40,214 miles 64,343 kilometres!
25 flights, 11 airlines.. all on time
11 different currencies
11 Languages, some indecipherable!
A lot of amazing food, extensive use of chopsticks.
Amazing historical sights, cultural encounters and wonderful scenery and nature.
Being on Christmas Island and Cocos islands was magical.. truly in the middle of nowhere!
A few hitches with delayed luggage, lost passports etc but all were overcome with the help of kind people.
Choose your toilets wisely.
We had just 1 tummy problem and 1 insect bite between us in 12 weeks of travel, despite eating street food and in local cafes, and visiting jungles!
Careful planning, probiotics and good insect repellent pay off!
Everyone asks us these questions so we will answer them here!
Which was your favourite country?
Chris – 1. Vietnam 2. Australia 3. Sri Lanka
Anne – 1. India 2. Vietnam 3. Sri Lanka
Where would you most want to go back to?
Chris – Vietnam, Sri Lanka
Anne – India, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, and for both of us, always, Australia!
Anywhere you wouldn’t go back to?
Maldives and South Korea.. unless Menna and Jen were winning medals in the Paralympics!
Where was the food best?
Japan, Sri Lanka, India, Borneo
Best single experience
Seeing the Taj Mahal… for both of us!
Seeing Mt Fuji was a close second! Plus nature encounters like Leopard, Orang-utang, Wombat and crabs!!
We pushed our personal boundaries, visiting countries and cultures that were very different to any we had been to before.
Some places where English was a rarity and we had to use imagination in communication.
We were happy driving and navigating in some countries …but we would NEVER consider driving in others… notably Sri Lanka and India!
We were able to successfully master mapping systems, metro systems (including Tokyo), and Menus, and ate virtually everything we were offered, often without knowing what it was!
Japan has the most wonderful toilets in the world and has spoilt us forever more. If only chilly British campsite toilets had hot seats!
We never once felt threatened or unsafe.
Most people are very friendly and helpful.
Our age was not a barrier to anything we did.
Many cultures had experienced periods of violence, war and oppression. Their stories were humbling. But positivity and generosity shone through.
People are proud of their countries and what they have, however humble it may seem to us.
Often, the people with least were the most generous.
That there are many people who overcome enormous barriers in life… every one of those Paralympians deserves a Gold medal in our book!
This was a huge trip, and we know that we are very lucky. But exciting adventures can be had in your own neighbourhood. We marvelled at beautiful temples or a great view. But tiny things were equally special.
For me, the beauty of a shell, or life in a rockpool; for Chris, picking up a coconut on a beach in the Cocos islands, opening it and drinking from it like his dad had done, were really special moments.
For all of us, there are beautiful wonders and scenery within reach of our homes, we just have to make the effort to look for them and appreciate them.
We arrived home on Thursday night.
We spent Friday walking close to home on the Dorset coast path at Durlston near Swanage.
The scenery was as ‘Wow’ as anything we had seen on our trip (ok the weather was colder, but we did bring some sun with us as promised!). We also had another magical ingredient which we did not have on our trip. We were with Peter and Tracy celebrating Peter’s birthday. That made it extra special. This weekend we also get together with the whole family and close friends. No amount of travel can replace them, and we treasure them all.
Will we travel again?
Well, as Chris knows well, he married a nomad … I have planned at least 2 more trips while we were away on this one… closer to home this time, and in Boris!
But we know that the greatest treasures in this world are not things, but people and freedom.
Thank you to everyone who has followed these ramblings, supported us and been interested in what we do.
It has meant a great deal.
Now watch this space for the next trip!!
Bye for now. Anne and Chris x
All the photos in all the blogs are mine, and were taken with my phone, hence the variable quality!