Gangtey valley, BhutanGangtey valley, Bhutan

Gangtey valley, farmhouses and a special walk to another festival

The city of Thimphu faded away behind us. We set off to explore the countryside of Bhutan.

Roads are always spectacular in this mountainous country. But today leads us above the Dolchua pass. 108 stupas in the front. The horizon dotted with several 7000+ meter high snow-capped mountains.

Arriving at the highest point of the road, we see the stupas. But where are the mountains?

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BhutanBhutan

Happiness – one-word description of peoples attitude in Bhutan

While many other cultures are steered along the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as an indicator for the development of the country, Bhutan takes a little bit a different approach.

Of course people in Bhutan are also motivated by and keep an eye on their financial situation, but overall many more factors are taken into account. Both on small scale by everybody individually as well as by the government.

First of all you can really see a feeling of belonging together between people on the streets, much more than in our western cultures. There is only a small number of people in the world speaking Zhongka (the local laguage) making conversations between each other a little different and makes them “special”, but its not only that…

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Vision 2019+Vision 2019+

Vision 2019+

Time to refresh our Vision 2009 which got it all started about 10 years ago, when we planned our 6 months travel around the world.

Despite other rumors from people we know, there is still no risk of running out of ideas and motivation to travel. You can rather think about a time constraint we faced over the last years, but we have a mitigation idea…

Let us take you along, inspire you and bring the world out there a little closer to your home *smiley cool*

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Easter Island, ChileEaster Island, Chile

Rapa Nui by scooter – continued

Day 3

5:00am! We will definitely beat the crowds visiting the Moai at sunrise!

Unfortunately the sunrise is on the other side of the island, its pitch dark (no street lamps), the road has quite some pot holes, we have a scooter… and it is raining *smiley annoyed* Don’t ask how, but we made it well before any sun light was hitting the horizon and enjoyed a dramatic looking scenery

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Galapagos, EcuadorGalapagos, Ecuador

Galapagos – two more nights in nature’s paradise and what to take away

We are leaving the boat after 5 packed days. So many impressions of the landscape, the wild animals above and below water.

Our heads are still circling around what we had the chance to see on the Galapagos islands. And we might still need a few days more to fully grasp, what made it so special to us. We just arrived on island of Santa Cruz. There is a small village and it does not belong to the National Park area. We stay another 2 nights here, walking to nearby beaches and looking at the local market. The first time on this trip we have the freedom to just while away a day.

Walking to a local coffee place, we pass by the really small fish market of the town. 6 stalls in a small U-shape directly at the waterfront. More or less stone tables, painted in blue. Locals debating about the prices for the catch of the day.

Behind some stalls on the walls sit a few pelicans. They keep a close eye on the scenery. Sometimes even make an attempt to jump over to the fish tables. But get chased away quickly by the local sellers.

While everybody focuses on the Pelicans, it happens…

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Galapagos, EcuadorGalapagos, Ecuador

Galapagos – sea lions, blue-footed boobies, flamingos and much more wildlife up close

Sometimes it’s hard to put experiences into words. Galapagos put’s up this challenge. And it’s not about finding the “right” words, but to find words at all.

We are no biologists. Otherwise we would have cared more for the details. The differences Darwin discovered between some birds on the various islands. Tiny differences in their wings and bill.

We pay more attention to the broader scale…

How different wild animals react when being well protected. Not running, swimming or flying away. No fear. But rather curiosity. Unfortunately they can’t talk. Or at least we can’t understand them.

From their looks we read questions “What are you?”, “Why are you here?”. And sometimes even commands to “Play with me!”.

I jump into the water for snorkeling. Ice cold, thanks to the Humboldt stream.

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Galapagos, EcuadorGalapagos, Ecuador

Galapagos – visiting Darwin’s laboratory

We already had a good feeling when sealing our last minute deal to Galapagos. We booked a luxury upper deck cabin on a small high quality boat. A 1st class nature guide is promised too. And the best: All that at a bargain price *smiley cool*

Are you flexible too and can wait a few days? Perfect. Get left-over or cancellation places on cruises. Just shop around some outfits in Quito and ask for cruises leaving the next days.

And it only gets better with every minute we spend on this “detour” from the mainland. Or to be honest, it gets better “most of the time” for Iris…

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Round the World, PlanningRound the World, Planning

Planning a RTW trip – finding our route around the globe

When we realized that we just made it, so having approved sabbaticals and thus will be taking a 6 months break from our jobs, we got all excited. The decision was to make the most out of the time we have and spend the whole half year traveling.

And with that started our looooong list of ideas, places to visit, recommendations we got from colleagues, documentaries inspiring us about fancy locations and tips from friends and family. Putting everything on a map made it obvious – we needed prioritization!

Note: This is a post from before our round the world trip in 2009, but moving it to our new domain, I considered it deserves a little refresh from writing and styling perspective…

We went through some rounds, discussing ideas of potential focus areas and concluded as a first step to focus on the southern hemisphere and more specifically on Latin America, the South Pacific including New Zealand and Australia.

And with this in mind, we published the following image to “Get a first impression about the planned routing…”

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Round the WorldRound the World

Vision 2009 – Around the World in six months

Do you know this feeling, when looking at something you did about 10 years ago?

Yes, I know, it’s by no means up to your current standards and this is exactly the same for me, but reading through the first message we posted in 2009 for our friends and family to follow our steps around the world makes me feel different…it’s rather about: “This was special! How can we do it again?

This is really how it all started for Iris and myself becoming travel-addicts…

In 2008 it was confirmed that we both will have a sabbatical from our jobs. And the plan was to travel the full 6 months from July to December 2009. We were fully excited and started our long-list of ideas…

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