautiful, and I can see why so many people go there to relax and get away from it all. It was really fun to have my dad along, and the boys enjoyed hanging out with him again, and doing sightseeing with “papacrossi.”

Anyways, as is sometimes the way, things don’t always go as planned, and we missed one of the Hawaiian ports due to a Volcanic eruption.  The captain came on the PA system to tell us that we would be skipping that port for safety reasons, and they added in Victoria, Canada as an extra stop in place of Hawaii.  We were disappointed that we couldn’t get to the volcano national park, but totally understand the reasoning.  Guess we’ll have to go back and check it out another time 😉  So, we had another 5 days at sea, which actually turned into 4, as partway through day 2, the captain came on with another announcement that we would be sailing full speed ahead and getting into Victoria a day earlier than planned due to a sick passenger on board.

As usual, we attended the lectures the ship offered, and learned so much about Hawaiian history, and their traditions, music, and more about Pearl Harbor.  It was a really great education that we all appreciated, and looked forward to going to each day.  The boys had a blast at kids club, and we did some trivia, rock climbing, and mini golf.  Again, it was nice having my dad along to enjoy the trip with.  As we got closer to Canada, we saw some whales and dolphins in the water.  And also as usual, we got to become friends with some pretty cool staff and fellow passengers.

Thanks for checking in, and sorry for the delay in posts.  We appreciate you all travelling along with us via the blog 🙂