Monday, March 30
I walk today through the same door I exited 214 days ago. It is a good day to be here, and a good day to be. Of those 214 days, 196 were out of the country. That is 28 weeks, or about seven months, fully 3 times longer than i have ever sat on foreign soil. During those 28 weeks I spent more than one day in 26 countries, and transited through 5 others. My total miles traveled was a satisfying 61600, 35200 of which was in the air.
To achieve this end I boarded 28 distinct flights, 43 trains, and 95 buses, including several local buses, the traveler's testpiece. Additionally I climbed into 42 private cars and more than 60 taxis. I sweated out 17 boat rides, and 11 times I chose to scooter about. I "expertly" managed 8 different subway systems, and simply hoofed it for more than 500 miles.
On the average, I traveled 290 miles a day, which by most standards is an awful lot, and so, was quite weary when I laid my head on over 130 different beds in various villages, towns, and cities, more than 20 of would be considered capitals or major world cities. To traverse these miles and visit these places required the outlay of $16292 door to door, which, when added to initial cost of flights and preparation brings my total cost to almost 20000 dollars.
What justifies the expense in my mind is the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites I have compiled on this trip. These sites have been designated by the United Nations as possessing outstanding cultural or natural resources and are protected under international law. I recommend googling UNESCO World Heritage to see which of these sites you have visited. You have probably seen several among your travels.
Additionally I set foot, for short or great length, in 14 National Parks, visited 13 museums, some of which are absolutely world class. I maundered through 8 different zoos or botanical gardens, and visited scores of temples, castles and ruins. I enjoyed nature at its best among many hikes along the coast or through stark alpine meadows. I was dazzled by caves, waterfalls, canyons and lakes. I made quick work of the worlds only 3 dimensional maze, freaked out in war-worn underground tunnels and walked over a few remarkable bridges.
As I sign off today and say goodbye to you all for now, I wish that you take the time to examine the recent months of your life. I trust you will find that it was filled with similar beauty, mystery, drama, and drudgery. All opportunities to find deeper meaning in your own personal journey.