Archives For September 2013

How Much Did We Spend in Austria?

Sunrise over one of the many historic buildings in Vienna

Overall score (Dan) = D
Overall score (Jocelyn) = B+

Total days = 3 nights, 4 days
Total cost = $777
Cost per day = $194 / day
Flight costs = $1,040 one-way from Beijing
Cities visited: Vienna

Summary

Originally, I wasn’t going to review our spending in Vienna because it was such a quick stopover, but it represents such an important part of our journey that I feel I had to. After traveling 3.5 months in Asia, it was nice to get back to a more “Western” area. Vienna was an incredible place to start because it was beautiful and extremely clean!

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Video: A Haven in Cambodia

September 26, 2013 — 1 Comment

Jocelyn did an interview with a great organization in Siem Reap, Cambodia… check out all of our Cambodia adventures on her page or see our Cambodia spending report here.

How much did we spend in China?

It’s the Cube! I had to jump in front of it!

Overall score (Dan) = B
Overall score (Jocelyn) = C

Total days = 13 nights, 14 days
Total cost = $1,943
Cost per day = $139 / day
Flight costs = $540 one-way from Delhi
Cities visited: Yangshuo, Guilin, Xi’An, Beijing (also including Hong Kong and Macao in this report)

Summary

Our previous experience with Chinese tourists in other countries led us to believe that entering their country would prove hazardous to our sanity due to their overzealous line jumping, lack of personal space, and their love of traveling around on large tour buses where 50 of them get out and ruin whatever tourist attraction they arrive at with their pushiness and loud talking. Our sentiments were echoed by a recent New York Times article: Continue Reading…

Did you know you can see the Great Wall of China from space??  Apparently, it looks something like this:

Great Wall of China from Space

The more I think about it, the less impressive that is since now we can a license plate from outer space (but not read it).  Anyway, that’s not the point of this post.  The point of this post is we made it all of the way to China – all of the way to Beijing in fact – and we didn’t see the Great Wall of China!! Continue Reading…

How Much Did We Spend in Nepal?

Sword fighting in front of the Himalayas with our “leech sticks” – used to ward off leeches!

Overall score (Dan) = C-
Overall score (Jocelyn) = D

Total days = 6 nights, 7 days
Total cost = $914
Cost per day = $131 / day
Flight costs = $170 one-way from Delhi
Cities visited: Pokhara, Kathmandu (trekked through three small villages)

Summary

Nepal quickly jumped to one of our favorite countries we’ve visited on the entire trip even though most of our time was spent trekking. We flew from Delhi to Kathmandu and caught another flight to Pokhara which is the second largest city in the country – where we stayed one night before starting our four day, three night trek through the Himalayan foothills and Nepal countryside.

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Can you live without a mortgage?

This is how we paid off our first mortgage… sold the house!

One of the biggest purchases most of us will ever make is a house. It’s become pretty common to take out a 30 year mortgage and to have it our entire life – but did you know almost 1/3rd of Americans live without a mortgage?!

As I’ve discussed before, I think amortized mortgages suck because the majority of payments the first seven years are only applied to interest – meaning we aren’t gaining much traction in home equity which is one of the true values of home ownership.

If your goal is to do something crazy like pay off all of your debt and do what you want with your life, the mortgage is one of the major things you need to battle.

The way I see it, you have a few options if you want to live without a mortgage: Continue Reading…

How Much Did We Spend in India?

Our tour guide wanted to take some “romantic pictures of us” in front of the Taj Mahal!

Overall score (Dan) = A
Overall score (Jocelyn) = B

Total days = 8 nights, 9 days
Total cost = $813
Cost per day = $91 / day
Flight costs = $540 one-way from Bangkok
Cities visited: Delhi, Agra, Jaipur, Varanasi

Summary

India will have the largest population in the world within five years when it overtakes China. It currently has 1.3 billion people, and the World Health Organization estimates that 1/3rd of the poorest people on the planet live in India. It’s a country where the “haves” have always had, and the “have nots” live in a desolate poverty almost unimaginable – where the caste system is still firmly in place which makes the genetic lottery one of the best indicators of wealth.

India is a country rich in history and culture, with numerous world religions calling it their birthplace; where peasants still make annual or once-in-a-lifetime pilgrimages to the most sacred Hindu river – the Ganges, and where time moves, but daily life maintains traditions that are millenniums old.

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