29 December 2014

The Year In Review - 2014

2014 has been a pretty big year for us. Full of travel, work and taking care of family. We realized our dream of living on a sailboat full-time, we spent time with family, we got to explore parts of the States we had never seen before, we bought a camper and we set off in search of our next sailboat. I wonder what 2015 will bring!

Here are some of the highlights from last year...

1 - We lived and sailed on our boat in New Zealand.

Peachgrove Bay, Mercury Islands, New Zealand
Anchored out at Peachgrove Bay, Mercury Islands, New Zealand
In December 2013, we became full-time cruisers in New Zealand and moved onto our Raven 26 sailboat. We had a great time living and sailing on her during the first part of 2014. We sailed 1,290 nautical miles over four months and learned heaps about ourselves, sailing, living on a boat full-time and what we're looking for in our next boat.

You can find links to our sailing adventures in New Zealand here. If you want to know more about how we became full-time cruisers, check this post out. If you're curious what we learned on our shake down cruise, click here.

2 - We sold our sailboat.

Rainbows End, Raven 26
Rainbows End - our little Raven 26
We always knew our Raven 26 was a "for now" boat and not our "forever" boat. So after our time cruising in New Zealand, it was time to sell her. A truly bittersweet moment - read more about it here.

3 - We took a little road trip in New Zealand. 

Hahei Beach, Coromandel Peninsula, New Zealand
Hahei Beach, Coromandel Peninsula, New Zealand
Boats are great, but they do limit what you can see somewhat. So after we sold our boat, it was time for a road trip on the North Island of New Zealand! Click here to see what we got up to.

4 - Scott headed back to Scotland for work.

Iron Age crouched burial, England
An Iron Age crouched burial from a site in England that Scott worked on. 
Scott is an archaeologist based out of Scotland. So from time to time, he has to head back to the UK to take care of work. He's hoping to wind his business down so that we can enjoy traveling by boat and camper over the next few years without work getting in the way.

5 - I did some work in New Zealand.

Setting an alarm clock. Sure fire sign that you're a worker bee.
Sadly, we haven't won the lottery, so we have to work from time to time to fund our travel adventures. While Scott was in Scotland, I did some contract work in New Zealand for a friend. After cruising on a sailboat, it sure was a shock to the system to have to get up every day and go toil in an office. You can read about the differences between cruising and working here.

6 - We stopped working and headed to the States to take care of some family stuff.

Panhandle Marina, North Idaho
Some family stuff came up, so we both headed back to Idaho to spend some time there with Scott's father. One of the hardest things about being an expat is being away from family, especially when the big stuff comes up. Luckily, we had the flexibility to change our plans and spend time where it was important. Scott even managed to sail on other people's boats while he was there which made for one happy little camper. He gets a little stir crazy when he is away from the water for too long :-)

7 - We did a crazy road trip from Portland, Oregon to Ray, North Dakota. 

Blue Mesa badlands at the Petrified Forest National Park
We needed to get from Oregon to North Dakota towards the end of this year. But instead of driving along a relatively straight line, we drove south to California then over to the southwest before heading back up north. Along the way, we visited 15 National Parks, 1 National Preserve, 1 National Historic Site, 2 National Historical Memorials and 3 State Parks!

You can find links to posts from our road trip on our USA page.

8 - We got seduced by tiny campers.

A Scamp travel trailer that we saw in Yosemite.
We got seduced by tiny campers and we ended up buying one! Camping in a tent is great when the weather is nice, but let me tell you, middle age, sleeping on the ground and nasty weather don't really mix all that well. So we picked up a 13 foot Scamp in Minnesota. She's adorable!

9 - We headed off on another crazy road trip in search of our next sailboat.

What will our next sailboat look like?
We're back out on the road heading down south towards Texas in search of warmer weather and a new-to-us sailboat. We're planning on making our way eastwards over to Florida and then up the East Coast. Want to help us find a sailboat or just say hi? Keep an eye on the blog and Facebook to see where we're heading to next! We'd love to meet you - drop us an email, leave us a comment or fill out the contact form on the right hand side of the blog. 

What were your highlights of 2014 and what are you looking forward to in 2015?

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  1. An interesting year with lots of new beginnings and big changes. It's seemed like a good year.

    1. Thanks Rhonda! All the best for the New Year to you and your family!

  2. You two raked up some serious miles this year!

    Happy holidays from our home to yours.

    Mark and Cindy
    s/v Cream Puff

    1. It certainly has been a year of many miles and fun times exploring NZ and the States. All the best to the two of you in the New Year!

  3. Such a wonderful year you had, I wish this 2015 is even better for you!

  4. Happy New Year, Ellen and Scott! If your travels to Texas take you along I-35 through Wichita, give me shout. We're visiting family for the holidays and would love to hook up for a beer.

    1. We would have loved to hook up with you guys, but we're already in Texas :-( We did a lot of serious miles after leaving Minnesota and sped through Wichita trying to avoid a snowstorm. We're down in the Houston area now (near Kemah) - you guys should head down here and meet us at the boat show :-)

  5. Did your feet ever touch the ground. Can i have your air miles. A wonderful 2014 but I bet you are just looking to relax a little next year. Loved reading all your blogs. Keep them coming and have an amazing 2015

    1. Thanks so much Mark - I really appreciate your support!

  6. I need to do a year in review post on my blog. I love this! Looks like you had an amazing year and got to see many places! Cheers to an awesome 2015!
    Lee Anne

    1. Thanks for stopping by Lee Anne! We've been very fortunate this past year to have traveled to so many great places!

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