Stories

2014 Year in Review

 

 

It is incredible how quickly the time flies. Last year at this time we were in the Kingdom of Bhutan exploring the amazing country and volunteering with Humane Society Asia, and today we are home in Canada looking forward to spending Christmas with family and friends.

 

STARTING 2014 RIGHT IN INDONESIA
Truth be told-we did nothing but relax and eat our way through Indonesia.

2014 Year in Review

Cruising around the island of Bali

Our most memorable time there was our three nights of pure bliss at Puri Ganesha Villas.

I still dream of our beautiful villa with our own private pool, and all of the amazing food we sampled during our three days.

 

OUR SECOND HOME
Once our travels in Indonesia ended,  we headed back to Thailand for our umpteenth time to meet our friends Jason and Matt.

We spent a really fun 3 weeks giving them an insiders look at Thailand.

2014 Year in Review

Our beautiful rooftop pool in Koh Tao, Thailand

We beach bummed around Koh Tao, took a Thai cooking class in Bangkok, slowed down in Chiang Mai, and chilled by the communal swimming pool at Fluid in Pai.

After 3 weeks, their time was up in Thailand, as was ours. We were sad to leave after considering it our home for over a year, but we knew we had to visit new places.

 

NEXT STOP ISTANBUL
My mom spent 3 great weeks with us in Turkey.

2014 Year in Review

“Let me help you find the perfect carpet”

We ate ALOT of lentil soup, took an exhilarating hot air balloon ride over Cappadocia, stayed in a beautiful cave hotel, watched the whirling dervish, and ate more lentil soup.

2014 Year in Review

Reflections in Istanbul, Turkey

Our next stop after Turkey was supposed to be Iran, but life had different plans for us.

Iranian Visa

Even though we didn’t go we always get questioned about these Visas in our passports.

As anyone who travels on the regular knows; not all goes according to planned, and the laws regarding Canadians travelling to Iran changed last minute so we could no longer visit the country that we had been looking forward to exploring for months.

 

WHAT DO WE DO NOW?
We thought 2 months was a bit long to remain in Turkey, so we chose to visit Georgia and Armenia. We really enjoyed Georgia’s panoramic mountain views, and their culture.

2014 Year in Review

We made it!! At the top of Gergeti Trinity Church in Stepantsminda, Georgia.

Tbilisi was a great city to explore with a cool flea market full of vendors selling vintage Soviet Union nick knacks, and art nouveau architecture. We even spent an evening at a smoky jazz bar listening to a talented woman scat the night away.

Unfortunately we only had 5 days in Armenia, but what we saw of it was nice, and they make pomegranate wine! You cant go wrong there.

After Georgia and Armenia we headed back to Turkey for our last few days spent on a 3 night 4 day cruise. That was probably the loveliest experience of our time in Turkey. Cruising the Mediterranean without a care in the world.

 

ISRAEL
We flew into Tel Aviv in March so excited to eat every Falafal in sight!

2014 Year in Review

The first Falafel in Israel.

We had mixed emotions about Israel. Cody and I spoke with several human rights activists regarding the ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestine and even volunteered helping Palestinians farm their land so it could not be taken away by the Israeli government.

We also visited Palestine a few times to speak with people and their stories saddened us.

The time we enjoyed most was with our new friend Micha Kurz-founder of Grassroots Jerusalem and co-founder of Breaking the Silence.

We also loved our time with our good friend Diana from D Travels Round laughing and catching up, as well as with our friends Alyssa and Grace in Zfat, and our new friends Adnon, and Adi who are passionate animal rights activists-as well as Sacha, Maria, Zoe, and Armond from the animal rights group 269.

2014 Year in Review

Thank you so much Sacha and Maria for inviting us into your home. You are amazing individuals.

These people work tirelessly night and day to save the lives of animals. It is inspiring.

ANTI-Vivisection Protest

Giselle participates in an ANTI-Vivisection demonstration in Tel Aviv, Israel.

We stayed with them while we were in Tel Aviv and they made us feel extremely welcome. All of the above people are the only reason we would visit Israel again.

 

LAND OF THE PHAROAH’S
It would have been silly to not visit Egypt while in Israel.

2014 Year in Review

Crossing over the border from Israel into Egypt.

After all, it’s only a skip, hop, and a jump away. We headed down to Eilat, crossed the border, and drove through the Sinai to reach Dahab and relax for 8 nights.

We then headed back into Israel the same way we came, stayed for a few more days, and then back through Sinai to Dahab for another 12 nights of Red Sea love.

2014 Year in Review

Follow your Dreams!!!!

Our last 5 nights in Egypt were spent in Cairo awing over the Great Pyramids and eating fantastic food at The Vegan Kitchen  (who’d have thunk it?)

 

GOODBYE PYRAMIDS HELLO MAPLE SYRUP
On June 4th we flew home to Canada after an incredible 2 and a half years of full-time travel.

It was wonderful to see all of our family and friends; to catch up, visit our favourite restaurants in Toronto, and get tattooed.

Our summer was spent working in Saskatchewan and Toronto to save our pennies for 2015, but of course we managed to get away to Cuba in September for my birthday and our anniversary.

2014 Year in Review

Enjoying authentic Mojitos in Havana, Cuba

 

TIME FLIES
I can’t believe we are two weeks away from Christmas! I’ve been busy making sponge toffee, mushroom tarts, cookie bark, Irish cream, and chocolate pie for all of the festivities, and in less than a month we leave for Japan and Thailand!

We can only hope that our 2015 year in review will be as great as 2014 Year in Review and we’re pretty confident it will be.

We have deep feelings of gratitude for the life we are able to live and we wish you all the best for your new year.

Comments To This Entry.
  1. Josh December 17, 2014 Reply

    guys this really inspires me. all your posts are exactly what the world needs to remind them that life is about making a difference and taking risks. so many i speak to seem to think they’re missing out on life by leaving work and not having babies and eliminating animal products, but it’s demonstrated daily that quite the opposite is true. only if the world had more people that cared about it as you two do it would be a much better place. thanks for the inspiration. you’re priceless.

    • Giselle and Cody December 17, 2014 Reply

      Awww Josh you are the sweetest. Thank you for the kind words. We love and miss you lots! For us, living to help others, and making positive change while being adventurous is the only life worth living! Once you know better; once you know the truth about the suffering of others, and the devastation of the planet, you do better. Or at least we do. It is our responsibility.

      Counting the days until we see your gorgeous face again!

  2. lucia pereira December 17, 2014 Reply

    WOW!!! What an incredible year both of you have had! Then you even fit
    in there a little side-trip to good old Cuba!! That was a lovely time we
    spent together!!!

    You guys know how to live your life the way you want it! Those countries
    sound so AMAZING!! Not only do you enjoy the experience of exploring countries around the world, you also travel with the intention of making a difference and you are both making a HUGE difference where ever you land. You are making your mark here on this great planet of ours and doing it in such a gentle, caring and loving way!!! You have been a great inspiration to many people, including
    me. I am so very PROUD of YOU BOTH!!! Love you Giselle and Cody.
    I loved Thailand when I was there and I know I will
    be meeting up with you again some place in the world…..SWEET!!

  3. Franca December 18, 2014 Reply

    What a great year you guys had, very inspiring indeed. I love the way you travel and the fact that, no matter in which country you are, you always try to be part of any animal rights activities, if everybody was like you the world would be a better place. Hope you have a lovely Christmas and looking forward to hear all about your trip to Japan 🙂

    • Giselle and Cody December 21, 2014 Reply

      Awwww thanks Franca!! <3

      It would be awesome if more people travelled with a purpose and it seems like more people are.
      Change is happening 🙂 We hope you and Dale have a beautiful Christmas together and we hope to see you in 2015.

  4. Dale December 18, 2014 Reply

    Our lack of meeting you both in 2014 is a huge disappointment for us both.

    Consider 2015 the year when we meet each other every three months for falafel.

    • Giselle and Cody December 21, 2014 Reply

      That sounds like a great plan Dale.

      What are your plans for 2015?

  5. Kballz December 18, 2014 Reply

    Lovely review! Was so great to see you guys.

    • Giselle and Cody December 21, 2014 Reply

      Kali- It’s always great to see you and i am sure we will be seeing each other a lot more when we move to Sask for 5 months.
      MORE BBQ’S and chilling out around your awesome fireplace!!!

  6. Amélie @ mostlyamelie.com December 21, 2014 Reply

    Awesome!

  7. Angie December 21, 2014 Reply

    What an amazing year! Thanks for sharing with us.

    • Giselle and Cody December 24, 2014 Reply

      Thank you for checking it out.

      Hopefully 2015 will be as good as 2014 🙂

  8. Kristin Addis December 24, 2014 Reply

    Looks like quite the year. Here’s to many more on the road to come!

    • Giselle and Cody December 24, 2014 Reply

      Thanks Kristin!! Here’s to many more for you as well.

      Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.

  9. Ligeia and Mindy December 24, 2014 Reply

    What a great year indeed! We were most struck by the Israel protest you were involved in – some wonderful things happening over there. 🙂
    We have no doubt that 2015 will greet you with a smile and more adventures. Can’t wait go along for the ride. 🙂

    • Giselle and Cody December 24, 2014 Reply

      Ligeia and Mindy, the protests in Israel were very eye opening to the way things are changing there.
      We met some extremely dedicated people, fighting for Animal and Human rights, who we are so happy to get to know.

      Hopefully our paths will cross in 2015 🙂

  10. Abi December 24, 2014 Reply

    I hope you have a great 2015 too – 2014 looked amazing!

    • Giselle and Cody December 24, 2014 Reply

      We hope you have a great 2015 as well Abi.

      With trips to Japan, Thailand and Portugal, we think 2015 is shaping up to be another good year.

  11. It looks like you guys had a great year, and I love that everywhere you went you tried to find a way you could give back to both animals and people.

    Wishing you all the best for 2015! Hopefully one of these days we will cross paths. 🙂

    • Giselle and Cody January 4, 2015 Reply

      We had a great year and can’t wait to see what 2015 will bring. We know it will be filled with travels and animals 🙂

      I am sure we will cross paths sometime Karyn. 🙂

  12. Alex December 26, 2014 Reply

    I always love these annual roundup posts — it’s amazing how much we can accomplish in a year! You guys crossed a few of my own travel bucket list items off this year, including the hot air balloon ride in Turkey and seeing the pyramids in Egypt.

    Love the photo of Koh Tao by the way — I know and love that villa!

    • Giselle and Cody January 4, 2015 Reply

      Alex, every time we see the Pyramids we are still blown away.

      Hopefully you will make it there one day…..maybe in 2015!!
      That villa in Koh Tao is spectacular and the view isn’t to shabby 🙂

  13. Diana Edelman December 28, 2014 Reply

    What a year 2014 was. So glad I got to spend time with you and cannot wait for our paths to cross in 2015 — because they most certainly WILL. Love you both and so happy that we are in each other’s lives.

    • Giselle and Cody January 4, 2015 Reply

      Of course our paths will cross Diana. There is no way we could go a year without seeing you!
      We love you so much 🙂 Hope you have an amazing new start and an incredible 2015!!

  14. Angie Away January 2, 2015 Reply

    You guys had such a fabulous year! Cheers to many more adventures in 2015!

    • Giselle and Cody January 4, 2015 Reply

      Thanks so much Angie! Here’s hoping to an amazing 2015 for you as well!!

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