A Travellerspoint blog

lax to auckland..our first leg of the trip!

a few lessons learned

all seasons in one day 75 °F

well, we learned a lot in the first 24 hours of our trip!
1. iphones are a hot commodity, ryan's was stolen within the first 30 minutes of us being in LAX...and we were worried about crime in other countries!
2. LAX has an antiquated video monitoring security system, cameras in Air New Zealand terminal aren't functioning...a possible lead for Ryan in the future :)
3. You can't check peanut butter in your carry on..our staple source of protein was confiscated at security
4. Don't buy "cute" carry on packs, stick with a durable brand. Riley's cute pack broke while walking to our gate :( She was a trooper, no complaining
5. Make sure you don't leave any belongings in security bins. Ryan left his REI watch that resets when we enter a new time zone, although the watch didn't work last week when he traveled from ca to az. Good news, he retrieved his watch a couple hours later when he realized it was missing. Only time will tell (excuse the pun) if the watch really serves its purpose, fingers crossed!
6. Air New Zealand was fabulous...a quick plug for this airline, brand new plane,state of the art technology to keep you busy for 12 hours great 1am dinner with wine and dessert and breakfast at 7am with a gorgeous sunrise welcoming us to new zealand!

Such an invigorating feeling to arrive at our first destination. I am sure we will learn how to be savvy travelers as we continue this trip!

Julie :)

Posted by ryanober1 02:06 Archived in New Zealand Tagged julie Comments (0)

departure time less than 24 hours.....

semi-overcast 65 °F

What a year this has been for the Oberholtzers! Dallas to laguna beach and now to explore the world! It is so difficult to describe my feelings as the four of us are huddled in a hotel room with our backpacks filled to capacity, our passports in hand and ready to travel with an open heart, open eyes and open ears to see, hear and take in the next 6 months as a mother, a wife, and an excited woman living a childhood dream to experience other cultures and meet other people from around the world. I wanted to join the peace corps when I graduated from college and now I have the opportunity to see the world with my husband and daughters....it was SO worth the wait :)
We have always been a spontaneous family ready for the next adventure, but to prepare for this trip has been quite an adventure. Our earthly belongings are tightly tucked away in a storage unit (an unnerving sight to lay eyes on as you close the garage and secure the lock!) I am filled with anticipation, not too sure what to expect as we count down the hours to departure. My goal is simple yet so difficult to uphold....live in the moment, take in all the sights, the smells, the sounds, be mindful of each and every experience I encounter. For those who know me well, this is quite a challenge, but I am going to try my hardest!
Please don't get the impression that I have it all together, there have been many bumps along the road. I have been cursed with busy brain many a times during the last few months.....one particular incident was quite telling...our house is packed, morgan and riley are taking their 7th grade semester finals last week and morgan tells me that she needs a book to read at school in case she finishes her tests early. I have either packed or donated all books in our house but happen to see one book in an open box in the garage as we leave for school. I throw it to morgan and tell her she is good to go! I get a phone call from ryan after he drops the girls off at school and he tells me that morgan read the back cover of the book on the way to school and I guess it was a "sexually charged novel depicting a tale about two star struck lovers"...not exactly an age appropriate literary tale for a 12 year old. Needless to say, at least morgan had a book to bring to school...right???
I am ready for this trip! I am so proud of our family that we, together, have made a commitment to travel the world! I can't wait to share our trials and tribulations with you all!
Bon Voyage!

Posted by ryanober1 22:11 Archived in USA Tagged julie Comments (1)

10 days from now....

“Perhaps travel cannot prevent bigotry, but by demonstrating that all peoples cry, laugh, eat, worry, and die, it can introduce the idea that if we try and understand each other, we may even become friends.” – Maya Angelou

sunny 78 °F

Wow, it is almost time, it is becoming increasingly real and yet surreal at the same time. Packing, getting supplies, getting bills in order, waiting for Visa's, talking to people about where and planning when, sooooo real.
Thinking of what lies ahead, smells, foriegn food, temples to see, art to experience, cultures to comprehend, people to meet, trains and flights to catch, all seem soooo unreal.
The reality of what we are about to embark on finally is tangible. The girls and I are heading to our last trip to REI right now, to get travel lingerie, or "quick drying undrewear" as the travel blogs call them. I guess its critical to have underwear that can dry after you wash them in the sink in the hotel rooms.
REI has caused many an issue with the girls and I, as it is somewhere I am comfortable and can walk through the aisles for hours.... not so much for Julie and the girls, as a matter of fact, Julie as refused to attend the last several outings that involved the adventure store.
Until the next time I have 3-5 minutes to stop and write.

Posted by ryanober1 12:37 Archived in USA Tagged ryan Comments (0)

Getting closer

"The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page." ~St. Augustine

This is my second entry and less introspective or philosophical than the last. This one is a realization of "holy %^&$" we are leaving in 21 days to travel the world with only backpacks, a debit card, and open minds. We have an incredible itinerary planned (in theory) and all of the countries we are hoping to visit and rough estimates as to when we will be there….. But all we have actually booked is our first flight to New Zealand and a rental car! Some people plan a trip like this over years and have every small and seemingly insignificant detail figured out. Not us, we have big dreams and ideas, and a lot of faith that everything will work out, as it always does, and that’s about it.
In exactly 3 weeks we will be boarding an Air New Zealand flight and heading into a series of unknowns, unknown times, experiences, people, event, and meetings. I think that, the unknown, is one of the things that excites me the most. Julie and the girls have been dealing with preparing very well, and all seem to be OK with the unknown and just see what happens.
The girls have been awesome, watching the movies and reading the books selected to show the countries and cultures we are going to see. Gandhi, cry freedom, The last emperor, sparrow and owl, etc… they write book or movie reports on each one and are keeping their journals up to date. I hope the journal writing continues, as I think it will be such a neat thing to reflect back on throughout their lives.
This week we have some big steps that have been accomplished. We have all of the Visa’s except Tanzania and Turkey, we are supposed to get our passports back 3 days before we leave, we all have our fingers crossed for that. Julie was able to book our volunteer trip in India with an orphanage. We fly into India 2 days before the “festival of color” or HOLI, the famous festival when everyone throws paint and dye on people as an expression of happiness for spring. I am really excited about that and think the girls are too. We have also all agreed to go to Bhutan, that has been my number one choice from the beginning, after some negotiating and moving of schedules, it looks like it will happen.
We all really miss the boys, (the dogs Luke and Leo), and I can only imagine how much we will all miss our human friends. I already miss many of you now. Until the next blog, I wish everyone happiness and wonderful experiences…. And thats enough about the trip for now….


Posted by ryanober1 21:38 Archived in USA Tagged skylines ryan Comments (0)


Why is it so hard to say goodbye? Everyone knows you will see that person when you get back. It’s the thought….the thought of leaving that person for months, for years. Today was an extremely sad day. We said bye to 1,2,3,4,5,6,7 people, and 2 of the most important boys in my life. Luke and Leo, my boys, my best friends. I honestly thought I would run out of tears. Although I can’t wait for the trip, this was probably the day I really wondered how much I can enjoy something without family. As soon as I took a few deep breaths, I thought how amazing this experience is, even without family with is.

Posted by ryanober1 11:16 Tagged morgan Comments (0)

First Try With Our Backpacks

As we are shoving our backpacks into the car, we remember that our tortoises need someone to take care of them. We call our neighbor, and she says she can watch them no problem. As we load ourselves and our dogs into the car, our parents both agree this is not how we will usually travel. We will have a plan and be prepared. When we get to our destination, and wipe the dog drool and hair off our clothes, we yank our backpacks out of the car. As the whole family gets ready to go to bed, we discover our pajamas are on the bottom of our bag. We take all our clothes out of the backpack get on our pajamas and pack everything else back into the microscopic bag. Five days into the trip, I have gone through all my clothes. How will I live like this? I like to be clean, with clean clothes, not dirty.

Posted by ryanober1 11:13 Tagged morgan Comments (1)

Good Byes

sunny 60 °F

Today we had to say a lot of good byes. To Aunt Kirsten, Emma, Isabell, Olivia, Nana, Max, Grandpa, and Luke and Leo. I will miss everyone so much and can’t wait to see most of them along the way. It was really hard to say bye to my best boys Luke & Leo. Every night since Kindergarten I have pet and talked with Luke, and lately for the past 2 years with Leo. They are everything in the world to me, my best friends. Even though I will miss them, I will send them mental thoughts all the time, and Skype them when ever possible. This has been the hardest thing so far for me. Even though this is really hard, and I will miss ALL MY FAMILY SO MUCH, I will have so much fun on this trip.

Posted by ryanober1 11:11 Archived in USA Tagged riley Comments (0)

My first entry

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.” – Mark Twain

semi-overcast 67 °F

It has been quite the year for us as a family. Ups and Downs that could never have been prepared for or expected, small and large emotional sacrifices and victories. As a family it was very challenging and difficult. Julie took the brunt of the parenting, I took the brunt of the work load, and the girls had to endure very little time with dad, for the first 6 months and probably more challenging, a LOT of time with dad the last 6 months.
It is a testament to our special girls, that through everything they heard, saw and felt with the business issues, they never lost hope and used a lot of laughter to cope with the changes.
A quick breakdown for those that haven’t been kept in the loop with what our familiar soap opera has entailed of for the last 14 months. Controller theft, sold 20 year old family Business, moved from Dallas, moved to Laguna Beach, got through transition of sale, Girls started 7th grade in California, Julie quit her counseling work in Dallas, started ramping up new company, got small office, Julie getting ready to start work in California, girls realize they are a year ahead in school, girls get straight A+'s, Riley joins Volleyball team, Morgan joins Soccer Team, Morgan starts playing the guitar, Riley starts Photography, We decide as a family there is no better time in our lives to leave what we have in place and experience the world. Literally 3 months of planning an around the world trip and we are ready.
No one in the family was complaining about the beauty of Laguna Beach, we all recognize the beauty, art, and culture of the southern California lifestyle, but I believe we all felt a certain call to look at something bigger than ourselves and to really experience what the world can teach us.... It seems like as a society we live in a world full of tomorrows, our society has become one of what we WILL becomes and WHEN will we be’s. It not about now, and how we are now, how we act now and how we feel now, but rather what we WILL do with ourselves?!?!.
It seems that we are defined about future moments and how we WILL act, how we WILL be perceived. Think about the questions most people ask from childhood on. WHEN will you get straight A’s, when will you be on a varsity team, WHEN will you go to college, WHEN will you get married, WHEN will you have Children, WHEN will you be successful, When will you?????? Conventional American thought has defined what we are supposed to do and when. Well here is our attempt as a family to challenge that equation and expectation a little and say NOW!!!! NOW is the time to experience different culture, NOW is the time to embrace others, NOW is the opportunity the universe has put in front of us, NOW is the time, to be a travelling family and embrace the experience we are so fortunate to have.
NOW is the time for our daughters to become students of the world!!

So we have started our planning for the adventure of a lifetime. But how do you plan something with so many unknowns? Where do you start? In typical Oberholtzer fashion, you don’t plan too much, just enough to make it exciting, educational and safe. We will keep anyone that's interested updated on our progress, Maybe it will be useful to someone out there, if not it will be a good way for us to order the events and keep us sane.

With Much hope and excitement


Posted by ryanober1 16:26 Archived in USA Tagged ryan Comments (2)


Pain but worth the gain

sunny 65 °F

Today we went to a travel clinic and got our shots. Surprisingly the flu shot hurt the most. We got shots for yellow fever, flu, and hep A. We also got pills for typhoid, malaria, and anti-diarrhea...I know gross. The doctor gave us the minimum shots, which I think is a little sketchy. But he knows what he is doing, so I believe him. Mom had to get the most, and it was a little amusing since she thought she would get the least. My arm is sore and it hurts to put it above head. Talking about sketchy, our doctor told us don't get bit by dogs or mosquitos and you'll be ok! Very official :)


Posted by ryanober1 20:25 Archived in USA Tagged morgan Comments (0)


sunny 75 °F


My dad met a really cool lady that owned a yoga studio in Laguna, since we have been interested in yoga my dad scheduled a family lesson.

A few days ago we went to yoga. Yoga is something I have always been interested in.
We learned alot of poses like downword dog and the warrior. When we started the session the yoga master, Dana, asked me what I wanted to learn today. I said that I wanted to learn meditation and poses. I learned both. She told me that meditation simply means a straight spine and breathing. A true deep breath is through your nose and out your nose. I have been practicing my straight spine, it hurts sometimes. She said that anytime you need a break from chaos to take 10 deep breathes. I think this will help me a lot in different countries. I hope that we can attend yoga in many countries and see the different styles.
I am getting so excited for the trip! There is less than 6 weeks until we leave. I am going to miss my family friends and my dogs Luke & Leo!!!

Posted by ryanober1 21:38 Archived in USA Tagged pretrip Comments (0)

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