Introduction

Well Hello and Welcome

This will be the reinvigorated running Blog of Jill and Richard Pieper’s adventures. We originally did a 433 day blitz a decade ago (circa 2013) and have commenced round 2 now that COVID restrictions have eased.

Feel free to follow along on the adventures of some older backpackers (50’s) as we offer our thoughts and views on our travel destinations and include some travel tips and insights along with some comparisons pre and post-Covid.

Head to the latest news page for the most up to date information, otherwise just cruise through the drop down menus.

Bragging Rights

Along our travels (particularly as we get to more and more countries) we have become aware of a group called the Travellers Century Club.

It is basically just a group of people who have been to over 100 countries (or identified territories) within the world.

It doesn’t really mean anything or give you anything other than bragging rights. Sure there are members-only pins, Certificates, and Membership Cards, but mostly it is about sharing experiences and information with like-minded travellers. I have no idea if we will get there but it seems like a pretty cool thing to aim for. There are a few minor differences between Jill and I (I am a few ahead) but most of these will even out by the end of this year.

There is an issue as to what actually constitutes a country vs. what is a territory. For example, I have always thought that Scotland was a country. According to the rules, the United Kingdom is the country thereby relegating Scotland to being a mere territory. But by the same rules, England is considered a Country Capital (Dubai fits the same category for the UAE).

So according to the list there are 198 countries, 2 country-capitals, 4 areas that are debated and 126 territories. For the purposes of this, I will count them as countries (rolling in the two country-capitals) and territories (rolling in the 4 debated areas). This gives us a total possible visited list of 330.

CountriesTerritories
7199

For the Century club, I think that it is the territory number that needs to get to 100. Once we get to 100 I don’t know if we will actually join the club as it involves fees and subscriptions. But for now, it is a nice target to aim for and we will think about this more fully as we get closer to the magic number.

Background

We initially decided to become international nomads in our mid 40’s choosing to swan about the globe and experience life to its fullest. The purpose of the Blog was primarily to be a tool to update our friends and family on our adventures, acting as a form of diary, but as we get further into the planning of this we are including bits that others may find both useful and entertaining. So our journey began. But before any travelling could occur there are those pesky things that needed to be thought about.

  • Where are we going to go?
  • What are we going to do?
  • How are we going to fund it?
  • How long are we going for?
  • How do we make things work?

And off we went…

We did this to great effect, spending 433 days globetrotting… until we ran out of money (as tends to happen). But in that time we did get the opportunity to see and do some amazing things.

This lack of funds prompted us to head back home to Australia to be adults again (and get jobs). We did this for around 5 years but when we were ready to go again, the dreaded COVID kicked in, thereby keeping our wings clipped for the intervening period.

So what prompted these things….?

After a heart attack at 42 (me) we decided that life was about more than putting in 12-14 hour days working for largely unappreciative employers. We also are not the types that need excessive luxuries or to live in the biggest mansion. Having both spent some time working with oldies, the biggest regrets we heard was that many had waited until it was too late to travel, and that their bodies had pulled them up earlier than they had hoped – leaving many big ticket travel items unfulfilled.

We saw no value in being the richest people in the cemetery and for a long time have believed that we would rather have stamps in a passport and memories – rather than things.

A post COVID world…

When the borders started to open our planning recommenced. But we soon learned that the world was a very different place. Civil unrest, disease, mad heads of state and disgruntled populations had taken some of the travel destinations off the safe to travel list.

Add to this that almost all of the travel guides (lonely planet etc) were virtually useless as nobody had been keeping them up to date. Many of the hotels, restaurants and attractions were not able to survive the lack of trade due to COVID and most had simply ceased to exist. So this trip was going to be a little different.

Interestingly, the starting point remained the same…

  • Where are we going to go?
  • What are we going to do?
  • How are we going to fund it?
  • How long are we going for?
  • How do we make things work?

We thought the best place to start was somewhere that we knew well and could relax in without too many issues. So the first bit will be back to Cambodia, Thailand, Philippines and then on to Vietnam. From there the world is our oyster.

Read along with us…just click on latest news.

ORIGINAL CONTENT – Wherever possible we have used original content  photographs, knowledge and opinions throughout the blog. Google, Wikipedia and local travel brochures provide some help with histories and context but really it is mostly our observations, opinions and musings.

BUY CONTENT – We have watermarked many of the images in the second stanza of this website however we are in possession of the high-resolution versions of all of these photographs (and many others). If you are a commercial enterprise seeking uncopyrighted original content then these are available for purchase for a nominal fee. Just contact us through the comments area.

Travelling the world in a pre and post COVID state