Since I am getting asked a lot of the same questions, I thought I’d just pre-emptively answer them here:
- The German and I got along great! I was worried that non-stop, exclusive companionship would be too much for one (or both) of us, but it wasn’t a problem. We travel really well together and are similar in many ways and complimentary in the others. While we are both independent people, I can’t imagine being apart for 3 months and am already looking forward to the first time I can go visit him. (And no, we didn’t get engaged/married.)
- It’s very hard to pick a favourite stop on our trip. Lapland was a highlight – we got to experience what it’s really like to live there (thanks to our amazing hosts), and the midnight sun made it especially unique. I also loved our gorilla trek in Rwanda – being so close to a family of wild gorillas was incredible, and we learned so much about the country’s history. Melbourne felt most like “home”, with friendly people, lots of great food & drink, and evidence of creativity everywhere.
- Yes, we did get tired of traveling at times, but it was a temporary feeling. We didn’t spend every day running from one tourist attraction to another (like you would if you only had a week’s vacation). We slowed down our pace when we felt fatigued, and adjusted our itinerary to suit our mood. Staying in places for a month or longer (as opposed to just a few days or weeks), allowed us to get to know a place and settle in a bit.
- It cost far less than you think. We did have a lot of frequent flier miles which helped with moving from one continent to another, but we used budget airlines or trains to move within Europe or Asia, and then public transit for getting around within cities. Petsitting helped offset some accommodation costs and was a lot of fun! While we certainly weren’t traveling like backpackers fresh out of college, we spent a lot less money by spending a little more time researching things. Being flexible with plans helped keep costs down, and we spent our money more thoughtfully when we went out. (Protip: fancy lunches are much more affordable than fancy dinners.) We also balanced expensive locations (Europe) with cheaper ones (Southeast Asia).
- We don’t know where we are going to live/what happens in the Fall. The German is spending the summer at The Recurse Center, where he has already made a lot of new connections and the experience will likely result in new opportunities for him. I will be contracting in the Bay Area, where I have lots of friends and former colleagues doing interesting things. We do have one-way tickets to London in mid August (because that’s when his tourist visa expires), but are taking the summer to see how we feel before making any decisions.
So what happens to this blog? I am not sure just yet…. I will probably keep it going, but update it less frequently (since reading about going to work is far less interesting than adventures in foreign hospitals or hedgehog cafes).
I have really enjoyed sharing the trip with all of you, and continue to be amazed that anyone finds it interesting… thanks for indulging me!