Hana Simkova and Venca Simek smile in front of the van they’ve spent the past year-and-a-half exploring with and adorned with colourful handprints of the friends they’ve met along the way. (Photo - Andrew Bailey)

Hana Simkova and Venca Simek smile in front of the van they’ve spent the past year-and-a-half exploring with and adorned with colourful handprints of the friends they’ve met along the way. (Photo - Andrew Bailey)

Adventurers excited to explore Tofino and Ucluelet

“I hope we will like it enough that we will stay here.”

If traveling is on your New Year’s resolutions list, two seasoned adventurers arrived in Ucluelet this month that can probably provide first-hand perspectives on any place you’re thinking of going.

Hana Simkova and Venca Simek are from the Czech Republic, but have been on the road since July 2016.

The pair traveled to Alaska where they bought a van in Anchorage and spent the next year-and-a-half driving to the Yukon, to B.C. and then on to Alberta before returning to B.C. and heading down to Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Utah, Colorado, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, and California. They then traveled through Mexico to Guatemala, Nicaragua, Honduras, Costa Rica and El Salvador.

Prior to embarking on their ambitious journey, Simkova said she and her husband Simek had lived in South Korea for three years and Scotland for eight months.

They arrived in Ucluelet around Jan. 2 and plan to spend at least the next three months on the West Coast while working on obtaining permanent residency in Canada.

“We’ll be looking for a job and for accommodation around here, because that’s where the waves are and then we’ll see. We don’t really have a plan beyond three months,” Simek said.

“Were trying to work and settle now. We’ve been doing this for long enough and now we’re trying to actually work and settle..We’ll see what it has to offer. We’ll look around Ucluelet. We’ll look around Tofino and we’ll see what’s out there and that’s what’s going to decide the next couple years of our life.”

They said they have both enjoyed getting to know Ucluelet over the past week.

“The single answer is: it’s wild. It’s remote. It’s different,” Simek said. “The beaches are awesome…The people are different. You’ve got a community, essentially.”

“It’s beautiful nature,” added Simkova. “I hope we will like it enough that we will stay here.”

Anyone wanting to find out more about Simkova and Simek’s travels can check out www.hvadventure.net.