A Year on The Road

A year on the road

In 4 days it will be a year since we left home. I remember the excitement of the long weeks before departure. All of the goodbyes. All of the nerves.  But we made it. And it wasn’t scary at all. It was spectacular. Amazing. Mind blowing.

I know you have been looking forward to this, these awesome facts about our last year. Well, here they are!

  • I missed being cold (just a little). Now that I’m cold all the time (Dutch summers are pretty terrible) I miss being hot.
  • I accidentally deleted all pictures we took of the Terracotta Army. And later recovered them.
  • Rice is the food we ate most. Or noodles. Or fresh mango. But I’m pretty sure it’s rice.
  • In the middle of a busy street in Xi’an, China I broke down and starting crying because China is so overwhelming. Nick comforted me with some awesome street food.
  • Coincidentally, we will definitely revisit Xi’an, just for the food of the Muslim Quarter.
  • On two separate occasions we had Chinese schoolboys audibly pleasing themselves in our dorm room. After the second time we decided to skip on dorms for a while.
  • In Cambodia we ended up in a “love hotel”. Everything was wrapped in plastic and there was a used condom behind the bed. Later, we figured out our tuktuk-driver tried to warn us, but we just didn’t get his “that is where the boy and the girl go when they are not married”.
  • I really wanted to write down everything that happened. I was constantly a month behind, hence completely missing the point of keeping a diary.
  • We wrote down all of our expenses every day, our daily budget was around $40/€30, we did not always stick to our budget. Or at all. But we did try.
  • From St. Petersburg, Russia all the way to Singapore, we didn’t fly. We used trains as much as possible, but also took some buses in Cambodia, Thailand and Malaysia.
  • I saw my first shooting star in Mongolia.
  • We have almost no pictures of us together around the world. Meaning we have to do this all again with someone to take our picture constantly. Who’s coming?
  • There are a million pictures of Nick around the world. Also a surprising amount of pictures that have Nick peeing in bushes.
  • One of the things we missed most was wearing socks.
  • I think my favorite country in the world is Mexico, I just haven’t been there yet. So for now it’s Indonesia.
  • Nick is a pretty awesome travel buddy. And boyfriend. And love of my life.
  • No, I’m not pregnant. I’M NOT PREGNANT. People asked us a million times since we got back. Nope.
  • Also, no we did not eat any bugs on a stick. Or any bugs for that matter. I did get an ant in my food once. Did not eat it though.
  • We did not go snorkeling until our second last day in Asia. I guess we’re really stubborn and don’t want to do what ‘everyone is doing’. Which makes no sense. We learned this now, another valuable lesson learned on the road.
  • There wasn’t a lot of puking and pooping. Nick was sick once, after eating a funky looking dinner in a Chinese train. And that’s it. We ate everything we could get our hands on and we drank all of our drinks with water, ate salads and fruit peeled by someone else. According to most travel guides we should have been dead by now.
  • We learned a lot. About ourselves, about us, about the world, about people.
  • There were days where I would have gladly sold my shoes for some good bread and cheese.
  • Traveling is tough. Some days suck. But at the end, it’s all more than worth it.

We don’t know what our next year will bring. We don’t even know what next week will bring. But we’re sure it will be as amazing as this one. We’ll make it as amazing as this one.

A few posts to recap what we did the last 12 months
There is inspiration in ruins –  Russia
Inspired by nature – Mongolia
Landscapes of the Transmongolian Express
The Great Wall of China: Keeping out Mongolians since 220 BC
Ha Long Bay: we needed you – Vietnam
Every day has the potential to be an amazing day – Cambodia
Could we live here – Thailand
Tea, Millipedes and the kindest man we ever met – Malaysia
Adventures in Singapore 
Snapshots of Indonesia 
Snapshots of Austria