Sign in or Create your own Travel blog
Select Location: 

View Entire Trip

Share |

Sunday 13 Jun 2010
Stockport, United Kingdom

Summing Up

A last blog hopefully summing up our travels over the last year.

We had high expectations of our trip and overall these expectations were met, not exceeded as they were so high, but definitely met. We started out with a rough plan and that plan, I believe, worked very well indeed. We had two five month spells away either side of Christmas and we had some fixed events, like flight dates and dates when we were due in some cities. We also had star things that we both wanted to see, natural and man made wonders of the world. But there was also a good deal of flexibility in our travels and that allowed us to linger or hasten away from places, depending on how we were enjoying ourselves. Yes our main focus was to be selfish and enjoy ourselves as much as possible. We had lots of decisions to be made on the hoof, decisions such as where to go, how to get there, where to stay and for how long. We had to discuss and carry out research, the internet and local tourist information were invaluable and we either booked ahead or if we had time checked out accomodation as we arrived.

Our budget dictated much of what we did. We could not afford to act as tourists or five star holidaymakers, and early on in our trip we realised that we would not be able to do everything, the countries that we visited were too vast and our funds were far from bottomless. Much of our budget was spent on digs and we were the happiest in places with a good standard and we had some low points when the accommodation was poor, especially when our digs were unclean. It suited us, as we found out, to book places with cooking facilities. This not only helped on the budget, eating for a small fraction of an eat-out price, but allowed us to eat healthy food. Call me sad but I kept a weekly check on our spending and internet banking allowed us to keep control of our funds. We had to break some budgets for star items, such as whale watching, trips to Uluru and the Great Barrier Reef, they had to be done. We were both lucky and unlucky, being in town at the right or wrong time. We had luck on many occasions, for example doing a beach walk in Scrborough we stumbled across a surf competition and we really saw how surfing can be done. In Vancouver we were intrigued by a few hundred flag waving and excited Japanese people. Being nosy we stayed with them to see a frail, minute and gracious Emperor of Japan leave the Convention Centre, if we had been very pushy we might have been on the evening news, but we were not as excited as the rest of the crowd and were clearly the wrong race.

It is very difficult to evaluate what we enjoyed most in our travels. On our drive back from the Great Ocean Road near Melbourne we were discussing how magnificent the sights were compared with others we had seen in Canada and the US. We started listing wonderful sights and easily got to twenty before concluding that it was impossible to rate and rank what we had seen. As for man-made wonders we concluded that the cities we visited qualified. We loved Vancouver, San Francisco and Melbourne. We very much liked Kuala Lumpur, Melaka, Singapore, Sydney, Perth, Quebec, Ottawa, Montreal, Boston and Washington. We disliked Toronto New York and Los Angeles. Within the cities there were many wonders such as the magnificent Islamic Art Centre in Kuala Lumpur. We would not have known that Australia is such a great country without going and seeing for oursleves. We would not have known that the US (let us be kind) does not suit us (I could have said much of it is a shit hole and the people are scary) without seeing for ourselves, although we loved our time in our RV, that was wonderful. Meeting Emily and Jenny in Las Vegas for Jenny's birthday late last year was magic for me and Liz for so many reasons. Las Vegas was not included in my city list above as it cannot be classified, Las Vegas is Las Vegas, outside the strip you are either in an affluent area or safe gated community or your life is in danger

What has all this travelling done for me and Liz? If we had not done our trip, after discussing it for years before going, we would have always regretted it. We are definitely a year older, but probably not that much wiser. I hope that the travelling has made us braver and more flexible people. We would not have missed any of the experiences we had, good and bad. Having now been to many of the locations described in books or shown on tv and on films we can relate in a much more meaningful way to what is going on. We missed home, friends and family dreadfully, but will we be able to settle back home or will we get itchy feet? I know that it is great to be home seeing everyone and we cannot afford to be rootless, so we will be diving back in to life at home. In many ways nothing changes, after watching England in the world cup last night and seeing yet another England goalkeeping howler, we know that we are definitely home.

Thanks so much for reading and contributing to our blog, we have loved hearing from you. Love Liz and Andy.

6 Comments for this Travel blog entry

trish Says:

14 June 2010

welcome home! xx

tony Says:

3 July 2010

Where has the last year gone, it seems like just a few weeks ago since you went to America. Welcome back you two and we must come up and see you. Ant

Jerryrok Says:

6 September 2017


Jerryrok Says:

6 September 2017


Darryljerty Says:

25 October 2017


Frankp Says:

6 November 2017 - seo ??????????? ????? ??????????????
? ??????? ?????????? ?????? - - seo ??????????? ?????


Asia and Oz

Travel blog by andybowden

Fantastic Trinity Beach

Fantastic Trinity Beach

This is the second half of Liz and Andy's gap year trip, "doing" some Asian countries and using up our measly visa allowance of 90 days in Australia, it has been great to be home and it is great to be off again.

visitors: 164,543

Currently in:

Manchester, United Kingdom

Buy this Blog on CD!  More...

Makes a great gift for anytime!

Photo Album

  • Scarborough...



    Scarborough Beach, that is me
  • Surfer Dudes



    Surfer Dudes
  • Beach in...



    Beach in Winter, can you believe
  • We are on the...



    We are on the Sunset Coast

Travel blogs from United Kingdom

View all entries for this trip »

My other Trips

North America