Final thoughts...March 29 in Canada ⋅ ⛅ 7 °C
It is late March and we are home in Yellowknife reflecting on the spectacular things we experienced while away. During our travels, there were things we definitely missed about Yellowknife such a our access to the vast outdoors, having some many great places to run, our house, coffee shops, and most of all, our friends. We consider ourselves so incredibly fortunate to have been able to travel the world with our family but live in a country that so many people we met along the way, wish to travel too. We are love Yellowknife, so it was great coming home, albeit slightly earlier than planned.
We had initially planned on travelling to South Korea as as our final destination, but since we had been following the coronavirus since the third week of January when we were in Malaysia, we quickly realized we may need to change our plans. While in Taiwan, we were quite certain our trip to South Korea would have to change. It was an incredibly stressful time as David and I were reading the news and travel advisories obsessively each day to ensure we were keeping our family safe, making appropriate and timely decisions, and hoping the financial impact would not be too great for us. It is nice to be home and read the news on the coronavirus and not think, "well yesterday's decision is moot and we need to get home now!"
However, as Neve continues to point out there was a good thing that came out of not going to South Korea. We were able to change our flights with Delta from Toyko, via Detroit en route to Toronto and visit with family. We arrived on March 7 and spent the first week with my dad and the second week with David's parents. We arrived back in Yellowknife on March 21 just before the NWT border closed.
So to close our blog, here are some random or maybe not so random final thoughts;
One of the best things we packed at the very last minute was a roll of Tuck tape. I laughed at David as he tossed it into his backpack, and yet it fixed so much - a hole in a jacket or long johns, apply tuck tape, need to wrap christmas gifts, fix a dropped stick of deodorant (who breaks deodorant and who fixes it - we'll leave you guessing), need to mail a package from Vietnam to Yellowknife, wrap the shit out of it in tuck tape.
The best place we visited - Budapest - if this city is not on your bucket list, we highly recommend you add it. Sophie says EBC - but that's not for the faint of heart nor a relaxing destination.
The hardest thing about deferred leave according to Sophie and Neve - all of the horrible hikes and runs I made the girls go on.
Most rewarding experience: Everest Base Camp - yes, we had to be helicoptered out, but we saw Everest and not many people can say this.
Most thrilling experience - Nam Pha Pa Yai (Thai climbing camp) - having to take a 20 foot high zipline, 40 meters across a murky river - despite two attempts, I never did make it across.
Favorite airline - Qatar Airlines!!
Best restaurant: Himalayan Java in Nepal - so good after Everest Base
Best food: Japanese food along the Kumano Kodo, but the Parisian crepes and baguettes are a close second.
Favorite run: For Neve it was the 10 km Thai race, but for the rest of us, it was running uphill to a beautiful castle during our Visegrad run - the medals were pretty awesome too!!
Most relaxing place: Langkawi, Malaysia (Sophie). For the rest of us it was Budapest - so many great coffee shops to visit.
Best horse races - Budapest. Can you tell we really loved Budapest!!
Funniest moment - Sophie demonstrating a bottle lid kick in Singapore to our friends Alex and Marshall and accidentally kicking an innocent male bystander who was not her dad.
I hope our blog has inspired you to travel the world, or if that's not possible, your own country or community. Travel makes our lives richer, it enriches our connections with others and broadens our view of the world. But most importantly in our opinion, it teaches compassion and empathy, something that is so important. I think the coronavirus has shown us how small the world is and how interconnected we actually are and hopefully in the not to distant future, we'll all be able to explore again.
Clarinda, David, Sophie and Neve
P.S. This blog post has no photos because we had our minds on getting back to Canada and taking a final photo completely slipped our minds.Read more