Lessons, insights and observations from 5 months of travel
3/10/08 - 8/5/08
We feel incredibly fortunate to share our travel experience with everyone. Backpacking through China, South East Asia, India, Tanzania, Egypt and Cuba has changed us in ways that we don't even fully understand. Below we try to summarize some the lessons, insights and observations from our 5 months of travel. Thanks for joining us on this journey!
1. Because we traveled with humility and an open mind, we noticed that no matter where we were in the world, we found people that we loved, and that loved us too.
[i]With Hindi family in New Delhi: Sanjay, AD Sharma & family
With Muslim family (Salim & Farida Khan) in Udaipur, Rajasthan:
With Buddhist family (Hel Poungsinal, Wife, & Peter), in Phenom Penh, Cambodia:
With fruit vendor in Hanoi, Vietnam
With Buddhist family (Ponsothat (Jimmy), Kimsong, daughter, Monique, & son, David) in Siem Reap, Cambodia
With Hindi family in Goa
With bus boy from Paharganj, India
With Joseph, our camping safari guide: Serengeti National Park, Tanzania
2. By learning two words in our host country's language, "Hello" and "Thank you", people opened up their hearts and minds to us.
A simple "Namaste" started a friendship with a Commanding Officer in India's army: Almora, Uttaranchal
3. The more we traveled, the more we realized just how much we haven't seen in our own backyard.
We hope to make it out to the Grand Canyon one of these days
4. Learning about and seeing how different religions are practiced throughout the world changed how we thought about religion.
The bathing Ghats on the Holy Ganga: Varanasi, India
Monk reading by window at a temple: Luang Prabang, Lao
Minerets of Al-Azhar Mosque: Cairo, Egypt
Church of San Antonio: Matanzas, Cuba
5. Traveling helped us understand history and politics in a different light.
Mao's portrait near Tienanmen Square
6. Complacency, fear and self-righteousness and can lead normal people to do terrible things.
Memorial at the killing fields. From 1975-79 the Khmer Rouge murdered or starved 1.7 million Cambodians, about 25% of the entire population of the country, in an attempt to form an agrarian utopia by creating a Communist peasant farming society. Phenom Pehn, Cambodia
Learn more here: http://www.unitedhumanrights.org/Genocide/pol_pot.htm
7. Life is precious; it is important for us to enjoy every minute of it.
Francis and Edward diving in the Similan Islands: Thailand
8. Man-made beauty can never compare to our planet's natural beauty.
View of Keshar Devi, 100 miles out, from Almora, Uttaranchal, India
Baby elephant and it's mother at Tarangire National Park, Tanzania
9. We found traveling with kids very difficult, but even more rewarding.
Francis, Edward and our nephew, Donnaven, traveling via bicycle rickshaw in New Delhi, India.
10. Why leave our dreams for tomorrow, when we can reach for them today?
Francis, Edward and our nephew, Donnaven, at the Great Pyramids of Giza