Where Our Toddler Has Traveled

Now on his second passport (the first one issued was only good for two years) Campbell is collecting stamps like a pro. We continue to prioritize travelling with our busy toddler and the sentiments I wrote about here, explaining why we travel with a little one, continue to hold true. Building on last year’s travels, Campbell has amassed some impressive globetrotting stats in his second year.

Flights: 8

Hemispheres1) North

Continents1) Asia, 2) North America

Countries1) Hong Kong, 2) Macau, 3) Vietnam, 4) Bali, 5) Canada, 5) United States

Destinations1) Macau 2) Hoi An (via Danang) 3) Canggu (via Denpasar) 4) Vancouver (x2)  5) Point Roberts, Washington

Longest Flight: 6370 miles (Hong Kong to Vancouver)

Shortest Flight: 585 miles (Hong Kong to Danang)

Total Distance Flown: 30950 miles (that’s equal to 1.24 times around the world!)

My commitment to cataloging our travels is spotty at best, so here’s a roundup of all of our destinations and highlights from Campbell’s second year exploring this interesting Earth of ours.

Hội An, Vietnam

Who: Alison, Braden & Campbell

When: January 26 – 31, 2018 (Campbell 1 year 4 months)

Why: We were itching for an adventure outside Hong Kong!

Itinerary: Fly to Danang, then travel by hired van to our accommodations. We stayed in an AirBnB within the historic area and loved the convenience. We spent our days exploring the Old Town and a few surrounding areas; you can read about our favourite activities here.

Modes of Transportation1) plane, 2) van, 3) bicycle

Highlights1) the weather was perfect – a nice escape from chilly Hong Kong but not too warm 2) we loved the Vietnamese people, culture, history and food (Campbell devoured the fried rice!) 3) spending quality time together as a little family unit 4) our bike ride through the rice paddies and surrounding rural areas…it was so much fun and absolutely beautiful

Challenges1) the tiniest minor complaint, but the Vietnam Visa process for Canadians is neither straightforward or cheap

Vancouver, Canada

Who: Alison, Braden & Campbell

When: February 15 – 25, 2018 (Campbell 1 year 5 months)

Why: Chinese New Year holidays meant we could strategically use vacation days and maximize our time for a trip back to Vancouver

Itinerary: keep it simple with a home-base in Coquitlam with a couple day trips to see the winter sights

Modes of Transportation1) plane, 2) car

Highlights1) it goes without saying that reconnecting with family is always a highlight 2) we wished for snow and MAN did we get it…beautiful, dramatic and pretty much non-stop!

Challenges1) I can’t talk about a trip to Vancouver without bringing up jetlag; it is brutal, frustrating and inevitable 2) poor little Campbell was struggling with a cold and not in top form (as you can see from his eyes in all the photos)

Macau, China

Who: Alison, Braden & Campbell

When: May 22, 2018 (Campbell 1 year 8 months)

Why: We had a holiday for Buddha’s Birthday and friends invited us on a day trip to Macau to go to the Grand Deck Resort, a huge water park. It’s easy to spend the day there with the purchase of a family Day Pass.

Itinerary: Get an early start in Hong Kong, take the Cotai Water Jet to Macau, spend the day at the pool, then return to Hong Kong at the end of the day

Modes of Transportation1) water jet, 2) shuttle bus

Highlights1) Campbell’s first trip to Macau! 2) An opportunity for us to finally revisit the wave pool we loved so much last time we went to Macau 3) An escape from the heat in Hong Kong 4) A fun day with friends!

Challenges1) we arrived to the ferry terminal a bit too late to catch the water jet we had hoped for, so had to wait around for the next one…a waste of time! 2) the pool was PACKED, but luckily our friends arrived earlier than us to secure a couple lounge chairs in the shade 3) we did a terrible job taking photos (didn’t want phones ruined by water or sand) and have basically no pictures of our fun day (except for a couple Polaroids, which you have to admit are pretty awesome) 4) Campbell refused to nap 5) we didn’t book a ferry ticket back in advance and when we got to the ferry terminal around 6pm we could either get a ticket for 10:30pm ferry (yikes!) so we bought first class tickets for 7pm – waste of money! We will be better prepared next time

Canggu, Bali Indonesia

Who: Alison, Braden & Campbell

When: June 28 – July 7, 2018 (Campbell 1 year 10 months)

Why: friends of ours, both teachers in Hong Kong, and their 8 month old were spending a month at a villa and invited us to crash their party!

Itinerary: The first half of our trip was spent in an AirBnB near Batu Bolong Beach and it was just Braden, Campbell and I. For the second half we moved in with our friends at their place near Penencak Beach. Our days drifted by in a blissful routine of healthy food, delicious coffee, dips in our pool, cold beers and afternoons at the beach.

Modes of Transportation1) plane, 2) van, 3) scooter

Highlights1) the timing worked out perfectly and Braden ended up being between jobs – we have never had such a complete getaway and I loved it 2) our AirBnB had a pool that was ideal for our little toddler; we all loved it, actually 3) even if the Bali beaches aren’t the best we’ve been to (how spoiled does that sound?!) they are lovely 4) coming from Hong Kong where everything seems expensive, quality and prices in Bali are a treat…smoothies for the equivalent of $4 CDN…yes please! 5) there’s something about traveling with friends that is so relaxing and enjoyable (or maybe we just have great friends!) 6) as always, scooters get an honourable mention for giving Braden so much joy (Campbell couldn’t stop saying “helmet” or “scooter” after his first ride)

Challenges1) Braden is our travel coordinator extraordinaire but this time was led astray with his research – Uber actually doesn’t pick up from the Bali airport and it took us a considerable amount of time to negotiate transportation 2) right up there with a few other travel nightmares, our first night in our AirBnB was incredibly memorable…let’s just say it involved a rat, the kitchen, and a broom… 3) it’s a good reminder that travel is always at the mercy of nature – Mt Agung erupted shortly after arrived. Luckily our trip wasn’t disrupted but we could have missed a couple days of our trip if our itinerary had been slightly different 4) can someone explain how babies know how to make sure they NEVER nap at the same time to make it difficult for all adults involved to ever go anywhere?!

Point Roberts, Washington USA

Who: Alison & Campbell

When: August 17-19, 2018 (Campbell: nearly 2)

Why: my cousin got married!

Itinerary: drive straight from the airport after arriving from Hong Kong, cross the border, settle in to our AirBnB, and enjoy the wedding the next day!

Modes of Transportation1) plane, 2) car

Highlights1) Campbell’s first trip to the United States! 2) opportunities to reconnect with family, 3) time spent in a sleepy, relaxing destination filled with natural beauty, 4) sharing an AirBnB with my Gran-ma, sister, brother-in-law, Mom and Dad 5) such a lovely, fun wedding!

Challenges1) Campbell’s sleep arrangements are always interesting when we travel…this time he slept in a walk-in closet in my parents’ bedroom! 2) I was prepared for complications crossing the border with Campbell but not Braden, and had come prepared with letters of permission, but it was totally smooth sailing (phew!)

Vancouver, Canada

Who: Alison & Campbell

When: August 19-26, 2018 (Campbell: nearly 2)

Why: As mentioned above, we had a destination wedding to attend in Point Roberts, then spent the rest of the trip in Vancouver

Itinerary: hang out in Coquitlam with my parents, plus one night at my cousin’s in North Vancouver – lots of little excursions to keep Campbell happy with visits with family dotted in when we could make it work

Modes of Transportation1) plane, 2) car, 3) bus

Highlights1) Campbell’s first carousel ride at the beautiful restored Burnaby Village Carousel  2) special bonding time with my cousins and their babies 3) Campbell’s first very own ice cream cone at Rocky Point Ice Cream (which he immediately poked his finger into!) 4) the absolute best fish and chips at Pajo’s 5) a great visit with Auntie Bryanne and Uncle Joel, which included a delicious salmon dinner, 6) eating as many freshly picked blackberries as possible, 7) hanging out with the most patient dog imaginable, my sister’s Woof Woof aka Marlowe

Challenges1) solo travel with a toddler isn’t for the faint of heart; hauling Campbell and carry-on luggage through the airport was a challenge and keeping him entertained on our flights was exhausting 2) jet lag…there’s just never a good way around this with such a massive flight and time difference, 3) Campbell still naps once a day, which does make it harder to make big plans or get out for too long 4) while we were in town, over 500 forest fires were burning in British Columbia, and all that smoky air limited the time we felt comfortable being outside

Well, there you have it! Another year’s worth of globetrotting for our little adventurer! We have no travel plans with Campbell on the horizon for now, but I’ve got my sights set on Japan…stay tuned for more travel!

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