ze6ke (ze6ke) wrote,
ze6ke
ze6ke

My Big Adventure

What I did:

I traveled to a few places –

  • Washington

  • California

  • North Carolina

  • Florida

  • Georgia

  • California

  • Japan (just for sushi at the airport)

  • One night in Bangkok

  • Bangladesh for 6 months

  • Florida

  • North Carolina

  • Ohio

  • Massachusetts

  • North Carolina

  • Florida

  • Oregon

  • Washington

  • Oregon

  • California

  • New Mexico

  • Mexico

  • Guatemala

  • Belize

  • Guatemala

  • Honduras

  • Nicaragua

  • Costa Rica

  • Panama

  • Colombia

  • Brazil

  • Uruguay

  • Argentina

  • Spain

  • France

  • England

  • Ireland

  • England

  • France

  • Germany

  • Italy

  • Germany

  • Czech Republic

  • Serbalslokvia

  • Bulgaria

  • Turkey

  • Egypt

  • South Korea

  • Hong Kong (with surprise stop in mainland China)

  • Canada

  • Oregon

  • Washington

  • Mexico

  • Guatemala

  • Mexico

  • Texas


I did it on three separate passports and filled one of them up completely.


How long did it take:

From the the fifth of July, 2005 to the 19th of December 2008. Just under 2.5 years.


How much did it cost:

$26,000 or so.


Was it worth it:

Absolutely!


What did I learn:

  • How to learn languages – The fifth language was certainly easier than the first.

  • Spanish – I'm pretty good.

  • Portuguese – I'm OK.

  • Bangla – OK, I forgot Bangla already, but I used to be pretty good.

  • German – I'm pretty bad.

  • French – I've definitely had conversations in French. I'll get back to it.

  • Korean – I think I learned more in my one month there this time than in my year before.

  • Geography – It's important to look on a map and figure out where I've been.

  • Politics – I have a pretty good understanding of what is happening and why. The world was more pleasant before.

  • Economics – Evolutionary Microeconomics is fun.

  • How to find cheap flights – $26,000 comes out to just over $10,000 per year.

  • How to travel – Cheap hotels, nice hotels, hostels, street vendors, couch surfing, visas...

  • History – Maybe not everything that has ever happened, but I can definitely put things in context now.

  • My physical and emotional limits – Some of them at least.

  • What it means to be an American – All you have to do is believe.

  • That America is going down – I don't think it's going to be a 3rd world country any time soon. But, the financial markets are already bucking conventional wisdom and betting against it, it's still losing money, and the majority of Americans don't see a big problem. The scary bit is what will happen once the American earning power has fallen off, but before the military power has.

  • Why it's ok that Americans call America America – When America was founded, it didn't really have neighbors. Americans were the only people that could call themselves Americans for a bunch of years. However, the name didn't show an awful lot of foresight.

  • How global warming works – Global warming isn't a big threat to the first world, but it's going to tear stuff up in the third.

  • That international banking can be a pain – I tried a lot of stuff with banking on my travels. I got told plenty of times that I couldn't open an account for some reason or other. I also got told that I couldn't make deposits outside of my country of residence.

  • What marketing is

  • Bargaining

  • That I don't like Citibank

  • Everything there is to know about food poisoning

and

  • What I'm going to do next


How have I changed:

  • I'm a sincere, positive person. I normally bring out the best sides of people. In my travels, I saw the worst sides of some pretty horrible people. Those are images that will take a long time to wipe away.

  • Having a deeper understanding of how things work, I will be more thoughtful in what actions I take.

  • I always felt that traveling was a part of growing up. I had never had the opportunity to do it before. Now, I feel ready to make much bigger commitments because I feel like I'm an adult.


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