It’s the end of the year and a bit late for this but it’s time for a bit of review. Let’s run through a few lists in no particular order. And here’s an interactive map of the trip!
Most people’s first question is a toughie: What was your favorite place? For the most part, we had fun and loved everywhere we went, so the favorites list would more likely look like a list of places we would do anything to get back to someday.
Would Return in a heartbeat
While we would go back to pretty much anywhere, these are the places we loved and could live there (in and out of the USA).
Would Live In
In the USA
Would Go Somewhere New Instead of…
Things we missed that we wished we could do
I am not really a big food connoiseur, but one of the amazing parts of traveling is having the opportunity to try new things and grow some new taste buds. From all of the new tastes of the year, I never had any major stomach issues. The worst I’ve experienced this year was when I got back to the states; eating more dairy products, sugars, beef, and cheese didn’t sit well with my stomach.
This list is REALLY hard; pretty much everywhere we went people were outwardly nice in trying to help. I would say I ranked these based on general interactions with hostel owners, shop owners, and locals.
I have gotten this question a lot over the past few months since I have returned to the US, and there really isn’t a good answer. The most fearful time during my trip abroad came when a Sri Lankan man asked me to come with him to an 8 year old’s birthday party. I found myself getting in and out his friend’s tuk-tuk at seemingly random places all over town for confusing reasons. Nothing came of it and they all turned out really nice in the end – just the most confusing night of my trip. I would say sketchiest place goes to Istanbul. The city is beautiful, but because of Turkish culture, the streets are rampant with horny horny Turk men at night. Going out with a group of girls from the hostel becomes a little of an obstacle course.
Top Hot Springs – If we are talking IN MY LIFE, the Blue Lagoon in Iceland wins it, but this is just for the trip soooo….
Top National Parks – Asterisk: We went to a lot of National Parks and as it got colder, parts or pretty much all of them were closed.
Top 5 Experiences
Anyone reading this, please leave a comment with some new ideas of amazing places to go to that would make one of these lists. My travel list is always getting longer… which is a good thing.
I boarded the plane in the wet wetness of Sri Lanka, and got off in the dry desert of Amman, Jordan. I navigated the visa/entry fee lines in the airport and toyed with the idea of buying a SIM card
After a night’s sleep in Kandy, I boarded the early morning and highly hyped train south into the Sri Lanka hill country. News was that the train was the best way to get around in the mountains, mainly because it
I landed at midday, after a little 3 hour flight. It was an unbelievably quick and cheap trip from Bangkok to Sri Lanka, which was partly the reason for choosing to go to Sri Lanka. The other reasons were that
On the craziest night bus of all time, we met two French Canadians guys on our way to the Laos (pronounced La-oh) border. We arrived early at the border and almost didn’t have enough money for the visa fees! Actually,
We flew into Hanoi and took a taxi to the hotel where we met our friends from the states! We had planned to meet up with some fellow ultimate frisbee players who had just winning Women’s College Nationals! It was
Nursing hangovers, we hopped on the bus to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. The southern Vietnamese also tend to call it Saigon and most people might know it better by that name. We have seen our fair share of large
Back when we played pick-up ultimate in Chiang Mai, we met Rachel who put us in contact with her friend Greg in Phnom Penh. He was one of the people organizing the Mekong Cup (ultimate frisbee tournament) in Phnom Penh,
We headed for the Thai Cambodia border and met some great and helpful people on the bus. We were a little nervous for this infamous border crossing, because of all the scammers at the border. So here’s the scam: you
Today marks 100 days on the road. There have been highs, lows, and middles, but looking back, even the lows are highs. I have no complaints about life. During these past 100 days, I would say we have lived more
Our first night train experience this trip turned out to be a comfy one. The Thai trains are in great shape complete with full length sleeper berths and a nice dining car. We ate some dinner and it had a
It was a record… we were in our room laying on the bed less than an hour after wheels down. We flew from Phuket in the south of Thailand to Chiang Mai in the north. Usually it takes some time
When we got to the beautiful island of Koh Phi Phi, a new face was introduced to the mix. Zak was one of our roommates from St. Louis, and was just coming off a month med school rotation in Chengdu,
We boarded the ferry at Koh Lipe and readied ourselves for the 5 hour journey north through islands in the Andaman Sea on the west coast of southern Thailand. For Maria, that meant finding a good three seats together to
After another overland border crossing, our shared minivan drops us near the Pak Bara pier and we are in Thailand, land of a million Thais. Once there, we booked a ticket on the ferry and found an agency who could
Ipoh (ee-poh) is only 2 hours north of Kuala Lumpur by bus, so the easiest thing to do is to just head to a main bus station in KL and bargain for a bus ticket. We had to make sure
Early in the morning we made our way to one of the bus stations in Singapore, we had booked a bus to Melaka in Malaysia! It was going to be our first overland border crossing… first of many I hope.
We arrived in Singapore and the tone was immediately set by the vibes in the airport. It has an amazingly nice, clean, and efficient airport, which we later found out is one of the nicest in the world. We jumped
We left Ubud and got a shared taxi to Padang Bai which would end up to be our home base for the rest of our time in Bali. Padang Bai is just a small coastal town, and most travelers who
Ubud (Oo-bood) is the cultural capital of the island and the center of arts and crafts. It’s also the town they talk about in Eat Pray Love. We were staying at the Jati Home Stay (a homestay is kinda like
Welcome to Indonesia! Now that we are traveling in SE Asia, and are going at a slower pace, I am thinking that these blog posts will be a little different. Probably shorter and a little more frequent. We’ll see how
After working everyday and generally kickin’ it back during our afternoons in Punakaiki, we decided to rent a campervan to drive around New Zealand with the time we had left. The only problem was… we figured in our heads that
I found someone who wants to adopt me. His name is Hamish, and he is a kind happy soul. We told him it was a package deal though, so really he is going to adopt Maria and I. We will
We landed at Christchurch airport in the South Island of New Zealand at 1pm. All we had booked was a hostel in Lake Wanaka and the plan was to rent a car to take us there. We soon found out
BULA! Last I left off, Maria and I were buying new backpacks at the last minute and jumping on a flight to Nadi, Fiji (pronounced Nandi). We actually went to Dick’s again on the way to the airport where Maria
13000 feet up, checkin’ out the other people around me. My heart is racing and I never would have thought I would be this excited to jump out of a plane. At 14000 feet I know I’m the first to
Welcome to the blog! This is going to be fun. But first an introduction is in order… Some of you know me as Steve, some of you know me as Schwab, some as both of those names put together (crazy!).