A single edition of The TIMES was pretty faded, tattered, and torn when the Dyke family of Maple Ridge returned home with it after eight months of travelling the world.
Still gripping that same newspaper – the last edition published before their departure – Michele and Allen Dyke, their daughters Faith and Natasha, and Michele’s sister Val Dahl tell an incredible story of adventure through pictures taken on their journey – many photographs showing them holding up The TIMES in exotic countries, cities, and villages they visited during their 2011-2012 Family World Tour.
“I still have it. But it’s not looking very good,” Michele said of The TIMES that was always packed in the front pocket of their daypack.
“It’s very ratty, I’ll tell you that” she elaborated, admitting to a few occasions on the trip when they missed getting pictures taken with The TIMES.
“Sometimes we’d almost forget, then scramble to get the picture,” she said, explaining how they visited 20 different countries between Aug. 30 of last year and May 7 of this year.
This eight-month journey was a dream come true for the couple, who had longed to travel with their children before the girls entered high school.
“We’re spoiled here in Canada, and I wanted them to see what it was like elsewhere and to gain an appreciation for other cultures,” Michele said.
Allen first caught the travelling bug in high school, when he enjoyed a student exchange to Germany. And Michele grew up overseas as a missionary working in Pakistan. The couple had also travelled together to Mexico, Cuba, the Dominion Republic, and Germany, and sought to share that experience with their kids.
But when their youngest daughter Natasha was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes, the initial fear was their trip would have to be cancelled. No chance. A year later, they were on their way.
With only one reservation made – in Munich during Octoberfest – they otherwise travelled at will, staying longer at places that appealed to them.
They remortgaged the house to make the trip possible. But Michele said they have no regrets, describing it as an unbelievable experience for her family to travel together to Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Croatia, Bosnia, Albania, Greece, Turkey, Egypt, Jordan, Israel, Tanzania, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, India, Nepal, and Bali.
“We just wanted to see the world and expose the kids to it,” said Michele, who’s an oncology nurse at Ridge Meadows Hospital, and like her husband was able to get a leave of absence from work to make the journey.
As for the kids, Faith, 13, and Natasha, 11, are students at Hope Lutheran Christian School in Port Coquitlam and were able to take time off from class, with a commitment to keep up on their studies while away.
Socials, science, and English were built into their trip – naturally, Mom said. But the family tried to take breaks from travelling on average every few weeks to give the kids time to focus on their other studies.
As for future family excursions, they’re all in. They want to travel together more, but finances might dictate they wait a bit.
In addition to more photos available on The TIMES website, the Dyke family invites people to visit their website: www.whereintheworldarealandthegirls.com.