A wonderful Invitation

Bella and I frequently receive travel invitations, both from companies and fans. Many are very exciting. Many our touching. All are kind. But this one was a little more unique, in that Mohammed took the time to write to us– and in a very very honest fashion.

Thank you kindly Mohammed Sallam — we really appreciate the time you took on this, and indeed– we hope to accept it and one day visit Egypt:)

Truth be told, we’ve made a new friend:) Check it out below! If you want to read it all (which we suggest you do) — simply click on the photo and it will enlarge.

Expeditioners

TURKS & CAICOS | THE EXPEDITIONERS | DESTINATIONS | Travel Guide to the World

TURKS & CAICOS | THE EXPEDITIONERS | DESTINATIONS | Travel Guide to the World
By. The Expeditioners Roberto
Photos and videos by Roberto & Bella
WHERE: Long Bay, TCI, Caribbean, Americas

WHEN WE WENT: Bella and I have been there in August, December, January, February.

WHAT WE DID: Kiteboard. Kiteboard. Kayaking. Scuba Diving. Kiteboarding.

WHERE WE STAYED: Providenciales is known to be pricey. On the affordable side you have The Carribean Paradise Inn. This 20 suite inn, is minutes from the beach and run by one of the most amicable staffs I have every met. It’s private, secluded. And perfect for scuba divers and Kiteboarders alike. Being nearby to Long Bay Beach is a major plus! On the higher spectrum are the magnificent villas spotted all over the island and offered by Tranquility Vacation Rentals Turks & Caicos. Ideal for the honeymooner or the family, these abodes will leave you breathless. Just take a look at the pictures below!

Caribbean Paradise Inn: http://caribbeanparadiseinn.com/
Tranquility Vacation Rentals: http://www.turkscaicosluxuryvillas.com/

OTHER THINGS TO DO:
1. Scuba Diving with Big Blue Unlimited
2. Kiteboarding with Kite Provo
3. Conch Festival
4. Sea-Kayaking Island Hopping Adventure with Big Blue Unlimited
5. Romantic boat ride to see the glow worms.
6. Wake-Boarding
7. Deep-Sea Fishing with Talbot’s Adventures.
8. Fine -Dining at Baci’s
9. Hobie-Cat Sailing
10. Island Hopping
11. For those so inclined..there’s even a golf course.

HOW TO GET HERE: Fly. Lots of major airlines have direct flights here from places like New York and Toronto. If you search well-enough, you can find round-trip tickets for $500 taxes included.

Having tried a vast variety of sports, it’s not often that I come along one that I had never done before. I ski, snowboard, skate, surf, dive, rock-climb, mountain-bike, run, etc etc. I’ve even gone curling. But that’s excusable only because I’m Canadian.

A few years back, my brother told me that I should try kiteboarding. I had heard of some guy that went flying into a building and remembered it had been nasty. So I gave it little thought.

Then last year, while on my one-month honeymoon to Turks & Caicos with Bella, we got a 1hr intro class into the sport by Kite Provo’s Mike. It was gusty as he took out a 12 meter kite on a deserted beach. We thought we would give it a try. After taking us through safety, we waded into the water.

On my first attempt I was up…if only for some 30 meters before lunging into a uncontrolled rag-doll leap of some fort feet, elegantly face-planting into TCI’s emerald water. I stood-up, a tad- wobbly, grinning from ear-to-ear while still clearing my nostrils from their salt washing.

Fast-forward a year, and Bella and I are in Vancouver’s Northshore Board Store getting kites, harnesses, and boards before embarking on an adventure to Turks and Caicos– to learn to kiteboard. We heard that one of the best places to learn in the world, was indeed Long Bay Beach, on Turks and Caicos’s Providenciales.

On-Shore winds. Shallow water. Sandy bottom. Warm water. And a long long beach.

Learning to kite came with an excitement I hadn’t had in a very long time. The excitement of learning a new sport. And Long Bay Beach was the perfect place to learn. I can now jump 40′ in the air, and Bella can do some really rad riding. Stay tuned as we take this sport everywhere in the world.

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THE EXPEDITIONERS MAGAZINE LAUNCHES

The most frequent question that we receive from fans is: How do you do it? How do you make this lifestyle possible? How can you afford to travel so much? Can anyone do it?

The succinct answer to those queries is: By being super creative and flexible. By breaking norms, asking for things, and inspiring others. It’s not as expensive as you imagine and yes, anyone can do it–even you.

Why don’t I write here the full answers? How we began? How we approach sponsors? How we pay for daily life? And the stories of making it happen? Because one of the ways in which we’re working to continue making this concept possible is by keeping the answers to things as such in our magazine: The Expeditioners Magazine.

We’ve also kept the best of personal stories of adventure, gear reviews, destination guides and much more off of our blog and social media. But you can find it all in the coolest adventure magazine you’ve ever read– and at the same time, keep the content flowing!

We sell one issue for $7.99 and the subscription for 5 issues for $29.99.

You have various options for getting it:

1. Download “The Expeditioners Magazine” from the itunes app store. Then go to your newsstand and click on the magazine and choose to download one issue or the subscription.

Link on Itunes App Store: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/the-expeditioners-magazine/id749088955?ls=1&mt=8&fb_source=message

2. If you have a Kindle device, you can go to the Amazon App store and download The Expeditioners Magazine App :
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00HNX1UMY

3. If you have a desktop computer, you can pay through PAYPAL and then receive a code to access and read The Expeditioners Magazine on our website. Link here: http://theexpeditioners.com/store/subscribe-to-the-expeditioners-magazine/

To all those who have already purchased our magazine–thank you for your amazing support–it means a lot to us! over 1000 The Expeditioners Magazine App downloads on itunes already! Thank you also to all those who contributed on our amazing fundraising campaign–you are amazing!

Below is the video from our fundraising campaign! THANK YOU! We did it!

The Expeditioners Magazine Issue 1

The Expeditioners Truck Wrap for #ExpeditionCanada

The Expeditioners Magazine Truck
Wrap and Design by Auto Trim Estrie
www.autotrimestrie.ca

5 month ago we prepared to depart on an adventure across Canada of epic proportions. A journey to discover and explore Canada like few ever do. An adventure of a lifetime. Through social media we knew we would be reaching hundreds of thousands of people, but we also wanted to reach those where we were visiting. For advertising, there’s nothing better than transforming your vehicle into the ultimate billboard. We knew the design would be really cool, but we never imagined the amazing impact it would have. Tens of thousands of people, if not more, saw the truck. A gas stations, people would come up an chat with us, same with any place we stopped. Folks from all over would whip out their cell phones to scan the bar code.. even while we were driving. After 16500kms of driving all over Canada, we’re ecstatic at the amazing effect our truck wrap–that was designed and done by Auto Trim Estrie, would have. Here’s a video of how the whole process of transforming your truck into an advertising platform works.

Thank you to the professional team at Auto Trim for their superb job on The Expeditioners Magazine Truck!

Photos and Videos by Roberto & Bella
Video Editing by Bella

Whistler, British Columbia, CANADA | THE EXPEDITIONERS | DESTINATIONS | Travel Guide to the World

Whistler, British Columbia, CANADA | THE EXPEDITIONERS | DESTINATIONS | Travel Guide to the World
By. The Expeditioners Roberto
Photos and videos by Roberto & Bella
WHERE: Whistler, British-Columbia, Canada

WHEN WE WENT: #ExpeditionCanada took us zig-zagging over 16500km—from East to West. After four months of exploring the country, we got into Whistler the second week of November and stayed for almost two weeks.

WHAT WE DID: Whistler is renowned for its skiing and snowboarding. Whistler/Blackcomb is by far the best ski resort that we have ever explored. With big powder dumps and vast terrain—it’s a downhiller’s paradise. Luckily for us, the resort came on board and sponsored us 4 days of skiing and boarding. Official opening date was November 28th—but the season’s snow started well enough that people were on the hills two weeks in advance already..including us. We went for short hikes—visited around town, and reminisced about all the crazy adventures we had on previous trips to the region: back-country skiing, heli-skiing, and snowshoeing!

WHERE WE STAYED: Our lodging was amazing in one of our favourite resort towns in the world: It began with the Hilton Resort & Spa, then Legends at the foot of Creekside, onto the Crystal Lodge in the heart of the village, and ended with the luxurious Chateau Fairmont Whistler.
Other Sponsors: Whistler Tourism | InReach Canada | Mountain Hardwear | HGregoire | AutoTrim Estrie | Whistler- Blackcomb

OTHER THINGS TO DO:
1. Snowmobiling Adventure
2. Go Zip-Lining from Tree Canopy to Canopy
3. Take the Peak to Peak Gondola
4. In summer time get an adrenaline rush with some downhill mountain biking
5. Mountain Biking what some call the best trails in the world.
6. Bungee Jumping
7. Explore Lost Lake
8. Whistler Sliding Center
9. Go Heli-Skiing. There’s nothing like it!
10. Cross-Country Ski the Black Tusk Trail
11. Go Back-Country skiing to Marriot Basin or Cerise Creek

HOW TO GET HERE:
A. Fly to Vancouver and then drive or take the shuttle to Whistler (only 1.5hours)

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Coffee Time in Iceland- Living in a van down by the..

It was mid-winter, the nights were at their coldest. Epic amounts of snow were falling on the island nation–and The Expeditioners Bella and myself had decided to explore the country, and hunt the Northern Lights, by living out of a van sponsored by Kefcar Car Rentals and 4×4’s.

While there was no wildlife to contend with, the nights were long and the days short… and always, we had coffee in ample supply. And as always, we found creative ways to prepare it!

Here Bella is making us a cup of joe as we waited for the Northern Lights to appear!

Our First Vehicle-Associated Sponsor: HGregoire – Canada’s Centre D’Auto / Auto Center

The Truck

It was a couple of years ago, and Bella and I were in the market for a new truck. The four cars I had ever had were: Nissan Pathfinder, Pathfinder, Pathfinder…and you guessed it, another Pathfinder. All LE Models. And we were looking for The Expeditioners next…you guessed it, Pathfinder LE.

Now, you’re probably thinking, why would The Expeditioners need an LE? As indeed, LE stands for Luxury Edition. For one, we need the leather seats. Have you ever spilled a coffee on a fabric seat? How about a cup of water? Maybe some sand? A little mud? Some snow? Lots of snow? Rain got in? Or your friend spilled his soda and fries? Oil from your bike chain? How about some salt from your winter boots and ski boots? Water from your wet folding kayak spilled everywhere? Oh, your neoprene suits didn’t fully dry before throwing them in the back seat? How about the post camping food-bin…did the maple syrup leak out?

With fabric seats, the liquids will seep into your seat and rot the interior, the salt will leave white stains, the oil from your chain will never come off, the ketchup will be a constant yucky reminder of your buddy, the maple syrup will make everything gross and sticky, and the seats will take a smell reminiscent of a locker-room’s wet towels bin. But with leather seats– if you frequently clean your car, or wipe the ketchup stain of the seat, sop-up the water, or clean the coffee right away– then those little accidents don’t get immortalized. So there’s my argument for leather seats.

Hood

Secondly, is the sound system:) We spend many many many hours on the road. Expedition Canada alone involves over 6500km of driving… one way! And we loooooove our tunes. The Pathfinder LE has a Bose sound system. Looking out the window at mirrored lakes, sun breaking through puffy clouds, your best friend and lover sitting next to you, and the right song on… is just simply superb.

Truck afficionados know that certain 4x4s will just live longer. Many making it up into the half-million km mark. The Pathfinder is such a truck–and it has the power to pull/carry the heavy loads our adventures require. I parted with the last four around the quarter-million kilometer mark.

Now, the small conundrum is the fact that it is an expensive truck.

It’s common knowledge that the moment you drive a brand new vehicle off of the dealer’s lot, you are literally losing 30% of the original value of the car.

This is why, we never buy new, but instead previously owned. With about 70 000km on such a truck, you can literally get it for less than half the price from new. The trick, though, lies in finding the deal.

Bella and I had called every Nissan dealership in Ontario and Quebec, but nobody had what we were looking for in the price range we were looking for. I was getting stressed at not finding something–for in a few weeks, we would be heading off back-country skiing to Gaspesie, Quebec and we were going to be filming for CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.)

HGregoire

We had driven by the giant HGregoire Mega Auto Center on Autoroute 25 in Saint-Eustache, Quebec many times, but had never given it consideration, as indeed, all the previous trucks had been bought through Nissan dealerships. We thought we’d give it a check online first.

We found exactly what we were looking for! A 2007 Slate-Grey Nissan Pathfinder LE with 95 000km. Except there was no pictures…and we were leaving on a trip in a couple of days. Rushing over to the mega auto center, we perused a ton of vehicles (it was amazing the variety they had), but couldn’t see the Pathfinder we had “seen” online.

We were cordially greeted by a super jovial fellow and sales agent named Stephane Pare– to whom we anxiously inquired about the Pathfinder with no photos…and nowhere in the showroom.

“Let me check it out,” he said, and tapped away into his system.

“This one is so fresh it arrives tomorrow morning. That’s why the photos haven’t even been taken. We could have it cleaned and ready for a test drive tomorrow afternoon.”

That’s what I call efficiency! At 1pm the next day we were test driving it.Then we negotiated a little–and added HGregoire’s Premium 3 year or 70 000km warranty so that we would have no worries whatsoever. And then we bought it.

The Pathfinder

In less than 24 hours of having researched HGregoire’s immense inventory (they have numerous Megacenters) we had found our truck, test drove it, and purchased it.

And it was a great deal!

When we picked it up, we had the brief opportunity to meet HGrgoire’s Marketing and Media Head– Michelle Therrien. A very kind and sharp lady that took an interest to our concept. I told bella as we left the lot– “Maybe they’ll sponsor us one day!”

We hopped in our new truck and headed off to pick-up our friends for our Gaspesie trip and then our Pathfinder took as all over Eastern Canada.

Expeds Bella

Canoe Camping

Fast-forward a couple of years to a few weeks ago, and we approach Michelle Therrien about possibly having HGregoire be a sponsor for Expedition Canada.

We had a fantastic conversation on the phone. We talked about our truck and our travels. Michelle had been following our galavanting around the globe since we bought the truck and happily said they would love to sponsor us–and take the major logo placement on The Expeditioners Truck.

I put the phone down, and turned to Bella and said: “Do you remember what I told you when we left the parking lot when we first bought the truck?”

Sometimes, you’ve got to just believe!

Thank you very very much to HGregoire’s team and Michelle Therrien for believing in us!

You can follow our epic journey across Canada via our Facebook Page, Website and Twitter. Make sure to look for the hashtag #ExpeditionCanada and if you’re looking for a great deal on a pre-owned vehicle in Canada, well you know where to go!

www.hgregoire.com

H Gregoire Website

On the road

Diving Africa Part 3/10

DIVING AFRICA
Post 3/10

The streets of Dakar, Senegal were hustling and bustling when we arrived. Vendors hawked their wares. Cars honked without purpose, and people filled every empty space. Not exactly the backdrop I imagined for scuba-diving, but hey..you never know.

The dive shop–named Oceanium was easy enough to find, and was located around an open bar/cafe area, overlooking the Atlantic. We got introduced to our dive-master Mamadou- a tall fellow with a ready smile- who marveled at the quantity of gear that we pulled out of our Jetpacks.

Conversation flowed and we got to spend some time explaining our kit to him and sipped some coffee that would wake-up a 12 year old dead horse. The vibe was like that of most dive-shops, relaxed–but ebbing with an excitement… an excitement to dive.

We detached our bags from the BC’s and prepped-our kit for what was to be our first dive in Africa.

Gear Guide: AERIS Jetpack BC is adjustable to all sizes. From the back, to the shoulder straps to the waist strap–it all adjusts. I’m 6’1 and Bella is 5’4. And the Jetpack fits us both. It was nice not to have to rummage through my checked-luggage for dive gear. Everything was snug in my Jetpack bag section…even my Accel fins!

Find part 1 and 2 at www.theexpeditioners.com

Sponsored by Aeris, Oceanic Worldwide, Lavacore Int’l, Ikelite Underwater Systems

Attaching Jetpack

The Engines

Dive day

Diving Africa Part 2/10

The Expeditioners
DIVING AFRICA
Post 2/10

By visiting different countries (Senegal, Mozambique, South Africa) on Expedition Africa–we really got to tell the difference between cultures. Each country was so clearly distinct from the other– which was fascinating! Likewise, our diving experiences were extremely different in each country. But that’s to be expected from destinations so far apart from each other.

From Dakar, Senegal to Gansbaai, South Africa it is about 6800kms– and from Gansbaai to Vilanculos about 2000kms as the crow flies. We were hoping to get the Sardine Run as well, but alas, it just wouldn’t fit into our scheduling.

Senegal was out first testing ground for our new gear. We were happy that we didn’t have to fidget with the equipment, as dive was challenging to say the least.

When we decided to go to Africa, we knew that a trip to the continent wouldn’t be complete without diving with great white sharks– and so we booked with Sharklady Adventures. Little did we know how up close and personal we would get to be with them!

Our principle reason for choosing Mozambique as a dive destination was in the hopes of seeing Whale Sharks, as Tofo and Vilankulo are known for their sightings. But nature beats her own drum, and from what I understand, those sightings of the gentle giant have become more and more rare. Still, we got to spend some quality time with a giant grouper!

Dive Gear Tip: Taking your AERIS Jetpack as your carry-on is a fantastic solution for flying with your dive kit. But what happens when your plane is a little itsy-bitsy plane who’s overhead compartments are half the size of regular planes? Simple, once you are on the plane and stowing your bag un-clip your BC from the bag section of the Jetpack (making it half the size,) and stow the two sections separately in the overhead, OR put one section in the overhead and the other under the seat in front of you.