We used a few quiet days at the Turkish Riviera to look back at the first six month of our trip around the world:
We crossed South America from the high Andes in Peru to the vibrant Tango beats of Buenos Aires by bus, flew over the Atlantic and traveled the South-East coast of Africa from the Cape of Good Hope to the mysterious island of Zanzibar. We enjoyed every step along the way, the great encounters we had and the inspiring people we met. We learned how to travel without worries and provoke the happy accident.
We thought we packed light but we realized that we could also do with less. However, we are happy with our equipment choices. Luckily we didn’t get robbed and only lost a few socks and a headlight.
We are experiencing the first thunderstorm of our entire trip while I am writing this post; the weather was just great for the last 6 month – and I’m actually enjoying the thunder and lightning.
Our ATM and credit cards worked fine throughout all countries – we met a lot of travelers who got temporary stranded without cash because their cards were not accepted.
One thing we learned is to maintain a daily expense report. It is not only essential to guarantee that we can travel as long as we planned but it also helps us to quickly understand the cost of living in a new country and adjust our life style. This way we were able to take advantage of an unplanned jungle trip in Bolivia and leveled the budget with little savings on a daily basis over the next month. It also helped us to enjoy the allocated budget to the fullest. The good news is: We are still slightly under budget and don’t have to cut down on the plans for the next 6 month!
During hours of wait at the airport in Zanzibar we discussed how we would measure our satisfaction with our stay in each country. We thought about a matrix including values for: accommodation, food, transportation, points of interest, human exchange, hospitality, information etc. But we realized that there is also a difference between quality and access. In most cases we can better deal with less quality than less access. We also found that openly demonstrated corruption, racism and public safety had a strong impact on our experience as did hygiene in public places (litter etc.). It will be interesting to see how our subjective overall judgment of each country will compare to the results of this matrix.