Mar 28, 2017

Spending Nyepi in Bali--Part 3, Day of Silence

As we've mentioned previously, one of the things we love about Bali is its strong culture.  While Indonesia is predominately a Muslim nation, the island of Bali is mainly Hindu.  In fact, 84% practice Hinduism, while 13% are Muslim, 2.5% Christian and 0.5% are Buddhist.  And Nyepi is the New Year for the Balinese Hindu.  Do you know how it is celebrated on this tiny island, home to over 4 million inhabitants plus tourists?  

Mar 27, 2017

Spending Nyepi in Bali--Part 2: The Ogoh Ogoh

A couple of weeks ago as we were passing by a village gathering hall in Canggu on our rented motorbike, we saw this giant headless statue, seemingly made of paper mache, painted and finished in a high gloss.  It looked like quite a lot of effort went into its creation.  We also couldn't help but notice its huge breasts and extremely long fingernails.  Then we saw the head laying near by.  It was frightening, and not at all congruent with the beautiful voluptuous body.

(Warning:  some images may be disturbing if taken out of the context of the ritual of Nyepi.)

Mar 26, 2017

Spending Nyepi in Bali--Part 1

A Melasti Ritual, Sanur Beach, Bali
We love Bali--this is no secret.  But it's not only the beach, the sun and the cheap massages that endear us; we love the Balinese culture that is ever-present in day to day life.  And on this visit, we are getting a huge dose of it.  Balinese New Year, or Nyepi, happens to occur during our time here.  It's a first for us, and it is like no other festival or holiday in the world.  There are 3 main components to Nyepi, the first of which we will describe here.

Mar 8, 2016

3 Best Family Beaches With Playgrounds in Southern California

As a family with kids under 10yrs old, our idea of the perfect beach has soft clean sand and gentle waves.   What is even better though is if there is a playground for the kids AT the beach too.  Oh--and clean washroom facilities nearby would round out our wish list!  On a recent trip to Southern California, we got our wish not one, not two but three times!  Set your GPS with these locations on your next trip to SoCal!

Jan 5, 2016

Does Cruising With Kids Makes Sense?

Cruising.  Everyone seems to be doing it these days.  But what about our back-packer-budget-independent travel style?  And with kids in tow?  For a while now, we've wondered, Would a cruise work for us?

Jun 2, 2015

How To Ride The Sea to Sky Gondola For Only $10

Vancouver, B.C. Canada has a new tourist attraction, the Sea to Sky Gondola.  While the gondola gives you access to breathtaking views and beautiful natural scenery, it does come with a hefty price tag.  Want to know how to save at least 60% off the price of the return ride? 

May 5, 2015

How To Move Your Pet Overseas: The Ultimate Guide

Are you an expat or traveler who wants to take your pet with you overseas?  We are!  

 Moving overseas is  complicated.  Moving a family of 4 even more so.  Now add in moving the family pet.   And did I mention that the move is from Melbourne, Australia to Vancouver, Canada?  Yup, that’s over 13,000km, and a 16+hr flight for us, and now our dog.