A year of connections

And just like that, our year of travel is drawing to a close. Did I just type those words? I knew this day would come but what I didn’t expect was my different emotions. Sitting around a campfire this weekend surrounded by people who have known and loved me and my family all our lives, I was tearful and began to dread saying good bye to my family and Canada. But in other moments when talking with those same friends and family, I realize I am so excited to be going back to our home, our “Idahome”,and to reconnect with our dear friends there. I am so looking forward to Jamey and Becca getting together with their buddies they have missed this year and for us to be settled again in our lovely small corner of the world. I guess what it is, is that I am grateful. Grateful to have family that love us, grateful to have friends that are excited to be welcoming us back, and ever so grateful for this past year.

I want to say thank you to Jamey. Thank you Jamey for reaching far outside of your comfort zone to come and travel the world with us buddy. I have learned so much about you and have loved experiencing this past year with you. You have developed a worldly perspective now and not only have you grown, but your heart has too. You have developed confidence that only travel can provide and while the boring times challenged you, I have loved hearing all of your plans for “when we get home”. Let’s get you back to school boy, I know you have missed it, but thank you for your patience, your openness, and your honesty. You are not afraid of being your own person Jamey and I love every bit of you.

Jamey and cousin Noah, their first set of wheels!

Becca, my girl. I don’t know if anyone will recognize you when we get back to Idaho. You have grown about 5 inches I think and so has your hair! This trip has been a dream for me to share with you and thank you for accepting the challenge. I remember the hard days, but watching your inner strength develop as you tried things you have never done, tasted things you have never eaten, spoken languages you had never heard before has been so rewarding as your mom. Like Jamey, because of this year together, I have a deeper understanding of what makes you tick. I admire your willing heart and mind. I am proud of your confidence and I have loved seeing you make connections with your cousins and friends around the world. I love you sweet girl.

Becca and her friend Jana, singing and ukeleke’ing together

To Evan, my partner in crime in this epic adventure around the world. I couldn’t have done this without you, and I think you would say the same. Thank you for being such a good husband to me and papa to Jamey and Becca. Thank you for keeping me level headed when I needed it, and for listening to me when I needed to vent. Thank you for keeping us safe on those roads we drove, for carrying the heaviest back pack, and for all of the amazing adventures you found for us to do. I felt 100 % safe 100% of the time on this trip, and it is because of you. We did it Ev, we showed Jamey and Becca a glimpse of this amazing world. I am so deeply deeply grateful to you.

Kayaking together on Naiscoot Lake, Parry Sound, Canada


To the world. Thank you for accepting this happy, quirky, sometimes weary and occasionally whiney foursome into your fold. We loved exploring, and tasting, and traveling, and swimming, and smelling, and resting and living in those corners that we were lucky enough to visit.

sunset over Little Lake, Brighton, Ontario

Finally to our friends and family all over the world that hosted us, that greeted us with open arms, that gave us a roof over our heads, that shared experiences with us. Thank you to those of you at home that cheered for us as we undertook this adventure and prayed for us. This year felt like it was one of connections, connections with each other as a family, and connections with friends and family all over the world. I am so so appreciative of the love we felt from all of you.

We fly back to Idaho on Wednesday, this Wednesday from Toronto, after an incredible 2 months in Ontario, Canada. From one home to the next, I am so grateful.

Thank you for sharing this journey with us.

Idaho friends, we cannot wait to see you!

xoxo the barefoot family xoxo

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I am excited to be heading out to see the world with my husband Evan and our two, soon to be adventuring kids, Jamey and Becca.

11 thoughts on “A year of connections”

  1. Nicola, 6:30 am Tuesday reading this crying tears of joy for you! So beautiful and so meaningful. I could feel your heart bursting with so many emotions, thank you for sharing this journey with us. Ron and I often say you and Evan are truly two of the best people we have ever met! Welcome Home!!!!!!!

  2. And Nicola, dear sweet Nicola, we so enjoyed sharing your ups and downs, your overs and unders as you traveled here, there and everywhere. We love you to the moon and back and we want you to know that your place in our hearts is always open. Thank you dear girl of mine for being so courageous, so adventurous, so capable, so ready, so loving and open. I praise God that you all remained healthy and happy. Good on each of you!!!! Hugs, Mom/Grandmother xoxo

    1. Can you believe I was always the most homesick of all of your kids mom? I think I get my courage and sense of adventure from you! Thank you so much for making us always feel so very welcome in your home and in your life. I loved being back in Ontario this summer with all of you. I know you prayed for us mom, pray us home back to Idaho too. I love you so much xoxo

  3. Nicola, I so enjoyed reading all your stories throughout this past year. You are one brave family to take the world on like you did. I’m sure Jamey and Becca will cherish the wonderful time you had all together as a family. Not enough people do that these days. Will continue to watch your Facebook posts looking for your new adventures back in Idaho. Love Beth

  4. We can’t wait to welcome you back to your Idaho home! It has been so much fun to follow your interesting adventures! Safe travels in the last leg of your trip and we will catch up soon. Karen

  5. Oh wow that is so lovely. We are proud with you of Jamey and Becca, I saw big changes in them even just in the short time you were in NZ. You have opened their eyes to so many things in the world, well done all of you! Enjoy being back at home!!!!! Lots of love xxxxx

    1. thank you Este, your words mean so much. I’ll let you know how things are when we get settled back in at home. Miss you guys and love you xoxo

  6. what a beautiful insight into your massive adventure. I felt moved with your wee snapshots of your family. Thanks for coming to visit us in Ankakiwa… hopefully next time we will be in Hawea. All the best for life after your BIG year! xxxx

    1. thanks Nik, our visit with you guys was a real highlight of our trip. Hope all is going well with the house and you finishing up at Outward Bound! Lots of love!

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