Today marks the one year anniversary of my last day at work before we set out on our crazy trip around the world. We didn't succeed in getting to all the places we wanted, but we saw some amazing things through South America, Antarctica, and Europe. Our last post 'The End' posted nearly 4 months ago, I said that we'd have future updates. While this post technically counts, it isn't quite what we were expecting.
We found it difficult to work up the motivation to work through those last 1,500 or so pictures. We got caught up in scheduling flights and attempting to squeeze the most out of our remaining time. Then there was re-entry into the US and the culture shock that it entailed. While Jordan seemed to handle things well, I had a meltdown when she came home with a box of clothing. It was too much, I said. It turned out to be not nearly enough.
We spent some time re-acclimating, Jordan studied for her Washington state pharmacy exam, and I began the arduous process of blindly applying for jobs in Seattle and surrounding areas. An opportunity came up to work in downtown Chicago for my old boss (at a different company) and we went for it. We've now got a beautiful apartment with a view of the lake and I've just finished my second week of work.
In hindsight now, Chicago was the right choice for us. It would have been very stressful to move to a new city without any jobs or contacts. We didn't own anything and therefore had to buy everything. We spent the first night in Chicago sleeping on the floor since we didn't have a mattress. What ensued was a buying spree of epic proportions: a couch, chair, bed, mattress, dining table, chairs, desk, nearly 180 hangers, and other various and sundry household items. The hemorrhaging of money has finally ceased and I was paid yesterday for the first time in nearly a year.
We've just finished up our pictures, you'll find links to the flickr sets below. I'm actually quite proud of some of the photos towards the end of the trip. Turns out, if you shoot nearly 29,000 photos in 8 months, you improve.
Some numbers for you: We spent a total of 241 days on the road. We visited 13 countries (14 for me with Japan), an average of 19 days per country. We completely missed our goal of $80/day, ringing in around $165/day. This is a little misleading though, as it includes Antarctica and our flights home. Without Antarctica, it was a much more reasonable $92/day. I'm confident that if we'd spent a long time in South East Asia we could have driven the average without Antarctica back down to our $80/day goal. We were picky about the photos we kept - 5,811 (or 20%), of the the 29,000 number above.
Thanks to everyone for following along. We'll try to post a few times per year, as we did before the trip.
P.S. Here are flickr links for the sets we haven't shared via the blog. A special treat, we started taking pictures of people taking pictures with iPads (called "iPadography").