Eric & Val's 2005 - 2006 World Tour

PADI | DAN | SKYPE Internet Phone
Dive Rarotonga | Pacific Divers | Cook Island Divers | The Dive Centre | Rarotonga Backpackers | Pacific Expeditions | Bubbles Below-Aitutaki
Moana's Guesthouse | subglobal2 link | subglobal2 link | subglobal2 link | subglobal2 link | subglobal2 link | subglobal2 link
Emerson's Brewery | Campasouth Rentals | Andy Belcher Photography | New Zealand Department of Conservation (DOC) | White Island Volcano | Legendary Blackwater Rafting | Carino Sailing Cruises
Vivavision | Bayview Backpackers | Easyrider Backpacker Tours | Bushtucker Tours | subglobal4 link | subglobal4 link | subglobal4 link
Newman's Commedia Mask Company | World Diving Bali | Betel Box Hostel | Moskito Diving | Bahn Thai Cooking School | Thai Cookery School | Tawandang German Beerhall
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... The End

After spending a brief, albeit cold, time in Iceland, we have arrived back in the US. Therefore, today will be our final entry on the website. We're not sure what we'll do with it once we're home. Eric will use the domain for his diving business, but other than that we may leave a link so folks can see this page and access the photos, etc.

Before we get into this, please check out the wonderful 'Guest Writer' entries that our good friend Ken Kane wrote during our travels in Europe over the last few weeks.

But for now it's time to look back and try to summarize the last year of our life and put it into some kind of perspective. Of course there are some statistics that we'll include. Those are important since they are the tangible parts of the trip. Trying to list all the great people we've met and things we've done and seen would take, well, it would take a whole website and months of photos and journal entries!

As we look back, the friends we made and re-visited along the way, were such a huge part of the success of the trip, that their importance can not be overstated. The world is full of different people from different countries, and even with all the political evil our government has imposed on the world in the past 6 years, most people still like Americans and treat us with respect and kindness. We had one guy from the UK, who was on a trip similar to ours, say that without a doubt, the friendliest people he had met in any country was in the US. Makes you proud to be American:).

When we began the trip we both had goals we wanted to achieve along the way. It's hard to say whether they were met or not, but there were certainly no major disappointments. We promised ourselves that if there was something we really wanted to do, we would do it. This might mean we had to cut back somewhere else, but we always did the important things first.

Along the way we both picked up new skills. Val can now spin poi without beating herself up too badly, and Eric can take photos underwater that are recognizable to non-divers. Eric can now drive equally comfortable on either side of the road, although this may be to his detriment when we get home.

How much did it cost and was it worth it? The first question is tough to nail down, but the second is a breeze. Yes, yes, a heartbeat we would leave again for another year, as long as we had a different route and new countries to see. We have already started planning the 2011-2012 trip so if anyone is interested in Central and South America and the Caribbean, let us know and you can be part of the planning and the trip. Back to cost ... the reason it's hard to put a final cost on this is because we were making purchases long before we left home that were for the trip, like the laptop, backpacks etc. We also lost a years wages along the way, so that would also have to be figured in to get an accurate budget. Rather than a total cost, here's a better approach to estimating it. We set a daily budget of $100 for each day we would be gone, and also for about a month after we got back since we would not be starting work right away. This was not enough!!! When all was said and done, it will probably be closer to $150/day. This does not include the original plane tickets we bought, but does include the nearly 20 additional flights we have booked along the way. This allowed us to see much more since we were not moving huge distances with each flight. Some countries were very inexpensive and $100/day was way more than you needed to spend, or could in some places. In Australia, $100/day was not even close. Parts of Europe were the same way. It did tend to even out, but there were some large expenses along the way that drove the total up. Culli in New Zealand was an added cost. The all-inclusive resort in the Maldives was way above the budget, but we had days in Thailand, Indonesia, Egypt and the Cook Islands where we were spending $20/day. In the end, the budget is really going to need to be based on where the trip takes you and the level of creature comforts you feel you need. Funny, but ants in a room don't bother us much any more. Rats are a different story!

Finally, before we start the numbers, we would like to thank each of you who has either visited the website or emailed us with regularity along the way. It's been great to have that string to attach us back home once in a while. Wanderlust is a beautiful thing, but knowing there is a home is really comforting. We wish you all could have been here with us. Maybe in 2011! A special thanks to Vera and Mike for being our guardians of mail/business/life in the US during our trip. We owe you two more than we can ever repay.

Now for the numbers:

  1. Total countries visited: 24 (including the 10 minutes in Burma, and 8 hours in Sri Lanka)
  2. Number of books read: 99 (not all were read by both of us)
  3. Number of plane rides not including US domestic flights: 27 (again, not all were by both of us)
  4. Cars/Scooters rented: 9
  5. Total number of dives: 96 (obviously Eric only, his goal was 100)
  6. Number of countries dove in: 7 (Eric again)
  7. Wineries, Breweries and Distilleries visited: 35 (estimate only)
  8. Total hangovers: 5 (just an estimate:)
  9. Packages mailed home along the way: 11
  10. Email addresses collected along the way: Too many to count
  11. Bodies of water we swam, dove, snorkeled, sailed, flew over, or otherwise enjoyed: 25

So ends our 2005-2006 Around the World Tour. Thanks for being a part of it and we look forward to seeing many of you in the near future.

Much love to all, Eric & Val

Who we are...

Welcome to Eric & Valerie Bressman's Around-the-World Travel Home Page. We are a couple from Portland, Oregon in the United States and are traveling around the world in search of...well, whatever's out there to find. We will be traveling for about a year from October 2005 to 2006. This website will allow us to keep friends and family at home updated on our travels, and give them a way to communicate with us if they would like. We will also post photos and journal entries along the way. We hope you enjoy the site, and feel free to recommend any improvements you would like to see. Neither of us are web designers, but we'll do our best.

Happy Trails!

Eric & Valerie Bressman

Adios Espanya Y Muchas Gracias In a few hours we will do what we have done a lot on this trip, say good-by to another country. Spain was a nice transition from SE Asia and Egypt to the rest of Europe. We had hot and cold showers for the most part, food that we recognized and that didn't make us ill (for the most part) and a lot of comforts that we hadn't seen in a while.

It was a bit of a shock to our budget, but mainly because Barcelona is as expensive a city as Paris and we hadn't planned to visit Paris on this trip:)(See journal entry 9-8-06)

Out of Africa!!! Val and I are sitting at the Cairo airport and waiting for our flight to Barcelona. The past five weeks have felt like one long con game and we were the marks. Don't get me wrong, Egyptians don't steal from tourists, that just wouldn't be sporting. Rather, they cheat you out of pounds at every opportunity and then are outraged when they are caught doing it. They are amazing actors and many of them could star in Hollywood! (See journal entry 8-18-06)

Shukuria & Fahung badaluvang Velidhu and Euro-DiversIn a few hours Val and I will be getting on another sea-plane and heading to Male where we will wait for 9 hours before boarding a flight to Egypt and the next leg in our adventure. Before we leave this tropical paradise, we wanted to take time to thank the many people who made our stay here so memorable and comfortable. This place is truly heaven on earth. (See journal entry 7-14-06)

Thailand: Korp-koon ka & la-kon ka (thanks and good-bye)Later today we will head to the airport and board a plane for the Maldives, via Colombo, Sri Lanka. Many people don't even know where the Maldives are, or have even heard of them for that matter. Unless you are a scuba diver, there's really no reason you would have. (See journal entry 7-2-06)

World Cup Fans - Eat Your Hearts OutNot that I'm a huge soccer fan, or even a casual one for that matter, but when I heard that Thailand was the only country in the WORLD that was going to have every single World Cup game televised at no charge, I felt like it was destiny that we were here for it. Now, to be honest there is one minor hiccup to all this. The announcers will be doing the games in Thai of course, not english. If you want a broadcast of the games in english, that is available, but for a fee.

Today in Thailand (Cinco de Mayo) We've been in Thailand nearly a week now and felt like we should update the home page. Partially because so much is happening, but also because a friend from home gave me a suggestion on how to improve it and I wanted to try and get it done as soon as I could because I thought it was such a good idea. (See 5-5-06 journal entry)

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