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"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness"

Mark Twain

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Our First Days in South America

Our first stop after landing in Paraguay was the visa issuing office. Although the process was relatively uneventful, those standing around us in line made the experience memorable. There was the extremely chatty ten year old behind us in line who had an opinion about everything. Having learned that our anniversary was the following day she felt compelled to tell us the best way to spend it, including what she felt ought to be eaten on such an occasion. She figured ribs were the most romantic food she could think of, to which I responded, ‘nothing is more romantic than a dead animal on my plate.’

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Guatemalan Pepian: A Recipe

While we were staying with friends in Guatemala, I had the opportunity to see Leonel’s sister make a truly Guatemalan dish called Pepian. It’s a slow cooked stew that requires many steps, but is worth the effort.

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A Morning Stroll

The plan was to meet at 5:00 AM to hike the mountain behind Leonel’s house. We had been staying with Leonel and his wife Diana for the past few days just outside Antigua, Guatemala. After a short delay as we waited for Leonel’s brother, niece and nephew, we were off. We heard a huge boom just as we were underway, almost as though it was a race starting gun. Leonel told me as we got under way that the sound came from a nearby volcano. Since home is currently a desert city on the Arabian Gulf, I was sufficiently impressed. As we started up the path the only other sound we heard were the roosters and some neighbourhood dogs howling in an effort to wake everyone up for the day.

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Finding Rest in Antigua, Guatemala

Everyone needs a bit of serenity on their vacation. Somewhere to rest, relax, recuperate. As much as I’m looking forward to the full 7 weeks of traveling through South America, I have already essentially been out of my home for 2.5 weeks in the Toronto area and in Orlando, Florida.

They were both fantastic places to be, but they aren’t my home, and so when we reached Guatemala I was craving a bit of quiet, introspective, restful time.

I definitely found it here. Of course, it helps that we’re staying with friends who are incredibly accommodating and relaxed in their approach to life. But Guatemala itself is quite serene and I have been able to find some true rest.

I know that your version of rest likely looks different than mine, but this is how I found rest:

I found rest while hiking up and down Pacaya Volcano. While we were with a tour and there was plenty of chatting happening, and physical struggles to make it up, I found my place in the pack by myself where it was just me trudging up and down. I had time to observe the chirping of birds, the fluorescent orange leaves on the ground, the soft lava rich soil. It was so restful just to be surrounded by bright green nature, even though at times I thought my lungs would explode.

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Liebster Award Nomination

We were sitting in the airport in Buffalo waiting to catch our flights onwards to Florida, when we checked our Facebook page and discovered that we had been nominated for a Liebster Award! What a fun way to start our vacation! Thank you Jessica from One Penny Trip for including us in your 5 nominated blogs! We’re truly honoured.

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Take the Long Road

South America

I’ve been to a lot of places.  I don’t say this to brag, but merely to provide context that our upcoming trip to South America is not my first time leaving Canada.  In fact I’ve been living in the Middle East for the last few years, and in that time have been to a little more than 30 countries.

Each time I travel to a new country however, I tend to stay there for about a week before returning home again.  It’s not that I run out of money or anything, but rather I run out of vacation time from work.  So every couple of months I choose a country, and then for a week I soak up everything that I can in that country.  The food, the sights, the smells, and the views.  One week in Iraq, one in Egypt, one in Turkey, one in India, and so forth.  Then back to some sense of ‘normalcy.’  Time to reflect and think about what I’ve seen and learned.

As I set off to South America I am struck by the length of this next trip.  We are going to be on the road for about 7 weeks.  7 weeks of hotels, backpacks, flights and new languages.  This will definitely be our longest haul yet.  There will be no time to go home between trips and contemplate the wonders I’ve seen.  No time to relax on my own couch, no going into work in between new experiences.  No sprinkling of ‘normal’ everyday life.  My new normal, at least for the summer, will be on the road.

When I finally return home again to Kuwait at the end of August I will have seen tortoises that are more than a 100 years old on the Galapagos Islands, the world-famous salt flats of Bolivia and of course the impressive Iguazu Falls.  I’ll also hike the through the Andes along the Inca trail in search of Macchu Picchu, enjoy the Amazon Rainforest and explore smaller lesser known spots in South America.  No ordinary summer to be sure.

Those who have done longer travels will know the experience and emotions well: That cumulative effect of being on the road for so long.  For me, it’s a new, and exciting feeling.  One backpack, two months, and a half dozen countries.  My world is about to get rocked.  As I make the final preparations before leaving I wonder whether this will be the longest trip I ever take, or the start of a whole new world of travel for me.  We’ll soon find out.

Top 10 Reasons Why You Should Travel to Iraq RIGHT NOW.

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Wait…you think I’m joking?  I’d never kid about such an awesome (and relatively untraveled) destination.  My husband and I flew there in April and visited for 6 days and it was one of the best countries we’ve ever visited (and we’ve visited a lot).

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Gordes, France

Our New (Travel) Look

Well it is official. We have redone our website (again).  It has actually been quite a while since we changed anything on this site as far as style and format, but given our nomadic (of sorts) lifestyle we felt it was time to acknowledge that aspect of our lives a little more on this blog.
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Purple + Green Coleslaw

I went over to my neighbour’s apartment to borrow some straws, and there was a debate between purple or green.

Yes, we clearly have nothing more important in our lives.

Anyway, she told me how she can never think of purple and green without thinking about her first boyfriend.  I was confused… so she elaborated.  Apparently, he told her one time that she couldn’t wear purple and green together ever again because it was “so 1994.”

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