It has been 7 months since we quit our jobs and left Virginia. It has been 6 months since we left the States. They say that time flies when you’re having fun, and we have to agree with that! It’s crazy to think that we have been traveling internationally for half a year already, and that we have a long way to go still! While I’m (Jeff) really enjoying the trip and it’s incredible to see all these places and experience the culture, there are days when I do really miss routine and having a home base.
# of countries visited: 14 (Iceland, Finland, Sweden, United Kingdom (England/Scotland), France, Ireland, Germany, Austria, Italy, Greece, Tanzania, Dubai, India, Singapore)
# of passport stamps: 16
Favorite place: Glencoe, Scottish Highlands
Favorite Food: Greek, especially eggplant salad (we are going to try to make some for Christmas!)
# of days internationally: 183
# of nights of free accommodation: 82
Thing we wished we would have packed: another voodoo band, less shirts, GR1 instead of the ruck we brought (different carry on for Jeff)
Thing we packed, but haven’t needed: an alarmed door stop, travel alarm clock, 4x usb port
Thing we miss most (besides friends and family- you are always our #1!): heavy ass barbell to throw around-my butt is shrinking as we speak (same answer as 3 months ago, and it still stands!)
Transportation used: Plane, rental car, ferry, train, bus, taxi, subway, walking, tuk tuk, camel, safari jeep
Amount of USD spent: $29,676 (this includes a few upcoming flights around Asia and some housing we have already reserved)
Places we have bookings for next: Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia
Favorite thing in my bag right now: Lululemon vest (Cara), New elephant shirts (Jeff)
Jeff misses ketchup, Cara misses chips and salsa (and everything at Tienda Jessy's)
Best booze: Beer in a beer garden in Munich (this wins for ambiance, I have no idea what kind of beer it was -Cara)
Worst booze: Retecina (local wine in the Peloponnese, Greece)
Surprisingly decent booze: 2 liter cider in Scotland
Best Phrases to learn in foreign languages: 'Hello', numbers '1-10', 'how much?', 'thank you'
Language we learned the most of: Swahili
We have been extremely blessed thus far in our travels as we haven’t had many issues and have only been really sick once. We now laugh about the 4 days we spent in bed in Africa after what we assume was some bad water, joking that it saved us a bunch of money as we didn’t eat for a few days. We both fought some small stomach issues in India, mostly just individual meals that didn’t agree with us and adjusting to the mostly heavy starch and curry diet, but nothing that kept us down.
We have spent the last three months of our trip exploring more of the developing world (minus Dubai and now Singapore), and Greece was a great intro. No one really talks about anything between the first and third world, but we think that Greece is in this “second world” sweet spot. The people and food are great, and most of the modern amenities are there in some form, but the infrastructure and economic development is still coming along. If you’re hesitant to travel to the third world, check out Greece first to prep yourself! We have been lucky that our plans unintentionally set us up for success in that we have gradually worked away at our comforts and eased into strange situations solely by the route we have taken to travel. Europe was easy and helped us get used to traveling and figuring out new situations, Greece prepped us for Africa, Dubai was a great intro to a very different culture and Arabic people while in extreme comfort, and so far it all lead up to India which was the most different and challenging place we have been. Now Singapore is a very comfortable introduction into Asian culture in a somewhat western, mostly English speaking way. By dumb luck we have made this whole trip much more manageable!
If you are STILL reading-we want to thank all of you for taking this adventure with us. We can feel your love from the other side of the world, which means so much to us, especially during the holidays when we are so far away from home!
-Jeff and Cara