Tag Archives: Family

A Foreign Christmas

5 Jan

Will, Tom and I piled into the car on a perfectly sunny day and hit the road to drive up North. We had the windows open and I felt that summer had finally arrived in the South Pacific. A few hours into the drive Tom announced we should go bungee jumping, and my heart sank immediately. Bungee jumping is definitely on the bucket list, but I thought I would have more time to work up the courage. We stop in the next town to grab some of that courage in liquid format and continue on our voyage. We arrive at Lake Taupo and get kited up for the jump. Will jumps first and hits the water. Then it is my turn, my heart racing I stand at the ledge and look down and heave myself off the ledge. Tom went next in his waist harness (Tom had dislocated his hip years ago in rugby and was talked into not doing it from the ankles) and then we were back on the road as fast as he had gotten off of it. We dropped Will off with his Dad and then drove the rest of the way to Tauranga.

I woke up at Tom’s and his Mom came in with a little cupcake and candle on it for my birthday. It was another beautiful day so we went for a hike up Mt. Manganui for a view up and down the coast. Next up was a swim at the beach and then continued on to Simi’s house. We picked him up and went for a drive in the sunshine and stopped by at a local pub for lunch. This was special for me as it is a tradition to do this back home on my birthday with my friends. We went back for a swim in Simi’s pool before heading into town for a night at the bar.










I woke up at Simi’s for Christmas and his mom had made us a great breakfast. The champagne was opened and we gathered around the tree for presents. I opened all the ones from my family, and then to my surprise the Simister’s had gotten me a few things as well. It was pretty amazing to feel a part of the family so far away from mine. We then carried some food next door to grandma’s and set up for Christmas lunch. It was quite the spread with turkey, chicken, beef, ham, lots of different salads and veggies. After lunch I skyped the family and we chatted for a while. It was great to get them all together at the same time and talk to them (even though my mom couldn’t hold up the ipad without crying), after a few numbers from my nieces which included a brush up of my ABC’s I left them back in the snow of Whistler. We then went and grabbed Tom from his place where I had a few more presents waiting for me from his family. We drove back to Simi’s and started to play a little BYC* with the boys. Christmas ended with us lounged out on the couch watching movies with stomachs to full to do much else.









This will definitely be a Christmas that always stands out for me. I thought my first Christmas away from home was going to be tough but it turned out to be an amazing experience. The Simisters and Culleys went well out of their way to make me feel like part of the family and I greatly appreciate that. I know I have said it a lot but the way New Zealander’s make you feel welcome is out of this world and that is something I will take with me the rest of my days. A huge Thank You to both families and I hope to one day pass on the kindness they showed me.


*BYC – Back yard cricket

Small World

28 Nov

It is amazing sometimes how small the world really is, the more you travel the greater this realization becomes. I moved to Wellington here knowing no one, and through Tom he mentioned a fellow Canadian living here. We went out for drinks a few times and it turns out he went to UBC as well and ran the same Blue Crew program I did a few years before me. An even stranger twist is that his Dad trained with my Uncle Brent in track in Victoria. So here we are two Canadians in New Zealand causing a ruckus. Will has made the transition down here great the only problem is we both love then same women and her name is cold beer. We have arms made of rubber and whenever the weekend rolls around they always seemed to be twisted. I can certainly think of worse things in life so this one’s for you Mr. Stewart!


An Ode to Simi

7 Nov

For the past month Matt has been a huge GC to let me crash in his lounge while I sorted my life out. We had never met before but for some reason accepted me into his home. Our first meeting could have gone better as I called him to let me into the apartment as he was entertaining a female companion. I dropped my bags off and hung out watching TV until he emerged from his room and asked if I wanted some eggs. He cooked up a feed and we made some proper introductions. Over a month later and I feel like I have known the guy for years. Too many good times together including that trip up to Auckland for the finals. The time at the flat was awesome but it is time for me to get my own room. A huge thanks to Matt for the mattress on the floor and you have one in Vancouver when you get yourself up there.





Tschurtschenthaler House

24 Sep

My friend Stephan did me a huge favour and set me up with his family in the west of Austria. They are from a small town of 300 people called Pfaffenswendt in the province of Tirol. The train ride there was amazing as my surroundings started to jet up into the sky as I entered the Alps. Michaela picked me up at the train station and we walked back to her house. They really treated me like family and brought me into the clan. For the next week they fed me ridiculous amounts of food, beer and schnapps. I left feeling 10 pounds heavier but it is a place I know I will come back to.

















End of an Era

29 Aug

The boys Sammy and Rob have been travelling together now for two weeks. We have met some amazing people along our way that will not soon be forgotten. We picked up Claire in Fetiye, a fellow *JAFA. The three of us formed a trio that just fired on all cylinders. I really give it to Claire for staying with us stride for stride and putting us in our place when needed. She was a classy woman with two classless boys.

Sammy my man will be missed as we formed a bond not easily attained on the road. He is definitely somebody that I will catch up with later on in life on one continent or another. We became a family, but like all good things they must come to an end. I am again out on my own without the crutch of close buddies but strangely it feels refreshing. You can never get too comfortable and the unknown once again awaits me, hope it brings more of the same!


*Just another fucking Aussie- Travelling term for seeing an Australian (they are everywhere!)

Fetiye to Olympos Cruise








Fetiye to Olympos Cruise
















Cappadocia, Turkey

Gravy Train is Over

16 Jul

Yes it is true, my travelling life is about to change dramatically. My parents have just left me in Copenhagen and I will no longer be living on their dollar. It was a tearful goodbye (once mom starts it’s all downhill) and then I was alone in the hotel room. This would be the last time I would be laying in a room by myself. I now start the hostel circuit, where I will be bunking up with travellers from around the globe as I continue this musical mystery tour. It is pretty exciting to be out on my own, there is not a lot of plans for here on out and that will always lead into a good foggy tale. I just want to thank you Mom and Dad for a great trip, and don’t worry Mom I will be home before you know it. For the rest of you here’s to hoping I won’t have to be giving special favors to afford this trip.


Back to the Roots

4 Jul

The main reason we took this trip to Scandinavia was that my Dad’s side of the family is from Norway. After doing the main travel destinations in Norway it was time to make the long trek to Odda where it all began. We got up at 5 in the morning and piled into the rent a car, it was pouring rain as we made the 4 hour drive to Odda. When we got there we only had time for a quick walk around of the town. My great grandpa grew up there before being swindled to Northern Manitoba and then eventually Powell River. Odda was a little town at the end of a Fjord and I could imagine how isolated it was back in those times. It was a stunning backdrop with tall mountains on both sides coming down to the water, I could not imagine moving from here to brown Northern Manitoba. The day ended with another 3 hour drive to Bergen where we caught a flight out to Stockholm. Very few people get to travel to the place it all began and this was definitely something checked off the bucket list of life.