Today I think we finally decided. I mean we have talked about this for a long time, even before the kids were born, but now I’m sure as ever about it. We plan to travel the world with our kids starting July 2020. We will leave our Bay Area home and our jobs behind and start a new life outside of the US. Our kids are 4 and 2 now so they will be 7 and 5. That sounds like the perfect age!
Today I think I saw my grandma for the last time. She’s 76 and last week they found two cancerous tumors. The doctor gave her one month to live. I don’t live in the same city as her but I made arrangements to fly to visit during her birthday – I am so glad I did. Continue reading “Perspective in life – a dying grandma”
I started to blog but I have so many questions about how to start blogging! I use feedly to bring all my blog reading interests together into one app. The primary categories I read are travel, finance, life hacking, and parenting. My favorite blogs include Financial Samurai, Physician on FIRE, The White Coat Investor, Lifehacker, 4-Hour Work Week, Millennial Revolution, Retire By 40 among others. While it seems they are all about finance, there is some travel in there as well. Continue reading “How to start blogging – questions”
Recently I’ve been pondering — what is the meaning of life?
Now … there have been multiple times in my life where I sat down and thought about this question, and I don’t think I’ve ever been satisfied with an answer … until today.
For me, today, the meaning of life is to be happy. It’s as simple as that. I’m satisfied with that answer.
As the trip is coming to an end, I’ve started to become pensive and analyze what all this meant. What have I learned? How will this affect how I continue to live my life? Or was it just a collection of memories for years to come?
It all started with a dream. I saw a video called “Would You?” in 2004. It was an inspirational video done by a travel journalist to promote his blog, theglobaltrip.com, where he wrote about his daily travels for 16 months straight. The video was a collection of photos he had taken around the world and every few seconds he would ask questions related to travel starting with “Would you …”. From that moment on, a round the world trip become part of my bucket list. I think it was because of the places he saw, or the message he was trying to convey: “Would you dare?”
I can’t believe it’s here. The last stop in our trip before heading back to the US. We chose Queenstown in South Island New Zealand for no specific reason. We’ve heard from people we should visit Queenstown, so we did. If you would have asked me a few weeks ago, “why are you going to Queenstown?” I would have answered: “Why not?”. There is no specific reason why this is our last stop either, not that it’s a bad one, we LOVE it here!
We bought our flights via Jetstar, a low-budget airline here in Oceania and South East Asia for $120 round trip from Auckland to Queenstown (and that’s NZD!). Once on the flight, we get the airline magazine and start reading the things to do in South Island New Zealand. There are hot springs, glacier hikes, boat cruises in the fiordland Milford Sound, lakes and lots of hikes. Fiordland you ask, yea, I had no idea what that was either. After visiting Milford Sound, now I can tell you that a fjord (where the name Fiordland comes from) a is a long, narrow inlets with steep sides or cliffs, created in a valley carved by glacial activity. It was amazing. Anyway, I digressed. As you know, we rented a car and decided to drive around 1,000+ km to visit the beauties of South Island in 7 days, ending in Queenstown for 3 days to chill before heading back to the US.
It has been 3 great days.
I had heard someone recommend we visit Fox Glacier while in New Zealand. I did not know what Fox Glacier was, yet alone what a glacier is. I admit, I’m ignorant. I thought a glacier was really a geyser, and I was going to see water shooting out of the earth. I guess I was wrong! Isn’t that the reason I’m traveling, to learn? Thank god we learn new things everyday!
For those of you that are ignorant like myself, a glacier is large amounts of ice constantly moving. INSERT WIKI DEFINITION. Here in New Zealand they have over a thousand glaciers but Fox Glacier has been named one of the most beautiful and important glaciers of South Island.
Ok, maybe long distance driving doesn’t suck completely, but prior to this trip, the vast majority of my long distance driving experience includes driving from San Francisco to Los Angeles and back. I’ve driven to Tahoe a few times and once from NYC to Ithaca and Boston, but that’s about it. I haven’t really been a big fan per-say.
I’ve thought road trips were fun if I wasn’t the driver, and even then, I wasn’t too happy about being the passenger either. So when happy gal suggested we rent a car in New Zealand and drive around for 10 days, I was not looking forward to it. Luckily I went with the flow and had the time of my life driving!
Today we visited Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary in Brisbane, Australia. It’s about a 30 minute drive south from downtown Brisbane. After driving in Australia for about 7 days, I’ve gotten quite comfortable driving on the “wrong” side of the road. For those of you that don’t know, Australia’s roadway (and similar to UK, New Zeland and most of South East Asia) is setup so that you drive on the left hand of the road and the driver’s sit is on the right hand side. But that’s besides the point!
We arrive to the Lone Pine Sanctuary and park. Walking to the box office and even before we go in, we find ourselves experiencing what must be a natural high for a turkey. He was running full speed in circles flapping its wings. It was a local type of turkey native to the sanctuary and they roam around freely. We were in for quite an experience.
We signed up with Deep Sea Diving Den to sit on a fast boat to the Great Barrier Reef from Cairns knowing it would take an hour and a half. During the journey, the guide Dan asked the certified divers to gather on the second deck of the boat next to where the captain sits to discuss the dive site. He asked us if we wanted to go with a dive guide (instructor or divemaster) or with a buddy. happy guy and I nervously stated that we would be each other’s buddies. We had never dived just the two of us before without a guide. Staring outside the boat window, I still couldn’t believe the reef is 2000 km long. And I wondered if we would be disappointed here in Australia after having dived in Indonesia and Thailand.