I appreciate the opportunities I had this year in being able to travel around the world with my lovely wife, Debbie. We had some fantastic experiences, saw some wonderful sights and met lovely people along the way.
It was nice to catch up with her side of the family in Canada and meet some new ones. It, also, was good to see my brother and his wife in New Zealand along with my niece, Courtney, and nephew, Sean. Reconnecting with old friends from the past and recent ones was, also. very enjoyable.
What we did travel wise?
One month in Canada
Four months in the USA
One month in NZ
One month in Australia
Three days in Singapore
One month in Malaysia
One month in Vietnam
One month in Thailand
Three weeks in Cambodia
One month in India
Three days in Dubai
It seems a lot looking back at it; a year of our life. Lots of highlights such as Columbian icefield, August blizzard in Calgary, Yellowstone Park, swimming with manatee in Florida, Yorktown, Arizona, Tombstone and that is just North America. We had hardly scratched the surface.
New Zealand we caught snapper and walked the Tongariro crossing as well as stayed a night on Tiri Tiri Matangi and saw kiwi in their natural habitat.
Did it change me?
I read lots of blogs about how travel makes you a better person, broadens your horizons and inspires new adventures. I must be the exception. I am happy about how I was before I travelled and it has not changed me.
It has inspired me with ideas of new adventures, but I do not think it has broadened my horizon. It does make me appreciate my nationalities and privileged upbringing compared to many of the countries we visited.
I, always, found something to appreciate or marvel at in every country visited. The USA with its great horizons, New Zealand and the unique bird life, Australia and its weird marsupial beasties, SE Asia for the food, Angkor Wat and the ease of travelling around from place to place in Cambodia, and India with the Taj Mahal and, my now favourite, Indian city Udaipur.
We chose to do this adventure because we had an opportunity and we are not getting any younger. I backpacked before in my youth, this time we didn’t and I have to say I enjoyed it a lot more.
We didn’t get sick on our travels, the people we met were fantastic and the places we stayed great. I would say that Trip Advisor for me was my most valuable asset in making our plans on what to see, where to eat and stay. In the past, it was random for me which was part of the fun. However, as you get older it is nice to know you are not going to wake up with bed bug, get food poisoning or be overcharged for a tour you could have done yourself for free. I hope some of my reviews under the plume de nom: kiwiinbrighton, has made a few other people’s visits to places easier.
My main take home from a years travelling is wherever you go in the world there are wonderful sights to experience and people to meet.
I am interested in other people’s experiences about travelling for long amounts of time and would love to hear your thoughts?
Great post! I enjoyed reading your end of year take on your travels. My family and I are on the second month of what we plan to be perpetual round-the-world-without-a-plan travel. With three kids. Insanity, right? Haha. I’ve been amateur blogging about it at http://www.BeautifulOdyssey.com. I can’t predict where we’ll be in a year, what I’ll be posting there about how we have or have not changed in that time frame. I CAN say that even a mere two months in I HAVE seen changes in us all. Our boys are a little more easy-going. They roll with the punches a lot easier than they used to back in Suburbia. The same goes for my husband. My Type-A side has been drastically toned down. As has my near-OCD about organization and planning. And my germophobia? That was a tough, tough, TOUGH one for me to overcome, but I have. Mostly. Something about living out of hotels and being unable to find anything to eat other than food from street vendors in Mexico to really make a person get over their fear of contaminants fast! I’ve eaten SO many questionable, DELICOUS things I would have snubbed my nose at two months ago. And you know what? Not a single illness or upset belly yet – for any of us! Like you, I’ve also come to recognize and appreciate the lottery win that was my U.S. nationality by birth, and the extreme privilege of an upper middle class upbringing. I thought I knew and understood it’s privilege before. I didn’t though. Not really. Perhaps the best change for us of all, is that my older two sons (ages 7 and 10) are recognizing and appreciating this as well. In a year I hope to be able to look back say we’ve all been morphed into better, more active, more empathetic global citizens.
Good luck on your adventures. I will check out your blog. I was very worried about food poisoning and was surprised not to get any sickness at all, especially in India. My wife and I were fairly relaxed and not to worried about delays and hiccups along the way and as you say you learn to roll with the punches.
incredible itinerary!! i can’t wait to go back through your posts and read more! way to go living out this adventure!! xoxox
Thanks for checking out our blog The Dessert Engineer. I’m enjoying reading your blog posts. I also read Trip Advisor before every trip we take. Although we love the “surprises” that travels bring us, it’s also nice to be prepared and know what to expect. What traveling does to me is the realization that there’s so much to see and experience in this world in such little time.
I liked your blog and like you we love the surprises travel can bring. Its a cliche but you only live once so its best to experience as much of the world as you can both the good and the bad.