end of the road: things i learned

humping bags in hungaryHunter and I visited 12 countries in 16 days before landing in France to celebrate his birthday. The trip was, at varying times, grueling, exhausting and exhilarating. It was completely different from anything I had done before. It was also a ton of fun.

a lot of stairs in serbiaStaying at airbnb’s made us feel a part of the daily life of a place and not quite such tourists. It also gave us a chance to have long chats with local people asking questions about what we should do, the best nearby restaurant, how to work the shower and what they though of the world.

Though our trip was not particularly educational I did manage to learn a few things:

-Always wear a sports bra in a van, no matter where in the world you are they never seem to have adequate suspension

-You see a lot more of the world traveling over ground than through the air

-A big scarf is incredibly versatile; mine was used as a curtain, housecoat, skirt and belt

-The music Hunter listens to uses the f-word, A LOT

-Talking football (soccer in North America) is an instant way to make friends

-I am way too old for this, but it might just keep me young

belgrade-And I will never take soft toilet paper for granted again.

I left Hunter in Paris to continue his adventure. He kept ticking countries, succeeding in reaching his goal of 100. He has now qualified for the Traveller’s Century Club. I am quite looking forward to paying the $100 that is required to get him a membership card; it does not appear to confer any other benefits. Not a bad birthday gift for a kid who just turned 20!hanging with heros


  1. I loved this most recent blog. You have a marvellous ability to pack so much information into a relatively short paragraph or two. It was without doubt a glorious adventure ( 12 countries / 16 days ! ), but perhaps what was most delightful is what was NOT said . . . having this time with that remarkable young man, one on one, sharing these experiences, exploring all of these countries ( however briefly ) together, having conversations which only a trip like this can engender, and thereby getting to know each other – all over again – in such a unique environment. You are each blessed in each other. What a storehouse of memories you have built, which you will both treasure forever. I do hope that there will be a similar moment for you and Jack – whatever the format may be – and that it will be as equally fulfilling.

    You, John, Hunter, and Jack are a family rich beyond measure in each other.

    You are loved


  2. Another great post! I can hear you saying all of your observations emphatically! xo

  3. So enjoyable reading about your travels with Hunter. What memories the two of you will have.

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