10 months, 10,600kms and we are back in Canada

After 3.5 months in California, Utah, Oregon and Washington, we bid a fond farewell to the US and to the magnificent Olympic Peninsula and took the ferry from Port Angeles to Victoria.

Here’s Anna Sierra humouring me with an Alex Colville inspired ‘To Vancouver Island.’

We loved bringing our bikes up on deck.We were all excited to be going ‘home.’ 

And were reminded of one of our favourite books, ‘Don’t let the pigeon drive the bus’ when we saw this cheeky guy on the ferry:

During our ten months on the road, we’ve had a lot of time to think about what home means. 

I believe that home really is where the heart is, so we have discovered that it is, as Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros sing, “wherever I’m with you.” So in a sense, as our little family has been together during all our travels, we have always been home. 

In the middle of our journey we have found home with old friends and new friends, visits with grandparents, and many, many beautiful places and moments of grace that made our hearts sing.

In our neighbourhood in Ottawa, our library is a favourite place for seeing friends, browsing all the books, playing Minecraft (Jasper!) and checking in with all the awesome librarians. We almost always stop in at every library we pass. They are all wonderful and we feel welcome and at home immediately.

Anna Sierra spotted this owl beside the bike path a few days ago. What a gift to visit an owl in its home. So far in the Pacific Northwest we’ve seen bald eagles, harbour seals, sea lions, rabbits, jelly fish, crabs and one young black bear in their homes. Amazing!

For Derek, bike shops and places that sell outdoor gear are always if not homey then definitely worth a visit. Here he is at good ole MEC in Victoria.

I think home can also be speaking a common language – which is a lot less about speaking English peppered with ‘eh’ and a lot more about embracing shared values and reaching out with big smiles and open hearts and making connections. 

One of my favourite memories from Cuba is when we were sitting in the kitchen, visiting with the family at the Casa Particular (guest house) where we were staying. When the doorbell rang, Yordanka said, ‘come on upstairs, there’s a guest at the door.’ Somehow as our kids played with her daughter, Maria Karla, while we adults shared conversation and coffee, we had shifted from guests to friends. Here’s Maria Karla ready for school in Holguin.

And now we’re starting the next chapter of this glorious adventure with a beautiful visit with dear friends from university, here in Victoria.

We are so happy to be reconnecting with Farheen and Chris. And it is just beautiful for our kids to be getting to know each other and developing their own fun friendships built on Lego, Star Wars, board games, stop motion animation, giant driftwood structures and sharing delicious meal after delicious meal around a table big enough for all 8 of us. Aisha and Cairo are wonderful hosts, leading our walk down the street to the breakwater and past Grandma and Granddad’s community garden plot. 

We celebrated our last evening together with homemade raspberry lemon sorbet and a screening of the stop motion shorts. What a party!

With big hugs and best wishes,



2 thoughts on “10 months, 10,600kms and we are back in Canada

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