Slovenia by the Numbers

Lakes circumnavigated on foot: 1

Lakes jumped in mid-circumnavigation: 1

National poets side-eyed for their choice of muse: 1

Fancy breed horses that rebuffed my attempts to pet them: 4

Entertaining guided tours taken: 2

Picturesque castles viewed from a distance: 5

EU-wide award-winning ice creams tasted: 2

Attempts made to take this one special elevator to a club in Ljubljana, only to have the elevator stop a floor below the right one every time: 5

Mini-waterfalls admired: 2

Total days spent in Slovenia: 6

Total money spent: $361

Average per day: $60

Times I said, “Seriously, so beautiful” out loud: It basically became my catchphrase

Lake Bled, Slovenia

Lake Bled, Slovenia

Croatia by the Numbers

Hailstorms spent hiding on the portico of a basilica/mausoleum: 1

Clouds of cigarette smoke accidentally walked through: at least a dozen, ew

Roadside breakdowns while driving up a mountain: 1

Elaborate breakfast buffets consumed on a hostel balcony: 4

Outdoor choir concerts stumbled upon: 2

Adorable French children befriended: 1

Bell towers climbed while Vertigo played in the back of my mind: 1

Nights spent dancing on a giant outdoor light-up disco floor: 2

Green-blue waterfalls admired: at least 10

Island beaches sunbathed on: 2

Servings of the very strong local rakia consumed: 5, aka plenty

Total days spent in Croatia: 14

Total money spent: $1,078

Average per day: $77

Total money spent, minus the airfare: $906.36

Average per day, minus the airfare: $67.74

Expanses of otherworldly blue water seen: leagues

Looks good from here

Looks good from here

Ecuador by the Numbers

Hours spent in Spanish class–my first classroom experience in a decade: 40

Hours spent valiantly struggling to make conversation with my host mother in Quito: 20

Iguanas encountered: 12

Delicious soups consumed: 20

Waterfalls admired: 8

Ankles sprained: 1

Inca ruins visited: 1

Equatorial lines straddled: 1

Waves dived in: hundreds 

Presidential palaces toured: 1

Chicago Bulls paraphernalia seen: countless items

Total days spent in Ecuador: 47

Total money spent: $2,663.25

Average per day: $56.66

Total money spent, minus the airfare: $1,983.25

Average per day, minus the airfare: $42.20

Blissful beach and waterfall moments experienced: many

Las Tunas, Ecuador; March 10, 2014

Japan by the Numbers

High-speed trains whisked away on: 6

Temples visited: 20+

Wedding processions stumbled upon: 2

Bill Murray homages performed: 1

US Navy bases visited: 1

Perfectly planned gardens appreciated: 15

Perfectly planned gardens found wanting: 1

Traditional performances attended: 3

Schoolkids who made me part of their project: 17

New foods consumed: 23

New foods enjoyed: 21

Beatles cover bands watched: 1

Intimidatingly fashionable teens seen on the street: hundreds 

Total days spent in Japan: 20

Total money spent: $1,254.60

Average per day: $62.73

Total money spent, minus the rail pass: $629

Average per day, minus the rail pass: $31.45

Gratitude I have for my many hosts: boundless

Fun fish for Children's Day

Children’s Day banners in Kawagoe

Vietnam by the Numbers

Delicious pork-based meals consumed: 20+

Delicious pork-based meals that were bun cha: 10+

Items of bespoke clothing purchased: 3

Animals seen: 10 or so (easily the fewest of my entire trip)

Entombed heads of state briefly glimpsed: 1

World Heritage sites admired: 2

Instances in which I was run over by a four-door sedan: 1

Packages of Oreos and Ritz crackers offered as recompense for being run over by a taxi: 4

Weeks for burns to heal: 4

Weeks for puncture wound to heal: 7

Major sightseeing trips canceled due to injuries: 2 (see you next time, Sapa and Halong Bay!)

Total money spent: $1,468.40

Number of days in the country: 28

Average amount spent per day: $52.44

Total money spent, minus the hospital costs: $1,026.30

Average amount spent per day, minus the hospital costs: $36.65

New friends made: 6

Old friends happily re-met by chance: 2

Reasons to go back and see more, uninjured this time: 100+

hue bike traditional hat