The Hidden Agenda behind our Round the World Trip

I haven’t been completely honest with you about our upcoming trip.

Yes, it’s true we’re heading out in July. And yes, my husband Ish and our two boys are coming with me.

And the fact that we want to introduce them to the planet as global citizens and teach them to respect and care about people whose lives don’t mirror their own? Also true.

What  I’ve left out however is my secret agenda.
It came out last weekend as we sat down  with Kevin Rowland, an International Travel Consultant at Flight Centre, at the TravelExpo in Toronto. The goals was to put some flight routes together. While Ish and I have had a working route in mind for a long tim, it’s finally time to give flight numbers to our ideas. We gave Kevin our proposed countries and the routing we had in mind  and explained that we really weren’t too fussed about the order.

Ish chimed in too,  pointing out that even our destinations are flexible. Sure, we’d like to be in Australia for Christmas and New Years and it would be nice to hit Africa during the best safari seasons, but the focus of the trip is the journey and our family and “where we are when” is less of a concern.
As they chatted I began to fidget in my seat.

And when Kevin said “Alright then I think I know everything I need to get started…” I burst.
“We also need to avoid winter,” I said in a voice that was probably too loud.


It may be his happy place but is sure isn't mine.

He smiled and then realized I was serious.
“I’m not a fan,” I explained.

It’s true.

From the moment we started talking about this trip in earnest the one thing that struck me right away was the opportunity it posed to avoid winter.
One whole year without winter boots, heavy sweaters, snow tires or biting cold. I get warm and fuzzy just thinking about it.

I was born in this country and in so many other ways I am typically Canadian, but winter….nuh uh.
Never liked it. Never will.
I don’t ski or skate. I have no interest in sleds or winter walks. In fact, my favourite winter activity is sitting inside with a hot cup of tea and shaking my head at people who are out “making the most” of a winter day. As Ish and I have planned this trip, he may have thought I was being easygoing but in fact  my routing has been intentional.

Any place that gets cold temps would have to see us in the summer and those where there’s no fear of the white stuff could be slipped in at any time. Others might laugh at my request (admit it, you’re laughing now) but Kevin, to his credit, took my odd request in stride and even wrote it down.  I left the Travel Expo confident that I was heard and dreaming of the day when  I could pack away all my winter stuff for at least a year. The resulting grin on my face is still there today.

So big thanks to Kevin who is helping push forward my divorce from Winter. I think this is the beginning of a beautiful relationship.

happy place

More like it.

P.S. While I was at the Expo I was one of several travel bloggers and tourism reps who had the chance to chat with Alicia (@Taggio) about our plans. You can watch a clip of my chat here (I’m on at about 16:10).

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{ 24 comments… add one }

Carol March 9, 2011, 1:17 PM

LOL! Oh darling. I totally understand, though honestly, a Christmas without snow for me is something I cannot endure. But other then that, I can give or take it. So happy for your and your family, and this adventure of a life time! xoxo


Heather Greenwood Davis March 9, 2011, 6:24 PM

Oh looking at the snow is fine! Love how it looks….from inside. Thanks for the well wishes.


Gwen March 9, 2011, 2:21 PM

Good for you!!! Why not dodge winter?! I don’t mind winter but given the choice, I would outrun it for a year, too.


Heather Greenwood Davis March 9, 2011, 6:16 PM

Exactly! Glad I’ve got some support. :)


karengreeners March 10, 2011, 1:15 PM

SMART COOKIE. I can already see you, next December, laughing at us freezing cold chumps from the beaches of Tasmania. Don’t blame you one bit.


Heather Greenwood Davis March 11, 2011, 12:21 PM

I wouldn’t laugh at you but you better believe I will be in happy dance mode.


Ben Alcock March 11, 2011, 5:08 AM

I think I know Kevin.

Did he used to brew beer in Alstonville, Australia?

I was wondering where he ended up.

Lovely guy.

Oh, and yes, great post. Another great example of fab service offered by a good travel agent. I really don’t understand why anyone would DIY.

I mean, who really has the time?


Heather Greenwood Davis March 11, 2011, 12:19 PM

I didn’t know about the brewery! I’ll be using that information in our next call. Thanks :)


Monique March 11, 2011, 5:59 PM

I’m all about avoiding winter. I hope you succeed and go an entire year without seeing snow and no need for a winter coat.


Heather Greenwood Davis March 13, 2011, 2:23 PM

Your comment may be the nicest thing anyone has ever said to me. ;)


The Dropout March 18, 2011, 5:23 PM

Oh, too funny!
I met an amazing Canadian girl in Ho Chi Minh City and I was always bemused by her standard answer to my “hey, how are you?”.
“I’m fantastic,” she’d say. “I haven’t worn socks for a year.”
I grew up on the edge of the desert. I went to university “down south” where it got cold but I managed to get through two winters cycling to classes in shorts. I moved further south and loved the changing of the seasons. I nearly gave my Mum a heart attack by calling her at 1am to tell her it was snowing. I LOVE being cold. I LOVE being able to choose how to warm up and how warm to be.
I’ved lived in Asia and Australia my whole life and I am so damn sick of being hot and sweaty.
So I hope a year of warm is fun for you. Me – I’m dreaming of a white Christmas. Just one. Maybe this year.


Heather Greenwood Davis March 18, 2011, 6:49 PM

I want to be that girl! Can’t wait to ditch the socks.
It’ll be interesting to see if my winter dislike changes once I’ve been away from it for a while. Guessing that it would take a heck of a lot of heat to sway me though.
I wish you a white Christmas sometime soon …and a working thermostat. :) Thanks for the note.


WanderMom March 19, 2011, 11:30 AM

When we planned our trip (which we’re half-way through) we totally focused on weather + arranged the itinerary so that we would be in late Spring/early Summer for most of the year.
Unlike you, I don’t dislike winter + I do like winter sports, but I wanted to simplify our packing as much as possible. Being mindful of the weather meant that we could pack light clothes, a light rain jacket + stuff long undies at the bottom of the rucksacks just to be used for things like mountain treks in the Andes. So far, it’s worked out really well.


Heather Greenwood Davis March 19, 2011, 12:08 PM

I’ve been following along on your travels Michelle. I get a lot of inspiration out of watching families head off. Sounds like you’re having a blast. Appreciate the tips! We’ll be sure to pack at least a few cool weather items.


Carrie April 17, 2011, 7:48 PM

Take me with you!!


Heather Greenwood Davis April 18, 2011, 12:19 AM

The more the merrier!


Kirsten May 9, 2011, 3:23 PM

OMG, you sound just like me! One of the big reasons I’m excited for our move to HI is NO MORE WINTERS! I would totally plan my RWT to avoid winters too. :)


Heather Greenwood Davis May 10, 2011, 4:28 PM

I knew I couldn’t be the only one! :)


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