In the past 3months, I have eaten more bread than I have in years. I started out in Chile and Argentina, 2countries that eat a lot of bread, meat, and cheese. Then I went on to Egypt and Jordan both of which eat a lot pita bread with cheese. Then on to East Africa where the staple breakfast is toast with either jam or egg on it. Living in rice-eating China, I’d forgotten that bread is the world’s staple. The majority of the world, aside from East and South Asia eat bread. I think I’m ready to go back to eating rice.
There should be direct flights between Asia and South America. With the increasing amount of cross-continent travel (I met a number of Chinese in Argentina and many South Americans live in China) and the large trade volume between the 2 continents (notably Brazil and Japan), I believe a direct flight is necessary. Perhaps Air China, JAL, Cathay Pacific, or LAN Chile should think about offering that service. Here are some examples of current inconvenient routings: Shanghai-Beijing-Los Angeles-Santiago, Chile; Beijing-Amsterdam-some random islands-Guayquil-Quito, Ecuador; Hong Kong-Kuala Lampur-Cape Town-Buenos Aires-Ushuaia, Argentina.
Having now traveled to all 7continents, I can say Europe and South America are my favorite. (This probably leads you to the question of why do I live in China? and leads me to the goal of living Buenos Aires after I’ve accomplished all I intend to in China.) I love Europe for its history, architecture, and progressive, forward-looking ideas. I love South America for its contemporary culture, particularly its music and dance, and the color and vibrancy of the culture as well as the people’s relaxed nature. South America’s natural scenery from high, snow-covered mountains to sun-baked beaches is also amazing. The United States, Mexico, and Asia, in my opinion, have the best food. Asia also has an unrivaled entrepreneurial spirit, which at times I love and other times I hate, but is certainly to be admired.
I’m very proud to have accomplished my goal of traveling to all 7continets, even a year earlier than my deadline! 90 days, 29 blog entries, and 18 flights later I’ve returned to where I started from, Shanghai. Concluding a major trip like this can be challenging but trying to sum it up is proving to be even more difficult. I saw some amazing places, met some great people, found some countries that I might like to live in and some that I wouldn’t dare live in, and learned some things that can only be understood through traveling. While I won’t be going traveling again for a long time, I’ll always be a traveler, whether that’s through my memories and photographs, through other people’s stories and photos, or far into the future when the opportunity is right again. I hope you have enjoyed the stories and pictures from my travels over the past months and I welcome you to continue reading my blog as I transition back into blogging about China, as well as tourism and business within this most populous nation on earth.
P.S. Before I leave the topic of traveling, let me again post my alphabetical list of countries visited (original post 10-23-2006) to see how I’m doing now.
A: Austria (Republic of Austria), Argentina (Argentine Republic)
B: Brazil (Federative Republic of Brazil), Bahamas (Commonwealth of The Bahamas)
C: China (PRC), Czech Republic, Canada, Croatia (Republic of Croatia), Chile (Republic of Chile), Cambodia (Kingdom of Cambodia), Columbia (Republic of Colombia), Costa Rica (Republic of Costa Rica)
D: Denmark (Kingdom of Denmark)
E: Estonia (Republic of Estonia), Egypt (Arab Republic of Egypt)
F: France (French Republic), Finland (Republic of Finland)
G: Greece (Hellenic Republic), Guatemala (Republic of Guatemala), Germany (Federal Republic of Germany)
H: Hungary (Republic of Hungary), Hong Kong (Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the PRC)
I: Italy (Italian Republic)
J: Jamaica, Jordan (Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan)
K: Kenya (Republic of Kenya)
L: Laos (Lao People’s Democratic Republic)
M: Mexico (United Mexican States), Malaysia, Monaco (Principality of Monaco), Macau (Macao Special Administrative Region of the PRC)
N: New Zealand, Norway (Kingdom of Norway)
P: Portugal (Portuguese Republic), Poland (Republic of Poland), Panama (Republic of Panama)
Q: Qatar (State of Qatar)
R: Russia (Russian Federation)
S: Singapore (Republic of Singapore), Spain (Kingdom of Spain), Slovakia (Slovak Republic), Sweden (Kingdom of Sweden)
T: Taiwan (Republic of China), Thailand (Kingdom of Thailand), Turkey (Republic of Turkey), Tanzania (United Republic of Tanzania)
U: United States (USA), United Kingdom (United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland)
V: Vatican City (State of the Vatican City)
Guess I need another trip through the Middle East and Africa to finish off O (Oman), W (Western Sahara), Y (Yemen), & Z (Zaire or Zimbabwe). That will just have to wait…