Newsletter – Second Half 2023

Welcome to our second Newsletter.

Find out what we’ve been up to the 2nd half of 2023 and what our plans are for 2024.

It has now been more than 1 year since Stephen stopped working and we have adjusted to our new life. We try to plan ahead, which creates more possibilities to catch up with friends around the globe and to attend events.

July and August: Gent, Belgium.

Some of the highlights, with some of June added:

  • Heleen visited from Groningen.
  • Tim & Nathalie visited us from Paris.
  • Nathalie & Sally parked their camper here for a night.
  • 3 days at Caroline’s favorite festival ‘Gent Jazz’.
  • Stephen walked the ‘Massiv Route’ in Norway 26 Jul – 19 Aug.
  • Caroline walked ‘Hadrian’s Wall Path’ in the UK 5 Aug – 15 Aug.
  • Silvia visited from London.
  • Naturally we spent as much time with Caroline’s mama as possible.
  • And of course we caught up with as many friends and family as possible for a drink, a lunch, een aperitiefke, diner, chat, visit,… you all know who you are, too many to mention.
September: BC, Canada.

At the end of August we flew back to Seattle and were reunited with Molly. On August 30th we crossed into Canada, drove to Vancouver and then onto Vancouver Island for the start of our tour of British Columbia. After about 2 weeks on the island we headed to mainland BC. We caught up with friends along the way.

Remembering Magda

Sadly, on October 5th Caroline’s mama, Magda, died. She died relatively peacefully after a short stay in hospital. We headed straight to Seattle and flew to Belgium as quickly as we could.

Caroline took care and charge of the funeral in Eeklo, Belgium, where we had a nice and touching service for her.

October – November: Havelock North, NZ.

After nine exhausting and surreal days we flew to our home in Havelock North, NZ; where we arrived on Oct 19.

On Oct 22 Stephen left to Northland to start the first leg of the Te Araroa trail. He started at Cape Reinga on Oct 25th and walked into Auckland on Oct 20. A few days in Auckland together and back home to Havelock North.

December – January: Gent, Belgium.

We had planned to have Christmas this year with Magda, and so we decided to keep Christmas in Belgium, arriving on December 9th. Some of Stephen’s Massiv Route friends also came to stay the day we arrived, which was very nice :). Christmas Eve was in the company of family. Heleen stayed for a few days between Christmas and NY – that’s becoming a bit of a tradition :). Due to Covid we had to cancel our planned NYE Party at home with friends.

Our plans for 2024.

Here we outline our plans, mainly to make catching up with friends around the globe easier to plan, by letting you know when we’ll most likely be where. Some of the plans are fixed because of events, others remain flexible to a point. This section will get updated as plans take shape or change.

January – Mostly Gent, Belgium.

The month of New Year’s reception and more catching up and spending time with friends. Stephen leaves on the 23rd (because Molly needs some time in the shop mainly to update the brakes), Caroline the 28th.

Tickets to ‘The Nutcracker’ on Jan 6th and ‘The Sisters of Mercy’ on Jan 25, both in Gent.

February – March: Havelock North, NZ.
End March – April – May: USA – Canada.

Pick up Molly in Edmonds, WA. Catch up with friends in WA and OR.

Apr 8: Total solar eclipse – TX, USA.

Traveling with Molly in the US . No real fixed destinations yet.

June – July – August: Gent, Belgium.

Stephen has enrolled for a Dutch course in Gent for the month of June. And hopes to return to Norway in the first two weeks of July to walk another trail there.

Caroline has booked a walking trip in Scotland: The Rob Roy Way – Jun 8-22.

We have tickets for Gent Jazz on July 6th, 14th and 18th.

September – October – early November: exploring the US in Molly.

Considering a trip to Ibiza end September, begin October. Anyone interested?

November – December: tentatively considering Christmas in Havelock North, NZ.

More details of our travels can be found in our Latest Travel Blogs