Last day: Delhi, India to Tokyo, Japan
Day 197 (I think): Country #23 (or 40)
With a layover in Tokyo, Japan, this is the last day of my long adventure through Asia Pacific – a journey spanning 22 countries, 75+ cities and endless landscapes. I raced against mother nature to stay ahead of the seasons and enjoyed an extended summer of travel through both hot/humid and hot/dry climates from New Zealand in the south to Mongolia to the far north. The next stop is Phoenix, Arizona to attend an important event, then home. And I did it all with just one backpack.
During the trip, a few items broke (most notably some great light weight sandals while bathing in the Tasmanian ocean), and a few were replaced (tote bag I got in Inner Mongolia), but in total, I packed a relatively light bag with a final weight of 16.8 kg (37 lbs), of which I had many backup items and a few which I never used, but nevertheless considered as “insurance”.
Alongside previous trips to other Asian countries and continents (which I will also write about), in total, I’ve now visited 40 countries, or roughly 20% of the world total! From a share of world population standpoint, I’ve been able to briefly see first hand how over half the world lives and form real memories and images of the world from the street level, the country side, atop mountains, sandy beaches, beside the temples, and at the dinner table and countless more perspectives. I literally walked over a thousand miles (or two) in other peoples’ world’s.
The sheer variety of human experience has been broad, yet I observed many common themes in the ways which we all relate to one another. The gradients of change from region to region, and country to country – the occasional stark shifts created by borders, and mother nature’s natural barriers could not prevent me from traversing one country to another, often by land, sometimes by ferry, air, and rail. The powerful human need to connect with one another, to travel, do business, share ideas, expand knowledge, fuse foods, preach religion, integrate culture and love expressed themselves in innumerate but common ways throughout a relatively seamless journey. I learned so much not only from museums, websites, walking around neighborhoods, but also from talking to other travelers and locals alike, each sharing their views of the world and directing me to points of interest and new directions.
It would be impossible to plan such a long trip in advance nor account for every problem and contingency along the way, so I had to learn to adapt and adjust with each new day. Whether it was getting bit by a dog and navigating foreign medical systems, or playing Bhutanese darts, or accidentally going on a holy Hindu pilgrimage, or hitch hiking after hiking through the Lord of the Ring’s landscape, I had a lot of fun and have tried to share the lessons that I’ve learned along the way so that others can have safer and more enjoyable travel experiences than me. And I did this all under an extremely cost effective budget, which could have been even lower if I traveled longer and did not set an end date.
Thank you everyone for following the blog so far. I know it’s been a somewhat unstructured telling of my adventure day by day and thus a little difficult to jump in. The tips also relate to events from each day and are also not as well organized. There is also a money aspect to the blog which I touch on in some travel tips and occasional write separate posts about. I plan to write more travel and money posts, touching on different aspects of my travels and personal financial management to allow others to plan their own travel adventures.
What do you think I should focus on? What would you like to learn more about? I’m open to ideas. Thanks again everyone for following my story. I hope you enjoyed it and continue to enjoy the blog.