WOW. Today marks exactly six months since Alan and I packed up our little home in Christchurch, New Zealand, prepared to spend all our savings (eek!), and set off to travel through Asia. In many ways it feels like we have been gone for so long, though in other ways it feels like just yesterday that we left.
As this six month milestone whizzes by, I'm feeling reflective on whats changed in my life over the past half year. It's been an absolute whirlwind - I have learnt a lot about the world, about myself, my values, my hopes and dreams, about the kind of life I want to lead. In many ways I have gained a lot of clarity, but in other ways I'm more confused than ever.
Especially travelling in Asia where many people live on so little, it makes you question a lot about humanity, your morals and what you truly need in order to be happy. I'm not going to get into that today, though - I'll stew that one up and get all deep and meaningful on you another time!
I love a good list (who doesn't?) so I thought it might be interesting to reflect on the past six months of travel with a list of the numbers. Ready? Here we go!
Days on the road: 182 (exactly 26 weeks!)
Countries visited: 7
Beds slept in: 41
Inter-city busses: 30. Including 2 overnight busses, we've managed to avoid more than that!
Local busses: too many to count!
Scooters hired: 10
Inter-city trains: 4
Metro/subway/MRT rides: dozens!
Boat trips: 18
Arguments between Alan and I: 1,000+
Dentists visited: 1 (Alan)
Bouts of food poisoning: just 1 so far! (me)
Crickets consumed: 2 for me and 4 for Alan...yep, I'm talking about the insects!
Theme parks visited: 2 - Universal Studios in Singapore and Vinpearl Island in Vietnam.
Jandals (flip-flops) replaced: 1 pair each.
Mango smoothies consumed: A fair estimate would be 100 each...
Dollars spent: Let's just say my savings are looking a little dry...take a look at my country budget breakdowns if you want to do the maths for yourself.
Panic/stress meltdowns: Christie - approximately 1,000. Alan - zero (how is he so damn chilled out?).
Where we stayed the longest time: Koh Samui, Thailand, where we trained Muay Thai for one month.
Where we stayed the shortest time: Probolinggo, Indonesia, where we arrived at 3am in the morning to experience the Mount Bromo sunrise and left later that afternoon.
1. Canyoning in Dalat, Vietnam. And zooming down waterslides on Vinpearl Island in Vietnam. And slow mornings in Hoi An, Vietnam. Let's just say Vietnam in general, okay? I love Vietnam.
2. Attending my friends' wedding in Huangshi, China.
3. Learning the art of Muay Thai on Koh Samui, Thailand.
But also because three is far too few: Splurging at Universal Studios Singapore. Playing with puppies in Ubud, Bali. Relaxing in waterfalls on Langkawi, Malaysia. And SO many more!
1. Packing. I swear it gets worse and worse every single time.
2. Being tricked into eating dried rat (yep, rat) in Da Lat, Vietnam, only to be told afterwards what it actually was! Though admittedly, until I was told it was rat I was nodding and thinking this wouldn't be too bad mixed in with a bit of rice...
3. The biggest lowlight of them all? Realising that this can't last forever.