Our Epic Road Trip of 2014 is over. For one month we traveled from Portland to Seattle; to Canada’s Vancouver B.C.; Kelowna B.C., Banff (in Alberta); back to the states to Glacier, Montana; Salt Lake City; Fort Collins; Boulder; Denver; Boise; and back to Portland. About 5,500 miles in all.
We participated in a World Domination Summit, helped friends with their backyard project, got to attend a wedding of two dear friends, went to another country, attended an international night market, drove through Canada’s wine country, hiked to a teahouse in the Canadian Rockies, came back to America, saw disappearing glaciers and lots of wildlife, explored the American Rockies, and reconnected with friends and family.
It was awesome. Just what we dreamed of after two years on a small island!
At one point during one of our many 6+ hour drives, I looked at Michelle (briefly because I was driving) and said, “Can you believe this isn’t vacation? This is our lives.” (To which she, of course, laughed and nodded.)
Though it’s been 3 and half months since we’ve returned from the Peace Corps, this was the first time we felt like our new lives were starting. Before this road trip, we had a chance to reconnect with our families and readjust. This trip was a kick-off of our new, unconventional lives – the life of Professional Digital Nomads.
Though we loved seeing new sites and doing amazing hikes, easily the best part of the road trip was reconnecting with family and friends that we haven’t seen these past two years. Going to our friends’ wedding in Seattle and seeing that another one of our friends is pregnant, was really special. Then in Boise we got to meet our friends’ adorable son who was born while we were away. That was one of the hardest things about living abroad and will continue to be a challenge of this kind of lifestyle.
There will be times where we will miss important milestones and more importantly, the day-to-day sharing of life with friends and family that we love. Though constantly being on the road and living unconventionally is amazing, there are definitely sacrifices and this is one of them. However, on the flip side, this lifestyle also gives us flexibility and time to visit people, too.
A special thank you to so many people that hosted us on this trip!!!
So Many Beautiful & Interesting Places to See in America and Canada
When people learn that I’m from Hawaii, they tell me how lucky I am to have lived in such a beautiful place. They’re right and I am grateful. But just as people are amazed with the beauty of Hawaii, I too am amazed with places like Banff, Glacier, and all of Colorado. Heck, I’ve come to love Seattle, Salt Lake and Boise, too.
When we travel to these places I often find myself wondering what it’s like to live amongst mountains, so many trees, actual rivers, and a state that sees about 300 days of sunshine (Colorado). Some of these places like Banff and Glacier can only be described as magical, unbelievable. Rock formations that are majestic and mighty. Rivers flowing through canyons and valleys carrying colors and tints that seem fake.
I felt so thankful to have seen the sights that we did and kept saying to myself, “I wish I could share this with others.”
Other Random Observations – Links to our travel blog with more details
- International Night Market in Richmond B.C. – A great cultural experience. The potato on a stick is really good!
- Kelowna B.C. is a pretty neat little town and the Okanagan Valley in Canada is worth driving through and seeing- especially if you like lakes, wine, and orchards.
- Banff - Incredibly beautiful but a busy resort town. Also, in the summer time it is still cold! 38 degrees is still very cold at night. Michelle was prepared.
- Our Canadian AirBnB host introduced us to red herbal tea called Rooibos. I now share it with you. You’re welcome.
- The Highline Trail in Glacier National Park – 12 miles but epic. So beautiful. It’s a long hike so prepare yourself.
- Fort Collins is an awesome town/city. We loved it.
- High altitude life is no joke. Much respect to everyone in Salt Lake and Colorado who live above 5000ft.
- The Ute Trail in Rocky Mountain National Park. Wow.
- Baldpate Inn near Rocky Mountain National Park. Best soup and salad buffet ever and bonus humming bird viewing.
- Denver is a much bigger city than I remembered.
- Michelle is working on finding the best cinnamon roll in America. It’s a good thing I like cinnamon rolls too.
- Red Rocks Amphitheater - I’m hoping to see a show there one day, and do a workout there.
Next stop: Europe!!!