- Food & Drink
- Travel & Lifestyle
- Arts & Culture
- News & City Info
- Support Local
I’m Juliana, mom of the BC Bucket List Family. I’m wife to Jake and we’re about to be equally matched by June 25th with two boys!
We travel the world every opportunity we can but absolutely love that we get to call Kelowna our home base.
We’re currently building a house in Kelowna while expecting wild child number two and planning a spring break staycation in the valley.
Our family began in 2010 when I married Jake when we were only 19 and 20 years old. It is still my favourite decision. As we pushed our way through university together we waited tables with only one goal, see as much of the world as we can!
Being in the restaurant industry gave us both a great appreciation for the amazing tourism industry here in the Okanagan and we have always felt like tourists in our own town. From the ski hills and frozen lakes in winter, to the abundant hiking trails and wine tours in summer, the Okanagan was all we ever needed, until it wasn’t.
In 2015, we added Benjamin to our family. Benjamin is exactly what we should have expected, he arrived early, during one of our camping trips.
Apparently he couldn’t wait to experience the BC wilderness with us. Having a newborn to keep alive was scarier than any adventure we had yet to have. At first it was like coming out of a warm sauna in Finland and jumping into a freezing lake, total shock to the system. We spent our first summer as new parents in a constant state of undead.
We spent most of our awake hours on autopilot from sleeplessness and when we had enough energy to think thoughts, they were usually spent wondering if we were doing everything wrong. He screamed in the car, screamed in the stroller, screamed if you stopped holding him in the precise way he wanted you to. As long as we were as uncomfortable as possible, he would relax.
Our biggest question was, “Do you think he’s trying to kill us?”
Half of you have “relatable!” in your thought bubbles right now and the other half are reaching for your birth control, but let me tell you, at some point we came out of ‘the fog’ and around four months later we were strapping him into baby backpacks and hiking Ben up every mountain in the area.
At seven months, we took him with us on his first big adventure to Oahu, Hawaii where he started crawling. We began to be able to do all our usual outdoor loves or at least take turns doing them while one of us took Ben duty like when we went cage diving with sharks on the North Shore.
A little after Ben’s first birthday, we flew 16 hours to call Abu Dhabi our home for the next year. From there, Ben became impervious to strangers as his blonde hair and blue eyes made him a tourist attraction to most other people.
He mastered napping on noisy tuk-tuks in Sri Lanka, making gladiator faces at the Colosseum, sitting nicely at Italian cafes, petting sea turtles in the Indian Ocean and being mommy’s shark spotter when snorkelling in the Maldives.
We learned to love keeping our fearless toddler alive and seeing the world through Ben’s eyes is the greatest way to see the world, full of wonder, full of love, and full of adventure.
It would have been a lot more difficult to come home from that life if we didn’t live in such an incredible province and we want to experience it all. If our family had an official motto, it would be, “Do All the Things!” We invite you to follow us and look for our column where you can expect to see us living our best BC life.
We’d love to hear your suggestions for adventures you’d like to see us on. Come journey with us online, then take your family out and Do All the Things!
Crab fishing on Vancouver Island
Revelstoke Pipe Mountain Coaster
Hike the Grouse Grind
Camp Haynes Point Provincial Park
Cruise the Naramata Wine Trail
Attend the Abbotsford Tulip Festival
Take the Rocky Mountaineer Train from Vancouver to Jasper
Stay at Free Spirit Spheres in Qualicum Beach
Watch the sunset from Elk Falls in Campbell River
Ultimate goal: See a spirit bear in their natural rainforest habitat
Support local journalism by clicking here to make a one-time contribution or by subscribing for a small monthly fee. We appreciate your consideration and any contribution you can provide.