On the Road 170 days.... we blinked and we are back.


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Published: March 7th 2013EDIT THIS ENTRY

A very special placeA very special placeA very special place

Sun setting on a beautiful day.
The return from a grand journey puts one in a reflective mood, as there was so much to remember and cherish about each experience. 14 countries were visited on this global adventure.

The anticipation of the event itself was exhilarating, surpassed only by the actual travel itself. To sit and “put pen to paper” taxes the mind as thoughts skip randomly and sometimes are only loosely associated. From the moment that we tore off to the airport hoping to get on an airplane after our initial connecting flight from Dayton to New York was cancelled until the time we returned provided us with non-stop enjoyment of the surroundings and the people we had the great fortune to meet.

We work hard and we play hard. We live lives where we don’t spend a lot of money on frivolous things. Our choice is to travel. If we had children we would be sending them to college about now so we’ve decided to spend their college funds on wandering the world…….and maybe their inheritance as well.

We have many friends who use their discretionary dollars in a variety of ways. Most collect something, whether it is art, automobiles, homes and
A party of puffinsA party of puffinsA party of puffins

The Faroe Islands
the like. They have a need to discover and keep something.

When we are asked how we spend our discretionary dollars, we answer twofold; memories and refrigerator magnets. Travel allows us the opportunity to get the memories and pictures. The magnets serve as a reminder and it is always pleasant to head to the old ice box and your eyes spy a magnet which produces an instant memory of a good time in our lives.

Our favorite thing about travel is the people. We both love talking to strangers and are not shy about starting conversations. We love talking with local people about their lifestyle, work, music, religion and politics. We’ve learned a great deal and had many hours of conversation. We also thoroughly enjoy other travelers that we meet along the way. We love hearing their experiences and point of view on all manner of things.

Our wanderlust rejuvenates our soul. It puts the good of the human spirit back into the forefront of our consciousness, where it reminds of all that is good in the world. The interactions we have on our journeys prove time and again that almost all people are good
Eqi GlacierEqi GlacierEqi Glacier

Go see it before global warming destroys it.
and absolutely want to help others whenever they can, some in the most subtle yet powerful ways.

It is wonderful to see quaint villages and major cities around the world. From a small town on the northern coast of Iceland, or a lake in Burma to the bustling and vibrant streets of Berlin, the sights are delightful. It is wonderful to take in a few of the world’s well-known sites like Mt. Everest, or find an out-of-the-way coffee shop in Copenhagen as each has it’s own special vibe.

For us, life and travel is all about the conversation, whether with locals at Oktoberfest in Munich or ex-pats in the Philippines.

Our adventure began when we left our home in California, traveled across the U.S. to Ohio to visit with family and on to locations around the world. We left our beautiful surroundings in Marin County California and headed east some 2000 miles to Ohio, where MJ’s sister lives. Along the way, we traversed a good chunk of highway, which lead us through Nevada, Utah, Wyoming and Colorado, where we had the good fortune to hook up with two experienced Travel Bloggers. We enjoyed brief visits with Mike
Binkley BrothersBinkley BrothersBinkley Brothers

Oktoberfest 2012!!
in Boulder, Colorado and Bob & Linda in ………Colorado. Chuck and Martha also made us feel incredibly welcome in their home near St. Louis, Missouri. It was a great journey through the dry heartland of America.




Greenland




A trip to Greenland makes you feel as if you have truly been to the end of the world. It feels a bit isolated and allows you to really get away and see the beauty our world has to offer.

We’ve had many experiences on this trip but one of our favorites was the night we spent at the Eqi Glacier. We approached the glacier as part of a five-hour boat excursion from Illusiat. It was a glorious and constantly calving glacier that captured our complete attention from the time we arrived until the time we departed. Staying at the Mt. Eqi camp, we literally had a front row seat of this ice marvel and never tired of looking at it.

Our time in Greenland was enhanced by meeting Tom and Susanne from Copenhagen.

If you want to work in another country you may want to check out Greenland. There were many
I must drinkI must drinkI must drink

to deal with the Binkley Boys
non-locals working in the area and we spoke to them about why they chose to work in Greenland. We do not know the difficulty of obtaining the jobs but you may want to check it out.


Iceland




A land like no other. Breath taking and now one of our favorites.

This volcanic wonder is a delight for the eyes as the scenery here is so fascinatingly unique. The Golden Circle is the one that most tourist take. More adventurous explore the “Ring Road” but the northwestern part of this island nation is the road less traveled and provides some additional stunning vistas. There are so many beautiful waterfalls that most do not even have names. Once you’ve seen them, you find yourself unimpressed with many waterfalls in other countries.

The people are incredibly friendly and bilingual as even the Danish people we met said that Icelandic was a difficult language. The moment you started to speak in English to an Iclelander, they flawlessly moved to English.

We can recommend a guide who will fill your head with stories of local history, Vikings, trolls and folklore.


The Faroe

The Craggy CoastThe Craggy CoastThe Craggy Coast

Fantastic Faroe Islands
Islands


Another land of Danish origin as well as another very unique place. The weather here is iffy even during the summer months due to the Gulfstream, but it is green, lush and full of birds and waterfowl.

A birder paradise. The craggy cliffs amazing.

We came for the Puffins and even though we were late for the season, we still had a most memorable encounter with these colorful winged creatures. On one of the easterly islands, we hiked after sunset to find the Storm Petrel and got to hang out with an ornithologist whose real specialty is lice. He provided us with a fun and fact-filled evening of birding, as this species swoops out of the small caves after dark. He set up what appeared to be like a badmitton net to catch the bird, tag it and allow us a look as well. Another interesting fact is that although the Faroes are technically part of Denmark and the Faroese kroner and the Danish kroner have the same value, but you have to change the money on arrival to Denmark, as most merchants don’t accept it.


The Shetland Islands




When we visited Scotland in 2006, we realized we had some unfinished business in this part of the world. The Outer Hebrides and the Shetlands were still on our list of places we wanted to see. The time seemed right and so we flew from Reykjavik to Glasgow to Sumburgh Head, which is a full 25 miles south of Lerwick and one of the few places to land aircraft of any kind in these islands.

Originally settled by the Scandanavians, these islands seem more “old Scottish” and keep the traditions alive with their music, which always includes the fiddle. Even the long days of summer don’t allow for warm temperatures. We were caught a few times in some sideways rain due to the accompanying wind. The wind swept terrain keeps trees from growing, but the island is beautiful just the same.

We also got to see the diminutive Shetland ponies up close along with more birds.

We loved listening to local music which included the Shetland Fiddlers.


Denmark (Copenhagen)




We had but five days here, as we needed to get to Berlin to secure a visa to Myanmar. We found it
CopenhagenCopenhagenCopenhagen

A lovely city
be a nice city, surrounded by water and much to our surprise, very close to Sweden. The city is steeped in history and prides itself on its ability to accept the many immigrants over the decades. We toured the old city and found it to be very accessible. We also had the good fortune to meet up with Thomas and Susanne, who we met while in Greenland and who live here. They invited us to partake in a traditional Danish meal at their apartment. We thoroughly enjoyed our time with them, both in Greenland and Copenhagen.


Germany




We loved Germany and wondered to ourselves why we had not visited sooner.

Berlin was a great town and if we were going to live abroad this is certainly a city for consideration. We loved everything about Berlin. It is a vibrant city that has completely transformed itself since the fall of Communism. It is one of the easiest cities to get around in due to stellar public transport.

We came to Munich for one reason. Oktoberfest is a party waiting to happen and each year it most certainly does happen. We were not surprised by the outrageous numbers of youth attempting to see how much beer they could imbibe…and expel in a short period of time. What we were happy to find is that they represent a small number of the people who attend this event. The greatest numbers of people were of German heritage coming together with friends and family to celebrate rituals, customs, costumes and family. It was a pleasure meeting so many wonderful people. As if that was not enough, Dave’s brother flew in just for the occasion! Binkleys drinking beer…..what a surprise!

We will certainly go back and spend a few more days in Bavaria.


Nepal




When we first started the conversation about Nepal, the reason was is that it was a destination literally pulled out of a hat. We were trying to decide in 2009 where to take a vacation in 2012. Long story short, we each put the name of five countries on slips of paper and had our friends pull the names out of the hat, one at a time. Nepal won.

We were quite excited about Nepal and indeed, found it quite beautiful. Katmandu was an incredible disappointment,
The Tiger's NestThe Tiger's NestThe Tiger's Nest

The beauty of Bhutan
due to the torn up streets and general filth. This was offset by the gorgeous mountains, including Everest, which we saw up close from a plane ride. While in Nepal, we saw the birthplace of Buddha and also some abject poverty.


Bhutan




This nation turned out to be a very pleasant surprise. We really did not know much about this small and mountainous land, but ended up loving our time there and learning about “gross national happiness.”

The Bhutan government restricts travel so as not to overrun their country like Nepal. You need to book your trip through an approved travel company and have to spend $250 per person, per day while there. This certainly eliminates a lot of potential guests. For your money, it is all-inclusive except for alcohol and souvenirs. You get a guide and a driver as well.

The strategy works well and helps to employ many people. Our time there also included a trip to the Tiger’s Nest, which is well worth the time and energy to ascend (and descend) a rather steep trail which leads to a temple with an incredible view.


No Tibet



Our original plan was to visit Tibet on this journey but due to changes in regulations by the Chinese government that portion of the trip had to be changed. We hope to visit there some day but who knows what the future holds.


India




We found it interesting that two of the hotels we stayed in while in India had fences around the properties and guards at the front gate. As you enter they would stop the vehicle you were driving or riding in and you were expected to prove that you were staying there or had a reservation. The guard would open the trunk to inspect, we assume for bombs or something unsavory. The guard walked around the vehicle haphazardly holding a mirror under the car, again we assume looking for bombs.

We can honestly say that we did not think this would protect us if evil lurked.

Someone has decided that this “safety” measure would make people feel more secure. I guess the U.S. does that when they make you take your shoes off in the airport. I’m not sure that has saved any lives but we continue to take the shoes off.

For those of you who have not seen the Taj Mahal we highly recommend taking a look as it is jaw-droppingly amazing.

Many say and we agree that India may be one of the dirtiest countries in the world but that does not decrease the charm of this country. Lovely people and well worth a visit.


Burma




Reading the travel magazines gave us the impression that Burma (Myanmar) was one of the hot places to visit at the current time. We felt pretty good about this as we almost went there in 2007, bowing out at the very last moment due to political unrest. We vowed to try again and this was our time. And we were not disappointed.

We traveled with our friend Michael, who met us in Rangon. We hired the same guide we intended to use in 2007 and spent a little over two weeks looking at temples, visiting Inle Lake, hiking in the mountains and experiencing three (or more) earthquakes while in Mandalay. The shaking earth was a little unnerving, especially to our guide and driver, who spent one night sleeping in the van.
Travel introduces tasty treatsTravel introduces tasty treatsTravel introduces tasty treats

Red Snapper in the Faroe Islands
Seems they didn’t like the thought of the hotel they were in collapsing.

Our recommendation is that you travel here soon, before it is overrun by tourists, as the current infrastructure has trouble meeting the needs of all the current visitors. Prices are rising and soon it may not be affordable for some.


Kuala Lumpur




In 2007, we took an around the world trip and one of our favorite stops was the Pacific Regency Hotel in Kuala Lumpur. It was one of the upgrades on our last trip. When planning the trip we decided, “since we were in the neighborhood” we’d like to go back. We didn’t write a blog about our time in KL because we barely left the hotel. KL is a fantastic city and we heartily recommend you go visit.

One of the reasons we made this stop was so we could swim in the amazing pool on the 33rd floor. We are generally lucky when traveling but not this time. The pool area had been rented out for a private party the three days we were there. They did agree to let us go up one afternoon for
TarsierTarsierTarsier

The Philippines
drinks and to take a few photos. This was one of the only disappointments we had on our trip.

Maybe another time.


Philippines





This is a gem of a destination. It is puzzling at times why more people don’t visit a place with such warm people and beautiful islands. Our purpose for going to the Philippines was to meet Lili a fellow travel blogger.

We were on the receiving end of some fabulous hospitality here, as Lili made us feel so incredibly welcome. She treated us to Manila and the surrounding area. Plus she organized two evenings where we were able to meet Tinnie and Jay Eximo. We now have several friends in those islands and hope they will come to see us in the U.S.A.

When you go into public buildings in Manila they do security checks. As we entered the mall they had a security guard who would look in your purse and or back pack. Again, we assume the intent is to make people feel safe in public places. We question whether this is making an impact but maybe.

Our time here also included
Malapascua Island SunsetMalapascua Island SunsetMalapascua Island Sunset

The magnificent Philippines
three other destinations. One of these stops was on Malapasca Island, where we dove with the thresher sharks. There are no automobiles or ATMs on this small island north of Cebu, and our beach time was quite relaxing.

Another destination was Bohol, where we stayed at a very nice resort with one of the greatest pools we’ve ever seen. It had an infinity pool, which we spent a considerable time in, as well as dining well at a near-empty resort. We also were fortunate to dodge a typhoon while here.

Palawan was our last stop, and the Royal Hotel Oberoi was a great find. Mark and Rose ensured that our stay was special. We celebrated 20 years together and they created a special meal for us. We also took a day trip to visit the underwater river north of Puerto Princesa, and enjoyed looking at the various stalagmites (check here) and formations in one of the world’s largest underground rivers.

We made friends with Martyn from the U.K. in addition to Mark and Rose. We hope our paths will cross again in the future.


Hawaii




Hawaii was chosen to be sort
Lively dancingLively dancingLively dancing

Cuba has a lot of entertainment
of a resting and re-entry point for us. We needed it, as we flew from Manila to Seoul to Honolulu and also crossed the international dateline. This makes for a very long day….literally. We spent six days on the north shore of Oahu, enjoying being back in the United States. Our condo allowed us to do some cooking, which we hadn’t been able to do for over four months. We took in a few movies and also visited Pearl Harbor, the beach at Diamond Head, the Dole Pineapple Plantation and drove the famous north shore.

From here it back to Ohio and our families, as it was Christmas time. The sudden change from tropical to winter was a bit shocking, as it felt as though it was “instantly” Christmas as we had been out of the U.S. for an extended period.


Cuba




A vibrant energetic Caribbean Island with a troubled past and hopeful future. A mere 90 miles from the U.S. coast and only a faint relationship exhist due to 50 years of politics. We have concerns about the financial well being of Cuba with the recent death of Venezuelan President Chavez as he provided a great deal of support for Cuba. Recently travel restrictions were eased for the citizens of Cuba but they still need to obtain a visa from the country they are traveling to. This may be difficult to obtain because many countries may be assuming that the traveler will not return to their Cuban homeland.

The Cuban people are lovely and we hope you will make the trip.





Travel tip # 455- Travel with Cipro for gastro-intestinal issues.


Things we learned on this trip:




There are a few travel bloggers who are true gypsies who travel and roam year after year- keeping on the move. After our 2nd around the world trip we can say without hesitation we are not those people. Moving every few days to explore a wonderful new town, village or city can wear you out.



We like having a home and roots. We enjoy living in the U.S.

We love, love, love to travel, experience new cultures and meeting new people.



Our next extended trip will be shorter in length, not more than 3
KL TowerKL TowerKL Tower

lovely at night
months.

We will rent apartments, condos or houses and stay in one location much longer. We will stay put for 2 weeks, 4 weeks or a couple of months before moving on to the next town. We will immerse ourselves in the town.



A note from Merry: I love travel and I am open to new experiences. I am a better person for trying new and different things. One piece of visiting Asia that will not be missed for me is the squatty potty. Many travelers embrace them but I never have and the older I get the less I love them. For now I say farewell to the squatty potty.



If you took the time today to read this blog we would appreciate you sending us a note or comment below. We’d love to hear from you. Thank you for following along. It was a wonderful adventure and we now look forward to reading about yours. Until we travel again…….




Additional photos below
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The Taj Mahal


7th March 2013

I love wrap up blogs...
it allows the blogger to select the highlights and share some travel philosophy. I also am not a gypsy, traveling from place to place for months on end. I prefer a 3 or 4 week trip every year. Then again, I think I could really go for the travel style of nancic123 who spend 18 months in a region renting apartments for 2-3 months in a variety of places. This way they really get to experience life. Not sure Linda would ever agree to do that, however!
7th March 2013

Hello Bob and Linda,
I agree that nancic123 is doing it the right way. We may do that in the future. I think we would enjoy it. We currently have some friends in southern France renting a house for 6 months and having a great time. Hope you liked your photo! Our 1st RTW trip was 10 months and this one was 6 months....both too long. We will give 3 months a try next time. Thanks for the comments. We hope to see you in the coming months.
7th March 2013

lovely summary of your recent trip. loved reading this, made me want to leave work, pack my bags and sneak off somewhere! i agree on a lot of things you said here. i surely hope to see you again someday :)
7th March 2013

We loved meeting you
Go on and pack those bags. Call and book a ticket... to ...? I can hear the travel gods calling you!
7th March 2013

No more squatty pottys
Couldn't agree more about the pottys. I'd like to add that i'd like to not ever experience an earthquake in a developing country as well....though i still crack up that you brought the ironing board down to the lobby as i had run down the steps with only my laptop. You were the best travel partners i've ever had.
7th March 2013

Hello dear friend,
We are so thrilled that you traveled with us and look forward to our next adventure. Growing up I always "tried" to follow the rules and those crazy people said I needed to return the ironing board soon. Guess I looked insane running down the staircase during an earthquake with an iron and ironing board. Ah, the joys of travel. We are glad you stopped to put clothes on before heading downstairs. Glad you didn't get hurt during the quake...in the shower.
7th March 2013

travel reflections are the best!
I have to go back and re-read your Cuban blogs, Cuba is looming large on our radar at the moment. Thanks for sharing your trip with us, it was very entertaining. Merry, I came across many squaties in rural Italy and Turkey too... I was quite surprised to see them outside Asia :)
7th March 2013

Reflecting moments
Hello Ren and Drew, I do hope you will read about Cuba as we had a wonderful time. If I were in your shoes it would be high on my list. What a great country and people. No problem having the squaties in Italy and Turkey...always good to be exposed to other things when travel. It allows us to appreciate what we have back home even more. It is just one of those things I will never embrace and that is ok.
7th March 2013

Why we travel
I loved your summation of why we travel - like you I love meeting new people and talking to them (hence learning another language) and also find it rejuvenating. Sometimes I think I only really feel alive when travelling! I really enjoyed reading your summary of this most recent trip. I can still remember you telling me about your upcoming trip when we were at House of Nanking just over a year ago. Time flies... Now to the planning for the next one. Hopefully our paths will cross!
7th March 2013

100's of conversations
On this trip we were fortunate enough to talk with many people we did not know. It really energizes us. I agree with your comments about how alive traveling makes us feel. And...there is always another trip.
7th March 2013

In a Rush now....
I'm reading this in a rush but can't put off saying we love having you two here! I'm sure our paths will cross again, kindred spirits we are. This is such a good summary of your RTW (wish I can do that too) that I intend to come back and read this again. Ta Ta...
7th March 2013

A life long friend and kindred spirit
Lili, we added the Philippines to the trip so we could meet you and found a good friend. You treated us like family and we know we will be together again. Kindred spirits indeed.
7th March 2013

I agree! Travel is fantastic, and meeting wonderful people like the Binkleys tops the charts! What a whirlwind trip you had...and over in a blink. Now comes the second most fantastic part, planning for the next trip. Can't wait to hear what you come up with. Cheers from Canada
7th March 2013

Planning the next trip
Planning is a fantastic part of the trip but we are now eager to do a bit of unpacking, laundry and sitting still for periods of time. We've lived out of a suitcase for many months and long for a little down time. But, I'm sure before you can imagine we will be planning that next adventure....plus we are currently living among the grapes in California.
7th March 2013

Great summary
I've been following your trip, and I can't believe six months has flown by already. A great summary on this blog, with so many worthwhile tips and lovely photos. You guys have inspired me to get up to Iceland and Greenland before too long. Thanks, and enjoy settling in back home.
7th March 2013

You must get up to Iceland and Greenland
We are thrilled that you've followed along and do hope you'll get to Iceland and Greenland soon. they are amazing countries and you will love exploring them! Definitely toward the top of our lists of favorites. We love reading your blogs and are looking forward to your next one.
7th March 2013

Back reading your blog....
Not too many people can travel as long, and in your style (which I dig). The diversity of your nearly 6 month adventure is one for the books. The cultures, climate, the peoples. But you're right, there's no sense rushing. 2weeks to a month in a single place as base sounds ideal. Yeah. I may just do that too around Southeast Asia! Thoroughly enjoyed reading, intend to share with my friends. Maybe they'd come along when I do my "immersions".
7th March 2013

Immersion theraphy
The countries we visited were diverse but that is what made it such an education. Many climates making the packing tougher but we managed. We have good friends who have rented a house in southern France and have been in one community since September. They have made friends and attend various groups meeting in the village. They are part of the family, the community and really enjoying it. I doubt you'll have any problem finding friends to go on immersions with you. Happy travels and come see us soon.
7th March 2013

Thank you!
I truly appreciate you sharing your journeys! You've allowed me to travel with you and escape for a while! when are you coming to Pittsburgh for that cup of coffee?
7th March 2013

Coming to Pittsburgh for coffee
Hello Lydia, we are certainly glad you've enjoyed us sharing our journey. We may make it to Pittsburgh in a few months so we will certainly let you know. We'd love to see you again. In your job you need a little bit of escape...ha, ha, he, he. We will be working in the Sonoma Valley area for a few months so if you find yourself out here let us know and we'll drink some wine.
7th March 2013

My favorite travelers!
You are my heroes not only for undertaking such lenghty trips but for writing about them. Thank you for taking the time to write and include the beautiful pictures.
7th March 2013

The Best Travel Agent
Hello Angeline, we may be your heroes but you are the best travel agent and certainly saved us many troubles in the Philippines and other locations. If anyone needs and expert I will send them your way. Our trip would not have been as nice without you. Hopefully, we will see you in a few months.
7th March 2013

Our travels pale into comparison to yours!
'Our wanderlust rejuvenates our soul' - your quote is so true! We feel exactly the same way. I have enjoyed reading your summary of your trip and will read the rest as time allows. Unfortunately our travels have only been at the longest a month at a time, but hopefully in the future when we retire we will have more time (and money!) to travel for longer.
7th March 2013

Time and money
When we were younger we were busy working, working, working and our travels were non-exhistant or short trips less than two weeks. Remember we are Americans and we don't get much holiday time. We really didn't do much traveling until we were a bit older. We are always jealous of the young people who had the sense to do it young. So for now our soul has been rejuvenated and it is back to work. But, our minds will continue to travel and we will follow your adventures.
7th March 2013

it was great meeting you at the Blue Lagoon in Iceland! It is such an enchanting place! Glad you had a wonderful and safe trip! Welcome home!
7th March 2013

Wow- Hello Denise,
So great hearing from you. We are thrilled to learn you've been reading along. We remember our conversation with you very well and wish we could sit with a bottle of wine and chat. Hopefully, our paths will cross again.
7th March 2013

Welcome home
Loved your recap.....if more people would travel abroad there would be less trouble in the world. They would find that most people just want to live their lives peacefully and have much to offer all of us. We just got home ourselves. The the trip was wonderful!! The highlights were the 5 day boat trip up the Mekong from south of Saigon to Phnom Penh, Cambodia, and all of Burma. We sailed up the Mekong on a junk and in some places the river or the canals that join the various arms of the river in the delta area were so narrow that you felt apart of the everyday life on shore. We stopped many times to bicycle or walk around villages or wander through markets in the towns we passed. This was our third trip to Vietnam and we have always found the people charming and eager to help. The only place we went in Cambodia this time was Phnom Penh and we spent a good part of our few days there in activities that in some way related to the "killing fields" . Very depressing to learn "up close" of the atrocities that occurred there.....it is beyond my comprehension how people can treat others that way. From there we flew to Yangon and started our Burma adventure. We had a guide, Myo, who was hands down the best local guide we have ever had anywhere. We were in Burma a little over a week and traveled to Yangon, Bagan and Mandalay. Of course, Bagan was the most memorable but Yangon and Mandalay had their high points too. Again, the people were amazingly friendly and helpful. The lacquerware and silk were lovely but we didn't have room to buy much since we were traveling with one carry on sized suitcase each. We didn't make it to Inle Lake which I hear is lovely....next time. The one thing we are always disappointed in while traveling in SE Asia is the smog which after three weeks starts affecting my throat. A small complaint about an otherwise awesome trip. Where are you thinking of settling? Maybe we'll be able to get together in the USA. Love, Sonja
7th March 2013

Hello Sonja,
I was planning to email you today and see if you were back so I'm glad to hear your trip was wonderful. We will need to get some details about sailing on the Mekong. No one can really understand or explain the Killing Fields. We will be in Sonoma Valley for a few months. Will you be coming this way? You don't need the lacquerware when you have the memories. We understand as we travel with a 20 inch suitcase and a back pack.
7th March 2013

"If we had children we would be sending them to college about now so we’ve decided to spend their college funds on wandering the world…….and maybe their inheritance as well." -- hilarious! It's always wonderful to hear insights from travelers in terms of how they choose a country, how they travel, how long they travel, and all the other many details that go into traveling. I especially loved how you didn't decide on Nepal and rather left it up to a chance picking by your friends. My favorite descriptions were of Bhutan and Nepal. I think this blog is a great example of how there is no right and wrong way to travel and how travelers change their style of travel with each trip. Loved the great connections and warmth you found amongst fellow travelers. Enjoy your rest! Can't wait for the next trip (though I think we'll probably see each other before then)~~ ;)
7th March 2013

Planning the next trip
Yes, I'm certain we'll see you before we head out on our next adventure but planning helps one get through those rainy days...oh that's right.... we live in sunny California. Guess we won't be planning any trips right away. Once we finish spending the non-existent children educational funds we will move on to their non-existent weddings. Plenty of travel in our future. We will take the education from this experience and make changes for the future travel.
7th March 2013
Bob, Linda, Dave & Merry Jo

Love the picture!
There should be a place to put pictures of TB reunions.
7th March 2013
Bob, Linda, Dave & Merry Jo

There is a forum for TB gatherings
Bob, we have a forum for the photos. I've attached the link here. The photo has been posted. Always good to have a TB gathering. http://www.travelblog.org/Topics/20789-3.html
7th March 2013

Always a pleasure;-)
as we have been traveling now for nearly 18 months it is not always easy to find time for other travel blogs, however yours was always so good that we simply could not take a look;-) Great summary and looking forward to your next adventures B&T
7th March 2013

We understand completely.
It is really tough to concentrate on other blogs while we are on the road. We read a few while we are gone but now are concentrating on reading and getting caught up.... looking forward to reading yours or re-reading them as we did read some of them along our way. Love, love, love your blogs...keep them coming.
7th March 2013

A pleasure to see
This is magnificent!
7th March 2013

Hi April,
Great to hear from you! Glad you enjoyed the blog and sent a message. Hopefully, we can get together next time we are in Ohio. Will you be coming back out here for another visit?
8th March 2013

Traveling troopers!
You two really had incredible stamina to visit so many exotic, places in just six months--travel troopers, indeed! I love your traveling style with tours, guides, restaurant visits and $250/day places like Bhutan--I lived the high life vicariously through you--thanks for the wonderful gift! I also so admired how you keep up on your blogs even though you were moving pretty fast--true Travel Bloggers! And are you going to become permanent Californians? Excellent choice!
8th March 2013

A variety of budgets
We did indeed splurge on Bhutan but many other locations were very reasonable. We each write a couple of paragraphs each night so it is easy to keep up. We will slow down and be more Tara like on future adventures. We are longing for a slower pace. We long to rent an apartment someplace for a month.
8th March 2013

Breakfast in LAX on the 9th April??
I know, it's too easy! I love your blog, specially the questions you put in place in the begining and the end. I have many answers to my own questions....and than...many answers I simply don't have. Funny you wrote about 170 days...just been back after 120++ days home...and as usual, I found out only a week ago it was already 120 days. Travelling is like the London tube map...it's simply a question of perception...for some it's two stops on the tube...for others it's just jumping above an ocean. At the end of the day, it's all about people....travelling is about people....those we travel with...and those we meet on the way! I always said....Asia is my home, the world is my garden...for these 18 months...we are gardening a lot! Big hi from Leslie and Tiffany...being back to school in Buenos Aires for just over a week for them means sleep-overs and birthday parties...that's there world too. Hope to see you soon....somewhere on our little planet...and yes, Bhutan is still very high on my list!!
9th March 2013

Hello Peter
Good hearing from you. Send our best to Leslie and Tiffany. We are now located in Sonoma wine country. Maybe you will head this way. Yes, you must add Bhutan to your list. Hope to see you soon.
9th March 2013

Touche!
We totally agree with all that! We have been fortunate in life. We have a lovely home in the forest we can\'t leave for too long these days. We did rent it to the US airforce for three years whilst we travelled Europe and North America by RV when we retired. But it is the memories and learning that are valued along with the friends we collect on the way that make travel so important to us. We\'re presently in Shimla up in the Himalayan foothills - and well behind with the blogs! Home in Suffolk UK in just one week for a rest too! David and Janice
9th March 2013

We've enjoyed your impressions
You have a great writing style that grabs and holds interest. WE are ready to be rooted again.
12th March 2013

What a wonderful gift!
Hi David and Merry Jo, Thank you for sharing all the fabulous pictures and stories of your travels. It was better than reading a best-selling novel! I wish you the best in the next adventure you have. Cousin Trish
12th March 2013

Glad you enjoyed our travels.
Great to hear from you and thank you for the kind words. Dave and MJ
13th March 2013

Memories and refrigerator magnets
I love the comment about traveling to collect memories and refrigerator magnets. Guess I didn't even realize that you collect magnets as well...I have a bunch of them on my fridge and get a new one every time I travel somewhere new. It kind of drives Pete crazy, though, I think :) Bet you have a whole lot more than I do (even though I do have a lot)!
13th March 2013

How can you tell it drives him crazy?
Hey Lauren, we don't know Pete well yet but suspect the craziness cannot be blamed on your refrigerator magnets. :) Hopefully, he will embrace the collection. Hopefully, you will come out to wine country to visit us. We can give you a list of things to see.
20th March 2013

Reflections
It's great to look back and let all the experiences sink in - I look back regularly at my journal of my 6 month trip 2 years ago- sometimes in amazement at what i did. Next time if you want more of a home base why not try home or hospitality exchange - I have found it a great way to travel and meet people and as you say you can immerse yourself in a town or region....I have been doing it for more than 20 years. Hope to see you soon on my trip to US. Cheers Lynne
20th March 2013

Agreed, that is a good idea
We did use homeaway and airbnb for some of our stays. It was nice. Next time we will use them more often.
21st March 2013

I love your post
I was just too attracted with ur wrap-up post and amazed at the destinations and journeys taken. Inspires me to do more of such in the future as well :) Enjoy ur next RTW travel!
21st March 2013

Hello Teo,
So great to hear from you. We are glad you enjoyed our summary. We had a wonderful trip. It is difficult to get back into our routines but we are so happy to be cooking again. I do hope you will continue to travel and blog. We truly enjoy reading your adventures. It gives us something to think about while we are back here working. We really enjoyed your Austria blog. We hope to get there soon. Please keep in touch.
29th March 2013

Reflections of a Grand Journey
Discretionary dollars for making memories. Sounds like my philosophy for travelling, though instead of purchasing refrigerator magnets, I purchase small souvenirs, yet in each of them lies a large story. Loved this blog and your approach to travel, hope to meet you on the road one day.
29th March 2013

Thanks Shane
We are glad you enjoyed the blog. That means a lot to us. We are fortunate to get to travel. We get even greater joy out of our travel because of all the people we meet and talk with. Being comfortable talking with strangers has helped us with this. Another day, another land. Yes, we hope our paths cross as we would love to meet you.
2nd April 2013
USS Missouri

thetaxidriversguidetosanfrancisco.com A taxidrivers blog
Interesting ship but what ship is it and where is it docked
4th April 2013

Wow !
It was a great pleasure to read all the blogs one after another.
14th April 2013

Time Does Fly!
I know what you mean when you say 'we blinked and we are back'! Your travels are so incredible and the pictures - fantastic! I also know what you mean about squatty pottys. I had a meltdown the other day, not sure if it was the heat or that I really had to go. I refused to go in a squatty potty, which made even more difficult on David - poor David!
14th April 2013

Squatty Potties
I read a blog a few months back and the travel blogger had completely adjusted to the squatty potty. That will never happen to me. I love adventure, trying new things, struggling to communicate with universal language and attempting to learn new languages and customs...but I want a private bathroom in our accommodations and I'd prefer to never see another squatty potty. (plus fortunately I always take paper) Happy travels and I will keep my fingers crossed for better facilities.
14th April 2013

Squatty Potties
I read a blog a few months back and the travel blogger had completely adjusted to the squatty potty. That will never happen to me. I love adventure, trying new things, struggling to communicate with universal language and attempting to learn new languages and customs...but I want a private bathroom in our accommodations and I'd prefer to never see another squatty potty. (plus fortunately I always take paper) Happy travels and I will keep my fingers crossed for better facilities.

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