10 Years Of Journey: Highlights and Ideas From 65 Nations

We had been chatting with mates the opposite night time, after they requested: “The place did you spend your 27th birthday?”. We thought of it, thought of it some extra, and after some time, we arrived on the reply.
They then requested if we’d been to India, which we now have, a couple of occasions. We advised our story of how we spent nearly a month in an Ashram doing yoga, meditation and mantra chanting from 5:00am to 7:00pm — one thing we hadn’t thought of in a really very long time.
The issues we’ve skilled over the previous 10 years have change into part of us and so they’ve formed us into who we’re as we speak. However extremely, we regularly neglect about these wonderful moments on the highway.

We determined to make this round-up publish (and video) of the highlights from international locations we’ve visited (to this point), and the issues we’ve discovered about ourselves, and the world. Wanting again on our movies from the sooner days was hilarious — wow, we had been so younger, and awkward on digital camera…and our vogue was severely missing!

It was plenty of enjoyable reminiscing whereas watching these previous clips, and seeing our development from younger, funds backpackers into the (considerably) wiser, older, “journey how we wish” explorers we’re as we speak.
Eight Months Of Planning, and Our Backpacking Journey Started
With our newly bought backpacks, mountaineering boots and journey equipment in tow, us 24 yr olds had been prepared to begin our first journey, to Southeast Asia and the Subcontinent.
The stress and emotional rollercoaster of the previous eight months main as much as the journey (promoting our condominium and possessions, quitting our jobs, and saying goodbye to family and friends) appeared to instantly carry as our aircraft took off in the direction of Bangkok.
Instead of that stress was a way of journey. We felt like explorers discovering someplace new (as if we had been the primary individuals to go to Bangkok!), and a whole sense of freedom washed over us.
There’s nothing like the primary time once you resolve to give up your job to expertise long-term journey. We could neglect sure occasions, and our timeline of journey could also be a bit blurry, however we’ll always remember that feeling.

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What We’ve Discovered On The Highway
That first yr overseas was eye-opening and life-altering. Experiencing 100% freedom from work, routine, society, and social norms again residence, is one thing that I hope everybody will get to really feel sooner or later of their lives.
Our minds had been expanded, and borders blurred and our hearts opened. Studying about different cultures, the religions they imagine in, and the way they spend their day-to-day lives is how the world turns into a extra linked place. Free from biases and ignorance, and crammed with acceptance and love.
From our experiences overseas, we’ve come to be taught that the media doesn’t painting international locations in the identical gentle that we see them in. The destructive, fear-mongering tales on TV, and on social media, isn’t consultant of the locations we’ve been — or whether it is, it might be simply in a single metropolis, one neighbourhood, one small island, however not the whole nation or area.
Hanging out with our new Iranian mates, consuming ice cream!
We’ve additionally realized that people all need the identical issues from life, regardless of the place on the planet they arrive from, their race, or their faith. All of us desire a robust neighborhood of family and friends, well being for ourselves and our family members, a roof over our heads, meals in our stomachs, and (most of all) to be comfortable.
We’re all the identical!
As soon as we lived all of this throughout our first yr overseas, we knew there was no means we might proceed residing solely in Canada. We’d solely seen 10 international locations in Southeast Asia and the subcontinent, however we had been hooked. We wanted to see extra of the world, be taught extra truths about our planet, meet extra individuals and expertise new cultures.
Fishing on Inle Lake, Myanmar
Highlights From Our Escapades
Pondering again on the entire international locations we’ve visited and the reminiscences made, it’s actually onerous to pin-point the highest highlights. A number of the most memorable issues we’ve executed have been minute, whereas others have been on a grander scale. Listed here are three highlights that come to thoughts.
Spotlight #1: Iranian Finest Associates
Throughout our month in Iran, we met a pair at a waterfall. They urged us to name them after we visited their metropolis of Esfahan so they might present us round. When the time got here for us to journey to Esfahan, we acquired in contact. Because it turned out, not solely did they wish to present us round, however they needed us to stick with them.
Aside from our 10 minute encounter, we had been full strangers. I don’t find out about you, however I don’t assume many individuals in Canada or within the West would meet somebody for only a few minutes, and provide for them to return and keep of their residence — we definitely wouldn’t have.
We ended up staying with this couple for every week. We had dinner events with their mates, explored the town, and chatted about life in Iran. We dined on residence cooked Iranian meals, met their households, and in return, (with out the correct components) we tried to prepare dinner a basic spaghetti bolognese with garlic bread and salad — a meal they hadn’t tried earlier than.
New mates in Esfahan! (blurry photograph, however nice reminiscences)
That crossing of cultures and their generosity and hospitality is one thing we’ll always remember, and is a spotlight of our travels.
Spotlight #2: Alone Collectively On The Steppe
Earlier than visiting Iran, we had been in Central Asia and Mongolia. We took the Trans-Mongolian prepare from Beijing to Ulaanbaatar and began our month journey in Mongolia. Whereas the entire nation was an epic journey in itself, one of many foremost issues that we’ll always remember is independently trekking in the course of nowhere, by means of the steppe.
We had plotted a route utilizing Google Earth, and packed all the things we’d want for eight days of mountaineering and tenting. For a water supply, we used the river that we had been following, and for meals, we ate lenok fish that Nick caught within the river, and dehydrated packaged meals.
On quite a lot of events we had been invited into gers (yurts) by the native households and nomads alongside the best way. There we had been, sitting round with a household who had been extremely curious as to why us foreigners had been: a) in the course of nowhere, b) strolling, and c) didn’t have a horse — they thought we had been misplaced.
One of many many households we met throughout our trek
After all, all of this was communicated utilizing signal language, our phrase guide and a few photographs we had taken. All whereas *having fun with* a bowl of contemporary fermented mare’s milk, a couple of bits of dried mare’s cheese, and a bowl of horse meat.
On two separate events after we had been organising our tent, we had males come over and simply sit there and watch us. They didn’t say a phrase. They rode up on their horses, seemed round, sat and stared, after which took off. One other man together with his two small sons introduced us some firewood — a sizzling commodity once you’re residing on a tree-free steppe.
The silence of being out within the rolling hills, with nothing round however a couple of different nomadic households was the expertise of a lifetime.
Spotlight #three: Hitchhiking & Crusing To Forgotten Islands With Associates
Lastly, my third spotlight is from Mozambique. We had been travelling right here for a couple of month and after only a few days, we met a backpacker from Germany, Henrik. We had been within the seaside city of Tofo, and instantly, we turned shut mates.
One night time over dinner, he pulled out a big map of the nation. We studied it, and determined that certainly there needed to be a technique to get to the distant Quirimbas Archipelago positioned off the northern coast of the nation.
We had been within the south at the moment, and the journey to get there can be lengthy, and if you already know something about travelling by land by means of Africa, it could most positively be tough.
Crammed into the again of a jeep with meals, jerrycans filled with petrol and random odds & ends. Hitching a journey in Mozambique.
After hitchhiking for three days, and an evening spent in a resort in the course of nowhere, we arrived within the city of Nampula — we had been getting nearer to the islands.
Yet another day of hitchhiking behind a jeep, sitting on milk crates and jerrycans, and we might arrive on the “ferry” port, which was simply an space the place some fishing boats crossed from mainland Mozambique to the island of Ibo.
As soon as we arrived on the islands, the previous 5 days of unusual experiences, and uncomfortable transport melted away. We stayed in a small guesthouse, and from there deliberate a three day crusing journey aboard a conventional dhow boat with some fishermen.
We had been able to discover the Quirimbas Archipelago!
We sailed off to the islands of Matemo and Rojas, which to this present day are nonetheless a few of the most pristine, beautiful little gems we’ve ever been to. Sleeping underneath nothing greater than mosquito nets on the sand, swimming in crystal clear water, and eating on freshly caught fish made the journey to the north definitely worth the (huge) effort.
Oh ya, it was definitely worth the journey!
Nations We’ve Visited and Lived In
Lastly, right here’s a listing the 65 international locations that we’ve travelled to over the previous 10 years, and in some circumstances, lived in. Most of the international locations we’ve additionally returned to a number of occasions.
If you wish to learn extra about every particular person nation, simply click on the hyperlink to seek out journey tales, journey guides, movies and ideas in your journey.
Right here’s the place we’ve travelled to, sorted by area:
South / Southeast Asia
Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, Malaysia and Borneo, Brunei, Indonesia, Singapore, Myanmar, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Philippines.
Northeast Asia
China and Hong Kong, Mongolia, Russia, Japan.
Central Asia
Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan.
Trekking in Kyrgyzstan
Center East
Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, Iran.
Morocco, South Africa, Swaziland, Mozambique, Malawi, Tanzania, Kenya.
Europe / Western Asia
England, Scotland, Spain, Bulgaria, The Republic of North Macedonia, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro, Italy, Malta, Greece, Germany, Georgia, Armenia, Czech Republic.
North and Central America
Mexico, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Belize, the USA.
The Caribbean
Grenada, Puerto Rico, Saint Vincent and The Grenadines, Cuba, Barbados.
Swinging in Grenada
South America
Colombia, Argentina, Uruguay, Chile, Ecuador, Peru.
Recommendation For You
Lengthy-term journey is like having a toddler — financially, there’s by no means going to be the “good time” and when you take the leap, your life won’t ever be the identical afterwards.
Quitting your job, promoting your possessions, and taking off into the unknown is a frightening thought. Once you’re used to a routine, stability and the “identified”, setting the acquainted apart to expertise one thing exterior of your consolation zone can appear a bit scary.
However, when you’re feeling a “pull” to modify it up and stay a freer life-style, my recommendation to you is to observe that feeling. Seeing the world positively isn’t one thing you possibly can simply do on a whim, however with some planning and making ready it’s attainable and we suggest simply going for it — regardless of how lengthy it takes you to arrange.
For extra info, take a look at our Getting Began posts, and to assist maintain your self when you’re on the highway (and that journey bug kicks in!), take a look at our methods to earn cash overseas.
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