... 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, yes...in 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:
- Total countries visited: 24 (including the 10 minutes in Burma, and 8 hours in Sri Lanka)
- Number of books read: 99 (not all were read by both of us)
- Number of plane rides not including US domestic flights: 27 (again, not all were by both of us)
- Cars/Scooters rented: 9
- Total number of dives: 96 (obviously Eric only, his goal was 100)
- Number of countries dove in: 7 (Eric again)
- Wineries, Breweries and Distilleries visited: 35 (estimate only)
- Total hangovers: 5 (just an estimate:)
- Packages mailed home along the way: 11
- Email addresses collected along the way: Too many to count
- 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.
Eric & Valerie Bressman