Posted by Jeri on November 12, 2012
These last seven months have been an absolute whirlwind. On Easter Sunday, April 8, 2012, we left PNG to head to the States. Moving away was definitely not the easiest thing I’ve ever done. Our church family in Alotau treated us so kindly when we left. We felt so loved. I’m glad we are taking so many good many memories with us.
Considering Craig collected tons of air miles (and continues to do so), we decided to do a bunch of traveling ‘on the way’ back. (Thanks to Craig for his hard work so we could do this!!) Some of it wasn’t exactly on the way, but it seemed like the perfect time to do it. Not everyone gets to do such extensive traveling, so we feel really blessed. We had so many amazing experiences together.
As I reflect on these past few months, I want to share some of the things we did around the world. (Because I am running out of steam when it comes to traveling this extensively, this may never happen again.)
Without further ado, here are our travels around the world together!
When we left PNG, we stopped in Brisbane, Australia for a couple of nights. A wonderful Christian couple (whom we had never met) hosted us graciously. They even insisted on sending us with a picnic lunch when we were heading out one day. We went for a nice hike and got to see some koalas.
From there, we headed to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. This big city was a little intimidating, considering we had just left the small town of Alotau. But it was a great experience. The kids loved looking out of our hotel window at all of the sky scrapers. We spent some time with a friend we knew when we lived in Houston about 10 years ago who is in KL now. A highlight was seeing monkeys!
Next, we headed to Phuket, Thailand. Craig’s parents met us there. We enjoyed time with them, and the kids were thrilled to have their Grandma and Gramps around. We spent time lots of time at the beach, ate delicious Thai food, and even got to go on an elephant ride!
Ontario, Canada was our next stop. We got to spend time with the Ford clan there. It’s always fun watching the kids with their cousins. Craig and I left the kids with his parents for 5 nights and we headed to Budapest, Hungary. Those few days were so incredible. It was a beautiful city. We walked, and walked, and walked – which is something we’ve always loved doing together. It was the longest we’ve ever been away from our kids. They did fine, and we did even better. We are thankful for such wonderful parents!
The fifth continent we were able to be on was South America. We headed to Bariloche, Argentina. This trip was the biggest surprise to us, as there were very few English speakers there. We stayed in a neat bungalow, took a beautiful tour (on accident), and had a very cold final night since there was a problem with gas in town and we were without hot water or heat! It was a wonderful experience anyway.
Before heading to our final destination, we spent some time in Houston as well. It is always such a blessing to be with our church family there – the Church of Christ in Champions.
We arrived in our new hometown, Cheyenne, Wyoming, at the end of June. We stayed with my parents for a week, and then started renting our own place.
From there, we went to Quito, Ecuador. It was a blessing to reconnect with our good friends, the Marcums and Campbells. In case our trip to Argentina didn’t convince me earlier, I left Ecuador wanting to learn Spanish. We even got to go to the middle of the world!
To wind up that month-long adventure, we went to Ontario to be with the Ford family for Canadian Thanksgiving. The highlight was making apple cider together. It was our first time to celebrate Canadian Thanksgiving together as a married couple.
Now, we are back in Cheyenne again. We plan to stay a while in this cold, snowy place. But it’s an adventure for us, especially to the kids who just experienced their first snowfall last week.
These are the big trips we took. I failed to mention many other places and friends we visited sporadically around the States and Canada. It’s just been an all around amazing experience for us. We are reminded of the blessing it is to have Christian brothers and sisters literally around the world.
This world is a beautiful place. I’m thankful that I have been able to travel it, and especially thankful for the family with whom I get to travel.
There’s nothing like packing a lifetime of experiences into a few short months.