About Us

“You’re doing what?!”

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Sometimes we get that reaction when we tell people that we are packing up our Canadian suburban home and spending 12 months traveling the world – on a global field trip!  Often, the reaction is “Wow!  That is so cool!  I would love to do that…”

But what drove us to take on this adventure?

Four years ago in 2010, we were on a family vacation in Cuba to ring in the New Year.  We were on this vacation with our extended family – there were 14 of us on this trip.  It was nice to get away from the cold of the Canadian winter, but more importantly, we enjoyed being together as a family and learning about different cultures at a relaxed pace.

As with every year, we were looking ahead to the coming year and talking about our New Years’ resolutions.  Both the adults and children were involved in work/school and a variety of extra-curricular activities. Although we were lucky to have a happy and healthy family, we felt as though we were spending all of our time driving from place to place, rushing around and watching our years with the kids pass by.  Oliver was traveling extensively for work, and was getting on a plane the day after our family New Years vacation to head to Australia.  Life was wonderful, but hectic, and it wasn’t slowing down.

We also wanted to invest in ourselves as a family, and help our children become positive global citizens.  We believed (and still believe to this day) that the best way to expose our children to the world, is to provide them with the richest education possible through travel, (it’s the best textbook).  Certainly all of the information about any particular place on earth, or time in history, is available at the click of a button.  Just “Google it” (we do that a lot)!  We could even simply get TV subscriptions to “The Discovery Channel” or “National Geographic” and see everything from the comfort of our own home.

But we believe that getting out of the comfort of our family room, getting our hands dirty, and walking through the dust of the ages – would be the best experience, and the best education for all of us. Furthermore, in addition to seeing the “sites”, we also want to meet people from different places and get to know the cultures beyond the media and Internet sites.  We want to be more than just tourists; we want to be travellers and experience what the locals do, find out how we can make a positive contribution to our world, and hopefully make some wonderful friends along the way.

From this, our family motto was created:

“Inform, Involve, and Inspire”

We didn’t want to wait until retirement to do this trip.  Our ‘bucket list’ was extensive – there was so much we wanted to see, and to experience as a family.  So much can happen in life, and we felt there were no guarantees that we would be healthy, and that our family would be able to commit this amount of time again.

The time was right.  Carpe Diem!

And our global fieldtrip was born.

Four years later, after a lot of research and planning we are about to embark on our adventure of a lifetime.  Our planning has not simply been the adults dictating where the family will go, and when.  We have all worked together to determine our trip ‘pillars’ (what are the must see/must do items), plan our our route, and conduct research about the various places we will visit.  We have sought to understand how to home school the children while on the road as well as ensure we have taken care of basic necessities such as healthcare while away.  We have looked into all manner of transportation – planes, trains, automobiles, camels, boats, tuk-tuk…let alone walking!  We have read literally hundreds of articles, web pages, blog posts, and books on taking such a trip.

You can find our travel route here and all of our planning resources here.

Our journey begins on July 14th, 2014 when we will depart from Toronto, Canada, and will fly to Dublin, Ireland.  From here we will spend the next 12 months crossing 6 different continents, and will record all of our adventures here through our blog.

Hopefully, you will come along for the ride!

In a few words…

Katina – Has worked in education for the past 20 years, currently as a Vice Principal in a middle school within the Toronto District School Board.  Katina has a passion for student achievement, and is particularly interested in the effective integration of technology within the school curriculum.

Katina

Katina is ready to take on the world with a huge smile!

Oliver – Information Technology leader who has worked in a variety of industries for the past 20 years, and has been through 3 different take-overs in the past 10 years alone.  Enjoys fixing things…and if technology is involved, even better!

Oliver stays calm in times of crisis!

Oliver stays calm in times of crisis!

Mikhaila – Will graduate from grade 8 in 2014, and is looking forward to a fantastic year of travel and learning.  Mikhaila is a member of the Bach Children’s Chorus in Toronto and loves to sing.  She is an avid reader, a swimmer, and enjoys all types of theatre.

Mikhaila loves her googly-eyes!

Mikhaila loves her googly-eyes!

Zoe – Will finish up grade 5 in 2014 and is looking forward to grade 6 on the road!  What better way to learn about ancient civilizations than to travel to some of the sites such as the Pyramids, Jerusalem, and others?  Zoe is a competitive dancer and is always moving!

Zoe at a dance competition in Peterborough, Ontario.

Zoe at a dance competition in Peterborough, Ontario.

Floatsam and Jetsam – We are Travel Wees on a round the world trip with Mikhaila and Zoe. We love to go places and see interesting things – especially Unesco World Heritage Sites! We like to ride in pockets and backpacks and pose for pictures. We bring our own snacks and love to eat spinach.

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As a family, we love to travel and enjoy sharing our adventures with our friends and family as we go.  Some of our previous blogs are listed below:

Alberta Canada 2011: http://albertabound2011.blogspot.ca/

Germany, Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic 2011: http://vacationfun2011.blogspot.ca/

Panama Christmas/New Year 2010-11: http://papulkaspanama.blogspot.ca/

Germany and Greece 2010: http://eurotripja2010.blogspot.ca/

East Coast Canada 2009: http://2009funvacation.blogspot.ca/

We would love to learn more about our readers/followers, so please feel free to let us know something about you in the comment section below. Happy Travels!

18 thoughts on “About Us”

  1. Emir Tascioglu says:

    What a wondetful idea. We are looking forward to your post and will enjoy every moment that you share with us. May all the positive energies be with you.

  2. Katia says:

    What an awesome blog! Can’t wait to read about your many adventures.

  3. Peter Chang says:

    What a wonderful experience for the four travellers and all of us who will read the blogs and learn from them! Safe Voyage!

  4. Lillian P says:

    Wow! Katina…great seeing all the family shots…I thought I had a big fat Greek family, but I think yours is bigger. lol 😉

    Looking forward to seeing all your travels. Be safe in your travels. See you when you get back.

  5. Margot Usmar says:

    Stunning. We wish you safe, happy and adventure filled travels. Look forward to hearing all about it. Have FUN!

  6. Iniyal says:

    It is only a day away:) so excited for you and your family

  7. Annie says:

    Best wishes on your departure tomorrow!!!

  8. jade says:

    i am going to miss you guys so much! hope you have a great flight tonight. See you next year!

  9. Tinka Nanofski says:

    Enjoy this amazing adventure as a family and bring back lots of memories to share – best wishes and safe travels!!

  10. Ruta Downey says:

    Hi Oliver! I wish you all the best for your Great Adventure! It is truly an opportunity of a lifetime and I know it will also be a great education for all of you as well. I have had the opportunity to travel a fair bit with our kids (now 22 and 18 – and yes, they still want to travel with us!). We have had some amazing adventures, had lots of fun, learned a lot and also gained a true appreciation of what we are blessed with. I hope you have a happy and safe year ahead !
    All the best,
    Ruta

  11. angelique says:

    hey mik zoe katina and oliver, hope u guys have a safe flight and an amazing trip we will be at menchies today enjoying the taste of ICE CREAM!!!!!!!!!! miss u guys soooo much …..hope to skype with u soon

  12. sage says:

    hi Zoe and Mikhaila I really like Mikhailas glasses where did you them?
    Sage

    /

    1. Oliver says:

      Thanks Sage!

      Mikhaila is posing with some glasses that were made from a pair of “3D” glasses from the movie theatre and some big, googly eyes that were glued onto them!

  13. Shaun says:

    I’m thrilled for you all. This will be an amazing life experience.

    We all look forward to living vicariously through your postings and adventures.

    Be safe, savour every moment and have fun.

  14. Jeannelle says:

    Hey Guys!!!!!

    Missing you 🙂 Just getting ready to start the new dance year! Zoe I am dedicating a dance to you this year 🙂 Lauren’s acro solo “Oh the places I will go”

    I see you are all having a blast 🙂

    Can’t wait to hear about everything but especially the dance experiences you will have

    Take care
    Jeannelle

  15. Herta Park says:

    Not sure if you got my initial post, but …..you guys rock!!!!
    What a wonderful thing for you and the girls.
    I look forward to your posts!

  16. Elizabeth Vozoris says:

    Sat beside your parents Katina at the all Saints Church 50th Gala and learned about your fabulous family trip. Your Mom gave me your Blog’s Website as I am very interested to learn how you organized this and of course read about your many adventures. Look forward to following your family’s posts.

    1. Katina says:

      HI Elizabeth,

      Welcome to our site – we hope you enjoy the journey with us. We’re happy to share all of our research and resources to make travel experiences easier for others.

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