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Archive for December, 2011

What Day Is It?

With the first few weeks of our expedition behind us and a brand new year ahead, we are beginning to feel more comfortable in our roles as travelers and adventurers. At first it was a bit difficult to let go of jobs and routines, but with each passing day it is becoming easier to stop thinking in terms of the past and future. We are now truly able to focus on living in the present.  It is a great feeling to wake up every morning and see each day not as a Monday or a Saturday, a workday or a weekend, but as simply another day of life filled with endless possibilities.

This last Thursday was one such day.  After a cup of morning coffee, we met up with Amy’s cousin Vanessa and headed across the Columbia River into Washington.  Pearson Field was our destination.  The game plan for the day was to hop into a single prop Cesna Skyhawk II and make a couple of short trips to nearby airports.  Vanessa was going to Pilot the plane from the right seat while Amy & I took turns flying from the left.  Unfortunately a faulty comm. unit and poor weather caused us to scrap that plan, but we still ended up with an amazing aerial tour of downtown Portland.   Under “normal” circumstances it would have been easy to feel let down by the change of plans, but with our completely open schedule we didn’t feel as though any time had been lost.  We had a great time flying around and seeing the city from a whole new perspective.  Thanks Vanessa!  We’ll fly with you anytime.

Our Skyhawk II

Mike in the back

Co-Pilot Amy

Cathedral Park, St. Johns, Portland

After returning from our flight we went for a nice little walk in the rain.  No need to worry about poor weather on our “day off”  because we don’t have days off; we just have days.  Walking in a light Pacific Northwest rain was actually quite enjoyable.  While all the world seemed to be trapped inside, we were out just enjoying each others company.

Sold Out Game at the Rose Garden

Our day ended with yet another treat. BLAZER’S GAME (vs. the Denver Nuggets).  Having lived in Denver my whole life, I will say that there is no other sports city like Denver out there.  Denver has it all, NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB, MLS, MLL, etc.  You name a pro sport, Denver’s got it!  Portland on the other hand is dedicated to ITS TEAM (ok there are now 2 pro teams with the Timbers recent move to MLS).  Blazers fans are as committed as they come.

Game day for the team means game day for the city. There are few sporting events I have been to with the same energy and excitement as a Portland Trailblazers home game.   It was only game 3 of the season and the Rose

NeNe

Garden felt like a playoff game 7.  The game was great. An even match the whole way through.  In the end Portland prevailed and the city went to bed happy.
What a Thursday!

For tonight, NYE, headed to a local comedy club called Helium.  We’ll fill you in the the show next time.  But until then, have a fun & safe New Year’s Eve.  Wishing everyone a prosperous and joyful 2012.

-Mike

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The Journey Begins

We are officially on our way.  While we don’t have any funny hostel stories to share, and have not eaten any exotic bugs yet, here is a taste of our lives during the past few weeks.  The trip has begun!  We are out of Denver and are even on our second stop already.  We had our camera shipped to Portland so we can begin to share some pictures with you all.  Here’s what we’ve been up to since leaving Colorado.

Stop #1: Gig Harbor, WA (well, we actually flew into PDX the night before, but drove up I-5N first thing)

Homes along the harbor

Memorial to fishermen lost at sea

Stop #2: Portland, OR

We’ve been here for 4 days so far and have over 2 weeks to go.  Being the holidays, we’ve spent a good amount of time cooking, eating and celebrating with family and friends.  No, we’re not sick of being jobless yet. And yes, we’re still enjoying being full-time travelers and bloggers.

St. Johns Bridge

Our signature dish – goat cheese stuffed dates wrapped with prosciutto

Baking 1 of 5 cookie recipes for Christmas Eve

Root veggie salad for Christmas dinner

Next up, more time in the lovely pacific NW. Also, finalizing China travel plans; it’s still months away, but the visa process is a bit involved. Looking forward to ringing in the new year as 2012 marks a year of adventure!

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Last Week in Denver

It’s our last week in Denver. We’re done with work. We’re moving out of our apartment. And we’re enjoying lots of going-away parties.  With all the excitement and anticipation of leaving, we’re beginning to realize how much we’re going to miss this place. People often ask us if we’ll be returning to Colorado after our RTW trip, and the honest answer is we don’t know. A major goal of our trip is to live in the moment, which means making as few future plans as possible.

That being said, Colorado is an awesome place! For those who have never been, get here! For those who live here, appreciate it!  As we get all reminiscent and sappy about our years here, we wanted to share some of our favorites for locals and tourists alike…

While we still have a lot of the world to experience, Colorado has to be one of the coolest places out there.

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Word about our trip has spread amongst our friends, family, and colleagues and a question I am often asked is, “Michael, did you guys buy one of those ‘around the world’ tickets?”  The answer is no.  Those tickets are a great option for some but come with a lot of strings attached which lessen one’s flexibility in travel.  If you are planning your own RTW trip, think carefully before rushing into one of these.  We chose to build the legs of our trip on our own, with an aim to combine air, land and sea transport to maximize our freedom and ability to access more remote locations.  That being said, I felt a little strange telling people that we are leaving on a trip around the world but don’t know where we are going.  If you have read Where We’ve Been,  you know that we did create a rough list of countries that we want to visit; but up until recently we had resisted the urge to reverse our saving and start spending on tickets.

One thing I hadn’t put too much thought into prior to this week was the number of airlines we will likely patronize that I have never heard of before.  Have you ever flown with Air Eurpoa?  How about Vueling Airline? Cimber Sterling anyone?  I am sure these carriers are more well known to our friends in Europe, but I’m just saying. It took a little faith purchasing tickets from companies I’ve never heard of, but I am happy to say that in the last week we have made some travel plans that have started to bring the initial weeks of The Chamborres Expedition into focus.

The time has come for this experiment to get interactive.   A lot of people have shared their insight on great attractions, delicious foods, natural wonders, etc.  We would love to hear from more of you. What did you enjoy from your own trip?  What would you see if you were traveling the world?  Giving us an awesome, one of a kind, locals only suggestion is a great way to land yourself on the Shout Outs Page.  At the moment, I can tell you for certain that we will be visiting the following locations:

-Spain (Barcelona, Valencia, Malaga, Sevilla, Cordoba, Madrid, Canary Islands)

-Portugal (Faro, Lisbon, Madeira Islands)

-Denmark (Copenhagen, Roskilde, Osted)

-Czech Republic (Prague, Central Bohemia)

But seriously, help us out with the inside scoop.  We love hearing from our readers.  -Mike

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