All good things come to an end…
Although we still loved traveling, after 3 years on the road we were not feeling the big passion, wanderlust and desire anymore. This feeling had been brewing for some time so in January 2022 we proactively decided that our trip would come to an end. By that time, we were on beautiful Qeshm Island in Iran and as it turned out this would be both our turning point and at the same time the point the furthest away from our home. From there we slowly made our way back to Europe and returned to magnificent Tyrol in Austria and went back to our office job.
We are still processing all the wonderful impressions we had on this fantastic journey. Every time we see a photo from the very start of our trip it feels so incredibly far away – especially timewise…
It goes without saying that in 3 years we experienced way too much to write down (or even to remember…). So instead of writing a lengthy text we give you some notes and anecdotes and statistics. We also answer one of the most-asked-questions: “how much money did you spend?”
NOTES & ANECDOTES
- we had food poisoning once (Italy)
- best countries for wild camping: Norway, Turkey
- worst countries for wild camping: Iran, the north of Morocco
- we did one workaway in Bulgaria
- with our full frame camera we took approximately 40000 photos and kept 3400. In addition, we kept another 3900 photos from our phones and the pocket camera.
- when we drove further east / left Europe the density of washing machines reduced drastically; the density of campgrounds reduced to almost zero.
- one of the most annoying things on our trip: we had fleas in our van once – no fun at all… 🙁
- we used the Steripen (a battery powered UV stick) to purify water – mainly in Morocco, some parts of Turkey and Iraq.
- we almost never bought water, except in the south of Iran where you can buy filtered, good tasting water from a hose at the side of the road.
- In almost every country we visited we had better cell phone reception than in Germany
- we never had the heater turned on during the night. Our coldest night was -15°C.
- we had to go to a doctor several times but luckily only minor things. In Bulgaria we did several routine checkups.
- During the 3 years we visited our families three times. Once for a wedding.
- we visited 16 countries and transited through 9 countries.
- most positive surprises: Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Turkey
- our car got broken into once (Italy)
- we had 0 punctures – to our very surprise
- we got one ticket – and very deservedly so: for bad parking (Edgar). We did not get any other tickets or fines.
- we got stuck three times (2x Morocco, 1x Albania)
- the cleanest part of the car was usually the solar panel
- we went to the mechanic 36 times. Additionally, our car got a wellness treatment in Bulgaria: rust removal
- we had no major breakdown with our very trustworthy and reliable car. Two times we had minor breakdowns: once the exhaust fell down and once the alternator stopped working
- we left with a very simplistic car. During our trip we realized what we really need and added the following things: rooftop box, second battery, diesel heater, solar panel (which we later made tiltable), power sockets in the back to charge phones and the laptop, additional portable and foldable solar panel
- The cheapest diesel price was in Iran: 0,03 Euro per liter
- we drove approximately 64.000 km
- most of the time we were (by far) the smallest car among travelers. We really liked it that we could use a regular parking lot and that our car fit through everywhere. But to be honest our next car will most likely be a bit bigger – we are not getting any younger… 😉
Traveling during Corona times was possible and – like many things in life – had its pros and cons as usual.
- very few other tourists. For example, the beaches and sightseeing places in Greece were empty
- we were missing some interaction with other travelers.
- We did not eat as much local food as we wanted. Restaurants were closed for a longer period.
- Border crossings were more difficult or in many cases not possible at all. We had to adapt our plans quite a lot. This was also the reason why we did not travel as far east as we had initially planned.
We rented apartments in Greece and Bulgaria for several months because of Covid-19. Because of Covid we arrived in Istanbul 1,5 years later than initially planned. While Covid sure limited us / hold us back we still think it did not affect our daily life a lot. As we were traveling in our own car, we spent most of the time alone in nature anyway. We made the best out of the situation, were able to travel more than expected and still had a great time.
unspectacular, random small things we loved and hated:
- realizing moon phases
- calls of the muezzin
- morning call of the roosters
- being very close to nature
- the high ground clearance of our car made our life so much easier
- the plastic floor of our car
- meeting many awesome people of the same spirit
- loud music and bass from other people, especially late in the evening or at night
- spotlights at night
- we were away for 1070 days
- we spent approximately 18 € per person per day. This includes insurances, buying, repairing and upgrading the car. It does not include buying a laptop or camera equipment as we already owned that.
- the 18 € per person per day is purely what we spent. It does not include the following incomes which we had during our trip:
- tax refund because of partial work years (half a year in 2019 and half a year in 2022)
- we worked on a project in Croatia for 2 months
- we sold our beloved car after the trip again
Morocco looks more expensive for two reasons: we took a ferry from Italy to Morocco and back. The costs for these ferries are included in the daily budget of Morocco. Additionally, it was hard to wild camp (especially in the north) so we spent most of the nights on campgrounds.
Turkey is a very budget-friendly country. As it was our first country after Covid that restaurants were fully open again we went to restaurants A LOT. Also, we stayed one week in Istanbul – in cities you always spend much more money. These two factors made our stay in Turkey more expensive than usual.
In Iran we spent more money on guest houses because wild camping was not so easy. And in home stays we mostly ordered dinner to our van 🙂