The four of us will be soon on our way home after two sweet weeks of chilling with family in the Dominican Republic. Life has been good. We are bonding with our niece & cousin Kalina, learning to kite surf and just enjoying staying in one place. Our backpacks are stowed away. They have to be packed just once more and that’s it! Unbelievable.
What is even more unbelievable is that all of our clothes are washed in a real, spinning washing machine and they smell… amazing! Not smelling ‘right’ has been bugging us all along (kids excluded of course).
The laundry issue is settled for good, but we the adults are still struggling with constantly getting the same questions from every new person we meet. After a while it is hard for us to patiently respond without feeling that we are turning into parrots repeating all too familiar answers -the kids on the other hand would gladly talk your ears off. So here, for the adults’ sake, if you are a curious one please read this post to the end and if you have a question we haven’t answered post it in the comments so we can publicly answer it for other curious ones to see.
Most popular Question #1: What is our favorite country per continent?
We try not to pick favorites, but if you press us to the wall we will have to narrow our choices to the most vibrant experiences on our trip: India – crazy, exhausting, uplifting, unimaginable, life altering, an universe in itself. Namibia – full of Africa’s magic, splendid, jaw dropping, majestically bare. Colombia – our last love
Which country would you go back to? There is no country we won’t go back to, but we didn’t spend nearly enough time in Japan, Argentina and Indonesia. Patagonia has been a dream of ours for a long long time, but we didn’t feel ready to pay this part of Argentina a visit this time around even though the season was right. We got intimidated by the giant distances, the high cost of transportation and the crappiness of our camping equipment
Which country had the best food?
South Africa! ( I am excluding my native Bulgaria here). I mean how can you compete with South African double cream yogurt, apricots, strawberries and the most delicious produce. By the way, we never ate out in South Africa, only once when we met our friend Daniel
Which country had the best food for eating out?
Me – Japan, B&R&K – Kerala, Southern India (We are almost full time vegetarians and not eating meat on the road has been hard. Not in India though)
How are we affording this trip?
We have consciously chosen countries that are more affordable, except for Japan, Namibia and Argentina, but we didn’t linger there. We also went for short term rental of our house while we were on the road and tried not to live beyond the rent money coming our way. Did the house got ruined? We will find out in two weeks. Hopefully the roof is still on:)
Did you struggle with taking the kids out of school for that long?
Not at all. This was an easy decision. I am sure they will transition back to school with easy and the experiences on the road have been invaluable – the good, the bad and the ugly all included.
What is everyone’s favorite experience?
Me – All the hikes we took and seeing different people’s way of life, B – Driving around Namibia, K – Volcanoes in Indonesia and Angkor Wat, R – Everything
Most challenging moment?
When our passports got stolen in Cambodia right before our flight to Indonesia. Me – Getting sick like a dog on Annapurna Circuit in Nepal, Kuba – The day we entered by land from Nepal to India and our first day in India, Kids – nothing
Did you get robbed?
Heck yes. Me – All passports and credit cards except for one got stolen off of me in Cambodia, Kiba had two smart phones pick pocketed, one in Cape Town and one in Bogota. We also self sabotaged ourselves by breaking our computer screen and our camera. R lost two E-readers
What is the most common way we got around?
Mainly local busses in all sizes and levels of comfort and discomfort
Did you fly a lot?
Not much at all, mainly when jumping from continent to continent or the two times when the journey by land was considered dangerous or too long – La Paz to Rurrenabaque and Lima to Bogota.
What made you lose your marbles on the road?
Me – The pushiness of the people in India made me yell many times in public. Also being treated like a cash cow in Vietnam was frustrating – even buying vegetables at normal prices was a constant struggle there, Kuba – Getting the family on the wrong bus from the airport in Bogota and circulating around town for 2 hours, Kids – blank faces
Looking back what would you do differently?
Me – I would plan for more time in Africa, B – I would pack lighter and not carry paperbacks, Kuba – I would take cash to Argentina so we could spend more time there ( we were unaware of the black market there)
What surprised you the most?
Me – How I can easily disconnect with my workaholic identity back home and live contently with very few possessions and no idea of where the family is going to sleep the next day, Kuba – How interesting Colombia was and the existence of Curaçao:), B – The abundance of wildlife in Namibia, R – How easy it is to travel (heck yes, R doesn’t contribute much to all the work needed to make the trip happen – me)
What would you miss the most from the travels once you are home?
Me – The surprise of having different experiences every day and exploring new cultures, Kuba – Walkable cities and corner stores, B – Being together with the family all the time, R – Going to new places every day
Are you ready to get home? Me&K&R- yes!, B- mixed feelings
Are you going to travel again?
Yes. Hoping to visit Spain for the summer of 2016. Having to practice our Spanish is a good excuse:)
Can you see yourself again sitting on a chair holding a 9-5 job?
No, no, no…we have to be creative and figure out a way to stay out of the rat race.
Kids, are you happy to get back to school? B – maybe, R – excited!!!
What is the most rewarding part of this 21 months on the road?
Me – Showing the kids that following one’s dream is important and that having stuff is less important than having experiences, Kuba – Accomplishing this trip and coming back in one piece, B – Getting to know cultures and realizing that Asheville NC is not the center of the world, R – Learning Spanish
What did you miss having from home? Me – a kitchen, Kuba – a guitar, B – my good knife, R – a sowing machine
What are you most excited to go back to?
Me – Our awesome community of friends, Kuba – Reopening our architectural business, B- Back to having a workshop so I can start making things, R – a sewing machine.
How did the trip made your family closer?
Me – We got used to hanging out together in a chill mode all the time, not like before in an always busy and structured way, Kuba – We learned how to work through issues on the spot as there was no running away, B&R – We shared everything!
Now it is your turn – Do you have a question you want to ask us?