Chris and Laura here again. Well, we’ve been teasing all of you with subtle mentions of our big news. If you’ve been following along for the past several months, you’ll know that our plans have already changed more than once, so one more big change shouldn’t be too much of a surprise. Our original plan was to wrap up our travels in Thailand, where we would settle down for a year and teach English. But life has a way of surprising you.
In mid-May, Laura got a message on Facebook and it changed the course of our life. Instead of magical Thailand, the “Land of Smiles,” we had a new option: a place with a strange and unique local culture; with extreme weather that some people only dream about.
This place just sounded so interesting and challenging from a traveller’s perspective we simply couldn’t say no. Fresh air, a vast and open blue sky, the shinning sun reflecting off the glistening ground, huge lakes nearby, and wildlife practically outside your front door. The people are completely unique. Some of their traditions and outlooks on the world may seem backward to big-city westerners like us, but every traveler knows that you can’t bring your own value judgements to a new place.
And to top it off it involves jobs for each of us and a home again.
The Facebook message reopened a dialogue between us and Laura’s ex-boss Brian. At the end of that dialogue, Laura accepted the job as the education manager of a fascinating new project, a new dinosaur museum! That means she gets to do what she loves to do! And Chris gets the same thing: finally a chance to start up his own business and throw himself at photography and design work. It also turns out, miraculously, that two of our dear friends from home are moving there shortly as well.
It’s a big commitment. To secure her salary, Laura signed a two-year contract, so this new adventure is an even bigger decision than our Thailand plans. The museum doesn’t exist yet and probably won’t for 2-3 more years, but in the meantime she will be constructing the education department and programs from the ground. This is such a wonderful opportunity for her and her career. She’s so excited! Chris is pumped too, both for Laura’s opportunity, and for his own.
So where is this magical land? Maybe some of you have started guessing, “China perhaps?” There are dinosaurs there. But no, this place is far more exotic.
We’re moving to…
Wait for it…
You’ll know soon…
We’re moving to… Grande Prairie in northwestern Alberta, Canada! That’s right folks, we are moving back to Canada in late August. Laura will be working with her old boss, Brian Brake, from The Military Museums at the new River of Death and Discovery Dinosaur Centre. Chris will be making a hard go as a wedding photographer, web and graphic designer. We have a ton of work to do in both getting moved, settled, setting up a new business, and throwing ourselves at our new opportunities. We’ll be sad to leave the road behind, but mostly happy to have a home again. Unfortunately this news means we won’t be making it to India or Nepal this time around, but if you’ve enjoyed the blog, don’t fret. There is plenty to share from our new lives in the “Land of Testicles Hanging from Underneath Giant Pickup Trucks.” Our friends Phil and Marcia are also moving up there, as Phil is going to be the head paleontologist of the project. Some of you may vaguely remember Grande Prairie from old blog posts. Yes, it is the place Chris jokingly referred to as “the other armpit of Alberta,” and it’s also the place that had the coldest temperatures in the province when we were there last (-32 degrees Celsius), but it’s home to Chris’ sister Kelli, and her wonderful pack of kids.
So there you have it, our big news.
We fully intend on posting photos and telling stories of the journeys and adventure of moving to northern Alberta, but before then you can expect stories and photos from Thailand, Vietnam and perhaps Cambodia and Laos before we come home. We leave Iran on July 10 to fly to Bangkok. We are both dreaming of the beach and a few cold bottles of beer.
Chris and Laura
p.s. – Just a reminder that we can’t access Facebook in Iran. If you want to let us know what you think of our plans, please do so in the comments.
p.p.s – This is our 100th post on the blog!