We figure that once we’re away and experiencing what it’s actually like, we won’t clearly remember what we thought it might be like. So we’re capturing that here.
Things we’re excited about:
It seems funny to think about trying to pinpoint the specific things I’m excited about as we head out on this adventure. Let’s face it – it is going to be an adventure and something we have been thinking about and hoping to do for a number of years now. And now here we are, about to launch ourselves half-way around the world. I am certainly excited about visiting a part of the world I have not been before, but that I have wanted to visit for some time. Mostly though I am excited about the opportunity to spend time together as a family (or at least partial family at various stages of the trip), and experiencing things together no matter what the trip throws at us. I am excited about the strong bond it will create amongst us from travelling together, volunteering together and experiencing new things together.
- memory-making — for the present and later
- fresh perspectives, lots of learning, openness to that
- extended time with Tim, free of work-related distractions
- time to reflect on next chapter
- may result in a book, but at least a blog
- great knitting stores
I am super shocked to even admit this out loud, but one of the things I am most excited about for this trip is the history; mostly Vietnamese. I cannot wait to see some of the places we briefly skimmed through the history of in high school, and discover the temples in Cambodia. Being 20, and you know, somewhat educated now, I can honestly say that the site seeing, and the history are two of the things I am most excited for, because I have lived a little bit and now appreciate the ancient artifacts and the stories behind the buildings, places, and people. I am hoping to take a million thousand pictures I can look back on and share with people once I get back, because I have no doubt it will be one of the most beautiful trips I have ever been on.
-seeing new countries
– crossing sky diving off my bucket list
-finally going to these countries
- Difference of Cultures in Asia
- Break from the busy life at home
- Being somewhere that I’ve never been to before
- Adventure- I’m not nervous of things going wrong, all part of the story
- I am excited for the scenery for filming videos
Why we think the trip is worth doing:
We love to travel! It will stretch us to be away, figuring things out as we go, pushing us out of comfort zone. But it will also give us something to cherish as a family as each of us will get to experience part or all of the trip, so there will be a common bond for the family coming out of the trip from our shared experience. Our kids always remember the trips we take – memories are made whenever we travel. Most of all though, it is an adventure!
- Always wanted to take a longer trip as a family — a bit surprised it’s happening at this stage rather than when they were younger or grown and gone
- Always loved to travel, am convinced of its benefits
- Knew we’d need a long chunk to go that far away
- Taking advantage of C’s gap year and T’s transition at work
I am speculating that this trip will be more than worthwhile, something that I may never do again, or something that I may not do again for a long time, and for this reason, being away from home for 2 weeks, and away from family for a total of 8 weeks, seems like a pretty good idea. But seriously, being in the heart of Vietnam and travelling through popular cities, visiting historic sites, and sharing some of the most authentic Vietnamese and Cambodian culture with the majority of my family is something that I believe will most definitely be worth experiencing.
-Gap year is the perfect time for me to travel
-Parents are still paying for me to travel at this point
-Do it while you can
-Good family time
We’ll experience new cultures and expand our knowledge and understanding of others in our world. Gives us all time to think about the next chapter of our lives and bond as a family.
- I think that this trip is worth doing because we will learn a lot about other countries’ culture.
Things we’re nervous about:
To be honest the portion of the trip in Vietnam and Cambodia make me nervous; mostly because of the unknown and lack of familiarity with Asia. To me it seems to be significantly different culturally and I am expecting it to be hard to adjust when we first arrive and I feel like I will be on my guard (and thus tired) most of the time. I’m glad this is at the beginning of the trip, it will make the arrival in Australia and the rest of the trip more relaxing, at least for me. I am also not sure how I will adjust to being away from work for this long – it is a significant amount of time to be away, and also to be only with a small group of people, even though they are family!
- leaving some of the kids behind and far away
- health (ours and loved ones left behind)
- getting along (lots of forced family time, little independence, ability to adjust) and juggling various needs
- getting the pace right; moving around too much; too focused on logistics
- logistics (lots more could go wrong with home swaps than hotels)
- cost (no idea of budget, may not be aligned in terms of spending expectations)
- disconnecting from friends and work (also excited by that); missing home
- being ready to come home when Claire leaves, rather than 2 weeks later
Of course being part of this type of adventure comes with nerves, and the biggest one for me is the travelling such a distance alone both to Vietnam and back. I have travelled alone before…to Florida…but never something as extensive as this. I am also slightly uneasy about the potential culture shock that may make its way into my life from being in such a new place. I remember feeling slightly weird when visiting Africa, but was doing more supportive missions work rather than touring so I was in a different place mentally in terms of just being in awe.
-bugs and spiders
-falling in love with the place and not wanting to leave
-dying when I go sky diving
- Being away from my friends for that long
- Being with only my family for that long
- The number and length of travel days
- Getting sick and not being able to fully enjoy it
- Feeling bored- not going to be paying to do stuff everyday, I don’t want to feel like we were at home but with none of the home stuff to do
- I am “scared” because I don’t like being away from home, and because we will be moving around a lot
- I think that the trip will seem a little rushed because we are going to so many places. but we will get used to it
What we think it will be like:
I expect that Vietnam & Cambodia will be hot & humid, crowded, noisy, tight quarters; anticipating plenty of people trying to sell me things, pushy and aggressive – which is why this part makes me nervous. In terms of New Zealand I am looking forward to it as it always appearsbeautiful in photos and movies; looking forward to exploring on this part of our trip. It will certainly be a break from the routine – work, school, general pace of life we are used to. I also expect it will be relaxing and reflective – without the rush of the routine, we should be able to find time to be, to reflect and to plan for what we might do once we return.
- Asia will be busy, tiring, overwhelming, amazing
- NZ will be beautiful, lower key
- Australia will feel more familiar
- Some days/chunks will be better than others and different for different people
- Need to go in with openness, curiosity, flexibility, patience
My expectations are relatively low at this point. Not to say that I am preparing myself for disappointment by any means, but I honestly have no idea what to expect therefore I am not overly excited about anything in particular, nor have I given much though as to what I think this trip will be like. I expect to eat delicious food, and to be amazed by the differences between North America and Asia, but apart from that, I am trying to be as open minded as I possibly can be.
-Lots of car time.. too much car time
-Home feeling.. compared to some countries
-Hopefully warmer weather than here
- I think that Asia is going to be very crowded, and that there will be many times we laugh because we have no clue what they’re saying
- Australia will be very similar to home
- New Zealand will be laid back and quiet though the most adventurous in terms of activities.
- I think that the Asia part of the trip will be the most different from Canada
- I feel that Australia, mainly in the cities, will be most familiar to my life here in Canada
- I think that we may be surprised by how different/similar things are to home that we did not expect to be.
Our Role in the Family/Travelling Personality:
I’m fairly patient about most things (we’ll see how that goes travelling together for this long)! I enjoy travelling, but like it to be generally controlled – having things run smoothly is important to me, it puts me at ease and allows me to enjoy the travelling, rather than just getting through it.
I’m the main organizer (with great help from Gen). I hope I’ve got the details right and haven’t forgotten anything major. I love the adventure of travelling — I’m curious and I like to learn and explore. I don’t want to miss anything amazing along our route, so will be researching lots along the way. This trip has so many “moving parts” that I’m a bit nervous about everything going smoothly enough — small bumps are to be expected for sure…
I currently see myself as being the role model of the family, at least for the siblings. This is a natural process by which I was generously selected to be the first born and therefore this role in the family is one that I personally did not choose, but acquired undesirably and as such must do my best to uphold. I am probably the third most outgoing member of our family, next to my youngest sister and mother who have surpassed me in my time at the University of Waterloo (it has made me less social). My friends describe me as conscientious and agreeable if we are talking personality, but I would also say that I do possess some neuroticism these days as well. I have travelled a lot for someone my age, but never to anywhere quite as fascinating as Vietnam or Cambodia. I have been to Kenya and Tanzania, which are my closest comparisons, and I loved every minute of my two trips to Africa therefore as a traveller, I am super ready to take on Asia. I am finishing up my third year of University in a program that I love, and who knows, maybe this experience will open my eyes to a whole possibility of careers in law that have not even crossed my mind yet. Overall, I’d say I am a kind and generous person who will have a hard time resisting giving toys, and hugs to all the people that we meet while we are away, and I cannot wait to see what Asia is all about.
-By far the funniest family member
-Making people laugh except mom 😉
-Being geographically challenged, which is fine except for when we are travelling it seems
-Before, I would say I was a negative traveller for certain types of trips, but since a recent European travelling experience, I am a lot more open to new and different things than I would have been before, so it’s allowed me to enjoy travelling in a new way.
- Love to travel- and can be independent in doing so
- Care about itinerary- heavily involved in the planning and will care day to day
- Want to get the most out of things
- Second youngest
- Most adventurous and willing to try new things
- I’m an extravert and usually open minded and willing to try new things
- I enjoy creating YouTube videos. I also enjoy playing sports and hanging out with my friends.
- I spend a lot of time in my room by myself
- youngest person in the family, and only male other than Tim
- very quiet