- country: Kyrgyzstan (although Italy is always a staple)
- food: Italy! (gelato.. need I say more?)
- city: Istanbul
- town: Manarola in the Cinque Terres in Italy
- view: the cliffs in Santorini, Greece, glaciar lakes in Kyrgyzstan
- transit: day 1 on horse over the mountains to the country/lakeside of Kyrgyzstan
- jam: sour cherry in yurt #3
- moment: stepping out into Athens at the beginning of my trip.
- leg of the trip: the Tri-stan trek.
- night: a toss up between the 1 hr moonlight walk to the secluded rock beach with Joy and Otto, and the night in Skopje, Macedonia airport
- day: Day 2 in Montenegro (the guy, the old lady and the swedes in that town)
- moment: flying off my horse in the hills of Kyrgyzstan
- meal: mutton dumplings (I just couldn't...)
- ice cream: the gooey gummy stuff in Istanbul
- sight: Jane catapulting from the outhouse with her headlight in the pitch dark in the Kyrgyz
- transit: carrying my 50 lb backpack when my back gave out while also being pick-pocketed in Athens subway, the not so safe big plane ride from Tashkent to Bukhara, Uzbekistan
- quote: "Can I hassle you?" "I would like to make love to you."
- point of confusion: why was I the only person not carrying 2 melons onto the plane from Uzbekistan to Moscow?!?! Do they know something I don't?
- The caldera views and lazy days in Santorini in the Greek Islands
- Dinners + gelato at the Ipata house
- Eating gelato anywhere in Italy
- Walking the towns in the Cinque Terre with mom
- Dipping into the cool ocean in Croatia with Joy
- Gazing at the Fjords in Montenegro
- Exploring and chilling in Istanbul
- Staying with Abby and Jake in Almaty
- View from the top of the pass at the glacier lakes in Kyrgyzstan
- Playing the Kyrgyz card game with Jane and Aipeck in our third Yurt
- Admiring the architecture in Uzbekistan
OK, so as I was traveling, I kept tally of random things. So, here are some stats for fun!
Days traveled: 56
Countries visited: 8
(1 repeat, 7 new countries, + 2 nights in 2 new countries' airport: Macedonia & Russia)
Different "beds", or rather, different places I spent a night: 30 (hostels, B&Bs, hotels, homes, apts, ferries, airports)
ice creams eaten: 33 (greatly enhanced in Italy, and dramatically reduced in the 'stans)
Hours spent on the internet: 20 (mostly in Istanbul)
Weight of big backpack leaving the U.S. = 20 kg ~ 44 lbs
Weight of not so big backpack leaving Uzbekistan = 9.8 kg ~ 21.5 lbs.
Number of shoes thrown away at the end of the trip: 3
Number of shoes acquired: 1
Hours in transit: 167.5 total
Plane - 43
Ferry - 33.5
Bus - 28
Foot - 16.5
Horse - 15.5
Train - 15
Car (driving) - 10
Taxi - 6.5
Hours waiting at airports: 43
Number of different airlines flown: 6
(British, Olympia, Croatia, Turkish, Krygyz, Uzbekistan) keeping it local!
At Tashkent airport - the main international airport in Uzbekistan. All of the departing flights for the day fit on this one screen. And this was one of the larger airports I flew out of on this trip!Please let me leave your country!So, it took me 48 hours, and 4 flights to get from Bukhara, Uzbekistan back to NYC! We spent 8 hours in Tashkent waiting to leave the country, watching everyone saran wrap their bags and getting our paperwork in order. Then Jane went east and I went west to get back to our respective parts of the U.S. and start our respective new lives.
Me and all my documents trying to get out of Uzbekistan.
Rule of thumb: always keep all your paperwork, ESPECIALLY any paper that has a stamp on it. The more stamps the better. Just flash them all and say a prayer.
My second leg got me to Moscow, where I was relieved to find some English speaking agents. They let me spend the night hassle free at the bustling airport without a visa. My third leg got me to Heathrow which was my entry way to Europe at the beginning of my journey. In my fourth leg, I thoroughly enjoyed the British meals and English movies across the Atlantic.
The moment I got back to my apt, I collapsed on my bed. And then my body decided it had enough of the crazy food in the stans and ridiculousness of traveling and went on strike. I could not move for the rest of the day, attacked by the stomach flu or something similar. Go figure.