One of the great things about travel is that you find out how many good, kind people there are.
– Edith Wharton
So I’ve been thinking about the last 6 months as we are about to embark on the second half of our journey. We have covered Asia, Australia, New Zealand, back to Asia, the Middle East and our next stop is Europe where we plan to spend the rest of our time.
As I’ve been thinking about all that we have done and seen, one constant that always makes our stops a little more special is the people we have met. This trip would have been much different in many areas if we didn’t have people who we met along the way. Some of the people we’ve seen are relatives, others we’ve met through friends, and still others we have met at different points on our journey. This is one of the best things about this trip. I’m not sure if people realize what a difference a friendly face, a meal or drink shared with others, or someone showing you around their town or city means to us since we are so far from our home. I wanted to give a quick shout out to those we have met since we started our trip 6 months ago. I hope you know that we are thankful for you and each of you made our journey special.
Yoshi – Japan – Friend of a friend of ours from home who took the time to take us to Tokyo Skytree
China – Beijing – Julia – Friend of a friend from home who spent 3 or 4 days touring us around Beijing
China – Rafael – Tour guide friends of ours had used before. Spent three days showing us the Teracotta Warriors and the Muslim Quarter. And had he not picked us up at that train station, I’m not sure we would have ever made it out of that mayhem
China – Shanghai – Malcolm and Haeli – Friends of ours from San Francisco – Spent days showing us around their city of Shanghai. Best food tour ever!
China – Hong Kong – Ralion and Des – Dave’s cousin and his wife – Met us for dinner and a walking tour of the night market
Vietnam – Hanoi – Cynthia and Justin – Expats from Canada who Dave happened to meet on the street our first day there. Took us under their wing and showed us around. Took us to lunch at a local street vendor and showed us where to get delicious Vietnam coffee and smoothies. Cynthia even took me to the early morning local farmer’s market.
Thailand – Bangkok – Kevin Christison – Friend from Moraga who lives in Bangkok. Was in High School with my brother. Went to dinner at local Mexican restaurant on Halloween. Had to endure me with one too many margaritas 🙂
Philippines – Dave’s dad came to visit. Dave was able to see relatives he hadn’t see in awhile. Cousin Eric, took the time to take us to Intramuros to see the old city. Kris Mago, friend of Dave’s dad who lives in Manila, took care of us at hotel and invited us to an amazing wine tasting event.
Bali – Seminyak – Susan – Friend of a friend from home. She owns an amazing massage studio, Jari Menari. Treated us to not only massages, but to our first home cooked meal of the trip. Plus she sent us pages of information on Bali before we even arrived.
Bali – Ubud – Sheila – Susan’s cousin who invited us to her house one afternoon. We got to see her art studio and she gave the girls each art pads, which was such a thoughtful gift.
Bali – Ubud – Jean – Owner of Umujati where we stayed. Happened to be a friend of Susan and Sheila – Ubud is a small place. Enjoyed a glass of wine on our deck getting to know her.
Bondi Beach – Australia – Jenn – Friend of my friend Liz from SF. Met us for a drink and her husband and daughter met us for dinner one night at Coogee Pavilion
New Zealand – Waiheke Island – Doug – Dave’s client who was kind enough to let us stay at his amazing house on the island.
New Zealand – Waiheke Island – Chris and Margaret – Caretakers of the house who invited us all over for a home cooked meal and some homemade olive oil that we used until the last drop – sad we can’t get more 🙂
New Zealand – Andrew, Kylie, Hannah and Charlotte – Owners of Rangitikei Farmstay who were kind enough to include us in their life at the farm and invite us over to decorate their Christmas Tree. Such a treat since we were away from home for the holidays
Australia – Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast – Nikki and family – Met Nikki and her husband while we were in Vietnam. She and her daughter drove up to meet us for lunch one day and then we were able to visit them at their house before we left Brisbane
Australia – Sunshine Coast – Brittany, Kelly and Dale – Friends of our friends in SF – Treated us to an amazing home cooked meal while we were in their neck of the woods
Australia – Melbourne – Chelsea, Paul, Poppy and Sam – Friends we met while we were in Vietnam. Had the girls over to spend time with their children while the adults went out for an amazing dinner and night on the town that I might still me recovering from.
Singapore – Anneliese and her son and daughter, Grady and Sophia – Friend from college who lives in Singapore and was kind enough after all of these years to have us stay at her house for a couple of nights. Enjoyed a delicious meal at a traditional Hawker Food Court and yummy crab from Jumbo.
Dubai – Elgin – Dave’s cousin who is a chef at The Ritz Carlton – Treated us to a delicious lunch at the hotel and gave us a tour of the kitchen. Plus he spent the afternoon with us at the world’s largest mall.
Thank you to everyone I mentioned and those I may have forgotten. Our trip wouldn’t be the same if we hadn’t met you or met up with you.
Now we we are onto Europe where we will visit more family and friends who are lucky enough to live in amazing places. Plus Dave’s mom, my mom and dad, my best friend, Jennie, and my brother, Krieg, will come to visit at different times. We look forward to each of these visits, plus the new people we will meet along the way.
The great difference between voyages rests not with the ships, but with the people you meet on them.
– Amelia E. Barr