Now that February is over, we have officially been on the road for 1.5 months and close to a quarter of our trip is already behind us. We have already seen and done so much and have so much to look forward to in the coming months. I feel grateful that we have this opportunity to travel as a family, to spend time with one another and to see how many other people live, work and play in this big world of ours. Our trip, so far, has been a mix of:
- Cultural or historical sightseeing
- Outings to beautiful, scenic locations
- Fun activities that the whole family would enjoy
- Educational/Informational excursions to schools, charitable foundations or animal rescue centers or sanctuaries
It’s difficult to pick our favorite activities and destinations so far, but I asked everyone in the family and this is what we’ve all come with for the past two months. I’ve also noted the worst thing that month.
Tim. Best: the temples of Bagan and the Lake Inle boat trip, both Myanmar. Worst: the pollution in Hong Kong
Jenn. Best: bike trip to the winery in the Myanmar countryside and seeing old friends and haunts in Hong Kong. Worse: being sick in Myanmar
Charlie. Best: The Big Buddha in Hong Kong and the temples of Bagan, Myanmar. Worse: missing our dog, Ruby
A.J. Best: meeting new friends (Jack, Cam and Julian) and the kaleidoscope of shops in Hong Kong. Worst: missing friends back home
Tim. Best: Cold beers on the Andaman Sea, Phuket and the Sukhothai bike tour, both Thailand. Worst: Night flight to Auckland (an 18+ hour event)
Jenn. Best: Boon Lott’s Elephant Sanctuary and the Thai cooking class, both Thailand. Worst: the heat and traffic in Bangkok
Charlie. Best: Visit to Soi Dog and Elephant Sanctuary, both Thailand. Worse: celebrating my birthday, Feb 26, on an overnight flight
A.J. Best: Soi Dog, Thailand, and being in Auckland, New Zealand, with new friends. Worst: the heat in Thailand
Our Travel Stats
Countries Visited: 5 (Hong Kong, Thailand, Myanmar, Singapore, New Zealand)
Miles Traveled: 17,036 miles total. We traveled 16,368 miles by air (10 flights, none late), 458 miles by bus and 210 miles by car.
Nights Away: 46. This breaks down to 19 nights at a guesthouse with two rooms, 11 nights at a guesthouse with one room, 6 nights at a boutique hotel, 3 nights at a chain hotel, 3 nights in a self-catering unit with kitchen, 2 nights in a bungalow, 2 nights on red-eye flights. We moved places an average of every 2.5 days and our single longest stop was 5 days.
Transportation: 34 taxis, 13 private cars (tours or friends), 9 ferries, 8 subways, 6 big buses, 5 tuk-tuks, 5 days rental car, 4 mini-buses, 3 bikes, 2 tractors, 1 cable car , 1 canoe, 1 funicular, 1 horse cart, 1 tram, 1 motorboat, 1 raft , 1 speedboat
Teeth lost: 2 (both Charlie)
Items lost: 2 (sarong, sink stopper)
Items lost but recovered after a few days: 3 (sunglasses, hairbrush, laundry bag)
Dreadlocks cut out of hair: 1 (from Charlie, a couple days after she lost her brush)
Early mornings: too many to count
Movies watched: just 2 for the adults, been too busy or tired. Kids have watched a few more.
Road-schooling hours: aiming for 2 hours every day, including weekends. Doing pretty well. I’ll give us a “B”.
Highest number of mosquito bites on Jenn’s lower leg (just one foot/ankle): 73!!
Friends seen on the road: 2 families in HK, 1 family in Singapore, 1 friend in Bangkok, 1 family in Auckland (the latter is another traveling family on their own trip)
Number of times Tim has done laundry: 0 (yes, division of labor continues)
Number of times Jenn has driven: 0 (it’s all been on the left-hand side – yikes)
Number of photos taken: about 1,900 so far
Number of “I’m bored” or “when are we going to get there?”: not as many as I’d feared. Kids have been very patient with the long travel days and the busy sightseeing we’ve done.
Number of Followers on our blog: 57, family, friends and some not known to us. Thanks for tuning in. We love comments and emails, so keep them coming. As A.J. would say, “peace out, folks”.
Finally, Frequently Asked Questions
Laundry? When it’s cheap, we often turn laundry into our guesthouse and it is usually a bag is just $3-6 dollars for a load. Other times I has been doing “sink laundry” and hanging clothes to dry. Now that we are in New Zealand, there are usually co-op laundries on site. I will never take a washer & dryer for granted again!
Road-School? Our wonderful teachers back home are continuing to oversee our children’s education and we have work books, homework packets, projects, books, assessments and so on with us on the trip. We have been instructing the kids daily and assisting them with their lessons, which can be quite challenging as the kids aren’t always ready to listen and learn. No surprise! But we are working on it!
Internet? While in SE Asia, we generally had free access to wi-fi, although it was sometime unreliable. Now that we are in New Zealand, there is little to no free-wife and it costs a lot to gain access to the internet. We’ll continue to post, but may need to limit the photos.