...and we're off!

taking a year of pretirement to travel the world

on may 23, 2013, we quit our jobs and began our year of "pretirement." these are some of our adventures around the world.

the far east (of canada)

alex and i crossed into canada and spent five days exploring new brunswick and nova scotia. the two provinces have a combined population that's smaller than brooklyn’s, so it was an interesting change of pace. the drive through new brunswick was beautiful, but a bit isolated. on our way to the bay of fundy, we were surrounded by open fields and craggy  rocks. this was a place where nature didn’t yield to the people living there - it was very much the other way around, which was quite striking.

we stopped by cape enrage, then dashed over to the hopewell rocks and got there just as the park was closing. we saw these incredible mud flats, which seemed to go on forever. after a quick jog down the trail, we arrived at the famed rocks only visible at low tide. we slipped under the “TRAIL CLOSED” sign slung across the entrance and carefully went down the steps to take a look. the rocks were spectacular, especially knowing that they're hidden underwater half the time!

we spent the night camping, then started off for halifax. we met my cousin alex for dinner in wolfville, where he goes to school at acadia university. after a little tour of the campus, we made our way back to our motel in "dirty dartmouth" across the river from halifax. the next day was humid and rainy, but we managed to do a bit of exploring around halifax. for lunch we shared a chili cheesesteak poutine, which was as amazingly delicious as it sounds. after a couple of beers and some pretty entertaining people-watching at one of the pubs, we enjoyed a night at the westin - our first nice hotel in a long while (thanks to a sweet last-minute rate!). 

we ventured even further northeast to cape breton island. the national park there is incredible; until only a week before, we had no idea it existed. as we drove through the park to get to pleasant bay, we stopped along the way to take some pictures. we were lucky enough to spot a mother moose and her baby (another one for the cuteness passport!). the sun started to set, and at one point the winds picked up and it began to rain. there we were, on top of a mountain, with dark clouds hovering over this beautiful sunset. it was both beautiful and terrifying, standing there by the cliff at the mercy of mother nature. in that moment, i felt very alive and humbled. 

we did a 5.5-mile hike along the skyline trail the next day, then drove north to meat cove at the suggestion of alex’s cousins audrey and sky. after a bumpy ride down a winding road, we were once again greeted by a spectacular view. there was a campsite right on the edge of the rocks which we would’ve been more than happy to stay at, but the forecast wasn’t in our favor. we hung out for a bit with two campers from stratford, ontario - a town close to where my family lives which is apparently justin bieber's hometown (cray cray). these guys were great - a father and son getting in some quality time. The dad kind of reminded me of “the dude." when we told him about our pretirement travels, he was really enthusiastic about it - he and his wife had done the same thing, and it had a profound impact on his life. i can't wait to say the same thing one day.

we took the scenic route down the eastern coast of the island, then crossed back into new brunswick and stopped in new glasgow for the night. the next day, we were headed for quebec. time to bust out my broken french!

// road trip to date: 18 states, 2 canadian provinces, 4,800 miles