World Trip 2012-13: The Sights (Part 3 of 4)

All world trips should be amazing especially the experiences you have during them however I also love the planning and the remembering aspect of such trips. This blog entry is to help me recall the trip and is Part 3 covering the Sights.

There are 4 different aspects to my world adventure I’m going to try and document;
1) The sights – what activities I enjoyed by country (4 parts)
2) The culture – what did I learned about the different cultures and religions
3) The people – the people I travelled with who I remember fondly
4) Travelling – how I travelled and what I learnt.

I visited 19 countries during this world trip:
Part 1: Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Iceland, England.
Part 2: Germany, Spain, Argentina, Chile
Part 3: Antarctica, USA, Mexico, Cuba
Part 4: Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Panama.

10) Antarctica
The most amazing place on the planet that I have ever experienced. The air is crisp, clean and cold, the icebergs have an amazing blue, the penguins mostly ignore us humans with the occasional look of who the hell are you guys! The wildlife live a life very different to the rest of the world, penguins, seals, and whales swim and birds, some that you can barely see since they are so white fly of this vast ice land.

Getting to land on an iceberg and hike to the top was a once in a life time experience. Camping on the Antarctica Continent in the shadow of a glacier near a nest of penguins, can it get any better? Even wearing cold weather gear I was still very cold in the morning 🙂 The landings each day on the islands and the continent were great but watching the crazy people doing the polar plunge and the wild ride back to the ship on the zodiac was the highlight of the trip.

Also I managed to not get sick during the Drake Passage, so I was one happy camper one this 11 day (expensive trip). Antarctica Highlights every single day. I have been blessed to live a life that allowed a trip to this remote part of Earth.

11) United States of America
I got to visit Washington, New York and Orlando during my 10 days in the USA (plus 1 day in Dallas for my return). I got to show this country with boundless energy and self belief in itself with my mother during late November. The signs of Christmas were everywhere and I got to visit New York stores during the festive season.

The New York day tour showed some much of what I feel is the greatest large city in the world. It was also an emotion time when how tour guide talked about his experiences on September 11 back in 2001 as we visit the World Trade Centre site. This was my third visit to New York City and I feel I will be back there again 🙂

I had been to Washington before and thought I wouldn’t see that much more but I was wrong. The various War Memorials (I wish there were less) and the FDR Memorial being particular highlights. I also enjoyed Universal Studios in Orlando.

12) Mexico
The country I spent the most time in was Mexico for 24 days; 2 days at Mexico City Airport before going to Cuba, 6 days relaxing in Cancun and 15 days on the G Adventure Mexico Ancient Civilizations Tour. Mexico is a giant of a country and in the central and southern parts I visited full of very friendly people.

The Mayan Ruins was the overall highlight during this time in particular the Monte Alban Ruins (Oaxaca), the forest ruins with the howler monkeys at Palenque and Teotihuacan Ruins. Chichen Itza was disappointing due to the huge crowds. The visiting and diving at the cenotes at Cuzama was a great day, even travelling to them was an experience!

In Cancun swimming in the warm Carribean sea was relaxing and Xcaret Park was very enjoyable.

13) Cuba
I was only in Cuba for a quick 7 day tour but what a place to visit. The Cubans have such an incredible spirit, at night dancing and singing with such energy. The people aren’t rich in material things but they treasure their families and there is such a feeling of community. The locals I spoke too love their country and way of life and are looking forward to the future with hope as they get more freedoms, but they have a few concerns about becoming too commercial with Starbucks.

Seeing vintage cars mixing with Soviet cars, modern Asian models and horses was an amazing sight. The highlight activity was visiting Cayo Blanco Island on a catamaran and swimming in the Caribbean Sea. Visiting the famous Che Guevara’s mausoleum was an experience, including seeing all the local cadets lining up quietly to pay their respects. His imagine was something I saw all over Cuba and Central America.


About Nathan

A World traveller who has so far experienced 71 countries in this amazing world.
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