Posts Tagged ‘year of travel’

July 6th
written by Alonna

After returning from Europe last November, I created some photo collages from our trip using Ben’s awesome home-made program. With another 9,000 photos taken on our Round-the-World trip, I created a few more. Here’s three that turned out well…

Sphinx – Giza, Egypt

The Great Sphinx in Egypt Photo Mosaic created by Ben's program

Elephant – Kruger National Park, South Africa

Elephant in South Africa Photo Mosaic created by Ben's program

Opera House – Sydney, Australia


July 1st
written by Bullet-Point Ben

Let’s say you’re thinking about taking some time off and traveling the world like we recently did.

It’s a given that you won’t come back from a world-wide walkabout as exactly same person.  Some people write books about their life-changing experiences, but for most travelers, the changes are small. To friends and family, the only immediately noticeable difference will be an annoying tendency to share world travel related anecdotes. “This reminds me of the time I was grilling kangaroo meat in Australia….”

But even if you have an “ordinary” world travel experience, here are some of the ways that world travel might affect you: (more…)

June 22nd
written by Alonna

Sometimes photos can’t quite capture the moment the way a short video clip can. Here’s a few fun videos that we took while traveling around the world. Warning – these were taken with the low-quality of our point & shoot cameras, and the poor videomanship of moi. I hope you find them entertaining anyway!

Big Ice

Remember when we hiked around on a glacier in Argentina? Well here’s what ice crunching under your cramp-ons sounds like.


Sounds of Islam

Our introduction to the Islamic call to prayer was in Istanbul, where the eerily beautiful chants provided occasional background music to our sightseeing. At our next stop in Cairo, Egypt (more…)

June 11th
written by Alonna

Curious how much we spent this past year on traveling, but too shy to ask? Well don’t be, because we’re not shy to talk about it. In fact, I’ll just lay it all out for you. Analyzing the cost of something like this is really interesting to me – it seems like so much money,

Traveling the world

The trip of a lifetime

but it all comes down to your priorities in life, and what you want to spend your time and money doing. We chose to spend a good chunk of both on traveling around the world. Was it worth it? Absolutely.

The Costs

Total Travel Costs

Item Time Cost
Europe Travel 3 months $15,600
Europe Plane Tickets (Airline Miles) $130
RTW Travel 5 months $18,580
RTW Plane Tickets $9,530
Total (8 months) $43,710

Travel Costs by Country (more…)

June 6th
written by Alonna

Our home in Boise

Our home in Boise

We’re home! Ben and I have been back in Boise for almost a week now, and we’re happy to be home. Of course, there are some mixed feelings ending a trip like this. On the road, every day brings something new and exciting, whereas back home we have quickly fallen into a daily routine in a familiar setting. Looking back at the incredible things we’ve seen and done this past year, it’s a little sad to see it come to an end – especially when I know there’s a lot more out in the world that I’d like to see! But, on top of the fact that we’ve depleted most of our savings and have no choice but to return to work, it feels great to be home.

Re-Discovering our House

Something I never anticipated was how nice it would be to return to our house and belongings after living out of a backpack and in hostels for 5 months. In some ways it’s liberating to have only a few sets of clothes and just the essentials with you at all times. While backpacking, you can’t help but wonder why you need that house full of “stuff” anyway – you’re doing fine with just these 30lbs. But, you forget about all the little things that make life so much easier and more comfortable. No – I didn’t miss the lawnmower or vacuum cleaner – but I was surprised to remember that I love wearing high heels and jewelry, and I now have the choice between at least 5 pairs of jeans and hundreds of tops. In addition to clothing, we have a kitchen full of nice dishes and appliances. We cooked a lot while traveling to save money, but the kitchens in hostels are nothing like your own kitchen back home. Dull knives, missing utensils, tiny fridges packed full of people’s food, and no cupboard with of your favorite spices and cooking supplies. Like I said, it’s really nice to be home.

What’s Next?

Now that we’re back, you might be curious about our plans for the future. We are too! We don’t have any solid plans yet, but I promise I’ll let you know when we do.

As for the blog – it will live on! We still have a lot to say about our past year of traveling, and we’ll continue to share photos of any interesting adventures that come our way. Some topics in the works include the cost of our trip, things we’ve learned, and more photo collages. Is there anything you’d like to know about? Please leave a comment and we’ll try to address it.

Thank you for following us on this incredible journey!

December 30th
written by Alonna

I’m so excited to share our upcoming travel plans for 2010! While the first half of our year of traveling was a whirlwind of many places within a relatively small amount of space and time (3 months in Europe), the second half of our trip will be fewer places but spread around the world for 5 months. And I mean that literally, Ben and I will be traveling completely around the circumference of the world using a RTW (Round-The-World) flight ticket. In RTW-terminology, we’re purchasing a 5-continent OneWorld Explorer ticket (“LONE5”) starting in February from Ecuador. The ticket is pricey, around $5k per person after all of the taxes and a couple additional flights. And it’s not easy to plan it either, I’ve probably spent a good 40-hour week figuring this out (good thing I’m not working!)

But back to the fun part, here’s our itinerary:

View RTW 2010 in a larger map

  • Quito, Ecuador (3 weeks) – Alonna will be studying Spanish while Ben remains in Boise
  • Galapagos Islands, Ecuador (10 days) – Ben arrives in Ecuador we head out for an 8 day cruise
  • Patagonia, Argentina & Chile (3 weeks) – Hiking, biking, and enjoying the outdoors
  • Buenos Aires, Argentina (4 days) – A little time in the city before leaving South America
  • Istanbul, Turkey (6 days) – We missed Istanbul on our Europe tour, so we’re going back!
  • Egypt (9 days) – Traveling further back in history from where we left off in Ancient Greece and Rome
  • South Africa (9 days) – We’ll base in Johannesburg and go on an African Safari
  • New Zealand (1 month) – Focusing on the South Island and all the adventures we can manage in a month
  • Australia (3 weeks) – Three weeks somewhere in Australia
  • Hawaii (1 week) – Bonus! Our RTW ticket lets us stop in Hawaii on our way home

All of this starts January 8th when Alonna leaves for Ecuador – only 1 week away! Our dates are flexible, but we plan to be back to Boise by the end of May.

Please share this trip with us! We are extremely interested and open to having YOU travel with us at any point of this trip. If you were thinking of going to New Zealand, Egypt, Hawaii or somewhere else listed above this spring, let us know because we’d love to meet up. Also please share if you know anyone in any of these areas that would be interested in meeting or hosting us. The more the merrier!

December 14th
written by Alonna

Many people asks what our favorite place was during our recently completed 3 month trip to Europe. Even though we’ve settled on a generic (but honest) answer of “all of Italy and Greece”, of course there’s a lot more of our trip to share. Here’s a few favorites…

Favorite Scenery: Chamonix, France


November 16th
written by Alonna

Just a quick note to say that we made it home to Boise, about 22 hours after leaving our apartment in Rome. All of the flights went well, but we’re exhausted. It feels nice to be at home, and to be in the US where everything just seems normal and comfortable. And I was amazed when I got home to look through my drawers and closet to see how much clothing I own. And to think I used to complain about having nothing to wear!

We’ll probably keep updating the website now and then, with some general observations from Europe, maybe some details on what we packed and how our budget turned out, and of course, stay tuned as we plan the next stage of our adventure.

August 18th
written by Alonna

At the airport, heading off to Europe

Now that I’m sitting here in the Boise Airport, I’m finally SUPER excited to be heading to Europe.  However, the last few days  have been a bit stressful.  As we tried to get the house ready for our renter and make final arrangements before heading off for three months, the time we had left to finish everything just slipped away.  And today when the taxi arrived (10 minutes early, which didn’t help), we scrambled to finish picking up and getting our stuff together.

Phew, but now we’re here.  Yay!  And as far as we know, we haven’t forgotten anything.  So we’re good 🙂

So, our plan is to blog throughout our trip.  We’ll see how it goes with frequency, but at the very least you should hear from us once a week.

The first stop is Amsterdam, where we’ll be joined by both of our Moms.  We don’t have internet at our hotel there, but we might get a chance to stop at an internet cafe.

Bye for now!

August 11th
written by Alonna

It’s getting close, only one week until we leave for Europe!

Getting Ready

I have borrowed TONS of books from the library.  I love reading guidebooks. If only there was more time in the day…

I also did a trial run of my new shoes and my loaner backpack.  I hiked up to Table Rock with about 15 lbs in my pack.  Success!  No problems with either items.  But my legs were a little tired.
Goals for the Year

On a different note, here’s a few of the things I hope to gain from this year of traveling:

  • fun and adventure
  • appreciation for different cultures and ways of living
  • learn more about history and the world
  • be brave and try new things
  • improve my photography
  • make friends all over the world
  • remain flexible and open-minded
  • learn a little of the local languages, and improve my Spanish
  • share my experiences with friends and family