Author Archives: Karl

It’s been a while…



Greetings from Jolly Olde England. While the weather has been somewhat dismal (I guess we’re getting acclimatized for our return to rainy Vancouver at the end of January), we’ve had a fabulous time visiting with family over the past couple of weeks. So much so that we haven’t felt like blogging (I think we have a bit of blog fatigue as well, but I imagine we will squeeze out a few more).

We’re heading into London today and then on to France to visit more family, but here’s a recap in pictures of our time in England (and a bonus picture of our very special Christmas non-dinner in Ethiopia). Continue reading

Categories: England | 6 Comments

The Road, Rain and the Tip

No we don’t have any travel advice or a major revelation for you, but more on the “tip” later. It has been about 48 hours since we began our two-week South African road trip. We said a sad goodbye to our lovely apartment in Fish Hoek and hit the road.


The first 24 were somewhat uneventful… although we did get to see the world’s only Whale Crier in Hermanus.

The next 24 were wet. Really wet.  Not just Vancouver wet, but a full on monsoon over most of the Western Cape. Continue reading

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This place ticks all the boxes

We are just loving Cape Town and the Cape Peninsula.

Robben Island (where Nelson Mandela was incarcerated for 18 of his 27 years of imprisonment) with the backdrop of Cape Town and Table Mountain

So much so that I can really picture ourselves living here. No joke. A word of travel advice – if you haven’t been here yet, you absolutely must add this to your travel destination wish list.

Now don’t worry everyone, we haven’t made any rash decisions and are still scheduled to come home in late January! Kind of ironic though, that these thoughts have sprung into my head the week I finalized our plans and route home.  Continue reading

Categories: South Africa | 2 Comments

A Unique Place (and thoughts from Cate)

 Tesellated Pavement - a natural formation found near Eaglehawk Neck on the Tasman Peninsula

Tesellated Pavement: a natural rock formation found near Eaglehawk Neck on the Tasman Peninsula

When we started this crazy journey, we didn’t plan to travel to the somewhat remote island of Tasmania. But we are so very glad we had the opportunity, thanks to our new Tasmanian friends who we met in Penang. They generously let us crash at their “Shabin” (Aussie “Shack” + Canadian “Cabin” = Shabin).

One of the great things about extended travel is that you can make it up as you go along, changing course when opportunity arises. (Mind you, this isn’t entirely true when your journey includes three young kids, but there is definitely more flexibility when you purchase one-way tickets, one trip leg at a time).

And this last leg has been as wonderful as it’s been unexpected. While we are fortunate to live in an amazingly beautiful place (west coast of Canada), the island of Tasmania has awed and amazed us. Continue reading

Categories: Australia, Kids Only | 1 Comment

A 100 days on the road!


It’s hard to believe we have been living on the road and out of backpacks for that long, together 24-7. “Normal life” in some ways seems very distant, and it’s hard to imagine this new normal will come to an end.

Our 100th day also marks a geographic move for us from South East Asia to Australia. It’s special and fitting that we get to celebrate a 100 days with Gloria’s life-long friend (Auntie) Mel, her husband (Uncle) Dave and their children Annika,  Johannes and Niklas in Melbourne.

We’re experiencing a bit of reverse culture shock (not to mention adjusting to the chill in the wind here), which we’ll write about in future posts. But on this milestone, we thought we’d highlight some stats about our travel to date. Continue reading

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“Why did the world let this happen?”


Cate asked the question half way through our visit to the Killing Fields, a 45 minute tuk-tuk ride outside Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia. The site of atrocities almost impossible to fathom, where many of the estimated two million Cambodians killed during the Khmer Rouge reign of terror lost their lives in barbaric fashion.

She shook her head back and forth and looking into her eyes I could tell she was both dismayed and angry.

I didn’t have an answer. Continue reading

Categories: Cambodia | 5 Comments

Making friends in Brunei

No we didn’t meet the Sultan. But I guess we could have as I inadvertently timed our trip at the end of Ramadan and the beginning of Hari Raya festivities (the only time the Sultan opens up his palace to his subjects and visitors).

We did one better — we hung with a local family from Kuala Belait. Even for the geography buffs reading who can point out where Brunei is on the map and even its capital Bandar Seri Begawan, I bet you don’t know where we stayed.

When I first envisioned going to the island of Borneo, I didn’t give much thought to visiting the Sultanate of Brunei. Continue reading

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Action packed days in the jungle

It was a busy couple of days for the Fab5 but our time in Taman Negara was definitely well worth the effort.

Taking a dip in the Kuala Tembeling River

Taking a dip in the Kuala Tembeling River

From the moment we arrived and the kids spied a couple of boars roaming the Mutiara Taman Negara Resort I think we all knew we were in for something special. Of course we found out later that the boars were not that wild as we later saw them retire to a shed at the resort (probably ditto for the Tapir I bumped into that evening).  Continue reading

Categories: Malaysia | 2 Comments

Two Weeks Left To Go…

Looking around the house it does not feel like we will be on the road in just over two weeks. We have made a lot of progress but the list of things still to do seems daunting.

Our backpacks

Gloria is in micro management mode regarding the house, packing and end of year homeschool reporting. I can’t imagine where we would be at if I was in charge of organizing closing up our daily life.

On the actual travel packing front the good news is it seems we have more room in our backpacks than I thought we would. So I think we will get by with having the two large backpacks that we need to check in on the airplane and then each kid having their backpack that can go as carry-on.

As official travel planner I am madly trying to finalize the first couple of months of travel without booking everything. Continue reading

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Coming Soon

67 days left and counting before the The Fab 5 (Karl, Gloria, Cate, Cen and Meskerem) take to the road…

Categories: Pre-trip | Leave a comment

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