We left on March 20th, 2013 from Toronto Canada, then traveled around the world for 15 months, visiting 35 countries, ranging from counties that most people who travel have visited (Thailand). The most unlikely place we visited was Sudan.

Our blog can be read here.

Proof.

P.S. I'm a geologist working at the second photo with nothing to do today, so feel free to ask questions about that too.

Not sure why I'm being downvoted like crazy...

Comments: 330 • Responses: 81  • Date: 

eraof9133 karma

A crush of mine, who I "occasionally" stalk on facebook is a shark lover..Never understood why, however, How could I change myself mentally and physically to resemble as close to a shark as a human can be?

Diligent_Nose71 karma

Buy shark costume and get a jaws ring tone!

eraof987 karma

Should I also become aggressive ?

EDIT: Just realized is the wrong ama ;p

Diligent_Nose63 karma

I was slightly confused.

kiko198042 karma

What was your budget like? Did you save up A LOT of cash or was it more of shoestring?

Diligent_Nose37 karma

In between. All in from shots to gifts we spent around 90K. We mostly used hostels, and ate street food, but we spent a lot on doing things. We had both budget traveled in our early 20s, now that we are in our early 30s we knew we'd hate the drunk dorm room travel scene.

reddit_synic80 karma

90k

holy shit...

Slausbang8 karma

Not really that much, considering they were gone for over a year and had two people.

reddit_synic25 karma

spending $90k and earning nothing in one year isn't that much

I don't think you know the value of things...

abrokenclock19 karma

[deleted]

ijustmadeyoubreathe6 karma

Not good if 90k is all they have though is it

Diligent_Nose70 karma

we're broke now, but I'm back at my old job, and she's found work. There's always tomorrow to make money, but you gotta get living sometime.

cockassFAG19 karma

Goddamnit. I'm going to eastern Asia. You have convinced me with this thread. I've been saving for nothing, now I know what for. My job is a dead end anyways, if I end up broke afterwards it'll be worth it.

Diligent_Nose21 karma

For sure man, I don't know anyone who's spent money on travel and regretted it.

Diligent_Nose6 karma

Depends on you're income level, we both had really good jobs, very little expenses and no debt. abrokenclock hit the nail on the head.

verbal_diarrhea_guy2 karma

What was your contingency plan if your credit cards were lost or stolen? How much cash did you carry with you during each country?

Diligent_Nose3 karma

We had 4 CCs and 2 more debit cards, we always had some on us, some back at the room etc. Plus we always had a couple grand cash each stashed away in various places. It would have been a pretty catastrophic failure to lose it all.

khalidhaddad34 karma

Dude you are living my dream.. respect.. anyways, did it get to a point where you had enough? and was it highly expensive?

Diligent_Nose32 karma

We had times were we had had enough. At that point we'd get a nice room, and just watch movies and eat for a couple of days.

It wasn't cheap, but we could have done it for a lot less.

Uncandy32 karma

what was it like traveling with your fiancee, how did it effect your relationship.

how did it effect your career, how did you take the time off?

Diligent_Nose30 karma

It made our relationship better. We actually got along better traveling. My job means I'm gone from home around 70% of the time, so that puts a lot of strain on every relationship. It was nice to spend 100% of my time with her.

I'm a contractor so I just didn't take contracts, so not much. She had to quit her job.

jhayes72811 karma

What did her quitting her job mean to you?

Diligent_Nose18 karma

We were actually doing long distance at the time till shortly before we left, so it was inevitable.

KittyBotMew7 karma

[deleted]

Diligent_Nose27 karma

Early 30s. We came home fairly broke. I wouldn't say we left our lives, more that we left to live. Coming home you realize pretty fast that not much changes at home in a bit over a year.

I work as a geologist on an oil rig. The guy that finds me work knew I was coming home and had work waiting for me. She's signed a 4 month contract working.

Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada.

thepurplepajamas18 karma

What was the most striking or memorable single moment, event, or location of the entire trip?

Diligent_Nose29 karma

Visiting the Mountain gorillas in Rwanda.

Boomyeah11 karma

SO Envious. That stuff is expensive. I recently moved to Rwanda for a year and need to wait for my visa that makes me a "foreign resident" before it becomes even remotely affordable, haha. How was it?

Diligent_Nose13 karma

Amazing, I'll never forget it. It's insane. we delayed our trip for a year to save more money, and I think the permits for the gorillas went up 200 bucks or something that year. When we walked up we were in our backpacker clothes with a point and shoot camera, meanwhile most of the other people had decked out gear, thousands of dollars of camera equipment etc. It was insane.

What are you doing in Rwanda?

Boomyeah9 karma

Working with an NGO in Kigali. It's an awesome country, isn't it? Hopefully I'll get to do the Gorilla Trekking sometime next year.

Diligent_Nose7 karma

I loved it! I wish I had had more time there. Loved the french influence on the food.

Pie7ro5 karma

Is Rwanda dangerous? Asking because me and my fiance are planning this for our honeymoon next year

Diligent_Nose12 karma

We never felt unsafe, but don't take my word on it, things change quickly in that part of the world.

wakawaq15 karma

How could you afford being away for so long? Did you quit your jobs prior to the trip?

Diligent_Nose18 karma

She quit, I'm a contractor. We both had no student debt and good jobs.

DildoSoup11 karma

I'm about to be doing something similar but working every second month. Did you find it hard doing what you wanted at the same time as keeping up with bills/mortgages?

Diligent_Nose6 karma

We had basically no bills, I kept the plates on my SUV (my dad used it from time to time), and we rented a storage unit. We both had really good jobs and no debt, so financially we were lucky.

son_of_a_sneeze1 karma

This seems like a great idea! If you don't mind, what line of work are you in that would allow for working every other month?

DildoSoup2 karma

I work on oil rigs. Most jobs allow for a month and month rotation paid every month.

Diligent_Nose6 karma

offshore? what do you do out there?

dead_Monkey9 karma

How do you pay for all the travelling?

Diligent_Nose26 karma

Hard work and living below our means.

eraof99 karma

Okay here is my question, what was the scariest moment of your whole journey? was it someone with a gun, losing a visa or what?

Diligent_Nose13 karma

Gorge swing at Victoria falls, winch failure when winching us up, I wrote more about this in another post.

SewingLifeAlchemist9 karma

What was the best meal you ate?

Diligent_Nose13 karma

Wart Hot.

SewingLifeAlchemist21 karma

I googled that and the results were... unpleasant. Could you describe it?

Diligent_Nose31 karma

Fuck, that was a big typo, I meant to write wart hog, my bad.

mahamaharaj7 karma

What advice would you have for those who want to travel?

Diligent_Nose29 karma

Make it a priority or it won't happen.

vibrant_pastel7 karma

What would you have done differently to spend less money?

Diligent_Nose12 karma

Nothing, we were happy with were we spent the money. We had a budget and we followed it.

vibrant_pastel5 karma

If someone couldn't spend much though what would you suggest?

Diligent_Nose14 karma

We could have saved a lot on accommodation, dorm rooms etc. We also spent a lot of money doing things like scuba diving, hot air balloon rides etc. It's not so the much traveling that's expensive, it's the activities.

HonestAbeRealist7 karma

[deleted]

Diligent_Nose5 karma

We had very little cheese, Rwanda though had nice cheese.

Pink_196 karma

What countries did you visit in Asia and what did you like best?

Diligent_Nose5 karma

Nepal, Tibet, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Myanmar, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore & Japan.

I want to go back to Japan (we were only there for 4 days), Indonesia and Malaysia. Japan to really see the country, we just visited a friend in Tokyo, and Indonesia and Malaysia to do more Scuba Diving.

Ch0c0lateRain6 karma

If I decided I really wanted to travel and start doing this, what would be the things I should take into consider before hand?

Diligent_Nose8 karma

Save twice as much as you think you need, know your basic plan a couple of months before you go, as some immunizations can take a while to get all the shots in.

Emblematic_6 karma

EDIT: Saw above, my apologies for re-asking.

Total cost?

I ask as my wife and I would really like to take 2016 off for travel, but we've got zero idea about associated costs...

Diligent_Nose8 karma

We spent 90, but could have done it for cheaper.

mustafasagan6 karma

[deleted]

Diligent_Nose2 karma

What do you want to see?

mustafasagan7 karma

[deleted]

Diligent_Nose4 karma

Tanzania, Serengeti. Worth every penny. PM me before you go.

NDK119 karma

Noooooooooooooooooo.... Come to Kenya the Mara is amazing

Diligent_Nose5 karma

We didn't go there, my boss did and loved it. Not sure why you're being down voted.

NDK112 karma

Haha I don't really mind just gotta try get as many people to come Kenya because it kinda keeps our economy going.

Diligent_Nose4 karma

We visted Hell's Gate National park and Lake Nakuru, both were amazing.

mr_baffler5 karma

Is she still your fiancée?

Diligent_Nose6 karma

Yes.

SEAXROS5 karma

I'm interested in traveling one day. Not the kind where people stay in hotels, take a picture of nice architecture, post on FB etc. But I want to learn and experience the different cultures and see awesome things, either man made or natural. Is this realistic? And if it is, how do I do it?

Diligent_Nose15 karma

Yes,

  1. save money.
  2. get outside your comfort zone.
  3. ???
  4. come home broke.

Artello4 karma

Did you get separated from each other for any reasons during the trip, if yes then for how long and why?

Diligent_Nose9 karma

Nope. Aside from her going out to get a pedicure, or me running out to get a case of beer etc.

Typical_Average_Joe4 karma

What was the most underrated place you visited?

Diligent_Nose8 karma

My fiance did most of the planning, and I actively avoided researching countries so I would have as little bias as possible. Generally speaking though, the more 'off the beaten path' we got, the more the locals wanted to converse with us to learn about us. In places that are inundated with tourists it was harder to get a grasp on the local culture.

Typical_Average_Joe6 karma

Okay, what was your personal favorite place to visit?

Diligent_Nose9 karma

Ethiopia, I wrote more in another post.

ijustmadeyoubreathe3 karma

So where was most underrated then? As in, typically hyped up but not that great in reality?

Diligent_Nose3 karma

Thailand, hated it. I've heard the islands on the western side are better, but we didn't go there.

old_french_whore6 karma

Seriously? Where did you go and what did you dislike about it? I've spent a ton of time there for both business and just for fun, and Thailand is easily one of my favorite countries to visit out of the dozens I've been to. Once you get away from the seedy sex tourists and frat like party scene, it's a completely different experience. If that was what you were around when you were there, I can absolutely understand why you hated it though.

I strongly suggest spending some time up north in Chiang Mai. There are fewer western tourists so prices are better, you don't have to deal with people constantly trying to scam you like in Bangkok or Chaweng, and the weather is a little more mild. If you want a more relaxing island experience, Koh Tao on the eastern side is beautiful and a great place to unwind and relax for a week or so.

Diligent_Nose2 karma

I think part of the problem was we didn't get far enough away from the party scene. Chang Mai was fantastic, but by the time we were up there we had to leave for visas, we met friends so we were limited to were we went.

unbreathless5 karma

They are much better. Phuket feels more like a mall, while Koh Phangan is like a tropical paradise.

Diligent_Nose3 karma

Yeah, we're frustrated that we fucked that up.

Qrupd4 karma

What was the most unexpected thing that happened to you guys or that you saw?

Diligent_Nose10 karma

One of my favorite things we saw that I didn't expect was giraffes etc. just on the side of the road in Africa.

The most unexpected thing was probably being invited to a Bull Jumping Ceremony in Ethiopia. Note that that is not our blog in the link, but we did discuss our experience in the blog.

c_IsNotTheSameAs_x4 karma

How have your experiences on your travels inspired you to live from now onwards?

Do you think you would move to any of these countries, and why/why not?

Diligent_Nose9 karma

I think this quote sums up my outlook pretty well: 'When was the last time you did something for the first time'.

Nope, life's too comfortable here.

footiebuns3 karma

Thanks for sharing your blog and answering our questions. I have three for you:

  1. How has seeing so many countries around the world changed your perspective on life?
  2. Were there any scary moments/events that occurred during your travels?
  3. Why did you not visit Australia or any South American countries?

Diligent_Nose7 karma

I knew things =! happiness. Most people don't have computers tvs etc. so all they do is talk to their neighbors. They seemed much happier and healthier than we do in the west. From what we saw in places with trouble (we were in Egypt when it kicked off) pretty much everyone just wants their family to be healthy, they don't want to cause problems. There is always more to the story than the media says.

Northern Kenya had potential to be scary, there were armed bandits that frequently attacked the road we drove on. We reduced our risk by sleeping at a police station and a road works camp. Thankfully we had no issues.

The gorge swing at Victoria falls had a failure when we were on it. They were winching us up and we fell around 10m, slamming us into the rocks. My fiance suffered a laceration to her leg.

I'd already been to SA, and she'd already been to Australia. We wanted to go to places neither of us had been.

ohheyheyheyhey3 karma

  1. Which country did you like the least, and why?

  2. Which country had the best cuisine?

  3. Which countries would you like to visit again?

Diligent_Nose5 karma

Thailand, it just felt like drunk tourists everywhere. We were also tired at that point of the trip and probably should have tried harder to find what we were looking for.

I loved the food in Southern Africa, and while it contradicts my previous statement, a good Pad Thai is awesome.

Iceland, Tanzania (and Zanzibar), Malaysia, Scotland, S. Africa, and Egypt (Didn't see the pyramids due to the problems in Cairo)

peng818283 karma

What's the best country you visited? Any weird experiences?

Diligent_Nose5 karma

Ethiopia, I wrote why in another post.

Nothing really felt weird. We seemed to gradually transition from developed countries to developing countries to undeveloped countries. But we both agreed that if we were to fly straight from Canada to Uganda or something similar it would be pretty crazy.

visible253 karma

I really want to travel to all these places around the world, but I know my (future) job will greatly hamper me from that. I've always wanted to go to Ireland, Iceland, and/or Italy/other EU coutries.

If I were to save for and book a trip (approx 2 weeks in length) for next summer, what do you suggest?

Diligent_Nose6 karma

Depends on your budget and what you want to see.

visible253 karma

Thanks for replying, budget would be low maybe around $1200 or go give or take?

As of now it'd be 2.5 weeks in Ireland (Distant family there & hostels for staying) or 3 weeks in Europe just traveling wherever... and I wouldn't be opposed to hostels I suppose

Diligent_Nose5 karma

As of now it'd be 2.5 weeks in Ireland (Dista.t family there & hostels for staying) or 3 weeks in Europe just traveling wherever... and I wouldn't be opposed to hostels I suppose

Iceland is out then, too expensive. I suspect you'll love all those places. I haven't seen much of Europe, so I can't give much advice, sorryl

visible252 karma

Really? it's (Iceland) cheaper to fly to than Ireland. But okay, thank you!

Diligent_Nose5 karma

Yeah, but once your there it will most likely be a lot more expensive.

xArbilx3 karma

Congratulations on getting back home safely. Anything scary happen where you feared for your well-being or even life?

Diligent_Nose9 karma

Thanks!

Gorge swing at Vic falls, I wrote why in another post.

Jmanorama3 karma

Me and my girlfriend want to do this, but have no idea where to begin. We're both 21, she's a college student in her senior year, and I just kinda work jobs. Mostly in child education. Where do we begin and how can we accomplish traveling?

Diligent_Nose5 karma

Save money, look at what you want to see/experience and plan, but mostly save money.

lurker000013 karma

Did you plan on spending 90k? Or did you just travel until you guys ran out of money? How were the finances established?

Diligent_Nose5 karma

Planned on 90, had enough left over to cover bills for a couple months once we got home.

CockRagesOn3 karma

How much planning beforehand went into your travelling or was it more spontaneous?

Diligent_Nose6 karma

Big picture was planned, week to week was spontaneous.

niteshadow533 karma

As a geologist, what was the most geologically interesting area you visited?

Diligent_Nose8 karma

Great rift valley in Africa, specifically Hell's Gate National park.

Howler4523 karma

How did you afford it? Sorry if this was asked already.

Diligent_Nose1 karma

good jobs and sacrifice to save.

ksanthra3 karma

What was your favourite place? Why?

Diligent_Nose8 karma

Ethiopia, The tribes in the south, the twist on Christianity in the middle, and the Simian mountains in the North. The entire country was beautiful.

InsaneLazyGamer2 karma

Kinda late but : Did you come to South Africa? What did you think of it?

In which country/City did you have the best experience i.e where the people were friendliest ,the city was exciting ,the culture was amazing and where you generally enjoyed it most?

Diligent_Nose4 karma

We were in SA, but didn't spend much time there. Cape Town was a cool city, and Stellenbosch was nice, taste wine.

I want to back and see the Garden Route.

ichbineinewhore2 karma

[deleted]

Diligent_Nose6 karma

The middle east was probably the most different. We'd be eating at cafes in the evenings (we were there during Ramadan, so the only places to eat in the day was KFC and McDonald), and not only was my fiance the only blond around, she was the only women out. We very rarely saw women in the streets in Egypt & Jordan.

We had a list of things we wanted to do, mostly 'big ticket' things. For smaller things we mostly talked to other tourists/locals.

The shortest was 3 days in Rwanda, all we did was the genocide memorial, that was very well done, I don't think anyone walked away without crying. Then the mountain gorillas.

We spent a month in Nepal because we had to wait on Visas for Tibet, and a month in Thailand as we met friends there.

I really like Kuala Lumpur, but we found that we are extremely lucky to be from Canada, and both agreed that we don't really want to live anywhere else for long term.

wakawaq2 karma

Which country was the biggest surprise? Which country disappointed you most?

Diligent_Nose4 karma

Tibet was amazing. I had no idea the temples were so incredible. The parts of Thailand we saw sucked. Everywhere we went was just based around people getting drunk. We found it hard to get an authentic experience.

Slausbang2 karma

I found a similar problem when I went to Thailand. I also went in the summer and the insects + humidity made it miserable. What time of year were you there?

Diligent_Nose3 karma

Xmas time, NYE in Chang Mai was awesome though.

hectorial852 karma

I'm also (an ex) Geologist and I took 2 years off to travel. I hit the Middle East, Europe and some of Asia. Question being - how did you find Africa (in general) to travel? Did you do it organised in any way or completely on the fly? Visas? Any issues? Thanks for the AMA. Keep up the good work. Also, how'd you get back into Geology at the end?

Diligent_Nose5 karma

We traveled Africa on an overlanding tour. We used a company called Overland Oasis. it was great.

I have a guy that finds me consulting work (wellsite geology) he just slit me back into the mix.

Why did you get out of geology?

hectorial852 karma

Ok, cool. I'll check it out. Seems that you've covered Africa quite extensively. All on the tour? Link a few tours up? $$$? Lucky you. That's great. I have 4 years experience in sedimentary hosted Uranium deposits - so quite specified. I got out to travel while I was still "young". I've moved to Europe and there isn't much work for my background. Not sure I'd get back into it anyways, it is a tough life to live between site/mine/rig/remote and the office. There were definitely pros though - the pay was great and I did see and do some amazing things in cool places. Travel is the best and the job did enable me to save $ to take that time off and have fun globetrotting. No regrets.

Diligent_Nose4 karma

Dude, check out the Athabasca basin in Northern Saskathewan, lots of uranium mining in a sed basin.

This is the exact tour we did.

cellosea2 karma

What was your experience with language barriers? When I traveled in Europe, I stayed in the cities, but I can't wait to go back and see the more local areas. I have heard/assume the further you are from tourist attractions the harder it is for communication. I can't imagine you left fluent in all languages of countries you went to.

Diligent_Nose4 karma

Nope, China was the worst, very difficult to get around. Everywhere else we could at least get by.

Thisplayer12 karma

Did you ever visit a place where you thought your life could be in danger? Local gangs etc..? Also did you visit Central America?

Diligent_Nose2 karma

Not really, had a scare on the gorge swing at vic falls I wrote about on another post.

Not this trip, probably will get there at some point though.

MyLifeTimes2 karma

How rich are you?..

Diligent_Nose4 karma

right now I'm fucking broke!

Ricardodo_2 karma

What country did you like the most?

Diligent_Nose3 karma

Ethiopia, I answered why in another post.

Underthebonsai2 karma

Hi there, In general how did you find travelling around africa? Were you backpacking with public transport / chicken buses or did you take more of an organised tour? I would love to go but the lack of tourist infrastructure in many places makes me think it could be quite hard going.

Diligent_Nose6 karma

Organized tour. Check out overland oasis's website, we used them and were happy.

nogoodstories2 karma

If you had to choose: which country would you most want to live in?

Diligent_Nose28 karma

Canada.

Souljacker2 karma

Any tip on how to find cheap flights to Europe from other places other than the US?

Diligent_Nose3 karma

nope, we barely flew, and aside from asia had flights booked well in advance.

Goldin1 karma

Did you ever reach a point where you just needed a break from each other? Did you do anything for alone time?

Diligent_Nose3 karma

Not really. She'd go to the spa, meanwhile I'd hit a cafe. We're both pretty good at just giving each other space, be it one person watching a movie on the computer while the other reads etc.

beefat991 karma

Which Sudan? North or South?

Diligent_Nose1 karma

North.

beefat991 karma

How was it?

Diligent_Nose0 karma

Great, the Mauro pyramids were awesome, we camped right beside them. The people were very friendly and would come up to us and shake our hands. We were there in summer though, so it was fucking hot, on the sand the termometer said 54C. And no one in Sudan knows how to flush a toilet. So there were lots of logs about. I'd recommend visiting, be aware though the paperwork to get in a bitch.

sorry about my previous answer, I didn't check the context and though it was just a general question about the trip.

beefat993 karma

Don't worry about. What was the closest you were to danger in any country?

Diligent_Nose2 karma

Probably driving in Northern Kenya. The police told us there had been bandits out the day before. If they had found us they probably would have just taken our money and passports, but it was still the most unsafe we felt. We reduced our risk by camping at a police station and a roadworks camp with armed guards.

beefat991 karma

Were you afraid of terrorism while in Kenya?

Diligent_Nose0 karma

We were there a few months before that all kicked off. More worried about bandits from Somalia when we were in N Kenya.