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Happy anniversary! Today we celebrate one year on the road

Happy anniversary! Today we celebrate one year on the road

Last Updated on April 19, 2021

We GlobetrotterGirls are celebrating our first travel anniversary today! 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.

So, how many borders have we crossed?

U.S. – Mexico (by plane)
Mexico – Belize (by boat) Belize – Guatemala (by bus)
Guatemala – El Salvador (pick-up truck)
El Salvador – Guatemala (Colectivo mini-van)
Guatemala – Honduras (taxi)
Honduras – Nicaragua (bus)
Nicaragua – Costa Rica (bus)
Costa Rica – Panama (walking over a very dodgy footbridge)
Panama – Germany (by plane)
Germany – Austria (car)
Germany – Switzerland (car share)
Switzerland – Italy (car share)

Border Crossing Costa Rica Panama13 countries might not be a lot, especially when compared to many people who squeeze more than 20 countries into their round-the-world trips. However, we found we prefer slow travel, as we combine travel with a full-time workload, have an unlimited amount of time and are not bound to a tight itinerary. In fact we are in Europe right now and had no plans to visit here at all in 2011, but an amazing housesitting opportunity came up in Germany which led to our stay at a beautiful country house Italy right now (in fact another housesit)!

The Numbers

Inspired by a recent post by fellow globetrotter Wandering Earl who, after examining how many beds he had slept in over the past 11 years, asked the question  ‘How many beds have you slept in?’, we started to think… how many beds have we slept in over the last 365 days?

We have slept in 104 beds! That, plus 3 nights spent on overnight buses, comes out to an average of one new bed every 3.5 days. Of course we had much longer stays in some places and shorter stays in others, but we sure moved around a lot this past year. We have already made a pledge to slow down our travel pace in our second year as digital nomads, so that we will not get burnt out from being on the move all the time.

Room at Posada Ziga Mazunte Mexico

While we were counting, we also added up all the different types of long distance transportation that we took (not including inner-city travel):

94 Buses
21 Boats
10 Mini-vans (shuttles/colectivos)
7 Taxis
5 Planes
5 Pick-up trucks
4 Tuk tuks
4 Rental Cars
2 Golf carts

Our preferred method of transport has been by local bus. Rather than paying out the nose for fancy long-distance buses, we travel almost exclusively by local bus from town to town, and this meant a lot of changing buses. It may have taken a bit longer, but we wouldn’t have had it any other way.

Bus in Granada NicaraguaWe were surprised to see how many boats we boarded in Central America. These were mostly dubious little wooden motor boats, and we were never sure whether our belongings (or ourselves!) would arrive to the next destination. However, despite motors choking out in the middle of the ocean and stories of capsized boats, we personally survived all the boat rides to all the islands and lake towns we visited, unlike fellow traveler Adventurous Kate’s recent horrific Indonesian shipwreck experience.

Our top 5 places of the last year

We have already summarized our Tops & Flops, favorite places and top food moments in our ‘100 days’ reflection posts, but here are our favorites of the entire year (in no particular order!)

•    San Francisco, USA
The city by the bay was by far our favorite place during our travels through the Southwestern US and California.
•    San Pedro La Laguna, Guatemala
We enjoyed the relaxed vibe and international cuisine with spectacular views of Lake Atitlan.
•    Leon, Nicaragua
Leon’s no gem, and that’s what we love about it!
•    Playa del Carmen, Mexico
We stayed in Playa for one month last September, way up on 88th street far from the popular tourist center, with our stretch of white sand beach nearly deserted for us alone to play in the crystal clear water.
•    Tuscany, Italy
The dream of housesitting in an Italian country house in Tuscany came true and we are spending our travel anniversary exploring little Italian towns!

The mountain village of Rocca in Tuscany, Italy

Our top 5 foods

•    Central American pineapples
At times we were eating at least one pineapple every single day. The sweet and juicy Central American pineapples are so cheap and delicious!
•    Gallo Pinto in Nicaragua and Costa Rica
We ate this popular ‘rice and beans’ breakfast dish every day in these two countries and we never got tired of it!
•    Pupusas in El Salvador
Even though the variety of vegetarian pupusas (cheese, cheese & refried beans, or just refried beans) wasn’t huge, we had dozens of pupusas during our stay in El Salvador. Pupusas are an incredibly cheap meal at $0.20 – $0.40 each.
•    Mexican Tacos and Flautas
We loved Mexican street food, and the tacos and flautas (especially potato tacos/flautas) were something that would make us consider moving to Mexico.
•    Italian food – everywhere!
This is not exclusive to Tuscany (where we are currently enjoying pizza and pasta daily). We were lucky enough to find excellent Italian cuisine in restaurants all over Central America, run by Italian expats who satisfied our never ending hunger for thin-crust pizza, gnocci and home-made pasta. We highly recommend Monna Lisa pizzeria on La Calzada in Granada, Nicaragua.

Central American Pineapples

Read on for all our travel tops & flops here:

The Tops and Flops of our first 100 days of travel
The Tops and Flops of 200 days of travel
The Tops and Flops of 300 days of travel

Our one-year travel budget

For many people, the most interesting question is how much does one year of travel cost? See what we spent in the first 6 months here and our detailed budget post for the entire year here.

Nicaraguan Money Cordobas


Tuesday 17th of May 2011

Congrats. What an amazing achievement in twelve months, and how you keep track of all those stats is beyond. You are both amazing young people. Best wishes for your future adventures.


Tuesday 17th of May 2011

Oh thanks so much! We just put our heads together and reviewed our whole trip from the start and managed to remember all those stats. It's the trip of a lifetime, so we try to forget as little as possible. Thanks for reading, will definitely get over and check out Terra Firma Tourist right away! All the best to you for your travels as well!

Charles McCool

Friday 6th of May 2011

So nice to read about your entire year of travel. Best wishes for continued memories and adventures.


Sunday 8th of May 2011

Hey Charles, thanks so much that's really sweet of you!

crazy sexy fun traveler

Wednesday 4th of May 2011

Wow, how can u remember how many beds u slept in? :D Anyway, good anniversary and many more happy travels girl!


Sunday 8th of May 2011

Ha thanks! The accommodation part of traveling is really a focus of ours - we feel like where you lay your head has a lot to do with happiness for long-term travel. So, we remember most beds without thinking too hard even! Thanks for the well wishes - we hope to have at least a few more of these anniversaries :-)

For 91 Days Travel Blog

Wednesday 4th of May 2011

Your first year was massive! Congratulations!

How many more years are planned? I really hope we get to meet each other soon. The us from the the alternate travel universe.

Sounds like you are having a blast in Tuscany!


Sunday 8th of May 2011

Like brothers from another mother we are! :-) Except we're sisters. Sistas. Well anyway, yes we want to do this for at least another year (but probably more), and we are definitely going to meet up somewhere, hopefully sooner than later! Tuscany was amazing, we are back in Germany now for a bit again. Bye Bye Pizzas...Hello Brez'n! :-)


Tuesday 3rd of May 2011

First, congrats on making it to your first 12 months! My partner, Sam, and I hope to start our long-term travel next October in South America. You got through so many beds in your first year and I was wondering how many times you ended up staying in the region a week or more in one place?


Tuesday 3rd of May 2011

Hi Zab! Thanks for stopping by! Great that you’ve got plans to go abroad -looks like we might be able to meet up in South America, we’re headed back there (at least we think!) We stayed many places for over a week – Leon and Granada were both two weeks, one month in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, plus longer housesits in Tucson and Germany. Basically we are not afraid to change hotels after just one night – we do this often until we find somewhere where all the factors add up to our satisfaction. Definitely keep in touch!