How Much Did We Spend in Morocco?

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

Total days = 7 nights, 8 days
Total cost = $934
Cost per day = $117 / day
Flight costs = $616 from Tel Aviv (with stops in Istanbul, Rome, and Milan!!)
Cities visited: Marrakech, Essaouira, Taroudant

Summary

It seems like every time we think we’ve seen it all, we stumble into a new country and are blown away by what we find. From the snake charmers controlling the customer’s wallets as easy as they do the snakes, to the goats that climb trees in search of their next meal, Morocco is full of wonder, mystery, and danger; not necessarily the danger of physical harm, but more the danger of being swindled.

We were lucky enough to meet a friend in Morocco who pretty much planned out our entire 8 days! It came at a good time because after 8 months of researching new countries, reading the top 10 things to do on Lonely Planet, and figuring out where to stay, we were ready for a mental break.

How Much Did We Spend in Israel?

Overall score (Dan) = A
Overall score (Jocelyn) = A
Total days = 10 nights, 11 days
Total cost = $1,667
Cost per day = $152 / day
Flight costs = $702 one-way from Istanbul
Cities visited: Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Dead Sea, Eilot, Northern road trip, and adding in Petra, Jordan

Summary

If there was a ranking of countries by the most interesting things to see per square kilometer, Israel must sit at the top of the list. It’s the birthplace of monotheistic religions and although it’d be nice to call it a cultural melting pot, there are many forces at work discouraging an assimilation among its inhabitants. This contributes to it being one of the most complex countries we’ve visited yet.

In the grand scheme of things, I was pretty ignorant of what was happening in Israel aside from the quick soundbites I’d regularly hear on the news – things like illegal settlements, suicide bombers and border disputes. However, there’s no way I’d fully understand it if we didn’t visit, but now that I know more, I’m not sure their issues will ever be settled. The Palestinians and the rest of the middle east will never accept the Bible’s granting of the land to the Jewish religion, and the Israelis will continue to turn a blind eye to the prisons they’re building around the Palestinians in the name of protection.

How Much Did We Spend in Turkey?

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

Total days = 7 nights, 8 days
Total cost = $1,344
Cost per day = $168 / day
Flight costs = $525 one-way from Zagreb
Cities visited: Cappadocia, Ephesus, Istanbul

Summary

Turkey was always so far away on our round the world trip that we never gave much attention to it, but we heard from enough people it was worth the visit. After we found a way to fit it in our schedule between meeting friends in the countries before and after, we were set to take on Turkey.

Istanbul is the cultural capital and led the fight that took Turkey to the 2020 Olympics final destinations – narrowly losing to Japan in what some experts say was caused by the way Turkey handled protests in Taksim Square back in 2012. I think the Olympics lost out on what would’ve been an incredible destination.

How Much Did We Spend in Croatia

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

Total days = 21 nights, 22 days
Total cost = $2,722
Cost per day = $124 / day
Flight costs = Bus from Vienna to Zagreb, $150 in flights to Dubrovnik
Cities visited: Dubrovnik, Korcula, Hvar, Split, Zadar, Novigrad, Zagreb

Summary

As we continued our journey into Europe after Austria, we wanted to explore a cheaper place than the western European countries (Germany, France, etc), so based on the advice of travelers we previously talked to, Croatia was the ticket. When it was first mentioned, all I knew was it was somewhere in eastern Europe and that they might’ve been involved in the Bosnian War in the 1990s. It turns out I was right and that wasn’t the only war that affected Croatia as it’s been a popular place to fight over for millenniums – from the Greeks, to the Romans, the Ottoman Empire, and more recently the Austrians in World War I. After we spent three weeks exploring Croatia, we learned why it’s so hotly contested.

How Much Did We Spend in Austria?

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!