Because I'm a teacher, I love to ask questions, so here are some questions that we all answered to sum up this big, crazy trip.
Top 5 places (countries, cities or sights) - in no particular order...
3. Chaolong, China
5. Sri Lanka
1. Chaolong, China
2. Botlierskop Game Reserve, South Africa
3. London, England
1. Great Wall of China
2. Ankgor Wat, Cambodia
3. Cefalu, Sicily
4. Prague, Czech Republic
5. Chaolong, China
3. Bahir Dar, Ethiopia
4. The Great Pyramids, Egypt
5. Barcelona, Spain
Foods you will miss most:
Stir-fry noodles in Chaolong, China
Shiro and noodles at Master Chef Restaurant in Gondar, Ethiopia
Carbonara pasta at Indy’s in Hang Dong, Thailand
Five course meal in Botlierskop, South Africa
Dora Wat in Bahir Dar, Ethiopia
Cordon Bleu in Siem Reap, Cambodia
Indy’s Fish and Chips in Hang Dong, Thailand
Bento boxes in Japan
Stir-fry noodles in Chaolong, China
Pepper Steak from the Hudad, Ethiopia
Shwarma in Jordan
Pepper steak and rice at the Hudad, Ethiopia
Gelato in Sicily
Sweet and Sour Chicken in Chaolong, China
Chicken Fried Rice in Hang Dong, Thailand
Doro Wat at Desset Lodge in Bahir Dar, Ethiopia (blows my Doro out of the water)
Spris layered juices from Bahir Dar, Ethiopia
Tredelnek from Prague, Czech Republic
Shwarma from Jordan
Coconut smoothies from Cambodia/Thailand
One thing that surprises you:
We didn’t get sick at all – not from water or food.
I never would have known all the things you need to go on a trip. I just thought clothes, electronics and money! I never knew all the things you would need to plan for. I didn’t know you had to keep planning as we moved through the trip.
That we only needed one trip to a doctor in nine months, thankfully.
How distinct each country was from the others. No country seemed like another one. They had their own special look and feel.
One thing that you learned:
How many languages there are in the world.
Not everything is as easy as it looks. Not everything goes perfectly on a trip like this, things don’t always run smoothly (like my bag being stolen or just being able to drink tap water).
The clichés are true – Ireland is really that green and the people are really that friendly.
That you need very little in your life to be content. It was something I always felt, but during this trip, I got to live it and see it first hand – all over the world.
If you could return to one of the cities we visited and live there for a year, which city would it be?
Kilmore Quay, Ireland
I could pick more than one but no one would let me. It would definitely have to be in Europe because of climate and because you are so close to many other countries to explore. So, I think I would pick Barcelona, Spain.
What is your favourite thing about travelling for this long?
Trying all the different foods
You miss a lot of hours from school.
Seeing so many world famous sites.
The variety of beautiful sights in all the countries.
What is your least favourite thing about travelling for so long?
Wearing the same clothes all the time.
Sometimes, I just felt like I wanted something from Cranbrook.
Spending time at airports.
The packing and unpacking.
Any regrets from the trip?
Giggling with Bereket at night, instead of going to sleep.
Leaving Dexter for so long. Another would be losing my patience too often, and because of that not always enjoying the moment as much as I could have.
Spending two weeks in Chiang Mai, Thailand. We should have done 3 days and taken the extra time to see southern Cambodia. As well, going to Madrid, Spain. We should have gone to Seville, Spain instead.
Would you do a big trip again? If so, where would you go?
Yes, we would travel to all the Disney parks in the world as well as all the Disney cruises.
Yes, but I would do a Grand Voyage on a cruise ship because I've done the packing and unpacking and wearing-the-same-shirts-all-the-time thing, already. I would be up for seeing the world while relaxing on a deck chair.
Definitely! I would start in Iceland and work down through South America, Antarctica and (if we had lots of cash) Australia/New Zealand. Then we’d have gone to all the continents.
What 3 shorter trips would you like to go on next?
1. World of Harry Potter in Orlando, Florida
3. A train through British Columbia to Vancouver
1. Chelsea and Jordan’s wedding in Mexico (my cousin and her fiance)
2. Vancouver – touring Purdy’s chocolate factory with my dad’s cousin and spending time with my uncle Ryan.
3. Ottawa valley – meeting all my relatives there
1. Baltic Cruise – Copenhagen, Denmark to St. Petersburg, Russia
2. Autumn New England Cruise
3. New York City
1. San Francisco
2. Universal Orlando’s World of Harry Potter /Disneyworld
3. Baltic Cruise – Copenhagen, Denmark to St. Petersburg, Russia
What’s one thing you wish you had packed?
An extra pair of earrings (the surgical steel ones).
My Calvin and Hobbes books.
I can’t think of anything I needed that I didn’t pack.
A toque and those small, stretchy gloves for everyone.
Favourite book read on the trip?
"Little Lord Fauntleroy" by Frances Hodgson Burnett
"Demon Dentist" by David Walliams
"The Son" by Jo Nesbo
This is ridiculously difficult. "A Spool of Blue Thread" by Anne Tyler was particularly good, though.
Are you happy you went on this trip? Do you think you've accomplished your goals?
Bereket: I loved the trip but one thing I wish was that we had seen the giant Gundam robot in Tokyo, Japan. We forgot all about it when we were there.
David: I'm very happy we went on the trip. I got to see places that I always wanted to see and spend time with family that I normally wouldn't have in regular life.
Michelle: I'm so happy to have gone on this trip. I wanted to see the world and see beautiful sights everyday and challenge myself to try and live with very little and we definitely did all of that! It was also great to see the kids so much more and see them grow.
God bless all of you on your journeys and travels through life,
Michelle, David, Eskedar and Bereket