Canoeing the Yukon River & The Dawson City Music Festival. In July 2010, we hopped in a canoe and spent two amazing weeks in the northern Canadian wilderness paddling down the Yukon River. The fact that we had never been on a canoe trip before (Ashley had never even been in a canoe prior to our decision to go) only added to the experience. The trip was 700 km in length and culminated in a three day music festival in Dawson City. We’re both avid music fans and this was easily the best festival we’ve had the opportunity to attend. Many of the artists the festival introduced us to became instant favorites and crowd the MP3 players we brought with us on our current RTW (Round the World) trip.
Spanish Lessons in San Pedro La Laguna, Guatemala. San Pedro became our first home away from home for six weeks this past summer. We rented a small hotel room with a great view of Lake Atitlan and the surrounding mountains, ate healthier than we probably ever have (with the help of fresh fruit & veggies from the market each day and a communal kitchen at our hotel), took four hours of Spanish classes a day, and managed to squeeze in plenty of kayaking, mountain climbing, and general relaxation. It was hard to leave and we’re still not convinced we won’t go back sooner rather than later.
A Month “Backpacking” Across New Zealand. We were newly married and practically travel virgins when we decided to spend a month backpacking across New Zealand in December 2007. We rented a car, drove about 3 hours each day, and filled the month with incredible experiences…bungee jumping, swooping, zorb balling, mountain and volcano climbing (including our first multi-day trek), glacier climbing, caving, whale watching, and so much more. Despite the fact that we camped where we could, we spent money we didn’t have like it was going out of style. While we wouldn’t change anything about the trip, we definitely have a different travel style now: go slow, don’t try to see everything, and spend some time getting to know a place before moving on.
Varadero, Cuba. In February 2005, we went on a one-week all-inclusive vacation to Varadero, Cuba. For both of us, this was our first time outside of North America (for Ashley, it marked her first time outside of the Canadian prairies). While we only experienced a little bit of Cuban culture on our day trips away from the resort, this was the trip that hooked us on travelling.
Whatever Tomorrow Brings. Part of the beauty of our RTW trip is that every day is filled with new and exciting travel experiences. For us, travelling isn’t just about a checklist of places to see… it’s about learning about new cultures and learning new things about ourselves. We don’t always know where we’ll be tomorrow, but we do know that we’ll be richer for the experiences.