We're moving.

So, we're in the process of moving our blog.
The new address will be www.oneepicadventure.wordpress.com
Check it out! Better pictures, and more fun.

Oops, I signed in as Josh, and now I can't go back. : )Calgary weather: -6, sunny.Mood: yogified & chocolattended.I have to confess to you, that i'm very possibly addicted to my new gym. I dumped my old gym after 9 years because I wanted something new. I never did a single group class there, but my workout needs have changed, and now I've joined this new place almost entirely FOR its classes, namely yoga & spinning. I feel strange when I miss a day, it's really weird for me. But, what do ya know? I'm heading to beach-ville in 2 weeks and a couple days, so its good timing.I've also been thinking alot about my teaching job, I enjoy it for the most part, but I'm thinking that i'ts not my thing after all. At this point, I can say i've tried it, and its not for me. I miss the hands on skills, the social aspect of emerg (with both patients & my colleagues), and the fact that I'm only responsible for my own actions, not 8 others. I've decided to finish my commitment through to the end of April, and as a typical emerg personality, find something new (in addition to children's emerg) after only 6 months.Josh and I have been brainstorming a bit about what we're going to do with ourselves, and I think i'm going to do a few photography courses, and he's going to do some web design courses, both of us starting this coming spring. These new skills should give us some flexibility with the option of not being held down to one location, and to maintain our ability to travel when we'd like.On the trip: we haven't booked a car yet, and are wondering if we should, or wait until we get to P.V. Anyone have any tips or suggestions on that??? I think we'll spend the first couple days at the resort, and then go exploring after that for the week. We are thinking about spending a couple of nights maybe in Sayulita, so any suggestions or recommendations on a hotel, guesthouse, etc would also be really helpful!The other thing on my mind, a little unrelated, is doggy kennels. Are there any good ones near P.V that we could use if we had to go away for a few days without our pooch? We won't need one for a long while, but its just a thought.Spanish lessons are going, slowly. I'm so impatient, I want to learn it faster! I could sit and just keep going and going, but after a while you can only absorb so much! I'll keep at it, cuz i have a goal to reach before we head down there in T minus 17 days. : )Well, Nixon and I are off to the doggy park, then to the vet for a kennel cough vaccination in preparation for the trip. He's excited for his holiday at the Country Club as well!

Great Video

I received this video in an email the other day and thought it was worth posting.
Makes you think?

It can be seen at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=42E2fAWM6rA

Check it out.

The World Should Travel

The world would be a better place if we all traveled, saw different countries, experienced different cultures and understood the various religions. If the world could travel would we see less war, less propaganda, less fear driven news. Would people be more open to discussion, more open minded and less interested in conflict. Would places like Africa and the Asia receive the humanitarian aid and assistance they truly need. Would the world be better off?

Rambling...this, that & other things....

Calgary weather: today we walked Nixon outside with just hoodies! Yip-yippee.. but not quite good enough. It was only +6 (yet sunny and amazingly no chinook wind). The snow is melting, just in time to get more, as always. : )

Over the last few days I've felt over anxious and bored at the same time, like there's something I'm supposed to be doing. I have difficulty concentrating and find myself craving things that I don't really need, like the usual, shopping and eating chocolate, but whenever I really think about doing those things I realize they aren't what I want.
Instead, I think its because we've finally realized that what we want is to get out of here, and quite frankly I think I'm quite impatient about things that I've decided upon. So is Josh. In fact, he'll sit & read other blogs for hours, whereas I'm impatient, read one or two, and then I'm back to (sigh) boredom. I'm likely not bored either, reading, dog walking, gym going, groceries, and laundry, there's plenty going on, its just not what i REALLY want to be doing....
Lately, I've been doing a really poor job at living my life in the present. I wonder how I'm possibly going to get through the next 3 weeks until we leave for PV, and after that, whether I'll be a kind, patient, knowledge-sharing clinical instructor for my (last?) group of nursing students. I enjoy my job in emerg, and so to fill this void of premature "want", I may find myself there more often than in recent weeks, in order to keep my sanity.
I recently posted a note on facebook, as all my (work) friends have, on 25 random thoughts about me, in which I've made the realization that emerg people are quite similar. We crave new things, need new challenges, and thrive on change and unpredictability (although, with the latter, I am actually quite a planner, but as in our travel blog above, its slowly leaking from me). I've learned some things about others that remind me of myself, and I've also noted that there are a lot of people I know who wish they were doing something different, living their lives some other way. Why don't they? What are the barriers that most people face? Is it their jobs, financial instability, family pressure, or fear of the unknown? Maybe its all of the above. The reality is that we'll never do anything we want in life if there are obstacles in the way, we might have to be creative and take risks once in a while to acheive the greater things.
My thoughts on our obstacles, well, maybe mine, it's being away from my family. We're pretty close, especially my mom, sister, and I, but also our extended family that meets for dinners quite regularly (once a month-ish). I usually talk to my mom almost everynight on the phone, and now that she's down in California for 6 weeks with my sister, I find that i'm missing our chats. This shouldn't be too much of an issue with a winter getaway, but if we moved permanently, it may be. Josh is very close to his family as well, especially his brother. Although, both of our parents enjoy travelling and have the means to do so, and I don't expect them to wait too long to come visit us.
I'm just hoping that our upcoming trip is successful and we find the things that we value in a living place. Some of these things we know exist, including warm weather, ocean, proximity to basic needs, surfing, relaxed atmosphere, and the ability to escape from the rat race and material world that so completely consumes American/Canadian society.
So far, its a good start, so we'll see how things go. Nixon (our water-obsessed lab) is pretty excited that he might have his own pool one day, but is slightly concerned about his possible food change (he's not, he's a walking garbage can). We prefer hammocks to couches for reading, and Josh admits he may take up beach running (with Nixon and I). Whoop!

So, its been a few days, and not much has happend toward our Mexican goal, however, I think I'll write about some of our past adventures. Our blog has just begun, but the adventure started a while back!
But first, I have to comment on how proud I am of myself for doing something I'd not normally do. I went to my new gym, all excited for a yoga class at 7pm, when i got there, no one else had their mats, and I learned that my schedule was wrong. Oh no. In its place was a latino/salsa inspired cardio dance class, which I have to be honest is my worst nightmare, since I do NOT dance, and I do NOT have aerobic coordination. However, instead of leaving and wasting my time, I decided to sneak in to the back of the class (incase i had to make a run for it) because after all, how could I move to Mexico, and not try something like this??? At first I felt dumb, then slowly better, about 3/4 through I felt like a real idiot, and by the end, I almost could say I had fun. So, I MAY have to go again, but we'll see. It was an evening of trying something new, in the name of adventure, but by accident.
So, past adventures.... I'll start with those from the time Josh and I have been together, since early 2000. We've done a fair amount of traveling, but in addition to that, we've done things that could possibly be crossed off our "bucket list" including:
-Hot air balloon ride (including somewhat of a crash landing into a tree), this was a birthday present from Josh, and i am terribly afraid of heights, and did not move an inch the whole time we were airborne. My relief came when we came to a stop in the tree, and had to jump the basket to break a branch so the basket tipped over and we fell out sideways onto the ground. We attracted quite the neighbourhood crowd.
-Shooting a small handgun while in a safe little bullet proof box of a practice range, another birthday present, and although lots of people can say they have shot a gun, this was my first. I joke about being a sharp shooter in a past life.
-A helicopter tour around Cochrane, which as my 27th birthday present this year, a complete surprise, again still afraid of heights but the view was awesome. Josh has some really great birthday idea's and I haven't been able to come even close to beating any of them.
Note that you will not find bungee jumping or sky diving on our bucket list. No thanks.
As for some extreme travel highlights checked off our list:
Thailand: riding elephants, petting a full grown tiger, and holding & feeding a baby tiger a bottle of milk. Held a pet monkey named Fanta. There were many sketchy transportation adventures in Thailand that are too many to list, as well I wouldn't say they were on our checklist, they just happend, and we're alive to tell about them.
Vietnam: shooting an AK47 into a big empty field with a wooden goat about 300 ft down. No ear protection persay, just a set of broken headphones. Sounds safe? I know. : ) Crawling through the Viet Cong underground caves, which I can't check off my list d/t clostrophobia, but Josh can.
St Thomas: Zip lines, I think i may have let out a bit of a screachy-scream on my first flight down the first zip, which happend to be the highest, fastest and longest. It was super fun.
I'm likely forgetting a few, but lets start listing our travel adventures....
In 2000, we took a month off in August and did our first mini-adventure car trip down the coast of the states, but we only made it to Oregon, and it was freezing cold, so we chickened out and headed back up to Vancouver Island for some camping.
In 2002, we got a bit braver, and booked a bus tour through Europe in May for 3 weeks. We hit London briefly, then France, Italy, Monaco, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Lichtenstein, and Holland, before meeting up with my Grandparents and aunt who were visiting some relatives in Germany. We stuck around with them for 10 days or so, and had some great war tours.
In 2003, we did a short family vacation to Puerto Vallarta with my family, and then some friends invited us to Thailand for 6 weeks, and I have to admit I was slightly afraid. We didn't plan really anything except for the islands we wanted to hit. My mother hated this even more than I did. The trip was awesome, yet horribly hot, but I think it is still my favorite trip. We also took a few days and went into Cambodia to Ankor Wat, another amazing scene, very quiet, lush, almost a secret. The people were unspoiled by the western world, and we were a sight to stare at. Unfortunately, I've heard things have changed a lot since we've been to Thailand & Cambodia, the tourism is really taking a toll.
In 2004, my family (Josh included) went to Cuba. Meh. Havana was nice. : ) Otherwise, it wasn't my favorite, nor was it very warm around New Years.
In 2006, we did an eastern Carribean cruise with my mom and sister. Puerto Rico, Antigua, St Thomas, St Martin, Bahamas. I enjoyed my first cruise, kept busy, but we felt like we were really tourist trapped for the entire time with excursions and stuff. We like to do our own thing.
In May of 2006, we flew by the seat of our pants when we went to Vietnam for 3.5 weeks with Josh's brother and his girlfriend. People at work asked "why Vietnam? why would you pick there?" We said "we like Asia". It was a good trip, less touristy than Thailand, and Halong Bay was definitely a favorite spot. I didn't find there was much to see overall.
We were married on July 7, 2007 and since its warm in Calgary we opted for a staycation at Koocanusa lake, and did a week chok full of wakeboarding. Then, in September we took off to Japan for 2.5 weeks for our real honeymoon. The culture was amazing, the people were very friendly, the language barrier was an exciting challenge at times, the food was tough to navigate, but the transportation was exceptionally organized, clean, fast, never like we've ever seen before.
In May of 2008 we were scheduled to do another trip with the in-law kids, but Josh and I ended up having to postpone until September and go at it alone. We decided to rent a car this time, which I loved. We flew to Paris, then drove down through France, into Spain from east to west and into Portugal, then back up through to Paris. We had our trusty GPS lady Elizabeth to help us along the way. We saw way more, in less time, and on our own schedule than ever before. We have have up to 4 traffic tickets coming in the mail however. It was a great way to see those countries.
So, we've seen a few Asian countries, and several European countries. We'd like to call ourselves "world travellers" but we haven't touched Africa or South America yet. Josh has been to Australia for a few months after high school, and I have been to Indonesia, Greece, Italy, and Turkey on school trips.
We've also had a stopover in Singapore, in which we went on the night safari at the zoo. Truly spectacular. No real cages, all the animals are lurking just over a small ditch, or through a few trees/shrubs.
Travel plans for the future? I was hoping we could do some Africa this May, but we'll have to hold out. We tossed around the idea of doing a week long sailing lesson in Bahamas or Tortola to enable us to skipper a 30-50 ft catamaran, but we decided we won't be using the skills for a while, and we might forget what we're doing. Maybe next year?! We've also got our sights set on an "around the world" flight that takes us to Australia, New Zealand, Figi, Bali, Bangkok & Manila with a 3 month time limit. Sounds yummy, but we'll have to play it by ear.
It's hard not to talk travel at work, especially for me because everyone there is CRAZY into travelling. I think its an emerg nurse personality trait. Adventure. Someone's always going somewhere neat!
Since I'm the queen of long blogs, I think maybe I should quit for the day.
Oh, but I did forget to mention the inspiration for our travel locations... its a coffee table book called "100 Wonders of the World" by Michael Hoffmann & Alexander Krings. The pictures are spectacular, it makes you want to go to all of them, tomorrow. Check it out! We also have a map framed in our house with color coded stickers of places we've seen and still want to see. Then you can see how little you've actually travelled.
Okay, now I'm done.

Excited about the trip

Although the weather here isn't too horrible this week, I find myself counting down the days until our Mexico trip. It's been almost 6 years since Josh and I have been last, but this time it has a different feel. Its not just an ordinary lie-on-the-beach kind of holiday, and for one, Josh is unable to do that, and I from spending too much time with him, cannot either. This time, I am looking forward to seeing what it would be like to live there, and seeing where the locals might hangout. It's the possiblility of a new place to live. We're learning some spanish, which is exciting for me anyway, but probably not enough to get us anywhere just yet. Anyway, this "holiday" is about exploring the country in hopes that it might be our destination of choice!
We've started doing a few things to get ready for a move. After Christmas we did a complete house purge, and got rid of anything that was useless, unused, or unwanted. We took a truck load each to goodwill and to the dump. A few framed pictures donated to the hospital, some books to the school, and a couple things to friends and family. Afterwards we felt pretty darn refreshed. We can live with a lot less than what we've got now.
We've started learning spanish on our new Rosetta Stone program that we got for Christmas, and so far its pretty amazing. It's like learning from the start, like a baby.
We've done some research on possible moving locations.
Josh has quit his job as of this coming August, and is looking for new options, which just happens to be perfect timing.
My job is flexible, as I work casual at the hospital, and can go at the drop of a hat if need be. I can keep my licence as an RN as long as I do 1 shift in 6 months, which I think i can handle.
We're getting scuba certified this spring, and hope to do some surfing on our trip next month.
Other odds and ends that need more consideration include our house, and cars, and timing for the move. And, of course, whether or not our destination is the one for us.
The biggest question in my mind now, and likely others, is what are we going to do for work? Well, we're not sure yet, but we're hoping that when we're down there either this time, or next winter we'll come across an opportunity, and find a void somewhere that needs to be filled. We'd like to do some volunteering, and maybe that would lead to something a bit more long term. We still haven't decided if we're going year round, or just for the winters. I think I like the snowbird idea for now at least until we really know we love living there. Calgary is quite lovely in the summer, not too hot, not too cold. Lots of sunlight. And, the wakeboarding at lake Koocanusa just cannot be given up.
Lots to ponder, I'm having difficulty concentrating on my day to day life these days... its all about Mexican dreaming. Beach. Warm. Yay