Sunday, December 8, 2013

Three years in it

Another year rolls by and we think back with a smile. In addition to the pursuit of education and adventure, we've been searching for home. In our endless search we've come to realize that home can be beyond a house or the things that might fill it. It's something we always have if we remain open and content with where we are. So, whether home is a 'place to hang your hat', 'where your heart is' or an 'irrevocable condition'...we've been blessed to have found as many as we have along the way.
To live the way we do takes a lot of physical and emotional energy. We have gotten to explore many new horizons, but continuous movement leads to many departures and farewells. The ultimate reward has been turning strangers into friends and learning from each other. Our experiences have been enriching, educational, exciting, inspiring and humbling. From collecting water from wells for drinking or waiting for the rain to fill a catchment. To foraging for wood to heat a stove so you can cook a simple meal and building a fire in the boiler before you can have a hot shower or creating the best soil possible to grow the best food you can. There are never ending ways to live a life, diversity rules the world but we have come to prefer the simple life... a modest life. One in which we can pursue our passions and surround ourselves with others that pursue theirs. We remain open and stay true to what we're searching for, not allowing ourselves to give into dogma. In the process, we've found many homes... sometimes in the unlikeliest of places. It's possible "home sweet home" is just a state of mind and beyond a place entirely.
We've learned to be more thankful for what we have rather than dwelling on what we don't... to appreciate where we are and to enjoy the moment. Life is snowballing, becoming bigger and moving much faster. It's full of heartache and bliss, disappointments and achievements, but it's always possible to find something to be thankful for. Life is Hard, but someone else's is always harder. Do what you can, when you can. Stay positive and always appreciate your blessings, take pride in what you do and make the most of where you are. (And repeat all of these reminders when necessary :)

To all of the people and places that have made us feel at home this year...
Thank you all!

This is what happens when you wait too long to pick the pomegranates.
Uzumlu, Turkey

The lovely hills where we shepherd the goats and let the horses run free.
Papingo, Greece

A hike along the coast in Turkey

Come autumn everyone's peppers are hanging from their windows or porches, Turkey

Succulents are said to bring good luck, Italy

Patara ruins and birthplace of St. Nicholas, Turkey

One of the five charming towns along the Cinque Terre coast,
Manarola, Italy

A Turkish coffee made by a friend.
Bodrum, Turkey

Patara beach, Turkey

Garden beauty, California

Hidden dwelling among the many in Cappadocia, Turkey

The walk towards Mt. Olympus, Greece

Sunset from Yonga Lodge, Turkey

Old amphitheater in Patara, Turkey

Stayed in Lake Ohrid, Albania a night before hiking across to Macedonia

After a hike that was much longer than it should have been, we arrived at Ōlūdeniz in just enough time for a beer and a swim before the storm came in, Turkey

Fresh hand picked olives in Litochoro, Greece

Cappadocia, Turkey

Little Star and Shakira being curious of cameras in Uzumlu, Turkey

A popular way to see Cappadocia

The old underground water cistern in Istanbul, Turkey

We spent a... memorable few weeks working at a hostel in Berat, Albania

Landscape view of Florence, Italy

Best little traveling show in Italy

View from the St. Hilarion castle above Kyrenia, TRNCyprus

The cleanest water in Europe (also maybe the coldest!) Vikos Gorge in Greece

The Blue Mosque, Istanbul, Turkey

While exploring some ruins with a group of friends, we all separated only to find each other through a crack in the fence and over the hill to this place, one by one. Something very special about this spot in Cyprus

Cappadocia, Turkey

Niko on the beach

Countless miles and even more elevation changes came with these spectacular views. Hard to believe there is a marathon that runs those trails.
Mt. Olympus, Greece

The cliffside vineyards of Cinque Terre, Italy

The hike to the refuge (which was closed) above Papingo, Greece

Beekeeping in Papingo

Friendliest guy alive. Gave us a tour in Turkish of the ruins of Cadianda followed by a white knuckled ride down the hill on his bike. Yes, all three of us!! Turkey

The village of Papingo, Greece

Couple days old sunflower sprouts, Cyprus

Goat cheese in Valle di Mezzo, Tuscany Italy, yum!!

The lovely herd, finally learning to be herded

Bringing in the horses always gets exciting, especially when the sun comes out. Hiyaaaa!

A traditional pot of turkish tea

A familiar face happily roaming the streets of Chania, Greece

A lunch of stuffed peppers, aubergines and yogurt, yum!

An empty birthday bottle!

One of the best parts about seeing the leaning tower of Pisa was watching all the people lined up taking this photo!


Golden Beach, karpaz peninsula, TRNCyprus

Transportation on Santorini, Greece

Views from St. Hilarion, TRNCyprus

Beginning of the hike to the refuge, Greece

Traditional building, Cyprus

Spice bazaar, Istanbul Turkey

more goats...

Sunset on Santorini around Christmas time last year

After jingling thirty bells and irritating one shop keeper, we came away with one of our few souvenir's. Found this one in a small town outside Papingo, Greece

Argentine dogo puppies on the farm in Cyprus. Cordoba Fighting
Dog is the base breed, crossed with Great Dane, Boxer, Spanish Mastiff, Old English Bulldog, Bull Terrier, Great Pyrenees, Pointer, Irish Wolfhound and Dogue de Bordeaux. They come with a mouthful of little daggers, but they sure are cute!

Where the pacific meets the sky, California

Bellapais Abbey in Kyrenia, TRNCyprus

Our stallion came back to greet his herd after battling the wild ones :)

The hike down from the refuge was much faster. This section that took an hour to hike up only took ten minutes to slip and slide down

Amazing that such a small piece of land can provide so many bags of groceries

This winter feels extra cold as we were able to avoid it last year, finding warmth in the Greek islands

St. Hilaron, Cyprus

Some our best memories are sharing simple meals with friends

Papingo, Greece

A hidden cave with friends in Turkey

A sunset on the beach with friends in California.
Happy trails to you all!
Light and Love,