A very interesting and must read article titled “The short history of global living conditions and why it matters that we know it” by Max Roser that answers the question, “All things considered, do you think the world is getting better or worse, or neither getting better nor worse?” by looking at the history of global living conditions.
Ever wanted to keep track of where you’ve visited? You can use push-pins of course, but why not try a scratch-off map instead? Apparently they can be hard to scratch, but it does look nifty! There’s a few versions, but here’s one that I’ve found:
Happy Mid-Autumn Festival!
In China, this holiday is second to New Year’s in popularity. It has its origins in an ancient legend about a hero shooting nine extra suns with his arrow and being rewarded with an elixir of eternal life by the Queen of Heaven. He refuses to drink it because he loves his wife so much, an evil guy tries to steal it, and the wife drinks the elixir to keep it from the evil guy. The wife, Change E, then flies to the moon and lives the rest of her eternal life there. The holiday begins with the husband leaving special offerings to her, such as holiday favourite “moon cake.” This holiday is similar to our Canadian Thanksgiving, in that it is a celebration of the harvest, there is a break from work and school, and many people travel to visit family. In fact, this is why I wanted to blog about it! So many people travel at this time that there is a saying to describe it – 人海，人山 – which translates to a literal “sea of people, mountain of people.” Maybe not the best time to travel to China!
However, I am interested in trying the special “moon cakes” that are eaten during this holiday. They look delicious! Also, 2017 has a longer holiday as it coincides with the National Day, or the celebration of the founding of the PRC in 1949, as well.
I also wanted to mention that our 11 year-old has stared taking Mandarin lessons online via Lingo Bus. He tried a demo class for free because I work for the sister company VIPKID. He enjoyed the first class so much that we agreed to sign him up for more! I think it will be great as the whole family can begin to learn some Mandarin in preparation for our big trip.
Another great travel adventure, this time from Tom Turcich. He left the United States in 2015 to walk across seven continents over a five year period. He writes,
The dream of walking around the world formed at seventeen after my friend AnneMarie passed. Since her death I’ve decided to make the most of each day. I walk the world to become immersed in unknown places and be forced into adventure day after day. In Texas I adopted a dog, Savannah, and we’ve crossed every border together ever since. I write and take photos, and am hopefully getting better at both with each passing day.
He has Facebook and Instagram pages, as well as a website called The World Walk with beautiful stories and pictures. I first heard about him from his Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything) titled, “I am Tom Turcich, 687 days, 16 countries and 9600 miles into my dream of walking around the world. AMA!” The AMA, in particular, has a lot of great discussions that could help others like him begin their own journey.
Recently, my family had an idea that perhaps we could start our RTW trip by crossing the Pacific on a one way cruise ship (for example, from San Diego to Sydney). Admittedly, we haven’t thought too deeply of all of the challenges with this idea – costs, sea sickness (especially for the kids) and so forth.
While looking into this plan, I came across one of the most interesting travel diaries I’ve ever seen. The writer (YVR Cockroach) talks about his 17 day voyage across the Pacific on the CMA CGM Libra from Hong Kong to Long Beach. This definitely does not seem like a good idea for a family with young kids. At most an adventurous couple could enjoy this trip, though there are doubts since there is practically no conveniences or entertainment to be had (other than what you brought with you). Having said that, if I were younger, single, had time on my hands, strapped for cash but needed to cross the ocean, I would certainly consider this…
If you want to try it, check out CMA CGM’s website at https://www.cma-cgm.com/products-services/cargo-cruise or their blog at http://www.cma-cgm-blog.com/cargo-cruises-travel-shipping-cargo/.
From time to time, I like to look out into the vast arrays of the world wide web (do the kids still call it that?) and see who else might be planning their round the world (RTW) trips. One family has a blog up at https://roundtheworldwithmyfamily.com where they are cataloging their adventure that has only begun a scant few months ago. I’m curious as to why they picked the itinerary they did – it appears that they’re going around the world twice – and how that works out for them. If you’re curious, their first blog post related to their “test” departure is here and it shows that things can get in the way of your best laid plans.
I’ll definitely be keeping up with this blog and watching how their trip unfolds. Blogs like that one are definitely a great motivator and planning aide for our trip in a few years.
We found this video via the AMAZING site The Kid Should See This and I had to add these cool sculptures to my wish list. Six different sculptures hidden in six different nature areas around Copenhagen. They are like modern trolls, so cool! The artist is Thomas Dambo and he makes his work out of recycled materials. Cool stuff!
A lovely new children’s book about the similarities and differences between a typical day in seven different countries. The video ad makes me hungry! ^_^
Who would have guessed it? Tell your family and friends that you will be traveling around the world and they will gift you with some great travel-themed stuff over the Christmas holidays! Here is a round-up of our lovely new books and games:
The Rough Guide to First-Time Around the World (2016)
Crocodile Creek Discover World Animals Puzzle
Atlas of Adventures: A Collection of Natural Wonders, Exciting Experiences and Fun Festivities From the Four Corners of the Globe
The Great Journey by Agathe Demois