Carpe Diem OUR Way Family Travel Blog

Carpe Diem OUR Way Recap: Welcome to Blogging

Carpe Diem OUR Way: Quarterly Recap # 1

Meet-the-Nieminens-Carpe-Diem-Our-Way-Family-Travel-Blog-(web)

Although my first posts are from February 2015 I (Lindsay) didn’t step seriously into blogging until May. All of this came about from the slowly evolving realization that the rat race is just not working for our family. I poured my heart out about how I was feeling, and how our family was struggling financially, mentally and emotionally in three blog posts on word press, and then took them down. I might post them again one day, but when the time is right.

One of our many sand castles on waikiki beach

One of our many sand castles on Waikiki beach in Spring 2014

While we still weigh the pros and cons of nomadic travel (you can read about my fears here) not a day goes by that I don’t wish to be sitting on the beach building sandcastles with my boys. That is one of the few places that I can say I am truly happy. But making that our reality is something we are still working towards, day-by-day.

 

For now, you find us just outside of Vancouver BC. We continue to be stuck in the hamster wheel, the rat race, the 9-5, the American dream or whatever you choose to call it. It is nothing like a dream. However, we take advantage of every bit of weekend that we can, whether it be camping, or visiting local attractions from Seattle, to Vancouver to Victoria.

 

Here is a little of what we have been up to and some posts to check out:
"Glamping" in Action at Kawkawa Lake Campground

“Glamping” in Action at Kawkawa Lake Campground

The Othello Tunnels, Hope BC

The Othello Tunnels, Hope BC

We were fortunate enough to go camping a few times at Kawkawa Lake (or “Glamping” as we call it, in a 36 foot trailer equipped with everything you could possibly need including A/C) and hiked the Othello Tunnels in Coquihalla River Provincial Park. One of my favourite things about camping is getting to disconnect and read an actual physical book! Two that I read are Eat, Pray, Love and A Thousand Splendid Suns. Eat, Pray, Love was one of the first “physical” books i have read in months! It sure is nice to feel the smooth pages again (and yes i do love reading on my phone and my e-reader when i am putting the boys to bed and it is dark or when i am out and about and do not want to carry around a book).

Strawberry Picking At Krause Berry Farms

Strawberry Picking At Krause Berry Farms

We went strawberry picking at Krause Berry Farms in Langley BC and had a great time in the fields and checking out the amazing market they have (next time we will stay for waffles!) We Visited Granville Island in Vancouver with the kids, and enjoyed lunch on the water, watching the boats and riding the Aquabus around False Creek

Raimo and I had a kid-free afternoon in June and watched a heartbreaking loss by the Canadian Women’s National Team in the Women’s World Cup Quarterfinal at BC Place in Vancouver (the emotional outpouring from the fans is coming up in a blog post soon!)

John Storvik Playground, Anacortes WA "AKA" the "Pirate Playground" according to 4-year old Mattias

John Storvik Playground, Anacortes WA “AKA” the “Pirate Playground” according to 4-year old Mattias

I took the kids to Anacortes WA a few times and we went to our favourite “Pirate Playground” as Mattias calls it, at John Storvik Park. We also attended Shipwreck days in July where they close down the main street for about 8 blocks and there is a huge garage sale with all types of vendors from antiques, to crafts, to food, to bikes to refinished furniture and more!

July finished with a weekend in Victoria for a family BBQ and some fun! While the weather was not fantastic, we went to the little water park at Uptown (we love that the water shoots up and not down at you! Its great for little kids)

We did our first collaboration with other travel bloggers. As we scratch items off our packing lists, we asked them what item they just HAD to take with them that turned out to be completely useless! Have a read by clicking on the link,  there are a few pretty funny entries!

 

Useful Links and Posts to check out:

 

My “What to Pack” section of the site has been quite successful. Here are the latest posts from one of my favourite features

What to Pack: for a day at the Beach

What to Pack: the Ultimate Kids Camping List

What to Pack: Airplane Snacks for Kids

what to pack vertical

kids camping

what to pack airplane travel carpe diem

Our review for Little Passports was also really well received. I make a small commission from Little Passport’s affiliate program. If you are interested in signing up your child, or niece or nephew or grandchildren please consider clicking from my review! It does not cost you any more and every little bit of income stream helps us live our travel dreams!

Little Passports Review by Carpe Diem OUR Way copy

So what’s next?

September finds us back in Victoria for a week, but for a week to explore the city. We are planning on whale watching with Orca Spirit, visiting the Royal BC Museum, playing at the beach and I’m sure we will have some more time for a few other activities.

We will head back up to Kawkawa for the last few camping weekends of summer and explore the Fraser Valley as the leaves start to fall off the trees and visit a few local farms to check out the pumpkin patch! Hopefully we will be able to schedule a few days on Saltspring Island as well, while the weather is nice.

I have come across some really neat opportunities for travel bloggers, one being month long stint in Japan. While I’m sure there were thousands of applicants, I doubt my little blog will get much second thought. But being that I was a family travel blogger, not a 20-something single, backpacker, gave me a bit of a unique angle, and we will see if anything comes of it. I will continue to look for opportunities like this that come up, that allow for our family to explore this fall. A month in Japan, who would not want to take advantage of that opportunity!

Waikiki Beach Rainbow

Waikiki Beach Rainbow

As the leaves turn orange (who am I kidding, with this stretch of record breaking weather we have seen in Vancouver they are already falling off the trees), we will be staying close to the Vancouver area and getting everything together for our Island Hopping trip (you can read more about that post here), from plane tickets, to securing a long term rental in Oahu, accommodation on the Big Island and hopefully at least one of the other islands as well. My favourite place to hunt for plane tickets is Google Flights. My review was one of my most popular posts in July!

When I’m not working my 9-5, I do family and children’s photography on the side. This helps for the ridiculously expensive daycare bill we pay every month and allowed us to purchase a newer vehicle (2011 Hondo Pilot) from the 2003 2 door Pontiac Sunfire we did have (2 doors and two kids in car seats just didn’t work for us!) With Work, Photography, Blogging as much as I can and raising a 2 and 4 year old I expect the next 6 months to fly by!

 

Are you new around here? Are you a frequent visitor? Would love to know how you found us and what your favourite part about the blog is? Let us know in the comments! If you want to find out a bit more “About us” please click here. The more engaged our audience, the more we are able to bring great content to the site and more travel resources for more families!

** this post contains affiliate links. If you click on a link and make a purchase, a small commission will be paid to me by the vendor at no extra cost to you! please consider using my links to help our family travel longer and bring great content to our site!

Lindsay is the Editor and Head Writer of Carpe Diem OUR Way. She wears many hats including mom, wife, freelancer, GM for a manufacturing company and soccer player. Lindsay is spontaneous, loves travel, photography and very recently discovered she loves to write.

13 thoughts on “Carpe Diem OUR Way Recap: Welcome to Blogging

  1. Jen Seligmann

    Hey Lindsay,

    Nice little wrap up you’ve put together here. It looks as though you really made the most of your weekends.

    I’m in a similar situation, working 9-5 to fund our future travels. We’ve got plans to take off from our home in Sydney in March, sell everything and trip around Australia as our new way of life. Having these plans in place and counting down the days makes me so impatient. I want to go now! (forgive me for sounding like a child but I’m sure you understand)

    Enjoy your whale watching and planning for your upcoming trip!

  2. Anne Sutherland-Smith

    Lindsay, I agree that it can be a bit frustrating to see travel bloggers who are travelling full time – and it is certainly achievable but I am like you – working full time and blogging on the side while raising my family.

    I don’t actually want to travel full time anyway – I love our current life and the fact that the kids are really settled at school and with their friends – after the older two having three schools in two years as a result of work relocations I came to the conclusion that I would prefer them to have some stability.

    All the best with your travel blogging, it is great to see that you are inspired to get out and explore your local area!

  3. Carolann - One Modern Couple

    It looks like you are having all kinds of adventures even with working full-time! I think full-time vs part-time travel blogging are both about making sacrifices. We travel full-time but sacrifice a lot of security (home and financial) whereas before we were sacrificing the ability to travel (even slow-travel) often. It looks like you’ve got tons on the go and that you may have even found a great balance!! Good luck with the Japan entry!

  4. Heather Widmer

    Wow, your family sure has had a full summer of adventure! Glamping at Kawkawa Lake looks like an amazing time and Waikiki Beach is beautiful. I look forward to following along on your future family adventures. Good luck with the opportunity in Japan!

  5. Meg Jerrard

    Hey Lindsay, thanks for this wrap up. And if nomadic travel is one thing you’re aiming for, you’ll definitely get there in the end, I promise there is a light at the end of the tunnel! It just really does take a little bit of patience, because it’s a pretty big decision to make, but I’m a big believer in reality being negotiable, and being able to make any kind of lifestyle work if we put enough thought and effort into it :)

    Though in the meantime Victoria is a pretty fabulous destination to have in your backyard! So glad to hear you’re instilling a love of the outdoors and sense of outdoor adventure in your boys :) More kids need that kind of influence in their lives these days!!

    I do hope you manage to achieve your dream of nomadic travel, though definitely keep making the most of your weekends and vacation time in the meantime. Looking forward to hearing about your upcoming adventures :)

  6. Alice Teacake

    Hi Lindsey! Keep on going! Blogging takes so much work but like Meg says, there truly is a light at the end of the tunnel, which I also hope to see eventually! I was blogging for the first 6 months with a full time job, then coming home every evening to work really hard and try and build up my website. Make sure you don’t burn yourself out and keep a healthy work/life/blog balance because the last thing you want to do is turn something you love into a chore :) I look forward to seeing you grow and progress. You can do it 😀

  7. zof

    I love this post. I can relate on so many levels. The rat race isn’t for everyone. I don’t want to be part of it. It is worth it to get out of it, no matter what the cost and effort is. I love how you take advantage of your weekends and free days. Step by step you will achieve your big dream.

  8. Mia

    I have a feeling the “American Dream” is changing as more people are craving a life of travel. It’s not for everyone but I can say that once you’ve been bitten by the travel bug it’s hard to get it out of your system. I’m sure at some point you’ll be living your dream and sitting on the beach making sandcastles. Great recap of your posts and travels!

  9. Elaine J. Masters

    What great experiences for your family. I don’t regret dragging my son off on trips whenever we could and cherish those times. Not always easy, I know. Today he’s a young man of 19 and is pretty intrepid about using his passport whenever he can.

  10. Stephen @ Wanderful.Life

    I enjoyed reading this. It looks like you guys are having a blast, even while working full time and blogging! Now that’s a challenge! I’m sure if your goal is to travel full time it will eventually happen. I think you can only be “so ready” when that time comes. We were scared to death to make the move, and kept delaying it and delaying it. Now given we’ve only been traveling two months, it’s been great so far and most of that fear is over with! I think if we would have continued running through the “what ifs” like we always have…we would have never left the United States. I can’t wait to see what’s in store for you guys. I’m excited to following along!

  11. chrysoula

    Hello Lindsay,

    First of all congratulations for working, blogging and taking care of your family. Your blog is awesome so keep up the good work. I really admire what you do, I am working full time as well and blog on my spare time so I understand the difficulty and especially for people who have children. I believe that if we keep the good work we will make it to our target. You live in a great place, with many things to do around and I really enjoy reading them.

  12. Betsy Wuebker | PassingThru

    Awareness is the first step. Good on you for realizing that things could be working better for you and your family, and then analyzing what the options might be. Building a business, and now you are rightfully thinking of your blog as a business, takes time. Keep at it and best of luck!

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