BOS to HOU = 1602 miles
HOU to PTY = 1770 miles
PTY to CTG = 283 miles
CTG to BOG = 408 miles
BOG to LIM = 1170 miles
LIM to CUZ = 364 miles
CUZ to LIM =364 miles
LIM to QUI = 826 miles
QUI to HOU = 2347 miles
HOU to BOS = 1602 miles
BOS to CHI = 863 miles
CHI to AMM = 6220 miles
AMM to CAI = 295 miles
CAI to ABD =1464 miles
ABD to JNB =3892 miles
JNB to CPT =790 miles
PEL to JNB = 562 miles
JNB to BOM = 4318 miles
BOM to BKK = 1885 miles
BKK to PNP = 329 miles
SAI to HUE = 390 miles
Danang to HAN = 390 miles
HAN to BKK = 601 miles
BKK to CMA = 353 miles
CMA to BKK = 353 miles
BKK to NAR =2880 miles
NAR to HNL =3810 miles
HNK to LAX = 2550 miles
SAN to NWR = 2420 miles
NWR to BOS = 200 miles
Total Miles flown = 45,311
What we do not include here are the miles traveled by foot, car, bus, taxi, bicycle, or train. We often lamented not bringing pedometers because we definitely walked 100's of miles. People continually comment on us looking as though we did not eat on this trip - trust us, we ate and we ate a lot, but when the primary mode of transportation is by foot, a lot of calories are burned!
We also did not calculate the number of hours spent waiting in airports, that would be interesting because it's going to be a fairly high number!
Total World Heritage Sites
As we mentioned at the beginning of our journey, we planned our trip with an emphasis on World Heritage Sites as a starting point. Here is the rundown of the World Heritage Sites we visited around the world. Our best count is in Vietnam, where we saw 5 out of 7!
*Fort San Lorenzo
*Cartagena de Indias: Port, Fortresses, and Group of Monuments
*Lake Titicaca - Taquile Island (the people of the island and their culture is really the item on the list)
*City of Cuzco
*City of Quito
*Memphis and its Necropolis – the Pyramid Fields from Giza to Dahshur
*Hoi An Ancient Town
*Complex of Hue Monuments
*Central Sector of the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long (or, as we call it: Flag in Hanoi)
*Ha Long Bay
*My Son Sanctuary
*Historic City of Ayutthaya
Bodies of Water
*Dead Sea – Lowest Body of Water on Earth
*Lake Titicaca – Highest Lake on Earth
Favorite Special Treat? All of the glorious and I’m sure terribly bad for you, Cadbury chocolates in South Africa
Favorite Day or Experience? This one is virtually impossible to narrow down, but if I have to pick one day/experience, I'd have to say the day we spent with Me in Sa'Pa Vietnam. She was a very friendly and quite funny Hmong woman who lived in a small village up in the mountains. The great thing for me about this day was the fact that she met us in town early in the morning so that she could provide us a guided three hours-plus walk/hike to her home. En-route we passed through beautiful rolling hills with rice terraces on all sides, more colors of green than one could count, and snapshots of daily village life in Vietnam. We spent the rest of the day eating a home cooked lunch with freshly harvested rice and veggies, talking with her and her family, and learning more about the Hmong people than I had ever known. At the end of the day I think we both realized we had really been part of something special and it will definitely stay with me for a long time.
Favorite New Food? Eggplant and falafel pita pockets and I’m down for just about anything Thai or Vietnamese…yummy!!!
What you missed the most from home? I like a nice comfortable pillow to rest my head on at the end of the day, unfortunately, these were often tough to come by. We actually experienced many creative attempts in the pillow department, but when it comes down to it a nice pillow makes a huge difference in the quality of sleep, regardless of how tired one may be. I also missed Marie Sharps hot sauce…I still do in fact.
What you’ll miss the most from traveling? I’m not sure since three weeks after I arrived home I was already getting the travel bug again, itching to go somewhere. I will miss all of the amazing people with whom we talked, laughed, shared meals, hiked, and spent quality time. The world is an amazing place and to travel to places that pushed us even further outside of our comfort zones is humbling. There are an immense amount of incredible, amazing, and genuinely kind people in our world who always teach me something new about whom I am and why it is so important for us to take care of one another as human beings.
Something you’d prefer to forget? Absolutely nothing… Everything that I experienced, whether good or bad, became memories that I will always have with me.
Worst Hotel? Ditto with Ginnie on the New Palace Hotel in Cairo
Worst Meal? I can’t remember the name of the place, but we had a cheese pizza in Aguas Calientes, Peru. This was not only one the worst pizza I’d ever had, but also ranked right up there as one of the most terrible meals I’ve eaten in my life.
Best Meal? Another tie. The Thai red curry that I made from absolute scratch in cooking school and the Pad Thai dish in Phnom Penh, Cambodia (only $1.75 too!); oh, almost forgot, the pizza topped with fried eggplant in Banos, Ecuador…MMMMmmmm.
Best Hotel? Casapaxi in Quito and Hoang Trinh Guesthouse in Hoi An, Vietnam
Something you’ll never forget? A tie. Standing in the tombs of Saqarra and staring at the wall still etched and painted with hieroglyphics from thousands of years ago, pretty darn amazing. Second, waking before the sun to arrive at Addo Elephant Park at sunrise and then spending the day viewing some of the most amazing and beautiful creatures on Earth.
Favorite Special Treat? Lay’s Sweet Potato Chips in Peru – we went on long walks searching shops for these, they are just that good and there have been none to rival them anywhere else!
Favorite Day or Experience? All of it? No, to pick one is hard, but two things jump to mind: 1) walking with an elephant’s trunk in my hand and feeling no fear and 2) spotting my first giraffes in the game park and the excitement of that sighting
Favorite New Food? Koshary (from Egypt, it’s made of rice, brown lentils, chickpeas, macaroni and topped with a spicy tomato sauce and then crispy fried onions)
What you missed the most from home? a couch (sitting on a bed is just not as comfortable!)
What you’ll miss the most from traveling? Experiencing new things daily, all the walking, learning to say things in different languages and interacting with some of the most amazing, friendly, open and generous people all over the world - what a wonderful place we live and how lucky I feel to have had the chance to see so much of it
Something you’d prefer to forget? The pain that develops in the lower part of the body when riding a beach cruiser bicycle through streets of Cambodia or Vietnam for several hours due to wrong turns or following well-meaning people who decide our intended path is not as good as where they think we should go. Truthfully, I agree with Anthony, there is nothing I would wish to forget because every moment made an impact.
Worst Hotel? The New Palace in Egypt – HORRIBLE (we stayed one night, but immediately checked out upon waking the next day!) Let me expound some – it is in a bit of back alley (first sign of alarm upon arrival from the airport) and is on the 6th floor of a dilapidated building that requires taking a rickety elevator and passing empty, abandoned floors that looked as though they would collapse at any moment. Once in the room, we were attacked by mosquitos and could not find their lair. Then our toilet leaked continually and the response from staff was to just turn it off and they would look at it the next day; they also simply brought in a new bathroom rug to soak up the water and then be smelly. Finally, the staff is super creepy and rude – not comfortable to be a woman there – and when we checked out they wanted us to still pay for the remainder of our reservation (hence the reason we NEVER pay for rooms upfront because we would never have been given our money back). So, do NOT stay there if you go to Cairo!
Worst Meal? I don’t really have a worst meal (perhaps on the two occasions we had to have beans right from the can since there was no way to heat them was not my favorite, but it works), but I do have the worst dining experience and that came just days into being in Jordan when because we could not cook at our hotel, we had to eat out and since there are not a lot of vegetarian meals, we ate hummus, pita, falafel, or baba ghanouge and I felt like I never actually had substinence the entire time we were in the country! (Oh wait, not true, the night we stayed with PCVs we had an amazing spaghetti and fresh vegetable home-cooked meal that was super delightful!). The sad thing is, I was so excited to eat hummus in the Middle East, but I was so sick of hummus and pita after a few days that I just could no longer enjoy it and it was a burden!
Best Meal? The most amazing eggplant pizza at the small little unassuming restaurant in Banos, Ecuador ties with the meal we cooked ourselves at the Thai Cooking School (I am quite proud of that Pad Thai I made from scratch!)
Best Hotel? If I’m cheating, I’d say our condo in Thailand, but since that was using the timeshare I’ll pick one of the many fabulous locally-run places – Casapaxi in Quito. I also really loved Hoang Trinh in Hoi An, the people are amazing, the breakfast is fantastic and they gave us a gift when we left.
Something you’ll never forget? The adrenaline rush of having 3 lions walk right next to me and the excitement of first seeing hieroglyphs on the walls of tombs in Egypt