Hola from Argentina where we are currently in Mendoza, the heart of wine country. This is our first time in South America, the fifth continent on which we touched down, and our second world famous wine region. Read about our visit to Australia’s wine regions here.
-Enjoying some fine Argentinian wines!-
We’ll be hitting the South American highlights over the next several weeks visiting major cities like Buenos Aries, Santiago, Rio de Janiero, Sao Paulo and Lima. The highlights will be taking in the 275 waterfalls that make up Iguazu Falls, cheering on Team USA at the summer Olympics, marveling at the ancient wonder of Macchu Picchu and floating around Lake Titicaca, the highest navigable lake in the world. Not a bad summer right?
Since our last update, we finally made it back to Bali, Indonesia where we checked out some different locations around the island. We were surprised so much had been developed in the past four years. Some old favorites disappointed and some new favorites were added to the list, all in all, Bali is still our happy place. If you want to know why read the 15 reasons we still love Bali here.
-One of the many reasons that it is easy to fall in love with Bali-
We had some reservations about the winter weather and high cost of living, but we decided to give Australia a go. It turned out we visited at a fabulous time and I highly suggest a visit during the Vivid Festival in Sydney which runs late May to mid-June.
While in Australia, we did some house sitting, wine tasting and had some really memorable wildlife encounters. We had high hopes for Melbourne, which is consistently ranked the World’s Most Livable City, but we much preferred Sydney where there were a lot more photo and sightseeing opportunities. We found the highlights of Melbourne were in the surrounding countryside so we were happy we had planned on renting a car to venture out of the city.
-Hanging out with some of the more tame wildlife in Australia-
From Australia, we made the long flight back to New Jersey where we were home to spend several occasions with friends and family and do some laundry (dryers and all). Simple things like driving our cars, having our favorite foods and getting from point A to B without needing a map are so nice after months on the road. America will always be our favorite country and the place we call home.
-First time in nice clothes in 9 months!-
That’s the skinny on the past few months and below is an update to our stats for the trip, some unchanged and some new categories:
- Number of countries visited (outside the USA): 15 (Kenya, United Arab Emirates, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Thailand, Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam, Cambodia, Hong Kong (China), Japan, Singapore, Indonesia, Australia, Argentina)
- Number of different currencies: 16 (Kenya and Cambodia also accepted USD)
- Air Miles Traveled: 62,268
- Number of flights: 31
- Number of Accommodations: 70
- Hotel points redeemed: 52,000 (13 nights)
- Airline points redeemed: 455,299 (12 flights- 2 business class)
- Loads of laundry done: 17
- Best new dish we’ve tried: Khao Soi – Still the King
- Best Hotel: Dream Mango Villa (Siem Reap, Cambodia)
- Favorite memory: Our weekend on Phillip Island, Australia where we saw penguins, fed kangaroos and pet koalas.
- Nail biting moment: Tuk Tuk ride to the airport in Sri Lanka (see video). Our driver got a ticket for no lights and a missing mirror, which wasn’t as scary as the weaving in and out of traffic and driving on the sidewalk.
- Hotel nightmare: Bagan, Myanmar. Water was brown and Kerri got a stomach bug…and any room with an uninvited gecko roommate
- Hotel homerun: Nightly pool party at Dream Mango Villa
- Number of times scammed: 1 attempted bird poop scam in Buenos Aires
- Number of Housesits: 2
- Place we are most excited to go to next: The highlight of this leg of our trip will be attending the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro
- Places we’d love to return to: Africa, Vietnam, Japan, Indonesia
- Places we wouldn’t return to: Penang, Malaysia; Buenos Aires, Argentina; Mandalay, Myanmar
- Biggest language barrier: Tokyo, Japan
- Biggest annoyance: Having to research and book accommodations and transport every few days
- Squatty potties used: 1
- Most pleasantly surprising place: Phu Quoc, Vietnam. An island paradise we knew nothing about before this trip.
- Live Penguin encounters: 2
- Biggest Unexpected Expense: Having to purchase airfare we expected to use our Air Asia Asean passes for
- Countries that were covered under T-Mobile Service: 12 of 15 (not Laos, Myanmar or Vietnam)
- Sick Days: 4 (3 Kerri, 1 Chris)
- Times we wanted to kill each other: 0 (so far)
- Most Unique Transport: Motorbike with side-cart (and Chris riding on the back of the motorbike with Thai gentleman half his size as the pilot)
- Cheapest Beer: Hanoi, Vietnam (5,000 Dong ~$0.23 USD)
- Most Expensive Beer: Sheraton Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. 38 Ringgits at hotel bar = $8.68
- Favorite movie on the road: Unstoppable (about a runaway train)
If you love to live vicariously through our travels and see the world from your living room then jump on the Snapchat bandwagon and follow us, PassportPenguin. Our Snapcode is below and in the sidebar as well. We snap daily highlights of our travels that aren’t posted on our other social media accounts or blog and will give you an insider view of the Olympic Games.
Over the past few weeks, I have watched other travel bloggers climb Everest, visit the Taj Mahal and Machu Picchu and experience world hot spots like Ibiza, Paris and New York. It’s the ultimate reality TV. I am hooked and I bet you will be too. It’s not just for teens anymore!
We’ll be posting more “How To” blogs in the future. Leave a comment if you have any questions we can answer about long term travel or our trip. Thanks for following along on our adventures!