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Meet the Traveling Canucks

Four years ago, Canadian bloggers and married couple Cameron and Nicole Wears left their jobs and set out to travel the world. They ended up on the road for over a year and visited 38 countries in 12 months in 2009. Though they started their blog, Traveling Canucks, en route, they ended up posting more after they returned.

Nicole and Cameron continue to operate their successful travel blog from their home in Vancouver and though they’ve returned to “regular” jobs post-globetrotting, they still manage to do some pretty amazing trips. As they say on their site, “We go to work every day like most people—we just choose to not sacrifice travel for work, and vice versa.”

In 2011, they welcomed a third Canuck, “Baby B”, and are now planning the next big adventure: the first overseas trip with their newborn this summer, to Europe.

After you ended your round-the-world trip, why did you decide to continue your travel blog?

Our goal was never to become travel bloggers, it was to communicate and share within our inner circle, but our stories started to be read by complete strangers. We received positive feedback from other travellers and travel bloggers and enjoyed the growing community support.

When travelling on our round-the-world adventure, we found it difficult to find enough time to write and publish photos, so we returned home with thousands of photos and an endless supply of stories. We still haven’t found the time to share many of these!

How has travel changed for you since becoming parents?

Our travel goals haven’t changed much since becoming parents, but our travel style has definitely changed. We can’t just strap on our backpacks and board a plane—we need to think about things like diapers and transporting a car seat and stroller.

For our next adventure, we plan to travel around Europe this summer, with the little man, exploring the Swiss Alps, French countryside and German wine region.

How do you find time to update your blog with a baby at home and other work responsibilities?

The simple answer is: we don’t!

It has been very challenging keeping the blog updated with our baby. Unfortunately, writing blog posts falls at the bottom of the priority list. To keep the stories flowing, we’ve allowed some guest posts in the interim, but it’s not the same and we’ve noticed a decrease in traffic (but this was to be expected). The hardest part is finding the time to write when the creative juices are flowing—not an easy task with three hours sleep!

What do you write about now that you’re not travelling full-time?

We have hundreds of travel stories that we still haven’t told, so content has never been an issue for us. We don’t need to be on the road to write about our travels—in fact, we find it easier to write when we aren’t travelling.

One of the downsides to travelling full-time is that it’s easy to take things for granted. When travel is your daily routine it doesn’t carry the same level of excitement—it becomes your new routine. Now that our travels are more selective and less frequent, we find ourselves getting much more excited and we pay attention to the little things that make travel so much fun.

What tips do you have for couples who are planning to travel together for an extended period of time?

The best tip that we can give is to talk about your travel goals. Don’t assume that your partner has the same agenda or definition of fun. We find that travelling together is much more rewarding than travelling solo, so we make it a priority to compromise when we can’t come to an agreement.

Another thing to consider is how much time you will be spending together. It’s one thing to see each other in the evenings and go to work during the day—it’s completely different spending every minute of every hour together. Understand that you’re going to annoy one another and that things will go wrong. Cut each other some slack.

We published a post that offers travel tips for Canadians embarking on long-term travel.

How do you travel differently now, having been on the road for a year around the world?

After living out of a backpack for over a year, we have no desire to do it again. We’re now much more selective with our travel plans. We don’t need to budget as aggressively and we don’t need to make as many sacrifices (we don’t stay in hostels anymore unless it’s in a private double room with a bathroom).

A few months ago, we backpacked around Central America for about a month, in Belize, Guatemala and Mexico. Because we were only gone for a month and had jobs to return to, we treated ourselves to nice accommodations and didn’t stress over money. In Belize, we spent an extra $80 to take a four-hour private taxi rather than the cheap, uncomfortable eight-hour “chicken bus” ride we would have taken when we were travelling full-time). Travelling with money is much more fun!

You’ve travelled around the world, but how much exploring have you done in Canada?

We’ve done a decent amount of travel in Canada but not nearly enough. We’ve explored most of British Columbia and taken road trips through Ontario and Nova Scotia. Last summer we took a road trip to Banff National Park. We had travelled to the Alps, the Himalayas and the Andes, but we had never taken the time to visit the Canadian Rockies, which is embarrassing considering Banff is only 12 hours away from our home in Vancouver!

Our goal for the next few years is to spend more time exploring our big beautiful backyard—especifically the north. Last summer we took a road trip to Banff National Park and witnessed Canada’s most picturesque lake, which was long overdue. We had travelled to the Alps in Europe, the Himalayas in Asia and the Andes in South America, but we had never taken the time to visit the Canadian Rockies, which was embarrassing considering Banff is only 12 hours away from our home in Vancouver!

What Canadian destinations are at the top of your wish list?

The Arctic is at the top of the list. When Baby B gets a little older we plan to rent a campervan and travel slow through the Yukon and Northwest Territories. While up there, we’d love to visit the Arctic Circle and check out the glaciers, icebergs and polar bears—and we’ve always wanted to see the spectacular northern lights.

We’d also like to take the train across Canada, from Vancouver to Quebec City.

You’ve done quite a bit of travelling in British Columbia. As a sort of “BC’s greatest hits” what’s your favourite:

adventure vacation?
When it comes to adventure, nothing beats Whistler. It’s not an off-the-beaten-path destination, but it has endless opportunities for outdoor adventures, from heli-skiing to zip-lining to mountain biking.

road trip?
A great road trip that often gets overlooked is Vancouver Island. Start in Victoria and travel up the west coast through Juan de Fuca Provincial Park, eventually working your way to Tofino and Pacific Rim National Park. Spend a few days hanging out on Long Beach, then take your time and head north, finishing in Port Hardy.

hike?
There are literally thousands of fantastic hiking trails in BC, so you can’t really go wrong. For a day hike, we like the Stawamus Chief in Squamish. For a multi-day hike, we like the Juan de Fuca Trail on the west coast of Vancouver Island, about 45 minutes northwest of Victoria.

small (or small-ish) town?
Tofino, on the west coast of Vancouver Island. It’s a chilled-out surf town surrounded by temperate rainforest and endless stretches of unspoiled beach. It’s spectacular!

only-in-BC food, attraction or phenomenon?
The first thing that comes to mind is a healthy lifestyle that balances work and play. British Columbians love to get outdoors and enjoy their beautiful backyard. As for food and attractions, sushi restaurants and coffee shops are on every corner and the Vancouver Canucks are the hottest ticket in town.

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Keep up with Cameron and Nicole at TravelingCanucks.com, @travelcanucks (Twitter) or on Facebook.

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