In some ways it feels like just yesterday that we were strapping on our packs headed to Belize to start our trip of a lifetime. In other ways it feels like another lifetime ago. We have been on the road for 2 years now. It’s hard to believe when you say it out loud, but it’s true.
We have learned so much and experienced a lifetime of travel in just 2 short years. These past years have been both challenging and extremely rewarding. When I think back about all the breathtaking places we have seen and the amazing thing we have done it makes my eyes well up.
To celebrate our milestone we put together a short video of some of our favorite moments to help inspire your next trip.
In the past two years we touched down in 46 countries on 6 continents. We added 147 stamps to our passports, and slept in 258 different beds. (And we spent a whole bunch of money, but we will talk about that figure later this week in an upcoming post.)
In our second year of travel we tried to take it a little slower, but in our normal fashion we didn’t. Here is a quick run-down of what we did in year two of our 2+ year RTW Trip.
We started the year off leaving Africa after our 43-day overland safari. From Cape Town we flew to Koln, Germany where we had just one night before Adam’s Parents arrived to meet us for our European family road trip.
On that trip, we took our black VW station wagon from Frankfurt down Germany’s romantic road. We quick dipped into the Austrian Alps just to say we saw them. From southern Germany, we made our way to the Czech Republic spending a few nights in the beautiful city of Prague.
We also squeezed in time for plenty of beer and a trip to the home of pilsner beer, Pilsner Urquell in Plzen, CZ. After getting our fill of beer we made our way to the country of Adam’s family’s sir name, Poland. We used Krakow as our base to explore the city, the famous salt mines, and Auschwitz as there are tons of attractions in Krakow to see. Krakow ways the last stop on the family road trip, but we drove back up to Berlin to see the wall and the city.
From Berlin, we caught a flight to Rome to start our Italian portion of our trip. Within minutes I had learned that I will never ever visit Europe in the summer again. Italy was very busy for us we made stops in Rome, Florence, Bolognia, Venice, and Milan. Our favorites ended up being Rome and Venice, even though everyone said I would hate Venice.
Next up was another family outing, a wedding in Latvia. Hannah’s cousin got married in the beautiful countryside of Latvia. We based ourselves in Riga and enjoyed the old Riga at night. The wedding was a great time with traditions far different than ours at home.
After Riga, we made our way to Paris for a few nights. mostly because it was the cheapest place to get home from. When deciding where to stay in Paris we ended up in a cute Airbnb right in the center. Hannah’s best friend was getting married and made for a good reason to stop home for a couple of weeks and see family and friends.
Then we bounced back to Europe to continue where we left off. Our first stop was Vienna for a couple nights exploring the city. On the way out of town is where we ran into problems. We got extorted by the Austrian Police and a handful of parking tickets, not a good way to start a leg of a trip.
Next up was Croatia. We drove ourselves to the coastal town of Dubrovnik where our 7-day cruise of the islands kicked off. We had a nice cruise around the islands. See more on our Croatian cruise.
After we jumped off the boat it was back in the car headed north toward Slovenia. We spend a couple of nights around the stunning Lake Bled area. Crystal clear water was surrounded by tall mountains. It’s a very pretty part of the world and we wished we would have had a few more days there. However, we didn’t because we were on our way to Octoberfest in Munich.
Adam’s brother met us for a beer tour. We started our tour in Munich for the annual festival in Munich. We learned what not to do at Octoberfest but still managed to have a great time at the festival. From there we headed up to Stuttgart to see the automobiles that Germany is famous for and check out the race tracks in the area. Next up was Koln. The famous church was the biggest draw to the city and the Kolish beer, a style founded in this area.
The last stop of the beer tour was Belgium, the mecca of beers. We pretty much came to Belgium just or the beer, without much planned besides trying a whole lot of it. On the way from Koln, we stopped at a few of the Trappist breweries where the monks make some tasty beer. First up was the Achel Trappist brewery and the Westlaven. Brussels was where we put our heads at night, but besides the beer, we didn’t really care for the city. The copious amounts of good beer at the Delirium Cafe made up for it though.
Next up Spain. With only a few days break between visitors we had another friend from home come for her second trip with us to Barcelona, Madrid, and Greece. Barcelona was one of our favorite cities in Europe and one of the few places I think I could live in Europe.
We had a few more stops as our European tour wound down. We spent 10 days in Athens to see the sights and attend the European TBEX conference. There is still a bunch to post from this part of the trip that we just got too busy to get to.
The last stop of our fast-paced fall was Turkey. We spent 4 nights in Istanbul and another few in Cappadocia. We could have spent a lot more time in Turkey but we were burnt out by then from the busy busy few months. We took a hot air balloon ride, had some great food, stayed in a cave hotel, and saw the blue mosque.
From Turkey, we clawed on to a plane bound for Chiang Mai, Thailand to settle down for a few months. we spent from December to April living in our apartment in Chiang Mai, with a bunch of side trips of course.
While living in Thailand we took trips to
- Cambodia to see the ruins again more in-depth and see our friend Sok the best tuk-tuk driver in Siem Reap.
- Bangkok to met another friend from back home and eat the street food
- Koh Lipe our favorite island in the world
- Then a surprise trip to India for the Holi festival
- Finally a luxurious trip to Langkawi, Malaysia
And if that wasn’t enough we left Thailand and headed back to Africa. Our safari with Acacia Africa was great last year but we missed a few things so we had to come back. This year Adam lead a photo tour from Nairobi through Uganda to catch a shot of the mountain gorillas. Also, Mozambique just opened up for overlanding again so we really wanted to get there (which is where we are currently). In total, we will spend 68 days driving a giant truck around Africa sleeping in a tent.
And that’s the quick version of our year 2 of our RTW trip!