We're now in France, which means that in the past two weeks we've been in seven different countries (Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Macau, Hong Kong, Qatar, and France). That's a lot. We left Taiwan in early June, and that was really the last time we were properly settled.
This style of travel is pretty exciting. We usually don't plan for the next country until the night before we go, and sometimes we don't even get to it that early. When you're only in a country for a couple days, you tend to do a good job of maximizing the the time that you have there.
Despite this, I'll probably avoid this type of travel in the future in favor of staying long periods of time in one place.
When we were in Panama we really got to KNOW Panama. We know street names, restaurants, neighborhoods, people, and the little quirks that make the city unique.
Same with Japan. Tokyo feels familiar, like home. We stretched out all over the country and have a bit of insight into the different prefectures.
Taiwan, where we spent a month, is the same but to a lesser degree. Even one month didn't seem like enough time.
But the worst part is that it really wreaks havoc with the bare bones routine we have. Eat healthy food. Work out. Work. That's not to say that we haven't done SOME of that, but I can't remember the last time I had a meal that I was SURE didn't have any surprise ingredients.
Work has suffered. I get the minimum done, but it's hard to justify sitting at home on the computer when I'm in Qatar for two days and know that we can go to the middle of the desert and rent ATVs to ride through the dunes.
"When's the next time we'll be here?"
That's our call to battle that closes the lid of the laptops and gets us out the door.
On the other hand, it's nice to get a sneak preview of different countries. I now know that I'd love to spend more time in Hong Kong. I probably wouldn't go back to Qatar. We had a blast there, but I think that other Middle Eastern areas might have a bit more to offer. Also walking around feels like someone's blasting you with a flame thrower. 113 degrees the one day I measured.
Two months is the right amount of time to get settled and check out a city. I think that next year when we start our three weeks in Austin and three months abroad schedule, we'll probably spend two months in one place and then the last month exploring the surrounding area or a few countries on the way back.
Until then, it's time to rack up some more stamps in the passport.