Lemonade as Our Teacher

Coming down the jetway trying to catch one of our flights in Hong Kong, I caught a glimpse of this poster and had to stop to take a picture of it. It summarized so many things we were trying to accomplish in our trip with Avinash. 1. We wanted him to be aware of the world we live in. To be mindful that we do have cultural and regional differences, but that everyone still loves lemonade. 2. Isn’t a lemon by any other name just as sour? Whether it’s called lemon, limone, limbu, chanh, or anything else, a lemon is[…]

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Laundry: The Surprise Travel Problem

There are a lot of things you have to think about and plan when traveling. Since we’ve been traveling about 8 months now, most of those things are easy. Need a hotel? Jump online, check TripAdvisor, narrow it down, look at pictures and reviews and “KAPOOW” book it. Not so with getting your laundry done. Unless you want to spend about $1USD per article to get your socks washed you’ve got to find alternatives. For some reason, all the world over laundry service seems to be $1USD per article. It’s like it’s a global per item laundry price fixing conspiracy.[…]

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Bye bye comforts of a home base

Leaving Quy Nhon and Vietnam in a couple of days. These past few months have been about playing house, first in India and then Vietnam. About to resume the fun adventures. Heading to Beijing to stand on the Great Wall of China and then to the Harbin Snow and Ice Festival where we all plan to turn into Popsicles (-15) Posted from Quy Nhon, Binh Dinh province, Vietnam.

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Pushkar Festival- Mission Accomplished!

Pushkar Desert Festival- Mission Accomplished! We have made it to the Pushkar Festival! I feel like it is a milestone of sorts of our trip. We didn’t plan much before starting our 14 month journey, but Pushkar was one of the few things we spent time dreaming and fantasizing about. Pushkar is an amazing desert festival in the middle of rural and remote Rajastan. It’s main purpose is camel, horse and other livestock trading along with religious activities at the end of the festival. Thousands of people from all corners of Rajastan, most arriving on the backs of animals, come[…]

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Amazing Day

September 27, 2013 Amazing Day Last night Avinash cried himself to sleep for the first time. He cried because he did not want the day to end. It was also the first time ever that he expressed that feeling. What was probably an average, maybe even uneventful, day for those around us may be one of the most significant days for Avinash. We did not have a day filled with sightseeing, or playgrounds, or amusement parks. Just a day spent with family. Something we haven’t had on this trip and quite honestly have not had enough of since he has[…]

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Bye Madagascar

Bye Madagascar As we sit at the Antananarivo airport to catch our plane to Nairobi I am filled with mixed emotions as I reflect on our stay here. If I am perfectly honest with myself, I am ready…in fact relieved, to be leaving. I am also not sure that I ever want to come back. Madagascar is a place of amazing and breathtaking natural beauty, but it has one of the worst infrastructures to allow outsiders to enjoy it. I had no idea what we were getting ourselves into when we decided to come here. There are no short cuts[…]

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Customer Acquisition Specialist

We met a very interesting person tonight. We’ll just call him “Mike”. We couldn’t exactly come up with a good job description for Mike, so we made one up: Customer Acquisition Specialist. In my opinion, Mike’s talents are being wasted. Let me backtrack a little. So we are walking the streets of Istanbul and at every restaurant there is a person standing next to the menu board waiting to try to get you to eat at their restaurant. I generally have no problems with just walking by and ignoring someone if I don’t want to interact with them. Meeta on[…]

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Preparing for Africa

We are less than a week away from our much anticipated Africa portion of our trip. Since we have started traveling Avinash has had very little to no TV or iPad time. So when I suggested that we all start watching some travel documentaries about Kenya and Madagascar he could barely contain his excitement. A few nights ago we watched some Wild Kratts Brothers episodes which are great because they are produced by PBS and designed for kids. Last night I suggested we watch a National Geographic documentary about the Wildebeest Migration. It was beautiful, showing the plains of the[…]

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Acclimating and Adapting – 3 months on the road now

We’ve been traveling for exactly 3 months now. Last night I lay shivering under the covers of our hotel room in Istanbul. Just 5 days ago when we arrived the thermostat was as the same setting and I couldn’t stop sweating. It’s amazing how our bodies adapt to our new environment. How about our psyches? We’ve spent the summer in the relative comfort of Western Europe. We planned it that way. There have been nights that I lay awake overwhelmed by the enormity of this trip. We all needed a few months to transition from our home and friends back[…]

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Italy musings

Italians need to discover skinny cappuccinos and carb free pasta! How come you guys don’t get fat???? Even the Italian skinny model types were eating double scoops of gelato. How??? How can Italians have shots of espresso into the night? All the kid friendly activities ( amusement parks, baby dance, etc. )STARTED at 9pm! When do your kids go to school in the morning? Why do you eat dinner at 11pm?? Restaurants don’t serve dinner until 9! Island culture (Sardenia) is the same the world over. We value the same things. Relaxed pace of life, clean oceans and air, and[…]

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“I will Survive” my humiliating karaoke experience

Last night was our last night at hotel l’Esagono (aka Club Med). Avinash was excited to get the last bits of of our Bella Vita entertainment experience. We were eating in the dining room and baby dance hour started. He scarfed down the last of his food and literally ran to the dance area. All the kids were on stage dancing choreographed moves to what seemed to be well known Italian kids songs. I picked up Avinash and put him on stage. He froze. I was surprised to see him not want to dance. After a couple of minutes I[…]

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Club Med for 3 year olds?!?!?

So, our trip to Sardenia from Florence was literally planned in a day. Nam luckily found us a place to stay at what we thought would be a sleepy seaside resort in San Teodoro where we would waste the day away swimming and building sand castles. Little did we know that Nam had discovered the Club Med for kids. We checked in and walked by the pool where there was samba music blaring from the speakers and the lawn had kids with their moms and grandmas dancing. Avinash for his 3rd birthday party asked for an Opa Gangnam style theme[…]

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Cruisin’ to Sardenia- Who Fartin?!?

Italy has been amazing. Full of beautiful architecture, art and expressive people. But, the Vu’s are ultimately island folk. It’s the peak of summer and for days all we can think about is cooling down. Our first thought was drive north into Switzerland and find the highest peak with a glacier that hasn’t melted yet and lay on it till we get frostbite. The thought of such a long road trip from Florence seemed a little daunting, though. So, we pulled out a map and saw these huge islands to the west. Instantly drawn, we went to work figuring out[…]

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How the iPhone has changed the way we travel.

This is the first time we are really travelling with the iPhone.  Sure we’ve taken some trips where having the iPhone has come in handy for looking things up on Yelp, of finding quick directions.  But this time around, it is an indispensable part of travels. Siri may make it Our World of 4. It’s been a while since we have travelled internationally.  The last time we did was to Vietnam.  Communications was important, but it was not critical.  Today, communication is mandatory and necessary.  But it’s not what you think.  We sort of skipped over the need for international[…]

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Rome, I am overwhelmed.

Rome, Rome, Rome. Rome is by far the most beautiful city I have ever been to.  Not that it is sparkling clean, or smells like roses everywhere.  It’s old, it’s weathered, it aged very well. It is so easy to become numb and overwhelmed by the beauty of this city.  If you were to take any of hundreds of buildings found in Rome and put it in any other city, it would become an architectural attraction in that city.  In Rome, it is just another beautiful building.  I started off by taking a lot of pictures, but that got old very quickly.  If[…]

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Ciao Bella Roma

I’ve got a pit in my stomach. We’ve decided to rent a car and road trip for a month. Part of me is sad to leave Rome, which I truly have fallen in love with. Part of me is nervous about not having the comforts of the long-stay apartments we’ve been calling home. It’s been great schlepping our way-too-many-bags into a place and exploding into it without a care of the usual logistics that come with travelling. The kind I know we will have while road tripping. The other side of me is excited to wander through the country-side and[…]

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Avinash the Dome Climber

Avinash for the most part has been fantastic about all of the walking we have been doing in Rome. I haven’t had this much exercise since we trained for the triathlon and marathon. While Avinash can be very unpredictable with when he wants or does not want to walk, when he does put his mind to it, he shows surprising stamina. For instance, in London, we found a race track and Avinash suddenly wanted to run around the track. Of course, I wasn’t going to hold him back, so we started to run. He would get tired, but then he[…]

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Hide and Seek at the Pantheon

We’ve been in Rome enough days that we are kind of ‘settling’ in. Part of settling in is looking for a place to kick back when the day is over. I think that we’ve made the Pantheon that place. We are kind of treating it like our back yard. We had just eaten dinner and decided to spend some time playing with these light up flying spinners we bought from one of the peddlers on the street in the Piazza around the Pantheon. We then decided to play hide and seek around the columns of the Pantheon. We’ve kind of[…]

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3 years old- The world is his classroom and it’s going to be AWESOME

Since Avinash has been 2, one of the first questions anyone asks is if he goes to school and when we plan to put him in school. My response has been we are keeping him at home and I love being his teacher. However, living in Hawaii has its challenges with quality of public schools and there is a lot of pressure to get your child into the right pre-school, which will hopefully get them into the right private school from Pre-K or Kindergarten. I admit, I got caught up in the fervor of trying to find the perfect school,[…]

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London Musings

London Why I Love it Best public transportation system!  The tube is brilliant.  I have no idea how they figured out this network of tunnels and webs but it works.  I love that we just showed up, bought an Oyster Card,  hopped aboard and were off to see any nook and cranny we wanted to.  It’s a level of independence and stress free transportation that is a travelers dream Cultural Diversity-  London has got to be one of the most culturally diverse cities on the planet.  Maybe I think this because we got to spend so much time on the tube[…]

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Blog is up….kind of.

Not too many people know about this blog, but if you got here then I wanted to have a least something for you to look at.  We’ll be adding stuff soon, but right now still working on the layout and look and feel.  We’ve got to get it up and running soon before we forget stuff though.

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Our Journey

16 flights Over 50,000 miles 6 continents 2 times around the world 12+ months And that is only getting us started! We’ve only loosely planned the major hub flights for our trip. From these hub cities we will make side trips to other destinations. What kind of ticket did we get? Well, there are various “round-the-world” type tickets and they are actually very reasonable when you consider what it would cost individually. Some tickets with 5 or 6 stops can be gotten for $2500-$3000. They usually have very strict rules and most require you to travel in only one direction[…]

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Why are we doing this?

Everyone we have talked to has asked us why we are doing this. Besides the obvious “Why not!” there are some very good reasons why we are doing this and why we are doing it now. Avinash is 3 years old and we realized that this would be the last year that we would be able to do a year long trip before he entered school.  Sure we will have Summer and Winter breaks, but we will never again have a full year.  Meeta and I have always wanted to take an extended vacation so it seemed like the perfect[…]

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Our Journey 2

16 flights Over 50,000 miles 6 continents 2 times around the world 12+ months And that is only getting us started! We’ve only loosely planned the major hub flights for our trip. From these hub cities we will make side trips to other destinations. What kind of ticket did we get? Well, there are various “round-the-world” type tickets and they are actually very reasonable when you consider what it would cost individually. Some tickets with 5 or 6 stops can be gotten for $2500-$3000. They usually have very strict rules and most require you to travel in only one direction[…]

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