RTW journey of a lifetime

After fifteen months and two days it was over. If I only count days when I was not on UK soil, it’s fifteen months exactly. I’ve already written about the emotional fallout further down, but this is the last update on my travel numbers and best-of lists.

It was a journey of a lifetime in that it was a long-held dream come true, and in that I don’t expect ever to travel for so long again. As I confessed in a post earlier, life as a perpetual nomad is not for me. But I will travel again, of course. Once you get the travel bug you always think of your next adventure. For now, though, I’m happy to stay put for a while and create a new home for myself.

A final total is 90.000 kilometers travelled, 49.000 of which were onboard container ships and an additional several thousand on ferries. Funnily, my original estimate before my journey was a close 91.300 kilometers, and since then so many things have changed. The biggest change of course was going home on a ship from China to UK, instead of on the train through Russia. So, not a bad estimate! And, over twice the circumference of the planet!

My beloved PolarLoop 2 pedometer kept pace with me and recorded a total of 5.6 million steps taken and 3200 km walked. This comes to an average 200 kilometers a month. Yea me!

I visited 95 cities in 15 countries on four continents: Europe, North America, Australia, Asia and I only missed Africa because we stayed at port in Tangier for too short a time to go ashore, so I can’t count that. Three countries I only stayed for one day: Faroe Islands (from the ferry to and from Iceland), Denmark (one night on my way to Iceland) and New Zealand (port of call on my way across the Pacific), but I explored the remaining twelve countries over weeks and weeks.

The count of 95 places I visited includes ports of call where I went ashore to explore for even a few hours (Faroe Islands, Auckland NZ), and cities where I basically just slept for a night (Hanover, Mount Isa, Izumo JP), but doesn’t include places where I just changed from one transport to another (Osaka on my way to Japan) or ports where I stayed on the ship (Singapore, Tangier). And the tally excludes UK cities.

I wrote 221 blog posts in the 459 days of traveling, which comes to almost one blog post every two days. I had no idea I would be that prolific! The tally is pulled upwards by places where I wrote a post every day, like the Grand Canyon and Uluru tours, but it’s still a higher ratio than I expected. Ah, I also did write quite a few posts before I left, over two dozen in fact, about the planning phase, and they are included in the total number.

Final bucket list – worthy places I visited: every bucket list I have seen on the internet features different things. But my list includes the following: Silfra and the Golden Circle in Iceland; Wawel Castle in Krakow Poland; Las Vegas strip, Antelope Canyon, Grand Canyon, Death Valley, Yosemite, the Sequoia national park, Monument Valley, New Orleans French Quarter and the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz in San Francisco USA; Sydney Opera House, the Great Barrier Reef and Uluru in Australia; Kek Lok Si temple, and the Petronas Towers in KL (seen, not climbed) in Malaysia; Bangkok Grand Palace, Ayutthaya historical park and Krabi province in Thailand; Angkor Archaeological Park (it’s more than just Angkor Wat!) in Cambodia; Hoi An historical town and Hue Citadel in Vietnam; Fenghuang, Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, Terracotta Army and the Great Wall in China; Lake Kawaguchi and mount Fuji, Inari Taisha shrine in Kyoto, Kanazawa historical area, Kyoto (yes all of it), the Seven Hells of Beppu, and Hiroshima.

Top 12 experiences: snorkelling in Silfra, hiking in the Grand Canyon, walking through Antelope Canyon, diving with manta rays, three days of trekking in Uluru, holding hands with orang-utans, exploring Ayutthaya temple ruins, watching the release of lanterns at New Year in Chiang Mai, discovering Angkor archeological park, walking on the Great Wall, cherry blossoms in Tokyo, and all the wonderful container ship voyages.

How incredibly lucky I am!



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