Summary, November 2016

So, we’ve been back well over a month now and it’s time to do a little review. We moved out of our house August 1, 2015 and returned September 29, 2016. 

Here’s an outline of the trip:

Drove from Philly to San Francisco in a driveway car, then from there to Vancouver in a rental car.

Took a ship (16 nights) from Vancouver, Canada to Shanghai, China, crossing the international date line and losing a full day which we would gain back one hour at a time during the year.

Took a train to Kunming, China and then busses and taxis to the Lao border. Stayed in Laos a month, then in Thailand for three months, then Myanmar about a month. 

Crossed by land into India and spent about 10 weeks there, mostly in Rajasthan. Went to Nepal for a couple of weeks and then back into China. 

Took the tran-Siberian railway from Beijing, China to Moscow, Russia with a stop in Mongolia and a few places in Russia.

Flew to Istanbul from Moscow, stayed about a week then flew to Bucharest, Romania (with a 19-hour layover in Athens, Greece). Drove and took trains from Bucharest to Croatia, took a ferry to Venice, and then trains and rental cars and a ferry west to Ireland, stopping in France and England. 

Came back east to Barcelona (ferries and trains) and took a ship 11 nights to NYC. 

Here’s the grand total, more or less:

$86,000, or $14,333 each. We had some saved, but we’re probably in debt for half that. 

How many days? 426

So that’s: $201.89 per day. Pretty awesome!

Significantly, 27 days were spent on cruise ships for about $12,000 or $444.44/day. Taking this out of the equation, we get a little over $185/day for the other 399 days of the trip. This includes health insurance (about $1800), replacing two laptops ($2000 total- ouch!) and a stolen motorbike, and all those visas- over $3000 for China, Russia and India alone. 

List of countries: USA, Canada, China, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, Myanmar, India, Nepal, Mongolia, Russia, Turkey, Greece, Romania, Croatia, Hungary, Italy, France, England, Ireland, Spain, and Portugal. Then there was Vatican City (technically its own country) and Wales (part of the U.K. with England). Places we went that are not countries despite what some may believe include Siberia and Transylvania. 

Favorite experiences: for the kids, it was the cruises, teaching in Laos, and anything with animals. They also mention Ireland and India as favorite countries. I loved so many things I can’t choose. 

Least favorite: we knew it at the time, and luckily nothing was worse, because really, things could have been so much worse! No surprise here: the overnight train ride on a wooden bench in Myanmar from Yangon to Mandalay.

Animals: we spent quality time with Bactrian camels, dromedary camels, Asian elephants, Irish thoroughbred polo horses, Indian Marwari horses, Mongolian horses, Cambodian crocodiles, Laos monkeys, several species of Indian monkeys, water buffaloes, yaks, goats, bats in Cambodia and France, newborn goats in Nepal, French standard poodles, street cows in India, small Thai fish while snorkeling, kittens in Laos and China, St. Petersburg pigeons, and countless dogs and cats and I’m probably forgetting even more!

Favorite foods: the kids were very specific and different from each other on this. From youngest to oldest: Truly- vegetables and rice at a roadside restaurant in Laos; Really- dahl fry in India: Cleverly- pasta at the pub in the mountain village of Roviano, Italy; and Fiercely- pad Thai we made in our Bangkok cooking class. 

Population Extremes: we were in one of the least densely populated countries, Mongolia with under 2 people per square km, and one of the most densely populated countries, India, with over 440 people per square km. 

I’ll end for now, happy thanksgiving!

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