by Niall Doherty

I left Ireland on September 30th last year, the beginning of my trip around the world without flying. I’ve been keeping track of a few numbers as I’ve been traveling. Such as…

  • 2 Rickshaws ridden
  • 3 Apartments rented
  • 4 Pairs of pants worn
  • 5 Boats boarded
  • 6 Taxis hailed
  • 9 Sim cards used
  • 10 Buses hopped
  • 11 Currencies exchanged
  • 13 Countries visited
  • 17 Beds borrowed
  • 22 Hostels/Hotels/Guesthouses slept in
  • 25 Trains taken
  • 14,098 Miles traveled (give or take)
  • 16,396 Euros acquired ($21,170)
  • 18,529 Euros spent ($23,924)

(Note: If you’re interested in seeing exactly how I earn and spend my money while traveling, sign up here to get access to my free monthly finance reports.)

A few other random bits and pieces from the last twelve months of my life, many as requested by the legendary folks over at the DtR Facebook page…

Favorite city

Amsterdam. Weather was perfect, beautiful scenery and architecture, easy to get around, streets are clean, people generally have their shit together, nobody seems to hate the government, everyone’s open-minded, there’s no language barrier, and the women are beautiful.

Least favorite city

New Delhi. Constantly felt harassed, overwhelmed, exhausted, and stared at.

Nicest people

Iranians. I was repeatedly humbled by how many of them came to my rescue while I was low on cash during my ten days there. I’d also have to give Iran the prize for best public transport. Their buses and trains are hard to beat for the price. All that said, I wouldn’t like to live there. Any country where dancing is forbidden and women are forced to cover their heads ain’t for me long-term.

Accommodation highs and lows

Best place I stayed at was the apartment belonging to my friends Selina and Henrik in Zurich. Massive thanks to them for letting me crash there for a week. Mark Webster‘s apartment in Budapest was a close second, and he let me settle there for more than a month, big Scottish legend that he is.

I have a soft spot though for the apartment I rented while in Amsterdam. How can you not love a place that has a hammock in the living room and where you only pay 60% of the asking price?

Best hotel/hostel/guesthouse was the Loft Hostel in Budapest. Seems they only let super-cool people stay there. Worst was the Masa Hotel here in Chennai a week or so ago. Mosquito-infested hole of a place. I checked out of there at five in the morning and went in search of better digs.

Weirdest thing I’ve seen

Transvestites in short skirts and high heels being chased through Kathmandu by army dudes with sticks.

If I were to start all over again, what would I do differently?

I really can’t think of anything. Not bringing enough cash to Iran was stupid, but that led to me meeting a ton of cool people. I hated New Delhi, but I got to spend time with my good friend María while I was there. It seems every mishap or less-than-ideal experience during the past twelve months had at least some silver lining or led to some positive experience that I’m grateful for.

Moments of doubt

I’ve never once regretted leaving home and undertaking this journey, not even for a second. But I have had several moments of doubt regarding whether or not I could keep going without flying. I was almost stuck in Dubai until I found a cruise ship bound for Bombay, and a few weeks back my heart sank when I found out there was no ferry between India and Sri Lanka. But hey, it’s all part of the adventure.

Worst/funniest situation

Hitting on a really hot Nepalese girl my buddy introduced me to… until I realized she was a man.

It was dark, okay.

Shut up.

What have I learned?

A few big things that come to mind…

  • It takes more self-assurance to accept help from others than it does to go it alone.
  • You can’t talk someone into trusting you.
  • I should have learned touch typing years ago.
  • How to ride a motorcycle.
  • Flirting is fun.
  • Teaching is hard.
  • Always check for an adam’s apple.

Overall, it’s been a fantastic year of life, learning and travel. Looking forward to seeing what the next twelve months have in store for me.

Let’s wrap this up with a few images…

My route so far.

The first sunrise of the trip, as seen from the John Lennon memorial in Liverpool.

Hanging out with Caroline Leon in Brighton.

Flirting in Amsterdam 😉

With my buddy Henrik in Zurich before boarding a sleeper train to Vienna.

Budapest

Standing on a frozen lake in Bucharest. It was the coldest Winter Romania had seen in 60 years.

Overlooking Tehran.

Creepy fisherman in Dubai who invited me aboard his dhow and offered to take me to India for $10,000.

Posing with some dude in an Indian slum.

A typical work spot for me.

Hanging out at the Taj Mahal with María and some weird dude who really wanted his picture taken with us.

Hanging out of a train in India.

Nepal

With Niraj and Enwil, good friends from Kathmandu.

The view from Ulleri while trekking Annapurna in Nepal.

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