Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Wrap up

Since I've been home from Scotland for almost three weeks now, I suppose it's about time to (finally) do a RTW trip wrap up.

It's hard to know where to begin, really, because I did, saw, and experienced SO much. I saw architecture as varied as ancient Roman ruins, La Sagrada Familia and the Blue Mosque, the Taj Mahal, and the Sydney Opera House (just a few of many, many examples). I saw the Great Barrier Reef, orangutans in the wild, Halong Bay, and more instances of Earth's natural beauty than seems possible. I met people from 44 different countries; took cooking classes in three different countries; volunteered at a school for orphans. I hiked a glacier, bungee jumped, and learned how to scuba dive. 
(One of the few places to find peace in India)

In Athens I realized that my life is a mere blink of an eye in the grand scheme of things and at the pyramids I felt that smallness again. I felt a welcome relief for large cities in Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur, but I felt a crushing homesickness in Vientiane and Melbourne.

I actually wrote out lists of all the things I saw, did, and felt over the course of my 44 weeks abroad. If anyone is interested, let me know and maybe I'll post the whole thing. 
(Diving the GBR)
What would a trip wrap up be without me sharing some of my favorite moments? Without further ado and in no particular order, here they are:
* walking the grounds of the Taj Mahal at sunrise and feeling utter peace and happiness
* whiling away the days in Muang Ngoi, Laos, doing nothing but reading in a hammock, chatting and drinking with locals, and having nightly bonfire sing-alongs on the beach
* seeing my first shark and sea turtle on dives in Indonesia and Australia, respectively
* learning that not only was I willing to try kokorec, but it's also one of my favorite things to eat
* seeing rainbows galore, literally dozens of rainbows throughout the world; you just never get tired of the surprise of seeing them :-)
* celebrating the Thai New Year in Railay
* truly getting to know local people in Cambodia, India, and Indonesia
(They're friendly in Cambodia!)
Sure, there were some moments when I was tired or annoyed or frustrated, but there were heaps of times that I will forever look back on with fondness and nostalgia and I wouldn't trade or change a single aspect of my trip. 

So what's next for me? It's to be determined, actually. Short term travel plans are as simple as a potential trip to Key West over New Year's. Long term travel plans. . .ah, my wish list of places to go grows by the week! I doubt that I'll take another trip as long as this one, but one which is one to three months in duration seems doable. I've heard really great things about Croatia, Bulgaria, Poland, Hungary, and Ukraine, plus I'd like to spend more time in Turkey and the Czech Republic, so Eastern Europe is definitely up there. I'd also like to officially relearn Spanish, so South America is up there, too (especially since it's a continent I haven't been to yet!). For now, though, I'm really enjoying just being home.


  1. We're enjoying you being home, too. Don't forget Austria. You should add that to your list. And speaking of lists... post it!