Wednesday, February 15, 2023

The Travel Journey To 100 Countries Picks Up Again Post-Pandemic

For a family that loves to travel, the COVID-19 pandemic was challenging. A few years of a staycation has now been replaced with adventure once again!

We were able to get away to Cancun and the Bahamas in 2022.  A personal milestone was made in Mexico when we visited Chichen Itza - completing my tour of the 7 wonders of the world. The other 6 were the Taj Mahal (2013), the Colosseum (2009), Machu Picchu (2017), Christ the Redeemer (2010), Petra (2019), and the Great Wall of China (2009).

"At the brim of the well where the Wise Men of the Water Live. This is what Chichen Itza means in Maya. Chichen Itza was one of the most important city-states in pre-Hispanic America and is one of the most visited archaeological sites in Mexico today. The Chichen Itza Pyramid or El Castillo is the most astonishing Mayan Ruin or building inside the Archaeological Site."

Antarctica Voyage

We finished the year in epic fashion with an adventure to Antarctica - our 7th continent!

The backstory is that we were going to go in 2013 when Michelle was pregnant with Brooklyn. There is only a 3-4 week window of the year (Christmas time) that you can sail to the South Pole and, at the time, the only way we could do it was on a Russian frigate. Definitely not consumer friendly. As fate would have it, we decided against the trip and that specific ship got stuck in the ice. Brooklyn could have been born in Antarctica under a Russian flag!

Fast forward a number of years and we booked the trip to depart in 2020. A couple of Covid-cancellations later we reconfirmed a December 2022 date and prepared for departure.

We booked three days to explore Santiago, Chile on the front end of the 16-night cruise and then three days in Buenos Aires, Argentina on the tail end.

The weather created some challenges on the voyage with a couple of missed ports and some itinerary changes, but Captain McBain (yes, no joke, from Calgary, Canada as well just like me!) navigated us safely through treacherous waters. He reminded us that weeks prior someone was killed on a large cruise ship through the Drake Passage by a rogue wave

Every day in Antarctica was a new adventure. Everywhere you looked was like a postcard. I have seen many glaciers growing up in Canada, but nothing like this!

This was more than a bucket list check - it was life changing. The Russian frigate trip was $10k per person. This new option of luxury cruises (we took Princess) was closer to $2k per person and we could sit in the hot tub and eat steak and lobster every night.

We were all smiles as we went from 85 degree summer weather in Chile and swimming in the pool to having a snowball fight on the same deck a few days later!

Strongly recommended for everyone looking for an epic adventure! 

Now, we are in the 90+ country range and looking forward to trips through Central America and Alaska later in 2023.

The journey continues...

With these challenges: