Published: February 15th 2009February 15th 2009
A Dream In Retrospect Ask us when we first conceived the idea of travelling the world and we'd be hard-pressed to pinpoint the exact moment
. We guess it was an unaddressed desire simmering just below the surface like a volcano waiting to erupt. The I'd-like-to-travel-the-world-one-day kind of feeling that hits you when you see some travel show about exotic places, exquisite cuisine and the largest this or the biggest that. And erupt it did, its effects fanning out over countries and continents and across a span of almost two years.
And now, here we are, 82 blogs, 60,000 website hits, 107,000 words, 5000 pictures and over 500 comments later, reflecting on our wild and wonderful adventure. We've travelled by plane, bus, car, tram, cable car, subway, train, taxi, pedal rickshaw, mule, elephant, motor rickshaw, motorcycle, zip line, pump boat, jeepney, all-terrain vehicle (ATV), bicycle, long tail, camel, moped, ferry, tuk tuk, songthaew, diver propulsion vehicle (DPV) and, of course, on foot.
We’ve clambered up to 3,087 meters (10,094 feet) on Pico Duarte, rappelled and bottom-slid 40 meters below in the subterranean marvels of the Sumaging Caves and went deeper still, this time underwater, to the wreck of the
Superior Producer that sits at 33 meters (107 feet) below the clear blue waters of the Caribbean Sea.
We’ve slept in five-star and minus five-star accommodation, on a beach in Crete, a tent in Tarutao, on buses, boats, trains and amidst the shifting sand dunes of the Great Thar desert. We lost a bag in India and found it again after half-an-hour; dropped a phone in a crowded New York subway, only to have somebody bring it to us. We dodged the dreaded “Delhi belly”, stepped on a nail, narrowly avoided deportation but couldn’t avoid getting stuck overnight in a broken-down bus on a jungle trail. We hand-fed a black caiman, caught a piranha and swam in the same river. We swam with a mammoth whale shark. We’ve sampled the world’s finest cuisines: parathas and kormas, paneers and samosas; roti and curried chicken, chili fish, nasi and bami, Peking duck, egg tarts, fried feta cheese, olives and tzatziki, fried fish and hot pot.
Ah! Yes! We’ve experienced many things - too much to tell - and, in retrospect, learnt many lessons along the way. We’ve truly come to realize that humanity, for the most part anyway, is just
one huge, global family whose members are willing to open up their homes and lives, to share, to counsel, guide, entertain and help.
We’ve also learnt that:
If you had to choose between a bus driver that smokes in the bus and one that is flatulent, it’s a pretty tough choice.
You can swim in rivers. You can swim in lakes. You can even swim in brownish seawater but there is no such thing as swimming in the Caribbean.
Buju Banton is in Romblon.
“No” in Chinese, Tagalog and Thai means “American dolla$”
A bus, motorbike, rickshaw or bicycle can fit many more people and items than you originally thought…Really!
When you have an old rickshaw driver you
will end up pulling the rickshaw uphill yourself.
Your nose gets compromised after many ‘smell tests’ on your ‘not-so-dirty clothes’. Don’t trust it! A better gauge is people’s reaction when you’re standing really close to them.
It is handy, wait let’s rephrase that, it is CRUCIAL to always walk with toilet paper while traveling.
Hearing a band rehearse at 4:05am is not cool.
“Songing suffuse of all knowledge. The esthetics of
fortune spring from foot measure” has something to do with an elephant, a mouse and gold.
Shanna can sleep anywhere!
There seems to be much less accidents in countries with more people and less traffic rules.
This might be a hard one to believe but…singing karaoke makes you feel like a star.
Family is an inspiration.
Laughter brings laughter.
Putting on a Sari can be hard.
That if we could collect 0.50 US cents from each reader, we’d be sitting pretty (feel free to offer).
Ants can be really big (Brownsberg).. while waterfalls can be disappointingly small..(Brownsberg).
And last but certainly not least….we’ve learned on this trip that “There is no price to high for sanity reclaimed!”
God, for innumerable blessings
Family, for support and encouragement
Friends worldwide for your companionship, comments and for rooting us on
There are more photos below