“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
“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!
“By the pricking of my thumbs, something wicked this may come. ” – William Shakespeare, Macbeth
Okay, the traveling parents caved in with the kids with regards to participating in a Halloween party while in USA. It’s not that we don’t celebrate Halloween. It’s not that we agree that it’s anti- religion nor anti-God. It may be a country tradition but how we see it is more like a commercial manipulation while waiting for Thanksgiving and Christmas season. Bring on the pumpkins, the season spices, costumes and gazillion candies and the retailers had October and November sales covered.
Boy, did we see how customers shopped and crammed getting the costumes. It’s part of what made us want to be part of it – better to experience it once, rather than be nagging on the edge of being bitter about it every year. So, off we celebrate Halloween, kids costumes, party and sweets!
Having said that, we choose a free Halloween event and oh boy, did we enjoy.. and the kids, too! It’s a family event in a great weather with friendly awesome people by Lake Champlain. It’s a fabulous event. We are very glad to joined.
Halloween Howl in Burlington, Vermont is a spooktakular good time on a hay ride and wandering through the haunted walk with costume contest, music and games!
Feels like superheroes walking around in the park, the forest, by the lake and in bouncy castle, that’s one awesome afternoon spent in Burlington, Vermont.
Our family members in character while one in nature is a perfect way to celebrate an awesome Halloween Howl in Burlington, Vermont.
What’s your Halloween plan? Do share Halloween traditions you do with your family.
We arrived in Chicago when it was rainy! We underestimated the windy and chilly weather about the city so we decided to enjoy the city from the indoors. We planned for a quick stopover at the Chicago Children’s Museum for about 1-2 hours only yet we ended up staying until closing time!
Kids rule in play and learning in Chicago Children’s Museum. We have all raves and praises about this awesome kids place.
The staff were friendly, the place is ergonomically designed for kids to play and for parents to enjoy their kids play; or better yet, to enjoy playing with their kids.
Now, let’s talk about Mission. Obviously, our family is advocate of setting family goals linked to one own’s Mission Statement. With the mission statement, “to improve children’s lives by creating a community where play and learning connect”
“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.
Promised berries will not fill the basket.- Latvian Proverb
There are no promises for family satisfaction. Only commitment and lots of goal setting. In this case, plans how to get berries to fill our basket! It’s either we want baskets full of berries or not. No half hearted berry lover, right!
There is however, best way to enjoy life… Slowly or quick and dirty… hoops, family blog… uhhmm quick and dreamy!
With this in mind, Latvia! A very musical, creative, artistic, spectacularly cold country.
First.. enjoy slowly. Get to know the country.
Latvia is a not-so-big country by the the Baltic Sea . Come on, check it out. It’s really a country! Oh the occupation regimes seems endless… In early times, it was occupied by Balts, and was later ruled by Vikings, Germans, Poland, Sweden, and Russia. It only became an independent country in 1918. (Corrected by our favorite Rebel Travel Family from Latvia, so this should be accurate. – Advanced Happy 100 Years of Independence, Latvia! Exciting year ahead.) That’s barely like a person who discovered traveling to new places and enjoying new found freedom after series of boarding schools after schools after school after 8-to-5 corporate slavery.
We stayed in Riga, the capital city, for ten days. Our eldest traveller stayed with a host family for a Youth Choir trip while we stayed in the heart of the Old Town of Riga. She had a lot of fun with her host family she didn’t want to leave. They are all so musically inclined, something missing from her real family. We were sure that if they offered her to stay for a longer time even after the scheduled choir concerts, she would have said stayed. Sending all gratitude and love to this fantastic Latvian family
We didn’t see nor appreciate how green the city was. We visited March, beginning of spring. Hence, our desire to go back during summer season. Another wish list in our growing travel to do list with family.
We did however stayed indoors a lot a experienced a taste of Riga, literally and figuratively.
The more we stay in Latvia, the more we were hooked. Off we got on the trains and enjoyed this super affordable public transportation.
Out of Riga, maybe our quick and dreamy version of Latvia. We head on to Jumarla for three days to freeze our beautiful .. faces.. by the Baltic Sea. Such a shame we didn’t get to swim and see the beach crowded with hot bodies. There still saw lot of tourists walking by the beach.
We took more trains and visited more quiet towns, we have enjoyed the serenity and silence of empty streets. The kids definitely has their share of echoing screams. We felt like we were in the opening credits of a country movie, eerie silence, solitude. We’ll, it was fun, cold experience.
Oh the food, wine, cheese and coffee! Let’s not elaborate on that in this blog or we might go booking a ticket to Latvia for a hot wine and salmon. We ate a lot of meat, too. It might be not politically correct to post photos of them, you know…. pork.
No matter how you travel Latvia or any country in particular , slow or quick, night or day, fast food or fine dining, herbivore or carnivore, medium rare or well done, train or bus, music or story, travel it your own unique busy way! Just be alive. Let’s be busy being alive.