And what a year it had been!
It is not just about the places I’ve been to or the people I’ve met on the way, which of course are major components of this fantastic journey. But really the wonder of being able to pause my daily life to just wander. I travel with no fixed itinerary nor clear plan, but my road just kept paving itself. The contrast and randomness of my new daily life, serendipitous encounters are just too much for words, in any language. It’s such a gift that I’m truly, truly grateful for!
It has been another 100 days since I claimed that this trip, while extremely amazing, wasn’t “life changing”.
I bungee jumped which for 10 years I swore I’ll never do, been on great European train holidays, seen more Unesco Heritage sites than I could remember to count, did clubbing for 12 hours straight, visited concentration camp, slept in cave, watched sunrise at the Sahara desert on a camel, had breakfast in one city and dinner in another so many times, met amazing people, encountered crazy people, made life friends, worked in a hostel, learned to cook (probably the most life changing of them all, haha).
I tell people I believe I didn’t change since my trip. That I think I’m already at that age of who I already am. I learned about so many new things–some I never knew of, some I don’t care of, but nothing has changed in my belief, morality, or views in life. My sister went on an exchange program in Japan when she was 18. She has since obsessed about Japan and today lives in Tokyo. Of course everything changes when you’re 18. It’s why I said I am already who I am. But I have a friend who after surviving a tragic accident, became a vegan. I think that was life changing.
A week ago, I was having this conversation with a woman who said that at 62, she learned to conquer her fear of talking to people on this trip, herself on a long term travel. She said that she admires my self-containment, but also suggested that perhaps I am changed without realizing it, since I’m constantly with new people and nobody really knows who I was (before). So I guess I’ll know when I come home and those who knows me well can tell me. I’m now going to stop obsessing about this because my daily life now is definitely so changed.
If you just found me, I’m currently on a round the world trip which began in June, 2011. Read about when I started, post on my 100th day of wanders, and wrapping up Europe. It’s so quick that my month long volunteering gig at the hostel is finished. Tonight I’ll pack my bags again and move on tomorrow. I was invited by the girl who works here to go celebrate New Years Eve with her (and friends) in Puerto Viejo, a party beach on the Caribbean side. Costa Rica was a totally random decision to come to, and ended up staying the longest in. It was a very interesting experience and I’ve met some really nice people who I am already missing. I’ll write a piece about my experience later (fingers-crossed).
So anyway, before I end this year end post, I thought I’ll jot down some statistic of this epic Wanderlass RTW so far. As for the money already spent, well, miraculously I’m still recording (kind of), but I haven’t added them up yet. But here are some interesting numbers (they don’t include trips before June, 2011)
# Days Wandering – 207
# Countries – 19
# Cities – 61
# Plane – 14
# Train – 20
# Intercity Bus – 15
# Road Trip – 1
# Boat – 1
# Camel – 1
# Hosts (friends/cs) – 20
# Hostels/Hotels – 25
Chances are, this is the last post of the year. I could almost bet my life on it, unless someone challenges me. So, here’s wishing that your 2012 exceeds 2011 in awesomeness!