taiwan post 1 Taiwan had been on our travel list for a long time but tickets were always more expensive than other places in Asia. We eventually decided to just bite the bullet and bought some tickets for over Lunar New Year. We were able to redeem points for one of the round trip flights so it wasn't quite as big of a blow financially. Taiwan was amazing so the moral of this story is: just buy the tickets, money be damned!

Whenever we gush about Taiwan (because we do anytime anyone asks us about our favourite trips in Asia!), people are always a bit surprised. It is definitely a bit off the radar, but absolutely worth checking out. There's so much going on in Taipei (especially in regards to food & markets!) and tons of amazing day trips out of Taipei. It is also really affordable compared to its hip cousin Hong Kong (I think our train ride down to Taroko National Park was $12!). We found Taipei to be really clean and had a cool, artsy vibe.

Additionally, it was just one of those trips where everything just went so well. We rode trains, buses, and taxis with ease and the weather was great (cloudy sometimes but never rainy). People were so friendly and we saw some really beautiful stuff. After our trip to Sri Lanka at Christmas, we were just so appreciative of how smoothly everything went.

So here are some photos of the first place we checked out. If you want to lose twenty minutes of your life, check out Yehliu Geo Park on instagram. That's how I first came across the park and immediately decided we needed to visit. Yehliu Geo Park, located on the coast, is home to many strangely shaped rock formations, formed as a result of years of geological movement. It really feels like a different planet! We took a 90 minute bus ride to the park and admission was under $4. More info here!


Hello again! Finally back to blogging, at long last. We've been settling into things here in Vancouver and trying to figure out what this new life of ours is going to look like. Starting new things is always hard but I have to trust things will work out!

So, Sri Lanka! It was honestly a bit painful to go through these photos because thinking of this trip always makes me a little sad. We weren't there nearly long enough and things just didn't work out. We were supposed to be there for 10 days during peak (sunny!) season, but it ended up raining A LOT. 

We started at the beach in Unawatuna and decided just make the best of it. However, the rain began to throw a wrench in all our plans. We checked out nearby Galle, dropped our Yala National Park plans and went to Lion's Rock (Sigiriya) instead. It was beautiful, despite the rain.

Then we were all set to head to Ella in the hill country, but some trains had run off course so all trains headed into the mountains were cancelled. Roads elsewhere were closed as well so we couldn't even get to Kandy if we had wanted to. We weren't really sure what to do for the rest of our trip and didn't know if it would turn into a potentially dangerous situation. So with heavy hearts, we packed our bags and headed to Thailand for the rest of the time. 

Weather is always unpredictable and there was no way I could have really planned around it.  Additionally, people lost their homes and some even died due to the freak weather, so I really shouldn't complain that our vacation was cut short. And as we were there, we realized 10 days wouldn't have been nearly long enough anyways. We could have spent more time there but I had been so obsessed with finding the cheapest tickets that I went with ten days. In the future, I think it's worth paying more money for tickets in order to really maximize our time in a place. Lesson learned!

Anyways, all this to say, I am eager to return to Sri Lanka (and check out India as well) in the future. We met such lovely people during our stay there and there is SO much to see. 


Two years ago, I checked out the Wonmisan Mountain Azalea Festival with some friends and it stands out as one of my favourite experiences of our first year in South Korea. I went again last year but we totally mis-timed it and all the flowers had shrivelled up. Heart-breaking! This year I was obsessed with timing it perfectly since it would be my last chance to see them. All my compulsive research paid off and we were awarded with rolling hills covered with the prettiest purple flowers. It was a purple cotton candy dreamland! I don't think the azalea festival is a major tourist attraction (we might have been the only foreigners there!) but I highly recommend checking it out, even if you're in Seoul!


I've gotten so behind on blog posts that I've been posting photos from months ago. However, I couldn't resist editing these photos from last weekend right away!

Last Friday, a group of us piled into a rental van and drove to the Boseong Green Tea Fields. The fields are at the southern tip of Korea - about as far away as we can possibly go on mainland Korea (which is wild considering 6 hours wouldn't even get us from Winnipeg to Saskatoon!). We stayed at the prettiest sea-side pension and spent the day wandering around the tea fields and the nearby bamboo forest. We also took an extended lunch break (which turned into an extended green tea ice cream break, obvi). It was incredibly relaxing and just so nice!


After our time in Morocco, we needed to head back to Canada. One way flights back to Winnipeg were atrociously expensive, but we managed to find a $600 one way from Lisbon to Winnipeg (almost half the price of other flights we were finding) and it's only a quick 1.5 hour flight from Marrakesh to Lisbon. Since Mike and I haven't spent any time in Europe together, we decided to add on two nights in Lisbon to the end of our trip. It wasn't nearly enough time, but any longer would've really cut into our time in Canada with family and friends.

Needless to say, Lisbon whet our appetites in a big way. It's such a beautiful, colourful, and CLEAN city. We had the best time and can't wait to go back to Europe one day when we have more money. :)

We stayed near Baixa/Chiado metro station. We went up the Santa Justa elevator, rode the old fashioned street car, Tram 28, checked out the area Alfama (had a great slice of pizza here!), and had a great dinner at A Camponesa. On our second night, we went to Miradouro da Senhora do Monte to see the sunset over the city. It was so beautiful and a wonderful way to end our summer travels.

After traveling for the last two summers, we're shaking things up this year! Right after school ends, we're going to Mongolia for a week. Our summer travels will end there as we need to make some money before our big move to Vancouver. Mike will be heading back to Winnipeg to work as an electrician. I'm going to be spending the summer in Seoul, working at a summer camp. We're not looking forward to the summer apart, but the silver lining is that my mom is coming out to Seoul to work at the same summer camp! So it will be a totally different summer than usual, but still memorable!


EssaouiraEssaouira was the perfect way to end our time in Morocco. It's a beautiful, breezy, sea-side town with a manageable medina and dozens of restaurants. We walked around and hit all the usual haunts - the harbour, the medina, the Portuguese Fortress, and the beach. One of our favourite memories of Essaouira is watching a beach soccer game go down at sunset.

We had to find a place to stay rather last minute since we had changed up our itinerary a bit (ditching a night at Dad├Ęs Gorge). We got a room at Riad El Mess which had such a beautiful roof top terrace! It was the perfect spot for a cup of tea & a book. 

To be clear - Essaouira is a very touristy town. I know that an ultra touristy place is often undesirable to travellers who want to get off the beaten path, but in this case it was really nice. It was just so easy! Restaurants were open even though it was Ramadan and we felt totally safe and comfortable walking around everywhere. After some uncomfortable situations in Marrakesh, we felt like we could let our guards down and just soak in our last few days.

After our time in Essaouira, we hopped on a quick flight to Lisbon! Photos of that STUNNING city coming up next. xx


We dropped off our car in Marrakesh which was a stressful little adventure. We were racing through the streets of downtown Marrakesh, trying to find the car rental place before it closed. That was the only moment of our road trip that we REALLY could've used that dang GPS. But we eventually found it with just a few minutes to spare.

We then headed to our guesthouse in the Marrakesh medina. We stayed at Sindi Sud. It was very cheap and very basic. But we were totally happy with it our first few nights there. After we were in Essaouira, we stayed there one more night and had an unpleasant encounter with the owner (read my trip advisor review here for full details).

We had some delicious meals in Marrakesh and enjoyed wandering the alleys. We also loved checking out Maison de la Photographie & having lunch on their beautiful patio. 

However, both on the way to the museum and back we had sketchy experiences with "faux guides" who wanted to show us the way. Both times we were adamant that we didn't want a guide but the guys kept lingering ahead of us and then forced us to pay them. On our way back, the guy took us to totally the wrong area and then kept pressuring us to give him more & more money (his buddy also showed up so we really didn't have a choice but to hand over the money!)

It left such a bad taste in my mouth and those guys are unfortunately the first thing I think of when I reflect on our time in Marrakesh. By the end of our time in Marrakesh, we were pros at making ZERO eye contact with anyone who was offering to give us directions or calling out to us. I hate that because I want to be friendly and talk to people who initiate conversation. 

It's also left me really suspicious of anyone who now offers to help us with directions. In Sri Lanka in December, we were trying to find a bus station and some guy offered to bring us to it. I didn't want to follow him but Mike said we should give him a chance. Mike was right to trust him because he was so helpful and brought us right to where we needed to be. And in that case, I absolutely wanted to give him some money for being so kind and helpful - but he refused to take it! I don't want to be jaded, so I really need to shake off these bad experiences in Morocco.

On to Essaouira next (our last stop in Morocco!)