Tag Archives: overview

Our Next Adventure

Happy New Year!  Another lap around the sun.  An occasion for new beginnings.  The perfect time to begin another adventure.

When we returned from Europe in September, 2012, Diane and I had already agreed how we would spend our 2013, though it was not what we had in our minds when we left for Europe in April.  We had intended to return to Vancouver and settle down for a while.  Then our friends Sue and Martin asked us if they could defer their trip to the colonies by another year, meaning that they wouldn’t be needing the RV, the one we haven’t purchased yet, until 2014.  Since our home is currently occupied by foreigners, this gave us an opening to buy an RV a bit earlier and to use it in 2013.  A great opportunity to do some more traveling, and to make sure that our soon-to-be RV is fully tested and ready for our friends.

And so it was that we decided to pursue another travel adventure in 2013 – a circumnavigation of the United States and Canada!  We plan to leave Vancouver in January 2013 and quickly make our way down the west coast to the warmer weather of Southern California and Arizona.  We’ll cross the southern states during the winter then follow the sun up the eastern seaboard as the weather warms.  We’ll cross back into Canada by mid-summer, careful not to overstay our welcome in the U.S. (Canadians tourists are allowed to stay for a maximum of 6 months).  We’ll explore the Maritimes and Eastern Canada before heading back across the Prairies in the fall, hopefully crossing the Rocky Mountains before the heavy snow flies.

Other than this vague outline, we have no specific plans.  There are a few friends and family that we hope to visit along the way, mostly in the west.  We’ll follow our whims and the weather, travelling on the highways of life and the byways of experience.

I’m excited about what lies ahead and we invite you to participate in our adventure.  We hope that you enjoy the stories of our journey.  Because many of you have traveled in the United States and Canada, we look forward to hearing your comments and suggestions.  As it was when I started this blog, it remains my intention that we will all benefit from the experience.  Thank-you for participating and have a great 2013!

Observations about Laos

  • Laos is a communist country, but like most communist countries today, capitalism is alive and well. Communist flags fly from the front of many buildings.
  • The major tourist locations are quite developed, providing most of the services of Thailand.
  • There are far more tourists in the northern part of Laos than we ever would have imagined.
  • Luang Prabang is full of expensive guest houses and older tourists on packaged holidays.
  • Most travelers stick to the north, often as a side trip to Thailand.
  • Laotian people are lovely – mild mannered, even tempered, and quick to smile and laugh. When Patrick asked for a discount on a hotel room recently the woman looked at the floor at said, “My boss would get mad at me”.
  • Laos is a bit more expensive than Thailand. The currency is the ‘Kip’, with 7,500 Kip per Canadian dollar. We changed about $300 US recently and received 2.5 million Kip! A nice meal for two costs about 50,000 Kip ($7 Canadian). Large ‘BeerLao’ (650 ml) costs $1.5 Canadian.
  • Good food is plentiful. The staple here is sticky rice, which is eaten by rolling a small ball with the right hand and dipping it into the sauces of your dishes. Noodles, curries, and barbeque are common. No part of the animal is wasted. Would you prefer the ‘tripe on a stick’ or a ‘chicken head to go’?
  • It isn’t as warm here as we expected. Cooler than Northern Thailand. Last night we actually used sheets!

Welcome to our Travel Blog!

This is the first of what will hopefully be many updates on our travels this year. We’ll be updating this blog every week or two, with our experiences, thoughts, and the deep insights gained from our globe trotting.

This blog is secured, so we can share more intimate details with family and friends. To secure it, readership needs to be limited to 100 people. If you’re reading this, you’ve been invited to be part of this select group. In order to access the blog, you need to have a Google account (and password). This free account may come in handy for other services that Google provides. To allow more people to participate, we’ll provide a single invitation for some of you that cohabitate. Please don’t be offended if we sent the invitation only to your spouse!

Our blog will contain text postings, but also pictures, maps, and web links (all of which you can click on). We’ll send an email to you when there is a new posting in our blog. You can also leave your comments on any blog post, which will be visible to all readers of the blog. We encourage you to comment.

While we’re traveling, you can reach us at our shared email address. Depending where we are and what we’re doing, it may take us a while to reply, but we’ll try to check it about once a week. Within a few months, I’m sure that we’ll be desparately home sick, and so emails from home would be greatly appreciated.

Patrick and Diane