Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Day 500: 5 things that have survived 500 days on the road.

Today marks 500 days since we stuffed our remaining possessions into Patrick's Subaru and headed north. It's also the one-year anniversary of the day we left for Warsaw to start our overseas travels. (We certainly didn't plan that but its a happy coincidence!)

We've been pretty pleased with how well certain things have held up over the past 500 days and particularly this last year overseas. Here are five of the more random things we still have from our Portland days, in no particular order...

1. This Tupperware container.

I think it's from an olive bar purchase at Whole Foods

It's used occasionally for storage - but mostly we use it for cereal.

Bangkok, August 2014

We've had a series of other plastic containers along the way to use for cereal bowl #2 but this is the only one that has endured 500 days with us.

2. This Velocity notebook.

from the TedX conference in Portland, March 2013

In addition to the fact that TedX is awesome, "velocity" was the theme of this particular conference so it seemed fitting that we attend. We both got souvenir notebooks and for the next month while we were researching, we used my notebook to keep track of places to visit during our travels.

it has also become a hand-drawn calendar
and long-term to-do list

I carry it with me all the time. It's as precious as my passport at this point.

3. This stack of crosswords.

one year, one month behind...
and counting

We started with 1 January's crossword on 1 January 2013, and more or less averaged one a day for a few months (though honestly, lazy Saturday and Sunday mornings were our weekly catch-up days). When 21 April 2013 rolled around we said "Let's take this with us overseas! They will help pass the time on long train/bus/boat rides!"

Riiiiiiight. Books and scenery are much more interesting these days. We'll see how far we get on this pile by spring.

4. This Trader Joe's canvas grocery bag.

slightly pink after a wash with something red

You get plastic with EV.ERY.THING here. One container of yogurt, one bottle of water, one piece of fruit - everything comes with a plastic bag (or two). This is one of the few ways we're able to reduce our carbon footprint on this trip. It does make us nostalgic for sesame sticks and three buck Chuck... but that's not a bad thing.

(Did you know there are Trader Joe's in Germany? We learned that from a fellow traveler who saw our bag one day.)

5. Our sanity.

some days are better than others
(this day in Prachuap Khiri Khan, Thailand was not one of those days)

sometimes coffee helps
(especially Vietnamese coffee)

sometimes beer and laughter help
(actually, laughter always helps)

On the other end of the spectrum our backpacks are filthy, our daypacks are wearing out, and everything we own now has that lovely "you've been overseas for 365 days!" aroma.

My boots have been trashed since October, I ripped a hole in my raincoat in Uzumlu, I had to replace my shoulder bag in Spain (my "new" one now also needs replacing), and my iTouch charger recently died.

Patrick's electric razor crapped out on him in Europe, he lost a prized Teva flip flop off the dive boat in Koh Tao, and one of his hats started to resemble Swiss cheese so he tossed it (the other one is slowly getting there).

Our Kobo cracked, our batteries for our electronics have worn out, and our netbook has a nice red pixel line down the center of the screen.

All in all, amazingly small prices to pay for an amazingly big adventure so far. Here's to another 100 days - let's see how badly I have just jinxed our luck!