Elderly Men in Township
from "[diary=226107]" By [blogger=43882]
Well Kids, This is it!!!
Behold: 349 days in 1366 words! We also tried to narrow our favorite/best pictures down to only three pages (three pages!!??). Here is a synopsis and some final thoughts on the most amazing adventure of our lives!
We have taken 29 flights, 51 bus rides, and 42 trains, visiting 23 countries, on 4 different continents. We have travelled along the way by car, bus, train, ferry, junk boat, canoe, kayak, felucca, water taxi, bus taxi, land taxi, tuk tuk, moto, bicycle, safari van, gondola, subway, horse back, donkey back, elephant back, piggy back and good old fashioned walking. We've hitched hiked, begged for rides, bribed people and been stranded.
We've slept in dorm beds, guesthouses, pousadas, hotels, resorts, tents, boats, beach huts, ski chalets, night buses, trains and airplanes. We've had meals from street vendors, supermarkets, 711, restaurants, bakeries, deli's, campfires, gracious locals and the Euro menu at Macdonalds. We have eaten empanadas, arroz con pollo, dulce de leche, oryx kidney (they taste like urine!), ostrich meatballs, crocodile, koshari, rice pudding, falafel, souvlaki, kebabs, baklava, tarhana soup, Greek olives, spanokopita, Italian pizza, gellato, mozzerella cheese, fresh pasta, baguettes, warm croissants, raqclette,
from "[diary=285410]" By [blogger=43882]
Belgian waffles, croquettes, schnitzel, Swiss chocolate, pad thai, dragon fruit, jack fruit, red curry, jungle curry, Vietnamese spring rolls, pho, chicken satay, fried rice, too many instant noodles and umpteen hundred things that we couldn't identify!
We've had to replace our shoes, our clothes, and our camera - 2.5 times. (#%&@ !!!)
We've learned words in Portuguese, Spanish, Afrikaans, Kinyarwandan, Swahili, Arabic, Turkish, Greek, Italian, French, Dutch, Flemish, German, Thai, Khmer, Vietnamese, Bahasa, and Malay. We have paid for goods using Real, Bolivares, American Dollars, Sol, Pesos, Rand, Rwandan Francs, Shilling, Egyptian Pounds, Lira, Euros, Swiss Francs, Baht, Riel, Dong, Ringit, Singapore Dollars, and Rupiah.
We've lost a combined weight of 60 pounds. (Woot Woot!)
We have hiked up waterfalls, horse ridden volcanoes, salsa’d in the streets, swam with sea creatures, experienced an earthquake and canoed through lakes. We have snorkeled the reefs, body surfed, trekked the jungles, skied the alps, safaried the bush, learned to surf, bike riden through African countryside and balanced through terraced ride paddies. We've motor scooted the cities, kayaked the islands, bathed in mud, sailed the seas, lazed on the worlds most beautiful beaches and explored ancient cities! We gotten lost
The Gorilla Dance
from "[diary=227996]" By [blogger=43882]
too many times to count and have found ourselves in places we couldn't (and wouldn't) dream of. We've also been bailed out many a times by random strangers, most memorably the Thai farmers Kristena was convinced were drug dealers (wanting to kill her) and the French old man who rescued us when we found ourselves stranded in Vimy (France) without any transportation or a place to sleep! (Merci Monsier!)
This VS That (All A Matter Of Opinion Of Course!)
• Favorite Countries: First place tied between Turkey and Rwanda, a close second goes to Thailand
• Least Favorite Country: Greece
• Most Photographic Countries: Rwanda and Vietnam (We have soo many favorite shots!)
• Least Photographic Countries: Kenya (People: "That will be 5 Shillings"), Greece (Just because they were so miserable!)
• Cleanest Country: Singapore (Hands Down!)
• Dirtiest Country: Cambodia and Peru
• Cleanest Toilets: Singapore
• Dirtiest Toilets: Egypt and Kenya
• Cheapest Accomodation: Cambodia (average $5/night)
• Most Expensive: Switzerland (dorm room for about $80!)
• Best Food: Thailand
• Worst Food: Indonesia (Nasi Goreng, anyone?)
• Best Beer: Belgium (They deserve the award for variety and quality!)
• Worst Beer: Tusker Beer, Kenya
• Most Hardworking: Thailand, Vietnam (but not the people related to tourism industry though!)
• Least Hardworking: Greece
Egyptian Men in Temple
from "[diary=233731]" By [blogger=43882]
(“It’s not my job, I don’t know”), France (Especially in restaurants ... "Parlez Vous Francais?")
• Worst Roads: Kenya (Think "Shaken Baby" Syndrome)
• Wildest Place: Ko Phangnan, Thailand (Full Moon Party!!!)
• Most Remote Place: Ruhengeri, Rwanda and Pekanburu, Indonesia
• Tightest Security: Colombia patted us down several times (even between the boobs), America was ridiculous, even just in transit (tore apart our bags, scanned our shoes)
• Most Lax Security: Nairobi Airport (we flew out at 4am and everyone was sleeping, including security!)
• Scariest Cities: Cape Town, Nairobi, Sao Paulo
• Safest Cities: Kigali, Singapore, Bangkok
• What We Missed the Most: Our cats, cooking our own food, driving our cars, music (our music, not depressing love songs or karaoke), consistent and hot showers, proper toilets, broccoli, Kraft Dinner, Lipton's Chicken Noodle Soup, having our own home, and a variety of things to wear (as opposed to the same 5 outfits for a YEAR).
• Best Mode of Transportation: Flight from Germany to Bangkok on Qatar Airways, Bus ride from Argentina to Brazil (they served champagne and whiskey!)
• Worst Mode of Transportation: Sardine packed mini buses in SE Asia (cigarette smoke, karaoke, and people sitting on your lap!)
Most Memorable Moments
Most Memorable Animal Encounters:
Morning Coffee and Paper Read
from "[diary=281697]" By [blogger=43882]
Great White Shark Dive in South Africa, Swimming With Sea Lions in The Galapagos Islands, Elephant Training Camp in Thailand, Safari in Kenya, and Orang Utans in Singapore
Most Amazing Nature Spots: Scenic drive through countryside in Rwanda, Angel Falls in Venezuela, French Alps, Iguazu Falls in Argentina/Brazil, Ha Long Bay in Vietnam, Deserts in Egypt, and Cape of Good Hope in South Africa
Most Eye Opening Experiences: Robben Island in South Africa, Beaches of Normandy in France, Genocide Museums in Rwanda, Township in South Africa, Berlin Wall, S21 in Cambodia, Favelas in Brazil, and Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp in Germany
Most Frustrating Moments: Being ripped off in Venezuela, Robbed in Ecuador, Ridiculed by Vietnamese bus drivers in Sapa, Bombarded by vendor ladies in Kenya, Swindled by a guesthouse in Cairo, Border Crossing from Turkey to Greece, Fuming on the ferry from Greece to Italy, Mr. Sam and His Damn Lexus in Cambodia, and The Ridiculous Chinese Visa Mishap in Vietnam
Most Embarrassing Experience: "The Amsterdam Incident"
Some Final Thoughts:
Le Planet: We are destroying it!!! The level of devastation both on the land and under the water was unbelievable! We’ve seen forests cut down,
"Are Choo Looking At Me Mang?"
from "[diary=219920]" By [blogger=43882]
coral destroyed, garbage everywhere, jungles set on fire, over population and awful pollution in cities.
Customer Service: It does not exist in any other country in the world like it does in Canada!
Our Backpacks: We hate them.
Sanitation has thrown us through a loop this year. Quite often there wasn’t any soap or running water in bathrooms (most noted in countries where the norm is to wipe with your hand afterwards). We saw food left in the sun for a day or more, “washing dishes” often meant they’d be splashed with water, street vendors would sell and prepare food without washing their hands and in places where they wouldn’t have running water available for clean up.
While we’ve seen the destruction of our planet, we’ve also seen the best it has to offer. This planet is diverse and amazingly beautiful. From the oceans to the mountains to the deserts and the forests, there is no question that we take our world for granted!
When we left Canada, we thought perhaps we’d find a country we love more that maybe we’d move to one day, but instead, we’ve developed an immense appreciation for "Home." Clean
water, infrastructure, roads and traffic rules, opportunity for education, ability to drive, healthcare, “no smoking” laws … our list of why we love this country goes on!!
And finally ... we have grown up and become citizens of the world! We have learned about ourselves and about eachother; about our strengths and weaknesses, that we can compliment eachother and how to be independent. We’ve learned when to be assertive and what it really means to be patient! We’ve learned new languages, different customs, and to respect other cultures. Our way of life isn't the "only" way of life and our phrase of the year was "just because it's different doesn't mean it's wrong!" We've learned to see the beauty in a world that sometimes seems consumed with ugly, to respect diversity, to challenge those who judge, and to really believe that we can make a difference!
This trip has been a life altering adventure; one in which we've been inspired to no end! We leave you with the words of Socrates, "Let him that would move the world first move himself!" Be inspired!!!
Trevor and Kristena
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