Hello and welcome!

We’re the Hunter Family…and we LOVE to travel!

I’m Kyla, welcome!! I’m so glad you liked us enough to click over here and find out a bit more about us!! (Or you just think we’re crazy and are wondering where the crazy comes from!!)

I’m the member of our family that likes talking the most (although Kacela is giving me a run for my money), so it’s my voice you’ll most often hear on the blog. I also take most of the pictures, which is why you’ll rarely see me in any of them!!

We’re a typical Canadian family that just can’t get enough of exploring this big amazing world we call home. We have serious wanderlust, and by “we” I mean I do…and I drag the rest of the family along with me! Thankfully, wanderlust is contagious, so they’re well on their way to being full blown vagabonds.  

Meet Kyla (that’s me!)!

 By day, I’m an optometrist (Eye Doctor), and I really love my day-job! I own my practice in Northern Canada, and have two fabulous business partners. We’re all travel-obsessed and have built LOTS of flexibility into our jobs. This lets us travel often (thankfully!).

My second job, which I’ve yet to get paid for, is planning our family travel adventures! I absolutely love planning, and over the years I’ve gotten pretty good at it. I’m always on the search for the next awesome, unique, local experience.

I’m sure I spend at least twice as many hours planning a vacation than actually going on the vacation…which made things really difficult when we travelled for a YEAR!! We survived, but I did suffer a few “I’m not finding the most incredibly amazing, unique travel opportunities in all 157 places we visited and I’m a failure” moments. I got over it…mostly!

 I’m a sucker for “vorfreud”, anticipatory pleasure. The very thought of travel gets me excited. I love sitting down with a glass of wine to plan our next adventure. Knowing what we can and should do on our travels helps to satisfy my type-A personality and lets me feel in control. 

Planning, surprisingly, also allows a great deal of flexibility (very important with kids) to ensure we make the most of every destination without a scheduled itinerary. I usually have at least one trip-planning on the go, and am starting on the next one (or three) as soon as we take-off to go anywhere.

 The last thing you should know about me is that I CAN’T sit still. I actually think it’s some kinds of syndrome that renders me completely incapable of doing nothing. It drives Randy nuts…and over the years he’s occasionally tried to slow me down, but it never seems to work. 

helps to satisfy my type-A personality and lets me feel in control.

 Planning, surprisingly, also allows a great deal of flexibility (very important with kids) to ensure we make the most of every destination without a scheduled itinerary. I usually have at least one trip-planning on the go, and am starting on the next one (or three) as soon as we take-off to go anywhere.

 The last thing you should know about me is that I CAN’T sit still. I actually think it’s some kinds of syndrome that renders me completely incapable of doing nothing. It drives Randy nuts…and over the years he’s occasionally tried to slow me down, but it never seems to work. 

Next Up…Meet Randy

Randy’s the most easy going member of our household (which really isn’t saying much!!) and is happy to just go with the flow 99% of the time. This is a great thing, because he’s outnumbered by strong, determined, opinionated females who like to get their own way (I’ve taught the girls well)!

When we’re at home, he runs his own consulting business, giving him lots of time to work on projects schemed up by me! He pretends to think that many of my travel plans are ridiculous but he never complains about coming along. Sometimes, he even schemes up some pretty crazy ideas himself! (for the record, West Africa AND Central Asia were both his ideas). Luckily for me, he almost never says “no”.

Although he doesn’t do ANY of the travel planning (yet…one of these days I’m bound to give up control and let him plan something), he does all our videography and makes some pretty incredible YouTube videos (click on the words YouTube to go check them out!). He also has the lucky task of editing all the blog posts…so if there’re any spelling or grammatical errors…it’s Randy’s fault!! (Just joking…mostly!).

Randy keeps us laughing, and I’m pretty sure he could’ve written a book with all the bad dad-jokes we heard during our family gap year. Luckily for you, I didn’t write them all down, so I won’t make you suffer through them all!

The First Born Child…Calais

Calais (Kal-Lay) is our sweet, eldest child, and is JUST like me (I’m the oldest too…so this isn’t surprising!). We’ve affectionately named her “the Martyr” as she always seems to give up what she wants for her sister (okay, so she’s not 100% like me!). She’s learning to stand up for herself though, and occasionally will put her needs before her sister’s.

 Calais has the world’s largest heart, think the Grinch AFTER his heart grows 3 sizes, and feels copious amounts of empathy for everyone we see while traveling. This has proved to be a whole new challenge abroad, but one I’m more than happy to accept.

During our gap year, Calais was the most home sick by far. Although she loves to adventure, she’s more of a homebody than the rest of us, and is happy to have her friends and her own bed (and toys!).

 She’s enrolled in Grade 3 French Immersion at home, and looks forward to being our translator in the future. 

 Calais has visited 38 countries on 4 continents. Her favourite country is Canada (home!!). 

Our Sprited Youngest…Kacela

Kacela (Kuh-say-luh) is our youngest child, and the reason I drink more wine than I should! We call her “Little Randy”, because she’s JUST like her Dad…although she’s not super keen on the nickname. She has LOTS of spunk and tenacity that I’m sure will serve her will later in life. 

Kacela’s fiercely determined, and once she sets her mind to something there’s no turning back. During our gap year she’s set her mind on saving the planet. She’s told off multiple waiters/bartenders over the use of straws, because they “wreck the planet and ruin lives”.

Unlike Calais, she doesn’t get homesick, and recently proclaimed that we should sell our home and live in a camping truck (stay tuned…we’re not selling our home, but we’re hoping to outfit a camping truck soon!). She’s bound to be our wanderer and is truly a nomad at heart.

She’s enrolled in Grade 1 French Immersion at home, and will likely use her language skills to ensure we never know what she’s talking about!

Kacela’s visited 37 countries on 4 continents. Her favourite country is Indonesia (she’s obsessed with Bali!).

Follow along on Social Media

(It’s actually up to date with what we’re up to, the blog can be a bit behind!!!) If you have to pick one, I’d pick Instagram…it’s my favourite!! ha ha!!

Our Family Gap Year (2017-2018)

The idea for our gap year started MANY years before we actually left, and you can read all about there in this massive guide to planning a gap year. We made it a reality the summer of 2017. Our launch date…July 22, 2017 (our 11th wedding anniversary…awe!!!). We returned home on August 8, 2018, completely exhausted but full of stories!

It was one of the best things we’ve ever done, and has just sparked our wanderlust even more. Rather than checking things off our bucket list, it seemed to grow bigger with every country we visited. The world is massive! The more we travel, the more we realize just how insignificantly small we are in the whole scheme of things.

A few quick stats (cuz I can’t help myself!!):

  • 382 Days
  • 30 unique countries (35 with duplicates)
  • 4 continents
  • 101 cities
  • 157 different beds
  • 120,500km of long distance travel (75,000 miles)
  • 3,068,606 steps (using the iPhone, so give or take a few thousand!)

Countries we visited (in order): China, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, China (again), Nepal, Bhutan, Thailand, Myanmar, Thailand (again!), Indonesia, Vietnam, Laos, Thailand (for the THIRD time!), Indi, UAE, Oman, Jordan, Israel, Palestine, Egypt, Germany, Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, Guatemala (again!), El Salvador, Costa Rica, Panama, Canada (family wedding), Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Chile, Peru (one last time!). 

Kyla’s favourite – Myanmar (we had the BEST local experiences)

Randy’s favourite – Vietnam (always and FOREVER!!!)

Calais’ favourite – Vietnam, Thailand and Palestine (Bethlehem)

Kacela’s favourite – Indonesia (Bali, of course!!)

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