Thursday, May 18, 2017

All's Well That Ends Better

The Ring of Fire trip, September 2nd, 2013; Day Thirty-One and Thirty-Two of Thirty-Two.

The next day after I caught my flight and and made it back to the farm with no issues, this time. I was going to try to ride one of the horses on the farm but decided it would be way too much rushing around and I simply wanted to relax. It was nice to catch up and hang out with the other travelers to compare stories.

It was quite a long way home to Maryland. I had 3 flights in 3 days, so was especially sick of flying by the end of it and had traveled nearly 20 hours with a slight delay on my connecting flight from Las Vegas to Philadelphia (my only flight to be delayed the entire trip). I had my first flight from the South Island to the North Island on Wednesday and was picked up by Malcolm and Shlomi. That night we ate a traditional Jewish meal to celebrate the Jewish New Year and Skype Roni’s parents. It was all new and exciting to me but such a fantastic trip.

After a few hours, Malcolm and I left for the airport after saying our goodbyes and stopped at a local shop. The shop had many unique items made of green stone. It is mined on the south island and has some value to it as it is unique in itself. Anyways, I bought a few souvenirs, including a Maori (the ancient tribe still on the island) hand weapon to add to my collection of unique weapons from different countries. Once I made it to the airport and said goodbye to Malcolm I went into the gate. I had $40 Australian left over from being there and knew the airport would take it. So, I bought some NZ chocolate and a few gifts for people at home. Yes, not the best timing on the gifts but they were fairly similar just about everywhere I looked anyways. I had a short 4 hour flight to Tahiti. I wish I could have spent some time there (who knows if I will ever make it back, right?) but it was just a layover. Maybe, for my next disappearing act. I did have the luxury of having a row of seats to lay on during this flight so that was superb; the added bonus was that we were outside in a courtyard so I at least go to get some fresh air.

The next flight was eight hours and the seat next to me was empty. However, this flight seemed to drag on forever. It was most likely because of the combination of being overnight and simply a long time to be seated. Eventually I made it to Los Angeles where my Aunt Karen picked me up and grabbed some. After a five hour nap, we had a delicious home made meal and she dropped my off for the flight the next day. Therein I flew to Vegas, and then to Philadelphia; getting in two hours later then I expected (midnight) where my parents gladly picked me up! On the flight to Vegas, I met another traveler and we discussed whether the Green Bay Packers would win more or less than 9 games. Anyways, I said no way that they would be less, cause Aaron Rodgers, of course. However, Rodgers ended up getting hurt that year and they lost more than 9. I still don't know which way he bet but it was good fun talking about it. Anyways, it felt so nice to finally be home and sleep in my bed. As one of my friends said, traveling is awesome but the travel to get to the destination can be a pain. I was able to hang out with family that I don’t get to see very often, and made many new friends in Australia and especially New Zealand. Although many of the people in NZ were not from there, it means I met people from all over the world.

I cannot stay still so after just two-three days (getting in midnight Friday) I was off to New Jersey to visit my relatives with my father on that Monday. Good thing i love to travel!

Here are a few stats from my whole trip:
  • Flew on 12 different planes (booked 8 different flights)
  • Flew 28,120 miles (the equator is around 25,000), so I essentially circled earth 
  • Drove around 1,700 miles (mostly in New Zealand) and rode a few hundred more 
  • Hiked a total of 64 miles (only includes trails and hash runs)
  • Gained upwards of 22,630 feet of elevation on my hikes (and yes, if you go up that much you generally go down the same amount) which is comparable to Mount Kilamanjaro but not nearly as strenuous
  • On vacation for 32 days (41 if you count the week at the beach before I left)
  •  Spent $3,730 (as close as I could figure) on my whole trip, 100% worth it!

This blog is dedicated to my late cousin Toby (pictured above), who would do anything for anyone in an instant. I am grateful to have spent some time in his company. The hash runs are something I will never forget.

Read the full trip chronicles, here.

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