Archive for the 'After Trip' Category

10 Things I Wished I Had Known About Traveling

“Travel is glamorous only in retrospect” – Paul Theroux

A fellow RTW traveler I follow on Twitter retweeted (yes, I’m down with all the lingo) this article this morning.  And it couldn’t be more true.

10 Things You Wish You’d Known About Travel

I glad the author added #10 because in the end I would absolutely do it all over again.

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New Photos!

There once was this camera memory card that picked up a virus overseas and held a bunch of pictures hostage.  But, the virus was no match for Jay at Compumatter and now all the pretty pictures have spilled out for all to see.  Enjoy the new uploads!

Dubai

Singapore

Malaysia

More Vietnam

More Cambodia

Southern Thailand
(not much in here)

Turkey
(Istanbul and Selcuk)

Greece
(Athens and Santorini)

Rome

Morocco

 

What’s Next?

2009.  The new year.  A time for new setting goals.  I hate setting goals because when they are not realized I automatically think failure.  I had planned to travel in 2008 from April to December.  But I didn’t.  I had planned to travel to many other countries and regions.  But I didn’t.  I can’t help but think I failed.

But that was then.  On the dawn of a new year, on the verge of turning 30 (yikes!), I have come to realize that I am way too critical of myself.  I traveled around the world.  That’s amazing, right?  A couple of months ago I would have said, “yeah but there’s other people who have traveled farther and longer.”  Today, it is enough.  I traveled around the world and that’s amazing!

When I left last April, I had an inkling that when I returned I wanted to pursue teaching.  Today it is a reality.  Of all the subjects to teach, I chose Math.  Math is important- even for world travelers.  I can’t believe how much math I used abroad.  This week, I started a math class at my local community college.  It’s been over ten years since I’ve studied math but I’m confident in my abilities to pick it up quickly.  Math is something I’ve always excelled at.

This May, I will start pursuing a math degree at West Virginia University.  West Virginia!?  Well, I have a lot of family history in Morgantown, WV.  My mom was born and raised there and even attended WVU for a bit (tuition was $400 a semester then– somehow I don’t think it’s the same today).  My dad graduated high school there and Morgantown is where he met my mom.  Both my grandmas worked at some point for WVU.  And my great-grandfather is in their Sports Hall of Fame.  When looking for a university I wanted to experience something different than my previous college experience of a smaller school and quarterly schedules.  West Virginia fit that bill with its larger student population and semester schedules.  Another draw was that it’s Math Department is smaller than that other schools of similar size i.e. the University of Washington.

While completing the degree, I will be looking at options for the teaching certification part- definitely a Masters in Teaching, most likely back in Washington State but I want to keep my options open.  Seriously, who likes to plan their life so far in advance?!?

So, there you have it… what’s next for me.

Photos!

I know everyone is anxiously awaiting the posting of my trip photos.  I’ve decided to switch to the easier to use and easier to upload application on Facebook.  You don’t have to be a Facebook member to view the photos.  I uploaded my favorites and it’s by no means all of them.  I’ve seemed to misplaced one of my camera disks at the moment (lost in my room which is not entirely surprising).  I switched between using two different cameras- a “point and shoot” and my digital SLR-  so going through the memory cards and sorting the photos took some time.  I added comments on very few (very few!).  But, if you have questions just ask.

Egypt
(a few more I found that I like)

Day Trips from Bangkok

Cambodia – Angkor Wat

Cambodia – Orphanage Day

Cambodia – Khmer Rouge
(Warning: Contains some graphic images)

Vietnam – South 

Vietnam – Central

Vietnam – North

Laos

Playing with Tigers (Thailand)

Bungy Jumping (Thailand)

When I find more I like I’ll upload them to a new album so my loyal readers don’t have to go searching for them.  I’ve also added the links to the “Photos” tab located above.  Enjoy!

 

Trip Stats

I like statistics.  It’s a great way to wrap up a large amount of information.  I used other travel blogs as inspiration for the categories.  And to make things easier I’ve ignored the fact that I came home for six weeks in the middle.

Countries: 13
Days Abroad: 141
Flights: 10
Overnight Ferries: 3
Overnight Trains: 5
Unsurprisingly: I crossed all the longitudes on this trip
Surprisingly: I have not yet crossed the Equator (although Singapore is super close)

Total Weight Loss: 25 pounds or just over 1.75 stone if you’re from the UK (Yes, I’ve found the miracle diet!)

Item used the most: Calculator
Item used the least: Hand Sanitizer (see next category)

Days Sick: 1 (surprisingly it was at the 5-star Hilton in Dahab, Egypt)

Watches Broken: 3
Sunglasses Broken: 3

Favorite Country: Laos and Greece (I just can’t pick one!)
Favorite City: Hoi An, Vietnam (if only for the inexpensive custom-made clothes) and Fira, Santorini
Favorite Local Food: Greece and Thailand overall, certain dishes in Morocco and Cambodia
Favorite Place to Live: Dubai, United Arab Emirates or Chiang Mai, Thailand

Least Favorite Country: Egypt and Morocco
Least Favorite City: Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Least Favorite Local Food: Vietnam
Least Favorite Place to Live: Cairo, Egypt

Best Sites: Angkor Wat – Siem Reap, Cambodia
                  Halong Bay – Vietnam
                  All of Santorini – Greece
                  Blue Mosque – Istanbul, Turkey
Best Old Cities/Medinas: Fez, Morocco and Hanoi, Vietnam

Nicest People: Laos
Rudest People: Vietnam (though not all!)
Country with the least hassle: Laos
Countries with the most hassle: Vietnam, Cambodia, and Egypt

New Skills Acquired: Mastery of the squat toilet including on moving trains! 

Average Meal (including drink) in SE Asia and Egypt: under $5
Average Meal (including drink) in Europe & Dubai: around $12
Cheapest Beer: $.20 in Hanoi, Vietnam
Three Nights Hotel in Bangkok: $40
Three Nights Hotel in Dubai: about $400 (and this is off-peak season prices)

Total Money Spent: $16,650
Total Money Wasted: $4,627 (coming home, buying/changing flights, week in Rome not budgeted for)
If I had to do it all over again I wouldn’t plan out so much.  It’s just as easy to pick up flights abroad and more often than not the prices do not skyrocket closer to the flight date like in the US.  I wasted a lot of money by booking new flights and no-showing on previously booked non-changeable/non-refundable flights.
Total Actual Money Spent: $12,023 (money spent minus money wasted)

Miss the most about traveling: Meeting other travelers from around the World and the FOOD!
Miss the least about traveling: The heat, both dry and tropical, and sweating
One thing (of many things) I love about being home: Price tags!!

Just because the trip is over it does not mean that “Where’d Stacy Go?” will cease.  I’m working on getting the pictures uploaded.  I found a much easier way to view/upload the pictures than what I have been using.  I think you all will agree.  I’m also going to work on a food from around the world post.  Perhaps in the future… country summaries and travel tips.  Keep tuned!


Where’s Stacy?

Stacy is in West Virginia and totally amazed by the power of Math. (Nerd, I know!)

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