The section Books - Online & Offline has links to complete RTW stories.
This section contains short summaries from those who have completed RTW trips. If you have an RTW abstract that you would like added, please contact me. It should include dates, paths, costs, type of airline ticket, companion information, and whether you worked. A common question is how much you should budget for daily expenses in a country or region. Examples of costs should include some information about the level of 'luxury' or lack of it, especially in overland travel, accommodations, and food (e.g., restaurants, food stalls, buying and cooking your own, etc.). Questions that I am personally interested in:
- What inspired you to go RTW?
- What were the highlights?
- What were the lowpoints?
- Where would you return to?
- Where would you not return to?
- What big lessons did you learn?
- How did it change you?
- Where are you going next?
- What is the URL for your homepage?
- What part of the country or world do you live in?
"This is a good idea in case someone has a specific question relating to one region/country, or is traveling between certain regions. I'd suggest a chronological listing of major cities, or the country name if extensively traveled. If you've been to Guilin, China but not much else, put down China (Guilin), but if you spent a while tooling around Thailand with Peace Corp volunteers, just say Thailand." <Alan Nelson>
Marc & Karin Brosius
July 1995 - Dec 1997 ($17,000)
Our 29 months (arrows are flights): Florida --> Dallas --> Denver, San Francisco, Yosemite, Los Angeles, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia --> Australia --> New Zealand --> Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Laos, China, Pakistan, India, Nepal, India --> Netherlands --> Florida --> Caribbean --> Florida --> Caribbean --> Florida.
We came home early to see family and save up for future travel. The places we want to visit next are: Peru, The Mideast, Southern Africa, Southern India, Burma, and Eastern Indonesia.
- Fascinating people we met and different ways of life we experienced.
- Climbing glaciers.
- Alone in any rainforest, especially if there is a river flowing by, or if the forest is next to the ocean (Dominica, north Sumatra, Borneo, NW Washington State, Costa Rica, and the SW side of South Island in NZ). Riding on top of buses is wonderful in mountainous areas, especially when the sun isn't too intense. Yosemite National Park, although not a rainforest, was also very special.
- Pushkar Camel Fair, Taj Mahal, and the Golden Temple (Amritsar).
- Lots of good food.
- Bali, Nepal, and Dharamsala.
- Diving the Coral Sea and Great Barrier Reef in Australia.
- Learning Asia's geography, history, and economics, and gaining an understanding of the direction it is heading in -- glad Asia isn't so mysterious anymore.
- Having to come home, and stay home.
- Not enough time in the good places.
- Physical health limitations a few times.
Personal changes: The Big Change was the that we now know how cheaply we can live, and realize how much we need to earn to retire, instead of working open-ended and scared like the rest until we are too Old. No big changes otherwise -- we left with enough maturity and set philosphical values, so we just became more focused in the things we like, such as travel writing and playing with computers, besides thinking about more travel! Concentrating on good friends, and not letting others waste our lives away. We are more tolerant of others, and we even need less in life to get by -- mainly food. We aren't so easily impressed or excited anymore!
For the full story, visit our "Sporadic Dispatches" at PerpetualTravel.com/travel
Eberhard & Catherine Brunner
Jun 1991 - Dec 1991 ($12,000)
USA (San Francisco) - USA (Los Angeles) - Tahiti - Cook Islands - Fiji - New Zealand (Auckland to Christchurch) - Australia (Sydney to Darwin up the East Coast and then to Northern Territories) - Indonesia (Bali, Java) - Singapore - Malaysia (West Coast of Malay Peninsula) - Thailand (up to Bangkok, then North East) - Austria (Vienna) - Germany (Munich)
- The friendliness of most people we met in all the various countries.
- Albert's Plantation Hideaway on Kandavu in Fiji (No electricity, cars. Excellent food and diving/snorkeling
- NEW ZEALAND!!!
- A cloudless day at Milford Sound, New Zealand
- All the colorful birds in Australia
- A government resthouse outside of Taiping, Malaysia (Bukit Larut); the most spectacular rain forest; monkeys jumping around behind the house; INCREDIBLE VIEW!
- Tahiti (Expensive, and, in our experience, very rude people)
- The difficulty of sometimes finding good accommodation
- Getting diarrhea on an 8-hour bus ride from Bali to Surabaya on Java. I was ready to ask the driver to stop so that I could just hang my rear into the ditch by the side of the road. I never did, so when we arrived in Surabaya, I bolted to the bathroom and wasn't seen for 1/2 hour.
- Culture/Language shock when arriving from Malaysia in Thailand; we couldn't make ourselves understood, nor read anything; after 2 days we had adjusted and loved Thailand from then on.
- A haircut in the NE of Thailand, in which misunderstandings led to my head being almost shaved
Aug 1992 - Nov 1993 (~ $7,000)
Indonesia (Bali, Java, Sumatra) - Malaysia (Penang, Kuala Lumpur) - Singapore - Indonesia (Bintan, Sumatra, Nias) - Malaysia (Penang) - Thailand - India - Nepal -India - Pakistan - China - Kazahkstan (Alma Ata) - Uzbekistan (Tashkent) - Russia (Moscow) - Lithuania - Poland - Netherlands - Belgium - France (Paris) - Spain (Barcelona, Madrid) - U.K. (London, Bristol) - Canada (Montreal)
India - $5/day
Europe - $30/day
Lawrence R. Cotter
Apr 1993 - Jun 1994
USA (California) - London - Geneva - Italy (Naples/Sorrento - Venice & vicinity) - Basel - Berlin - Czech Republic(car) - Slovakia(car) - London via Berlin - Athens - Istanbul - Athens (plus an early 1993 trip, 90 days in Mainland Greece and Western Turkey) - Nairobi - Seychelles - Bombay - Madras - Sri Lanka(car) - Kathmandu - Tibet (air & minibus tour) - Nepal (Kathmandu, Pokhara, Gorka, Nagarkot) - Thailand (Bangkok) - Cambodia (Phnom Penh, Siem Reap tour, Kompong Som) - Thailand (Central & North) - Laos (Vientiane & Luang Prabang tour) - Thailand (West Central) - Singapore - Indonesia (Java - Jakarta, Bandung, Yogyakarta) - Bali (car) - Sulawesi - Bali - Biak - USA (Maui)(car) - USA (California).
Highlights (too many to make a good list, but a few come to mind):
- Bali and making good friends with a Balinese family (dinner at their home; only foreigner present at their village temple's beautiful and elaborate Barong ceremony)
- Seychelles: very expensive but superbly beautiful
- Luang Prabang: almost untouched by the last 50+ years of war or Communism
- Nepal: the world's most beautiful country, in my view
- Tibet: flying into Lhasa and driving out
- Venice and vicinity: the city & islands; day trips by train; several memorable meals
- London: lots and lots of theatre
- Istanbul: my favorite city
- Not losing anything I carried along the way, by theft or otherwise
- Having a notebook computer & printer with me (I'm a computer junkie -- decided I didn't want withdrawal symptoms for a year)
Low Points (very few indeed, but here are some):
(13 months, relatively hugely expensive but I could have travelled far cheaper; I was moving solo at the low end of the guidebooks' 'inexpensive' hotels or nicer guest houses and usually modest restaurants, trying -- but not exactly succeeding -- to live within my retirement income.)
- Biak (not the tropical paradise I expected; good for diving, they say)
- Prague (difficulty finding a decent place to stay; otherwise superb)
- Naples (it must have been nice at the turn of the Century; I fled to the tourist ghetto in Sorrento, an excellent base for touring)
- Losing so much inbound mail (everything forwarded August-October, plus most of January and March)
- Being unable to retrieve recorded telephone messages left at home, despite early 1993 successes
- Suitcase proved too large and heavy for convenient train and bus travel (could have thrown stuff out & downsized, of course)
[Detailed cost information by country available on request; I haven't done the breakouts yet, but the basic data is all on disk, so the arithmetic can be done easily. Daily costs ran from under $40 to well over $80, depending on country and extras like rental cars or tours or air excursions not in my basic ticket.]
Alan L. Nelson
Feb 1992 - Aug 1992 ($10,500)
USA (Minnesota) - USA (Hawaii) - Philippines (Manila, Borhol, Boracay) - Hong Kong - China (Guilin) - Hong Kong - Thailand - Malaysia (Penang, Kuala Lumpur) - Indonesia (Sumatra, Java, Bali) - Thailand - Greece (Athens, island hopping) - Turkey - Cyprus - Israel (Jerusalem, Tel Aviv) - Egypt (Cairo) - Netherlands (Amsterdam) - Switzerland (Interlakken) - Hungary (Budapest) - Czechoslovakia (Prague) - Germany (Berlin) - Netherlands (Amsterdam) - UK (London, Glasgow) - USA (Minnesota)
- Mountain trekking in Turkey.
- Tooling around Thailand with Peace Corp volunteers.
- All those white, sandy beaches.
- Poverty (no, not mine!).
- Government corruption!!!!
- Those damn #$@?! phones.
Chris & Graham Finlayson
Dec 1990 - Jul 1992 (~ $7,500/year)
Our route started with London-Miami (Virgin), Miami-Lima (Equatoriana). In three months approximately, we went down the coast of Peru into Chile, as far as Puerto Mont, then back up and into Bolivia to La Paz and across Lake Titicaca to Peru to get to Puno then Cuzco to hike the Inca trail to Machu Pichu. We then flew across Peru to get back to Lima for our return flight to Miami. Miami-Mexico City (Pan Am (!!)), overland to San Diego, brief excursion to San Francisco and back to LA (cheap US flights -- cannot remember the airline), LA-Tahiti, Tahiti-Rarotonga, Rarotonga-Fiji, Fiji-Auckland, and Auckland-Sydney (all those on "one" ticket with Air New Zealand -- took us about three-four months to get from LA-Australia!), and then stuff in Australia, Darwin-Timor (Merpati), overland/ship to Jakarta and then the unfortunate circumstances took us straight back to Britain (via Singapore and Bombay with Singapore airlines!).
The highlights were Peru, Indonesia and Fiji. Probably the treks in Bolivia, near La Paz, and the Inca trail to Macchu Pichu were the best. But then there was also the diving in Taveuni, Fiji and off Flores in Indonesia. And the food in Indonesia was superb. A day sailing off the Bay of Islands in New Zealand also stands out. And some relaxation time we spent on Gili Air near Lombok, Indonesia was just like being in paradise. A day we spent on a bus over the altiplano between Arica, Chile and La Paz, Bolivia is memorable but not entirely for good reasons! The Atacama Desert in Chile was fascinating…
The low points were the day my passport got stolen in Chile, and the time spent trying to get that replaced (being as we were over a 1000km from the nearest consulate, let alone embassy!); and then when my husband got malaria in Indonesia, we went through some scary days.
Japan (Osaka, Kyoto, Hiroshima, Tokyo) - China (Yangtze River Cruise, Xi'an, Beijing) - Hong Kong - Nepal - Tibet - India (Delhi, Agra, Dharamsala) - Jordan (Amman, Dead Sea, Petra) - Israel (Jerusalem, Sea of Galilea) - Lebanon (Beirut, Aanjar, Baalbek) - Egypt (Cairo, Nile Cruise, Karnak, Luxor, Aswan) - Greece (Greek Island Cruise, Athens, Mykonos, Rhodes, Ephesus (Turkey), Meteora, Delphi) - Italy (Rome, Pompeii) - Germany (Frankfurt, Göttingen, Stuttgart, Berlin) - Liechtenstein - France (Paris, Lyon, Toulouse) - Spain (Barcelona) - Benelux Region (Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg) - London - California (home)
- Great Wall at Simitai. When I got to the top the sun was setting over the mountains and I could see the wall stretch into the horizon for miles and miles like a serpent. I'd have to say that the view alone and that one day on the wall was worth the entire trip to China.
- Tibet and the flight from Kathmandu to Lhasa on which we could see Mt. Everest and the entire Himilayan mountain range.
- Taj Mahal - no explanation necessary though India is certainly the most challenging country I've ever visited.
- Nepal - I did a 4-day trek out of Pokhara through the lower foothills of the Himilayas. It was one of the most eye-opening experiences of my life as we hiked through remote villages that hadn't changed much in the past 100 years.
- Rose City of Petra in southern Jordan
- Pyramids at Giza - again, no explanation necessary. They were certainly much larger than I had envisioned them, and you even could go inside of them. However, being a claustrophobe, I didn't spend too long inside!
- The friendly and warm attitudes of the people in nearly every country I visited, especially Lebanon and Jordan.
- The scam artists all over Asia and the Middle East and all the people who begged you for baksheesh
- Running out of money!
- Too little time
Biggest Lesson Learned:
Probably I learned this one from my hellish train ride from New Delhi down to Agra. I could write an entire book just on that experience alone! I rode for 3 1/2 hours in ordinary class and thought, at the time, it was a living hell. But I soon realized that my 3 1/2 hour living hell was a daily reality for 1 billion people. And that's something I never could have learned from any travelogue or book. It was something I had to learn and see for myself.
It has certainly given me a much better appreciation for life here in the States and has made the world seem like a much smaller, less daunting place.
Wish List Of Places To Visit:
St. Peterburg, S. Africa, Iran, Cuba, North Korea, Easter Island, Macchu Picchu, Patagonia, Antarctica, Cambodia, Bhutan
Country Days Average Daily Expense for the two of us in
US$ (food, lodging, public transportation)
Fiji 7 (restaurants) New Zealand 20 43.00 (12 cities - cooking) Australia 54 62.68 (7 cities - cooking) Hong Kong 7 54.29 (restaurants) Singapore 9 63.33 (restaurants) Malaysia 9 37.77 (Kuala Lumpur, Penang - restaurants) Thailand
28 34.33 (restaurants) middle/Bangkok 5 34.33 (restaurants) north/trekking 5 (restaurants/trek meals free) Nepal 8 29.63 (Kathmandu, Pokhara - restaurants) India 5 42.30 (Delhi, Agra - restaurants) Great Britain 26 65.38 (restaurants in London, cooking elsewhere) Greece 21 (Athens, 3 islands - restaurants) Ireland 4 54.29 (Dublin - cooking) Northern Ireland 3 58.52 (Belfast - cooking) France 10 43.21 (Paris - stayed with friends) Switzerland 3 78.44 (Berne, Interlaken - cooking) Italy 5 79.14 (Rome, Venice - restaurants) Austria 6 53.52 (Vienna, Salzburg - restaurants) Germany 5 107.72 (Munich, Berlin - restaurants) Czechoslovakia 4 31.84 (Prague - restaurants) Poland 7 33.04 (Krakow, Warsaw - restaurants) Sweden 12 41.81 (Malmo, Stockholm - stayed with friends) Netherlands 3 70.04 (Amsterdam - restaurants) Belgium 1 162.37 (Brussels - splurged, our last city) TOTAL 264 ???
"Restaurants" implies any food we didn't cook, including food stalls and hostels that served food for a small fee. Europe was about 2-3 times more expensive than Asia. We usually spent about $30 day (for the two of us) in Asia whereas we had to really work at staying around $60/day in Europe. Visit our Around-the-World Journal at http://FarOffLands.com/
Craig and Sue Clauer
July 1997 - July 1998 ($21,000)
First half: Vancouver (Canada), London, Copenhagen, Stockholm, Helsinki, Estonia, St. Petersburg, Moscow, Ukraine, Turkey (Istanbul, Troy, Ankara, Goreme, Nemrut Dagi, South coast, West coast), Egypt (Cairo, Siwa, Luxor, Dahab), Jordan, Israel.
Second half: Thailand (Bangkok, Hill Tribes, Koh Chang, Krabi), Laos, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia for 3-1/2 months (Sumatra, Java, Kalimantan, Sulawesi, Nusa Tengara, Bali)
- Our incredible luck -- by total fluke, we managed to see the Water Festival in Stockholm, Spilt Blood Church in St. Petersburg (opened 4 days before we arrived, after 30 years of restoration), 850th Anniversary of Moscow, saw Boris Yeltsin on the streets of Moscow, Hindu Thaipusam Festival in Penang, were in Indonesia when Suharto resigned, saw Indonesian President Habibie on the streets of Bali.
- Many friends met along the way.
- The cities of Istanbul and Stockholm.
- Crossing the Black Sea from Odessa, Ukraine to Istanbul, our boat sailed up the Bosporus as the sun rose and we listened to the Muslim call to prayer for the first time.
- Nemrut Dagi mountain in central Turkey.
- Seeing the pyramids for the first time -- I almost cried.
- Eating Pad Thai from night market stalls all over Thailand.
- Laos -- incredible people, food, temples and views (oh yeah, and strange-coloured chickens).
- Bamboo beach huts in Asia, where the sound of waves lull you to sleep and there is amazing snorkeling/diving just off the beach.
- Funeral in Rantepao, Sulawesi.
Letdowns & Drawbacks:
- Back home for 7 months now and I still miss travelling terribly.
- Scams and con-artists all over Asia and the Middle East. You can never let your guard down, and sometimes that means that you miss out on amazing experiences.
- The stress that we added to our families lives by being in Egypt when 70 tourists were shot in Luxor, and when we were in Indonesia during the May '98 riots (though we NEVER felt in danger ourselves).
- 29-hour bus rides in rural Indonesia (with stuffed buses, chickens and people throwing up everywhere).
- Watching a buffalo get slaughtered at the funeral in Rantepao, Sulawesi.
This was the experience of a lifetime.I think that I'm beginning to totally bore my friends at home with travel stories.Has it changed me? Yes! I've realized that the world is a small place and that has made it so much more interesting. Every event is suddenly so much more relevant to me personally. I'm much more open to new experiences, tastes. In fact, I search them out. And in the meantime, I'm planning the next trip.
- Travelling with someone else is much better than travelling alone. It means that when you finally get home, you'll have someone to share all those stories with. Craig and I never get bored of reminiscing.
- Always carry food and water on any bus/train trip. You never really know when you'll get to your destination and you might get hungry before then.
- Blow-up travel pillows make bus trips so much more comfortable.
- Travel light, but carry a guitar (helped us make tons of friends in Indonesia). Learn a few words of the local language.
- There are bank machines everywhere (except Ukraine, Estonia and Laos).
- Travel to countries experiencing currency declines (we could afford to travel for 4 months longer than expected).
Oct 1968 - Aug 1971
Belgium - Germany - Austria - Yugoslavia - Bulgaria - Turkey - Iran - Afghanistan - Pakistan - India - Nepal - India * Burma * Thailand
Laos - Cambodia - Thailand - Malaysia - Singapore - Sarawak - Kalimantan (Indonesian Borneo) - Java - Bali * Timor - Portuguese Timor * Australia(work) *
* New Zealand * Fiji * New Hebrides * New Caledonia * Australia(work) *
* Portuguese Timor (now East Timor) * Bali - Java - Singapore - Malaysia - Thailand * Hong Kong - Macao * Taiwan * Ryukus (Okinawa) * Japan * Korea * Japan * Hong Kong * Thailand * India - Nepal - Kashmir * Afghanistan * Iran * Israel * Turkey * Home.
- denotes surface travel
* denotes air travel
- Crossing the channel at the beginning of the adventure.
- Each new border crossed.
- Arriving in Istanbul -- the start of the overland route proper.
- Kabul -- somewhere that nobody else went (unless you were a backpacker), and meeting with a rally-team practicing for the London-to-Sydney race.
- Making it to Delhi (even a dose of stomach trouble didn't ruin that one)
- Spending 10 days lazing in the December sun at Goa (before the tourists found it).
- Being the only tourists in Rangoon (very difficult visa to get in 1968).
- New Years Eve in Bangkok.
- Getting tourist visa number A1 for Indonesia -- until 1969 they were not available -- it wasn't impossible to get an entry visa, but not for tourism.
- Chinese New Year in Singapore.
- Meeting a man in Jakarta who gave a friend and me hospitality. We taught him about Youth Hostels and he liked the idea so much that he made his house into one. (Anybody who has stayed at Wisma Delima, 5 Jalan Jaksa can thank me).
- Walking the ten miles or so across the border in strong moonlight into the Portuguese part of Timor.
- Getting a lift into Darwin by the immigration officer who had just "let me in".
- Going out for a meal with a multinational crowd of fellow travellers.
- Riding a motorbike from Fukuoka to Tokyo.
- Having a customs officer in Hong Kong mistake a scuffed piece of black plastic that had fallen of my rucksack, for a lump of hashish.
- The peace and quiet of Kashmir.
- Spending a night in the Mandarin Hotel in Bangkok, at the expense of Japan Airlines due to a missed connection to Calcutta.
- Three consecutive nights sleeping rough in Yugoslavia and Bulgaria.
- Looking up an old acquaintance in Tehran to find that he had emigrated to USA only a few days before.
- Flu in Kathmandu.
- Christmas Day in Calcutta.
- Almost being refused entry to Singapore because I was hitchhiking.
- Days when nobody would stop for a hitchhiker.
- Not being able to find anywhere cheap to stay in Noumea.
- Diarrhea like you wouldn't believe in Singapore.
- Camera accessory bag stolen in Naha (Okinawa) Youth Hostel.
- Being arrested in Istanbul (return journey) and spending a night in jail for trying to use a fake student card. I ended up being stuck there for almost a month until the bureaucracy got around to returning my passport.
- Losing my luggage on the last flight home from Istanbul to London.
My return could not have been better timed. I had been involved with a national youth organisation, and it was the last night of their annual camp. All my family and friends were there so I took a train from London to Dover, where my brother met me at the station. It was the wildest coming home party anybody could have wanted -- in a large field overlooking the Channel with almost 1000 guests. Once back in Liverpool I found that things or people hadn't changed. For the last 24 years I have been a travel bore: been there, seen it, done it, photographed it, etc.
I would be delighted to hear from anybody else who did a similar trip at that time. For the whole story, visit me at "Overland to Australia"
Miriam H. Nadel
Jan 1998 - Sep 1998 ($12,000)
Los Angeles --> Nairobi (via Rome) - overland truck through Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe - a second truck looping briefly into South Africa (Kruger National Park), Botswana and back to Zimbabwe --> Namibia - South Africa - Mauritius - South Africa - by sea to St. Helena, Ascension Island, The Gambia, Teneriffe, ending up in Cardiff, Wales - Scotland - England --> U.S. (Boston - NY --> San Jose - Los Angeles). After I returned and found an apartment, I did a two-week road trip to hit four of the five states I hadn't been to.
What motivated me was just a longstanding addiction to travel. I'd been to a lot of places and gotten frustrated over never having enough time. I decided that it would definitely soften the pain of turning forty and was fortunate in being able to negotiate a nine-month leave from my job. I was really on the road 7 1/2 months (plus a two-week trip in the U.S. after I came back and found a new apartment and such).
- The month on the R.M.S. St. Helena (including a week on the island and daylong port calls on Ascension Island, in Banjul and in Santa Cruz de Tenerife). The main thing about St. Helena was that its remoteness means that tourism there is very limited and you end up going to things like the local secondary school and the radio station. On the ship (I should explain the RMS is a mail ship that calls in on the island six times a year), I met a lot of local people; the handful of other travelers tended to be more interesting than your ordinary assortment. I also got a different perspective on distance since I could have flown from Cape Town to London in ten hours or so, instead of spending a month to get there. I didn't even see any aircraft until the day we were about a mile off Dakar, Senegal.
- Namibia, especially the "dune sea" of Sossusvlei. Again, the remoteness was an attraction. And the night skies in the desert were unbelievable.
- Hogback, South Africa - a very small, charming town. I made an effort to alternate between cities and less urban areas when in South Africa and this helped give me a more balanced perspective. Cape Town is a pleasant city, for example, but there is still a certain amount of urban paranoia there.
- Edinbugh during the Festivals. I spent a lot of money on entertainment (probably about $300 over two weeks) but I rationalized it by reminding myself how little I'd spent up to then.
- The generally high standards of hostels in South Africa. I had expected I'd want a sporadic splurge but really didn't need to go anywhere pricy.
- Zanzibar was a place I'd always wanted to go to and I found it just as magical as I'd imagined. I could spend days just wandering the crumbling streets of the Stone Town.
- Not getting along well with my cookgroup partners on the first truck. In retrospect, I needed to develop more flexibility but I was still in control freak mode that early in the trip.
- Mauritius was basically a resort and I got bored after a couple of days. I was splurging at a resort, having gone there just to use up frequent flyer miles that would have otherwise expired, and I'd probably have been happier in a guest house in Port Louis, braving the local bus system.
- Rafting the Zambezi. The water was very high so the rafting was not terribly thrilling. And the climb in and out of the gorge (and the portage of one rapid) was terrible for me because I am so scared of heights.
What changed for me over the trip (and now) had to do with increased perspective. I learned a lot about my ability to handle discomfort. I had virtually no camping experience before signing up for eight weeks of camping in Africa, so I expected this, but I hadn't expected to enjoy it so much. And then, there are the lasting friendships out of it all. I've exchanged tons of email with people I met along the way and had the immense pleasure of running into a couple I'd met on the first leg of the trip completely by surprise in Santa Monica!
As for the places I still want to go: the trans-Mongolian express from Beijing to Moscow via Mongolia is high on the list. I tend to be intrigued by remote places in general (I've even been to Antarctica) so I'd love to go to Greenland and the Faroe Island. I'm considering some of the lesser known parts of the South Pacific (Mangareva, Pitcairn) and some other remote islands, especially Tristan da Cunha (which would also be an excuse to travel on the RMS St. Helena again, which calls there once a year). On the more normal scale, I'd like to go to much of South America and Central Asia and Japan.
For stories from many trips, visit Xenophilia.net