RTW

We traveled the world for almost 10 months exactly. Read the brief version of the trip below. Click through any of the links to read the posts and learn more.

Round the World Trip (2014-2015)

July 2nd – Aug 12: South Africa, Botswana, Namibia

We took a self-drive safari leaving from Johannesburg, South Africa, and traveling through Botswana and Namibia! Then returned to South Africa for some quality time in Cape Town.

Aug 13 – Oct 15: Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia Herzegovina, Montenegro, Albania

We met Eric’s parents in Prague and spent several days exploring the city and surrounding areas (crazy bones in Kutna Hora and fairy tale castles in Cesky Krumlov). For our final stop in the Czech Republic, we visited Olomouc (the city of weddings) on our way to Krakow, Poland which we fell in love with. After a week there, we traveled through the Tatras to Zdiar, Slovakia. After enjoying what the mountains had to offer, we made our way to Levoca to see the amazing remains of Spis Castle. Then, finally we went on to Bratislava, the capital. After a quick stop, we proceeded on toBudapest, Hungary where we had a blast! We then tasted some delicious wine in Eger, despite the rain! We rushed on to Zagreb, Croatia where we met up with Della’s parents! We rented a car and took a quick tour through Slovenia (Ljubljana, Lake Bled, and the Skocjan Caves), Croatia (theDalmatian Coast and Plitvice Lakes), and Bosnia and Herzegovina (Sarajevo and Mostar). After leaving Della’s parents, we headed back to Dubrovnik, Croatia to do some Games of Thrones spotting! We spent time slowing down in Kotor, Montenegro. Finally, we learned a lot in Albania, visiting Tirana, Berat, Gjirokaster, and Saranda.

Oct 15 – Dec 9: Greece, Turkey, Dublin

We entered Greece into Meteora where we toured the monasteries and met up with some friends from Albania. From there we headed to Delphi which was probably our favorite place in Greece! We met more friends and had some amazing experiences in the ruins and hiking to the beach! We had to take quick detour to Athens to take care of some business before we headed into the Peloponnese. First we headed to Olympia where we explored the site of the first Olympic Games! Then we had some frustration using the KTEL Greek bus system to travel to Sparta. Here we enjoyed our trips to the old city of Mystras and even saw the rather small site of ancient Sparta (of 300 fame!) Next was the beautiful town of Nafplio! We enjoyed the lovely town as well as some side trips to Mycenae and Epidavros which both had amazing ruins. We then headed to Athens were we did non-touristy things while waiting for Della’s family to join us. Once they arrived we had a great 4 days seeing all of Athens finest! After that, we flew with Della’s family toTurkey where we explored Istanbul, then flew to Izmir where we rented a car and headed toSelcuk in order to see the amazing ruins of Ephesus, and had a pleasant surprise of meeting a friend from home! We then drove to Pamukkale and down to Fethiye where we experienced acrazy rainstorm in Kayakoy and then one of the most beautiful days ever in Tlos and Saklikent Gorge. After saying goodbye to Della’s family, we spent a few more days in Fethiye before heading down the coast and experiencing walking dead tourism in Patara and Kas. We met people again in our lazy stay in Antalya before flying back to Istanbul for a few days before heading home for the holidays. We were excited to have a layover in Dublin on the way home!

Dec 9 – Jan 6: USA

We decided to take a break from our travels to come home for the holidays and because of a family issue. We were so glad to spend time in Dallas with friends and family. We had the opportunity to visit Galveston as a tourist, something we had never done before even though the city is only 45 min outside of Houston, the home of our Alma Mater, Rice University. On Christmas day we flew home to Denver where we experienced a cold, white Christmas, hiked up through the snow to our cabin, and saw lots of friends! We also re-evaluated our packing and switched it up a bit!

Jan 6 – Apr 14: Southeast Asia (Myanmar, Bali, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Vietnam)

We almost got stuck in Beijing on our flight to Asia… Thankfully, we made it, but our bags didn’t! We spent our first days in the exciting city of Bangkok before moving on to the amazing country of Myanmar where we really learned a lot. We were overwhelmed by the kindness of the people we met in Mandalay and had a wonderful time visiting the many sites. Then, we decided to chase some memories from Della’s parents’ 35 year ago RTW trip in Pyin Oo Lwin. We then had our first taste of travel by e-bike at the expansive ruins of Bagan before wine-tasting, seeing a seamstress, and floating on the beautiful Inle Lake. We were able to spend a leisurely time exploring the capital city of Yangon before hopping a flight to the energetic city of Singapore! We had quite afew adventures in Bali, including watching the SuperBowl, having sunglasses stolen by a monkey,experiencing a first massage, and even dancing onstage with drag queens! We also gotinterviewed by another blog, Where Is Your Toothbrush?, for the first time. We spent less than 24 hours in the Singapore airport on a layover while heading to our next country of Cambodia. We explored some dark history in the capital city of Phnom Penh while enjoying the present withsunset aerobics. Our next stop was the slightly less touristy city of Battambang where we loved the city circus and bamboo train before we headed to the tourist mecca of Siem Riep to see the Temples of Angkor. We did a quick trip through Laos stopping in Vientiene and Vang Vieng before taking one of the worst bus rides of the trip to meet up with Della’s parents for a third time inLuang Prabang. After exploring the city and the surrounding Kuang Si waterfalls, we meandered the Mekong River on the slow boat to Thailand. We had a lot of amazing adventures in Thailand:crazy weird temples in Chiang Rai, elephant encounters and cooking our favorite cuisine in Chiang Mai, getting off the tourist track and connecting with Della’s job in Mae Sot, exploring ancient wonders in Sukhothai and Ayutthaya, enjoying the major sites of Bangkok, and finally relaxing on the beach in Ko Lanta (which we really needed after the nightmare getting there). Rounding out our circuit of South East Asia, we finally headed to Vietnam. We explored recent history in Ho Chi Minh City, rode bikes and lit lanterns in Hoi An, tried to beat the heat in Hue, and swam in a pool of mud in Phong Na, before finally hitting some cooler weather in Hanoi.

Apr 14 – 20: Hong Kong

We spent a week (not enough time) exploring the interesting city of Hong Kong! We went to the horse races for the first time as well as exploring the separate city/country of Macau.

April 20 – May 3: Nepal

We spent a few days exploring historic Kathmandu while preparing for our trek of the Langtang Valley. On April 25, a huge earthquake (7.8 on the Richter Scale) shook Nepal. We were on the first day of our trek and were stranded in a village called Bamboo. We spent five terrifying days there before we were airlifted out by helicopter. You can read our story in the following blogs.Please consider monetarily helping Nepal after the devastating disaster. We have some ideas on how to help here.  Please also keep Nepal in your future travel plans as it needs the tourism dollars now more than ever. It is a beautiful country. You won’t regret it.

Unfortunately, after our experience in Nepal, we chose to end our trip early (by about 1 month) and returned home to the USA.

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