What to Bring??

By , May 15, 2017 5:48 pm

Your mission, should you choose to accept it is to fit all that you hold dear and important into only two suitcases. Each cannot weigh more than 50 pounds or have a combined dimension of 62″. Sounds like you’ll be packing a lot of stuff, doesn’t it?

Think about everything you own in your home, your apartment, your storage, your nooks and crannies, your space – all the stuff that fills it and makes it comfortable, welcoming….yours. Clothes, shoes, books, electronics, games, and memories. What would you need for the next 2.5 years?

What would you pack?

 

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Peace Corps

By , May 10, 2017 7:59 am

Holy cow!!!  This is really happening.

Bert and Patty are going into the Peace Corps!!!  21 years ago I (Bert…aka Christine) was just as excited for this exact same reason.  I was, and am now, sorting, packing, selling, donating and plain ol’ stressing about all the stuff we have.  For two people who pride themselves on being minimalists, we have managed, in the past six years, to accumulate a lot of stuff.  Luckily, we have a very small condo or it could have been worse.  This is the third time for me and the second time for Paul, of completely downsizing to what fits in a backpack and a few boxes.  I have to say, it feels very good.  We have gotten rid of quite a bit of stuff in the past few weeks and honestly, I cannot even remember what we got rid of let alone miss it.

Can you think of a few things you can get rid of and not even miss?

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Hello Malaysia!!!!

By , August 13, 2014 8:28 am

KuchingWell, cannot believe another week has gone by.  Where does the time go?  At the moment I am on a plane headed to Hanoi.  I have just spent a week and a half in Malaysia.  The time went by in a flash.  Let me tell you all about it.
So, a few months ago I was talking to my friend from Uni, Constance, and she decided to coordinate her trip home to Borneo for the same time that I would be graduating from my TESOL program.  This could not have been more perfect.  I went from my newly made friends in HCMC to my old friend and her family.  It started with two nights in Kuala Lumpur.  Constance and her in laws picked me up and we headed out to the sweetest town called Melaka.  It took a couple of hours to get there but it was completely worth it.  Since Connie and her family are Chinese Malaysians, we visited Chinese temples, ate the most amazing rice balls lunch, and walked around.  The town is a must if you are visiting K.L.  There are cute shops, cute guesthouses, museums, a huge cathedral and the the most amazing guys riding around on the funniest bikes decorated in all kinds of colors and designs.  You have to see it to believe it.  It was a lovely day that ended with a lovely Chinese dinner and a trip to the health clinic.

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Good Morning Vietnam (again)

By , July 20, 2014 7:31 am

14505420997_38fe7f7f93_oWell, I have been here for a week and what a week it has been. Fantastic!!! 10 steps above Cambodia. Don’t get me wrong, Cambodia is good but Vietnam is really good. I think it also matters where you are staying and we are staying in the best area of the city. It’s so beautiful with tree lined streets and not much much trash really. We are only a couple blocks from the school, Language Corps, which is also nice. I like walking to school in the morning. We also have tons of restaurants and stores all around us. We didn’t have that in Phenom Pehn. Plus, we were so far from everything that a tuk tuk ride was $4 to get anywhere. Here, we can pretty much walk everywhere. We also have an amazing park only a couple of blocks away. I love the park because 1. It is beautiful and 2. It is alive with people. People playing badminton, exercising, jogging, zumba, working out on the permanent equipment, playing Chinese Chess, walking around, and just hanging out.

Our hotel is lovely too. I have a bathtub, a balcony, actual decorations, cable tv and wifi in my room. They even do free laundry service and clean my room when I give them the key. They don’t really know English but it’s amazingly easy to communicate when you really want to. It’s a lot like charades. They are very nice and always smile when we come in.

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Teaching English in Asia

By , July 19, 2014 7:37 am

Photo of view from my window in Cambodia

Holy smokes!! I’m on a bus heading OUT of Cambodia! How did this happen considering it feels like I just arrived? My intention was to write many posts and update Facebook frequently. In reality… I’m still getting used to writing on a tablet, having unreliable internet, and being in classes all day. This has been challenging at times, especially for a gal that hasn’t been in school for 14 years. So, with that, let me tell you the story of Cambodia as I lived it.

 

Well, it took two days to get here. I stayed in a lovely hotel in Taiwan on the way. Once in Cambodia, I was greeted by a guy (I call him Bob Marley because he was wearing a B.M. t-shirt and didn’t speak English). The first thing he did was walk me through the airport parking lot and across the street to his tuk-tuk. The street was very busy so we weaved through and the vehicles went around us like a school of fish. Welcome to Cambodia! We hopped into the tuk-tuk and were ourselves weaving around the crowded streets to make our way to my new home, the Marady Hotel. For those of you who do not know, I am taking an intensive TESOL course that starts in Phnom Penh and ends in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Our hotel was a bit far out and honestly did not look too inviting to explore the streets. I did not see any tourist shops, restaurants or even a mall. I kept thinking, ‘what did I get myself into?’ I was also feeling quite lost without my better half, Paul a/k/a Patty.

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Welcome to Asia

By , June 28, 2014 4:58 pm
Hello Kitty!

Hello Kitty!

I haven’t even made it to my final destination, Phnom Penh, and so much has happened.  I don’t mean just travel-wise but also Christine-wise.  First, there was saying “goodbye” to my sweet baby.  I know, I’m the one who planned this little getaway but man, I sure didn’t think it would be so hard.  I kind of think at the time of the ticket purchase, I was under the influence of hormones and thank goodness I can’t just cancel everything because I think I might have now that the ol hormones are under control.  Anyways, all that to say, I have an amazing husband who is the biggest supporter of this adventure.  I wish he was by my side experiencing all this with me.  At any rate, I’m trying to tap into that adventurous solo traveller Christine that I knew 10 years ago.

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Beverly Hills 9021 . . . oh!

By , June 26, 2014 8:51 pm

Enjoying the Emmy's in Beverly HillsThe Sea-Tac Southwest Airlines gate side cattle call and subsequent scramble for a seat was an adventure in itself and once that hurdle was overcome the rest of the flight to California was uneventful. Within minutes of exiting the airport, we were picked up in our Uber car and whisked away to the next leg of our journey. We arrived to the Beverly Hilton to paparazzi flashbulbs and an elevated frenzy . . . how did they know we were coming?? Well, they didn’t . . . There was really only one tidbit of trivia we knew about this hotel is that it hosted the television Emmy awards every year, and our Uber black town car just happened to arrive in the middle of  “celebrity drop off” – nothing like a red carpet and disappointed photographers to welcome a pair of backpackers!

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Let the Adventures Begin!!

By , June 22, 2014 11:21 am
Sound Transit Light Rail

Sound Transit Light Rail

The 6:30am alarm didn’t stand a chance in being helpful this morning . . . we were up already and eager to go. Though our flight wasn’t to leave until after 11am, we were already making coffee, shuffling around the house, and making last minute adjustments to our bags and electronics inventory. Bag . . . check, passports . . . check, music/movies on the tablet . . . check, local currencies and flight info . . . you bet!

The bus arrived at the stop right as we did, which was good because we’d have to wait 35 minutes for the next one, and our transfer to the Light Rail was met with an equally efficient flow – although eight minutes to the next train would’ve been quite easy to accept. We’re not in a hurry anyways . . .

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I’m Leaving! Well, almost.

By , June 15, 2014 2:48 pm
Bertie and her little backpack

Bertie and her little backpack

I’m happy to report that our website Bert and Patty is coming alive with some travel action.  That’s right but most of the travel action is going to be solo–Bert only.  Sad but true.  I will be leaving my sweetie for two months for SE Asia.  Honestly, I’ve had some serious mixed emotions about this but in the end, I’m ‘just doing it’ like our friends at Nike would say.  Dusting off the ol solo travel skills and taking the plunge.  Sure beats a summer in Seattle trying to find stuff to do all day until Paul gets home.  That’s the beauty of working for the public school system.  I think Paul aka Patty will be just fine without me.  He will be busy at work by day and studying by night.  He, will, however come to Beverly Hills with me for 4 amazing days to stay in a posh hotel to include luxurious spa treatments on my birthday (thank you Ellen Degeneres!) before heading to Ontario to visit his family.  Still pinching ourselves about that one.

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Write Around The World

By , October 10, 2012 10:51 am

Christine and I went to see a friend give a talk last night @ Wide World Books and Maps in Wallingford. His name is Mike Lewis, and he used to be Christine’s chiropractor. He had worked hard and built up his practice, his abilities and ultimately his desire to escape his daily life.

 

Mike had earned his life and didn’t want to waste it, so he felt it was time to cash in on some freedom. The plan was to travel the world solo on his motorcycle with goals of reaching the top and the bottom of our major land masses as he made his around the world west to east, hoping to experience culture and people in a way he never thought possible. The route he took between these “end points” was dictated by among other things, the advice he got on the road, and the weather.

 

His faithful companion for this adventure was his 2002 BMW R1150 GS Adventure motorcycle that had been adjusted and modified for the years of exposure and abuse in the form of unmaintained roads, washouts and rainy season mud that lay ahead. Mike left Seattle in March 2009 and systematically logged over 60,000 miles, six continents and over 40 countries in his epic journey.

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