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349 Days

One Year done.  Actually, it’s been a total of 49 weeks and 6 days since we left Australia – close enough to call it a year.

We’ve covered 20 countries on 3 continents; some only got a brief look in as we passed through, others were explored in detail.


  • South Africa
  • Botswana
  • Zambia


  • England
  • France
  • Italy
  • Serbia
  • Croatia
  • Bulgaria
  • Turkey
  • Greece
  • Montenegro
  • Slovenia
  • Austria
  • Switzerland
  • Germany
  • Spain

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North America:

  • USA
  • Mexico
  • Cuba

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And here are some useless bits of trivial information, the sort of thing you find yourself compiling when on holidays:

  • We’ve slept in more than 120 different beds.
  • Taken 19 flights in 1 year – all in economy!
  • Lost: 1 camera (that was about to die), several hats and random items of clothing.
  • Been healthier than ever: besides a couple of colds and stomach bugs in Turkey.
  • No accidents – survived two weeks skiing without breaking or tearing something.
  • Cheapest accommodation still must be: €15 a night on Leros.
  • Most expensive accommodation: €160 a night in Paris.
  • CPI (Coffee Price Index): Vail at US$6 overtakes Venice €4.50 as the most expensive coffee. I doubt we will ever beat €0.50 in Berane, Montenegro for the cheapest.
  • WCP (Wine Consumption Price): most expensive was £9 for a glass of champagne in London, the Cheapest in France (of course), €4 a bottle.  Even with our love of happy hours, we’ve not done better than that.
  • Cheapest haircut was US$5 for Don in Cuba.
  • The year is captured in 93 Blog posts – though often well behind!
  • Total photos taken – not exactly sure, but it easily exceeds 10,000.  Who wants to come to the slide show?

The list of friends around the world, who have extended their generous hospitality continues to grow, along with those friends who joined us along the way.

It began in Johannesburg with Mark and Alison Brown (we also spent a night with them in London). We also had a delightful few days with Alison’s parents, the Becketts on their farm in Choma, Zambia. In Europe we are joined by/catch-up with:

  • Ross and Kate for dinner in London.
  • Katrina spends 6 weeks on a road trip through Turkey before we bid her farewell on Santorini.
  • Along our journey we see Helen and Rod, Bruce, Penny, Dale, Leeanne, Elisa and Ian.
  • There is dinner in Paris with our Niece Claire.
  • My sister Jane joins us for three weeks.
  • Andrea and Margit (her Mum) took us hiking in the Austrian Alps.
  • The Ryan’s let us take over the washing machine and hang-out with the family in Lausanne, Switzerland.
  • In London, Don plays golf with Lloyd and we have a drink with Mike at the James Blunt concert, Lucerne.

State side:

  • Ang & Chris Hilsabeck make Dallas our home away from home.
  • Tom & Diane make us feel part of the family in Palm Springs.
  • I stay with Lindsey Haviland in Connecticut, before meeting Robina for two weeks of living it up in New York.
  • Seattle; Don has dinner with Peter and Debbie – whom we met in Turkey.
  • Sue Haviland and hubby John, join us for some skiing in Vail.
  • We overnight with Andrea again, in her new Park City abode.
  • Martha and Doug open up their home and have us to stay in Santa Barbara.
  • John & Holly Bracknell (and Hollis & Sally) provided us with our own camper in Florida and John joins our road trip to the Florida Keys.
  • Jamie flies into LA for a few days.  We catch-up with more of Don’s golf pals; Jeff and Neal, whilst skiing.

Don celebrates his 50th birthday.  It started with the boys playing golf on the West Coast, Footey (Andrew) is the only one not to follow onto Mexico.

A number of Australians join us in ‘Resortville Mexico’: Tyrone & Julie, Jeff & Georgie, Pete & Emily, Neil & Margie .

In Mexico, we meet Catriona (a fellow Australian) and she puts us up for the night in Puerto Morelos.

Last, but not least, all our Intrepid companions, too many to name here.  You made our travels through Mexico and Cuba loads of fun.

Yes, we are still talking:

Of the 349 days traveling, Don & I spend 335 of them together.

Outside of the few games of golf Don played on his own, or the odd hours here and there, we might split, we literally were together 24×7.

That’s not normal!

Yes, we had our moments – probably a ‘moment’ or two most days.

But, at the end of each day we still like each other and we’re still talking to each other.

I could get deeply analytical about relationships, but that’s really not what either of us are about.

All I can say, is it worked.  It worked well enough for us to continue our travels into 2015.

So, hang on – there’s more to come….

  1. John and Holly Bracknell #

    Its a great ride you two! Seems like we’re right there with you, even though most of the time
    much territory separates us.
    We look forward to “phase two” while awaiting your great posts, and with hope for catching up again.
    All our love, and best wishes.

  2. Kay Southwell #

    You are both wonderful and with life-long memories to share. Pinch yourselves; you’re very lucky. Amazing photos too! (I’ll come to the slide night!) xx


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