It’s been just over a year since we left our born-and-raised town of Abbotsford, BC. The original goal? 4 months of working away to pay off our debt. The revised goal? Working away as long as we need to pay off all debt and save money to travel South East Asia for at least 6 months.
Life is so interesting.
What has actually happened in this past year:
+ We have paid off ALL debt!!! Freedom.
+ Mike worked his butt off with some rough guys in the oil field. He came home looking like a zombie most evenings. I am so thankful and proud of him.
+ I got to grow and learn in a creative working environment that taught me a lot.
+ Friendships were born and maybe some were lost.
+ Our ghetto (FREE) truck broke down about three times (and is broken down again)
+ We survived the coldest winter of our lives living in Narnia
+ Snowboarded the smallest (Table Mountain) and largest (Revelstoke Mountain – highest vert) mountains in North America
+ Dreams have been reborn, refined and refueled
+ Probably too much Netflix watching (c’mon its winter for 7 months)
+ A lot of learning and stretching within ourselves and the relationships around us
+ I got a stellar new bike from my parents
+ We have a savings account (with $ in it) for the first time since we have been married
+ A great visit home for a 50th birthday party with as many nature-filled adventures we could cram into our week in BC
+ Another move, this time to Saskatoon
Where we are going ; dreams and plans and goals:
+ Travel South East Asia: We want to have about 50/50 relax and volunteer time. * I started a South East Asia Bucket List Pinterest Board *
+ I want to start a business
+ We want to save enough for a down payment for a house
+ More fun and adventure (Mike’s number one requirement for life!)
+ Kids, some day
+ PS. We love change so this list is up for revision at all times
The only way to live the next year is to take full advantage of every present moment.
In one year, these present moments will become my stepping stones and my memories.
I can’t wait to see what comes.
The Pop Up Shop is up and I am super pumped about making these “live in wonder” tanks.
I was asked the other day, “What do you live in wonder of?”, and honestly it kinda threw me off-guard.
“Life, I replied”, which is true, but it got me thinking.
More than a statement, I decided it was an attitude. Not so much something I do, but a way in which I aspire to live.
Live in Wonder:
…with curiosity and an open heart
…in discovery and seeking of new adventures
…without hardness of heart or a bitterness towards people
…with excitement and hope for the future
…in awe of creation and the goodness of God.
You can get the tank in two colours here at the Pop Up Shop.
What do you live in wonder of?
Friends, nature, and laughter are good for the soul. I would call myself an extroverted person, but I have been noticing more introverted qualities, like, I really value time alone (my soul time, I call it). This time recharges me for being with friends and being the best me with the people I love. And let me tell you, I was ready to see these friends! We hadn’t seen them for months and it was so good to connect and laugh together. And my obsession with the ocean was filled…for now. Anytime we had to be in our room I sat out on the balcony to see and hear the waves every second I could, knowing that coming home there would be no more of that for a while.
/ Mike is really good at planning things when adventure is involved. He was determined to take a truck down this Peninsula on a gravel road that he had found on the map before we left. After a couple days of inquiring he had rented us a Jeep and we were driving through the mexican jungle towards a small fishing village called Punta Allen. His plans didn’t let us down and found ourselves out on a boat with a mexican guy guiding us to dolphins and 300lb sea turtles and whatever else we could find in the crystal waters. It was refreshing and exhilirating, there is just something freeing about being on a boat. We found out this trip we took was an actual tour, but don’t take it, just rent your own Jeep, its cheaper and we actually ended up running into the broken down tour jeeps on the side of the gravel road, dang….see ya later!
/ Finding a small place called Tulum. The road leading us to Punta Allen took us through the beach strip of a town that was filled with young, bicycle riding, back-packers and explorers. During the day, small shops and stands were open along with some lively patios boasting vegetarian and organic fares, as well as yoga centres with colourfully painted gateways. As we drove back through at night we stopped at one of the outdoor wood-fired pizza places for some cerveza and margherita pizza. Live music filled the streets and people were out and about. Now, this is definitely not authentic Mexico, it is tourist central for sure, but they have created a quaint, village-like resort area that is much more attractive than the giant resorts that line the beaches of Cancun.
UPDATE- Check out Richard and his wife’s new adventure From Desk to Glory!
Today we get to chat with Richard of Richard Giordano Photography. His wedding pictures are full of emotion and celebration, and his travel pics make me insanely jealous. Even though Richard and his wife Ashley and I have never officially met in person, I have come to know Richard as a very encouraging, adventurous and kind person. Oh and his photography rocks.
What made you first get into photography?
I have had an interest in photography since I first picked up my Dad’s Pentax ME in high school. Other than a couple of continuing studies classes at the local college at that time I didn’t pursue photography beyond documenting life events.
Fast forward 10 years and Ashley, my girlfriend at the time, and now my wife, and I were heading to Japan for a month. Without getting into too many details she essentially forced me to spend the money on a DSLR so we wouldn’t be stuck with photos from our aging point and shoot camera. I had no idea what that Canon Rebel purchase would snowball into.
When it was time to plan our wedding I was introduced to the concept of wedding photography. This interest turned into lens purchases, camera upgrades, shooting for friends, enrolling at Langara College’s photography program, and a general photography obsession. I haven’t looked back since.
What is the photography community like in Vancouver, and how does it affect your work?
The photography community in Vancouver is incredible. Everybody is willing to share their knowledge and experiences and help anyone who asks. The best thing about the photographers in town is the number of people doing absolutely incredible work. This forces me and everyone else to improve our craft and the clients benefit from this.
What would be a dream photography gig for you?
My dream photography gigs are destination weddings. I have had the opportunity to shoot weddings in Mexico and throughout Canada and hope to expand around the world. Combining wedding photography and travelling is definitely a dream gig.
You travel too, where was the last place you went?
Our last trip was to Jordan, Israel and Turkey. I have to admit that Jordan is one of my favourite places I have ever been. The people were incredibly friendly and generous. The Dead Sea, Petra and Wadi Rum Desert are all breathtaking and definitely worth seeing in your lifetime. The Hummus is among the best I have ever had and available in seemingly unlimited quantities.
Any preconceived notions of a Muslim-majority country in the Middle East I had were distant memories the moment the first person genuinely said, “Welcome to Jordan” and flashed a great smile. We heard this over and over again no matter where we were in the country and was something we never tired of.
Do you ever combine travel with your photography biz?
Ok, really important question, what is your favourite foreign treat?
Favourite foreign treat… there are so many that it’s probably best if I list a few by country:
Turkey: Cappuccino and baklava
Jordan: Hummus and pita/tomatoes/olives
Israel: Labneh and honey on fresh baked bread
Mexico: Fish tacos and Tecate
Where is your next destination?
We are currently planning on hiking the Annapurna Circuit in Nepal this fall. We never really know for sure what are plans our until the plane tickets are actually booked, but there is a good chance we’ll be in the Himalayas for part of September/October.
Thanks for letting us peek at your beautiful work, maybe we will get to do an update after your Nepal trip this fall!
A free desktop wallpaper for inspiration. Always be on the lookout. Download it here.
A frustrating Saturday morning led me to this post. I have these certain expectations (whether that is right or not) of my weekends to be filled with inspiration and creativity. Sometimes they are and I love that, but other times are just not. And I sit there within myself and get frustrated that I cannot work up some kind of inspiration.
Then 2 things came to me. First this verse, “As you have the light, believe in the light. Then the light will be within you, and shining through your lives. You’ll be children of light.” Realization #1: Peace and light come from within me. I am a child of the light. My peace cannot come from a perfect set of circumstances. Inspiration can come from outside, but peace cannot. Not having inspiration is not an excuse to lose peace. Done, settled. It’s a battle of the mind.
Secondly, I started picturing Julia Roberts meditating over the beautiful landscape of Bali, and I wanted to be there so bad! I started looking up pictures of her character in the movie and my eyes teared, and my heart swelled, and I craved the cultures, the people, the adventures, the discovery. Usually I would give myself the “be thankful for where you are and what you have chat”, but instead I decided that I was thankful, but I also acknowledged the realness of my dreams and that these desires are a part of me, built into me for a reason and a purpose that I don’t know yet. It’s ok to be a bit unsettled if it means really allowing yourself to say, “This is what I want.” So…I WANT TO TRAVEL THE WORLD. There.
© 2013 STUDIO WONDER