Jun 222009

Home at last!

It was a massive trip.  Epic almost!  We arrived home on Monday, jet-lagged but excited  and struggled to stay awake until a reasonable hour!  Fortunately Singapore is only two hours behind, but unfortunately we got almost no sleep on the flight home.

We thought we should put this trip into some numbers for you: 16 weeks, 18 countries, 46 places to stay, 9GB or 3,700 photos, $150/day, 13 airports, 46 train stations, 31 (major) train trips, 865km in a Mercedes, 2000 miles in a campervan, seven languages and approximately 10kg of gelato!

We also feel we should make some broad conclusions about our trip:

  1. Four months is a long time!  Yet there was so much more we could have done and would like to go back and do.
  2. Every country is different – different food, different view, different weather and different experiences.  Therefore, it’s difficult to narrow down our favourites and least favourites.
  3. Living out of a suitcase gets really old.  I heart my wardrobe!
  4. Write everything down!  No matter how long you’re going for, keep a travel diary.  I have already forgotten so much, but fortunately I was pretty strict about keeping my journal up to date.
  5. The value of a home cooked meal is vastly underrated… until you have to eat at restaurants for three meals a day, for four months…

Looking forward to seeing you all and hearing about your past four months!  Of course, we’ve got more stories too – like the morning we almost got hypochlorite poisoning in Belfast, easy ways to master the ‘stupid American tourist’ stereotype, a real Irish joke, where to go sunbaking in central Geneva if you’re a nudist and finally the many, many creative ways some Europeans will lighten your pockets (none of which happened to us (we think), thankfully).

Paddington makes it home!

Paddington makes it home!

We’ll leave you with a photo of our $5 suckerfish ‘massage’ in Chinatown in Singapore.

Now off to Trip Advisor to write some reviews and return the favour to those who helped us find some fantastic places to stay…

Treating our feet to a tickly suckerfish massage.

Treating our feet to a tickly suckerfish massage.

On expectations – 5.5 days before takeoff

 europe  Comments Off on On expectations – 5.5 days before takeoff
Feb 242009

Things I expect in the next 4 months:

– blisters
– jetlag
– to get sick of churches/cathedrals/museums/art galleries
– to eat a lot of different foods
– to be pushed out of my comfort zone
– to miss trains/buses
– to get a bit homesick
– to miss my own bed
– to see things that change me

Things I don’t expect in the next 4 months:
– to wear high heels
– to watch dvds (or much tv really)
– to sit at a desk
– to wear a suit (or any part thereof)
– to deal with clients/files
– to earn money :p

On anticipation

 europe  Comments Off on On anticipation
Jan 092009

We still have 7 weeks to go.  Someone should tell that to my leg, which won’t stop tapping anxiously, or my stomach, which seems perpetually filled with butterflies.

I suspect this will be the biggest adventure of my life.  It will certainly be the biggest adventure of my life thus far.

Part of me wants to draw out this time, savouring the anticipation.  Perhaps I am a “pleasure delayer” (A la Penelope Cruz in Vanilla Sky).  Part of it is that in these planning stages, I am only optimistic.  I haven’t yet been disappointed by dodgy accommodation, dirty streets and overrated ruins.  There is nothing to say for sure that I will experience any of those things when I’m there.  Realistically, though, I will.  After all, I’d probably face any number of disappointments in the same amount of time in my normal life.  I’m trying to be sensible – not build it up too much in my mind.

But the butterflies persist, and I smile whenever I talk or think about it.  Our grand adventure.