Nomadic Cost of Living: Total for 7 months

Thursday, March 1, 2012  at 3:29 PM
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At the Natural History Museum in New York

Now that Chris and I are switching gears a bit, I was curious to see how much our nomad lifestyle cost us for the past seven months (although we traveled longer, we only kept track of the finances for 7 months!).

Our TOTAL cost (for both of us) for 7 months on the road: $7668


Our average cost per person per month (with airfare averaged in): $548

Our average cost per person per month (not including airfare): $360

Of that total cost, the vast majority went towards transportation.  In fact, let's break the total down into the four main categories I've used throughout this trip:

Transportation: $5043 (66%)

Housing: $240 (3%)

Food: $879.50 (11.5%)

Other: $1505.50 (19.5%)
    About $400 went to Visas
    About $200 went to Malaria medication
    About $100 went to Yellow Fever vaccinations
    The rest went to a mixture of fun stuff (safari, souvenirs, movies, replenishing art supplies) and not-so-fun
    stuff (internet cafe costs, buying supplies to fix our digital camera, visiting the doctor)

vCiwos0O

With this $7668, Chris and I visited three continents (Europe, Africa and North America), explored 13 countries, volunteered at 5 Help Exchanges, and stayed with countless Couchsurfing hosts (really, I tried counting them, but there are too many!).  We tried new foods including Thai soup made by our British hosts in France (it was amazing!), many cups of traditional British style tea made by our hosts in Germany, French crepes, innumerable new fruits--oh yes, and lots of ugali!

We've made many new friends, have had wonderful experiences and are excited for the next adventure!

Curious to see a month-by-month breakdown of our nomadic finances?  Just click here for the complete series of posts.
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UPDATE: Back in Seattle

Sunday, February 26, 2012  at 5:31 PM
Sorry for the radio silence everyone!  As many of you know, Chris and I are currently back in Seattle.  We will be re-exploring our home city for the next month or so, then we plan to take off on a cross-USA road trip.  The blog will be a bit quiet until then, when the adventure continues!

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An awesome part of Philadelphia where the walls are decorated in extravagant murals made out of mirrors, tiles and other bits and bobs--we flew out of Philadelphia and had fun exploring the city for a day before our flight

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In front of the Liberty Bell


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In the train station in Philadelphia on our way back to the Pacific Northwest!
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Welcome to NYC!

Monday, February 6, 2012  at 6:58 AM
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Times Square!

Back in the USA!  Chris and I were very excited to be back in our homeland, albeit exploring a new location (for me--Chris has been to the Big Apple before).  My first trip to NYC was filled with the stereotypical tourist events: visiting Times Square, the Statue of Liberty, the Natural History Museum, Central Park, eating New York pizza, plus hanging out with our great CS host. 

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It was so cold that the ponds in Central Park were freezing!  These ducks were upset that their swimming space was being infringed upon, so they were breaking the ice by walking back and forth along its edge.  Of course, they were still surprised each time the ice broke and toppled them back into the water...

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Walking along the waterfront towards central Manhattan

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It amazed me how endless the tall buildings were in New York--they just extended forever!

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Exploring Chinatown in Manhattan

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I love squirrels much more than the pervasive baboons in Southern Africa

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A great re-entry to the States!
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Last Days in Africa

Friday, February 3, 2012  at 6:58 AM
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The lovely bread vendor at the market

On one of our last days in Cape Town, we stopped by a cute market at an old Biscuit Mill.  We got our fill of summer fruit, local crafts, ethnic food and the South African accent ("it's not over he-YAH, it's over the-YAH"--I loved it!) before flying out of Cape Town International Airport.  Next stop: NEW YORK CITY!

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Making nutritious smoothies and selling (not-as-nutritious) cookies

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Buying our last bunch of summer produce before heading to winter in the Northern Hemisphere!
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Hiking Table Mountain

Wednesday, February 1, 2012  at 6:58 AM
Table Mountain overlooks all of Cape Town and is criss-crossed with hiking trails.  Despite being a well-known tourist hiking spot, it is a fairly intense hike and took us the better part of the day to climb up and down!

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The glorious moment of reaching the top after hiking for several hours!

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The cute (but massively overpriced) restaurant at the top of Table Mountain

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The vegetation was brilliantly colored along the mountain

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Heading down the mountain in the late afternoon
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Tropical Penguins

Monday, January 30, 2012  at 6:58 AM
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Penguin!

I was thrilled to discover there there are several colonies of tropical penguins close to Cape Town, so naturally Chris and I had to take a day trip out to see them.  We went to the most famous place, Boulder Beach (just past Simon's Bay, about an hour's ride from Cape Town) and spent the morning ogling the funny birds.  Completely unafraid of humans, they nested beneath boulders, close to fences, and right under the tourist boardwalk.

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I was so excited!

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Boulder Beach is aptly named for the extraordinary boulders 

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The penguins were dozing in the morning sun

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Most of the penguins were nesting, still a few weeks away from hatching though

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Goodbye for now, penguins!
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Photo-Essay: First Day in Cape Town

Friday, January 27, 2012  at 6:58 AM
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We started the day by exploring the V&A Waterfront, which had a carnival-like atmosphere.  This sign helpfully gave directions and distances to many global landmarks, such as the South Pole and San Francisco (you know, in case we were lost and wondering where to go!)

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I was tickled by this pirate ship, which set sail from the middle of the waterfront docks.  Unique cruise ship?  Glorified water bus?  Pirate enthusiast with too much time? Who knows...

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As the day heated up, the crowds increased.  After people-watching for awhile, Chris and I decided to escape the crush of people and head to a lesser-populated place

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Just north of the commercial V&A district was a long, lovely, quiet stretch of boardwalk

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Exploring the beautiful and iconic Bo-Kaap neighborhood in the shadow of Table Mountain

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Bo-Kaap is historically the center of Cape Malay culture (an Islamic South East Asian group) in Cape Town

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Ending the day overlooking the Atlantic Ocean from the Cape Town waterfront
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Hiking in the Garden Route National Forest

Monday, January 23, 2012  at 6:58 AM
While volunteering in George, Chris and I took the opportunity to go hiking in the nearby Garden Route National Forest, which was beautiful!  The forest was a mix of indiginous tropical rainforest (you half expect Tarzan to come swinging along on a nearby vine) and neatly-planted pine forest that was cultivated for the logging industry.  Eucalyptus trees, an invasive species, also appeared frequently and gave a distinctive sharp fragrance to the area.

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A chameleon that we found on the road--Chris almost stepped on it since it was blended so well with its surroundings!

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Exploring the indigenous forest on a small trail.  We were carefree until we stumbled across a puff adder in the middle of the trail, then we were much more cautious...

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Chris right after his near-death encounter with the puff adder

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After our scare with the venemous snake in the forest, we decided to leave the small forest trails and hike to the top of a nearby hill.  These beautiful flowers blanketed the top of the hill

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Hiking back at the end of the day through the cultivated pine forests, content with our day's explorations
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Refining Horseback Riding Skills in South Africa

Wednesday, January 18, 2012  at 6:58 AM
One of the main points Chris and I wanted to focus on at this Helpx in South Africa was working on our horseback riding technique.  Before arriving, I was a beginner and Chris had some experience, but riding every day drastically improved our skill levels!

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Right away we learned the proper technique for brushing and tacking up (putting on the bridle, blanket and saddle) a horse

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We also had plenty of experience with putting on rope bridles and leading the horses to exactly where they needed to go

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We were able to hone our skills in the riding corral 

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Of course, most of our experience came from riding on the trails themselves!  Here, I'm readjusting my stirrup length

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The most exciting part?  Learning tricks!
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An Average Helpx Day (with horses!)

Monday, January 16, 2012  at 6:58 AM
Chris and I decided that a Helpx would round out our time in Southern Africa, so we decided to work on a horse ranch, helping out with guided horse tours, in the Garden Route of South Africa.  Here was a typical day for us:

6:00AM--Wake up and get ready to start the day!

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Walking to grab the horses for the day (here, from left to right, we have Calico, Aladdin and Ben)

7:30AM--Walk to the neighboring field to grab the horses we needed to feed that day.  A few horses were fed every day, while most were only fed if they were being ridden (all spent much of their time grazing).

 8:30AM--Start brushing and tacking up the horses that were going out on a ride in the morning.

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A waterfall that crossed the road in the Garden Route National Park--this was the endpoint of one of the horseback rides

9:00AM--Either lead a tour on horseback through the Garden Route National Park or help out with daily chores (cleaning, caring for tack, refilling supplies).

12:00PM--The ride is finished, so it's time to untack the horses, turn them loose to graze and prepare lunch.

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Our grass was getting long, so we set some of the horses to graze on our front lawn!

1:00PM--Grab the horses for the afternoon ride and start brushing and tacking up.

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Oiling tack was a great afternoon activity, since it could be done in the cool and shady stables
2:00PM--Again, either go on a ride or help with chores (ideally in the shade to avoid the scorching afternoon sun).

5:00PM--Afternoon rides are done and now the horses become excited, since it's their dinner time.

6:00PM--Horses are away, the stables are locked up, it's now time to prepare our dinner!

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The end of a long day on the ranch
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