RTW Trip Roundup

My year (plus some) trip over three continents has finished and I’m still processing everything I saw and learned! I visited 20 countries in total. Here’s a list of each country with something I will remember about it, as well as a gallery of photos which hadn’t previously made it onto the blog.

Thailand Roundup

Standing in front of the Namuang waterfall on Koh Samui

Standing in front of the Namuang waterfall on Koh Samui

I spent 74 days in Thailand, which beats my previous record from Bolivia! My budget was all over the place, as food, accommodation, and transport were extremely cheap up north and only  moderately cheap down south, but then I added on loads of scuba diving, some Thai language lessons, a cooking class, and renewing nearly my entire wardrobe. Ultimately I panned out at an average of $35 per day including everything, which still isn’t too bad!

I visited 8 places: Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Pai, Sukothai, Koh Tao, Koh Samui, Khao Sok, and Ao Nang. I absolutely fell in love with Chiang Mai and would consider going back to live there semi-permanently in the future. It’s a bit of a cliched expat center, but for good reason!

I also enjoyed checking out some cool street art and seeing the beautiful coral reefs of Koh Phi Phi. All in all, it was a wonderful 10 weeks!

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Iceland Road Trip: Day 5

Strokkur, Geysir's neighbor, erupts every 4 minutes or so

Strokkur, Geysir’s neighbor, erupts every 4 minutes or so

I arrived at Gulfoss, one of Iceland’s most famous waterfalls, at just about 2 o’clock in the morning. I had drunk a lot of Red Bull before the drive because I was nervous about getting drowsy, and the drink worked better than I had expected. Full of energy, I decided to just go ahead and visit the falls in the twilight, which turned out to be a magical experience.

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Iceland Road Trip: Day 3

Europe's Most Powerful Waterfall meets the Yank without a Chain

Europe’s Most Powerful Waterfall meets the Yank without a Chain

From Bakkagerdi I headed to the northern coast of the island and visited Dettifoss, “Europe’s Most Powerful Waterfall,” and the area around Myvatn – “Midge Lake” or “Fly Lake” in English. The road up to Dettifoss was the worst I experienced and I was terrified of getting a stone in my windshield. The insurance for the car doesn’t cover any windshield damage, which didn’t seem like such a big deal until I realized that it is actually very possible to get a stone kicked up at you from another car on these gravel side roads. Fortunately, this didn’t happen to me and I made the round trip to Dettifoss with my car intact.

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Iceland Road Trip: Day 1

Where I slept in my Nissan Note on my first night, with views of a waterfall behind me and the ocean in front.

Where I slept in my Nissan Note on my first night, with views of a waterfall behind me and the ocean in front.

On the first day of my five-day roadtrip around Iceland’s Ring Road, I picked up my car at Keflavik airport at around midnight and drove through the night toward Dyrholaey on the southern coast. The first couple of hours I was driving through dense fog and was excited and jet-lagged and nervous all at the same time. I’d never rented a car on my own before, much less driven so many hours in such a short time. Around 2:30 in the morning the fog lifted and I saw the gorgeous summer sunrise and I knew that I had made the right decision in coming to Iceland.

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