best things about my round the world trip

Top 5 best things about my RTW

2 weeks ago, I shared the Top 5 worst things about my round-the-world trip.

Of course everyone loves a happy ending so today we’ll be looking on the bright side of things.

Top 5 best things about my RTW

5. Learning Spanish in South America

Taking notes for Spanish class
Taking notes for Spanish class

There is something about learning a new language: A new way to express yourself. A different way of seeing the world. Being able to eavesdrop on other people.

I spent a total of 2 months in South America, one month split between Argentina and Chile while a whole month in Peru.

I took Spanish in Buenos Aires and Arequipa. I have to say that my 2 weeks of one-on-one courses in Arequipa was more effective than the group class in Buenos Aires. Still, both schools have their merits.

The two months prior to South America, I was feeling lost without a fixed schedule while travelling. Taking Spanish classes helped give myself a routine, something fixed to look forward to, instead of planning days and days of sightseeing.

Learning Spanish helped with my travels too. In the beginning, I felt like a barbarian in Buenos Aires. I couldn’t understand enough Spanish to ask where I could buy a subway card. It was very depressing.

While I did reach lessons in past tense (You cannot imagine how difficult it is that I could not tell people about the past), much of my Spanish have managed to slip out of my mind as soon as I landed in Hong Kong. Well, you win some and lose some.

4. Relaxing on a cruise

Relaxing on a cruise
Relaxing on a cruise

Before my cruise trip, I was worried that I might be bored out of my mind for my 15-night journey. It turned out that being on a cruise wasn’t boring at all.

There were daily activities including language learning, craft classes, rock climbing, sports and movie marathons. If you are an extrovert, there are sessions for you to meet loads of people. Luckily for me, there were a lot of time where I got to spend with my Kindle.

With a cruise, I didn’t need to constantly pack and unpack my luggage. I had a room to myself and can do all the laundry I want at my tiny sink. When the journey ended, I didn’t feel like getting off the ship.

3. Discovering all the new food

Glutton eats around the world
Glutton eats around the world

With a special series called The Glutton series here on the blog, I cannot miss out mentioning all the food I ate on my 4-month journey. However, thanks to all my walking about, my weight continued to hang at the same level as I did before my trip.

By the end of my trip, I hungered for proper Chinese food so my mind puts Hong Kong at the top of Tastiest City.

Still, I have to be fair and name the other tasty non-Chinese food, including ceviche in South America, shawarma in Dubai, gyrpand frappe in Greece.

2. Visiting Greece

The Wonders of Greece
The Wonders of Greece

Before my trip, a colleague asked which place was my dream destination. I couldn’t really pick one location so I answered, “Greece.”

Since watching Hercules, The Animated Series on The Disney Channel as a teenager, I have been fascinated with Greek mythology, especially the Goddess of Wisdom–Athena. This explains why I spent so much time in her patron city Athens.

While I was expecting a chaotic city, Athens was much more pleasant than I imagined. There were no protests as everyone seemed to be hanging out at cafรฉs sipping coffee.

Food in Greece was fabulous. Before the trip, the only “Greek” food I knew was Greek yogurt but turns out there is a lot more to Greek cuisine than cultured milk.

The island of Mykonos which I visited looked like a postcard even with my terrible camera skills. The white walls paired really well with the blue doors and red roofs. The weather was hot while the sea was cold.

1. Completing this trip

YQ back home in Sabah
YQ back home in Sabah

You are probably waiting for the grand finale of THE BEST THING EVER but unfortunately, I cannot find one thing that could be labelled as that. I do have many things that I could link together to make an entry, for example, ticking off my to-visit list in one swoop.

But the best thing that happened to me on this trip was that I actually went on it and came back to tell the story. I admit that in different stages of planning and while on the trip, I had doubts whether I could actually finish the world tour.

Before my trip, two people told me to my face about how they could not believe that my parents were letting me do this. Instead of telling them that I am an adult and I can make my life decisions without their input, I smiled awkwardly.

During this trip, I didn’t face any life threatening incidents nor had my passport or money stolen. I reached all my airports on time. I figured out how to go from Point A to Point B. I was mildly sick during some points of the journey but some pain killers, hot honey lemon drinks and sweetened tea helped with the illnesses.

I’m thankful for that. I’m thankful for those who gave me support. I’m thankful for those who opposed my trip since they made me prove myself.

I’m also thankful for the readers of this blog. Even if you have just followed bits of my trip, thankful for being there to read, comment or share my story.

If you were on a RTW trip, what would be the best thing that could happen to you?

More about Liau Yun Qing

Yun Qing is a writer, improviser and curious person. She loves finding little adventures in life. In 2013, she went on a 130-day round-the-world trip. She wrote a book to help those who also want to go on a career break.

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