One hundred days ago, we left a cold and rainy Wellington, for good, at least for now. If we were a government this would be the point at which pundits would call for a first resume. So did we archive what we set out to do?
Well, first and foremost, the stated goal for blogging has been excessively overachieved. We were thinking of 1-2 posts a week when we set out and during planning. We have been posting every single day so far, totalling between 40,000 and 60,000 words (anyone knows how to check in WP?) and posting +1000 photos. About 40 people check in every day and we got many lovely comments and emails from dedicated followers. For that we spent $335 on phone and WiFi charges, plus $200 on the “lost” phone. Totally worth it, in our eyes.
The travel part is mostly on schedule. We have gone 13,000 km through four countries. That is more than I would have expected, but nothing to worry about. Spending over 30 days waiting on boats however was not something that we expected nor appreciated at all. Never again container shipping I say!
As in all summaries, the juiciest bit for last: May, what about the budget? Well, it got better, but it looks bad. We have cut our daily spend to a third of what it was in Australia and New Zealand, but the truth is, it will not last for another 250 days. Not the way we are traveling, and we really like it that way. We both agreed that we will rather cut our trip short than try to scrounge in a way we would not enjoy.
So, how would our own summary look like then? Are we happy? Do we feel accomplished and on track? The answer is a resounding “hell yes”, with a sad look into the empty wallet afterwards (I am a socialist by heart, after all). We have done more than most would dare in their lives, our brains are constantly overflowing with impressions, inputs and ideas. We could stop and would not go with a heavy heart, but as long as there is money in the bank, we feel no need to quit. We are currently looking for a place to stop and breathe for a couple of days (a nice beach, maybe), but neither of us is about to check the Jakarta to Frankfurt schedules yet.
We have gone, overland, on our own motorcycle to a place where a lot of people cannot even point to New Zealand on a map anymore (no, not the USA). We eat with joy, we are healthy and we constantly meet people who fill our hearts and minds with joy.
This morning, we woke up blue. Maybe it was because of the first rain we got in the tropics, or just that we did not enjoy the “sweet surf spot” Lakey Beach at all. Whatever it was, it was blown out of the water, by the warmth, the hospitality and amazing food of Indonesia we encounter along the way. After we had lunch in a warung makan on our way to Sumbawa Besar, we got a free mango from the staff and a sea of smiles from the local school kids. It was all we needed, and now we smile again ourselves.
P.S.: I also got killer Sate for dinner – BBQ’ed fresh with a great peanut sauce. I love street food!!!
Nina’s bit of the summary:
I’m not one for statistics so my summery will have way more gut feeling to it. Yes, there are times when we feel blue and I do get homesick for a flat and our friends in both countries that we call our home. BUT, people everywhere try to connect with you. It happened in NZ, and to a degree also in Australia (even if Flo didn’t appreciate a connection to most grey nomads). Here in Indonesia, I can feel it in the way people react to my name. “Nina, it’s an Indonesian name!” is one of the most frequent comments. On Flores, I was told that I have “Flores hair” as their kids often have a head full of black curls. The local women shower Flo in comments about how “tall and handsome” he is…which makes me bite back a laugh because no one ever called Flo tall before. =P People enjoy our conversations in broken English and bits of Bahasa. The world map on our pannier is one of the greatest items we have as we can show people where we come from and where we are going. Even if they don’t know either country, they get a feeling for the length and vastness of the trip.
I worry a bit that we might run out of money before we end up back in Frankfurt. That worry is quite small though. We will find a way to get credit from someone to finish the journey.