Travel Blog

    Travel, Personal Growth & Gratefulness

    Travel Personal Growth

    The year is coming to an end and we thought it would be fitting to look back at 2019. This past year there was a lot of travel which lead to personal growth. We are so appreciative and grateful for all that we have done and accomplished in 2019! It was an amazing year!



    In December 2018 t0 early-January 2019 we were in Malaysia. We celebrated Christmas and New Years there!

    Our couple friend from Toronto met up with us while they were on their 3 months long travel journey. It was so nice to see familiar faces and celebrate Christmas together.

    Read more about our adventures in Malaysia here.

    After the holiday celebrations, we headed to Singapore with the intention to hop on a cruise with my (Alicia’s) Aunt. After a few days exploring Singapore, we cruised throughout Far East Asia for the next two weeks.

    In our opinion, the best way to see different places and get a taste of each is to hop on a cruise. There’s no need to unpack and fly (commute) to the different places. We go into details about cruising here.


    At the end of the Far East Asia cruise, the ship docked in Hong Kong. We stayed here for a few days and then headed to New Zealand! Check out our New Zealand adventures here.

    We stayed at an airbnb for two weeks, lived like a local in the city centre and had such a great time. (Get up to $38 CAD off Airbnb on your next trip.)

    In mid-February, we boarded another cruise which took us to the different parts of New Zealand and then headed to Australia. The last Australian stop was in Perth (Freemantle).

    We booked this particular cruise because it ended in Perth and Ernest’s Aunt, Uncle and cousins lived here. Prior to this visit, he did not see them for decades!


    We stayed in Perth for the first week of March, catching up and reconnecting with family. It was such a nice treat and we left with full hearts.

    After Perth, we headed to Papeete to catch another cruise. Cruising around French Polynesia was an absolute dream come true. We stayed in Papeete for 2 nights and our dream island of Bora Bora overnight.

    The cruise ship we boarded was our first time on a 6-star ship. A must read, if you’re an avid cruiser like we are, on Crystal Cruises.

    This cruise took us back to Auckland, New Zealand. We got off the ship with familiarity in our surroundings since we were there just a month ago. 🙂

    April & May

    For these two months, we boarded our last cruise ship which would be the last time we would see Auckland, New Zealand on this journey.

    We left Auckland, travelled through NZ again, went through Dusky Sound, Doubtful Sound and Milford Sound (all national parks) which were breathtakingly beautiful. They were spectacular sights and sounds from the wildlife (in the ocean!).

    Then we headed back through Australia and French Polynesia for one last time.

    After this, we headed back towards North America and stopped in Hawaii. Another place that we always wanted to go to but never did. Now we know what it means when we hear that Hawaii has all the vibes. You really have to be there to understand it.

    From Hawaii, we excitedly headed back to Canada. Docking in Vancouver and visiting my cousin for a few days before heading back home to Toronto.


    We were happily back at home for the month of June. However, we were still living out of a suitcase since most of our belongings were in storage.

    During this month, we really wanted to just be surrounded by familiar faces and bask in the fact that we were home.


    We knew we were going to make Toronto our home again, but for how long? Time will tell.

    And since we hadn’t committed to a lease or a purchase of a home, we decided to make a trip to visit my cousin in Las Vegas.

    It’s always nice to reconnect and catchup with family. Vegas isn’t any place new to us, but it’s always a good time. I’m sure most of you would agree.


    A month where a lot of thought and discussions took place. What do we do now that we’re back? Should we purchase a home or rent?

    I knew Ernest wanted to go back to work. Therefore our decision was based on that. Although it wasn’t something that I wanted, he needed to get back into the corporate world. I’ve also hinted at living in a different country while he works, but I had to accept the fact that it would be back in Toronto.

    We decided to rent a home in Toronto. A lease was signed and the move happened.


    Although we didn’t need anything during our months of travel, it was so nice to be able to make our own coffee and meals with our own things. It was comforting to sit on a coach that we owned and sleep in our own bed.

    But hold up, a short girls trip with my cousin to San Francisco will give Ernest and myself a little break from each other. 🙂 After spending 24/7 together for almost a year, it probably was most definitely needed.

    It was my first time visiting San Francisco. We were spoiled by having two locals show us all the sights and take us to some of the best restaurants!

    A short trip, but a great time!

    October to December

    No more traveling for us for the remainder of the year.

    Ernest was most appreciative to be offered back his former role at the company he left when we started our travel journey. Everyone was happy he was back at work, including myself. Lol!

    I enrolled in one Marketing course to keep me busy, along with daily yoga classes. While completing the Marketing course, it really inspired me to obtain the full Marketing Certification. Therefore, I enrolled in 2 more courses at the college. PLUS, I added another external standalone course. I instantly became a full-time student!

    This definitely was not something I had planned, but all fell into place. I’m hoping by May 2020, I’ll obtain the Social Media Marketing Certification!

    Before we knew it, Christmas came and went and now we’re in disbelief that 2020 is only a few days away!

    Personal Growth

    2019 will be a year that will be in our memories forever! We travelled around the world and learned so much, about the different places we visited.

    Whether you’re across the country in Asia or in the South Pacific or North America, people are people. We are all the same, you and I, us and them. Kindness is everywhere and, unfortunately, so is hate; we experienced both.

    Being “alone” in an unknown place, not speaking the language (in some cases), led us to really understand what we truly wanted in life. We left thinking that we wanted to leave the 9 to 5 and the “daily grind” of life and our jobs/careers. We thought travelling, seeing the world and living in a new foreign country as a local is what we wanted and what would make us happy.

    In actuality, traveling is an escape. It does bring happiness; but not for long periods of time. We know that we still want to travel and explore, but now understand that “vacations” are our ideal travels.

    We always strive for knowledge and personal growth. I completed one of my goals of reading 15+ books in the year.

    There is so much growth in Ernest’s corporate life that he has. 2019 brought light onto what he wants to achieve there.

    I’ve learned to focus my time and energy on things that I may be passionate about. Social Media Marketing is one of those things.


    We are so thankful for all the experiences in 2019.

    Traveling for a long period of time was an amazing part of our lives. We met and connected with some incredible people.

    We are grateful for all the lessons that came from these adventures. We weren’t afraid to step outside of our comfort zone and because of this we had an incredible experience and a story to tell.

    Learning, whether it be from talking to others or taking actual courses or reading books, all contribute to self growth. These are things we value and are grateful for.

    Also, something we’ve noticed now that we’ve been back at home, is that we want to connect with likeminded individuals so that we can continue to #inspireeachother and share experiences with one another.

    We look forward to continued personal growth, to connecting with others and we look forward to 2020!


    travel personal growth

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