Another incredible year has passed! In 2015, we visited 7 countries, spent time with extended family, made many new friends, and found ourselves gradually integrating experiences and letting go of thoughts that have been holding us back for years.
It hasn’t always been easy. We’ve had physical, emotional, and relationship challenges. We’ve felt tired, anxious, overwhelmed, and bored. But we’ve worked through it and learned from it – all while continuing to have an amazing adventure around the world.
2015 has left us in a good place. We feel more confident and clear than ever about who we are, what we believe, and how we want to serve. We are happier in our relationships with each other, with immediate and extended family, and with our friends. And we’re finding a good balance for us between travel and staying put.
Now we’re looking forward to an even more fulfilling year in 2016, including several speaking opportunities, adventures in 6 countries, and a six month stay in Victoria, Canada – the longest we’ve been in any one place since 2010.
Highlights of 2015
When every day is different and each month is spent in a different place with new people, life seems so full. Truly, it’s difficult to summarize an entire year’s worth of adventure, experience, and learning in one short blog post.
That said, here are a few highlights from each of the seven countries we visited in 2015.
Bali (4 months)
We finished renovating an older Balinese style house into a gorgeous luxury villa! We now rent it out on Airbnb when we’re not there.
Emily and Marie enjoyed performing in a Bali-inspired version of the Lion King at 5 Elements with Yellow Coco Creative Nest.
I hiked Mt. Batur with some friends.
And went on a silent retreat, after which I toured solo around Bali on my motorbike.
We visited Menjangan Island off the coast of Bali with our friends, the Elliots, for some amazing snorkeling!
Singapore (1 week)
This was our second visit to Singapore. This time around we explored the beautiful plants, trees, and orchids at the Singapore Botanic Gardens.
We experienced a meal in pitch black darkness at NOX Dine in the Dark Restaurant served by blind waitstaff.
We visited Adventure Cove Waterpark with our friends from Escaping Expectations, and enjoyed some delicious dim sum afterward.
Jennifer got interviewed by Project Worldschool about her personal journey and how we learn as a family when we travel. It’s a great candid interview that provides insight into the worldschooling lifestyle. Check it out if you haven’t heard it yet.
Spain (5 weeks)
In Spain, I went on a mind-opening retreat utilizing ayahuasca to facilitate deeper self-awareness.
Emily got her own travel guitar, which amplified her songwriting passion. In 2015, she professionally recorded three songs (1 published), and has written eight others which she hopes to record soon. You can hear and purchase her music here.
We hung out with friends and enjoyed amazing scenery, architecture, and food on our month long road trip through Malaga, Seville, Ronda, La Herradura, Granada, and Orgiva in Southern Spain, and moving up through Valencia, Sitges, Barcelona, Zaragoza, and San Sebastian.
Memorable moments (it’s so hard to choose! and even harder to choose just ONE picture for each of these…) include:
The Alhambra in Granada
Spending quality time with friends, in general. We enjoyed many long visits, meals, and excursions together with so many great people – too many to mention here. This picture was taken at a park in Valencia with our friends, the Clarks, whom we’ve also spent time with in Bali, Kuala Lumpur, Sri Lanka, and at their house in the UK.
A cable car trip to enjoy the great views of Montserrat, near Barcelona.
The Corpus Christi festival in Sitges. We especially liked the flower carpets made by residents using flower petals and seeds that covered most of the narrow streets in this charming town.
And, last but not least, eating Pinxtos, or tapas, in the beautiful town of San Sebastian. Delicious!
France (1 month)
This was our first trip to France and we were a bit nervous upon arrival. But we found it to be one of the most welcoming countries we’ve visited.
A few highlights include:
Riding bikes around Bordeaux and staying in a lovely 17th century period style apartment.
Visiting nearby villages and castles with our new friends Millie and Marc, who live near Saint-Perdoux.
Strolling through the charming and picturesque town of Colmar, France. It was also here where we discovered the best eclairs ever at Gilg pastry shop.
Sailing for the first time with our friend Dominique and her family on Lac Léman near Geneva, Switzerland.
Played tennis and bocce for the first time as a family at a beautiful and small hotel near Grasse.
Enjoyed a picnic on the lawn at the Palace of Versailles with Marie-Helen and Sanjay’s family. We also enjoyed many wonderful visits and conversations at their house.
Explored much more of France – from the beautiful beaches around Nice, to impressive churches and cathedrals, to perfume factories and quaint towns. Of course, we didn’t miss the architectural and artistic sites like the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre.
France is a country we would love to spend more time in.
Victoria, Canada (3 months)
Upon arrival to Victoria, we got involved in the homeschooling community where we made some good new friends whom we shared many activities and meals with over our 3 month stay.
We experienced the wonderful street art at the Chalk Art Festival – and even took some time to create our own.
Fortunately, we were able to enjoy visits from several traveling friends including the Tuckers, the Benders, the Kings, and Jihong’s family, as well as my dear mother.
We spent many beautiful summer days outdoors – on bicycles or on our own two feet. We really enjoyed this hike at Goldstream park.
We returned to Victoria in December. During our month long stay we enjoyed plenty of holiday festivities, including ice skating, caroling, Christmas decorating, touring Butchart Gardens, and visiting Santa.
United States (7 weeks)
Our time in the United States was short but well-spent. We visited family and friends around Seattle and Poulsbo, Washington, attended a post Mormon gathering, celebrated our 13th wedding anniversary, and took a drive to Bend, Oregon.
On the east coast, we spent a few days exploring New York City as a family. We saw the Statue of Liberty, visited several museums, and saw the Lion King on Broadway.
After our trip to NYC, we attended Life Without Instructions, our first unschooling conference. We met some amazing and warm people and left inspired and filled.
In September 2016, we’re excited to announce that we’ll be speaking at this conference about nomadic family travel. Jen will also be giving a workshop on emotions and relationships, I’ll be on a panel about entrepreneurship and finances, Emily will be teaching a songwriting workshop, and Marie will even be teaching juggling as part of a kids skill sharing space!
Back west, we hung out with family in Salt Lake City, Utah, where we celebrated Halloween (I tried to make a convincing Jesus), and we visited Jen’s parents in Midway. Emily also came alive in her recording studio sessions.
We celebrated Christmas and the New Year in Breckenridge, Colorado with my mom and sister’s family. Most of our time was spent skiing, snowboarding, sledding, doing crafts, eating nostalgic treats, and watching movies, including a Star Wars marathon.
This was the first time we had seen snow in years (and the first time ever for Aysia!). Needless to say, the girls were thrilled.
Mexico (3 weeks)
In November, we celebrated Day of the Dead in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.
While there, we hung out with new friends (including sleepovers), had some amazing food, rode horses, and walked all over the colorful town of San Miguel de Allende.
Looking back at 2015, I’m in awe at all that we did this year. It’s hard to believe that so much has happened in just twelve months. Each place we visit and each person we meet changes us in some way. We feel enriched by the connections we’ve made, and the constant reminder to look within ourselves at what’s ready to transform and grow. We hope to increase fulfillment and meaning in 2016, and share inspiration together while living our dreams.
Our itinerary is now posted on our home page, so if you happen to be in any of the places we’ll be traveling, please give us a shout. We’d love to meet up.
What were the highlights of your 2015? What’s next for you in 2016?
As we head into the new year, we want to make the content on PearceOnEarth as valuable and interesting as we can for you. So we’ve created a short survey asking for your feedback.
We’d really appreciate it if you would take just a few minutes to let us know your thoughts on what you’ve liked about PearceOnEarth, what you want to see more of, and how we might serve you better.
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02 Jun 2019
7 Things to Do in Luang Prabang, Laos
14 May 2019
I love these year in review posts! With everything that’s happened it really helps to see the overall picture in a more succinct way. You did an admirable job of diving into all we experienced and bringing the gems to the surface!
Thanks Jen. Yes, there’s nothing like seeing a whole year summed up in one place. Kind of like our photo books. Maybe I should do a best photos of 2015 post, too, eh? ;)
So inspiring, as ever. What a wonderful year! I hope we can be part of your 2016 too:) xxx
We would LOVE that, Mo! Keep us posted!
What an incredible year you’ve had – it was fun so spend part of it with you! I’m so grateful you keep this blog updated so we can share in it with you. I am, however, surprised our literal music video didn’t make the highlights LOL
Haha. Yes, that was a lot of fun. I’ve already mentioned it two posts, I think. But here’s the link again so it can at least be included in the comments here. :)
My you had a full year with beautiful places, beautiful people, and fabulous experiences. I love being able to be there with you through your blog. It was so great to spend time with the family .
Thank you. We’re so glad we could spend some time with you too. Hope we can see you again soon.
What a fulfilling year. I love to see everything that you have done. Thank you for posting all of the pictures and blog updates so that we can see what you’re experiencing! I love that we got to spend so much time with you this year (more than a lot of years!). Love you!
Thank you, Ashley. It was great to spend more time this year with you as well. Thanks for being awesome, and such great hosts!
Such beautiful photos and a lovely family, Brandon. Looks like you were truly blessed in 2015 and I couldn’t be more happier for you. Sorry, I missed you when you were in Colorado. It must have been fun to see snow and play in it again.
May 2016 be all that you hope for and you all continue to be blessed in putting your loving energies out in the world. Take care and God bless. :-)
Thank you, Pat. Yes, the kids had especially missed the snow. And while I enjoyed it also, I was reminded again of why I don’t want to live around it. :) Best wishes to you in the new year as well.