Leaving Singapore

And just like that, it was over. The trip we had anticipated for a decade, saving money and scouring guidebooks, selling our stuff and packing our bags. It took us to places we thought we’d go, and places we didn’t. We found challenges and rewards all along the way.

This blog is a lasting record of our trip, and there are more travels to come. Next up, join us on the Caribbean island of Bonaire, where most of our adventures take place in or under the water.

In the mean time, I’ve been trying to wrap my head around the 300+ posts, 3200+ comments, 200+ video clips, and who-knows-how-many photos we’ve posted. Where to start, when we feel nostalgic or a newcomer is curious? With our greatest hits, of course!

Below are some of the posts we got the most feedback on. Which of your favorites are missing? Please tell us in the comments, and help us come up with the best of Next Stop: World… so far.

Our blog got a boost when we appeared in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, and later in some regional Wisconsin newspapers.

In Japan, we crammed into a capsule hotel and braved the Kishiwada Danjiri Festival.

Ken OK diving

We sold our house and went scuba diving on the Great Barrier Reef… on the same day. I was thrilled to spy koalas in the wild, while Karen got her kicks from a platypus sighting Down Under.

In New Zealand, we cheered the All Blacks to victory in the Rugby World Cup. How could we visit the home of bungy jumping without some extreme sports: in our case, OGO and the bungy swing.

From bossy, bossy Singapore, we ventured into Malaysia, culminating in the most talked-about week of our trip: my stay in a Malaysian hospital.

Modern-day Indiana Joneses at the end of the day

In Cambodia, we marveled at the ruins of Angkor Wat… and the startling variety of items Cambodians can carry on their motorbikes. Biking along the Mekong River, we could only fit a few stalks of krolan.

Elephants in Thailand gobbled pineapples from our hands, while we gobbled all sorts of delicious food in Chiang Mai.

In India, while I toured a Mumbai slum, Karen was plotting a great escape in Jaipur. Reunited, we performed a puja ceremony in the Ganges River (but didn’t brush our teeth in it).

In Nepal, we faced down a rhino and caught a glimpse of the world’s tallest peak.


Last stop: China, where our friend Chris and Angie joined us for preserved propaganda, baffling menus, and a toboggan ride down from the Great Wall.

And, of course, there were the toilets. I posted porcelain profiles from Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Malaysia, Cambodia, Thailand, India, and Nepal.

Karen, meanwhile, recorded her logistical and cultural observations as we departed JapanSingapore, Malaysia, Cambodia, Thailand, India, Nepal, and China.

Home for the summer, we caught up with friends and dined with our fan club. Then it was off to the American Southwest, to hike the Grand Canyon, marvel at a sky filled with hot-air balloons, and launch pumpkins from air cannons.

Fiery tourists

What would you add to our Greatest Hits? Chime in below, and thanks for coming along on our travels!