The Teen We Never Told You About (not just a road trip 2)

Our road trip down memory lane and around New Zealand continues. We cover a lot of ground in this story from both lanes as our weather takes a dramatic turn and so does our marriage.

Ok, perhaps that last sentence was a tad dramatic, but we are talking about raising a teenager…so drama comes with the territory.  Rewarding yes, but far more daunting than any stormy sea.

And speaking of stormy seas, we get a peek at just how gnarly the meeting of two seas can be!

If you somehow missed our last story, you should go back and catch up. Because this is part 2 of a 3-part series and we all know how it goes with series. The first is usually the best and it just gets confusing if you start in the middle.


Meet Sadi Brooke, My sister and the teen we raised.


Anniversary Trip (15 Years) on Roadtrippers


We’re long-time fans and friends with the humans behind Roadtrippers.  That’s why we collaborated with them for this road trip.

Roadtrippers is a FREE app (and website) that came out right about the same time we hit the road full time in our RV circa 2011 (couldn’t have been more perfect timing).  We hit it off straight away and have been friends ever since.  It’s been our go-to road trip app for discovering weird roadside attractions (hello Cano’s Castle) and wild places to camp (Trona Pinnacles).

The free version is awesome and packed with all the important features. But, if you are a serious road tripper, or going on an extended trip, there is a paid “Plus” subscription. Plus gets rid of ads and unlocks features like live traffic and offline maps (very useful during the trip).

🚐 Camper Van Rental



  • Source – Artlist, Get 2 Months for FREE:
    • Artists – Paper Planes, Anbr, Funky Giraffe, Hanjo Gabler, Jamie Bathgate, Jim Gavin, Sunny Fruit, Spearfisher


Thanks for joining us, it wouldn’t be the same without you. 🤗

Ups, downs, and all arounds, we share it all. We’re able to do so because people like you show up each week, read, watch, comment, share, shop our gear, and toss a tip in our production jar. If you like what you see, there are lots of ways you can show your support.

Hello there! I honestly don’t know what to say, so I am going to tell you a bunch of random facts instead. I'm a fish eating vegetarian who hates spiders and loves snakes. I almost never took vacations growing up. I wanted to be Pippi Longstocking (still do). I misspell about every other word I write and still struggle with grammar. I love splurging on a good high tea (which is really hard to find these days). And whatever you do, don’t tell me I can’t do something, because then I'll HAVE to do it!

Comments (42)

  • Amy

    Always so fun to watch!!

  • Rud

    Met my wife in 2005. One an early data I opened the door for her. She quoted her father, “If he is still opening the door after 2 years he really loves you.” I still open the door 16 years later. But we added a “toll” kiss before she can get into the car.

    Guess he loves you.

  • Jeffrey Stenberg

    Thanks for braving the weather, I love rain, Carpe Diem ! What an incredibly beautiful landscape. Love the Maori tour, my wife works with a giant teddy bear of a guy who is Maori and he is so nice. Went out of his way to help us build our deck at the cabin.
    Keep the Love alive, great to see (kind of), just goes to show we have to keep working at it 💕

  • Keliann Luley

    Thank you for being such intrepid travelers. I am so grateful that you dealt with the weather to show us the lighthouse and the 2 seas colliding, just a magnificent view.

  • Bernard

    Your guys’ story made me tear up – again. Awesome!!

  • Lara Pape

    You two are just adorable, I hope one day to find myself in a relationship as beautiful, loving and supportive as yours.

    I’m a former photographer myself, Sadi’s work is fantastic!

  • Ian

    Amazing as usual! Thank you! You guys are what I hope to achieve soon. Fingers crossed! Keep the stories coming. Much love from a south African in NYC.

  • Stephen J Hoevelman

    I’m gonna have to stop saying I couldn’t love you more. Because it’s not true. You make me want to sing.

  • Stephen J Hoevelman

    It’s cold, it’s wet, it’s windy. And Nikki takes one for the team. You go, girl.

  • Rhonda

    My husband and I have been catching up on all your videos from your time on Curiosity. We have enjoyed them all. However, after watching your latest video about your sister, I have so much respect for you both. It is my personal opinion that raising another human being and doing a good job of it is the hardest job on earth, and teenagers aren’t easy! Kudos to you both.

  • Richard

    HAPPY ANNIVERSARY TO YOU BOTH!! You’re the best! Thanks for all you do for us patrons!

  • Karin@yumandmore

    Wow! Just wow! The Story, the road trip, the dedication, the love 💗

  • Deborah Kerr

    That’s quite a way to start a marriage! It looks like your sister had excellent guidance and mentoring as she matured into the wonderful person she is today! Love your video and how you intersperse the history in with the present-day New Zealand. That fish looked delicious!! Looked like a fun time in spite of the weather!!

  • David and Karen

    So sorry that you had the real winter weather when you arrived at Cape Reinga. At least you could still see Spirit Beach and the meeting of the oceans. It is a pretty spectacular place isnt it. We spent our first wedding anniversary there (41 years ago this coming January). You are seeing a good bit of Northland in such a short time. Also, thank you for sharing the background to your lives – pretty personal stuff, so we feel priveledged to be let in to that aspected. Pretty amazing people you two – thank you!

  • craig hayman

    Strange, the last time we were at Cape Reinga the path was too hot to walk on in bare feet. Your view gave a totally different feel to Cape Reinga. In one of your shots you showed the Tree that the spirits travel to to leave Aotearoa for Hawaiki a very sacred place. Thanks for showing kiwis a different view of their home.

  • Alan Solomon

    Wow. Lots to say. Thank you so much for bringing me along to New Zealand.
    Teenagers can be difficult to direct, control and tolerate. Once you take something on like that the unknown becomes more apparent. The fact you had and have each other to communicate, I am sure helped a lot.
    Where I live there is no change of season. Rainy, stormy days give me enthusiasm, creativity, imagination, inspiration, warmth, I could go on and on… There is so much green there. I really notice it. It is beautiful.
    On the couple of beaches you were on you looked like little kids playing and having fun! Which is what it was!! I want to do that too!!
    Nikki, you are pretty strong carrying Jason around on your back like that, Lol.
    That van you have really has it all. Similar to Mary’s van I think. Perfect for you guys. Stay warm, safe and well. Enjoy. Thank you again..

  • Mary Van

    Who knows what may have happened if you had not taken her in. She is an amazing photographer, makeup artist and mom. I put the mom part last only because I have witnessed her professional work many times.

    Life throws us challenges. It’s what makes us who we are. Who knows what’s around the next corner.

    Love you both.

  • Michele Reynolds

    We love New Zealand and enjoying seeing it again through your travels. Here are a couple a great spots to visits in the Auckland area and on the South Island.
    1. Mahurangi Regional Park, particularly the Lookout
    2. Shakespeare Regional Park (walk/bike with the sheep)
    3. Cape Egmont Lighthouse With views of Mt Taranaki behind it, amazing! (South)
    4. Pukeiti Botanical Gardens (South) – biggest rhododendrons and great gardens.

  • Keith

    God bless.

  • Henry

    Hurricane season in the Pacific Ocean is May to November. How can you safely leave New Zealand presuming your visitor’s visa expires before the end of hurricane season?

    • Curious Minion

      Actually May-November is hurricane season in the northern hemisphere. In the southern hemisphere, peak cyclone season is December-April (their summer).
      Curious Minion

  • John S.

    Like so many of your long-time followers I too enjoyed your earlier posts and look forward to new posts. But this video moved me. From now on you’ll have a special place in my thoughts, a place that is occupied by wonderful people who have done special and extraordinary things.

    Over the years you have dropped a number of hints about your family. Those hints left me wondering just what happened with your much younger sister. When you told us in today’s video that you not only took her in and became her Guardian but also home schooled her I was truly impressed.

    Less than 15% of marriages survive that kind of severe family stress. Since you are now celebrating a wonderful 15th anniversary it ought to be easy to make the next 25.

    Take care, John.

  • Ken Call

    From a retired couple in Utah, we also enjoy watching each one of your videos. Full of facts, beautiful scenery, and new places we get to visit through you two; but the thing that I enjoy the most is watch the interaction between the two of you as well as with others around you. We love seeing the verbal (and the visual) signs of affection that you have for each other. You were the first ones we started watching on You Tube about five or six years ago. Keep up the great productions that you assemble.

  • James Dillon

    Hey Guy’s! Greetings from Canada. I have followed you folks since day ONE! You are certainly ” 21st century story tellers”! Your content is in a word “AWESOME”!
    Your editing and production are paramount in quality and presentation ! Thanks for providing and recording the footage , this old fat-boy get’s to live vicariously through your camera lens’s and I must say it has been a trip of a lifetime. Again THANKYOU! Be safe and happy trails

  • Robin

    So if you had a catamaran made out of that tree, it would be two wakas.
    So it would be a waka waka.
    Fozzy Bear could be your mascot.
    I’m sorry, I’ll show myself out now.

    • Jessie

      This is my favorite comment ever in the history of comment sections😂😂

    • Curious Minion

      No Robin, please stay! That made me LOL!
      Curious Minion

  • Ember

    Great story! Looks like you had lots of fun despite the nasty weather. I read somewhere research shows that what holds couples together over time is not love or passion, but fun. You seem to have mastered that particular type of glue. Well done. Stick together and keep living your adventure.

  • Hank Heyns

    I hope you both spend the next fifteen years with the same enthusiasm..Safe Travels

  • Louanna Davis

    I didn’t think I could love you two any more than I already do. Your sister story was a sweet story of self sacrifice and mercy for her and changed her life. This story just sealed it for me. You both showed us how wonderful you are inside and out. God Bless you both. I am a devoted fan. Stay safe and be prosperous.

  • Lisa

    Thank you for taking me to New Zealand!!
    You guys are amazing, and what a huge credit to both of you for caring for that teenager!!
    Thank you for sharing your adventures…
    I can’t wait for the Sunday emails that let me know your next story is ready!

  • CMBenton

    Great life story! Continue living your best life. Loved this video.

  • Myra S.

    Thanks for sharing such intimate details of your relationship! You are such a terrific couple and I enjoy being part of your adventure.

  • Michael

    Awesome! There is nothing better than living a life of service to others. Thank you for sharing the love.

  • Marjorie Nehlsen

    Great life story. Lots better than the rainy weather.

  • Maryj

    We live 40 minutes from Seaside which we hadn’t visited in 20 years until a month ago and was shocked how much it’s changed! It’s a totally different area now. Continue living life.

  • Ian Andrew

    One of the best countries my wife and I visited so was nice to see that you enjoyed and I know you are not fair weather sailers even on land.

    If it has not been suggested try the waitomo caves for “black river rafting” and glow worms. A real treat.

    Ian Andrew, Ottawa Canada

  • Craig

    The amazing adventure you’ve had already in your young life, can’t wait to see what the next 15 years bring to you

  • Bob

    I first saw one of your posts on Facebook about a month ago. I am now a subscriber and throughly enjoy your adventures. My wife and I were RV’ers. As we have matured (our term for getting older), we have graduated to cruisers. We loved Australia. Sadly, due to Covid our New Zealand trip got cancelled. After seeing your trip it remains high on our list of places to visit. Enjoy your travels. Keep safe and healthy.
    Cheers from Canada.🇨🇦

  • Lee Hudson

    I have so much respect for both of you taking on your sister. I am single at 65 and took on my 3 grandchildren alone. Now the 2 oldest are doing fantastic and I just have the 9yr old left at home. It is not easy and I thank God for people like you that step up to rescue our human race. One child at a time. Love you guys. Keep up the fun and journeys.

    • CMBenton

      Very well said!


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