Happy Anniversary! Today we celebrate two years on the road


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When this ‘trip’ began on April 30, 2010, there was no set finish date. Still, it is amazing to think we have been able to continue to maintain this lifestyle for 730 days now – in a row!

This has truly become a lifestyle and a mindset.

We’d like to share with you some numbers about beds, borders, and the answer to the most common question – what’s our budget?

2 years of travel

How many borders have we crossed?

The second year of travel began in Italy, and although the original plan had been to travel through South America, in the end, our desire to explore Asia was stronger. So it was off to Bangkok instead of Buenos Aires after our month-long US road trip last summer. The full list of border crossings have looked like this:

  • Italy – Austria (by car)
  • Austria – Germany (by car)
  • Germany – Spain (by plane)
  • Spain – France (by ship)
  • France – Italy (by ship)
  • Italy – Spain (by ship)
  • Spain – Portugal (by plane)
  • Portugal – Canada (by plane)
  • Canada – USA (by car)
  • USA – Thailand (by plane)
  • Thailand – Laos (by bus)
  • Thailand – Malaysia (by plane)
  • Thailand – Cambodia (by bus)
  • Cambodia – Singapore (by plane)
  • Malaysia – India (by plane)

We visited 13 countries last year – which is the exact same number of countries we visited in our first year. The truth is, we had fully intended to also visit Indonesia, Vietnam and Myanmar while in Asia, but we have just run out of time – this time. Balancing travel and work means moving more slowly – but we will get there eventually!Globetrottergirls travelingTravel by Numbers – Year Two

How many beds have we slept in over the last 365 days?
We have slept in 90 beds! That, plus 4 nights spent on overnight buses and one night in the car,  comes out to an average of one new bed every 4 days. Even though we had several long-term stays – either with housesitting gigs or apartment rentals, we managed to have an incredibly high ‘bed count’. Road tripping meant a new bed almost nightly in Canada and the U.S., but we are also just picky about where we stay. If  we book a hotel online in advance and upon arrival are disappointed, we have no problem with walking around town and moving hotels until we find one that makes us happy. After all – every hotel is technically our home, so if we don’t love it, we move on.

Types of Transportation

  • 25 Buses
  • 13 Boats (including one cruise ship)
  • 3 Mini-vans (shuttles/colectivos)
  • 15 Planes
  • 6 Rental Cars
  • 6 Trains
  • Countless Tuk tuks
  • Dozens of songthaws (covered pick-up trucks) – 2 of them for a long trip (3.5 hours and 2.5 hours)
  • Dozens of taxis

Other modes of transport worth a mention were:

lisbon gocar dani & jess Last year through Mexico and Central America, travel was almost entirely by local bus. This year, however, we took advantage of Air Asia’s excellent budget flights, and in Germany/Italy we discovered the ease of car-sharing services. On various websites, drivers advertise their journey and for a fair share of the cost of gas, passengers can hop in and share the ride at a fraction of the cost of bus or train travel. Perfect!

Somehow, we also end up on a lot of boats, despise not liking them much. We took tiny wooden ones out to remote islands and our biggest boat ever – the Adventure of the Seas cruise ship we went on in June.

More statistics from our 2nd year of travel

# of New Years: 4 (Hindu, Western, Khmer & Hmong)
That’s right, in the last six months alone, we have gone through four sets of New Years! The Hmong celebrations in Phonsanvan, Laos were fascinating to take part in. In Thailand, we celebrated Western New Years along with the Thai version – the only difference being that in Thailand, the year is now 2555!

#of fights we’ve had: 4
This is the count for the long, drawn-out dramatic ones that last more than a few minutes. For two drama queens together nearly 24/7, we’re actually proud of that!

dani and jess fighting & making up# of cities visited: 34
It has been a whirlwind, but having visited so many of the world’s global cities has been an amazing experience this past year, including Singapore, Bangkok, Madrid, New York, Montreal, Boston, Washington D.C., Atlanta, Chicago and Kuala Lumpur.

# of bicycles rented: 16
We love cycling and we discovered that the best way to explore a city is by renting a bike. We were able to rent bikes for the day in Ottawa, Montreal, Washington D.C., almost every city we visited in Laos, in Cambodia and we had bikes for a month in Chiang Mai.

# of beaches visited: 16
I can hardly believe it, but before life as a nomad, I considered myself pretty much anti-beach. I just thought I didn’t like the whole going to the beach experience, much to Dani’s disappointment. Well, now I’m as keen a beach-goer as any – and we go as often as possible. We had assumed that Thailand’s beaches would be the best, but in the end, Otres Beach in Cambodia and Langkawi in Malaysia won us over.

# of towers climbed: 7
Some days it seems that every town, big or small, has a tower to be scaled. Sometimes, it’s an easy set of stairs or even a lift, but we’ve also trudged up hundreds of steps for views of the city skyline below. Most memorable were the views over Tuscany from a tower in San Gimignano, from the Top of the Rock in New York City, from both the Willis and the Hancock Tower in Chicago, and the sunset from Marina Bay Sands in Singapore (pictured below).

singapore sunset from top of marina bay sands# of islands visited: 9
This number is much lower than we thought, considering how much time we spent in South East Asia!

# of pizzas eaten: 29
Much like a five-year old, if you ask us our favorite food, we’ll pretty much always say pizza. And while we love a rich, grown-up pizza with goats cheese and spinach or rocket and Parmesan, plain old fast food pizza is our go-to comfort meal. If we are in a city we don’t like or have had one of those nothing-goes-right days, you can bet we’re either sitting down or even ordering a pizza, right to our hotel room.

# of hospital visits: 5
Ah, well, you gotta do what you gotta do, no matter where you are! In a country comparison, Thailand’s hospitals, doctors and dentists offer just about the best value for money of anywhere in the world!

# of mosquito bites: Um, infinity?
There was no dengue this year (like last year in Belize/Guatemala) and so far we have stayed Malaria free, but that doesn’t mean we haven’t still served as a mosquito buffet throughout the year. The most intense mosquitoes of all this year were probably not where you might think – unless you are thinking Ottawa, Canada. These guys were huge and aggressive, and traveled in some serious packs!

mosquito bites# major bodies of water crossed: 3
Just a drop in the bucket, but it’s a start! We crossed the Pacific, the Atlantic and just recently flew over the Andaman Sea from Malaysia to India.

# of photos taken: 15,437
Last year Dani snapped 9,867 pictures, so this year is miles beyond that by comparison!

# of posts written and published: 178 posts 
We really hit our stride in the second year of running, with an average of 15 posts every month! Plus more pictures, tweets, Facebook Photos of the Day and everyone’s latest favorite – Pinterest. We hope you’ve been enjoying the ride and encourage you to get in touch with us with any travel related questions you might have or just to cheer us on!

******Our annual budget – Year Two********

Our expenses this year were considerably higher than in our first year of travel. While we had spent only $14,241.77 (£9,090.75) per person between April 2010 and April 2011, this year our annual budget had to stretch to include over six months traveling through the United States, Canada, Europe and Singapore. We balanced this out with six months in South East Asia, but extra costs of two new laptops, a new Canon DSLR camera, a few little hospital bills, flights, long-term car rentals and other business expenses definitely added up.

The total: $38,152 (£24,228), which comes up to $19,076 (£12,164) per person.

travel budget globetrottergirls

**********The Best of the Best**********

Every 100 days we reflect on our travels and pick our favorite & least favorite places, top travel moments and best foods we’ve tried – so we will keep it simple with a quick round up of our absolute travel tops this past year:

Our top 5 places of the last year

1. Lisbon, Portugal
We fell in love with this city in June 2011, and it still leaves a lasting impression with us through today. Some people leave their heart in San Francisco, but we left ours in San Fran’s twin city.

lisbon portugal2. Penang, Malaysia
Little India, Chinatown, the sea, the sun, and the growing arts scene on Penang won us over.

3. New Orleans, USA
New Orleans was all about the music, exploring the different neighborhoods and discovering the rich traditions that blend in just the right way to make this city one of the most authentic places in America.

4. Cambodia
Thailand might be nicknamed the Land of Smiles, but neighboring Cambodia is truly the friendliest place in South East Asia. The kids waving, smiling, even running after tuk tuks as we drive by won our hearts at the same time that discovering more about the history of the Khmer Rouge broke them to pieces, plus our trip to the eighth Wonder of the World, Angkor Wat, was truly awe-inspiring.

kids in siem reap cambodia5. Singapore
One of the world’s great cities, Singapore felt to us like the London of the East with its many different neighborhoods, cosmopolitan mix of global cultures, cheap and delicious street food and we even went up on the Singapore Flyer – similar to the London Eye. The city’s nearby beaches, nearly uninhabited islands, stunning city skyline, massive shipping port and incredibly modern public transportation system, mighty Singapore truly wowed us!

Our top 5 food moments

1. Indian food
It’s official. Indian food seems to have nudged out Mexican food as our absolute favorite cuisine. For now… We had excellent Indian food anywhere we went, but especially loved the banana leaf meals we had in Kuala Lumpur, the countless Tosais we ate in Little India in Penang, Malaysia and the Indian food in Singapore – and we’re ending Year 2 eating real Indian food right here in Southern India!

2. Native Foods Cafe, Chicago
So healthy…so good – our favorite vegan restaurant in Chicago!

3. Coconuts in South East Asia
How will we live without these everyday, we wonder…

cold coconuts langkawi4. Lao Breakfasts
We pretty much covered our love of these here.

5. Vegetarian restaurants in Chiang Mai, Thailand
There are over 30 restaurants dedicated to us vegetarian folk and we made it our mission to sample as many as possible!

Looking back on our one-year travel anniversary post, our passion for travel has not waned in the least. In that post, we wrote: “On 30 April 2010 we boarded a plane from London to Las Vegas, where we started our round-the-world adventure. We might still be far from getting around the entire globe, but we have traveled quite a bit in the last 12 months as digital nomads and have no plan to stop any time soon.” 

Sounds perfect for the end of year two as well!

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  1. Holy cow you guys are organized! I LOVE these stats…you’ve inspired me to do the same in the future. And congrats on your 2 years- what an amazing journey!

    1. Hey, thanks Cody! It’s fun to keep track of random stats like that, just so we can really look back and re-live a lot of these moments at the end of each year. These really are things we want to remember forever, and this really helps!

    1. We save a lot by not doing much inter-continental travel. We stick to one side of the world for a long time and then hop across to another side for a bit 🙂 Don’t worry, at the end of the day, it’s about the experiences you have, not the budget, so we say spend it if you got it! 🙂

  2. Hey girls,congrats on your 2 year anniversary!!!I have recently stumbled across you two and I’m SO impressed and amazed at all you have accomplished thus far,what a fantastic journey your on,it must be challenging at times but rewarding and surreal at others.Keep up the fantastic writing/pics and montage ofyour journey!

    Also,I have a 3 minimal questions to ask,is there an option somewhere to ask you?I’m from Canada and travelling in the UK (your homeland :)…cheers for now girls!!!!

    1. Thanks Jacqui! You can email us at info at globetrottergirls dot com or through our contact submission form in the link above and we would be more than happy to answer any travel questions you have! 🙂 thanks so much for reading, glad you enjoy it! 🙂

  3. Looks like year 2 was just as good, if not better than year 1! Given the amount of time the two of you spend together, I’m very impressed that you only suffered 4 big blow ups. I hope that travel helps me develop the skills to communicate better with my husband and that I will ultimately be able to go with the flow, but I am expecting a bumpy road at first!

    I was also really interested to read about your top five places of the year… we’re planning to go to four of them! Only exception is New Orleans, which we have been wanting to visit for ages, but have not managed to find the time just yet. I was really hoping to visit it before we moved from Nashville as I doubt we will live so close ever again, but I don’t think it’s going to happen. I think faced with all the other places on your list, however, the Big Easy can wait!

    1. Hi Steph – glad you enjoyed the post! As for the long-term couples travel, it has gotten easier over time. You find time to be alone, learn how to react better, etc. We’re not perfect by any means, but calmer. Also, we see what you mean about traveling to so many places that the Big Easy can wait…except we love it there so much! 🙂 Can’t wait to hear about where you end up and what you think of everywhere you go!

  4. Wow, congratulations! I especially liked the little fight and make up photo story – so cute! And describing Singapore as the London of the East is something I’d never thought of before, but it feels just right. Finally, your organisational skills in recording all of these statistics definitely makes you my role-models for how I want to be when I travel like this with my partner. You are truly inspirational to us! Thanks. 🙂

    1. Wow, Sam, thanks so much for all of your compliments. We really loved Singapore. If accommodation were not so prohibitively expensive, we would want to stay for a month or more! We really like keeping track of all the stats and talking about them all at the end of each year as it is such a fun way to go over so much of our trip. It’s a bit self-indulgent, really, but it feels so great to be able to remember even the smallest details of this incredible adventure we’re on!

  5. What? Poutine didn’t rank in the top 5 foods. – lmao – Marcel and I loved reading this. Keep it up and wishing you many more years of wonderful travel. We miss you two. We are looking forward to some new adventures also in the coming year. Know any good house sitters?

    1. Ha ha Jenne! Actually, we did quite like Poutine and should have given Canada a bit more love I think…We definitely miss you guys, too, and hope we see you this year 🙂 We know a couple of housesitters – great gals, responsible, big fans of poutine…:) Let us know your travel plans and we can see what we can work out! Hugs from India!

  6. W-O-W! Fantastic post, you two. And here I didn’t even *know* I wanted to go on a round-the-world trip till I read it. 😉

    I’m especially tucking away your tips on Lisbon and car-sharing, as we’re hoping to make it over to Western Europe in the next year or two.

    I second Sam’s comments on your fight-and-make-up montage. Too cute.

    1. Hey Laila, thanks so much! We have a few posts on Lisbon and Europe in general if you need help planning, but also get in touch and we’d be happy to help you out!

    1. Um, like you’re even more freaking inspiring, Ms. TV personality!!! 🙂 Thanks so much for your congratulations, it means a lot coming from you, really! Hopefully we meet up with you again in Year Three for that champagne lunch session we talked about!!! 🙂

  7. Congratulations!!! You girls rock. I can’t believe you guys keep track of all the fun facts presented in this post (by the way, I love everything in this post). Wish you many more years exploring the world and blogging about it. All your stories are phenomenal. Ahh and I am not complaining anymore about mosquito bites in foreign countries after seeing the bitten leg photo. It looks like hell. And I thought mosquitoes liked me.

    1. Thanks Ruth! It’s fun to keep track of these things, as we would forget so many details along the way if we didn’t. Aren’t those bites ROUGH?! That’s Dani’s leg, and the funny thing is, it’s usually me they love, but she literally almost got eaten alive that day!

    1. Time seriously flies, Amanda! It’s hard to believe it, and also that we don’t want to stop any time soon. 🙂 See you in year 3!!

    1. Oh, Denise – we love Little Indias everywhere, but the Singapore one was definitely interesting. For Singapore it was definitely one of the more ‘chaotic’ parts of the city, but as far as anything related to India is ever concerned, it was clean and quite organized 🙂 There is some very cheap food, a huge community, and really great people watching!

    1. Hey you – definitely down to meet up this year somewhere! Let us know where you plan to be! Maybe you’ll be forever in Hawaii?!:)

    1. Thanks, Diana! These mosquitoes were seriously hungry 😉 We love places by the water, but the downside is that there are always way too many mosquitoes.

  8. Congrats on 2 years on the road… wow just wow! Y’all are a huge inspiration for me and I mean it. I am so glad I have been able to meet up with yall during both years. I am also so happy right now we are together in India!!! Cheers to 2 years & many more!!!

    1. Thanks Jaime! We’re happy too that we got to meet up with you in both years as full-time travelers 🙂 And I’m sure our paths will cross again in year 3!!

  9. Happy two year anniversary! I love all the fun facts you guys have pulled together. Isn’t it a funny life. All the times you’ve moved and things you’ve done, it’s incredible. I agree with you 100% on your love of the lifestyle. I’m the same. I entered my trip just loving travel and wanting to do that, but these days it’s definitely the lifestyle, the freedom, the people that keep me going. Cute shots of the pair of you. It’s really amazing to go on a trip like this, but even better when it’s shared with someone you love. To another two years!

  10. A big congrats to both of you..Hope you can have more travels..I enjoy looking at your travel photo..Thanks for sharing with us..

  11. Many Congrats on completing 2 years!! It surely is a feat! Such a nice little compilation of all that you have done and seen in these 2 years. Great post. Of all the things, you have loved Indian food and I have a post on Indian food on my blog as my latest post!!!
    We surely have some great stuff here!
    Many more years to come for you girls, keep travelling:)

  12. Congratulations, happy anniversary and many more to come 🙂
    Remember there’s a lot of wonderful things out, and us, your readers are eagerly waiting for the posts 🙂

  13. That’s awesme and happy anniversary! We are just at the very start of our round the world adventure. We arrived in SFO yesterday actually and have so much to look forward to!

  14. That is wonderful, congratulations on your anniversary! We are just starting our round the world adventure… we arrived in SFO yesterday!

    1. Kelly – that’s awesome!! San Francisco – we were there almost exactly two years ago – love that city! Enjoy your RTW adventure!

  15. Wow you’re organized! Can’t believe you only had 29 pizzas in a year though. I probably have a pizza a week….!

    Congrats on two years — glad you’re enjoying Indian food in India, now!

    1. I know, Adam, it’s terrible! We used to eat at least one pizza per week when we lived in London but somehow we don’t often find good pizza on the road and we’re very picky :D. But even with time spent in Italy we only had 29 pizzas – a terrible count 🙂

  16. Wow, truly inspiring. Congratulations, you are two brave girls!I absolutely agree on the smiles in Cambodia. They are the best. Have never seen more beautiful smiles than here.

  17. Whoah, you’ve done a lot of stuff! Did you start writing it and pause every so often to wonder at the actual figures? I love these sort of lists, they work well to keep it nice and simple and have a great impact at the same time. Can you imagine what your re-cap next year will look like? I love that about living and working on the road, so much possibility. Looking forward to reading more!

    1. Hi Hannah – thanks for your comments! You made me really imagine here – what WILL our next year’s round up be like…bring on Year 3! 🙂

  18. I’m really impressed by how diligent you’ve been in keeping track of everything, right down to the very last cent!! I always start out trying to keep records like that but eventually give up … fortunately I’m not an over-spender!

    1. Ah, the budgeting doesn’t keep us from spending as much as we want 🙂 but we like to keep track, it helps keeps things in perspective. Like, maybe we shouldn’t splurge on that today, since we spend so and so much last week. But Dani is the diligent one with the budget, not me! Even when we are about to pass out after an insane day of travel, she’s asking me – so, what did we spend today? Respect! 😉

    1. Well, to be honest, we only mentioned the really BIG fights here, the ones with door slamming and stuff like that 😉 Of course there’s much more bickering and arguing going on, but on a much smaller scale than a real fight. We fought much more in our first year of traveling (and being together 24/7) but we have to say that we calmed down a lot in our second year 😀

    1. Hey guys, thanks so much! That’s so sweet! Definitely know what you mean,too, knowing we are out there – it’s like, if there are so many of us out here doing this amazing thing, then we can’t ALL be crazy 🙂 Good luck with your journey – we may just be back on that side of the world this summer!

  19. Happy super-belated anniversary!! It was great we could meet up with you girls in person in Chiang Mai!! So, where are you about now? I think I saw some photos of you and Jaime in India, still there?
    Hugs from Canada

    1. Thanks Dina 🙂 It was great to meet you guys, too! Yes, you are right, we are in India at the moment, and we have a few days left before we’re heading to the U.S. for a housesit, followed by another housesit in Mexico for the summer 🙂 Big hug from Goa!!

    1. Hi Vi! We don’t know how long we are planning to travel, though it seems to be getting longer, not shorter. Maybe another 2years? 🙂

  20. Thanks for breaking this down for us! I love to see numbers, favorites places, and statistics. Lisbon looks gorgeous – adding to my places to see 🙂

    Hey, and as a fellow vegetarian, maybe you could do a post on the most vegetarian friendly towns/restaurants you have come across. I already know Native Foods is a fave, but I would love to hear about countries/cities, too, and your experiences as vegetarians while traveling. (Unless you already have a post, please send it along 🙂

    1. Hi Kristen!! Lisbon is amazing, but don’t tell too many people so it stays that way (of course, we blogged about it, but…:) ) We have some posts on being vegetarian, we’ll email you a list of them. It truly is different to travel as vegetarians, and we always like to share the places that are veggie-friendly and what we eat when it’s more carnivorous than we’d like!

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