Karen and I were incredibly fortunate to be successful in getting a house sit in the City of Chestermere, just outside of Calgary, Alberta. This is especially significant for us as we are from Calgary and had not been back in four years. For people familiar with Calgary, the first question to us was “Calgary, in winter, why???” Fair question. But the chance to catch up with ours sons, mothers, family, and friends was long overdue. This was our first family Christmas in seven years.

The Rocky Mountains
The view toward the Rocky Mountains as we drive into Calgary. I’d be lying if I didn’t admit I choked up a bit the first couple of times I was reacquainted with this view.

After spending the last seven years as far away from snow and cold as possible it has been a wonderful challenge reacquainting ourselves with an Alberta winter. But once again our luck has held. The month of December was perfect.

Christmas Day
December was the perfect winter month. Reasonable temperatures, plenty of snow and blue skies. I took this shot from the end of our street Christmas morning. It was perfect.
Pond Hockey Championships
The City of Chestermere, where we are currently house sitting, hosted the Western Canadian Pond Hockey Championships. The weather was perfect for spectating and honestly, it doesn’t get much more Canadian than watching a bunch of teams playing hockey on a frozen lake while you drink hot chocolate and cheer them on.

We have tried to be tourists in our own backyard while we have been back. Part of that was spending a day enjoying the historical attraction of Heritage Park.

Heritage Park
The park has a Twelve Days of Christmas event every year. With the perfect weather around Christmas it was a great opportunity to take in the sights and sounds of the park.
Blacksmiths Shop
They even had the blacksmith shop fired up and creating Christmas gifts with traditional techniques.

As I mentioned earlier, the Rocky Mountains are something that are close to my heart. Once the New Year came we did a trip out to Banff and Lake Louise to soak in the grandeur. The weather wasn’t perfect, but hey, it is winter in the mountains.

Lake Louise
The weather wasn’t perfect for our trip to the mountains, but they were spectacular none the less. It was fun watching the people skating on Lake Louise.
Ice Sculpture
The yearly Ice Sculpture Competition was on at Lake Louise. The lighting made photographing the ice quite difficult, however the quality and detail in the work was phenomenal.
Winter Magic
The light was flat, but the views were still amazing around the lake.
Banff Snow Carving
We also stopped into Banff and checked out the snow carvings on the streets. Incredible what these artists can do.

One of the best aspects of being back is spending time with family and friends. Though we enjoy great support from everyone for our nomadic lifestyle, it is still difficult to be away at times. Visiting and reconnecting has been the best part of being back.

Christmas Fun Run
I was able to take part in the City of Chestermere’s first ever Santa Fun Run. The event was a total success because I was able to run it with our youngest son Steven. We hardly noticed the -13C temperature.

January certainly brought with it a serious reminder of what winter in Alberta can be like. Going from a nearly perfect month of December we were plunged into a cold snap with daily HIGHS of -28C.

Temperature Comparison
It wasn’t so much the brutal cold as it was realizing one year ago we were trying to survive weather extremes at the other end of the scale.
Winter Beauty
There is something amazing about the beauty of winter. We all complain about the cold at one time or another, but for us, thus far, it has been a wonderful return home.


Welcome to our travel blog. Have you ever wondered what it would be like to say, "I'm out of here?" Well we did, and in 2013 we made it a reality. We sold or gave away all of our possessions other than what fit in our luggage and we set off on an endless adventure. Part of our goal is to share our experiences with others and hopefully provide some information, motivation, or just a moments escape. The general idea was to look for a place that would be ideal to settle down in. However in the meantime it is about experiencing life in different countries amongst different cultures and learning how to understand and appreciate each other. A large part of our time is spent housesitting which provides an excellent opportunity to experience more of the "normal" neighbourhoods as opposed to the tourist locales. Though we make sure to enjoy those as well. So through plenty of photographs and a running commentary come and share with us our life on the road.

10 comments on “Returning Home

  1. Welcome back, Pete! Enjoy your time back here with family. Take care.

  2. Rosemary and Graham Hosking, Novar Gardens, South Australua

    Wonderful! So glad you have had the opportunity to catch up with family and friends. We certainly enjoy reading your blog.
    Happy New Year and travel adventures to you both

  3. What fabulous photos and how wonderful that you managed to get a housesit there over Christmas and New Year. Looks absolutely beautiful. A little cold but you look like you’re well set up for that.

  4. Hi

    Choco & i just landed in San Pedro

    Here until Feb 11

    I think well go to Belize Pro Diver today and see about getting him certified and me doing some dives.

    Not cattle boats…right?

    Sun & Palm Trees,



  5. Welcome Home!!

    On Sat, Feb 1, 2020, 8:15 PM Peter & Karen Pecksen wrote:

    > peterpecksen posted: “Karen and I were incredibly fortunate to be > successful in getting a house sit in the City of Chestermere, just outside > of Calgary, Alberta. This is especially significant for us as we are from > Calgary and had not been back in four years. For people famili” >

  6. Vicki Calder

    So interesting to read your blog. We are from Calgary and now living on Vancouver Island. We have managed to do alot of travel but In the back of our minds we have thought about selling everything and setting off. Health insurance and time allowed to be away etc has held us back. This doesnt seem to be an issue for you. Please explain

    • Sorry for the delay in responding. We made a decision when we first started our travelling that we would not be limited by insurance restrictions. We have gone with private health insurance so we do not have to be tied down by mandatory return trips to Canada to keep our Alberta Health Care valid. The health care insurance we have is not cheap ($4000USD a year for the two of us), however compared with having to fly back and forth and interrupt our house sitting it is still the more economic choice. One of the limitations is that we will not travel to or through the US as their health care system is so messed up, that to get coverage we would have to pay an additional $4000USD a year for coverage there. We will see how things develop as we get older and the world changes, but for now we are loving the freedom our choice is allowing us.

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