Wednesday, January 26, 2011

THANK YOU to all who made this possible!

   This trip and the entire experience of living in Asia the last 4 years has been made possible and so much fun by so many people. Unfortunately, we never wrote a list but chances are if you are reading this blog, you mean something to us no matter how well or little we know eachother. If we forgot you, we apologize.

Moganshan Lodge
Moganshan House 2, 23, and 25
Mark and Joanna Kitto, The Moganshan Lodge: Thank you to Mark and Joanna, the kids, Charlie, and everyone in Moganshan for two amazing years of support, unconditional love, and continuous employment that allowed us to finance this epic adventure. You will always be family to us. We think of you and miss you every day. Advice: If you are ever in Moganshan you have to sample the amazing meals and drinks at the Lodge. Experience comfort and history by spending a night in one of Joanna's beautifully restored European Villas on the peak of Moganshan.

Specialized s-rider's club
Thomas LeCoq, Specialized: Thomas and his China team of technical bike specialists have provided Emily and me with the mountain bikes, panniers, clothes, and gear necessary for our epic 3000+km ride through Southeast Asia. Advice: Please check out their China rider’s club website and get yourself one of their bikes or join their weekend trips if you find yourself living in China.

Asia Pacific Adventure
Adam Doan and Co., Asia Pacific Adventure: Adam and his Team run one of Hong Kong’s (and even Asia’s) leading Outdoor Education providers. APA hired Dan as its Moganshan partner and later in the year, as a part-time instructor in Hong Kong. During our trip they have repeatedly given us free accommodation at their staff house on the beautiful Lamma Island. Advice: If your company or child is based in China or Hong Kong, contact APA for some adventurous development programs.

Deck of Secrets
NY Craft Beer Week
(and this awesome youtube trailer)
Josh Schaffner: Josh is an old friend of Dan’s since high school in New York City and of Em’s since university in Montreal. In 2004, Josh became a flight attendant. Since then he has been giving friends and family passes to travel the world for very cheap. It is because of his generosity that we are able to afford some traveling before flying home to the USA. In his spare time, Josh is a contributor to NY and Chicago Craft Beer Week and the worldwide pocket guides known as Deck of Secrets. Advice: Check out the links for some good times

Run Of The Mill shop
The Moy Family: Throughout our years in China, Emily’s family have consistently sent us care packages filled with our favorite American snacks and trashy magazines which have helped us get through the harder days. Most recently, they added Christmas gifts and winter clothes to the mix which helped us out greatly. We had an amazing, whirlwind tour of China last year during ‘The Moy Family, Back-to-the-roots, China Adventure’. During that trip they also sponsored our entire wardrobe of Uniqlo clothing for which we are eternally grateful. Thank you for not being mad that we’ve missed so many family gatherings with the whole family. We will be home soon! Advice: If you appreciate good humor as much as you do a good pair of slacks, check out Jon Moy’s blog and his clothing shop “Run of the Mill”. He has been great about giving us much needed exposure to the Internet’s best and brightest.

Mortartar's Myspace
UN Cyber School Bus
The Yotive Family: When China was still but a dream in Dan’s heart, it was his family who pushed him to take that leap of faith and board the plane with only a backpack and the phone number of his friend in Shanghai. As a result, Dan has had the best 4 years of his life and is eternally grateful to his family for consistently supporting his never-ending, financially nonsensical adventure. The Kafkafi Family in Israel financed our trip to the Holy Land in 2008, a trip we will never be able to match in beauty and epic-ness. For the future, Dan’s family has offered to give us as much space as they can make for us in their NYC apartments to help make the transition back to life in NYC as smooth as possible. We’re almost done, we swear! Advice: Dan’s Sister Ariel, who will be joining us in Vietnam for 3 weeks, has taught herself how to play drums – check out her band Mortartar on Myspace. Dan’s Father Bill is a Project Manager at the UN’s Global Teaching and Learning Project and has created an awesome website to help educate youth around the world a variety of social, economic, and environmental awareness issues that affect us all as citizens of the world.

Maya Poulton: Maya is an amazing businesswoman, independent citizen of the world, and philanthropist. When we first moved to Shanghai China in December 2006, it was Maya who let us stay in her apartment well past our welcome until we found jobs and our own apartment. Maya now resides in NYC and uses her well-seasoned travel experience as a curator for Jetsetter – a members-only, hand-selected experiences travel company. Thank you for those amazing first few weeks in China!

Prodigy Outdoor
Transition Events
You Yang, A Yuan, Tori Widdowson, Prodigy Outdoor Base: You Yang, A Yuan, and Tori all helped make our trip possible by graciously giving our two dogs, Rufus and Momo, a loving home. You Yang is the true caretaker, but we know that our crazy dogs can be a handful for anyone who has to live near or with them. Thank you guys so much for giving our hearts some peace! Good luck to all of you on your future projects! We will see you and pups again! Advice: If you are in Shanghai or Moganshan and are looking for some fellow outdoor sport nuts and travelers, then definitely check out Prodigy’s Outdoor Base and Tori’s Transition Events. They welcome travelers of all kinds with such warm and open hearts, and they put on some really cool events in the area.

Le Passage MohKanShan
Christophe and Pauline Peres, Le Passage Changhai: Christophe and Pauline Peres are our neighbors in Moganshan and served as our surrogate family while the Kitto’s were in England during the summer of 2010. They welcomed us to eat French cuisine and splash around in their outdoor pool with their kids every weekend. Most recently they have hosted us in Shanghai and on a motorbike trip from Shanghai to Moganshan. In 2001, Christophe completed a 12,000km mountain bike ride across China through which he raised over hundreds of thousands of Chinese Yuan for The Shanghai Children's Medical Centre. He has been an inspiration and supporter of our trip from the get go. Thanks for the donation! Advice: The Peres’ are currently building a luxurious property in Moganshan called “Le Passage MohKanShan” – hopefully it will open as a hotel sometime in 2011.

naked retreats
Doug “the Dong” Lapuc, Naked Retreats: Doug is the Man. For a while, he almost single-handedly managed the operations at the Eco-boutique resort “Naked Retreats” in Moganshan. He has finally worked himself up to the position of big cheese on the mountain and earned a whopping two-week holiday in the USA. During this holiday, Doug helped bring back some of Dan’s stuff which the Chinese and American customs would not allow to be shipped. Thanks Doug! Advice: If you are looking for a rustic luxury holiday experience in the bamboo hills of Moganshan, check out “Naked Retreats” and their new project “Naked Stables” which will be the largest LEED Platinum resort of its size in the world.

Mark Secchia and Jason (Laurie’s brother), Sherpa’s: As fellow Michigander’s, Mark and Jason were very gracious to help us send Emily’s Macbook back to her family in Detroit, Michigan. Poor Jason had visited us in Moganshan only a few months earlier and broke his foot, or leg, or something, within 5 minutes of arriving and had to be driven the 3 hours back to Shanghai. He then limped across continents with Em’s precious cargo on his way home for the holidays. Thank you guys! Advice: If you live in or are moving to one of the big cities in China, you will inevitably use their Food Delivery service aptly named “Sherpa’s”.

BOHDI Adventures
Paul Stepanek and Nicholas Herbert, Bohdi Adventures: Bohdi Adventures is one of the original Mountain Bike manufacturers and Adventure tour providers in China. Paul and Nick hired Dan on a whim and gave him the opportunity to explore China’s beautiful natural landscapes and villages. Were it not for the amazingly fun years at Bohdi, we probably would have never moved to Moganshan or decided to bike across Asia. Thanks Bohdi for the spark and the chance to discover the wonderful world of adventure travel! Advice: Check out their wide range of weekend getaways and corporate adventures when in Shanghai

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