It’s hard to believe we’re heading into the last month of our 6 month Round the World trip.

The last two months have differed in that we haven’t had to cook or go grocery shopping (except for fruit). We’ve been staying in hotels or rooms in a home stay where we don’t have a kitchen. It major cities like Bangkok, Delhi and Mumbai, it’s just as cheap to eat out. While eating at a hotel is more expensive than street food, it still is a lot cheaper than eating out in Canada or the US.

Anthony and I have had a chance to try much more local food because we haven’t had to cook. I’ve also eaten many more vegetables, as the Elephant Nature Park and many places in Rajasthan only served vegetarian (though the girls still managed to avoid eating most vegetables).

Bangkok street food
Bangkok street food

Laksa: One of Anthony’s favorite foods in Malaysia

Similarly, we haven’t had to do laundry as it is common to send laundry out. Few people have a washing machine and no one has a dryer (who needs one when you have the sun). Hand washing clothes is  common, especially in India. In Thailand, we could find places that charged by weight, but in India they charge by item. It is still relatively cheap though and frees up a lot of time to do other things.

Dhoby Khana: Where clothes are still washed by hand. Kochi, India
Dhoby Khana: Where clothes are still washed by hand. Kochi, India

We shared a spacious room in Bharatpur, India
We shared a spacious room in Bharatpur, India

Also, because we’ve been staying in hotels or home stays, we’ve had to share a single room as often as not. In Kerala, we had two rooms in all our home stays, but then it was back to a single room in Goa.

We’ve encountered electricity cuts again, which are a part of daily life in Kerala and Goa. We’ve also had to get used to carrying cash around again as India is still largely a cash based society.

The pace of travel has increased as well. Even though we are in each country longer, we rarely stay in one place more than 2-3 nights. The girls don’t seem to mind too much, they just go with the flow. Sometimes they have to do homework in a car, train or plane, and other times they get to watch movies.

Doing homework in Sawai Madhopur, India

Sleeping on the train in India
Sleeping on the train in India

We been on two overnight trains in India and it’s worked out okay, even though, on the last train, two of us were in a compartment and two in the aisle bunks. Unlike African trains, Indian trains don’t have an attendant to make your bed, nor do they have a restaurant car (you have a choice of a veg or non-veg meal which will be delivered to you). On the other hand, they had A/C cars and ran on schedule for the most part.

Besides Anthony getting sick in Thailand and Hannah continuing to pick at what were once bug bites, we’ve all remained healthy.

We also still have all of our luggage with us, with only a few lost/left behind items such as another water bottle, one of Hannah’s nightgowns and my sunglasses which I lost to a wave in the Arabian Sea yesterday. Anthony’s wallet fell out in the car we took to Kumily, however; the driver arranged to get it to him in Alappuzha, much to Anthony’s relief.

These are the sunglasses I lost, shortly after taking this picture.
These are the sunglasses I lost, shortly after taking this picture.

While the girls are keen to return to California, they have still enjoyed themselves these past two months, especially Dolphin Bay Resort and the Elephant Nature Park in Thailand.

Sammy on his first day back after our trip
Sammy on his first day back after our trip

Our minds our now turning towards our return to California. Anthony has been in contact with his work and I’m trying to figure out what to do with the girls. We’ll also have to arrange for the cats to fly back…that is if Grandma and Uncle Paul haven’t grown too attached to them!

That said, we’re all looking forward to our last stop: Italy, even though it will be 30 degrees colder than Goa! Hannah and Amy are especially looking forward to all the pasta and gelato they’ll get to have there! Anthony the history, wine and coffee, and I’m looking forward to seeing what it’s like to live in Italian apartments.

Cheers to Italy!
Cheers to Italy!

We’re soaking up the sun, sand and surf until then!

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