February 25, 2009

A Winter Day with Eddy

-Katrina, Eddy, Rachel and Trevor, all managing a smile in the freezing cold.-
We have been blessed in so many ways since arriving home. Some blessings have been expected, like visiting family and catching up with old friends. While some of these blessings have been welcome surprises. Eddy's visit to Alberta in December was with out a doubt a very welcome surprise.

-A view of Mount Abraham down a very slick road.-

-Hot tubbing in sub-zero temperatures was one of the many traditions that we were happy to introduce to Eddy.-

Just after the hype of Christmas was beginning to die down, Eddy was able to make his first visit up to Canada joining us and our mutual friend Katrina for a cozy evening at our favorite mountain getaway, Shunda Creek. Between sips of hot chocolate and nibbles of snickerdoodles (momma Gloria's famous cookies) we were able introduce Eddy to the art of hot tubing in sub-zero temperatures, the cultural importance of Inukshuks and temperatures so cold that nose-hairs begin to freeze.

-Trev showing Eddy how it's done.-

-An Inukshuk, before Eddy knocked it over.-

It was beyond wonderful to see Eddy again. It was nice to be able to pick up right where we left off when we left Seoul in August. But it was especially nice to be able to take pride in our home country and the beautifully rugged wilderness that we've been longing for over the past few years.

-and, after.-

-Shunda Creek Hostel. One of our favorite mountain getaway destinations.-

February 14, 2009


-Becki + Mark. Heritage Ranch. Red Deer, Canada.-

So now that our Asian adventures are finished, at least for this chapter of our lives, we've decided to update you all on our day to day, kind of fill you in on what we've been up to for the past few months. And, ironically enough seeing as it's Valentine's Day, our first blog about life is wedding related. Since neither Trev or I have a job as of yet and my little sister is getting married in mid March and because we have so much free time on our hand, we've stepped up to become a sort of wedding planning team.

-One of the few shots from the day that capture the 'true' Becki + Mark.-

Trev's big push in all of the planning is the engagement photography. Upon arriving home in December he was more than happy to hear that Becki and Mark, the respective bride and groom, had not taken engagement pictures. He quickly volunteered and what you see posted here is one of his first real attempts at 'people picture'. Personally I think that he has a knack for it.

-M+B. Another brilliant shot.-

-B+M. This is the other shot that managed to capture who they really are.-

-Our final shot of the day as the light was fading but a great one none the less.-

February 13, 2009

Asian Finale

For Your Information
Leaving Auckland
-Watching Auckland, New Zealand fade into the distance as we take a ride on a ferry.-

Trev and I sat down in front of Google Earth one night just after Christmas and decided to map out our route. Our goal, to chart our total distance traveled through all different modes of transportation (as best as we could). If you are a numbers person like we are you might enjoy the stats...

422 km = Total distance survived on scooters, tuk-tuks, and taxis.
1,591 km = Total distance explored by rickety, ramshackle old boats.
2,895 km = Total distance traveled by third-world trains.
3,923 km = Total distance crammed in stinky buses.
34,999 km = Total distance flown by plane.
43,830 km = Total distance traveled.

To put our distance into perspective, the total distance across Canada via the Trans-Canada Hwy is 7,821 km. That means that over four months we've traveled across the expanse of Canada 6 times.

-14 hours down the Mekong river with a 2x4 for a seat and in the company of hundreds.-

A Few of Our Favorites

Favorite Overall Place
  • Vietnam. We found Vietnam to be a diverse nation, full of wonderfully friendly people. From the north to the south, the coastal regions to the high mountains, jungles to coniferous forests to tropical white-sand beaches, the land is as diversified as any nation of its size.

Most Beautiful Place

  • The ancient ruins of Angkor, Cambodia.
  • The natural beaches, green rolling hills and snow-capped mountains of Kaikoura, New Zealand.

Most Thought-provoking Place

  • The Killing Fields, Cambodia.

Best Beaches

  • Perfect white-sand and crashing surf of North Stradbroke's Amity Point, Australia.
  • The picture perfect coral and amazing underwater life at Komodo Island's Red Beach, Indonesia.

Most Dangerous Beaches

  • Waters infested with jellyfish, venomous sea kraits, and poisonous urchins at Sambawa Beach, Indonesia.
  • A 16ft. Great White Shark chasing the surfers at North Stradbroke's Point Lookout, Australia.
Most Untouched Areas
  • The pristine jungle waterfalls of the Laos wilderness.
Most Delicious Food
  • Indian style naan bread and masala, a perfect Malaysian breakfast.
Most Interesting Food
  • Skewered Snake from the street markets of Cambodia.
Favorite Form of Travel
  • Trev loved to explore the untouched via scooter.
  • I loved the convenience and excitement of a sleeper car on an overnight train.

February 4, 2009


-While staying in the small coastal town of Kaikoura, New Zealand we spent much of our time walking along the coastline. It was while we were out for one of our morning strolls that we came across a colony of seals. We stopped to watch them sleep in the sun and splash around in the waves. It was times like these that make it easy for us to claim that the New Zealand coastline was one of the most serene places we stumbled upon during our four months of travels.-

-A misty shot of the Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Once the tallest structures in the world, they now have to settle for the title of tallest twin structures.-

-Famed for it's mystery and intrigue, Angkor Thom, Cambodia was by far one of our most picturesque discoveries. Tree roots devouring the remains of ancient temples, beaten down ruins scattered throughout miles and miles of overgrown jungle, it's no wonder that these grounds are often referred to as the eight wonder of the world.-

-This little guys is possibly not quite as innocent as he appears. Stealing bananas, harassing tourists and begging for food are all part of his daily routine. Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.-

-There are few oceans left virtually untouched by man and industry these days. We however were fortunate enough to spend a few weeks in an untouched region of Indonesia enjoying the immaculate coral and vibrant underwater life. Gili Air, Lombok, Indonesia.-

-Traffic in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam is something to be reckoned with. Trevor likened crossing the street to playing a live game of Frogger (an old computer game some of you might remember where the frog jumps from lily pad to lily pad avoiding the crocodiles and the ominous floating logs as it attempts to reach the other side of the stream). Traffic in this city never stops. Never. Crossing a simple street is a life and death challenge and peace and quiet is no where to be found. After being in the city for a week honking horns, running engines and squealing tires became the lullaby that put us to sleep at night.-

-A perfect day in the jungles of Luang Prabang, Laos are spent diving from these falls and swimming through the crystal clear water. And yes, it really is a beautiful as it looks.-

-The Sydney Opera House is one of the most recognized icons of our age. It was an amazing experience to be able to spend a week photographing it as well as the immaculate city of Sydney. We greatly enjoyed our time in and around this area of Australia.-

-Wellington Harbour was an amazingly windy yet amazingly beautiful place. We enjoyed daily walks along the boardwalks observing the locals and watching the ships go to and fro. As a point of interest, the mountain in the background of this picture is Mount Victoria famous for it's role in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. New Zealand.-

-We'd always heard of the beauty of northern Thailand and it was confirmed to us on our journeys through Chiang Rai and across the border into Laos. Above is pictured an average plot of rice fields framed in by the jungle covered mountains.-

-Red Kangaroos. We were fortunate enough to catch a few glimpses of these amazing animals while in the Sydney area. Australia.-

-The the mind-blowing ruins of Angkor Wat as seen in a reflection of a pool. We were fortunate enough to have spent three days in the area of Seim Reap and were enchanted with the history and culture of ancient Cambodia.-

-As you can see power lines in Vietnam's largest city were not much better than the traffic. Ho Chi Minh.-

-The tallest building, The IFC, of the longest city skyline in the world, Hong Kong Island.-

-Thailand is known for two things: elephants and temples. And, while we've seen our share of both in our time living in Asia we've never seen a temple of this magnitude. With gold and glitter, alters and monks, big Buddhas and little Buddhas, Wat Po Temple was truly a landmark to be seen. Bangkok, Thailand.-

-With a sprawling outlook of the Portuguese trading city and a mountaintop view of the perfect orange sunset, the old lighthouse in Macau was a wonderful relic to stumble upon.-

-Our third tour to Singapore, the city was starting to feel like home. Pictured above is the Merlion, of international fame. From the skyline to the gardens to the people, we do love our time in and around Singapore.-

People Pictures

-Rachel's treasure. Beach combing. New Zealand.-

As we were sipping our morning coffee in front of the fire and gazing on our pictures as they flashed up on our screen saver, the idea was posed that we venture two more blogs for the finale of our time in Asia. The first of these two blogs you see here. It is to be a celebration of the people that we encountered upon our travels. And so, here we have posted what we believe to be the 'best' of our people pictures. We've posted a culmination of pictures of people living their lives, going through the routines and motions that make up the day to day. The people in these pictures are a representation of so many facets of life; all from different cultures, different heritages, from various ages and walks of life, some extremely poor and others blessed by material objects. Yet, rich or poor, young or old it is undeniable that all are special in some way.

-A young boy stops to pose for the camera before joining his friends jumping off of the bridge to cool off in the water. Siem Reap, Cambodia.-

-A young monk in training shades himself from the hot Laotian sun. Luang Prabang, Laos.-

-Swimming is a multifaceted event for these young children. Whether beating the heat or cleaning up a bit they sure did seem to have a good time. Gili Air, Indonesia.-

-Lighting candles at the Batu Cave is a part of this mans worship routine. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.-

-Too poor to afford school, this girl rents her sled to sand dune tourists in order to make a little extra cash for her family. Mui Ne, Vietnam.-

-This elderly gentleman sits on the river all day watching the bustling tourists as they croon over the history of a once french trading port. Hoi An, Vietnam.-

-Every evening, this lady sits knitting as she sells her paintings at the night market on mainstreet. Luang Prabang, Laos.-

-When he saw me lift my camera, he ran dropping his money. I was able to retrieve the money and return it to him, for which he was extremly greatful. Chiang Mai , Thailand.-

-Up at the break of dawn, we were able to observe a little of what life in Laos must be like. While strolling down a side street we marveled at the sunrise, listened to the roosters crowing and caught a glimpse of these ladies cooking in this large pot. Luang Prabang, Laos.-

-As the morning passed we made our way back to our hotel passing this sculpter as we went. He was hard at work but was more than happy to have his picture taken with his masterpeice. Luang Prabang, Laos.-

-Time for a nap. Just off of a congested street in inner-city Bangkok. Thailand.-

-This lady had a little mending shop just across the street from the sculptor's studio. We enjoyed her kind smiles as we watched her patch. Luang Prabang, Laos.-

-A little creepy perhaps or maybe just curiosity but these men decided that it would be fun to sit on the dock and watch us while we slept on the deck of our boat. By the time that we decided to get out of bed and get dressed there were over thirty local men, all sitting and staring at us foreigners. Labuanbajo, Indonesia.-