Well here we are on the 25th of April and it’s been 100 days since we left home. In some ways it feels like we have been doing this forever, but then in other ways we can’t believe it’s nearly May. Time is racing by.
We’re in Bali now where we based until we leave for Europe in mid-May. It feels really good to have a ‘home’ and to be staying put somewhere for a few weeks instead of a week max. For the first time we’ve actually unpacked all our bags and hung up our clothes. The kids have got all their toys out and we’ve spent the last week just doing not very much and having some downtime, catching up on admin and schoolwork.
With every passing day, we are more and more grateful and appreciative that we’ve had this opportunity and that we took the huge step to walk away from all the security and familiarity of our every day lives to embark on this amazing journey.
Even though they drive us crazy sometimes, spending this much time with our kids has been so wonderful. Seeing how other people live and experiencing some of the best this world has to offer with them is something we will never forget.
It has also been really thought provoking for us about how we live in the ‘west’ – about all the stuff we have and strive to have that supposedly makes you happy. Yet we see people every day with so much less than what we have and work so much harder than we do, who are infinitely happy, content and grateful for what they have. The saying ‘first world problems’ has taken on a whole new context for us.
Another thing we have all really enjoyed is learning about other cultures and religions. As parents it has been great to teach our children about different people in the world away from ‘Western’ stereotypes.
Our kids are learning about Christian, Islam, Hindu and Buddhist religions – Sophie has decided that she is a Christian because she loves Jesus and Mary but she also wants to wear a headscarf to show how much she loves God, and is currently searching for a Buddha statue for her bedroom with her pocket money!
Yep, maybe we are slowly turning into hippies ha ha!
Anyway I thought to celebrate 100 days I’d put together a few little nerdy stats about our trip so far.
- Days on the road: 100
- Countries visited: 8
- Number of flights taken: 13
- Number of different beds slept in: 30 including one night on a train and one on a plane
- Loads of laundry done: 12 (we don’t smell that bad honestly!)
- Weight of our check in luggage when we left home: 39kg
- Weight of our check in luggage now: 44kg
- Most expensive meal: $50NZD / $34USD for a Japanese meal in Kuala Lumpur
- Cheapest meal: $2NZD / $1.37USD nasi goreng dinner from a Bali warung.
- Most expensive place we’ve stayed: 1 night in a tent on our camping safari
- Cheapest place we’ve stayed: The wonderful Samiru guest house in Ella, Sri Lanka for $31NZD / $21USD a night
- Games of UNO played: 64
- Number of New Years experienced so far in 2016: 4 (Gregorian calendar New Year, Chinese New Year in Malaysia and Cambodia, Sri Lankan New Year, Thai New Year)
- Hottest temperature: 39 degrees, Bangkok. Most days in coastal Sri Lanka were getting up towards this also
- Coolest temperature: 3 degrees, early morning Hanoi
50 things we’ve learnt
And here’s 50 random things we’ve learnt on our travels so far (might come in handy if you’re putting together a pub quiz anytime soon….!)
- Sydney harbour bridge was opened in 1932
- Snakes are deaf but all other reptiles can hear
- A bongo is a drum as well as a type of antelope
- South East Asia is home to 593 million people
- The Petronas towers in Kuala Lumpur were the world’s tallest building from 1998 – 2004
- Tower one of the Petronas Towers is slightly on a tilt by 25mm
- Angkor Wat is the largest religious monument in the world
- Ta Phrom temple in Cambodia was the setting for the Lara Croft Tomb Raider film
- From the humble coconut palm tree you can make all these different things: coconut milk, cream, water, shredded coconut, thatched roofs, palm sugar lollies, alcohol, jaggery honey
- Tarantulas, ants and crickets are actually edible
- Red peppercorns are the most expensive form of Kampot pepper because only 2 or 3 grow on each pepper plant
- A Cambodian tuktuk is called a remork
- The gold buddha in the Silver Pagoda in Phnom Penh’s royal palace weighs 90kg
- The Mekong River is the world’s 12th longest river and flows from Tibet to Vietnam
- One quarter of Cambodia’s population was killed during Khmer Rouge rule in the 1970’s
- My Son in Vietnam is the oldest inhabited site in IndoChina
- Coffee with egg is a common beverage in Hanoi, Vietnam
- Snake wine can be kept for up to 3 years before it goes off
- Over 5 million bombs were dropped on Vietnam during the Vietnam/American war
- There are 1,600 islands in Halong Bay in Vietnam
- Natural pearls are oval shaped, cultivated pearls are round, that’s how you tell the difference
- Only 30% of cultivated oysters will produce a pearl
- A Vietnamese rowing boat is called a sampan
- Squid are bottom feeders, you can’t catch them in deep water
- There are 5 different styles of Tai Chi
- Stalactites hang from the ceiling of a cave, stalagmites rise from the bottom
- There are over 7,000 islands in the Philippines
- If you get stung by a sea urchin you should pee on the affected area to stop the sting
- The chocolate hills on the island of Bohol are actually made of limestone
- Tarsiers are a type of nocturnal primate
- A prayer is always said before ferry rides in the Philippines
- Roast pork in the Philippines is known as lechon
- Ube is a type of purple yam that can also be turned into ice-cream
- A bangka is a type of motorised boat in the Philippines
- There are 272 steps up to the Batu Caves in Malaysia
- You can buy a washing machine and dryer in the duty free section at Sri Lanka airport
- Negombo, Sri Lanka is also known as Little Rome as there are nearly 50 churches and shrines in this small town
- Elephants eat 25kg of food a day
- 4% of Sri Lanka’s land mass is covered in tea plantations
- 6.5 million kilos of tea are sold at the weekly Colombo tea auctions
- A tea picker in Sri Lanka earns an average of $2USD per day
- There are around 6,000 Buddhist monasteries in Sri Lanka and it is the predominant religion there
- There are 215 species of birds in Yala National Park in Sri Lanka
- The national animal of Sri Lanka is the jungle fowl
- Only 9% of Asian male elephants have tusks
- 7.5 million people live in Kuala Lumpur
- 8.5 million people live in Bangkok
- You must stand and pay respects to the King before the film starts at the cinema in Thailand
- Bahasa Indonesia is the official language on Bali, but Balinese is the more commonly spoken
- Mangosteen is a fruit that looks like a garlic when peeled but is full of sweet deliciousness inside.
After 4 months in Asia, we leave Bali in mid-May and are flying to Paris to start the European leg of our travels. We’re spending 2 nights there, then we pick up our lease car and head over to London and then to the Netherlands to catch up with some friends.
We then drive down to the Dordogne region in South West France to our home for nearly 3 months. We are renting a restored pigeon loft ‘Le Pigeonnier’ in a small village near Bergerac. We’re super excited about getting to France and spending a big chunk of the northern hemisphere summer there 🙂
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