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Suo Tien Cultural Amusement Park

Making the best of our last days in Ho Chi Minh City, we visited Suo Tien Cultural Amusement Park on Saturday. It took a few attempts to find it as Google Maps led us astray (this has happened several times in Vietnam). Our first Uber dropped us off in the middle of a random alleyway. […]

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Ho Chi Minh City: Last Days

Our flight home to Calgary leaves early on the morning of December 6. We will spend 25 hours in transit – insanity! We are far from home indeed. In the meantime, we have a few days to explore Vietnam’s economic capital and biggest city. Ho Chi Minh City feels so much larger than Hanoi, less […]

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Some Very Sad News

After five months on the road, our world trip may come to an abrupt end. Roman has been struggling with a stomach bug ever since we flew into Vietnam three weeks ago. It has gotten better, then worse again, then better again, and now…worse again. When we first arrived in Hanoi, we figured he’d caught […]

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What we did in Busan

Stepping off the ferry in Busan was like a homecoming for Roman and I. We’d spent our first year of marriage teaching English to kids in Gimhae, a suburb of South Korea’s second-largest city. We’d even taken this same ferry once, when we visited Japan on our New Year’s vacation from work. This is why […]

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The Jjim-jil bang (Korean bathhouse and sauna)

The Korean bathhouse is a unique experience. Many Westerners feel uncomfortable getting naked in public to use the baths, and I understand that it can be a difficult undertaking, especially with children. If this had been our first and only time in Korea, and if we hadn’t had an inkling of how awesome Korean jjim-jil-bangs were, […]

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The Panstar Ferry

We said goodbye to Kyoto on November 1st and took an overnight ferry across the Sea of Japan to South Korea. The Panstar “cruise” is a Korean-run ferry that sails between Osaka (Japan) and Busan (South Korea) three times a week. We booked our tickets online and picked them up at the ferry terminal without […]

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A Long Pause in Kyoto

We are living in Hieidaira, a small neighbourhood located halfway up a mountain in the suburbs of Kyoto. There is only one bus which serves the suburb, and it lumbers up the narrow, switchback road once every hour. We are somewhat out of the way, where the airbnb prices are more affordable, and so our […]

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7 Thoughts of an Aging Monkey

We are living in Kyoto presently. On the western side of town, there is a neighbourhood called Arashiyama – which is home to great sushi, a bamboo forest, and a mountain park with wild macaques. The macaques are quite accustomed to people and friendly. We’ve visited them twice so far, and in exchange for chunks […]

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5 Reasons Why Taking a Cruise Was WAY Better Than Flying

1) It was loads more fun! Nobody likes a 12-hour flight in a cramped airplane, but who doesn’t like spending two weeks on a cruise ship? This was our first real cruising experience as a family, and it went fabulously well. With most of our days at sea, we basically lived on a floating all-inclusive […]

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Water and Stars

We crossed the Pacific in a ship. There is no adequate English verb for what a ship does in the ocean. In Russian (my only language of comparison), it’s quite comfortable to say “корабль плывёт,” which would translate to “the ship swims” – an absurdity in English. “Sailing” implies a sailboat, implies a skill we […]

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