Behind the Scenes of a RTW Trip – Month 6 Travel Review

Posted By Jeremy in Asia, Planning, Reviews | 2 comments


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Living the Dream on the Everest Base Camp TrekA half-year has gone by already?  It is truly odd to think that we’ve been gone for so long when looking back on it as destinations from the beginning of the trip seem like an eternity away but those a month ago seem like just yesterday.  This last month in particular has been one of the more unique time warps because we spent half of it trekking in Nepal, which felt both slow and fast at the same time.

In either case, it is time for our monthly review for this historic milestone as 6 months of travel is now a new record for Living the Dream!

As with our last report, each month we feature a travel review of the highlights, lowlights, and spending we had during the course of our adventure.  These are provided as a snapshot of what our RTW trip is like for your reference, although we know that every trip is different.

Spending

Wahiba Sands, Oman Sand Dunes

During our sixth month of travel we explored Oman (Muscat and Wahiba Sands), as well as Nepal (Kathmandu, Everest Base Camp Trek, and Pokhara) which is still ongoing for a few more days.

Our total out-of-pocket spending for the month was about $5,385.  This is about $1,300 more than expected ($4,100), partly because we ended up having three massages (~$140), bought way too many souvenirs in Nepal (~$150), and shipped a box home UPS to avoid the hassles of the Nepal postal system (~$225).

This spending includes the following breakdown on a per day average for the two of us combined (in USD).  The following figures for Nepal are a projected spending amount as, although our last days are on a pre-paid package, we may have a few dollars of extra spending that aren’t accounted for yet:

Accommodation Food Transportation Sight Seeing Souvenirs Misc.Purchases
Oman $91.47 $20.19 $30.48 $17.83 $1.47 $1.97
Nepal $14.09 $22.13 $4.00 $11.92 $15.45 $29.20
EBC Trek $1,350 per person for 11-days, all included

*As we mentioned above, our spending in Nepal was a bit higher because of a few choice purchases and us underestimating our trekking budget slightly.  When we started this trip we were not 100% set on trekking, and were still considering the cheaper Annapurna Circuit as an option.  For what it is worth, we are very pleased at our trekking cost, as this included a guide, porter, flights, all food, and everything else we needed plus our gear that we bought in Kathmandu and sold after the trek.

As always, our full spending log is available from our menu under “Plan Your Trip.”

RTW Tally Snapshot

After leaving Lobuche on the Everest Trek, Day 8

Although our spending this month was not the lowest, as we totally miscalculated our budget for Nepal by about $1,300, I am happy with the outcome compared to previous months.  Our Everest trek was incredibly inexpensive compared to other options, and we had a fantastic time which is the best you can ask for when spending that kind of money.

Days Traveling: 184 (+30)
Countries Visited: 21 (+1)
Dollars Spent (USD):  $37,063 ($5,385 due to this month only)
Pictures Taken (Jeremy):  12,789  (+1,889)
Miles Traveled: 17,231  (+2,959)
Planes: 12; Trains: 39
Vehicles: 27; Ferries: 2
Days of Rain: 2.5  (+0)   There was one thunderstorm late at night, once.
Sick Days: 5  (+2)   Angie had some stomach issues after Base Camp
Itinerary Changes: 1  (+0)
Arguments: 4 (+3)   Everest trekking, what can I say
Days Apart: 3  (+0)
Nights in a Dorm Bed: 19  (+2)
Combined Books Read: 23  (+3)  I read the 5th Game of Thrones book entirely on the trek
Bottles of Wine: 31  (+0)

Random Thoughts

Tibetan Prayer Flags in Nepal

As with the last RTW trip covered on this site, these monthly updates are a great place to put in the little random details that we found interesting in the countries we visited that may not find their way into a full blog post.  The following are some of our favorites from the countries we visited in Month 6:

  • We were quite annoyed by the transportation in Oman.  Without your own car, getting around both short and long distances was tricky.  We found ourselves waiting for buses, taking taxis, and even hitchhiking far more than we would have liked.
  • Even in November, Dubai and Oman were unbearably hot.  Getting away from those temperatures was one of the best feelings we’ve had on this trip, second only to leaving Rome at the end of July which was so hot we couldn’t sleep at night.
  • The Thamel tourist area in Kathmandu is a nightmare at best.  No sidewalks, narrow roads, and drivers who just don’t care make it a treacherous place to exist.  If the city made this (or part of it at least) a pedestrian only area, it would be so much more enjoyable.
  • We have yet to have one day without shower interruptions in Nepal.  Although places advertise 24-hour hot water, once the sun goes down or power goes off, good luck getting anything warmer than an icicle if you can even get water at all.
  • For two people who have never trekked before, never been at altitude for more than 2 hours, and are generally what we would call “lazy,” trekking to Everest Base Camp was far easier than we expected.  We attribute this to drinking a lot of water and going so slow that we called ourselves “team turtle”
  • With that being said, I had a grand total of 5 hours of massages and Angie had 4 1/2 hours of massages after returning back from the trek.   We also did barely anything in Pokhara for the 5 days we were there out of pure exhaustion and/or sickness.
  • The next time we trek in Nepal, we’re bringing our own gear from home.  Buying and selling gear in Kathmandu is probably the most stressful thing we have ever put ourselves through as vendors can be incredibly shady.
  • Kathmandu has a surprisingly good food scene, although most are not “Nepali” by any means.  All the places are featured in Lonely Planet and TripAdvisor, but we were hardly let down anywhere we went even if they were on the more expensive side of things.
  • The rolling power outages in Nepal are as bad as we expected.  What was surprising, however, was that everywhere we’ve been (both restaurants and hotels) have had backup solar generators that powered at least one light and wifi.  Restaurants even continue operating like nothing ever happened.

Oman and Nepal Posts

Sunset at the Wahiba Sands, Oman

Since each month is limited on the number of days, we cannot write our posts fast enough to fit them all in!  But don’t worry, we’ve got ideas for a lot of great posts for after this trip ends (if it ever does).  The following are a selection of some we’ve published:

Momos Recipe – Straight from Nepal
Nepal to India – How to Travel Chitwan to Varanasi on the Same Day
Overcoming My Fear of the Everest Base Camp Trek
The FAQ About the Everest Base Camp Trek We Never Found Answers to (Until Doing It Ourselves)
Food and Drink on the Mt. Everest Base Camp Trek: Dissecting a Tea House Menu
The Faces of Everest Base Camp
Everest – The Story of How the Mountain Was Conquered
Oman Tourism – Be Sure to Rent a Car
Wahiba Sands – An Overnight Dune Bashing Adventure in Oman
..and more!

No Holiday Specials for Us

Mountains on Nepal Base Camp Trek

Ever since “celebrating” Halloween in Albania, where we dressed up as smelly backpackers and did absolutely nothing, we’ve been wondering if our holiday schedule for 2013 was planned poorly.  Our country’s Thanksgiving holiday in November was approaching soon thereafter, we realized that we were going to celebrate it on the Everest Trek on the 7th night in Lobuche.  Since Nepal is 10 hours 45 minutes ahead of our home time, our families would be finishing their dinner feast as we were waking up the following morning to trek to Base Camp.

Actually, that was pretty cool when we thought about it for a moment, but it made us wonder if we should try and do something special for Christmas and New Years this year.

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During the whole trek, Angie and I were dead-set on flying to South East Asia for a few weeks to enjoy the holidays in the islands (like we did in 2010/2011) instead of spending it in India as per our original plan. Sub-zero temperatures and altitude issues makes one think about and crave a beach, a lot. But the more we considered it, and thought of some of the other destinations we’d have to cut down the line from this delay (Antarctica would be a big one), we decided against it.

So with it is with a heavy heart we have to announce that we’re not doing anything special for the holidays, and may not be in any part of the world that cares to celebrate either.  But that is okay.  When posed with the option of enjoying a few big ticket items we had dreamed about for so long, or celebrating an annual holiday somewhere tropical, we have to keep in mind which opportunity comes along more frequently.

Christmas comes every year, and 2014 will be one we celebrate with our families at home or at some other awesome destination in the world. For Antarctica and our other big stops, we may never get another shot 

We choose those.

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Mountains on Nepal Base Camp Trek

So where will Month 7 take us?  As we mentioned above, we’re finishing up our stay in Nepal with a package tour of Chitwan National Park and will be spending the rest of the month in India!   From there we will start Month 8 at our Mystery Destination, which we’re getting excited about announcing in just a few weeks time.

Is there something you’d like us to cover in our monthly reviews? Or perhaps something you’d like to see more or less of in our posts? Comment below to let us know and we’d be happy to feature it!

Jeremy

Jeremy founded Living the Dream in 2008 to chronicle his long-term trip around Asia. Since then he has been on two long-term trips, visited 68 countries, and is just getting started. He is now on a Lifestyle Design quest to build businesses to pursue a life of travel.

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2 Comments

  1. We’re just starting our first RTW trip in January and will be in India Jan/Feb/March. We’d love to meet up if our paths look like they will be crossing! Thanks for the great updates – Danielle and Adam (@depart2arrive, danielle@depart2arrive.com)

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    • We’ll be there in January for sure, for at least the first two weeks!

      Right now we’re hitting Northern India in December, and will probably be in Southern India for the new year. My guess is depending on how long we stay after that (2-4 weeks likely), it’ll all be in Southern India.

      If you’re around there during that time let me know, would love to meet up!

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