Today marks 30 months! 30 months since we boarded a plane in Albuquerque in May 2012 to head out on this grand adventure. It feels like we just started yesterday and also like we’ve always been traveling.
To celebrate, here are 30 Facts about our Trip (so far…)
We’ve traveled in 25 countries, some of them more than once. (We also slept in a dayroom in the Narita airport outside Tokyo for ten hours. But we don’t count that!)
We’ve learned survival vocabulary in 12 different languages, and can speak Spanish fairly well. Need to order a beer, ask for directions, or haggle in a local market? We can probably help you muddle through.
We’ve dealt with 18 different currencies.
We’ve driven in only 4 other countries.
We slept in a minivan (Toyota Sienna converted for camping) for 56 nights.
We each have 62 stamps in our passports from the past 30 months. We both have the maximum amount of extra pages added to our passports (& still have plenty of pages left to fill).
We’ve visited 34 UNESCO sites.
We’ve traveled by car, bus, saiboat, ferry, longboat, canoe, speedboat, cruise ship, raft, innertube, helicopter, sled, train, tuk tuk, moto taxi, bicycle taxi, volcano board, bicycle, horse, burro, subway, plane, and on foot.
In the past 30 months, we’ve celebrated Independence Day holidays in Ecuador, Peru, Fiji, Australia, Mexico, El Salvador, & the US,
We’ve each visited the emergency room once. Kyle in Bangkok and Kathy in London.
We’ve tried the beer in every country we have visited, except for Malaysia.
We’ve eaten our way through every type of typical local cuisine in every country we’ve traveled in. And after all that, Kathy still loves tacos the most and Kyle’s go to is still pizza. But it is fierce competition as there are very few foods that we have tried and not liked. And we rarely eat tacos or pizza as we’re too busy sampling whatever the local cuisine is where we are. This world is full of really delicious food everywhere you go!
We’ve learned how to cook several local dishes in every country we’ve traveled in.
We’ve traveled on anywhere from $10/day to $200/day. Our usual budget is $50/day total for the two of us for lodging & food (& often activities & transport depending on the country).
Places we’ve slept: cars, swags, boats, trains, planes, buses, airports, guesthouses, hostels, hotels, a cruise ship, tents, apartments, underground, in the stable of an old castle, & on our friend’s couches or in their guestrooms.
Clothing that has been with us the entire trip: we each have a few pairs of Icebreaker merino socks that are still almost like new, in spite of being used and abused on a regular basis. And we both still have our beloved Salomon hiking boots, which are still like new and incredibly comfy. The only way you can tell how many miles they’ve seen is that they’re a bit dusty.
We have taken a LOT of photos – around 1.5 TB of them (mostly in RAW) are stored on 2 external hard drives that travel with us.
Lost or stolen items: 1. We had our iPhone pickpocketed in Peru. Considering we’ve been traveling for 30 months, one phone isn’t that bad.
Number of cameras used on this trip: 8. A variety of makes and models from point & shoots to full on dSLRs. We’ve broken 4.
We have 60 of our favorite movies on several thumb drives. We watch them when we need to kill time on travel days or decompress in our hostel room at the end of a long day.
For the first 18 months of our trip, we didn’t see winter once. It was all tropical or spring/summer wherever we were. Then we hit Europe in November 2013.
We’ve had all sorts of crazy animal encounters. Some of our favorites: swimming with sea turtles who were high on jellyfish toxin in the Whitsundays (Crush from Finding Nemo is a true representation); holding/feeding baby orphaned kangaroos in the Australian Outback; seeing Kiwi in the wild in the Kauri forest of New Zealand; almost being bitten by a very upset and aggressive dog in a bathroom in Phuket, Thailand. There are loads more, but we only have so much space here.
We’ve witnessed protests or demonstrations in 10 countries. And when we say witnessed, we mean we were on the street or in the plaza where it was happening as it was happening. (We didn’t plan on seeing any of these…we just seem to have a knack for stumbling onto them.)
We didn’t drink coffee at all (or even like it) before we started this trip. Now, drinking coffee in a cafe is one of our favorite ways to pass the time.
We’ve been back in the US four different times in the past 30 months.
We’ve been to movie locations in more than 10 countries, some planned and some stumbled upon. Our favorite is still Hobbiton in New Zealand, one of the most magical days we’ve had in a trip full of magical days.
Hostels are still our favorite places to stay because they always have the best information and we ALWAYS meet incredible people when we stay at them. They’re just set up to encourage interaction, something that is harder to get at a guesthouse, hotel, or resort.
We’ve spotted a Royal and a Brat Packer on this trip. We saw Prince Charles in Wellington, NZ and Andrew McCarthy sat next to us in a bar in Peru during the World Cup. We’re still waiting (hoping!) to run into Anthony Bourdain someday.
We’ve been to every continent except Antarctica.
We’ve gotten lost in every country we’ve visited. After all, that’s how you find the best stuff.
When we left 30 months ago, we had never slept in a hostel and never taken a trip longer than 3 weeks. As our plane descended into Quito, Ecuador, we clutched hands and laughed about how crazy this all was and talked about how we hoped it would all work out. It has.
This morning, we woke up in a hostel in Merida, Mexico. We had breakfast and chatted with friends we’ve made this week and then made plans to celebrate by taking a walking tour of the city today. So we’re off to do that…here’s to the next 30!