Rough Atlantic Ocean at Essaouira, Morocco.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Ounagha, Morocco.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Heading south in Morocco.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Past travels

We think we've done a fair bit of traveling in our lives, but we really haven't been to that many different countries. In fact, I think we've only been to ten countries! That's gonna have to change!

When we were growing up, our families did a lot of local vacations every year. My Dad's family was from British Columbia so that was always the big trip, every five years or so. And Ruth's family was from England, so they returned there about as often. Other than that, vacations were always either Canada, or Northeastern United States.

I did a three week bicycle tour to England with my older sister when I was 15 years old. That was my first time outside of North America.

A few months after Ruth and I met, we did our first trip together. Can you guess where we went?

Then when we were married in 1984, our honeymoon was to Florida and Disneyworld. We drove there from Ottawa in our 1971 Buick Skylark!

In May of 1987 we were back in England with our baby Lindsey, this time driving up to Scotland for a week with Ruth's cousin and her family. Ruth went back to England by herself in 1991 with both our little children. 

But with a young family and essentially one income, we didn't leave the country again until 1993. Then, Ruth and I splurged on a (almost) 10th anniversary trip to the caribbean island of Antigua.

Ruth and Kevin in Antigua, January 1993.

Hiking Gros Morne mountain in Newfoundland

In 1994 we did a two week tent camping trip to Newfoundland. I know, not a different country, but it might as well be!

After that, we did several trips with the kids, taking them to Dominican Republic twice, and once to Cuba. Our son always played competitive baseball so we were busy with his team all summer. That meant we had to take winter vacations!

In 1999, we won that trip to Copenhagen, Denmark. And we took the ferry to Sweden for lunch, so we've been to Sweden too!

After that, we were back in England in 2003, and then two weeks in Portugal in March of 2007. Since then, it has only been Canada, the U.S., and Mexico.

So there you have it. We have been to a total of only ten countries, and that includes Canada! Did you know that there are approximately 192 countries in the world? How many have you been to?

Okay, time to go vote so that we can make it to another country!

Yesterday was  GREAT day for votes. Almost 200 in a day which is our best day yet, and we surpassed the 1,000 mark yesterday! Thanks everyone!

(Oh and reader Pete Olson reminded us that you can also vote from your phone if you have an internet enabled cell device. Thanks Peter!)


  1. Neat to see old photos of you guys, you haven't really changed! That's awesome!
    Where have we been.
    I have been to England, Greece, Holland USA, Mexico.
    My son and I have been to USA, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, and some Caribbean islands.
    We can chalk up Puerto Rico on that list next January.
    I always thought a backpacking trip around Europe would be neat. Couchsurfing would help there for sure. Will have to wait till my son is much older for that (at least 18).
    I am a firm believer that your best education is the one you get from learning about others and their cultures.

    Going to vote now!!!!

    1. Looks like you two have been to quite a few countries as well. Definitely want to go and explore some of those.

      There is a section on the couchsurfing website for people travelling with children.

  2. Uh oh. There's going to be some "wordage".
    That's a loaded one for sure for us...

    I hate to say it, but I'm a bit of a reluctant traveller, or maybe I've gotten that way? Not sure what that's about.
    Anyway, I guess I've been here and there, without really meaning to, and (here comes the long winded story) a couple years ago, on one of our visits home, just to be sociable, I went back to my old school to sit and chat with the afternoon guy I used to work with. Turns out he was training (or trying to train) a new hire, and this new guy was trying to tell me something about making a right turn on a red light in Europe, and how that was a possibility or something. Huh?

    The thing is, there's that *moment* when you just say, "Really? Oh I didn't know that", knowing all along that this person is full of sh*t, doesn't have a clue, and has probably never gone past Niagara Falls, on the Canadian side.

    There's that analogy of wrestling with a pig. You both get dirty but the pig enjoys it.

    So as the guy who used to work for me and I are walking out to the parking lot I said, "Well, with the exception of Liechtenstein, Sweden and Portugal, I think I've driven in every country in Europe, and even a couple in eastern Europe, and I've never ever seen where you could turn on a red light. It just isn't done." (actually I rhymed off the list of all the countries, but I'm trying to keep this short...ish)

    So that made me kind of realise that we HAVE been to a few countries. Even drove in the UK back in 2009.
    Managed to drive for a whole year in Puerto Rico without putting a scratch on a brand new car, so I was particularly pleased with that. That's actually an accomplishment if you can believe it. If/when you go to PR you'll "get it". It's right up there with driving around the "Place de la Concorde" in Paris. That was awesome. Made T.C. a wee bit nervous, but I didn't think it was a big deal.

    At the bottom of my site I have that trip advisor travel map widget, that shows I've been to 16 countries. Who knew?

    The voting site says I've "voted", so I have to wait the required Australian time. I'll just keep checking back.
    Fun post.

  3. Oh damn, I forgot to mention the 71 Skylark.
    We had a 72 Old Cutlass Supreme. With the "rocket 350". I actually think I got better gas mileage all those years later when we had our motorhome, 'cause if you thought you'd like to use all four of those Holley four barrels, you'd get about SEVEN. But it was just a fabulous car! (well, as long as you weren't cornering of course. American cars still don't really corner all that well...)

    Oh ya. Good times!

  4. 10..10...10 countries and you don't think you have traveled...MUCH...WHAT? I have been to two and feel Blessed to get to that many.
    Love the photo of you two in Jan. 1993. How fast the time passes.
    Just voted again today! Good Luck.

    1. You may have only have two countries under you belt but you are really exploring them and that is what counts. Many people haven't even been out of their own state or province.

  5. I've only been to England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland and Greece. It's funny that I don't really have a huge desire to go abroad like I did when I was younger. I want to stay at least 2 weeks in every National Park and visit for at least a day every National Wildlife Refuge in America. There are so many things I have not seen in North America including interior Alaska that I wonder if I'll run out of time before I can do it all. Guess you have a head start on me in the U.S./Canada and Mexico. Really helps if you don't have to wait until retirement age to get going full time.
    Smart you!


    1. Sherry at least you have a goal and that counts for a lot. You are out there enjoying what you love.

  6. Thanks for sharing your old photos with us. That was a treat! I have only been to Canada, Mexico, and the U.S. on trips. When I was in the US Air Force I went to South Korea and Japan. Probably won't see many more because I don't care for boats and planes much. I do like to live vicariously through travel blogs like yours though.

  7. Now that we are home and have 3 computers....guess what? Yup 3 votes from us per day.

    Love the Antigua photo...kinda sexy looking....Hmmmm!

    We are the reverse, I use to work for Air Canada so we travelled the world and then started to RV!!

  8. You've been to 10 countries??!!! Wow, amazing! I've only ever been in South Africa, New Zealand and very brief trip to Zimbabwe.

  9. We have access to two ISP so can vote twice a day, good luck. Love the Buick, wish I had some of my old cars still, would be worth a fortune.


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