Canada

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AHHHHH WE’RE BACK

Feels great to be home!

We’re back on Canadian soil! WOW WOW WOW!!!!. It feels insane really. It’s such a crazy feeling to be back in such familiar territory but to have it feel so unfamiliar. It’s a hard thing to explain, and it’s something I wouldn’t have really known to expect, but it’s been weird. It’s been great of course, but still weird.  It’s been almost two days now since we landed in Toronto and we’ve been fighting off jet lag and reverse culture shock, but we’ve also been having an amazing time catching up with our travel guru’s, friends and former co-workers  from New Zealand Sheryl and Chris.  They picked us up from the airport and we’ve been staying with them for our first few days back “home”.

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Celebrating Two Years of Travel

Life in a few bags

WOW. Today we are celebrating two years of being on the road. It feels like such an incredible accomplishment to have made it this far. When we first set out we described our journey as “indefinite” and for the entire of the first year it felt like it may end up that way. But as the months into our second year wore on it became obvious that we were definitely not going to have the money to continue funding this little trip of ours forever. Additionally, in spite of all of the wonderful, amazing, life changing things we are seeing and doing, we have started to feel a tiny bit homesick and nostalgic for all things Canada. We’ve started having more and more conversations about Tim Hortons, Rick Mercer, Rita MacNeil Christmas Specials and poutine. Alas, we’ve decided that the next several months of 2013 will be our last as long-term travelers. We plan to return home in May or June of this year.

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I don’t know where I am, but I know that I am not in Chicago

Hello,

So a first hurdle in our little adventure. We get to the airport at 4am and find out that our initial flight to Chicago got delayed 4 hours, meaning that we would miss our connecting flight to Hawaii…. uh oh…

We spent 30 min talking to the United Airlines agent and she managed to book us onto the same flight that Kendalls parents are on. Depart Winnipeg at 10am, get to Calgary and then straight to Maui. Bit better, one less connection and all with Air Canada. Thank goodness for the Star Alliance :)

Everything turned out better then expected.

Packing

So with our departure date a couple of sleeps away it is finally  time to get packing.

I actually don’t mind packing. I like getting everything ready then asking myself: will I actually wear that?

 

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The thing with this packing session is that we have to pack for a couple of years, not a couple of weeks or a couple of months. You really have to consider the fact that these are the clothes that you will be stuck with for some time. Obviously you will pick some tshirts up here and there, but yeah the “three moon wolf shirt” that you are bringing will be with you the entire time. (Yes I am bringing it).

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Last 10 days

So in exactly 10 days we will be off to Hawaii, essentially starting our journey. The excitement is building up thats for sure. All the years of dreaming, planning and just waiting for the time to come to lift off from Canadian soil is approaching. It really feels surreal. We are awfully lucky to have the opportunity to do this – our family has been very supportive and understanding that this is what we wanted to do for a long time – this is our next step in life. 

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New Years at the Lake

Happy 2011 everyone!

Along with Jenny, Kelsy and Jeff; Kendall and I got to spend New Years Eve at Jenny’s cottage at Caddy Lake. It couldn’t have been more of a perfect place to bring in the new year! Jenny’s cabin is located roughly 1.5 hours east outside of Winnipeg, around the Falcon Lake area. It is mainly heated by a central wood burning fire place, so we had to keep the wood burning all day and all night.

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6 weeks in Winnipeg, 21 years in Canada

December 10th.

A day of special meaning to my family and me. On this day back in 1989 my mom, my brother and myself landed in Mirabel airport and stepped on Canada’s soil for the first time. My dad was waiting for us in his tiny 86 Ford Fesitva. Paul and I were excited as this was deemed as a  ”long trip” for us. We really had no idea what our parents actually sacrificed and the hard decision they made. Immigrating and settling in a new place is extremely difficult, especially if you do not know the language. I am really proud of how my parents adjusted and honestly paved the way for Paul and I to have every opportunity to live the life we want to live.

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Yey Snow!

It has been almost a month since I got to Winnipeg and things are just now starting to get interesting. Weather wise that is. We had 20 cm of snow the other week and another 10-15 today. Temperature wise it is a bit cooler then normal, hovering around between -10 and -18 degrees. Not to bad, but comparing to the plus 14 that Ottawa got the other week it is kinda depressing. Well at least our friends in Vancouver are sharing the cold :) . Kendall and I ventured around her house, which is adjacent to the Red River and frolicked in the snow! It was fun! Dave you wanted some Winnipeg snow pictures, well here they are (my battery died so I couldn’t take more).

Day at the Zoo

 

Well I have slowly started getting accustomed to life here in Winnipeg … The weather has been better than expected, it’s been hotter here than in Ottawa!

So the first day Kendall took me to Assiniboine Park and then after the Assiniboine Zoo -  it was a gorgeous 13 degrees and it was a perfect day for a nice mid afternoon stroll. It was nice being there during the week as there were no crowds at all, we pretty much had the place to ourselves. We first went to the Assiniboine Park, where there was a nice Japanese Garden and the beautiful Leo Mol sculpture garden. Kendall kept repeating that it looks much, much better in the summer – but I think it still looked great.

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Goodbye Ottawa / Website Launch

Well time has come to leave the city that has been my home for the last 20 years or so. I feel that I experienced everything that I could have possibly have in Ottawa. From living in the market, then China Town/ Little Italy, then Mechanicsville, then the Glebe and obviously Barrhaven – I got to truly explore and get to know this great city.

However the time has come to turn a new chapter in my life. I am thankful for all of the great friends I have made here, all of the crazy and fun adventures we had and honestly thankful that my parents picked Ottawa as the place to settle down after escaping communism from Poland.

New adventures wait for both Kendall and me. I am excited to be able to be in her world now. Even though my stay in Winnipeg will be limited to 3 or so months, I do hope I will be able to get to know the city just a bit. The saddest part about leaving is not seeing Zach grow up. My friends and family, yes they will grow older, but not much will change overall- however Zach just turned 2 – I fear that he will not fully remember who I am when I do return for a visit. I got him a world map, and will send him postcards frequently – hopefully he can track our progress around the planet :)

Anyways, as you can tell we haven’t spent much time on the website/blog. When I get to Winnipeg Kendall and I will sit down and most likely redesign a few things. We want to keep it as simple as possible, and posterous allows us to do that. However the templates aren’t that good so we will have to play with the design a bit. But overall I am extremely happy with the way you can blog and how easily it is to upload pictures – you will see in the coming months :)

So the plan so far is:

  • Get to Winnipeg tomorrow
  • Bum around & apply for some jobs next week
  • The week after go to Palm Springs for Kendalls birthday.
  • Hopefully start working start working full time when we return from Palm Springs

I am very very very excited!