Category Archives: Asia
My niece is spending a semester abroad in Nepal. In honor of her adventure, it’s time I finally publish our adventure in Nepal… from… ahem… two years ago. So yeah, that pregnancy and baby thing really set me back on our travel posts. Better late than never! We booked our trip with grand expectations. Himalayan adventures in films and magazines put Nepal at the top of our list. We were living in Abu Dhabi and given that Kathmandu was a four hour flight, we didn’t hesitate to book a trip.
Our dream for Nepal consisted of a strenuous multi-week adventure to the remote regions of the Himalayas but we only had a few days so we decided on a multi-DAY trek instead. If Nepal was as amazing as we hoped, we would return.
So here’s the big take-a-way. Our trip didn’t meet our expectations and was a disappointment. Fortunately though, Sabine is experiencing a very different Nepal. One that is living up to her expectations. Her pictures and stories are making me want to go back and recreate our dream adventure. But for now, here is our trip in a nutshell. And maybe a few things to think about if you decide to plan a visit.
Okinawa has beautiful places to hike. We found the Prefectural Citizens Forest near our hotel and loved exploring the park grounds and tackling the steep climb to the top. You climb hundreds of wooden steps under a ceiling of lush tropical trees. The sounds of cicadas are almost deafening. Our 3 year old loved it and my husband got a great workout carrying her up the stairs. We felt the freedom of the Okinawa hills. No shoes, no shirt, NO PROBLEM! Watch our video, then get out and hike with your kids!
If it scares me or makes me feel uncomfortable, I need to do it. Fear or discomfort means an opportunity for personal growth and I have an addiction to personal growth. At the end of my life, I want to feel like I made the most of the opportunities I was given. Stretched my mind and my body. Got my bang for my life buck.
When it came to my fear of fish (it’s true, I did have a fear of fish) and my fear of the underwater world, I knew that meant I needed to get my dive certification. And lucky for me- after a few short certification dives, I discovered I LOVED the world beneath the surface! Had I let fear determine my choices I would have missed out on some of the most memorable and unique experiences in our natural world.
Unfortunately, I rarely dive anymore. When I do dive, there is that moment right before I jump in where I think, “Crap. Which button does what again? Did I turn on my air? How do I inflate this thing? Which means I’m OK? The thumbs up or the OK sign?”
I take a deep breath, calm my anxieties and jump in. Just like riding a bike, it all comes back. I bob at the surface for a minute. The cool water envelops my face and hair. I become weightless. I put the regulator in my mouth, remember how much I love the cool air and meditative sound of the most basic of human functions. I deflate my BCD and and leave the world behind.
The Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium is colorful, busy, and hands down one of the most impressive aquariums we’ve visited. With its dark cool hallways it is a beautiful place to burn energy on a hot, humid, summer day. Okinawa was very hot in June, like step outside, take a deep breath, and find your happy place hot.
When we travel, we travel hard. We maximize our time even if it means more time in the car and barely stopping for breaks. Seeing the world is our passion. The more we see the better.
Sage was dropped into this lifestyle at birth and she rolls with it well. But don’t be fooled to think we have a laid back kid, actually quite the opposite. She is just like her parents. Strong willed, active, and opinionated. If you read our posts and think to yourself- “Our kid could never handle this stuff…you know how fill-in-the-blank he is!” Think again. I promise it’s more about regulating your own emotions and expectations than it is about your child.
Our final afternoon in Sri Lanka was spent with the elephants of Pinnawala. When we arrived at the Hotel Elephant Park for lunch I was frozen in awe. Dozens of elephants were bathing in the river below me. Looking from left to right in sheer astonishment, my jaw dropped. “You have got to be kidding me…this is real?!” We placed our order and walked to the restaurant ledge where our guide, holding a bag overflowing with pineapples and bananas, arranged for us to feed an elephant.
Life is full of surprises. Positive or negative, these surprises validate for me the existence of something larger and more powerful. My spiritual journey is evolving and while I don’t know for certain what this larger and more powerful thing is, I can say that it is constantly providing me with opportunities to expand my definitions and challenge my perceived capabilities.
The most recent surprise was receiving the devastating news of my Aunt’s imminent passing. I don’t think it was a coincidence that receiving this news aligned with the once in a life-time opportunity to travel through Nuwara Eliya tea country and spend time with the majestic Sri Lankan Elephant. On the surface it may sound like I am lessening the severity of the news or that these events are wildly disconnected, but I think the world works in mysterious ways.
The journey of the tea leaf.
One of the many surprises in Sri Lanka was the opportunity to have close encounters with rare and beautiful animals. This post is dedicated to the critically endangered sea turtles. The most fascinating fact we learned about the Sri Lankan Sea Turtles is that the females return to the beach where they were hatched, decades later, to bury their eggs in the sand. And did you know that the temperature of the sand determines the sex of the babies?
Sri Lanka. The clean, majestic, natural beauty of this country left me breathless and there is no better way to experience this than from a window of the train. This day was out of a dream. Maybe it’s my love for period movies combined with a deep yearning to be back in nature but this experience is one I will never forget. It’s worth a trip to this country just to ride the train.
Every good gas station has a horned bull, and every good 711 has chili-squid flavored Lays potato chips.
We have been in this tiny area of East Railay for over a week now and are getting very comfortable. The biggest surprise is … kittens! There are kittens everywhere. All different colors, some with tails, some without.
We started our trip with an adventurous day in Bangkok. I say adventurous because it was adventure figuring out whether or not I was going to pass out or throw up at any given point in the day.
We’ve arrived. At 6:00am I jumped out of bed and was ready to bust a big Bangkok day. Peter informed me that he would be ready to bust his big Bangkok in approx. two more hours of uninterrupted sleep.