Fun Facts Reflecting at the midpoint

Us + Santorini, Greece

We recently hit another major milestone in our trip as we crossed the half-way point while in Germany. Seeing as we are midway through our journey we thought it would be fun to reflect on all of our travel experiences to date and take a pause to compare some of our best experiences across countries.

Trip Facts

  • Since leaving the USA on April 12, 2016 we have traveled more than 64,000 km (40,100 miles) in total.
    • 85% was by air transport, 10% by train, and 5% by car or other (e.g. bus, taxi).
  • We continue to average roughly 7 miles of walking per day, with many days over 10 miles when doing day hikes or treks. Since Europe has such efficient transit systems, we have actually reduced the daily average since Asia and have been able to leverage metros or subways.
  • We have visited 17 different countries and lodged overnight in 58 different cities. That is an average of only three nights in any one city or specific place per stay. Imagine packing up your entire lives into backpacks every three nights! Below is a map highlighting some of our favorite places, click and zoom to learn more!

Map of All Locations

  • Of our 180 nights, we have spent 45% of our time in hotels (mostly using rewards points), 45% of our nights in AirBnB, and the other ~10% of stays with friends, an overnight train in India, and our overnight cruise in Halong Bay, Vietnam.
Trip Nights Summary

The “other” category which include stays with friends, overnight train in India, and our overnight cruise in Halong Bay, Vietnam.

Budget-wise, Japan continues to be the most expensive country that we have visited. Cambodia was the least expensive country we visited, primarily because we stayed for free using hotel reward points. We have saved a lot of money by using member rewards points (e.g. Hilton, Marriott) and through the use of AirBnB. Click here to read our updated article on how we have saved over $7,000 (so far) through the use of travel reward programs.

Trip Finance Summary

Lodging, Food, and Flights comprise 65% of our trip expenses.

Our Favorite...

Overall Experiences

  1. Mt Agung & Mt Batur Sunrise Treks - Bali, Indonesia.
  2. Hiking the Great Wall of China at Jinshanling - near Beijing, China.
  3. Milford Sound - New Zealand.
  4. Tsukiji Fish Market - Tokyo, Japan.
  5. Snorkeling the Great Barrier Reef - Cairns, Australia.
  6. Overnight Cruise - Halong Bay, Vietnam.
  7. Visiting the Angkor Wat Kingdom – Siem Reap, Cambodia.
  8. Riding motorbikes around the Greek Isles - Paros & Naxos, Greece.
  9. Visiting Tuscany & Umbria during grape harvest and autumn - Italy.
  10. 100 Guitars Concert at the Odeon de Heroneus (Acropolis Theater) - Athens, Greece.
Mt Batur sunrise

Trekking Mt Batur for sunrise in Bali is our favorite experience (so far) on the entire trip.


  1. Paros & Naxos, Greece
  2. Assisi, Italy
  3. Wanaka, New Zealand
  4. Kyoto, Japan
  5. Udaipur & Jodhpur, India
  6. Uluwatu, Bali
  7. Wellington, New Zealand
  8. Tokyo, Japan
  9. Hong Kong, Hong Kong
Paros, Greece

We loved exploring the Greek isles of Paros & Naxos.

Lodging Experiences

  1. Grand Hyatt – Hong Kong, Hong Kong
  2. AirBnB on Amalfi Coast - Tovere de San Pietro, Italy
  3. Hilton Niseko – Niseko, Japan
  4. Ryokan - Mt Koya, Japan
  5. Nugget Point - Queenstown, New Zealand
  6. Pal Haveli - Jodhpur, India
  7. Le Meridien – Siem Reap, Cambodia
  8. Crowne Plaza - Xi’an, China
  9. AirBnB - Palm Beach, Australia
View from AirBnB Amalfi coast.

View at dusk from our AirBnB overlooking the Amalfi coast in Tovere, Italy.


  1. Sunrise treks of Mt Batur & Mt Agung - Bali, Indonesia
  2. Hiking the Great Wall of China - near Beijing, China
  3. Oia to Fira trail Hiking - Santorini, Greece
  4. Hiking the Path of the Gods - Amalfi Coast, Italy
  5. Wine Tastings & Biking - Marlborough, New Zealand & Tuscany, Italy
  6. Daily Yoga - Ubud, Bali
  7. Riding motorbikes through the mountains, ruins and beaches of the Greek isles - Paros & Naxos, Greece
  8. Inner City Bike Tour - Jaipur, India
  9. Tramping - New Zealand (Queenstown Track)
  10. Miyajima Island Hike - Miyajima, Japan
  11. Learning to surf on The Gold Coast - Australia
  12. Cooking Classes - Vietnam, Thailand, and India
  13. Kayaking - Halong Bay, Vietnam
  14. Snorkeling the Great Barrier Reef - Cairns, Australia
  15. Onsen bath - Niseko, Japan
  16. Széchenyi Thermal Bath - Budapest, Hungary
  17. Camel Safari, Thar Desert - Rajasthan, India
Hiking the Path of the Gods - Amalfi Coast, Italy.

Incredible views hiking the Path of the Gods on the Amalfi Coast, Italy.

Hiking in Santorini, Greece.

Early morning hiking on the trail from Oia to Fira in Santorini, Greece.

Shashi cooking class in Udaipur, India.

Learning how to cook Rajasthani (Indian) food with Shashi in Udaipur, India.

Sunsets & Sunrises

  1. Single Finn – Uluwatu, Bali, Indonesia
  2. Agios Prokopios beach - Naxos, Greece
  3. Mt Batur & Mt Agung - Bali, Indonesia
  4. Montalcino, Italy
  5. Seminyak, Bali, Indonesia
  6. Santorini, Greece
  7. Hong Kong, Hong Kong
  8. Halong Bay, Vietnam
  9. Petronas Towers, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Uluwatu sunset.

Stunning sunset views from Uluwatu, Bali.

Pasar Agung

One of the most amazing sunrises atop Mt Agung in Bali.

Sunset over Naxos, Greece.

Sunset over Agios Prokopios beach in Naxos, Greece.


  1. Muslim Quarter Noodles - Xi’an, China
  2. Pasta, Soufflé & Calamari - Assisi, Italy
  3. Grilled fish at Cha Ca Thang Long - Hanoi, Vietnam
  4. Wairau River Vineyard Lunch - Blenheim, New Zealand
  5. Vegetable Thali - Jaipur, India
  6. Half-meter of Pizza - Agerola, Italy
  7. Gyros & Kebabs - Athens, Greece
  8. Octopus - Santorini, Greece
  9. Pad Thai and Curry at Kalpapruek - Bang Rak, Bangkok, Thailand
  10. Tsukiji Market Sushi - Tokyo, Japan
  11. Peking Duck - Beijing, China
  12. Ramen in Ramen Alley - Sapporo, Japan
Truffle pasta Spello, Italy.

Freshly shaved truffles on truffle pasta in Spello, Italy was delicious!

Indian Thali.
Greek Gyros.

Indian vegetable Thali on the left (top) and Greek gyro plate on the right (bottom).

Half-meter of Pizza.
Greek Octopus.

A half-meter of pizza in Agerola, Italy on left (top) and freshly caught octopus in Santorini, Greece on right (bottom).

Dessert Foods

  1. Poppy Seed & Sour Cherry Pastry - Budapest, Hungary
  2. Chocolate Walnut Cake - Santorini, Greece
  3. Tiramisu - Tovere de San Pietro, Italy
  4. Gelato at Gelato Messina - Coolangatta, Australia
  5. Arab Cookies - Dubai, UAE
  6. Crepe Cake - Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  7. Cream Puffs - Otaru, Japan
  8. Egg Aberdeen - Shanghai, China
  9. Mango with Sweet Sticky Rice - Bangkok, Thailand
  10. Coffee Jelly - Takayama, Japan
Arab cookies

The Arab cookies we had in Dubai, United Arab Emirates were fantastic.

Coffee & Tea

  1. Masala Chai - Delhi, India
  2. Espresso & Cappuccino - Italy
  3. Coconut coffee, Cong Caphe - Hanoi, Vietnam
  4. The Tiller Coffee - Brisbane, Australia
  5. Ginseng Coffee - Bali, Indonesia
  6. Z Coffee - New Zealand
  7. Egg Coffee - Hanoi, Vietnam
  8. Flat White - Sydney, Australia
Masala Chai Stand

Awaiting masala chai from our street vendor in Old Delhi, India.


  1. Yona Yona Ale (Yo-Ho Brewing) - Nagano, Japan
  2. XPA (Balter Brewing Company) - Brisbane, Australia
  3. Hitachino Nest Saison du Japon - Naka-shi, Ibaraki (Japan)
  4. Yellow Donkey IPA - Santorini, Greece
  5. Weizen (Hida Takayama Brewery) - Takayama, Japan
  6. The Second Barrel IPA (The Catchment Brewing Co) - Brisbane, Australia
  7. Bia Hoi (fresh beer) - Hanoi, Vietnam

Great craft beer bar in KL - first time tasting beer from Lefebvre and Hitachino breweries 🍺👌😀

A photo posted by Josh Mayer (@josh.mayer) on

Enjoying a pint at the Catchment Brewing Co. in Brisbane, Australia.


  1. Wine Tastings - Castiglion del Bosco, Italy
  2. Wine Tastings - Napier, New Zealand
  3. Garage Project Brewery - Wellington, New Zealand
  4. Wine Tastings - Marlborough, New Zealand
  5. Harushika Brewery (Sake Brewery) - Nara, Japan
  6. The Catchment Brewery - West End, Australia
  7. Wine Tastings Saio - Assisi, Italy
Castiglion del Bosco, Italy.

Private wine club room at Castiglion del Bosco winery, Italy. Behind us is Justin Timberlake's private locker!

Lessons Learned

  1. Carry an extra SIM card from your cell phone carrier in case your phone is lost or stolen.
  2. Acquire an International Drivers Permit before you leave the USA.
  3. One-way tickets can cause airlines & customs officials heartburn.
  4. Efficient trains are better than planes.
  5. Smiles are universal.
  6. Research basic travel norms (e.g. taxis and toilets) before you go.
  7. It never hurts to ask.