The end of the road…

I’ve been putting off writing this post for weeks.  Partly because it’s been a busy few weeks since we moved to Sydney.  We’ve been catching up with friends, settling into our new apartment and Andy’s started his new job.  It’s been a whirlwind.

Sunset in the Amazon

After climbing Cotopaxi volcano!

The other reason I’ve been putting off writing this post, the biggest reason, is because I don’t know what to say.  I have no idea how to do this.  We were on the road for more than 9 months.  We visited 10 countries.  We took about 10,000 photos.  But, I can’t think of a way to wrap up our travels.  It’s too big.  We saw too much.  How do you distill all that down into a blog post?

Machu Picchu

Andy and Moai on Easter Island

St. Augustine said that “The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.”  I believe this is completely true.  And, like a great book that you can’t put down, once you begin to travel you don’t want to stop.

Learning to tango (badly!) in Buenos Aires

At Cristo Redentor in Rio de Janiero

When we were in Vietnam, there were days that I was desperate to get home to Sydney.  After an exhausting 20 hour train ride, or when I had a stinking cold and felt like crap, or just on a rainy Sunday afternoon… all I wanted was to be in my own space, surrounded by my own things.  Able to cook a pot of soup and cuddle Andy on our couch.

Lobster night with Grandpa in Rhode Island

Celebrating New Year's Eve at home in Georgia

And now, I have all that.  We have moved into a fantastic and cozy apartment.  I spent all last Sunday sharing a bottle of red wine with my husband, watching movies and making spaghetti sauce.  It was perfect.  I went to bed that night so thankful to be home.

Kayaking in Halong Bay

Motorbiking around Cat Ba Island

But today, I wouldn’t mind being in Tokyo.  I wouldn’t say no to a flight to Auckland.  Today the idea of a trip to Shanghai sounds very inviting.  Because today, I want to read on to the next page in the never-ending story of a traveler.  Today I wouldn’t mind  picking that book back up and seeing what’s on the next page.

Celebrating our 6th wedding anniversary in Hue, Vietnam

Long Beach, Phu Quoc Island

And we will read on.  We will continue to travel.  And we’ll also continue to enjoy cosy Sunday’s at home in our new apartment.  We will strike a balance that is perfect for us in our new home.

Crazy traffic in Saigon

At a food hawker centre in Singapore

We’ll continue to update this blog when we do begin to travel again.  In the meantime, thank you all for coming on this journey with us.  Having the love and support of all our friends and family as we’ve travelled has meant so much to us.  I hope to see you all very soon… someplace in the world.

 

Singapore fling!

We’d left Vietnam behind, but we weren’t quite done with our travels yet.  Instead of heading straight to Sydney, we stopped for a week in Singapore.  What a way to round out our time on the road!  Singapore was also the 30th country that I’ve visited, so that was a great milestone to reach at the end of this trip.

(Side note- It’s a super fun game to count up al the countries you’ve been to.  Brings back tons of fun memories.  But, there are a few rules.  You can’t count places that you’ve only had a stop-over in.  So, even though I’ve been to the airport in Frankfurt, I can’t count Germany.  Also, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland don’t count because they’re part of the United Kingdom and Great Britain.  Angry Scots, please don’t email me about this.  It’s just how it is.  So, how many countries have YOU been to?)

Anyway, after almost three months in Vietnam, Singapore was a little bit overwhelming!   Gone were the sweaty afternoons spent wandering amongst colourful local markets and dodging locals who spit all the time.  Instead, we went from mega-mall to mega-mall, never leaving the air conditioning in a country where spitting is literally against the law.  It was a culture shock to say the least!

Modern, sprawling and beautiful. The view from high above Singapore.

Our hotel was in Little India and we had a fantastic time exploring the neighbourhood. I was especially keen to pop into every single Indian grocery store that I saw.  It killed me not to fill bags with all the gorgeous spices and mixes that I saw, but I knew I’d never be able to get them past Australian customs.

My first EVER mango lassi. Won't be the last!

Our friends James and Briony, whom we last saw in Buenos Aires, were in Singapore for a few days as well, so we reunited over great food and many drinks.  It was messy, but great to see them again!

Dinner with James and Briony on our first night in Singapore

I was amazed by the buildings in Singapore.  It’s super hot there so people seem to go outside as little as possible.  Instead, huge malls and office buildings are all connected via underground corsos.  We went shopping one afternoon (shopping is the Singaporean national sport I think!) and we got off the train at one mall.  After walking and shopping for a few hours we went outside and discovered we were blocks and blocks away from where we’d started our day!  It’s like being a very pampered, very posh hamster!

One of the dozens of huge shopping malls in Singapore

Inside one of the constantly busy shopping malls

One of the most amazing things about Singapore is what an international little nation it is!  There are people from all corners of the world living and working in Singapore… and it seems like they all brought their favourite foods with them!  In the space of one week we ate Chinese food, Indian food, German food, Malaysian food, Singaporean food (duh), American food, Japanese food and Turkish food.  And that was just a sampling of all the cuisines available to us!

A massive dosai and curries in Little India

Steins of German beer

Chicken and mutton satay

Huge burgers with blue cheese, carmelised onions and pears

Japanese food and beer

Turkish dips and breads (first time I'd had hummous in more than three months!)

So, it was a culture shock to enter Singapore with it’s giant shopping malls and endless choices of food and drinks.  But, I think it was just what we needed to prepare us for our reentry to Australia!  Here we come!

 

POTD: Fire in the sky

While we were out by the east coast in Singapore to have a culinary experience, the sky began to change color.  This small lake that is part of a ski park was beautifully placed to catch the reflections from the sky.  The skyline silhouette, detail and color in the clouds, and the small lights appearing at dusk bring this picture together.

A wonderful sunset over the city to mark our chilli crab night!