Shortly after Christmas we presented you our First Trimester Power Rankings: a list of the countries we’ve been to from most enjoyable to least. Well, it’s that time of the every few months again and we’ve since visited an additional eight countries/regions. (We felt dividing Argentina and Chile into Patagonia and Easter Island makes for more accurate subjective rankings.)
[Note: I personally found it quite interesting that all eight new entries made the top 11 of the rankings. There is no scientific way that this is actually possible, so either we remember the new countries better, or we have learned how enjoy each country more as our trip has progressed. Either way, it serves as a warning for you potential travelers out there: take these rankings with a grain of salt. (Assuming your fingers are small enough to grab just one grain of salt. I personally must take several grains.)]
(1) Nepal: Five months ago today we were nearing the Thorong La Pass. I still remember the beauty of the mountains like it was yesterday.
(T2) New Zealand: I had hyped it up more than the media had hyped up a high school kid named LeBron. It turns out LeBron isn’t the only one to have exceeded lofty expectations.
(T2) Patagonia: Two years ago I thought a Patagonia was a type of flower. Now I know it’s one of the most scenic spots in the world.
(T2) Easter Island: My favorite thing in the house is probably the remote. This island gives an infinitely better meaning to remote.
(7) Australia: If we had more than two weeks to spend here, this country would definitely be ranked higher (just don’t tell our jingoistic Aussie friends).
(8) Tanzania: I still can’t believe we drove past Kilimanjaro but never actually saw the thing. We’ll have to come back and climb to the top sometime.
(9) China: We saw the Great Wall and the Terracotta Warriors, yet it’s our encounter with two baby pandas that we’ll remember most.
(10) Cambodia: There was one 15-second period while riding to the Killing Fields where we got a whiff of the most disgusting smell of all time. That dropped Cambodia down a few pegs.
(11) Japan: I bet the workers at Yoshinoya (our favorite beef bowl restaurant) are still smiling and bowing at us even though we left over two months ago.
(12) Zambia: Zhou sure showed the gorge swing in Livingstone who’s boss… twice. I really think she secretly regrets not going skydiving in New Zealand.
(13) Thailand: Not a week goes by where we don’t wish we could have another cheap fruit shake or a humongous 50 cent bowl of delicious noodles.
(14) Kenya: I’ll never forget the Masai warriors turning the O H I O into an O H I O O. It’s hard to believe they are keeping their herd of cattle safe from lions and subsisting entirely on cow, sheep and goat.
(15) Malaysia: It was cool enough that we bumped into the filming of The Amazing Race, but how many fans of the show can actually say they’ve been featured prominently on it?
(16) Singapore: Even though it’s number 16, I could still actually picture living there if this were some alternate life of mine.
(17) Taiwan: No, we don’t now hate Tina and Michael. Yes, we still wish we were there hanging out with them. We just thought this time around we’d do the rankings without their influence.
(18) Hong Kong: My morning of sightseeing remains the only time on our trip where we’ve spent more than an hour apart.
(T20) Botswana: Once again Botswana and Malawi bring up the rear of the rankings, for no other reason than we didn’t see all that much of them and someone has to occupy these spots.
(T20) Malawi: Remember kids, if you ever go to Malawi, make sure you bring all the useless crap you no longer want in order to barter it for lots of cool souvenirs.
Picture of the Day: Why is the Hollywood sign so famous when it seems that a lot of hills have something very similar?