One of our dreams for this adventure is that friends and family will join us in different places around the world. Whether you have a week or just a few days, we’d love to meet you somewhere. If any of the locations below appeal, let us know soon (before I go ahead and book a tiny bachelor apartment there).
Some of our family have already signed up to join us in different places. My mom is coming to the Yukon, Bali and somewhere in Europe. My brother and sister-in-law are also coming to Bali for Christmas together. Mike’s sister is planning to come to Australia to discover kangaroos and koalas with the girls.
I know that others were waiting for our itinerary to be a little more locked down before making a plan to join us somewhere. Well here’s the plan! We are still flexible in our locations, especially for the second part of the trip. For example, we plan to spend spring in Spain but if someone we knew wanted to go to Croatia or Greece with us for a week then we’d probably just change the itinerary.
Here is the list of our planned locations:
Colombia: Originally South America wasn’t in the plan but I worked hard to convince Mike to add Colombia. I will get to practice my Spanish and the girls will get to sing “We don’t talk about Bruno” incessantly in the actual country where it takes place. It’ll be our first time in South America together and it is our first international destination.
Australia – We can say Australia overall but the focus is going to be Tasmania. The children have been promised kangaroos and koalas but I want to show them penguins and Tasmanian devils too. I’m looking forward to wineries, amazing scenery and a laid-back vibe. Mike has reluctantly agreed to do the driving on the other side of the road (I did it once when I lived abroad and it was not pretty).
Indonesia, Bali – A jungle stop in Ubud. No moving around. This is our first attempt to stay in one place for an extended period. We are currently planning on sticking the kids in a school or camp for a week or two. My family is coming for part of the month. I am trying to convince Mike that he can do some consulting work when we’re staying in one place for a while but I think that it will be unlikely given the combination of beach and adventure activities in Bali. The “Instagram culture” might drive him a little crazy though. For example, don’t think we’ll be visiting the Bali Swing (look it up and picture Mike there… the thought of him swinging makes me laugh).
Singapore – I cannot wait to experience the food culture here. Even before I watched “Crazy Rich Asians”, I have been dreaming of eating chili crab and satay in the food stalls. My mom is coming with us to Singapore which means we can do our normal mother/daughter ordering and get way too much food because we want to try everything! Mike has also never been to an amusement park outside of Canada’s wonderland and there’s a Universal Studios and a Legoland (Isabella’s pick) nearby. Mike can’t wait for the Jurassic Park ride.
Malaysia – Mike had planned a trip here for my 40th birthday that got cancelled during the pandemic. We’re lucky to get to bring that trip to life a few years later. I cannot wait to see tea plantations and visit Penang. This will likely also be our first tropical beach stop at Langkawi (since we’re staying in the jungle part of Bali). After more than 6 months of travelling, we’ll definitely be ready for it.
Thailand – Like Bali, we’re planning to spend a chunk of time here staying in one place -this time on an island (we have not figured out which one yet). Also, we want to pretend we are still backpackers and look forward to taking the night train to Chang Mai.
Laos – Neither of us made it to Laos on our previous trips to southeast Asia. This is our second chance to make it there and slow things down.
Cambodia – Mike has been. I have not. It is not fair that only one of us has seen those temples! This was a very memorable destination for Mike on his first visit to Asia and he knows how much it has developed since the 2000s; it will likely be a very different experience.
Jordan – We are planning to stop and see my friend Laura. Plus the kids should get to see a desert. Julie loves sand. She will have a blast.
Italy – This is Isabella’s #1 dream destination but I have to admit that I am also very excited to spend a month here. There is something truly magical about Italy. Michael has spent many months learning Italian on Duolingo so I cannot wait to see him try out his skills. Pizza, gelato, and pasta -that’s all we are going to eat. We’re planning to spend 2 weeks somewhere in the south and two weeks in Tuscany or Umbria.
Spain – We have never been to Spain and our desire to see it was one of the things that kickstarted this whole trip planning. But we just really want to pick a place, stay there for a month and pretend we are European. Julie is excited about ham and olives. It is her Italy.
Portugal – See above with the following addition. Mike used to binge read a series of books about a British officer during the Napoleonic wars called Sharpe. He has already penciled in a visit to the Lines of Torres Vedras. Yep, that’s what he wants to see in Portugal.
That’s the current plan – things will change but for now, we are feeling good.
Ciao for now