SIX MONTHS DOWN – Interesting Statistics to share
Well we made it to the sixth month mark. It hardly seems like it. I think about where I was six months ago – I had shingles, I was miserable and stressed trying to get everything done to leave the country. When I think of that it seems like another person.
Here we are now, our final days in the Seychelles Islands, Chapter Seven of the Grand Adventure. It’s summer now in the Northern Hemisphere, so it’s
time to head back that direction and spend some time in Europe. The months ahead are full, and I have no doubt it will be a blink of an eye before I am writing about the one year mark.
How has it been for six months you ask? Nearly perfect. There have been a few bumps. Two colds and two tummy disorders but nothing earth
shattering. Oh and one dog bite. Grrrrr.
Here are some fun statistics for you –
9 Countries (*two are airport touchdowns only); United Arab Emirates, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, Malaysia*, New Zealand, Australia*, Seychelles
20 airplane takeoffs
20 airplane landings (phew!)
15 Uber rides
12 Taxi rides
10 Tuk Tuk rides
12 Songthaew rides
16 Boat rides (including six days and five nights on board the Mekong Sun – Mekong River and one night onboard the White Cloud Halong Bay)
130 nights in 13 Airbnb’s (most expensive: Koh Samui for 4 people at $187 per night with a car and private pool. Least expensive: Hua Hin for two people for $43 per night)
13 nights in 7 hotels
27 nights in the Kiwi Karavan
3 nights on overnight flights
2 nights ‘glamping’ on the Abel Tasmin
1 night at a sheep farm
31,800 miles flown
4250 miles driven
923 miles walked (an average of 5.1 per day)
40 books read (Laureen’s list Arne probably has about the same but he isn’t tracking we mostly read the same books but not always).
150 games of Scrabble (estimate)
1 dog bite
Millions of bug bites
We went over budget in New Zealand but have been able to stay under or right on our $200 a day budget everywhere else. Asia was cheap. So even in Thailand where we spent more in lodging for four people it averaged out. Europe will be more expensive, except for Bulgaria. It’s cheap. One of our Airbnb’s in Bulgaria is only $35 per night.
When we break out our budget we are averaging per day $86 on lodging, $39 on food (both groceries and dining out) and our airfare expenses average out to about $25 per day. That’s $150 average per day for essentials. Leaving $50 per day for other stuff. This is much cheaper than our daily expenditures living in Gig Harbor.
Speaking of money – after six months we often need to stop and think what country are we in and what is the current conversion? I am constantly asking Arne to tell me how much something is, in US dollars, because I can’t seem to keep it straight in my mind. From Thai Baht to Vietnam Dong to
Seychelles Rupee it’s a continuous game of “what is the real cost of this orange?” (the answer has varied from 10 cents to 4 dollars). Here’s the rough mental conversions we used;
One Thai Baht = 3 cents
8000 Laotian Kip = $1
20,000 Vietnam Dong = $1
One New Zealand Dollar = 60 cents
One Seychelles Rupee = 15 cents
In Cambodia they use the US Dollar so that was perfect! Although strange. It’s still not clear to me why they no longer use their local currency of Riel. US dollars came out of cash machines and were excepted everywhere.
We have been to 3 countries that drive on the left side of the road (Thailand, New Zealand, Seychelles)
and 4 countries that drive on the right side (Vietnam, Laos, UAE and Cambodia). So it’s been a constant struggle to remember which way to look when crossing the street (although in Vietnam you need to look both ways all the time! They drive crazy!).
There are things I miss -well of course family and friends- but it’s the everyday conveniences that I notice. A good can opener. My French press. My cast iron skillet. Reliable wifi. A screwdriver. Solid deodorant. Ovens. Hot water in the kitchen. And definitely my bike.
Everyone asks what has been our favorite place and with all honesty we can’t say. Every place has had its pros and cons. I wasn’t a big fan of Hanoi – too crowded, noisy and busy- but it still offered interest.
I loved New Zealand – but even there we dealt with chilly weather and high prices. So the reality is, it’s all been worthwhile, interesting and amusing.
We still meet people and hear from people at home who can’t believe we are doing this. Words like brave, ballsy, adventurous. I don’t see it that way. Surely it’s not for everyone, but it is not hard, it’s very interesting, it’s exciting and relaxing at the same time.
I often think about the times in our lives when we discussed Arne changing jobs and moving our family to places like Chicago, Huntsville, Oklahoma City and even Australia. Had we made any of those choices we would have left everything behind – it’s not all that different to be out here traveling – in fact it’s easier. We have very few cares in the world, except the occasional online issues and occasional banking or credit card issues. We have no bills to pay, no house to maintain. We live cheaply and
don’t need much. It’s a very simple life. We are making memories and enjoying experiences that we find very valuable. We couldn’t be happier.
We enjoy each other’s company and don’t take that for granted – it’s the best part about the adventure.
So, time to say farewell to the Seychelles, by far the most remote destination we have been too – a little too remote in all honesty. But it was fun and quiet and beautiful. And ever so relaxing. Chapter Eight – Bulgaria, here we come. We depart on May 29th.
Note – in this blog I have chosen to include two favorite photos from each country. Wow was that hard to do!