Bolivia Peru Argentina America
Galapagos Islands Easter Island Chile
Uruguay Brazil Paraguay New Zealand
Malaysia Singapore Cambodia Laos Thailand
Well what can I say other than it has been a fabulous year. I can't think of any reason why anybody who has the opportunity and the money wouldn't want to spend a relatively small part of their lives experiencing other cultures and generally embracing the trip of a lifetime. I am now of the opinion that there is no better way to use your funds!
Kate and I have had some amazing experiences and had no serious problems. If anything I was pleasantly surprised by how safe I felt in the vast majority of places we visited contrary to any fears we had before embarking on this trip. The only real way to get to know a place is to visit it for yourself and get rid of those preconceptions. We were always made to feel very special and I've lost count of the amount of friendly offers and invitations we received from local people in various continents over the past year, it really gives you a lot of faith in people. It wasn't all roses by any means, but the vast majority of issues that we experienced or heard about were opportunistic and even then it is hard to retain any resentment towards the perpetrators when considering the absolute poverty in some instances.
Although we were far from roughing it the majority of the time, this was after all a budget trip. A major highlight was the value for money available in many South East Asian and South American countries. You can live extremely well even on a small budget and again I was generally impressed by the quality of budget accommodation on the whole. Whilst we were on a shoe string, we didn't always go for the cheapest option because you often get a lot more for just a couple of quid more. Even in New Zealand, because we had arrived after peak season we were able to secure a campervan for around 25 pound per day with full insurance, much cheaper than in peak season. This represents amazing value especially when you consider that this is being split between two people and covers your travel (minus petrol costs of course) and accommodation (albeit just a few dollars more if staying in a legitimate camp site). If you can go without fine dining, the street food and drinks on offer in many countries surpasses the quality of most chain restaurants and you know your chicken is free range because they are often pecking around your feet.
Well amigos, amiguitas and fellow farang... I bid you farewell. I hope that you are able to have an adventure of your own sometime soon.