13 months ago we didn’t have a clear vision what lay in front of us. We knew that we wanted to travel, to explore the world and to expose ourselves to new environments and cultures. We wanted to test our resiliency in the face of foreign challenges.
Tiffany and Brian had always travelled for work and had enjoyed the diversity of experiences which new cities, states, and cultures offered. We wanted to share this enjoyment with our children and began planning a year-long world trip to leave in June 2020. We had just finished locking in 60 days of airplane flights and accomodations in South America when the COVID-19 pandemic forced changes to the plans of so many of us.
Despite this delay, we persisted in our planning. Our timing changed, our itinerary changed, we all got a year older. We chose to visit as many unique places as we could find that were available to us during the pandemic and were interesting/educational to our young Adventurers. We also took the opportunity to visit lots of friends and family around the US. We were able to visit more foreign locations and see more interesting things as 2021 became 2022.
Ultimately, we visited 16 countries on 4 continents. We visited 23 US states as well during our North American legs. There are so many eye-opening numbers related to this trip. Here are just a few;
- We slept 392 nights away from home (2 in an airport or airplane)
- We packed and unpacked our backpacks 84 times
- We flew 35,031 miles (on 10 airlines)
- We rode on 2 types of mammals (camel, horse) but not an elephant (not cool)
- We slept in houses (186 nights), hotels (114 nights), and with friends and family (61 nights)
- We also slept in unique locations such as a Marakech riad (6 nights), a Kenyan safari camp (5 nights), and a felucca sailboat (1 cold and miserable night on the Nile River)
- We camped in our own tent for 11 nights
- We rode 18,990 vehicle miles in Ole Wheezy, Jeremy Picklepants, on Dutch bicycles, in Thai songtaews, in Egyptian minivans, London black cabs, and many other unusual wheeled conveyances
- We spent 25 hours watching YouTube videos or reading operating manuals trying to use the local washing machines
- We rode 1,222 miles on high-speed and low speed trains and checked off the London, Paris, and New York Tube/Metro/Subway experiences.
- We walked 828 miles (averaging nearly 5k steps/day)
- We swam in 19 swimming pools outside the United States. The warmest was at the Sheraton in Nairobi, the coldest was in Boquete, Panama.
- We visited places with 8 different languages and 9 currencies
We had a handful of challenges to note during these 13 months as well;
- We lost 2 Kindle devices (on airplanes) and broke 1 chrome tablet
- We lost 6 teeth and had 5 visits from foreign tooth fairies such as the Raton de los Dientes. The 6th was a lost crown replaced in Minnesota.
- We had one dog bite and some mild cases of Covid-19
- We had 1 foreign MRI and 1 X-ray which resulted in a 1 costly US-based back surgery (all is well and this is money well spent, btw)
- We lost 2 cuddles (we miss you, Europa and Pix) and one minivan (thanks again for the service Ole Wheezy)
We are frankly a little amazed at how quickly we are easing back into our old/normal lives. We’re settling back into the house and today went to our hometown’s annual Ocean Festival – one we’ve been to many many times.
We had so many amazing Adventures during this trip! We are all going to need some time to reflect and decide what we liked best, where we want to go back to, what we’ll never ever do again (actually that’s easy – felucca on the Nile). We are all changed for this experience and resolved to keep traveling in shorter spurts.
One of the challenges and blessings during this time has been to keep all of you updated on a daily basis. There have been a number of days where it didn’t seem like we had enough content to create a new blog post to share. Or we were so frazzled and tired or frustrated we weren’t sure we could find the silver lining in our Adventures. In the end, however, we did create at least one post a day. Ultimately, we published 415 posts with photos, videos and key remembrances.
Now that we are home and will be returning to our “normal” daily lives, we won’t be filling your inboxes with a daily post. We may write something in the future but if you want to keep up with the 5 Adventurers you will need to text, call, or visit and please do! Thank you for your attention and encouragement during this trip. Your support has been wonderful.
Last note; Adventures can be yours too. Travel, explore, engage.