Passports & Champagne

one foot in front of the other, one sip at a time

Theme by Theme Static

With the end of our trip coming up in a couple days we’ve been reflecting on what an incredible journey we have been on the last 8 months traveling around the world. We’ve been to 20 countries and explored around 85 cities and villages. This trip started as a huge dream and after a lot of hard work and planning it became a reality. When we started to plan our route we wanted to go everywhere. So we decided to each pick 5 places we each wanted to go to the most, our dream destinations. Connecting the dots on a map between these 10 spots created a rough plan of how we were going to travel around the globe. We started in Europe where we spent three months, and half of our money. Next we flew to Nepal and traveled around the country and down through India. From Goa, India we flew to Bangkok where we traveled around South East Asia, which is a backpacking paradise. Next we flew to Bali in Indonesia where we traveled for two more months exploring its many beautiful islands. Our next big leap was to Hong Kong. From there we complete the circle and fly back to the US. After 8 months on the move we’ve seen and experienced more than we could have imagined.

We drank champagne under the Eiffle tower and danced in front of the Taj Mahal. We got blessed by the Pope in Rome, and were blessed by a Hindu priest in Nepal. We marveled at Stonehenge and explored the ruins of Angkor Wat. We went to the top of the snowy French alps and scuba dived below the seas in Indonesia and Thailand with sharks and manta rays. We lived on a sailboat and cruised the French Riviera and lived aboard a dive boat in Raja Ampat Indonesia. We slept in 15 person dorm rooms, hotels, treehouses, local guest houses, fancy resorts, skyscrapers, a sailboat, bungalows on the beach and even on the occasional pirate ship. We rode an elephant in Thailand and rode a red double decker bus in London. We watched the sun rise over the Himalayan mountains and swam in the moonlight with photo luminescent plankton. Sunsets became a daily activity that never seemed to grow old. We compared the skylines of some of the biggest cities in the world, Hong Kong, Delhi, Bangkok, London and Rome. We watched orange robed monks take alms in Laos and were woken by the call to prayer sounds from a nearby mosque in Lombok. We visited churches, mosques, monasteries, temples, stupas, wats, and basilicas learning all we could about different religious cultures. We also explored different museums, palaces, castles and ruins. Although seeing the sights is always great, one of our favorite things about traveling is trying different cuisine. We have become serious food critics and have eaten some delicious dishes. We dined on Mediterranean muscles, French croissants, Italian cured meat, German pretzels, Spanish tapas, Belgian waffles, Swiss chocolate, Indian dhal masala, Thai curries, and Indonesian lobster to name a few.

Some people may assume that traveling is just an extended vacation. Even though traveling may appear that way there is often many obstacles that go along with long term traveling. Getting between destinations is always an experience in itself. Roaming around trying to find a hotel can be difficult, add a 40-50 pound pack and set the temperature to 100 degrees and suddenly it seems like it might become fatal. Just like at home you need shelter and food. Finding a place to stay seems like fun for the first few times but after a few months it simply becomes a hassle. The logistics of traveling this long are daunting, we have pushed on travel days that have suddenly become 18 hour adventures that leave you tired and questioning what the hell just happened. Days like this test the strongest of relationships. Considering the obstacles that go with backpacking around the world, as a team we made it happen. Of course we had some interesting moments and struggles but overall we cruised around this earth of ours with smiles on our faces and sandals on our feet.

The time we spent with our families during our journey was special and filled with moments we will never forget, bringing us closer together through our experiences abroad. Your support throughout our trip was amazing and we couldn’t have done it without all of you cheering us on. The main thing that made this trip truly remarkable though were the fellow travelers and locals we met along the way. We made friends from all of the world and we want to thank all of you for making this trip one of a kind. We loved all the laughs, stories and beers we shared in some of the coolest spots in the world. We truly hope that our paths cross again someday. It’s hard to imagine that this trip is coming to an end. But we are ready to stay in one place for awhile, reconnect with old friends, spend time with our family, and wrestle with our dogs. We live in such a beautiful area and are lucky to have Lake Tahoe in our backyard. If we’ve learned one thing it is that anything is possible if you only dare to dream.

Mini ice creams and free champagne. This is the only way to fly.

All of our boarding passes we needed to get home. Hong Kong to Reno.

You wouldn’t believe this is airplane food! Business class meal on Japan Airlines on our way back to the US.

Room with a view. Hong Kong.

Sky-rise apartments in Hong Kong. 

Man Mo Temple, Hong Kong

Man Mo Temple, Hong Kong

You could barely breathe inside this temple because of all the incense burning.

Large spiral incense at the Man Mo Temple, Hong Kong

Hong Kong street scene.

Enjoying the view from our boat as we cruise through Aberdeen Harbor.

Smallest shop ever? At least everything is close by. 

Hong Kong street art.