Rod Mackie is a scientist (microbiologist) and inveterate traveler. Luckily he can often combine the two, as he has many international research projects and is frequently invited to conferences, seminars, presentations etc. Loves history, photography, researching (and tasting) wines, finding out about local foods, and local architecture.
Viv Mackie is also an avid traveler and photographer. She always keeps a travel journal and tries to write up all the travels and experiences. She’s also an ESL teacher, so has a keen interest in multiculturalism and understanding other customs and cultures. She’s found that one good way to do that is through music and local farmers markets. Fortunately, she can usually accompany Rod on his travels, and then they add a few days (or weeks) of personal time.
Viv and Rod have been traveling together since 1974, when they took their first “big trip” to Europe as a young couple, and spent 3 months exploring. Since then, the stage was set and the travel bug has to be assuaged now and again!
Nathalie Mackie, social worker and now nurse, has been traveling since she was 6 weeks old, when we drove with her to a conference in Stellenbosch, South Africa. We always took both Nathalie and brother Kevin with us when we traveled anywhere for pleasure, so I reckon the travel bug got them young too! Nathalie is also interested in books and reading, history, photography, local foods, social issues and ethnic issues, so this trip had a lot of scope for that.
Sonya Diehl is a Middle School teacher, specializing in health and all aspects of physical
education. She hasn’t traveled much before, so she was wide open to any and all experiences. She also loves to try new foods and had a quest to taste 50 different beers on the trip (aided and abetted by us!) She was very excited to collect new information for “her kids” at school—especially heraldry of different towns and countries, local stories and legends, and recording all the different currencies.