It’s official – we’re coming home!

After 19 months of travel through 24 countries across five continents we’re returning home to Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Our flight is now booked for Wednesday, April 10th – a 24 hour travel day that starts mid-morning in Hanoi and ends in Ottawa just before midnight of the same day. If you have been keeping up with the blog and in particular some of the comments, this shouldn’t come as any big surprise. But many are wondering, what’s next for us. And some of our more dedicated readers are wondering what they are going to read with their Monday morning coffee once we come home.

You may recall that this odyssey all began when I questioned how I wanted to spend the next fifteen years of my life before retirement. I wrote all about it in the “Getting Ready” section so I won’t restate what has already been said. I asked myself the big question: What’s Next? I hoped that travel would broaden my horizons, open my heart and mind to new experiences, introduce me to new people from different cultures and walks of life and that somewhere along the way, I would find my answer.

I did find an answer when I walked the Camino de Santiago last June. The idea of returning to school and pursuing a new field (organizational psychology) is still very appealing to me, but in the months that have followed, I have entertained other possibilities as well. Chris and I could flip houses: buy fixer uppers, renovate them and sell them for a profit. We could own and operate a B&B or a small resort. Or we could start another type of business. We could do contract work in our field with 4-6 month travel stints in between contracts. It seems the possibilities are limited by our own imagination, and of course the amount of capital we have to get something up and running.

They say there are lots of opportunities to earn income online, although we haven’t quite figured that one out yet. After our short foray into online advertising with Google Adsense which ended in our embarrassing withdrawal from the program, we considered just putting a “donate” button on our website but thought that was just a bit too crass. On the other hand, while Chris’ photographs are selling around the world, they are not exactly flying off the shelf. Chris’ fantasy of sitting by a pool in an exotic location sipping fine champagne while the money rolled in hasn’t exactly been fulfilled. His income over the past six months ($12.81 CAD) won’t even buy a decent bottle of wine.

Right now, I don’t have an answer for what’s next. To be honest, I have been struggling with this for the past few months, feeling deeply disappointed that this adventure has not led to something new, has not brought clarity to my life path. If this was a Hollywood movie, there would be a tidy, inspiring ending to this story. But this is real life, my life, and the story isn’t over yet. Once I realized that, I accepted that the past year and a half has simply been another chapter in my life story, and the way in which it shapes my future remains to be seen. I can live with that.

For now, we have a six month housesitting job lined up so we have a place to live. Since our travel funds are dwindling we must find work in short order, not that either of us is too eager to go back to the cubicle world. But it is a necessary evil, so for the short term we will both look for a contract in our respective fields. We’ll need to find a place to live long term so house hunting will be a priority too.

Now you know all there is to know about our return to Canada. We still have three weeks of travel ahead of us and we plan to enjoy every minute of it and we hope you do too.

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14 Responses
  1. Steve says:

    Really sorry to read this…. Sad that the story is coming to an end…. But it should signal the start of a new beginning also. Thanks for an interesting read and a great travel blog. I will look forward to reading about your last three weeks… 😉

    • chris says:

      Hi Steve!

      Thanks for the compliments on the blog! Christina has put a tremendous amount of work into writing it for the past 18 months or so, and it has become a fantastic record of our journey, one that we will be able to revisit time and time again. I’ve enjoyed having the opportunity to explore and fine-tune my craft as well, although at this point I have no desire to photograph another church, temple, buddha… well, you get the picture!

      We haven’t figured out the ‘new beginning’ quite yet, but we’re keeping ourselves open to the possibilities… who knows what trouble we’ll get ourselves into next!



  2. Julie says:

    It will be good to have you back in our neck of the woods… Well sort of our neck of the woods. I will definitely not now what to do with myself Saturday mornings, I will have to find something else to read. As your adventure comes to an end for now, so does mine and I’m a little sad about that. I have been seeing real parts of the world through you both and I am greatful for that, it will be great to see the photos and hear your stories perhaps around a campfire this summer…you will have some amazing stories to tell your grand children…Enjoy the next three weeks! ox Ju

    • chris says:

      Hey Julie!

      I guess Christina and I should pat ourselves on the back for a job well done… the primary intent of the blog was to share our journey with our friends and family, and it means a lot to us knowing that our efforts were not in vain, that the people closest to us have indeed been with us every step of the way so to speak. Our current adventure may be coming to an end, however that is not to say that we will be hanging up our backpacks forever… who knows what the future holds for us… it’s a big world out there, and there’s still a few places on our packs for Christina to sew flags onto!

      We hope that our travelling has been inspirational to our readers, perhaps to the point where they have the courage to ‘break free’ from their own conventional lives in one way or another… life is short, and I doubt anyone one of us will ‘pop our clogs’ regretting time spent doing something wild and adventurous.

      Stories around a campfire sounds fun… as does regaling them to our future grandchildren… proving to them that granny and grandpa were once indeed cool!

      See you soon,


  3. Rose Ann says:

    Thanks for the up date. There is a time for everything, and the time for this door to close is coming. Until then, enjoy everything, and travel safe. Only when this door is closed will the next one open.

  4. Jennifer Wells says:

    When you get home, start planning your next trip immediately, but it HAS to be to Australia so we can get together again xxx
    Jennifer and Tony (Tuscany 2012)

  5. Kaj says:

    It is Monday Morning and I am having my coffee and reading your blog as usual. I have to be honest and say I am looking forward to having you guys back in the Ottawa area but I will miss your blog. It was fun reading about your adventures. Thank you so much for sharing it with us.
    Enjoy your remaining time being footloose.

    I know there are further adventures for you two in the future.


  6. Jurgen Portz says:

    Hi Christina and Chris,

    Enjoy your last few weeks of travel. We’ve still got snow here in Ottawa so no need to hurry back! 🙂

    Your blog has certainly provided plenty of interesting and enjoyable reads and I especially liked following the ones during the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage. Hope to see you guys once you’re back in town and curious to see how you will manifest again. Sounds like there are plenty of potentials to explore…..


    • christina says:

      Hi Jurgen
      Glad you’ve enjoyed the blog. I must say that walking the Camingo de Santigo was one of the most enriching experiences for me during this trip and perhaps that came out in my writing. Chris and I Would love to get together with you too. Interested to see what you’ve been up to for the last couple of years while we’ve circumnavigated the globe.

  7. Marc says:

    All good things must come to an end… Famous last words!

    Well, like most of your faithfull deciples, I too am sad that your trip is coming full circle and that the blog will become silent. You have treated us to an experience that we will not soon forget. You have shared the world with us and have touched fellow travellers around the world.

    Sometimes, our actions touch others and we change their lives without knowing the impact of our encounters. These impacts may be felt immediately or years down the road.

    You have made this trip a time of happiness in my life – specially the Camino – and I will always be greatfull for your time and effort in bringing me (and all of us) along with you these 19 months!

    Can’t wait to see you when you get back!


    • christina says:

      Hi Marc
      Not everybody has the chance to travel around the world for 19 months like Chris and I have. We consider ourselves extremely fortunate and every day I have felt deep gratitude for this opportunity – especially on Monday mornings 🙂 Our blog has been our way of sharing this voyage with the people that mean the most to us – friends and family. Many have expressed to us how they have felt they have been travelling right along side us when they read our stories and see our photos. I never expected we would touch or inspire others with our story, but if we have, that really warms my heart!

      I must admit it took dogged determination (some might call it tenacity) on my part to keep the blog going because it turned out to be a hell of a lot of work – way more than we every expected. But now that we’re nearing the end of our journey, I am so glad we persevered because we have a wonderful record of our trip that will live on in cyberspace.

      Based on the site stats, we have been getting 500-600 views on each new post lately, but we have no idea who is following our adventure aside from the handful of regular commenters of which you are one of our best 🙂 So thanks for staying engaged with us, especially during the Camino de Santiago when I really needed it the most!

      Looking forward to seeing you too!


  8. Fellowe Steerage Passanger in the Journey of Life says:

    Enjoy the rest of your present travels.
    There will be more!

    I was thinking of you both just last week as a walked past the front door of the Crown Bar in Belfast with the sidewalks covered in deep snow.

    Would really like to catch up, and have a chat.
    Take Care and Safe Travels.

    P.S. Enjoy the adventure that is crossing roads in HaNoi.
    (I don’t think there is anywhere else on earth that you can close your eyes and walk out into traffic!!)

    • christina says:

      Greetings to you, our faithful steerage friend! We’re heading to Hanoi tonight and have already had a taste of the crazy traffic in Saigon, although I hear it is much worse in Hanoi. Not sure if I’m brave enough to cross the street with my eyes closed though, but if I do, I’m sure Chris will capture it on video for all to see later. Internet has been flaky here in Vietnam, so let’s skype when we’re back in Canada. Speaking of Canada, will you be stopping in on your way to the Arctic this summer? If you could swing a detour to Ottawa, we would love to have you for a visit. Chris and I were just talking about you the other day and your upcoming trip … never know, we could just show up at the last minute and see what’s available (we’ve been known to do that before as you well know!) We’re awfully tempted 🙂 Where are you embarking from?

  9. Robin Spencer says:

    Kind of sad to hear this adventure is coming to an end but you two have done what everyone else only dreams about. It will be nice to see you again.

    Do I smell a book in the making? 🙂