“In my experience, it is rarer to find a really happy person in a circle of millionaires than among vagabonds.” – Thor Heyerdahl
Another Norwegian explorer breaking the ocean norm– why is that NOT surprising!
Thor Heyerdahl rose to fame when he crossed the Pacific Ocean with the Kon-Tiki in 1947. He is obviously an adventurer-at-heart, an ethnographer in profession with a background in zoology, botany, and geography. In his famous Kon-Tiki expedition in 1947, he sailed 8,000 km across the Pacific Ocean in a hand-built raft from South America to the Tuamotu Islands. The expedition was designed to demonstrate that ancient people could have made long sea voyages, creating contacts between separate cultures. Heyerdahl also proposed that Azerbaijan was the site of an ancient advanced civilization. He believed that natives migrated north through waterways to present-day Scandinavia.
In 1984, he was appointed a government scholar and further adventures followed with voyages on the Ra and Tigris reed boats.
Turknoys and Kon-Tiki, during their previous visit last winter (November 2018)
It’s fantastic to experience original rafts and up to date exhibitions on Heyerdahl’s expedition- the Kon-tiki, being the most famous, Ra, Tigris, Easter Island, Fatuhiva, Tucume, Galapagos, spelunking, under water exhibition and more!
What a really admirable explorer Thor Heyerdahl. Probably the coolest Thor we’ve read about, way better than the one with the hammer.
More of Thor Heyerdahl’s famous quotes illustrate his determined and adventurous personality:
“Some people believe in fate, others don’t. I do, and I don’t. It may seem at times as if invisible fingers move us about like puppets on strings. But for sure, we are not born to be dragged along. We can grab the strings ourselves and adjust our course at every crossroad, or take off at any little trail into the unknown.” – Thor Heyerdahl
“Borders? I have never seen one. But I have heard they exist in the minds of some people.” – Thor Heyerdahl
“In summer the empire of insects spreads.” ― Adam Zagajewski
This third time around in Oslo, we stayed in Aker Brygge and it’s fantastic. We get exposed to all things great and beautiful.
One fine day we were exploring the city, there’s a rainbow and there’s the “Our Small Friends” photo gallery that made us stopped for almost anhour.
In the exhibition, “Our Small Friends” , we meet the insect face to face. Jannicke Wiik-Nielsen, a scientist at the Norwegian Veterinary Institute, has taken these portraits using electron microscope, which magnifies the object under examination many thousand of times. Since the electron microscope is restricted to black and white photographs, the scientist/ artist has colorized the images to provide greater contrast and detail.
Don’t you just love Oslo. Walking around the city always make you feel better and smarter.
Have you ever stared directly at an insect and felt small?
“Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting, so get on your way! “ – Dr. Seuss
Ohhh my! Time flies when we our family is on our goal realization/ exploring mode. It seems ages ago when we left Omaha, Nebraska on an overnight train to Denver, Colorado.
In Denver, we have walked the nostalgia lane with the Turknoy Dad as he reminisced his good old days as a working bachelor in the city. Has it been eleven years already since he left US just to meet the Turknoy Mom? Gosh, are we on some time warp speed loop?! ❤️
After two days in Denver, meeting old friends and enjoying Denver Children Museum, off we went for a road trip around Colorful Colorado! And indeed, it was a colorful road trippin’.
First road trip in the USA and off we passed by State Highway 5, the highest paved road in Road America. What a scenic route it is towards Mr. Evans with an altitude 14,264 feet (4,347 m)!
We head on to Aspen, Colorado hoping for fall foliage. We got that and way more, four seasons! We arrived in Aspen in a very gorgeous fall weather, and woke up to several inches of snow in the morning, summer-y mid-morning, spring in the afternoon and fall again in the afternoon.
The snow didn’t stop us from hiking the Maroon Bells. The most photographed peaks in North America, so we’ve read.
We also experienced our first family snowy hike, up to the Maroon Crater Lake. It took us more than two hours to hike up the Crater Lake, barely few minutes before the sunset. We were the last one on the Crater Lake, it feels extravagantly majestic and terrifying at the same time. The kids needed to answer nature’s call, figuratively and literally. After the pee-pp and the family selfie almost every corner of the lake, we had to rush to go back down. We made it in the dark, using our mobile phone as flashlights, of course, not without scary stories and grateful fun ramblings from all of us.
We have blisters in our feet, and the fantastic traveling dad carried our youngest traveller/ hiker up his shoulder almost all the way! Such strength. We didn’t tell anyone that adventure with young kids is easy, right? It’s worth it, but nothing worth it comes easy, right?
The hiking we’ve done, the weather conditions, the challenges we’ve overcome will always be fondly and profoundly remebered. After all, this is what Turknoy Travels 100 is all about. It’s about realizing milestones we never even considered yet together because we are still part of the matrix of society’s rules.
Of course, after the adventure, we explored the very fancy city of Aspen, Colorado and off we went to two places we almost always go in any city we explore – bookstore and playground. If any city or town doesn’t have any of these, it’s really an indication of the village, isn’t it?
Basalt , Colorado
Although we explored Aspen and Snowmass Billage quite extensively, we stayed the nights in a nearby city, almost one hour drive away from Aspen, Basalt. Basalt turned out to be a like Aspen, and better. Roaring Fork Valley is a river paradise for us. Basalt sits at the confluence of two Gold Medal rivers, the Frying Pan River and the Roaring Fork River, which is Paradise!!!
Known as “Little Aspen,” Vail, Colorado is another fancy, skiing and snowboarding, gorgeous, beautiful little town tucked away at the base of Vail Mountain within the White River National Forest.
Colorado Springs, Colorado
From West to South, we drove almost three hours to enjoy the magnificent landscapes of the Rocky Mountains to visit the Garden of Gods in Colorado Springs. A drive worth every minute.
Road trip with kids in Colorado? We’ll do it again in a heartbeat!
“I love it. You know, I was born almost a mile away from here, and I’ve never have a bad experience in Omaha. Omaha and Nebraska are home to me. It’s a pace. It’s relationships. There’s a lot of continuity. There’s a lot of community. There’s a lot of friendship. It’s a very solid place, a friendly place in which to grow up and in which to conduct a business. ” – Warren Buffet, Becoming Warren Buffet, on why he chooses to live in Omaha.
We tried to find where Warren Buffet, the world’s richest multibillionaire, lives. We managed to get to his mailing address and we tried to get all the billionaire vibes in the area. Omaha has lots of gorgeous houses, it’s easy to imagine Warren Buffet’s home in the city.
To be able to get around Omaha, Nebraska, we needed to rent a car and realized that fact later on after walking from the train station wee hours in the morning, coming straight from our Chicago, Illinois family travel and waking up way too early walking around the very quiet, almost deserted city, with not even a single cab is available.
Off we went to the city’s airport and rented a car to roam the city. At the airport, we realized the the city has lady Mayor! Yay, raising global girls needed a discussion of a little bit of governance of the world and what part do ladies of power play.
We then hang out at the Old Market after realizing that we won’t be able to find Warren Buffet’s house.
After driving around the city and the nearby cities in Nebraska, we went to do exactly an “American” fall/ autumn tradition… Visit a farm, explore a corn maze and pumpkin patch. We picked our pumpkin but of course, didn’t buy any.
Going back to Omaha, we got tempted yet again to visit local bookstore and had another share of our family book haul.
We didn’t want to leave the Bookstore, but dinner called and we enjoyed a very scrumptious local dinner at Upstream Brewing Company.
If Omaha is a glimpse of Mid West USA, then we definitely need to be back soon to explore the region.
What cities in the Midwest USA would you recommend?
“He who hunts for ostrich, will find ostrich.” – Moroccan Proverb
Oh yes, our family is hunting! Hunting hard for our life’s passions fueled by our yearning to be world educated by its unparalleled beauty, diverse culture and history!
Hunt ostrich, find ostrich. Can’t be more appropriate for our family’s ideals on setting family goals and traveling! Set goals, its necessary!
Our Country 31/ 100 Countries Travelled Together as Family is Morocco. Also, the second African country after our adventure in Ethiopia, Land of Origins. We’ll update this blog as we go on exploring this wonderful country.
We visited Casablanca, Morocco’s biggest and capital city, last March 2017 with only the parents for some travel hacking attempt. That attempt is not as successful as we have imagined. However, it turned out very romantic. It’s just us, though. We can’t state that it’s because it’s “Casablanca” but partly because traveling parents neeeds to be alone every now and then. So we said to ourselves, “we may have travelled Paris with kids, but we have Casablanca. ” Awesome, memorable couple traveling days!
But what do we know?! Few months after, kids enjoyed Casablanca with us. Lots of gratitude, no complains. To explore the largest mosque in the country overlooking the Atlantic Ocean with our global children couldn’t be more perfect.
Worth noting a brief description of Hassan II Mosque from Wikipedia
The Hassan II Mosque or Grande Mosquée Hassan II (Arabic: مسجد الحسن الثاني; colloquially the “Casablanca Hajj”)is a mosque in Casablanca, Morocco. It is the largest mosque in Morocco and the 13th largest in the world. Its minaret is the world’s tallest at 210 metres (689 ft). Completed in 1993, it was designed by Michel Pinseau and built by Bouygues. The minaret is 60 stories high topped by a laser, the light from which is directed towards Mecca.The mosque stands on a promontory looking out to the Atlantic Ocean, worshippers can pray over the sea but there is no glass floor looking into the sea. The walls are of hand-crafted marble and the roof is retractable. A maximum of 105,000 worshippers can gather together for prayer: 25,000 inside the mosque hall and another 80,000 on the mosque’s outside grounds.
We just can’t wait to see more of Morocco 🇲🇦 for some serious “ostrich hunting.”
“The journey not the arrival matters.” – T. S. Eliot
Since our family started our family adventures based on our family travel goals, we meet a lot of family travelers online and offline. Perhaps family travel will be the leading form of travel in the near future. Maybe (big maybe) that’s how Millennial will raise their families. Honestly, we see a lot of wins when kids travel early on with their family. It is our contention that family travel will pave the way to world peace.
That Big Family Traveler
More than big in number but more on big in ideas and big in luxury! Family travelers can aim for that one-time BIG adventure and they go all out. Disneyworld, Disneyland, Legoland, Atlantis – yes please! Mainly where commercial travel marketing go crazy at. Yes, after all, It’s A Small World After All!
That Hairy Family Traveler
Shun all the risks, these family traveler will visit exotic places in a heartbeat! But of course, exotic is a relative place, it could be Asia for North Americans or Africa for Asians, either ways it is a dangerous, out of comfort zone place for this type of family traveler.
That Audacious Family Traveler
Daring, bold and brave, adjectives we don’t normally use at the end of a fairytale like “happily ever after…” That’s boring because family fairy tale doesn’t have to have an ending. Long term family travelers life their life without borders, that audacious! It must be really fantastic to wake up to days and days of something new and different which turns to weeks and weeks which turns to years to years.. up to , who knows, decades even.
That Goal (keeper/oriented) Family Traveler
Of course, that cautious family traveler who are vigilant to source out travel deals, who master the itinerary to ensure productive travel days with family because of limited time, limited resources or any other limitations. They are the family who does not make excuses, yet makes end meet in their own creative ways.
Our family is that family who is a little bit of everything, who lives by the acronym BHAG, that Big Hairy Audacious Goal of traveling 100 countries in every continent, who appreciate every family travelers we meet.
Any type, any form, any reason, any rationale of family travel. We strongly believe, all families are unique, so their travels should be.
“The world is a bridge. Cross it, but build no house upon it. ” – Akbar
Finally made it to India as family! We’ve been to parts of India for last two years back, but we were not together and based on our own goal setting criteria which we have articulated our own family’s travel goal in Turknoy Travels 100 is a Lifestyle encouraging families to do the same.
Visiting countries separately doesn’t count. India is our Country 27 when we visited Goa, India , all five of us last July 2017. We definitely had the best time relaxing by the beaches of Arabian Gulf.
Of course, the seventh biggest country in the world deserves way more than one time visit, especially for India where the one city is a world different from the other when it comes to religion, traditions and even geography. Visiting one city barely scratch the surface to understand India’s culture, religion, people and economy.
New Delhi, India
Them, our family traveling mom (ehhem, me! So far, the main author of this blog) visited New Delhi twice. One time way back 2015 with kids and their grandma and favourite Aunt. The second time was last year (2016) for mom-dad travel date. Fingers crossed, we get to explore India every year, one city at a time while we are based in the Middle East as expat family.
New Delhi is a very progressive city with its train and metro system ready to cater to more than20 million people living in the city. The city is crowded and buzzing with adventure ready to be discovered by local and tourists alike.
Exploring New Delhi is like a crash course or gateway for India’s diversity. A very interesting city indeed.
From New Delhi, we took a very comfortable train transport to Agra to see a Wonder of the World , Taj Mahal. What amazing structure it really is. Spending the day in Taj Mahal as a couple was very peaceful and yes, cheesy and romantic.
Our conversation during our day out in Taj Mahal:
Turknoys Mum: Would you build me a Taj Mahal when I die?
Turknoys Dad: No. I would love you more than Emperor loved her wife when she died while you are alive.
With all honesty, Goa reminds us of Turknoy’s Mom’s hometown Indang, Cavite. The tropical culture and the Catholic-village practice has resemblances. Understandably, since that’s how geography and religion works. The food, however, couldn’t be more different. Of course, we love both.
Needless to say, India is incredible! It’s obvious as we keep on coming back!
With God’s will, we’ll update this blog with places we will visit in India. What is your favourite city in India? Please give suggestions.
“He who does not jump into water will not learn to swim.” – Estonian Proverb
Our family stayed right in the middle of Tallinn’s Old Town. Needless to say, we were deeply fascinated. We can almost hear and feel the stories of Tallinn’s Old Town, one of the best preserved medieval cities in Europe and, it seems like another super awesome tick in our UNESCO World Heritage Sites family bucketlist.
We would, however, highlight what makes our family travel memorable. After all, this blog, at the very least, is a testament that we can travel to places we’ve never imagined if we set our goals together as family.
When we travel, we are inclined to be biased to cities or countries who have the culture of reading. Reading is a symptom of desire to learn and innovate. That’s really important to develop anyone or any place.
So, guess what we think of Tallinn, Estonia. We stayed one full day at the Estonian Children Literature Centre, with lots of reading and creative activities for our kids, for free! Yes, not every kid can travel like our kids do (that’s why our kids are very grateful day in, day out… gratitude is our top family value, right next to faith.) But, every kid should have access to this kind of learning environment. How we wish every city, province, state or territory would provide this to every kid, free read, free to play, free to imagine! The world would be a way better place.
I guess, what we are saying, check out what this Literature Centre is about.
After having stimulating medieval lessons in Tallinn, we had quite an impression of Estonia. Much more when we visited Tartu, the second largest city of the country and known as the intellectual centre of the country!
We breezed through walking around Old Town, University of Tartu, Toomemagi Park among others. It’s not another town in Europe for us. We enjoyed staring at famous people’s statues and reading the history behind them.
Again for us, our family travel adventure highlight is the modern Science Centre AHHAA, full hands-on exhibits and the 4D cinema.
Epic Estonia has been viewed by the some travel blogs to be the worst tourism slogan because of how the small the country is. But hey, we’ve been to Estonia and it’s not the country’s size which decides how epic the country could be. He possibilities, the intellectual and creative opportunities, exactly epic!
Do not hesitate or you will be left in between doing something, having something and being nothing. – Ethiopian Proverb
Woohoo! Our 3rd continent and our first African country to explore with kids.
It maybe our love for discovering human history when our family travels that had drawn us in visiting Ethiopia. Our primary goal was to see Lucy, the 3.2 million years old fossil, probably the first evidence of humanity. The continent Africa is known as The Cradle of Humanity, then Ethiopia is its evidence repository.
As a worldschooling family who sets SMART goals to travel to 100 countries in all continents by 2022. This is our attempt to live life to the fullest with kids. Ethiopia is our first country in Africa (our third continent, 30th country visited, to date.When it comes to food and accommodation, we had the most unique experience in the country. Barely 4 hours away from Qatar, we were amazed with a totally different world. We definitely had a crash course in archeology and paleontology and how it works in the real world. Our three traveler kids had been to countless of Natural Museums in Europe and Asia yet we were impressed with somewhat “shabby” museum in Addis Ababa containing real human history treasures.
Lucy aside, here are 5 interesting facts about Ethiopia that everybody, yes, including kids, can appreciate:
1. Country History: Ethiopia is the only African country, which successfully fought against the scramble for Africa. It was never colonized, though Italians attempted to occupy it twice.
2. UNESCO Heritage Sites: There are nine, day trips from Addis Ababa possible! Most famous sites are Lalibela twelve-rock-hewn churches. We visited Christian Orthodox churches which gave an interesting perspective for a family with both Islam and Catholic members.
3. Religion: Ethiopia appears in the Bible 45 times both in Old and New Testament.
4. Origin of Coffee. Coffee is Ethiopian’s gift to the world. It was found in the Kaffa Region (South-Western Ethiopia.) Even before the visit, we are non-Starbucks coffee drinkers. Enjoying the real “coffee culture” experience in Addis Ababa with really strong and delicious coffee with local ceremonies
5. Abebe Bikila, a star Ethiopian marathon runner, won Africa’s first Olympic gold medal in 1960. Add in the country’s high elevation Addis Ababa is athletes’ heart’s working out paradise. Made us want to become runners and marathoners.
And oh, more pluses — the Ethiopian women are really gorgeous and almost everybody is kind to tourists. Ethiopia is one of the safest country in Africa to visit. With low costs airlines flying to Addis Ababa almost every day from Doha, Qatar where our family’s currently based, for sure, we would be back for some backpacking with kids.
“Ang kabataan ang pag-asa ng ating bayan.” – Dr.Jose P. Rizal, Pambansang Bayani ng Pilipinas
Translation: The youth is the hope of our nation, – Dr. Jose P.Rizal, Philippine National Hero
Well, the world changed a lot since that Dr. Jose P. Rizal made that quote infamous. There is still a ring of truth into that quote at this day and age, that we believe. Despite the fact that how many generations of youth have let down Dr. Jose P. Rizal? Well, we are not an authority on Philippine History, much more an expert on interpreting Philippine current events based on history. Although, proudly we say, our family is raising three global citizens exploring the world (Turknoy Travels 100 , now 30/100) using their Philippine passports.
So, from one Pinoy family to another, we encourage you to travel with kids and we have three persuading reasons:
Pinoys are World Class, Traveling Magnifies Opportunities For Pinoy Kids to be World Class. Bragging aside, we know how Filipinos contribute to international workforce, arts, science and new discoveries. Monkey see, monkey do. When kids see Filipinos all over the world, doing what they like best and being admired for it by almost all nationalities, that fire of passion will burn until they accomplish something similar.
A lame comparison, albeit common, would be to be so excited about having a Filipino Restaurant in a certain city in any country! We will definitely be tempted to visit and chat with the owner about how that success came to be.
Don’t even get us started about Filipinos winning in international competition, mainly in singing or in fashion. Don’t we all feel that same old “Proud to be Pinoy” sentiments? Speaking of which… “Uyy, there’s a Pinoy winner in Project Runway.” or that Isn’t Bruno Mars Filipino by blood line?!
There’s fire burning in every adult Filipino to succeed in international scene. When that fire started kindling at an early age, there’s no amount of life’s fire extinguisher can void that.
The World is Beautiful. There’s More to Life Than SM.
Disclaimer alert, these statements are written from a village Filipino perspective, as our family came from a far away village with happily-ever-after endings. Yes, a remote, small village where everybody knows everybody’s names and sadly and happily, depends on how you look at it, everybody’s business.
Way way back, do you know where our family go to entertain guests? Where we think, we would go for an adventure? SM! Yes, those big, gigantic, enormous buildings, apparently the biggest malls in Asia or in the world. molding the minds of millions of Filipinos to buy their hard earned dollars, euros, pesos or any denomination because they are SM! Imagine how small scale entrepreneurs and small scale real estate agents would prosper without these gigantic commercial monopoly.
Okay, got a little carried away there. The point is, the Philippines has lots of magnificent islands, mountains, seas, waterfalls to explore. Thanks to a gazillion of tourists who got viral attention in the internet because they showcase the beauty of our motherland, The Philippines.And yes, we know that Pinoy millennial have been traveling the world and the country quite extensively, like no other generation has ever done. Why not Pinoy kids, follow millennial lead?
Going farther, when we travel with kids, we get to see that other countries have a lifestyle, not necessary like our country that works. In Europe, there are no big malls, yet the tourists and locals visit Old Towns patronising small shops earning their living for centuries! Okay, maybe for decades. But that’s the point. Business can run for decades because they have the sense of heritage.
It’s a beautiful world, not in a supermall, megamall kind of way! The earlier the kids learn this, the better for the country!
That Colonial Mentality (Hey Joe!)
Most – Hey Joe! You American?
Some: Not all white people are Americans! Some of them are Brits!
Obviously pun intended. But hey, not Filipinos fault! Our gorgeous archipelago has been colonized for centuries and the school textbooks are yet to be revised to include stories about other countries (you know, like what are Bohemians?! – seriously, hope we are wrong for thinking this, do educate us!)
Every country is different. Each one has different history and culture. White, black, brown, yellow, pink. If we are not open to this understanding and keen on generalizing skin colors, we might as well be uneducated. Europe has 50 countries, each one of the countries have diverse backgrounds and most of them, black, white, yellow, pink and every color in between. Africa is not country, the continent has 54 countries and no, not all of their inhabitants are black! Add in the other 4 continents, and we have almost 200 nationalities. We know how it feels to be stereotype as ” You Asian looks the same with your small eyes and like rice so much!” Ggrr
I guess, our point is, travel with kids for them to introduce diversity!
These are our three personal reasons why we travel with our Pinoy kids. There are more, like appreciation of world religion, which we elaborated on our Singapore blog post and our worldschooling ideas. We intend to share more as we go on more adventure with our family goals.
Do you have a burning reason why Pinoy kids should travel the world?