Duration – 15 months
January 1, 2015 – March 31, 2016
Continents – 5
North America, South America, Europe, Asia & Africa
The main focus on this trip around the world was South America. My plan was to spend a year there, but that changed over time and I ended up only spending 6.5 months there and I wouldn’t change it for the world. I saw a lot, but also left a lot to see and that makes me happy because I know some day I would like to return and see more. As for the rest… I didn’t really have plans to visit Europe, but that changed and ended up visiting a whole bunch of friends I have made during my travels. I went back to Asia to visit countries in SEAsia I hadn’t seen and was also lucky to stay with a friend in Tokyo for a month. Of course my visit in Africa was once again Morocco and Egypt (yes people they are both real African countries) so that does in fact count as Africa!
Countries – 31
Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil, Paraguay, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, England, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Germany, France, Spain, Morocco, Portugal, South Korea, Japan, Indonesia, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Egypt
Of those 31 countries 23 of them were brand new for me and that brings my grand total of countries visited in my life time to 54!!!
- Patagonia (Chile/Argentina)
- Japan (Tokyo)
Cities – 98 (give or take a few)
Santiago, Valparaiso, Pucon, Puerto Varas, Bariloche, El Chalten, El Calafate, Puerto Natales, Ushuaia, Buenos Aires, Colonia, Montevideo, Cabo Polonio, Punta del Diablo, Porto Alegre, Florianopolis, Sao Paulo, Paraty, Isla Grande, Rio de Janeiro, Puerto Iguzu, Monte Alto, Asuncion, Santa Cruz, Potosi, Sucre, Uyuni, La Paz,Rurrenabaque, Copacabana, Isla del Sol, Puno, Cusco, Machu Picchu Town, Nazca, Ica, Lima, Huaraz, Quito, Otavalo, Bogota, Santa Marta, Riohacha, Uribia, Cabo de la Vela, Cartagena, Palomino, Tyrona, Houston, London, Stockholm, Oslo, Helsinki, Tallinn, Riga, Vilnius, Warsaw, Krakow, Berlin, Dusseldorf, Paris, Barcelona, Benidorm, Algeciras, Chefchaouen, Fez, Lisbon, Porto, Bristol, Stoke-on-Trent, Manchester, Seoul, Tokyo, Jakarta, Yogyakarta, Bromo, Ubud, Kuta, Gili Trawangan, Gili Air, Komodo Island, Labuhanbajo, Yangon, Mawlamyine, Hpa-An, Kyaikto, Bagan, Kalaw, Inle Lake, Mandalay, Bangkok, Phuket, Koh Phi Phi, Koh Lanta, Siem Reap, 4000 Islands, Vientiane, Van Vieng, Luang Prabang, Chiang Mai, Cairo, Luxor, Aswan, Edfu, Kom Ombo, Esna
—For sure one of the most memorable stamps I will ever receive… my 50th country!!!—
Border Crossings – 28
(29 if you count stepping into North Korea for a few seconds)
- 15 by land
- 13 by air
Kiss – ??
This time around I didn’t keep track of how many men I kissed. I honestly didn’t want to know and don’t ever want to know. I had too much fun in Latin America…lol!
Sex – XX
I actually did keep track of this, but don’t want to share it and won’t. I didn’t write about all of them, but did happen to write about two of my experiences well three if you count my return to Cairo. The two I wrote about are the 2 very intense nights in Montevideo and then a fling in Brazil that opened my eyes to the reality of visiting beautiful places.
Love – 1
I’ve been in love with the same man for over 4 years now. I never lost hope once and yes it was hell sometimes, but in the end was worth it. I returned to Egypt and things fell right into place. We are now doing the long distance relationship thing while I do what I need to do back home. We both know we have a lot of obstacles facing us, but decided we will take it one day at a time and see what happens.
—One of the craziest dorms I’ve stayed in 3 bed bunks…lol.—
Beds – 147
Yeah still ended up sleeping in some great and horrible places. Still slept in mostly hostels even though I think I have outgrown them, but deal with it for budget reasons. I think the worst was the little mat I slept on during the 4 days 3 nights cruise to Komodo Islands. OMG that was beyond horrible, but I survived.
Flights – 27
I flew more than I anticipated, but know it’s because my travel habits have changed and prefer comfort over savings sometimes…lol. My shortest flight was actually the shortest flight I have ever taken in my life and even wrote a blog post about it. The longest flight was once again my flight home.
- My shortest flight was Santa Cruz – Sucre (28 minutes)
- My longest flight was Istanbul – Houston (13.5 hours)
Airports – 35
IAH, SCL, USH, EZE, GIG, IGR, VVI, SRE, LPB, RBQ, UIO, BOG, SMR, CTG, LHR, ARN, FEZ, MAD, OPO, BRS, ICN, HND, NRT, KUL, CGK, LBJ, DPS, RGN, MDL, BKK, DMK, HKT, REP, CAI, IST
Of the 35 airports I visited I did spend the night at 3 of them because of an early flight and to save on accommodation.
Books Read – 10
The Shock Doctrine, From the Land of Green Ghost, Burmese Days, Sex & the Citadel, Hunters in the Dark, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Shantaram, Into the Wild, The Alchemist, Open Veins of Latin America,
The truth is that I am not much of a reader, but things changed towards the end of this trip around the world. I’m not sure what happened or how it happened, but I began enjoying reading. I read quite a few books in the span of a few months. Some of the books I read were some of my favorite I have read. Of the 10 I read the 2 that I highly recommend are Sex & the Citadel and Open Veins of Latin America. Of course everyone recommends The Alchemist and I was so happy to finally read it.
—Some of my favorite black and white shots I shared on Instagram.—
Photos shared on Instagram– 1,100+
I honestly have no idea how many photos I took, but become very addicted to Instagram and shared a ton on there. I was traveling with a good point and shoot, but after it broke I ditched it and just took photos with my iPod and while I was home ended up buying the iPhone 6 and turned into an iPhone only photographer. I probably though took over 30,000 photos… because I take a million of the same thing, but at the end of each day delete all the ones I know I will not use.
Follow me on Instagram @breakawaybackpacker if you’re not already!!!
Post Cards Sent Home – 150+
I didn’t keep track of how many postcards I sent, but know it was for sure over 150. I sent of Salar de Uyuni, Machu Pichu, Ushuia, Myanmar, South Korea, and then random places for few people at a time. During the major send homes I typically sent home about 25-30 postcards, so yeah it’s for sure over 150. What’s crazy is that I just realized that I am sure I have sent more than 350 during on all my travels and if we just do the math at spending about $1 per postcard for the actual postcard and stamps… ummm THAT’S A LOT OF MONEY! Oh well… don’t regret sending any home and it’s worth it, because I know they’re appreciated.
—A portion of my magnet collection. Seriously need a frame 3 times this size to fit them all.—
Packages Sent Home – 5
One of the things I’m happy I did during my trip around the world was ship small souvenirs home along with a few gifts for my family and friends. When you are on the road you want to buy everything, but it is hard to buy anything because once you buy it you must carry it around with you until you ship home. Now that I am home I love my magnet collection and my travel shelf filled with things from around the world. I do think I have an addiction to buying magnets. I want to buy a magnet from every single place I visit and sometimes want to visit a place to buy a magnet…lol. I can’t wait to have my own house and have a custom made metal board framed so I can put all my magnets on it. Anyway I shipped home five times from the following places:
- Montevideo, Uruguay
- La Paz, Bolivia
- Lisbon, Protugal
- Seoul, South Korea
- Tokyo, Japan
ATMs Used – 98
Went through 15 months of statements to get this figure. Unlike last time this time around my debit card was compromised once in Brazil and was quite the ordeal to get it taken care of, but because of that enjoyed a nice fling. Of the 98 ATMs I used I received $0 in FEES because the bank I bank with doesn’t charge me a fee for using any ATM around the world and refunds me the fee the ATM charges me for using their ATM and not being a customer. Oh yes Charles Schwab rocks… if you are a US citizen you should check them out.
Jeans – 3 pair
I’m not changing what I wrote last time to 3 and leaving as it is, because it’s still exactly how I feel.
No I didn’t travel with 3 pair of jeans… I went through 3 pair of jeans. I know it’s the most controversial item in a backpackers packing list, but I’ve said it before and will say it again: “JEANS are the most important thing I have in my backpack (I keep my laptop in my day-pack so it doesn’t count). Don’t listen to ANYONE who tells you that they are heavy, a bitch to wash or anything else they may say to sway you not to bring them. Jeans are a UNIVERSAL clothing item… just about anywhere you go in the world people are wearing jeans.” I used my jeans more than any other piece of clothing I had and would always get holes in the ass after a few months. That is why I went through 3 pair, plus it was fun to do some shopping on the road here and there.
—Getting my haircut in Monte Alto, Paraguay.—
Hair Cuts – 10
I love getting my haircut abroad, because it’s always such an adventure. It’s an adventure to find a place to cut your hair and then an adventure to explain to someone who doesn’t speak your language how you want your hair cut. Think my most memorable hair cut this time around was in Monte Alto, Paraguay. I remember the daughter of the family I was staying with taking me to the home of the lady that cuts hair. She gave me a great haircut and when she charged me $2 I was shocked at how cheap it was. I ended up giving her $5 and remember she didn’t want to take the tip. I had to explain to her that it was fine and that $5 is what I pay at home (yeah always get cheap haircuts).
- Inle Lake, Myanmar
- Jakarta, Indonesia
- Seoul, Korea
- Barcelona, Spain
- Teran, Mexico
- Cartagena, Colombia
- Monte Alto, Paraguay
- Buenos Aires, Argentina
- Chiang Mai, Thailand
- Cairo, Egypt
Held at Gunpoint – 0
Thankfully this time around I did not get held at gunpoint at all. I still remember vividly the time I was Held at gunpoint in Monteverde and once was enough for a lifetime…lol. Glad I can laugh about that now.
Arrested – 0
Again thankfully this time around I did not get arrested or have any run in with the law. I still remember The night I was arrested and almost sent to jail in Manila and honestly I look back and that was way more terrifying than being held at gunpoint. Hello… I would not survive in any jail any where in the world.
—Hooked to an IV in a hospital in Rio.—
Hospital visits – 1
This time around I did have to visit the hospital and it wasn’t cheap, but saved my life. I will never forget my time in Rio de Janeiro, because for the first time in my life actually felt like I was dying. I know that sounds dramatic, but with 4 days of fever and no eating at all I could barely move and if it wasn’t for fainting in the middle of the night I probably would have never recovered. It was a long ordeal and one I wrote about because it really was a crazy experience. That was the only time in all my travels where I have really thought this may be it. What’s crazy is I remember not wanting to let anyone at home know.
Gay Prides Attended – 2
One of the reasons I changed my plans and decided to visit Europe again was because I was asked to be a part of the #MyGayPride campaign two of my good blogging friends Two Bad Tourist started. The campaign took me to Gay Pride in Stockholm and Gay Pride in Benidorm. Oh man they were a blast and was nice to meet so many other LGBT Travel Bloggers.
Recognized – 3
Yes… recognized!!! I was recognized 3 times out of the blue by readers of my blog. As I write this I’m smiling and laughing because I remember each of them and they were each kind of surreal. It’s strange to be recognized out of the blue far from home on the other side of the world. I did write a post on being recognized for the first time and how strange it was, but how cool as well. It was the same feeling when I was recognized the 2nd time at breakfast in a hostel in Bogota and the 3rd time walking down the street of Siem Reap.
Cost of a 15 month backpacking trip around the world – ???
One of the questions I am always asked and never bothers me to answer is how much it cost me to travel the world. Like last time I continued to track every penny I spent. This time though it was honestly a lot easier to track because I finally downloaded Trail Wallet an amazing travel app that helps keep track of all your spending. I have already calculated what I spent for this 15 month backpacking trip around the world and will share that in the next post!!!
Well there you have it some random and interesting statistics from my 15 month backpacking trip around the world. I wish I could have shared more, but I didn’t keep track of many and these are the only ones I can think of for now and can figure out with what I have available. It’s kind of crazy looking at my trip through numbers, I am happy I was able to do everything I did with the budget I had. Ahhh I sit here and think of all the crazy things I did and yeah I wouldn’t change a thing and am so happy with what I accomplished during those 15 months.
So is their anything specific you would like to know? What are your thoughts on some of these statistics I shared? Soon I’ll share how much it cost me to backpack around the world for 15 months!!! In the mean time you can read how much it cost to travel the world for two years.