Friday, July 15, 2011

counting the year

We started this journey over a year ago, in our warm and cozy Jetta, on a 95 degree day.  Now the 5 of us, 385 days later (which is just about ¼ of BR's lifetime) are taking a look back and...counting:

3 continents, 5 countries, 16 US and 5 Indian states.

5-plus months in NYC and over 4 in Kolkata, India.

Flights: 17 for the kids, 19 for me, and 29 for Jeremy (for a grand total of 99)

Distance covered: at least 26,000 miles (kids), 28,000 (me) and Jer had a whopping 40,000.   That's a minimum combined total of 144,000 miles, or just less than 6 times around the globe (which, for any readers who might not be a stuck-in-their-ways Brit or American, is the equivalent of 231,700 kilometers).

I packed and re-packed (suitcases for long trips or overnight bags for short ones) at least 27 different times.

We are finishing the year with 1 medical fellowship degree, 1 completed year of homeschooling, zero items stolen (so far), and countless crayonned walls courtesy of BR.

We visited with 42 family members (including all but one of the children's great-grandparents).

We will have lived (or at least spent one night) in 1 house, 5 apartments, 5 friends' guest rooms, 16 hotels, 1 farmhouse, and 1 beachhouse.


I am a little exhausted just writing all of this, to tell the truth. This week alone we will cover 3500 miles and if you count the week before that and the one we are about to jump into, it is somewhere around 6800 miles, 6 flights and about 40 hours of driving.

At any rate, we are getting close to what my parents do in a single year, but they do it every year.  And we have no plans to carry on the competetion.  You win, we plan to stay put for awhile and I look forward to the time when the most exciting material I have to post is a domino pattern or two.

No regrets, though.  We have met some really extraordinary people and seen some fabulous sights.  Since we're counting, I will list some of them.

4 exceptionally adventurous people (obviously there were many more, but here are just a few honorable mentions):
- the retired German woman, in her late sixties, who spends 5 months of every year living in a very simple guesthouse in the heart of downtown Kolkata and volunteers with the Missionaries of Charity at the Shishu Bhavan orphanage five days a week.  She sips her morning tea in a quiet corner of the dining hall with a view of the garden and fiercely guards her time alone and away from the crowds and noise.  On her day off she naps and rests and recharges so she can go out and then do it all over again.

- the Canadian couple in their 70's who were backpacking around India.  They still paddle out to a remote corner of the Queen Charlotte Islands every year in their homemade canoe and remember trudging through the snow in the early mornings, pulling their three children on a sled to the one-room schoolhouse in Whistler before it was what it is today.

- the suburban mom down the street from Jeremy's folks' place whose husband built a four-person collapseable tandem bike so they could carry it to Europe and bike around for a few weeks with their young sons (then ages 4 and 6).  They now have a five-person bike, so they can still get around with their three younger children.  Of course.

Finally, 10 of our favorite places and sights, in no particular order:

New York City skyline (photo source)

Langkawi Island, Malaysia

Kuala Lumpur skyline

beautiful Coeur d'Alene Lake
Coeur d'Alene Lake, Idaho  (source)

Great Banyan tree, Kolkata, India

Langkawi Sky Bridge (Malaysia)

Lake near Salzburg, Austria

Neuchwanstein Castle, Germany

Rothenberg ob-der-Tauber, Germany

Palolem Beach, Goa  (photo source)


leia said...


RFScherrer said...

Oh Claire. These are wonderful. I was just letting out a sigh of relief, ready to settle down for a bit (looking forward to the routine of a new school year), but now I have the bug again and want to go go go. I may send you a note looking for more info on Malaysia...