Can You Drink the Water in…

Cold Water in India

But is it potable?

We don’t travel with guide books. They add too much weight, take up precious space and buying a new one for each country we visit would cost too much. Sometimes we read the ones left behind in guesthouses, but mostly we look to the Internet for a few important answers. Before arriving in a new country, we always look up the following information:

1) the local currency and exchange rate
2) what the tipping etiquette is
3) any local customs or important cultural differences
And, super important:
4) can you drink tap water without getting sick?

This last question has become very important to us. Being in constant travel mode between very foreign places has caused us to miss certain things, and ice on a very hot day is one of them. Sometimes, if you can’t drink the local water, you can’t have ice, a smoothie or diluted juice. But other times, like in Malaysia, ice is made in factories and purchased by local establishments. Thank you, Malaysia! But we wish you the best if you attempt to drink ice water in India.

Obviously this is very important information to be prepared with. Here’s a breakdown of countries we spent significant time in during our trip and whether you can drink from the tap.* Some of them may surprise you:

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Happy 6-month Travelversary To Us!

Jambo! (That’s hello in Swahili.) Traveling really makes you lose track of time. We had no idea that November ended and December began. Internet wasn’t available on our actual travelversary, which is why this post is coming a few days later. We hope you enjoy reading our stats and superlatives. If you have any ideas for some you’d like to see in future posts, just let us know.

Days we’ve been gone: 184 (June 6 – December 6)

Countries we’ve visited: 18 (Iceland, Finland, Russia, Turkey, Croatia, Italy, Slovenia, Morocco, Spain, Portugal, Egypt, South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Malawi, Tanzania)

Devil's Pool

Hanging out on the edge of Victoria Falls in Devil’s Pool.

Number of photos taken: 13,574

Hours of video taken: 50

Number of books Tara read: 10; Mike: 7

Adrenaline activities: 4 (cage diving with Great White Sharks, gorge jump over the Zambezi River, jumping into Devil’s Pool at Victoria Falls, Zambia, driving a scooter along Zanzibar’s coast and getting shaken down by cops)

Best African beers for Tara: Castle Milk Stout (South African), Zambezi (Zimbabwean), Mosi (Zambian) and Kilimanjaro (Tanzanian); Mike: Black Label (South African), Zambezi (Zimbabwean) and Serengeti (Tanzanian) Continue reading

Postcard from Egypt

As-salamu alaykum,

Who would have thought October would be “high” season for a country, but here in Egypt it is. The weather has cooled off a little, but it is between 90-100°F during the day. Turns out ancient Egypt is more advanced than you may think — we are still not  sure how they made the pyramids with such precision. Some of the temples and tombs used to be painted in color (Some are well preserved!) and hieroglyphics have not been used for thousands of years. But the falafel is pretty good. We rate it four sun gods out of five.

M&T

Postcard from Egypt

Exploring Egypt

Before leaving the States for our epic adventure, we lived in Washington, DC. If there is a cause worth fighting for, a rally, march or protest for it will be held in DC, the nation’s capital. Hundreds of thousands could be storming the city on any given weekend, but unless we traveled to the heart of their gathering, we had no idea. Sometimes people forget that a protest is typically contained in one area and does not actually affect the rest of the city, and certainly not the whole country. Since we often travel or live outside our comfort zone, we understand such things and are not afraid to encounter them.

Weeks before our scheduled flight to Cairo, Egypt, protests broke out across the Muslim world over a stupid movie made in America that was meant to stir up trouble. You all know the story already. Because of it, we religiously watched and read various news sources every day leading up to our flight. Locals and expats alike said that unless they went directly into the fire (i.e.: Tahrir Square or the America embassy), they were not at all affected by the riots – life continued as usual. We also read that a large-scale anti-American sentiment did not exist in the country. In a population of 82 million in Egypt, only a thousand or so were involved in the demonstations. In a population of 82 million! The information we consumed made us feel as though we were making the right choice: to travel, as planned, to Egypt. Continue reading