sending postcards
a travelogue by alex and mina

two thousand and ten

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A recap of 2010:

We started January off in San Salvador where we hung out at La Gran Via daily until we left. In Managua, we had an interesting experience with a shady cabbie. We were in Granada for just enough time to grab some fish & chips and a smoothie.

San Juan Del Sur was one of our favorite spots to visit where we spent the time napping in hammocks and zip-lining.

Costa Rica was our next destination. While San Jose wasn't the most exciting spot, we found that Puerto Viejo had so much to offer. We "learned" to surf, met some sloths, and relaxed on the black sand beach.

After a short stop in Panama City, Mina celebrated her birthday in Guayaquil and we made our way to the Galapagos Islands where we saw George the lonely tortoise, snorkeled, and had more beach days.

In February, we spent Valentines day in Miami with heart bokehs, silly gifts, and grilled cheese sandwiches . We also visited New York City (where we met Will Forte!) for the very first time on our way to South Africa via Abu Dhabi. We got to see the beautiful city of Cape Town from the top of Table Mountain. We also saw a huge  aquarium, hung out with some penguins, were introduced to some sweet children, and "swam" with great white sharks.

Part of March was spent in Johannesburg and Kruger National Park where our 3 day safari turned into 5 days because we were having the time of our lives.

In April, we were fortunate enough to see the Great Pyramids of Giza in Cairo and were attacked by zombies in Brussels.

We got a cheap flight to Philadelphia, where we enjoyed controversial Philly Cheesesteaks.

The beginning of the summer was spent in New York City watching and meeting hilarious people, seeing inspiring artwork, eating, and eating some more.

After visiting Winnipeg to tie up loose ends, we made our way to Montréal where we spent a few weeks shopping for a new home. We were thrilled to find one after a few weeks and started the process of settling in.

We bought our first real Christmas tree in November and, after a few too many Xmas parties, made plans to go to Spain for December,  (after a brief stop in NYC) which is where we are at the moment!

Even though we have a good feeling we won't be traveling nearly as much in 2011, we're so excited for the new year. Sharing our experiences with you guys has been fun. Here's to a new year full of love and happiness.

more holiday fun

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It's always a little strange to be somewhere with no snow for the holidays, but the abundance of lights, decorations, and merriment set a very christmas-y tone!

christmas in spain!

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After a short layover in NYC, we're now in southern Spain. The people here are so festive and happy - it's contagious!


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We've always wanted to be in New York during the holidays. This year, we were lucky enough to stroll around Rockefeller Plaza, and watch the ice skaters while drinking peppermint hot chocolate. Last year (and every year before) we watched Home Alone around Xmas. This year we got to make a wish at the tree a la Home Alone 2 which, as far as sequels go, is one of the best! Merry Christmas Eve Eve everyone!

back in nyc!

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Don't worry, we're not going inundate you with another million posts about New York, but we were there last night admiring all the Christmas decorations, and the hustle and bustle. We were lucky enough to see a performance of a carolling choir, it was magical:

two of us

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Over the last couple of days, we've been having fun cobbling together a silly little video as a re-cap to our trip, a scrapbook of sorts. Hope you enjoy it.

old woman bay

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The long drives from Winnipeg to Montreal over the summer were beautiful. It's a really easy drive and we would pause occasionally just to admire the scenery. Our favorite spot to stop was Old Woman Bay - somewhere around Lake Superior. On this particular day, there was a gorgeous foggy mist over everything:

we suck + wanderlist update

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Over a year ago, after days at the office, we would go on long walks or bike rides together. Like we mentioned in our last post, this is when we came up with our 'wanderlist', on these streets. It sounded a lot less cheesy at the time. We don't think this is anything particularly special, and we obviously didn't invent the idea. I mean, it's essentially a travel-specific bucket list without the whole creepy 'before I die' part attached.

As we were traveling, it was clear in our minds that we would not accomplish all the tasks on our list. When we looked back to see what we had written, it said "things that we hope to accomplish during our trip". We're not sure why we wrote that. It seems obscenely naive of us to think that even half of the items on that list could be completed in a year. We’re not saying nobody could have accomplished such a feat, but as we got going it seemed unrealistic that our time frame would permit us to. And yet, in hindsight, there are only a few outrageous tasks so we think that if we had set out to complete only those tasks and not do anything else, perhaps it would have been entirely feasible - except that we were, and constantly are, adding to the list as we go. However, we'd like to hope that we’ll get through them in our lifetime.

We traveled slowly, over a whole month in South Africa and nearly two months in NYC, and we preferred to travel this way. It's nice to try and get to know a place rather than just pass through - and it was great to be able to decide to stay somewhere longer on a whim. But we're not making excuses - we know that we suck for not doing all the things on our list.

Hopefully, the items will get crossed off eventually. We would like to do a lot more research about some of the particular activities. Also, it seemed to be a bit of a waste when we had to sit on our computer and plan (researching, booking flights/hotels, etc...) while we were in some of the most amazing cities in the world. Having said that, we will never take for granted that we were fortunate enough to be able to do it that way and don't have any regrets. One time, when we owned our house in Winnipeg, our kitchen ceiling fell to the ground while we were in Tokyo for two weeks (long story). So, that's the kind of stuff we didn't want to worry about. (Are these first world problems? Absolutely. Are we complaining? No. This trip was our solution to our trivial concern of wanting to travel more without worrying about our house falling apart when we were gone).

Anyway, back to the wanderlist - considering all the things that we somehow managed to complete in the past year - whether they were on the list or not, we're pretty optimistic and excited about everything to come whether it be in 2011 or in ten or twenty years.

Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.
- Samuel Beckett

back to winnipeg!

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In the months following our departure from NYC, we returned to Winnipeg to gather our belongings, dragged them across the country, and bought a new home in Montréal so that we had a base for our new adventures.

We never wanted to go back to Winnipeg once we left, but we couldn't leave our belongings in storage forever! Paying for storage seems really wasteful and it kind of bothered us. So, when we decided that we were going to spend awhile in NYC, we thought it would be the perfect opportunity to go back to Canada and sort everything out.

Our main priority was to find some real estate, so we spent hours upon hours researching and looking online for something we could both agree on.

While surfing the net for prospective housing is always fun, it did end up being a bit of a challenging month for other reasons. Against our better judgment, we took a disingenuous offer that, in hindsight, we really shouldn't have. At the end of the day, nothing was lost and we are now (hopefully) better people for the lessons we learned.

That's not to say we didn't have fun seeing our friends again - sushi dates, the zoo, veggie burgers at Cousin's (and a new place called Boon - if you're a Winnipegger, you have to go), more pizza, and board game nights. We also got to go back to one of our favourite restaurants, Oui Bistro, for some sous-vide steak + frites.

The internet makes it easy to keep in touch with friends these days, but we'll still miss them terribly. These people are the only thing that kept our time in Winnipeg from being a total drag, so, if you're reading - thank you (and thanks again for the sweet and totally unnecessary gifts).

Luckily, things went well in the end. Our fantastically amazing friends, James and Antonia, allowed us to stay in their apartment in Montreal for a month while they were gone. We couldn't be more pleased with how everything turned out. We found exactly what we were looking for.

We started this blog as a way to document our travels, which we hoped would be a year or more. The posts began shortly after we hatched our plan to leave our ‘old lives’ behind and explore the globe.

12 months and 12 countries later, it’s apparent to us that we have barely begun. Although our travels were referred to as “around-the-world”, it would be remiss to label our trip as such. Our 'wanderlist' came into fruition when we went on our evening bicycle rides after work and discussed our dreams. Because this was a travel blog, we included the travel bits. Of course, like most bloggers, there is so much more to our lives than the topic we post about. We have aspirations and hopes for the future that wouldn’t be feasible if we continued the nomadic lifestyle and dedicated 100% of our lives to travel.

We can’t believe our good fortune in that we’ve been able to share this “honeymoon” chapter in our lives with such positive and helpful people. We are continually thankful for everyone who anonymously views this travelogue, those who leave thoughtful and amusing comments, and those who have told us that they religiously keep up to date with our often inane musings.

Our travels are far from over, and we hope that you’ll hang around because we enjoy having you here - after a few posts from our journey to Montreal, we'll be posting about Spain!

By the way, for every bad thing we have ever said about Winnipeg, we have 100 nice things to say about it. It can be a lovely place to live and was a great place to grow up. Despite the fact that many locals complain that there is nothing to do, there is actually a lot - you just have to look a little harder. But after a lifetime there, we are just done with it - and we'll always remember it fondly (as long as we repress those winters).

i heart ny

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Look at how stupid we look in these silly tees!
Leaving New York without buying one of these t-shirts is a crime. 
This is the end of our NYC posts.

brooklyn bridge

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We almost forgot to go to the Brooklyn Bridge before we left NYC! Our visit to the famous bridge was left until the very last day. We wished that we had some bikes, because the cyclists looked like they were having so much fun - but that will have to wait until next time. Instead, we walked across the entire bridge.

the ghost of a saber tooth tiger

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We took the trip to Williamsburg to see The Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger - a duo that consists of Sean Lennon and his super-hot girlfriend, Charlotte Kemp Muhl. It was a pretty intimate set and Sean stood next to us for the entire opening act. I was too nervous to say hi, so I didn't ...and I kind of regret it. I'm sure he's nice, but the place was filled with too-cool-for-school hipsters and I felt that I needed to curb my enthusiasm.

Articles I've read about the lovebirds have described their music as everything from whimsical, psychedelic folk-pop to post-apocalyptic, french-inspired love songs. I think the lyrics to their songs are strangely beautiful and Alex and I have both been listening to them quite a bit these days.

I enjoyed a few songs from Sean Lennon's solo career, but am absolutely in love with The GOASTT. There are a few videos from the evening on our youtube channel, if you'd like to have a look. We were standing pretty close to the speakers, so the sound quality is not too crisp.

Some rowdy fans started screaming at them to play 'Into The Sun' from Sean Lennon's 1998 solo debut. They were good sports about it and played the song even though he seemed to have forgotten the chords/lyrics. It was acoustic,  so the sound on this particular video is decent:

I took these photos at Union Pool, a bar that has a backyard patio with a fish taco truck that sells corn on the cob! We're kinda hoping that we can make our way back to New York from time to time to catch more shows like this one.

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