The Travelling Trooper Crunches the Numbers & Lists His Favourites

It’s hard to believe that Trevor and I have already been home for 9 days now. Looking back on the photos from the last eight months has been a lot of fun. It’s been a great reminder of all of the crazy shenanigans, great times, and wonderful people we encountered along the way.

Some of these numbers are approximate, since Trevor and I may have forgotten or missed certain places or events, and some things are simply impossible to measure accurately. We crunched these numbers to the best of our abilities.

# of days travelled: 246
# of countries visited: 21
# of cities/towns/regions visited: approximately 76
# of flights: 30
# of kilometres travelled in the air: approximately 76, 000 km (Sorry, Earth.)
# of hours in transit: approximately 45.5
# of modes of transportation: approximately 19
Metallica injuries:
James: Hole in the back of the head, decapitated head, broken legs
Kirk: Broken legs, hole in the head
Lars: Chipped ear, torso ripped off, 2 fractured wrists, 1 lost drum cymbal
Rob: Broken feet, broken bass neck

# of Couch Surfing hosts: 39
# of times Trevor got lost/misplaced: 3
# of postcards sent: 96
# of blog posts: 210
Length of hair: approximately 14 cm
# of times sick: 1 (The food in Kenya didn’t sit well with me.)
# of museums: 41
# of live performances: 30
# of Metallica concerts: 85
Total cost of trip: approximately $40, 000
Favourites

Country:
1. Japan
2. Iceland
3. Tanzania
4. Scotland
5. Norway

City:

1. Tokyo

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2. London

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3. Edinburgh

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4. Bergen

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5. Munich

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6. Vienna

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Museum:

1. Beatles Museum in Liverpool

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2. Immigration Museum in Melbourne

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3. Berlin Wall

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4. Underwelten in Berlin

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Photo taken from berlinlogs.com

5. Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum

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6. Imperial War Museum in London

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7. Hakone Open Air Museum

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8. National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne

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9. Mirror House in Kuwait

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10. Icelandic Punk Museum in Reykjavic

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Note: I realize it seems weird that I put the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum and the Imperial War Museum right beside each other, but the Imperial War Museum is not a celebration of war and victories; as their website says, it is “a witness to war.” It tells the stories of those affected by war and documents its effects on the social conscience.

 

Food:
1. Italian pizza will always have my heart.

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(A special shout-out to the Tatone family. I’ve yet to try to make pizza myself, but I promise it will happen, and I will be sure to send photo evidence of my inferior product.)

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2. EVERYTHING IN JAPAN! EVERYTHING! Sushi, noodles, okonomiyaki, sashimi, deep fried pork–EVERYTHING!

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3. Smoked meat deli sammiches in London

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**Not the actual sammiches Doris and I ate.

4. Pulled pork burger I had at Aegir Brewery & Pub, a Viking-themed pub in Flam, Norway. It was hard to pay $45 for a burger and a beer, but damn, it was a good burger.

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5. BEEEEEEEEEEER!

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Florence
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Welcome to Dublin, Doris.
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Salt House in Galway, Ireland
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Salt House in Galway, Ireland
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On Aran Island in Ireland
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“Well, I got to keep drinking, keep drinking full steam/ Too sweet to be sour too nice to be mean/ On the tough guy style I’m not too keen/ To try to change the world I will plot and scheme” (Taken in Bristol, England)
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Playing S***head with Drew near Bath, England
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Saying goodbye to Major Cool at the Edinburgh Airport
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Enjoying a crisp cold beer on the streets of Bergen, Norway
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A well deserved beer after hiking Kristinartindar in Iceland
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The almighty Hofbrauhaus in Munich
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“After you climb Kilimanjaro…you drink Kilimanjaro.” – Our driver at the airport
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The securit guard/tour guide at the Wamala Tombs in Kampala, Uganda offered us some sort of traditional Ugandan alcoholic drink made from bananas.
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A relaxing afternoon on the beaches of Entebbe, Uganda
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Enjoying a picture perfect Sapporo at Kitchen Uri in Hakone, Japan.

Holy place:

1. Okunoin Cemetery in Koyasan, Japan

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2. Eamon’s religious place in Loch Ness, Scotland

We couldn’t take any photos because it was late at night. Eamon took us out to a field, where there was a stone circle that dated back thousands of years. The stone circle kinda looked like an igloo made of stone, but with a bald spot on top. To quote myself,

“The structure looked like a large dome made of large rocks, but with no roof so you could look up to the sky. We crawled under the small tunnel entrance and emerged in the…temple? I don’t know what the Celtic tradition called this structure. Eamon explained that this stone structure had been here for ages. Every rock represents a person that has passed away.

Eamon is dedicated to his faith and is a Master of Ceremony of sorts for what he called rebirth ceremonies. In these ceremonies, a person enters naked into the middle of the structure carrying whatever burden it is that is weighing heavily upon them, and they emerge reborn, leaving their burdens behind them. They then walk around the structure three times. Anybody is welcome to participate in a ceremony.”

3. Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon, Myanmar

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4. Sengakuji Temple in Tokyo, Japan

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The temple itself was alright, but it was the gravesite of the 47 Ronin warriors that won me over.

5. Il Duomo di Firenze (Florence Cathedral)

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Live event:

1. Apocalyptica in Oulu, Finland

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2. World Air Guitar Championship in Oulu, Finland

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3. Fringe Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland

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Source: https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/ladyface

4. Robot Restaurant in Tokyo, Japan

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5. Curious Incident of the Dog at Night Time in Liverpool, England

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6. The Beatles Orchestrated in Sydney, Australia

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7. Cavern Club in Liverpool, England
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Pleasant Surprise:

1. Meeting new friends in unexpected places. (JUST TO NAME A FEW!)


2. Apocalyptica in Oulu, Finalnd: I had no idea they were even playing. They played the day after the World Air Guitar Championship finished.

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3. Meeting Tilda Swinton in the random little Scottish town of Nairn on our way to Loch Ness and finding out that the Ice Queen is actually exceptionally kind and sweet.

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4. Running into Matija, an old university friend, in Uganda.

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5. Befriending the owner of Kitchen Yuri in Hakone, Japan.

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Walking tour:

1. London Harry Potter tour

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That is SUPPOSEDLY young Draco Malfoy’s double from the very first Harry Potter movie.

2. London graffiti tour

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3. Vienna walking tour

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Got to befriend this awesome chick!

4. Munich self-guided

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5. Melbourne walking tour

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Misadventure:
1. I met Fabio in Florence when neither one of us could find a hotel room for the night because EVERYBODY in Italy had come to Florence to see Jamiroquai perform. We ended up at a 24 hour McDonalds.

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Source: Fabio’s Facebook profile

2. While getting my phone stolen in Kathmandu was NOT an experience I ever want to re-live, Pieter and Nathalie did an amazing job of cheering me up the rest of the night. In fact, by the end of the night, I went to bed with a smile on my face. Those are good friends.

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3. Running a 5K with Bryan in Kampala the morning after drinking five beers and eating an entire pizza to myself probably wasn’t the best idea, BUT I DID IT!

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4. While passing through the Isle of Skye with Anna, Yana, and Doris, we visited the Fairy Pools. We got DRENCHED and we were absolutely freezing. It was fantastic.

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5. Doris and I went on the hunt for Doritos late at night in Galway and almost couldn’t find our way back to our Air BnB host’s because he lived down some tiny little road that you pass by if you blink. We were ready to spend the night in the car.

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6. Speaking of which…After saying goodbye to Ieva in Dublin, Doris and I had a heck of a time finding a place to sleep for the night, so we did end up sleeping in the car. This wouldn’t be the last time this would happen.

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Niall was always a reliable car.

7. While the journey from Harare, Zimbabwe to Kuwait was an absolute nightmare, the exchange with the officer at the Visa desk at the Kuwait airport was absolutely hilarious. Poor guy had never heard of Nicaragua, so he had no idea if I was Canadian, American, or something else entirely. And it was all worth it to see this fella.

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Highlight from each country
Italy:
Spending time at the beach with Michela and her friends and family

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Ireland:
Ring of Kerry (Valencia, Torc waterfall, mountain, the farm at Muckross House–EVERYTHING!)

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Northern Ireland:
Meeting the lovely and talented Lauren Bird

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England:
Everything Beatles (Beatles Museum, Magical Mystery Tour, Cavern Club)

Scotland:
Fringe Festival

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Source: https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/sweeney-todd

Finland:
Apocalyptica
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Norway:
Trolltunga

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Iceland:
Everything. Can I say everything? I’m gonna say everything. The glaciers, the hikes, the waterfalls–EVERYTHING.


Germany:
Bearpit Karaoke in Berlin.

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Austria:
Catching up with my buddy, Micha!

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Tanzania:
KILIMANJAROOOOO!

 

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Kenya:
Volunteering with Living Positive Kenya

Uganda:
White water rafting

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Zimbabwe:
Bungee jumping over Victoria Falls

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Kuwait:
Drinking “special water” at a particular restaurant in a DRY Kuwait with this wonderful bunch..

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United Arab Emirates:
Spending the Christmas holidays with Paulenna and Julian & co!

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Nepal:
Hiking Poon Hill and meeting two of my new favourite people in the world: Pieter and Nathalie. (Even though I’m pretty sure that hike cost me what was left of my knees.)

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Myanmar:
Boat tour around Inle Lake

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Cambodia:
Teaching with my buddy, Vey, and catching up with him.

Japan:
There were so many amazing experiences in Japan–Okunoin Cemetery, Miyagi Zao Fox Village, Robot Restaurant–but the one that I found to be the most unique and most memorable was the night I spent in Kitchen Yuri, speaking with the owner thanks to the help of the translation app on her phone.

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Australia:
Snorkelling around Heron Island

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