Duden Waterfall, Antalya, Turkiye.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Antalya, Turkiye.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Paris, France on May 1st.

Sunday, December 31, 2023

Highlights of 2023. The Year in Review...

At the end of 2022, I wrote "2023 is going to be just as good"... and boy, was it ever!

We started 2023 in Granada, Spain and ended it in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. With 18 other countries in between! We were in 20 countries in total in 2023, with 10 of them being new countries for us, bringing our total countries visited list up to 67!

And, we were on 18 different flights, and in 23 different airports. 

Flight map 2023.

We have 7,737 photos from 2023! Here are some highlights of the year...

January 2023

We started January in Spain, and soon made our way to Morocco. We parked our motorhome Max for ten days and flew from Casablanca to Nouakchott, Mauritania for a ten day tour, including an overnight ride on an iron ore freight train!

Riding the iron ore train for 12 hours through the Sahara Desert.

February 2023

We spent most of February touring Morocco with our motorhome Max. However we also did a long weekend away to Tenerife in the Canary Islands to meet up with friends Bob and Denise.

Denise, Ruth, and Bob.
We had such a great long weekend hiking together!

March 2023

The highlight of March was definitely the visit from our daughter Lindsey and grandkids Cameron and Sadie to Morocco. They spent two and a half weeks with us, touring around in our motorhome Max. What a good time we had showing them a very different part of the world.

Kevin, Cameron, Lindsey, Sadie, Ruth.

April 2023

We spent the month of April slowly making our way north through Spain. We just a relaxing month, visiting numerous Spanish towns along the way. It's difficult to pick a highlight from the month, however we really enjoyed matching up a lot of my father's photos from a trip he did there in 1954...

1954

2023.

May 2023

In early May, we took the ferry from Spain to Ireland. 28 hours on the boat! We enjoyed the entire month of May in Ireland, our first time in that country. We really loved it. There were may highlights that month, however the one that stood out was our invitation to an Irish wedding. We don't get the chance to get dressed up very often!

All dressed up for a wedding.

June 2023

We spent the entire month of June touring Ireland in our motorhome Max. We did a lot of exploring, and it was difficult to choose the highlight of the month, but that has to go to the tough hike we did up to Carrauntoohil, the highest point in Ireland...

Me, and the view from the highest point in Ireland.

July 2023

We made our way through Ireland and crossed on the ferry to Wales where we slowly made our way south. We did some housesitting along the way, and enjoyed looking after a couple of dogs. Then into England to visit with Ruth's cousin Helen and her husband Tony. The highlight of the month (other than seeing Helen and Tony!) was probably the coastal hike that we did to the famous Giants Causeway. A lot of people see the causeway itself, but very few people do the beautiful hike to get there...

Gorgeous scenery hiking to the Giant's Causeway.

August 2023

We spent some time in Cornwall, then made our way east through England to London's Heathrow Airport where we picked up our grandson Cameron who flew by himself from Halifax, Canada. Cameron spent a week and a half touring with us through England, to France, Belgium, Netherlands, and Germany. What a fun time we all had!

We also sold our motorhome Max during the month of August. Future plans meant that we knew we were going to be away from him for at least eight months and we didn't just want to leave him in storage, especially since our need to be flexible meant we didn't know when we would get back to him.

Cameron in Rotterdam, Netherlands.

September 2023

With Max parked at the dealer in Germany waiting for his new owners to arrive to pick him up, we hopped on the plane to Canada for a six week visit. We spent the month of September in Ottawa. Great to see family and friends again, and we even managed a long weekend away from our house sitting assignment to visit with our son Alex, his girlfriend CJ, and their dog Lucy.

Alex, CJ, Ruth, and Lucy.

October 2023

October was an eventful month! We flew to Nova Scotia and spent almost two fun weeks with Lindsey, Justin, Cameron, and Sadie. Then to Toronto, connecting to Paris. Then to Istanbul, Turkiye for a couple of days. Then to Tukmenistan, then to Uzbekistan. Whew! We did and saw a lot of stuff, and there were several highlights including the amazing Darvaza Gas Crater. However the very odd city of Ashgabat was probably the most interesting overall...

Ashgabat, Turkmenistan.

November 2023

We made our way through the rest of the "stan" countries... Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Kazakhstan. Wow, what a month! Crossing sketchy land borders, staying in a caretakers cabin in the mountains of Tajikistan, and flying in a 60 year old Russian biplane! We went to a lot of different places that don't see many western tourists. What an adventure!

Me, with the old Russian biplane. 

December 2023.

On the first day of the month we flew from Almaty, Kazakhstan to Bangkok. Thailand with a connection in New Delhi, India. (We don't count that as a new country or a country visited because we never left the airport). We spent most of the month exploring Thailand, and flew to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on the 30th. We enjoyed Thailand, but overall we weren't thrilled. Still, not bad. We'll probably return at some point to see more areas that we didn't see on this trip. The highlight of the month was probably the one day tour we did to the national park where we saw all the wildlife.

A gibbon in Khao Yai National Park.

So, we end the year 2023 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. You can read our earlier post to see what we have planned for 2024.

Happy New Year!

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Great deal on this Coleman Screenhouse.

And in Canada...

2 comments:

  1. What an amazing year you've had! You've got me beat by many miles, but I'm still happy with our little life here in rural North Carolina. I look forward to all your adventures in 2024; I will live vicariously through them, as I work on my gardens, ride my bicycle, and enjoy the serenity of the woods. Happy New Year!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It really was an amazing year and we sure managed to do a lot in that one year. We still look back in wonder at we where we were over the year and all the things we did, it is going to be hard to beat this past year that is for sure.

      Our life is not for everyone and that is a good thing! No matter what you do or didn't do in the past year, really doesn't matter as long as you are happy with the life you lead over the last year and if working in your garden and going for bike rides and enjoying the peace and quiet of your area is what makes you happy then that is all that matters.

      Happy New Year, we wish you the best for 2024!

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