Surf and Turf just refers to the fact that half the journey is over land, and half is over the sea.

This is a rare time in our lives, when everything we own is locked away in a shipping container, on a ship to Sydney because we are moving there. We have no rent, no mortgage, no jobs, nowhere specific to be and no special time frame. Jumping on a direct flight seems a bit of a waste. We thought it was a good opportunity to do something different.

Some people asked how we came up with this crazy scheme – the trip itinerary has been an evolution itself. From the very beginning it was always the plan to go to the East Coast to visit with family and friends, and from there, the main destination was Sydney, but that is a 24 hour flight (including layovers), much too stressful with three young children. So the second variation of the plan was to break the journey into 6 hour flights because we thought that was a lot more doable.
-> East coast to Bay Area,
-> Bay Area to Hawaii,
-> Hawaii to Fiji, and
-> Fiji to Sydney.

We were going to spend 10 days in Hawaii and a week in Fiji and some time in the Bay Area too, to break up the flying. That required a lot of logistics – car rental, condo rental in Hawaii, food shopping, on and off planes, in and out of hotels, boat trip to outer islands in Fiji, and on and on it went. We had it all planned out and it was very complicated. During that planning process we learned that there was a cruise from LA to Sydney (with Holland America line), right around the same time, and for exactly the same cost as our estimate for the plane-based travel. This is the only cruise between the West Coast and Australia within the couple of months we needed to do it.

On this 23 day cruise, we still get to visit Hawaii and Fiji as well as Samoa, American Samoa, New Caledonia and Eden (Australia). All our food is included, including room service if we want it, and we were able to get connecting cabins. So once we board, all we need to do is decide which pool or restaurant we will go to. There’s even some day care activities for Riley and Talia. We’re not usually cruising type people, but this sounded too good, too easy. After three weeks of relaxation, one day we will wake up and be in Sydney Harbour, fully rested, no jet lag, and ready to go with the next stage of our lives.

So that’s basically the long story cut short. We’re looking forward to some fantastic times travelling together, driving around America and also crossing the Pacific, and never needing to board a plane (or deal with the TSA charade). We are excited at the adventures ahead, including starting a new life in the Sydney area, and at the same time it has been hard to say goodbye to so many amazing friends in the Bay Area not to mention family there and other parts of the country. You only have one life to live. Major life changes can sometimes be a bit daunting and difficult but we think it’s good to shake things up a little once in a while and see how the chips fall.

Travel and change of place impart new vigor to the mind.


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An epic journey by land and sea with three small children