Year at a Glance: London, Thailand, Istanbul, Greece, & Home

Hard to believe it has been 1 year since we moved and almost 1 year since the last post…whoops! I have taken a break from social media and done a little more of “living in the moment,” which has been quite nice, but now that school is out, it’s Ramadan, and is 110 degrees Fahrenheit out, I literally have nothing but time. With that said, here is a quick rundown of our lives this past year.


Since being in Qatar, we have managed to keep ourselves pretty busy. This is partially a big thank you to our amazing group of friends here. Life here would not be near as fun without them, nor would our favorite weekend spot, the souq be the same. The souq is built to resemble an old market place that has fun restaurants, coffee shops, and stores. We have also gone dune bashing (so. much. fun.), gone camping in the desert, tried camel, gone to the beaches, survived multiple sand storms, become Qatari residents, passed the dreaded driving tests the 1st time, and bought a car!


On our way home for Christmas, we had an overnight layover in London. We clearly didn’t get to see nearly as much as we would have liked, nor did we complete our number 1 mission: find Prince Harry for Whitney, but we did learn that Big Ben really isn’t that big, the really adorable cabs like the Nanny 911 car are incredibly expensive, Fish & Chips taste better in London (minus the mushy peas), and that the city has so much character! I cannot wait to go back and really explore.


January 14th was an awesome day! Not only was I excited to be celebrating 3 years of marriage, but the text message that came through as I was sitting at the doctor’s office topped it off: In addition to our one week off of school in February, we got an extra week!  Who randomly gets 2 weeks off of school??? We do! Communication here between schools and the higher ups is often very confusing. Things get changed or announced at the last minute; however, this time no questions were asked and we went right over to AirAsia to move our flights up a week.

Thailand has to be one of the most unique places ever, specifically Bangkok. We started our trip in Bangkok, and if you only go there for the street food, consider your mission accomplished. The food was sooooo good! We then went to Ao Nang, a small beach town with some of the most beautiful beaches. Jared and I then got back to our Costa Rican roots and went on hike and stayed with a native hill tribe family in Mae Sariang. To end the trip, we met up with some of our friends to stay at an elephant sanctuary in Chiang Mai, and we all know what happened next. I almost died from a baby elephant. True story. (Fyi- that thing was not a baby…it was over 400 lbs!)   IMG_2464


We had a 24 hour lay over in Istanbul, Turkey, and I must say it was love at first sight. We covered some major ground in our little time. I will most definitely be visiting Turkey again some day.


In March we got to meet up with Jared’s parents in Greece. Because there are so many places in this world to see, there aren’t too many places that Jared and I feel we have to go back to; however, if I had to go back to Greece, particularly Santorini, I don’t think I would be too sad. The history in Athens is simply mind boggling. It is a place that everyone needs to visit! Oh yeah, we also walked on the same ground that the Apostle Paul walked on. Paul was there to teach the people about love and build them a church that we visited. After leaving Greece, Paul went on to write them letters, which resulted in the book of Corinthians.

No Place Like Home

And then in May this happened…



I could not be more proud of my little brother and am so glad that I was able to come home to celebrate him. While we have had many great experiences the past several months, there is nothing quite as satisfying as laughing, cuddling, eating, and spending time with the people who mean the most to you. Congratulations Austin, and I can’t wait to see you soon!




2 thoughts on “Year at a Glance: London, Thailand, Istanbul, Greece, & Home

  1. Beautiful pics Toorie! Love the post, thank you for sharing your amazing experiences. Not sure about the elephant experience but very glad you made it out unhurt!! Keep sharing and keep exploring… safely! XO


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