It’s hard to recap an entire year of international travel in just one post (which is why it has taken me so long to write it.) In an effort to bring a close to our trip I’ve just thrown together a basic list of some of the stats from the year and a few Best/Worst awards. (I never managed to get John to sit down and give me his answers to these questions, so you’d have to get his opinions from him. You can see a fun list of all the work accomplishments he achieved all over the world on his business blog here, though!)
Since I’ve already posted the top images from our trip, this post features the best images of the two of us taken on our trip. These are photos that other people took of us (only a few of which turned out to be in focus and decent) and does not include the many, many self portraits we’ve taken!
Total days spent outside the US: 365
Total days spent without a home: 485
Countries Visited: 22. This does not count layovers in countries where we did not leave the airport/bus, including Honduras, India, Oman, and Qatar. My lifetime total is now 48.
Continents Visited: 6
Countries we thought we’d visit but ended up skipping: Fiji, South Korea, Japan, Croatia, France, Ireland.
Countries we added to our trip last minute: El Salvador, Belize, Singapore, Vietnam, Laos, United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Egypt.
Most asked about Destinations: Cuba and Egypt. Everyone likes to hear the horror stories!
Number of countries visited where you could drink the tap water: 4
Number of flights: 33
Average flight cost per person: $165
Priciest flight: Lima, Peru to Managua, Nicaragua at $504/person.
Cheapest flight: (Not including the ones we used miles for) Singapore to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam for $50/person
Flights Booked with Miles: Mexico to Peru (Business Class), Belize to San Francisco (for our connection to Auckland), San Francisco to Auckland (for one person only.)
Amount of money saved by NOT doing an Around the World airline ticket: Nearly $7,000.
Longest Flight: San Fransisco to Auckland, New Zealand at 12 hours.
Longest Layover: 22 hours in Miami between Lima, Peru and Managua, Nicaragua.
Best Airline: Air India. They had the best food, and they served us full meals on 55 min flights.
Worst Airline: Cubana.
Quirkiest Airline: Air New Zealand. Their in-flight safety film is Lord of the Rings themed and features a cameo by Peter Jackson.
Best Flight: Rome, Italy to Detroit in Business Class Elite, thanks to my awesome sister-in-law and her buddy passes.
Worst Flight Delay: Our flight from Cancun to Havana departed 9 hours late, landing us in Cuba at 2am.
Best Airport: Singapore.
Worst Airport: Havana, Cuba. That place is crazy and weird, and the baggage claim is insane. Honorable Mention: Heraklion, Greece.
Overnight Trains: 3
Overnight Buses: 1
Overnight Boat: 1
Motorbike rentals: 3
Car rentals: 2
Elephant Rides: 1
Apartment Rentals: 7
Couchsurfing Hosts: 3 (six people, but three “couches.”)
Housesitting Jobs: 1
Average Nightly Rate: $30.32
Most Expensive Room: $104 for a hostel room in Katoomba, Australia.
Least Expensive Room: $14 for a hostel room in San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua.
Longest stay in one place: 8 weeks in Bali
Visitors: 1 from the US, 2 from New Zealand.
Number of minor illnesses: Approximately 10.
Worst illness: Food poisoning in Laos.
Crime Experienced: None.
Number of amazing people we met along the way: Too many to count.
We’ll definitely return to: Bali, Vietnam, Turkey, Nepal, Guatemala
We’ll never again step foot in: Cuba, Egypt, Thailand
Most Expensive Destination: Australia
Most Budget Friendly Destination: Vietnam
Best Street Culture: Saigon, Vietnam
Least Interesting Culture: Sydney, Australia. (It’s too much like the US.)
Friendliest People: Jordan
Favorite Religious Site: Sheik Zayed Mosque
Favorite Ancient Ruin: Petra
Most Overrated Tourist Attraction: Pyramids at Giza
Best Place to Buy Souvenirs: Kathmandu, Nepal
Most Overrated Destination: Thailand.
Cleanest Country: New Zealand.
Filthiest Country: Egypt.
Most Scenic Country: New Zealand.
Best Sunset: Isla de Ometepe, Nicaragua.
Worst Country for Internet: Cuba. (Duh, they don’t have it.) Honorable Mention: Nepal.
Best Country for Internet: Greece.
Favorite Local Cuisines: Vietnam, Bali, Peru, Greece, and Nepal. (We liked a lot of food!)
Least Favorite Local Cuisines: Nicaragua, Laos, Thailand.
Best Alcoholic Beverage: Mojitos in Cuba.
Cheapest Place to Buy Beer: $.25 for a pint in Vietnam.
Most Expensive Place to Buy Beer: $23 for a 6-pack in the grocery store in Sydney.
Cheapest Place to Buy Wine: $1.75/bottle in Greece
Best Non Alcoholic Beverage: Frozen Mint Lemonade in Jordan.
Best Coffee: Vietnam.
Favorite Foreign Fruit: Dragonfruit.
Weirdest Food Consumed: John ate alpaca and guinea pig. As a vegetarian I got a pass on the weird stuff.
Favorite Street Food: Pupusas in El Salvador, tied with everything we ate on the streets of Vietnam.
Favorite Dessert: Insane hazelnut cake in Abu Dhabi.
Favorite Food Market: Antigua, Guatemala.
Favorite Cooking Class: Thailand.
Best Massage: Bali.
Oddest Massage: In an armchair on the street in Cambodia, where a 30 minute foot massage included a can of beer.
Best Holiday Away From Home: New Year’s Eve in Sydney watching fireworks over the harbor.
Most Surreal Experience: Watching dolphins swim through a double rainbow next to a waterfall while cruising in Milford Sound, New Zealand.
Most Frustrating Moment: The 2 hours we spent waiting in multiple security lines in India.
Most Awkward Moment: Having a middle aged Arabic man wash my hair in a Turkish bath in Jordan.
Most Frightening Moment: Being tear gassed in Taksim Square in Istanbul.
Most Absurd Transit Moment: Watching a bucket of fish spill all over the inside of our public bus in Nicaragua. (Fortunately I had just moved our bags out of the splash zone, thanks to the suggestion of a local.)
Most Pronounced Moment of Culture Shock: Arriving in pristine New Zealand after four months in slightly shabby South and Central America. Honorable Mention: The transition from Nepal to UAE.
Most frequently asked question while on the road: Where are you going next?
Most frequently asked question since we’ve gotten back: Is it weird being home? And that pretty much wraps it up for now. We’ve moved into an apartment in Denver, officially ending our 16 month span as homeless nomads, and we’re looking forward to having somewhat more regular life. Thanks for coming along for the journey – posts on this blog will return to photos of happy, smiling families shortly.