Our more astute readers may have noticed that as our trip draws near, we’ve gotten away from posting about it. Instead, we’ve shifted gears toward entries that look and feel like those that we will bombard you with once we leave the country. Why? Because they’re easier to write.
Sometimes in life though, you won’t be able take the easy route. When Irv Blitzer told Derice that Coolidge wasn’t going to sponsor their trip to the Olympics, Derice and the team found other ways to raise the money. In this Jamaican bobsledding spirit, today I am going to take the road less traveled (lately) and once again write about the trip.
Zhou and I are now less than four weeks from embarking across the Atlantic, and as such there is a lot to talk about. I suppose this is the time that we should be getting cold feet, so in an effort to further this post, I’m going to pretend like I am. (In real life though, I’m too manly for that.) In addition, there is a lot to discuss about the blog (off the top of my head, there is the Stat Contest, Puzzles for Postcards, our new tie to Lonely Planet and other general changes to the blog going forward).
There are two popular beliefs when it comes to our trip (or so I read in the tabloids). The first is “Wow, in less than four weeks, we won’t pee in an American toilet again!” The second is, “Do you realize that in less than a year, we’ll be back in the States (the ‘real world’) telling people that the best part of our lives is behind us?” I’m not sure which belief I subscribe to. Zhou recently told me that she doesn’t want it to be October – she’d rather it stay now, so we’ll always be anticipating the adventures that lie ahead. As much as I can’t wait to go, I kind of agree. We’ve built this trip up in our minds to be the greatest thing ever (which I truly believe it will be), but in actuality we’ll have hard times and fights and bad breath and all that. The experience as a whole is going to be great, but inevitably there will be those moments where we will wonder what we’ve gotten ourselves into. This reminds me a little of one of my favorite DMB quotes.
“I will go in this way and find my own way out.”
The trip is going to be great not because of everything that goes according to plan, but instead because of how we’ll work through the unique problems we’ll encounter. In planning for the trip Zhou and I have met and read about seemingly hundreds of other travelers, and they all have drastically different stories to tell. To some we’ll just be two of the hundreds of thousands of world travelers, but to us we’ll be the only two people who have ever seen the world the way we’re going to. Ever.
Cold feet? Maybe in Japan in the winter.
Right now, only Zhou Touch. But I’m beginning to think more and more that I need to Touch. I currently own and love the 80 GB iPod Classic. My dilemma is that it’s basically a music box. Before the invention of iPods, I’m sure world travelers didn’t take all their CDs, tapes and 8-tracks with them on their journeys – they would take up too much space. So really, do I need this? On the other hand, they recently invented this iTouch mechanism that not only plays music, but connects to the internet, has millions of apps and looks sweet. I would be able to keep up-to-date with my podcasts, world news and Brain Toot. If there was no such thing as money, I would steal an iTouch in a second. But I don’t feel good about dropping another unnecessary $300 while not earning an income.
I actually struggle with this more than I do the iTouch. I would love to be able to use the trip in some way, somehow to help others. Long ago, Zhou and I decided that this trip would be our chance to see as much of the world as we possibly can. This will increase our awareness of different areas and hopefully open our eyes to global causes. However, this eliminated the possibility of us doing something like WWOOF, where we’d live with a family for a month or two and do work that interests us before moving on. We’d be able to travel for dirt cheap, and we’d be helping others along the way. Unfortunately this would minimize our chances to explore.
Another thing Zhou and I looked into was Socialvibe, a program where we could include a link to a charity on our blog, and anytime someone would click on the link, money would go to that charity. This seemed like an easy way to help, but upon further research, it appears that the total allotment of money donated by sponsors on the site does not really change with each click, but instead the allocation does. So in effect, it would be moving money from one charity to another. If anyone knows better, please correct us.
I do like the idea of walking or flying or biking for a cause. For almost three years during college, my friend and I volunteered weekly at the Ronald McDonald House in Nashville. In the future I’d like to work with them again, but in the meantime it would be great if we could set up one of those charity donation promotions. I would like to do something where people could donate based on something we’ve done. A few ideas:
“Ride a bus and donate with us” – people/companies could donate for every hour we spend on a bus
“Eat something new for a nickel or two” – me trying new foods could help the RMH
“Visit our site to help the fight” – donations to help house the families of sick children would be directly tied to the traffic of our blog
That’s just what I’m thinking. I’ll be sure to let you know if I can get this ball rolling before we take off.
Puzzles for Postcards
Back in March, we decided to start a game involving Puzzles for Postcards. There were a couple reasons for this: we like games and we’re cheap. We were tired of buying postcards of Charlotte, North Carolina, and we are sure that you were tired of receiving them. Well, we are finally nearing a winner of the game and thought it time to announce the next steps. After this week, whoever has the most correct puzzle answers will get to write a guest post on August 29th for the No Hurry Curry blog. This is entirely optional, but we figured you wouldn’t still be answering if you didn’t want to collect your “prize.” (Before we get a lot of complaints about the prize, remember that one of the top podcasts in the world, “Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me,” has their announcer leave the message on winners’ home answering machines. Don’t we look good now?) If there’s a tie, the winner will be decided next week.
So what’s going to happen to PfP after the game is over? It will finally live up to its name again! Once we leave we will write one – two puzzles a week from the road, and the winners will actually get postcards! Real, live postcards with personalized messages from us, wherever we happen to be at at the time. However, there’s a twist. In an effort to make ourselves feel loved through comments, we will also be picking a random comment once every two weeks and sending a postcard to that person too. Not the comment we like best – just a random comment. So if you hate puzzles, but like postcards, this is your chance! Oh, one final rule – you can only win/get one postcard per month, otherwise we’ll just be wasting paper. And no one likes killing trees.
Only 25 days left for entries to our Stat Contest! All the cool people have entered, have you? At the very minimum, the winner will get a huge shout out from us, and have bragging rights for life. At the very maximum, we’ll think of a sweet prize and the winner will get that. So make sure you don’t get left out when we close the contest! Feel free to comment anywhere on the site with your answers, or send us an email at nohurrycurry[at]gmail.com.
Remember back when we became famous? We are now famous times two. Earlier this week we signed up for Lonely Planet’s blogsherpa – a conglomeration of travel blogs from all over the world. Our Getting Visas Part 3 post has now made the big dance of travel blog. You can see it here, currently about seven posts from the top. For those of you who aren’t in with the travel scene like Zhou and I are, this is the equivalent of signing a shoe deal with Nike or getting caught at a night club with Jon Gosselin. Wait, scratch that second analogy. However, as we travel we do hope to keep posting to Lonely Planet as it is a great source for lots of travel information. We even did a lot of our research on that site and with Lonely Planet books.
Other Random Junk
I’ve been a huge whatever-the-opposite-of-proponent-is of Twitter ever since I first heard of it. These feelings grew with Conan’s spot-on Twitter Tracker bit. However, it does seem like it might be a useful way to keep in touch while we travel, so it’s something we’ll probably consider signing up for before we take off. That way we too will be able to tell the world “Kevin and Zhou just saw a man who looked like an Asian version of Denzel Washington. Whoa!” So I guess you could say I’m coming around on the idea like I came around on the idea of Lady Gaga. That Pokerface is just so catchy…
Finally (wow this was a long, picture-less post), we’re constantly trying to improve the blog. Before we leave, we’ll be adding a gear review page that we will update as we go. We’ve already added a rudimentary map of our current location to our itinerary page, a la the old “Where in the World?” section of our blogspot blog. Zhou’s also been making improvements to the Planning a RTW Trip page, so feast your eyes on that when you get a chance. Now we just need to decide if we want to upgrade to a non-free blog – the type where you pay money to keep it. This would definitely give us a lot more optionality, and it would work toward our goal of being more like Tina.
Puzzles for Postcards (for 2.5 of you, last chance to get published on our site!)
Rhyme Time! (Solve all three)
A cooking device for Christopher Mintz-Plasse
What the orthodontist uses for a TKO
A tropical shelter for a tropical fruit
Zhou WPLB: 28; 367; 315; SENIlES
Kevin WPLB: 27; 368; 397; sETTINGS