Sunday, March 31, 2013
Saturday, March 30, 2013
Friday, March 29, 2013
Wednesday, March 27, 2013
Sunday, March 24, 2013
Friday, March 22, 2013
Thursday, March 21, 2013
Wednesday, March 20, 2013
Monday, March 18, 2013
Sunday, March 17, 2013
Friday, March 15, 2013
Surprise! It’s Photo Friday! I’m really proud of this week’s edition. This is quite the collection if I do say so myself. It’s not always the case that you take the best photos when you’re not posing for the camera. Here is some proof.
Wednesday, March 13, 2013
Sunday, March 10, 2013
Friday, March 8, 2013
Thursday, March 7, 2013
Tuesday, March 5, 2013
Sunday, March 3, 2013
Friday, March 1, 2013
By the Numbers
In the last six months we’ve:
traveled to 14 countries
76 Cities (probably a low estimate, actually)
Had 2 falls (both Lana)
Been sick 3 times (once David, twice Lana)
Been sunburned twice (one each, David badly)
2 visits to urgent care (one each)
Navigated 2 complicated and stressful immigration/visa procedures (Bolivia and Vietnam)
Taken over 16,000 pictures occupying 236 GB worth of disk space
Posted 111 blog entries, and 1500 pictures
Used up two pens while filling up five journals (80 pages each)
Rented 6 different cars (Chile, Los Angeles, New Zealand, Melbourne, Perth, and Cairns)
Suffered several gear failures: two memory cards, one card reader, two pair sunglasses (both Lana), pair of jandals, and one shirt
Along the way, we’ve learned a lot about the world, and a couple of things about ourselves. We’re still figuring out a good balance for travel speed, between breadth of experience and depth (which goes with enjoyment). It’s easy to get caught up in what you haven’t been able to see, and regretting missing the amazing things other travelers tell you about. But we have learned that traveling the world doesn’t mean that you have to see the ENTIRE world. And it’s easier to enjoy the experiences you’re having when you slow down and focus on them rather than what you’re going to do next. We’ve said this before, and we still mean it, but it’s a lesson we keep relearning as we go. Here in Vietnam we have the unplanned time and space to just play it by ear. We didn’t have a lot of preconceived “must dos” so it’s much easier to figure out what we want to do as we go along. There is still some stress involved in a wide open itinerary, but it’s much, much less than it was six months ago.
Things We Miss
We miss our friends and family. We’ve been able to video chat with our parents on a semi-regular basis (internet willing), which has been fantastic. It’s not the same as sitting down to a meal together, or playing cards, or getting Mom Hugs. The time difference has been increasingly challenging as we move further west, but we’re so lucky to be able to see them and talk to them.
This little pill:
She’s routinely held up to the camera during video chats, but apparently dogs don’t do Skype, so it’s more of a drive by. It may be true that on the internet, nobody knows you’re a dog, but dogs don’t know who you are when you’re on the internet. We need a web camera with smell. On second thought, that’s a bad idea.
We miss the incidental chatting that happens when you talk about how your weekends went. Email and IM have been great for staying in touch, but it’s not quite the same. We miss laughing with friends.
We miss exercise. We try to run as often as we can, and we walk extensively, but we’ve found it challenging to get consistent exercise. To some extent, we’re limited by our noses—we don’t want to pack manky, sweat-sodden running clothes into our bags, so we try to run right before we can do laundry, but the two don’t always line up, and even if they did, that’s not often enough.
Things That Are Still Challenging
Lana: Surprisingly enough, I find I miss some routine. I miss marathon training. I miss being able to control what I eat, and when I eat. I worked really hard to lose a significant amount of weight a few years ago, and I did that largely through being in control of my surroundings—which I no longer have. While my clothes still fit me (for now, at least), the struggle with trying to travel long term and maintain a healthy lifestyle is ongoing. Thankfully we’ve left the land of wonderful ice cream, so we should be getting better at this! I also struggle with the financial aspects of this trip—how much money we’re spending, if we’re going to have enough, if we’re getting a good deal.
David: The only significant challenge I’m finding, is trying to find ways to reduce the stress that Lana feels over the never-ending travel planning/accommodation treadmill. Otherwise, the trip is all fun, all the time.
Things That Have Surprised Us
We’re continue to be in awe of how much of tourism is actually just buying stuff.
When we changed up the design for the blog a while back, people admonished us not to worry about the blog, just go and see more/do more/enjoy more. And while we appreciate the sentiment, we’re frustrated by the limitations of sharing this experience with others. There are so many times when we see something amazing and spectacular, or small and trivial, and we wish we could point it out to someone we know. We’re always saying “XX would love this.” There are stories we have that are better told over a cup of tea than in a blog. They require hand gestures and accents. Nevertheless we enjoy keeping in contact and up to date with everyone. We’re doing our best here because we love being able to document our trip, and because (just like the postcards say) we really, really wish you were here.
Lana: There’s another thing that was unexpected, and that is that despite the fact that we’ve been together for 13 years and married for 11, I feel like we’re getting to know each other better as our travels go on. Being in sight of each other for nearly every hour of the day might be too much for some couples (and we worried a bit that it would be for us too), but it hasn’t been the case for us. We talk, we joke, we giggle. We also bicker when things aren’t going well. But then again we did that at home. In loosening the vice grips of our daily lives, work stress and house stress have melted away and we see each other better, with all that gone.
Char siew pork, and black pepper sauce chicken with noodles:
This last six months certainly hasn’t been easy, but it's been an adventure. We’re also convinced that this was the right thing for us right now, and we can’t wait to see what the next six months will hold. We hope you keep following along on our adventures!
This week’s bad photo is brought to you by the “over it” smile.
Just. Take. The photo. Already. Also making an appearance in this photo is the Look of Much
Constipation Concentration. Also we are sweaty and gross after walking all the way across the Harbor Bridge. The look on Lana’s face may also be influenced by our decision to walk back rather than take a ferry across the water to Circular Quay.
Lana’s not sure what influenced this one, except for maybe alcohol or a seizure. You’ll notice, however, that David’s expression remains exactly the same.