RTW Travel Interview: Part 2

posted in: Mom's Musings | 0

A few more pictures of traveling around Budapest and a few more questions! Remember, please send us any new ones. We love questions!

1. What did you do about you car insurance while you were gone? We reduced our car coverage to the minimum option while we were gone, no collision. Of course, our Subaru is not worth much anymore anyways 🙂 Both cars are parked at Mom and Dad’s cause they have a lot of space out in the country, and Dad has a big barn he can park them in if needed, so safe. They also are more likely to need an extra car to drive with all the family living near by.

 

 

2. How do you handle the jet lag? Our best recommendation for jet lag is do not let yourself take a nap. Make sure you are good and tired the first day, so when you crash around 9PM, you will sleep through the night. That helps you get on the right schedule. The rule is though it takes half as many days as time zones you cross to recover. But in general, regardless, it has taken us about 3 days to feel normal. For those 3 days, you feel like a train hit you when you would normally be sound asleep where you came from, but you have to fight through.

3. What about filing taxes? If you are out the country when taxes come due, you can file 2 months later automatically. You don’t have to apply for extension. If you need this on your return or if will be gone longer than 2 months after due, you can file for extension, but we plan on doing them as soon as we get home.

 

4. How much have you guys personally driven while on your trip? Chris drove for a month in New Zealand, which of course is on the left side of the road. But fortunately, traffic is minimal there, so it wasn’t that bad. But the speed limit constantly changes, and driving in NZ means curvy roads, with mountains and two lanes only. Chris has driven in Britain before, and it was really hard to get use to with all the tiny one lane roads. We had a car for Croatia and Slovenia, and plan to have one in Italy and France, but these are all on the right side of the road. Chris did pull into traffic the wrong direction once he said without us, but luckily no traffic coming! I will be in big trouble, I haven’t driven at all. Nobody should ever never drive in India or Thailand or Cambodia, it was insane!! Of course, you can imagine our take on motorbikes.

5. Where do you keep the things you don’t hike with since you’re basically homeless? Most often the hotels, airbnbs, and especially hostels are great about storing your bags for you free of charge. In developing countries, they will often even let you use their facilities on your return for shower, resting till your train, etc. without charge for a few hours. They are amazing about working to help you out. They just practically beg you to post a good review on tripadvisor for them. This is how a lot of people plan their stays in these countries, so it’s very important to them and crucial to their business.

6. What kind of camera are you using? I can’t imagine stuffing a fancy camera in your packs, but I know you want good pictures.

Now Chris is the maven in our family, so he could talk cameras and equipment all day long. But the simple answer is a Panasonic Lumix GX85 with one fixed lens (20 mm), one dramatic zoom lens (50-200 mm), and one walk around kit lens (12-32). The whole thing fits into a small camera bag about the size of one of those old tin lunch boxes. He researched it for weeks, and we sold our big Canon DSLR before we left to invest in this one. We really like it, and it also films well too!

 

7. What was it like going to the movies in a different country? We went to see Beauty and the Beast and Kong in a Nepalese theater, and it was really different. You had to go through a metal detector to come in, and they checked any bags you had or purses. Then, you had an assigned seat and someone to lead you to the seat. No commercials or trailers before the movie. Then, all of the sudden, randomly in the middle they stop the movie for an intermission. When it starts back, they have 3 Bollywood trailers in Nepalese, that were hilarious to us trying to figure out what they were saying. We were the only tourists, so that was sorta neat. The price was awesome! The cost was about $3 to see both movies, and snacks were cheap too. They only have one show time though for each movie, so you have to plan well. We also saw Lion in Sydney, but that was similar to going in an American city really. Fortunately though, we went on Ella’s birthday and she got in for free and we all got free popcorn!

8. What is the scariest animal you have encountered? Actually, we haven’t encountered any scary animals yet. NZ is all birds, few animals. Thailand we were just lucky to meet no snakes. The worst was a very aggressive monkey who tried to steal Ella’s milkshake, but he didn’t know who he was dealing with when it comes to chocolate! They did look like they were going to throw glass at us, but they never did. South Africa is where the big 5 come into play, so I’ll get back to you then. South America seems to have the scariest animals – anaconda, poison tree frogs, etc. I remember when I lived there dreaming the woods were slithering with snakes, loI

9. What are some animals that you didn’t know existed but have run across or learned about on your trip? We learned a lot more about a stoat in NZ that was devastating the bird population and had been introduced by colonials in a half-brained scheme to get rid of some rabbits that they also introduced. Walden is the master of all animal knowledge, so he can regurgitate info about just about any animal. The coolest spotting was a black buck, which is almost extinct, in India. Even the local with us thought it was really cool. Check out our post with Chhotarem to see it! We also saw wild peacocks in India, which is where they are originally from. Eastern Europe has had the cutest dogs everywhere, all different breeds, huge and tiny. People seem to love their dogs here. Always make us long for Molly.

10. Have you just had the hardest time understanding people’s English through their accents? I feel like I would constantly be saying “what?” “what?” And would end up just smiling and nodding because I couldn’t hear the words through the accents. Have you guys picked up on any languages at all? The different English accents just take time and practice and a lot of effort. You do smile and nod a lot, but sometimes that is dangerous! Ella and Walden are bad about avoiding it; and for that reason, don’t always talk much to different people. Our funniest experience was when the hut warden in New Zealand was doing a presentation and at the end, back in the sleeping area, the guy from the University of Chicago said- “I know that guy was speaking English, but I found myself just watching everyone to see when they laughed so I would know I should.” Unfortunately, my affinity for Asian languages so far has been terrible! We also have really struggled in Eastern Europe because the words are not even close to English; and we are moving so fast, any effort to learn phrases in each one seems pointless. I totally appreciate the more you can try to learn and use, the more respectful and humble it is. I realize how arrogant it must seem to expect people to be able to speak my language, when I am in their country.

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