So that’s it then. We’re done. Eight months have passed in what seemed like the blink of an eye and as we write this we’re at 35,000 feet above the Atlantic aboard our nineteenth flight, our last flight, and in the final leg of our complete circumnavigation of the globe…the conclusion of our around-the-world adventure.
What a trip. It has been a truly memorable journey and an experience we will cherish forever.
We’ve seen some amazing places…
We’ve watched the sun rise over the ancient Temples of Angkor in Cambodia and watched it dip below the trees in the African bush. We’ve seen snow-topped mountains, verdant rolling hills, and white sandy beaches. We’ve been lost in the chaos that is Bangkok and Ho Chi Minh City, we’ve chilled out on deserted beaches in Thailand. We’ve visited some of the most amazing historical sites in the world and seen more World Heritage Sites than you could shake a really, really old stick at.
We’ve done some pretty cool stuff too…
In New Zealand we held on for dear life in a white water raft on Grade 5 rapids and then jumped out of a plane. We camped with dingoes on the largest sand island in the world and then wiped out learning to surf in Australia. We dined on insects in Bangkok and went on an elephant trek in Northern Thailand. In Laos we jumped into a waterfall, went tubing into an underground cave, swung into a river, and fell off of a motorbike. We had our feet cleaned by fish in Cambodia. We motorcycled along the coast from Hue to Hoi An in Vietnam and partied all night with the locals in the tiny fishing village of Mui Ne. In South Africa we went wine tasting on bicycles, tracked the big five on safari, and watched our boys compete in the World Cup Finals.
And along the way we’ve met some wonderful people…
During our trip we’ve visited over 50 places in 11 different countries. Although we were only really passing through on many occasions, we were fortunate enough to meet some amazing people. Like Pop (P-O-P as he would say) the 8-year-old street bookseller from Cambodia who goes to school in the morning and then sells books in the afternoon to help make money for his family. He had the biggest smile you’ve ever seen, a great little personality, and he could teach you more about world geography in 5 minutes than you ever learned in school! And the Vietnamese woman who, after chatting with us briefly one day, invited us back to her home to meet her family over some tea and coffee. We met her mother and father and some extended family over a cup of strong Vietnamese coffee and she told us how she’s trying to help put her daughter through college in Danang by selling nuts and coconut treats that she makes in the streets everyday. And then there’s the 25,000 South Africans that we danced and sang the night away with in Rustenburg to celebrate the opening match of the first ever World Cup Finals in Africa. Black, white, rich, poor all came together to celebrate the World Cup and get behind the Bafana Bafana. Magical.
Of course, the trip wouldn’t have been the same without some of our fellow travelers that we met along the way, like the slow boat crew in Laos who helped make Lee’s 31st birthday one to remember, Chris, Sarah and Shop-run Gary who we chilled out with in Southern Thailand and who inspired Lee to get some new body art, the cyclists who cycled the length of Africa and then boozed their way around South Africa with us, Foxy/Moonhead/Taff/et al who made the football much more enjoyable even though our teams were terrible, and last but certainly not least are our favorite travelers – our partner’s in crime, our trip buddies, our travel companions, Kate and Lizzie, who we’ve had some brilliant times with over the last 8 months and we feel like we’ve known them forever (we mean that in a good way guys ☺)
It really has been the trip of a lifetime. We already feel incredibly lucky to have had the opportunity to do this but it will be over the coming weeks and months, maybe even years, that it starts to sink in how enriching this experience has been for both of us.