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semi-overcast 16 °C

Now we are home I suppose it's time to look back on the memories and keep our many experiences alive for as long as possible. The return to routine, work and school comes around so quickly, at times it feels like we've never been away so the thousands of photos (4073 to be exact!), hours of video and diaries we have kept will keep the memories with us for our life time.

Many people have asked what was your favourite? My answer has been "too hard to choose". I have enjoyed so many aspects of our adventure that I couldn't single out just one. The combination of mountains, snow, water and wilderness and the activities that abound them were just spectacular and too numerous to pack into a holiday. Obviously the reason so many people visit these places and end up staying for ever.

During our many hours sitting around airports, on planes and in cars we talked about many things but what stood out for me were the questions the kids would ask about places we were going and what we were likely to do, expect or see. The fact that we were enjoying these experiences altogether, for the first time, made it memorable and special for all of us. The kids just assumed we knew what to expect and were quite surprised at our answers of " I have no idea, we've never been here before either!" If nothing else, I hope that this holiday will instill a love of travel and discovery for the kids where they can draw on all our adventures with worldly confidence and tackle new places and experiences for themselves in the future - not too distant I hope.

We were all surprised at just how many airports we visited while away and how efficient we tried to get at removing shoes and jackets.

Just for fun we listed them all during a lull in our itinery one day.
Perth x 2, Brisbane , LAX, Vancouver x 3, Kelowna, Las Vegas, San Francisco x 2, Fairbanks, Anchorage, Portland , Honolulu, Sydney

Another list we added to as we travelled was all the different forms of transport we experienced and I'm sure I will have missed something.
Aeroplane, sea plane, car, bus, coach, train, cruise ship, river boat ( sternwheeler) , canoe, jet boat, ferry, catamaran, cable car, street car, gondola, ski lift, bikes, dog sled, horse sleigh, mule, skis, snow mobile , mini z's , taxi, limo and maybe not covering the most Kms but definitely getting a good work out were the feet!

So as I sit finishing this off back at home I look around our home feels so big!! Those small motel rooms did get a bit much but they served a purpose and saved the dollars for activities and places we will remember. I believe that is some of the best advice I have heard about travelling - you won't remember the hotel room you stayed in but you will remember the activities you do and places you see with the money you save by not having the fancy accommodation. We definitley didn't slum it but bunking in together saved that second room and brought us very close together - literally!

Planning this holiday ourselves was definitely consuming for months prior and took many hours of research but we have no regerets in doing it this way and fortunately suffered no hiccups or dramas. This has been an experience of a lifetime for all of us, the dust hasn't settled yet but we have the travel bug to explore some more, who knows where?

Posted by fiveofus 05:47 Archived in Australia Tagged family_travel

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You have been an inspiration to the rest of us who were left behind...Your blog allowed us to travel with you from the comfort of our homes and dream about the next experiences for us all. Thanks Karen it has been a wonderful journey!!..Love Caryn

by caryn

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