Queenstown, New Zealand

July 30, 2012 - Filed under Stuff to do, Travel

We flew from Melbourne to Queenstown, NZ, where we met up with my friend Bex. Bex and I met back in 2003, when we were both doing our Divemaster’s in Koh Tao, Thailand. We haven’t see each other since, but through the wonders of Facebook, have managed to stay in touch over the years. Bex and her fiancé Rupert, were nice enough to put us up for a few days in Queenstown while we sorted out a place to live for a month.

Bex & I in Koh Tao, Thailand, 2003

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Posted by: Kelly

Australia – Three months down under!

July 29, 2012 - Filed under Travel

Arriving in Sydney, we were lucky enough to be met at the airport by a familiar face. We’re used to landing in strange airports and having to haggle with taxis or fumble with shuttle buses to get us where we want to go, so it was nice being met by a friend. Rachelle played tour guide on the way to her and Randal’s apartment in Manly, pointing out different neighbourhoods and taking us across Harbour Bridge. After dropping our bags off at their place we went for a much needed lunch, then spent the afternoon wandering around Manly, checking out R&R’s hood.

Manly Beach, Sydney, Australia

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Posted by: Kelly

Malaysia, the third time around – Langkawi

November 11, 2011 - Filed under Travel

The first time we visited Malaysia, we flew into Kuala Lumpur and fell in love with some elephants at the elephant sanctuary, arranged our 3 month Thai visas, ate a ton of hawker food, and shopped till we dropped.

The second time we found out the hawker food was even better in Penang, dove the Perhentian Islands, dove with turtles and sharks in Sipadan, and had an amazing experience riding motorcycles in Malaysian Borneo.

This third time, we laid on the beach!

Pantai Cenang, Langkawi, Malaysia

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Posted by: Shim

5 months in Amsterdam/London/Dublin/Croatia and Egypt – The Pictoral Recap

October 27, 2011 - Filed under General, Travel

We initially came to Europe to celebrate Kelly’s 10 year return for Queen’s Day in Amsterdam thinking that we had 6 months to hang around and slowly check everything out. We booked 3 months in a flat in Amsterdam and told ourselves we would spend the first few months making weekend trips to nearby cities and after 3 months, we’d move somewhere further South to check out the rest. Possibly Spain or Portugal.

Shortly, after realizing we were mistaken about the visa requirements and only had 3 months because of the EU Schengen Agreement, I took on a large amount of freelance contract work and costly train tickets kept us from roaming too far.

So we checked out a windmill:

Tried some local beers:

And went to the Heineken ‘Museum’:

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Posted by: Shim

The Return to Roatan

October 8, 2010 - Filed under General, Scuba Diving, Travel

When we first came to Roatan, people warned us about the Roatan vortex. Nearly everyone we met told us they had been coming to Roatan for years. Or had come once and never left. And after 3 amazing months on Roatan, it was the first time we were a little reluctant to be moving on. Well, we’re back after 4 months in Belize and Mexico and we’re pretty happy about it. It seems the vortex has sucked us in too.

The first day back, we were just sitting at the dive shop, watching what little traffic there is go by. Adapting back to ‘island time’ hasn’t been hard. It’s nice to be back among the familiar faces in the West End. We made a lot of friends the last time we were here and though many people have come and gone, there’s still a bunch of dive buddies and party pals we’ve reunited with over the last week.

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Posted by: Shim

From Roatan, Honduras to Placencia, Belize

May 24, 2010 - Filed under Travel

After 3 months in Roatan, it was time for us to get back on the road again. We are headed up to Belize for a little vacation from our permanent vacation. So we’re closing the laptops for a bit, taking a break from checking emails, and working on our tans which are surprisingly weak after this long in the tropics!…

We packed up our things (including 50 lbs of new dive gear) and headed out the door to catch the 7am ferry from Roatan back to La Ceiba. An hour later we were in a taxi headed to Puerto Cortes, north of San Pedro Sula. We had to stay overnight in Puerto Cortes and booked one night at the Brisas Hotel on Coca Cola beach (named for it’s proximity to the bottling plant). Puerto Cortes was a little thin on entertainment, so we splashed in the pool, had a bite to eat, and retired early along with a new frog buddy who apparently lived in our sink.

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Posted by: Shim

Costa Rica Budget

March 29, 2010 - Filed under Planning, Travel

Costa Rica was definitely more expensive than a lot of the places we’ve been over the last year and a half. That being said it also offered the most convenience and more modern amenities than anywhere else… which I suppose could be a plus or a minus depending on what you’re looking for. For us it was just what we needed. After a year on the road, and a particularly busy three months we were quite happy to find a nice place to rent and stay put for six months.

Before I jump into the numbers part of this post I want to remind everyone that we’re not budget backpackers. Yes you can do Costa Rica a lot cheaper than we did, but since this isn’t just a vacation for us, it’s a lifestyle, we often make choices that aren’t inline with other travelers priorities.

A comfortable place and a decent internet connection are always first priority on our list of requirements, which often means we stick to more touristy places and don’t venture off the beaten track as much as other travelers. When we arrived in Costa Rica we both had a lot of work lined up and knew we’d be spending the majority of our days online, so it was even more important than usual. Read More…

Posted by: Kelly

From Tamarindo, Costa Rica to Roatan, Honduras

March 15, 2010 - Filed under Other, Travel

After 6 months, our time in Costa Rica has come to a close. Last week we woke up early to take the 5am shuttle to Liberia from Tamarindo. Around 9am, we boarded a Ticabus headed to Managua, Nicaragua. A few hours later, we arrived at the Nicaraguan border to find a HUGE line. Spending the next 3 hours frying our brains in the sun while we waited to get our exit visas, then another hour waiting as the Costa Rican DEA randomly selected our bus for a screening, and then another hour getting our entry visas in Nicaragua. During all this, the Canadian men’s final hockey game was going on… something we had realized only a few days earlier. Oops, bad scheduling on our part and we had hoped to make it to our destination on time to catch it. But we did meet a few people on the bus and chatted the hours away.

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Posted by: Shim

Nicaragua Visa Run from Tamarindo

December 28, 2009 - Filed under Bikes, Trikes, and Automobiles, Drinks, Travel

As a tourist in Costa Rica, you can stay for a maximum of 90 days before you have to exit the country for 72 hours before reentry. Shortly before Xmas, our first three months in Costa Rica were coming to a close. Nicaragua is considerably nearer to Tamarindo than Panama, so we opted to head to Nicaragua for a quick visa run. Being so close to Christmas, many dates for the buses to Nicaragua were already fully booked, but luckily we were able to book a couple seats on the Ticabus (around $40 each) to and from Nicaragua as opposed to the ‘chicken bus’ where you walk across the border and catch another local bus on the other side.

Local bus from Tamarindo to Liberia
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Posted by: Shim

The Long Term Travel Gear List

September 27, 2009 - Filed under Planning, Travel

Frequent moves are a part of life when you’re a nomadic freelancer and when we move from country to country we try to settle into a location for at least a month at a time, often staying for a few months in one spot. But sometimes we’ll move from place to place every couple weeks. Over time, I had hoped that we would turn into an elite team of baggage packing ninjas, but truth be told it still comes down to muscle and bullheadedness whenever we move our 70-80kg of gear. I’m still amazed that we have so much stuff, but there’s a fine balance between packing light, living comfortably, and being work efficient. I thought it would be interesting, or maybe even helpful for a few people to see what we haul along to live like we do.

Goodbye Vancouver
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Posted by: Shim