Between August 2014 and September 2015 we travelled. It was a 390 day journey around the world and back again, hitting 26 countries, most of them new to us. We slept (or spent the night) in 150 different beds and travelled a total of 145,766 kilometres – that 3.5 times around the circumference of earth.
Our primary destination was Barcelona, to watch Hayden defend his PhD. We knew this would happen before Christmas 2014, but without a definite date we embarked on a journey across Central Asia.
The first of it was well planned – a stop in Hong Kong, a 29 day jaunt through China, with a visa, accommodation, guides and transport planned. Another 49 days through Central Asia – Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Iran. Once again planned with appropriate visas, accommodation, drivers and guides.
With poor internet in a ‘closed country’ we found ourselves trying to plan the rest of it. We walked across the border from Iran to Armenia without a serious plan. By now we knew Hayden’s defence date and had made plans for a family Christmas in Iceland. The rest was fluid. Somehow we managed to explore Armenia and Georgia and finish the ‘Silk Road’ of our journey in Istanbul.
We hit Europe! With family, we celebrated Hayden’s defence and Bruce’s birthday in Barcelona. We checked out Christmas decorations in Paris and London and joined the family in Iceland at Christmas. We celebrated New Year and renewed our passports in London.
After Christmas we chilled out in Barcelona for six weeks and planned our journey to the Americas, before hitting the road again. This time to Central America where we spent a wonderful 103 days in the Dominican Republic, Cuba, Mexico, Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Guatemala. Our last stop was a beach resort in Belize. That’s when we got a call from Evan – ‘can you come home to celebrate our wedding in two weeks?’
So our touring of USA and Canada was delayed a little. But that’s the benefit of having fluid plans. We are very grateful to good friend Ian from Los Angeles who devised an itinerary for us to hit the best spots in North America.
Journey 1 was a circuit from Los Angeles as far east as Durango Colorado, then north through Salt Lake City and Yellowstone, west to Portland Oregon and then down highway 1 to Los Angeles.
Journey 2 was west to east from Seattle to Vancouver, south to the Dakotas, east to the Great Lakes, back to Canada for Montreal and Quebec and then on to New York to visit Evan & Steph in their new home in Harlem.
So here are some numbers…