As we move from one place to the next, we’ll keep here a few memories of our favourite spots, people, things and adventures. Click on the links below to go directly to the pictures, or simply scroll through.
August – October 2019
We packed up, gave away, or sold all our possessions and hit the road. But not without a number of great memories spent with the many great friend’s we’ve met while living in Europe – including a few trips to our favorite places, visits with friends, the always mind-blowing Geneva firework display, and a few “See you soon” or goodbye parties to get things started…
We had a great time with family and friends up in the Cold North – and had a special visitor (JM’s Dad) join for the first week! JM went to his first NHL games (now firmly an Oilers fan!) and Tiff joined (as the photographer…) for JM and Mark’s first field shoot (hunting, not photo shoot…).
Just in time for the fall leaves to give us a spectacular show, we experienced the turning of the seasons as we spent time with family and Tiff met JM’s near and dear. We travelled to Mississippi where JM showed Tiff where he grew up and introduced her to all the family, and finished up the trip in Florida with “Cool Aunt Sue”.
A start to our adventures like we never could have imagined -upgraded on our flight, welcomed with a “royal” start, fireworks, marching bands, balls and more! But with fun comes great responsibility it seems – Tiff’s PhD work started off full throttle with a number of interviews with the stock exchange and listed companies. But in between the work, we found plenty of time to eat great food, spend time with great company and then find some great beaches!
November – December 2019
For our first visit we went straight to see Tiff’s favourite crazy Canadian diplo family – who she last saw in South Africa for their last posting. We got all caught up over Canadian Thanksgiving Dinner (with a whole lot of turkey(s)…And also fit in some time at the beach nearby. We visited a beach town called Uvitas and headed up North to Nicaragua before coming back to our Costa Rica home away from home.
We decided to take a quick trip North of Costa Rica to Nicaragua based on the advice of some friends, and we are so glad we did! Despite warnings not to travel to Nicaragua because of civil unrest, we were welcomed by incredibly friendly, curious and hospital people. Arriving just in time for a 9-day holiday celebrating the Virgin Mary, we somehow managed to get marching-band wake-up calls most mornings (earlier than we’d have liked…) and fireworks were nearly constant (or at least the loud bangs…). We visited Managua where Tiffany spent time at the stock exchange, and we attended a baseball game – which blew JM’s mind… Cheapest, best seats in an amazing stadium – but we didn’t realize at the time that we were the only ones there because others were not attending as a peaceful protest against the government. Ooops. We also got to experience local transport (called chicken buses – but I think they are the US’s old school busses…) and we climbed a volcano – which we are still aching from days later. We met some really amazing people in Nicaragua and will certainly one day go back!
December 2019-January 2020
We came, we went, we returned… maybe we’ll do it again!
After our quick trip up to Nicaragua, we came back to settle into our temporary Costa Rica home (with dog) which we house/dog sat over Christmas and New Year. We forgot how much we loved having a home, and we took advantage of having the space to cook, bake bread, host Christmas Dinner and “binge watch” some netflix!
While at the beach not far from San Jose, we happened upon an pull-tab advertisement for volunteers needed in a treehouse community in Costa Rica – so we ended up spending just over 2 weeks with a wonderful community in the jungle. Highly recommend visiting this unique little pocket of the world – visit https://www.fincabellavistacommunity.com/ to learn amore about this great place – and visit our blog to read about our experience here!
Back again to our lovely Panama City home with the Erwins 🙂 This time around to celebrate Lisa’s birthday – so Nuala joined too! Ofcourse this include many different drinks, a mariachi, a piñata, an impressive wonder woman cake and lots of planning done by Nuala… We had a great tour of the old town and the graffiti, and JM got to judge the Mike vs. Darrin rib contest.
Can’t wait to see these lovely folks again!
We said our “So-longs” and hopped on a boat to sail to Colombia. What a ride that was! We were (and maybe still are) half tempted to learn how to sail from Captain Corry (story to come…) and buy a sailboat to live on… We spent 6 days with a great group of people island hopping in the Sanblas Islands then onto open seas straight for Cartagena, Colombia. Read about our sailing trip in our blog!
We arrived a bit shaken by waves and pretty salty, but soon we stepped into our air conditioned apartment (wow, we have been lucky with friend’s lending their homes..!!) and spent our first week in Colombia drinking lots of coffee, watching ships role in, and enjoying a beautiful historical center of rooftop bars and traditional dance shows in Cartagena. Once we had recovered from our time at sea, we headed to Medellin where we enjoyed getting to know the city and spending time with some truly lovely people we met on the sailboat.
In Medellin, we found some routine and got down to work. Tiff re-focused on her PhD and JM started to help a local NGO focused on malnutrition in the poorest neighbourhoods of the city. We spent hours in the expat-filled neighbourhood of El Poblado where you hear English more than Spanish. But to counter this un-authentic feeling we also took many trips up the metro cable cars into the poor neighbourhoods built on the hills surrounding Medellin.
A couple weeks in we welcomed Tiff’s highschool friend Kym and the real fun began! We finally did all the things we had been saving for her arrival, including visiting the infamous graffiti of Comuna 13, numerous great restaurants and bars, and we even made it to Medellin’s biggest football game of the year. Then we hopped on a bus and spend a few days in Guatape. It was so nice to be in a small quiet town for a while. We got to know the Colombian buñuelos well…
It was sad to say goodbye to our tour manager, Kym – but as a condolence prize, we were invited to stay at the family farm of a friend of JM’s. Pure luxury. We couldn’t have relaxed more!