Vote for my Underwater Photography Book!

October 23, 2009 - Filed under Underwater Photography

Underwater Photography Book

I’ve finally gotten around to putting all of my underwater photography from our year in Southeast Asia into a book. Just in time for Blurb’s “Best Books Contest”. Finalists are based on the number of votes so this is where you come in. Please go here and vote for my book! You’ll need to register (so they can make sure people only vote once) but it’s quick and it would mean a lot to me.

Vote for my book here! (Click the blue ‘Vote’ button on the top left of the page)

You can even purchase it, if you want your very own copy (but don’t worry, it’s not required to vote).

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Posted by: Kelly

The result of a quarter-life crisis

October 22, 2009 - Filed under General

Last week, I was reading Shannon’s RTW (Round the World) trip blog and came across a post about the moment she committed to a RTW trip. She mentions that she was going through “what can only be described as my quarter-life crisis.” And I had to consider how much of what I’ve done this last year has been due to a similar circumstance?
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Posted by: Shim

Random Factoid: Pura Vida

October 14, 2009 - Filed under Random Factoid

Costa Rica’s unofficial motto “Pura Vida” literally translates to “Pure Life”, but is often used in everyday conversation to say “Cool” or “Everything’s awesome!”

Tamarindo, Costa Rica - Beautiful Sunset! Pura Vida.

But the phrase isn’t another of the many tiquismos, or Costa Rican slang terms. It’s believed to have actually originated in Mexican movies of the 1950’s and then became wildly popular in Costa Rica.

Posted by: Shim

Week 58: Settling In

October 13, 2009 - Filed under Weekly Report

It’s amazing how fast you can settle in to a routine. We’ve been in our new place for less than three weeks and already it feels like home. As Mike mentioned last week, we’ve both been trying to work off all the beer and deep fried foods we consumed last year in Asia, and work is starting to pick up. Unfortunately this all makes for rather boring blog posts, but hey, it can’t always be Saturday.

living room & kitchen

We did however take a little bit of time out this week. On Wednesday we rented a motorbike and drove up to Playa Grande, a 3 mile stretch of beach, about 30 mins north of Tamarindo. The beach of Playa Grande forms part of Las Baulas, National Park, so remains practically untouched by development. Read More…

Posted by: Kelly

Week 57: Workout Week

October 5, 2009 - Filed under Weekly Report

When we left Vancouver a year ago I was a not-so-svelte 210 lbs. Not exactly a lightweight anymore, I had put on quite a bit of weight over the previous couple of years when a shoulder injury had sidelined me from active sports. With this last year abroad being a barrage of new foods, a lot of beer on the beach, and the lack of gym time, I continued the climb up to 225 lbs. Back in Vancouver this last visit, I made a travel resolution to get into a workout regimen when we got settled in Costa Rica.
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Posted by: Shim

Week 56: Costa Rica and our “Casa del Surf”

September 29, 2009 - Filed under Weekly Report

After a great month back in Canada visiting family and friends we were both anxious to get back to what’s become “normal life” for us. We arrived in Costa Rica Saturday night and breezed through customs. The airport in Liberia is super small, basically a converted airplane hanger, and makes arriving in the Costa Rica really easy. Plus, flying into Liberia meant we were only about an hours drive from Tamarindo, instead of the 4-5 hours it would take from San Jose.

I had been to Tamarindo about 6 years ago, and have great memories of it being a sleepy little surf town so convinced Mike it would make a good first stop in our quest for a place to live.

Tamarindo, Costa Rica
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Posted by: Kelly

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

Malaysia and Canada travel budgets

September 27, 2009 - Filed under Planning, Travel

Continuing our series of travel budget posts, here’s the numbers from the last 3 months. We spent 2 months in Malaysia with 1 month spent in Penang and 1 month in Malaysian Borneo. Since this was the end of the Asian leg of our journey, we traveled around a lot more and took part in a few more costly activities like diving at Sipadan and a motorcycle tour near Kota Kinabalu. I also had to buy a new laptop in Kuala Lumpur to replace my busted computer. Then there’s the clothes budget. We had to prepare for upcoming Canadian weather and business meetings. Overall, it was a big hit to the wallet.

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Posted by: Shim

Interviewed by

September 27, 2009 - Filed under General, Travel


So a while back, John from asked us if we’d like to do an interview with him about our nomadic travel lifestyle. We took him up on it and the resulting interview was just posted.

Have a look here: Interview with Nomadic Couple, Kelly Hale and Mike Schimanowsky

Thanks John! It really made us think about our lifestyle, traveling as a couple and how that impacts our journey and relationship.

Posted by: Shim

Week 53, 54, and 55: Another year on the road begins

September 22, 2009 - Filed under Eats, Weekly Report

Happy September 1st! This marks the 1 year anniversary of Kelly and I becoming homeless wanderers.

There’s been a lack of posts from us for a few weeks. I suppose that’s because not much has really changed back home since we left a year ago. The same old haunts are still there. Our friends are pretty much as we left them. Just a few of them got married, or popped out babies, or got a little heavier. ;)

We headed back to Kelowna after visiting Kelly’s family in Edmonton, and it was my turn to see my parents. My folks are based on Vancouver Island, but just bought a place in Kelowna and took possession this week. It would be really convenient for us if we ever came home. No more choosing who’s parents we spend Xmas with, but this year we’ll have to ask them to come visit us instead. Read More…

Posted by: Shim