World Tour Overview

Ever think about quitting your job and traveling the world?
We thought about it for three years before we made it a reality. We highly recommend doing the same and are amazed that our "travel for a year or until the money runs out" plan has extended beyond 1,000 days! Sunday, July 9th, 2000 was the official start of our world tour.

In addition to this page, please also see the posts to our newsletter called "Locomotions", follow our daily activities and check out all the photos we've been taking on our digital camera. But be warned, not everything is up-to-date since we've either been too busy travelling or enjoying Vancouver.
What we've done as of 31 March, 2003 is below.  March 31 is Day #996 of our travels.

The Next Chapter in our Lives - 31 March 2003 - ????
We have one month remaining on Tara's work permit. Seth couldn't get a work permit for his new job at eBay. Yikes - that changes everything since he was going to be the primary work permit holder! Yet again, we don't know where we'll be in one month!

Tara, the Finance Professor? - 3 September 2002 to 31 March 2003
Surprisingly, we returned early from our Chicago holiday as work permit holders. Tara received an urgent email asking if she would teach a class at a Vancouver University.

Family Reunion, Wedding and More in Chicago and Columbus - 31 May to 2 September
We headed back to Chicago for busy two weeks spent with friends and family.

Throughly enjoying summer in Vancouver! - 31 May to 23 August
We have no desire to look for work and start on the next chapter in our lives since we love the active lifestyle we've created: swimming daily, taking cooking classes, Tara teaching Japanese, Seth taking TaiChi, etc. etc.
Two weeks with friends and family in Chicago and Columbus - 16 to 30 May
We headed back to Chicago for our friend Chris' wedding. Instead of just spending the weekend, we decided to stay a while in Chicago and also visit Seth's parents in Columbus.

A relaxing week in Tofino, Canada - 18 to 25 March
We took a week-long "vacation from our vacation" and went to Vancouver Island. We enjoyed a nice, relaxing time and looked forward to coming "home" at the end.

Living in Vancouver, Canada and loving it - 7 January 2002 to 18 March & 25 March to 15 May
We decided to head back to Vancouver and see if it's a place we'd like to live. We know we like the Vancouver lifestyle, but have reservations about the weak international value of the Canadian Dollar.

Consolidating our belongings in Columbus, Ohio - 30 December 2001 to 3 January 2002
Happy New Year! This trip was all business. We loaded up a rented Ford F-150 truck at Tara's Ma's house in Chicago and deposited everything in Seth's parent's basement. Tara then spent three days organizing everything into boxes.

Chicago, Illinois for Christmas - 27 November to 29 December & 3 to 7 January
We had to be in Chicago on December 2nd for Tara to take a Japanese test. And we also had to be in Chicago on January  4 for Seth to play poker with old college friends. In between, we agonized over what we'd like to come next in our lives.

Columbus, Ohio to visit Seth's parents - 3 to 27 November
We arrived in time for Seth's birthday and stayed for a month. Tara enjoyed studying Japanese and organizing everything that had ended up in Seth's parents' house. Seth spent the month working on his parents' computer and painting their study.

Mableton, Georgia to see Tara's Dad - 27 October to 3 November
We could have never said last year that we'd again be visiting our parents before going back to work. But since our year off has turned into a year and a half off, we decided to go see everyone again starting with Tara's Dad in Georgia. .

Largo, Florida to visit friends - 25 to 27 October
We tried to visit Tara's friend Hugo last time we were in Florida, but he was busy since his wife was delivering their second baby. This time, we've planned ahead and will be stopping.

Disneyworld - 15 to 25 October
Tara especially wanted to take advantage of our annual passes and visit Disneyworld again. We ended up in a 2-bedroom condo for nine nights. Very nice! We also enjoyed hot weather and the Disney water parks for the first time.

Fall Foliage Stops - Providence, RI; Weirs Beach, NH; Danbury, CN; Swampscott, MA
After so much driving and moving around, we relished the thought of spending more than one night in the same place. We enjoyed "longer stays" on four occasions.

One night stands throughout New England for Fall Foliage- 28 September to 15 October
We'd always wanted to visit New England during the colorful autumn leaf season when we lived in Chicago. Instead of staying in Vancouver for cooking lessons, we hit the road again - hard! 3,000 miles in just over 2 weeks.

Unexpectedly visiting friends in Phoenix - 25 to 28 September
We ended up flying to Phoenix since Seth's friend, Mark, from high school was in a special neurological hospital. By the time we arrived, Mark was discharged and their third friend, Tim, was also in town. It was a fun reunion for a sad reason.

Contemplating the future in Vancouver - 26 August to 25 September
We have a lot to decide. Where to live? What type of work to do? When to buy a car? Should we rent or buy our next residence? etc. etc. etc. It's great that our friends Bob & Eileen have opened their home to us while we decide.

Doing nothing AGAIN on Salt Spring Island - 17 to 26 August
We officially started our World Tour last July 9th by visiting Bob, Eileen, Bailey and Kahlua on Salt Spring Island. Therefore it's very cyclical that we'll be coming back to North America in time to go to Salt Spring with them again.

Staying with Bob & Eileen again in Vancouver - 16 to 17 August & 26 to ??
We had one quick night in Vancouver before heading to Salt Spring. When we return from Salt Spring, we have an open invitation to stay for as long as we like. But, after two months, we'll have to start helping with the mortgage!

Pacific Northwest Towns: Seattle, Eugene, Grants Pass, Arcata, Florence - 8 to 16 August
We flew back to America a week before we meet Bob and Eileen on Salt Spring Island because we wanted to visit a few towns in the Pacific Northwest. Eugene was at the top of our want to see list, but Florence was the most promising.

Shanghai to finish our 10 day tour of China - 4 to 6 Aug
It just made sense to fly out of Shanghai since by the end of our cruise we were much closer to Shanghai than to Beijing. We ascended the Pearl Orient Tower and relished in our luxurious Hilton Hotel executive floor rooms.

Yangtze River Cruising -31 July to 4 Aug
Tara really wanted to take this cruise before the scenic gorge sections are flooded in 2003. She felt like seeing future water marker signs lining the banks was history in the making. The cruise was very scenic also.

Xi'an to see the terra cotta warriors - 30 to 31 July
Seth really wanted to see the Terra Cotta Army. Since it was on the way from Beijing to Chongqing (where our cruise started) we stopped over for one night.

Beijing is the first stop our China tour with Tod & Kristen - 27 to 30 July
We came to China to see the Yangzte River pre-Three Gorges Dam completion, but since we figure we might only visit China once, we just had to visit the Great Wall. We were also interested to see Beijing pre-2008 Olympic fixup.

A quick trip to the North of Japan: Akita, Kisakata, Atsumi Onsen - 22 to 25 July
The weather in Tokyo was HOT, so we decided to take the Shinkansen North and try to escape the heat. We managed escape the heat, visit a very small seaside town and treat ourselves to an expensive Japanese style hot tub resort hotel.

Tokyo one more time- 11 to 22 & 25 to 27 July & 6 to 8 August
We enjoyed ourselves in Tokyo so much during April, that we've decided to return for a month before flying back to America. Maybe we'll be in Tokyo all four weeks, maybe we'll visit China for one week with Tod & Kristen.

Bintan, Indonesia for the day - 9 July
We'd been to so many beaches throughout the South Pacific that going to another beach didn't excite us that much, but since Tara really wanted to, we went for the day. Very nice beach, but too hot for Seth.

Singapore to see friends- 20 June to 11 July
Our friend Mike was in town for a convention and when he offered to share his hotel room, we couldn't resist. We also relived the expat life since we stayed in Sam's expat apartment and treated ourselves to the Ritz Carlton.

A quick stopover in Kuala Lumpur - 17 to 20 June
We lucked out when we bought our tickets to Singapore. The cheapest fare was on Malaysian Airlines and included a free stopover in KL - the one extra place Tara said we must go to if we were to go to Singapore.

Back Home in the Auckland Hilton - 15 to 17 June
Yet again, we enjoyed hours and hours of internet access in our luxury hotel room. When we arrived, it was like coming home: we had mail, a voice message and many staff members asked us how the South Island was.

New Zealand's South Island by rental car - 7 to 15 June
We flew to the South Island because we both wanted to go walking on the Franz Joseph Glacier. After achieving our goal, we continued to Queenstown and then ended up in Cheviot with our gas gauge on empty.

Our gateway to New Zealand's South Island: Christchurch - 5 to 7 June
We enjoyed a day exploring town before boarding the train to Greymouth. Christchurch reminded us of Stratford upon Avon in England. It must have reminded someone else of Stratford as well since the river running through town is called the Avon.

Auckland again to enjoy the luxury of the Hilton - 29 May to 5 June
We needed to stay at a Hilton one more time before June 30th for Seth to qualify for a gold frequent stayer card. Therefore, we had not trouble convincing ourselves to splurge one more time!

Waipu Cove was a special camper van stop - 20 to 23 May & 29 to 31 May
Of all the places we stayed in our camper van, we liked Waipu Cove Cottages and Camping the best. We ended up staying a total of five nights at this campground. The scenery was gorgeous, the host friendly and the facilities top notch!

New Zealand's Northland by camper van - 18 to 31 May
This was our first camper van holiday so we decided to "test drive" a camper van for a week. We started in Auckland and traveled North. The camper van grew on us and we ended keeping it nearly two weeks.

Auckland marks the start of no more plans - 11 to 18 May
After having flight plans for the past three months, we really enjoyed having no firm plans for a while. Auckland was a good place to 'recover' from so many South Pacific islands. We especially enjoyed the luxury of a Hilton!

Pretty Bora Bora has good scenery from afar- 4 to 9 May
Our week in Bora Bora actually turned into 5 nights due to horrible, early AM flight times. We had to spend two nights near the Papeete airport on either end. Bora Bora has pretty scenery, but up close, it was disappointing to look at.

Easter Island was a great destination - April 27 to May 3
We really enjoyed our week on Easter Island. We loved seeing the mysterious statues in a stunningly natural and beautiful scenery. We also enjoyed how active we were: climbing up volcanoes, hiking up hills, walking into town.

Papeete, Tahiti in French Polynesia is not the stuff of island dreams - 25 to 27 April & 9 May
We thought Tahiti would be nice since names like Tahiti and Bora Bora conjure up idyllic images. However, the main town of Papeete had nothing except mobile truck restaurants going for it.

Back to tropical weather in the Cook Islands - 18 April to 24 April
We enjoyed Rarotonga, the main Cook Island. With the second resort we tried, Palm Grove, we finally found the paradise in the South Pacific that we'd been looking for.

Japan: Matsushima, Doraemon Town, Hirosaki, Fukuyama, Hiroshima, Miyajima, Himeji - 5 April to 13 April
We had two "must do's"when we set out to explore Japan. Tara wanted to ride the Doraemon train and Seth wanted to see the red tori gate in water. We saw a lot of Japan since these were on different ends of Japan's main Honshu island.

We were very excited to be back in Tokyo - 29 March to 4 April & 13 April to 17 April
There was so much to do and so many friends to see that we stayed at our friends', Tod and Kristen's, house for nine days before heading out to see some of Japan. And then we came back!

We unexpectedly ended up spending two nights in Auckland, New Zealand - 27 to 28 March
Our original tickets had us landing in Auckland after midnight on the 27th and leaving the next morning at 8:30am. However, we actually left on the 28th at 8:30am.

Enjoying Fiji's beautiful Natadola Beach - 24 to 26 March
Finally, a place in the South Pacific that is what we expected! Natadola Beach Resort - a comfortable room, a landscaped pool area, a totally deserted beach at sunset, hopping frogs, twisted lizards and not too many bugs.

Tonga: Fafa Island, Nuku'alofa, Otuhaka Beach Resort - 17 to 23 March
Our initial impression of Tonga was poor because we were staying on Fafa Island. However, once we "escaped from FaFa", we enjoyed Tonga. Our most vivid memories are of coconut trees everywhere and friendly people.

Adjusting to the hot weather on Fiji's Coral Coast - 13 to 16 March
We originally scheduled two weeks in Fiji, but our trip to nearby Tonga came right in the middle of the two weeks. Because we had inconvenient flight times for the first half and decided to save money in the second half, we stayed on the main island.

Exploring our favorite city of Melbourne, Australia - 7 to 12 March
Melbourne was just as nice as we remembered it. We love the atmosphere in the city: lots of friendly people, nightlife in the city center, a variety of cultures represented. Tara liked staying at the YWCA hotel and swimming everyday.

Another enjoyable Servas stay in Kooyong, Melbourne, Australia - 4 to 6 March
Kooyong is a suburb of Melbourne. We were treated to a Sunday ride around town in a Rolls Royce, shared dinners with the family and relaxed in their garden. Since I forgot my hairbrush, they even treated us to another day out.

Seeing a nice new side of Sydney, Australia - 28 February to 3 March
We left LAX airport on the 26th of February and landed in Sydney on the 28th of February. Recuperating at our friend Kelly's apartment was the perfect start to our time down under!

Seeing Friends From Chicago in Albuquerque, New Mexico - 23 to 25 February
Our friends E & Julianne moved from Chicago to Albuquerque more than six years ago. This stop continues our trend of seeing friends with kids since we met their five year old son Jesse.

Los Angeles to visit Disney's new California Adventure - 19 to 22 February & 26 February
We stopped over in Los Angeles for a week since Seth wants to go to the new Disney theme park - California Adventure.  We also visited Seth's relatives and left with a very favorable impression of the city.

Kihei, Maui, Hawaii to visit Kim - 18 February
We wanted to see Tara's friend Kim from high school so we stopped by her workplace. Kim showed us a wonderful time by buying our brownie at her restaurant and then inviting us home to spend a fun night with friends.

We drove to Hana, Maui, Hawaii and stayed a while- 13 to 17 February.
Taking the drive to Hana was an excellent idea since we saw a whole new side of Maui. We really enjoyed the small village of Hana and ended up staying as long as we could.

Not our kind of town: Pa'ia, Maui, Hawaii- 10 to 12 February
We have fond memories of Maui since we got engaged and married on Maui. However when we were staying in Pa'ia, we couldn't say exactly why but we weren't having a great time. Probably since we don't surf!

Relaxing in the Hilton Hawaiian Village in Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii- 5 to 9 February
We stayed on Waikiki Beach in Honolulu for 5 nights in a luxurious Hilton condo. Our balcony had a beautiful view and since we'd been to here twice before, we didn't leave the hotel area much. We did enjoy a day at Bishop Museum.

Visiting our friends' dogs in Vancouver, Canada - 26 January to 4 February
Seth would say we came here to visit our favorite dogs Bailey and Kahlua. Tara would also say that we wanted to see Bob and Eileen. Maybe they'll convince us that Vancouver should be our future home!

Back to Chicago, Illinois to see more friends - 19 to 26 January
We went back to Chicago primarily since Tara wanted to spend more time with her friend Nancy. Not only did we get to see Nancy, but we were lucky enough to see a bunch of friends and also Tara's Mom again.

A quick weekend trip to Columbia, Missouri to see friends - 12 to 14 January
Rez & Steph are Seth's friends from college. The big activity of the weekend was bowling. It was great fun - especially with three kids.

Columbus, Ohio for New Years- 29 December 2000 to 19 January 2001
We came to Columbus just in time for New Year's Eve and stayed with Seth's parent's for just over three weeks. We did things like reading our mail from the past five months, seeing friends and also just staying in all day and not getting dressed.

Chicago, Illinois for Christmas- 20 to 28 December
We spent Christmas primarily with Tara's Mom, but we also stayed downtown Chicago for a couple of nights - at a Hilton of course.

Clearwater, Florida for the weekend - 16 to 18 December
We wanted to visit the Gulf coast before leaving Florida, so we spent our last weekend in Clearwater.

Melbourne & Cocoa Beach, Florida for the weekend- 10 to 14 December
We needed to stay in a Hilton Hotel two more times and the Hilton's in Orlando were very expensive, so we took a couple hours drive East to the coast. We really lucked out at the Hilton in Melbourne since we were upgraded to a corner suite.

Orlando, Florida by ourselves - 4 to 19 December (with two weekend trips away)
We rented a car the day Bob and Eileen left and ended up finding a Travelodge Suites Hotel surrounded by our favorite fast food restaurants.

Orlando, Florida with Bob and Eileen - 29 November to 3 December
We had another great vacation with Bob, Eileen and Mickey Mouse. Highlights include seeing the Space Shuttle launch on the 30th of November and visiting the Disney and Universal Theme Parks.

Mableton, Georgia for Thanksgiving with Tara's Dad - 22 to 28 November
We spent a very relaxing week with Tara's Dad in Mableton, Georgia.

A Last Stop in Amsterdam - 19 to 21 November
We were going to fly from London to Atlanta to stay with Tara's Dad for Thanksgiving. But, Tara saw on the web that one-way fares from Amsterdam were US$100 cheaper... so, we had the perfect excuse for making Amsterdam our last stop.

London One Last Time - 16 to 19 November
We originally figured that we'd be flying from London back to America, but London is only our second to last stop in Europe. It is the last chance to see friends and run a few errands that can most easily be done in person.

Seeing Friends in Geneva, Switzerland - 14 to 16 November
From Seville to Gevena took from 12:30pm on Monday to 3:30pm on Tuesday. We traveled the distance to see Seth's friend Sophie from high school. It was nice catching up after almost three years and we also got to meet her family for the first time.

Sunny, Almost Summer weather in Seville - 11 to 13 November
We stepped off a 2.5 train ride into another season. The weather was excellent, but the city was unfortunately closed for most of Sunday and all of Monday. Even so, we enjoyed the atmosphere in Seville, Spain.

Madrid - a City Seth Definitely Wanted to Visit-  7 to 11 November
Seth's Mom spent her Junior year of college abroad living in Madrid, so Seth wanted to visit the city. We found that we liked Madrid better at night. An added bonus was that we could connect to AOL from inside our hotel room.

Sortof Unexpectedly in Sort & Zaragoza -  5 to 7 November
We were a bit out of sorts when Tara directed Seth to a windy mountain road as we left Andorra.  But, things sorted themselves out just fine since we were able to find a hotel room in Sort & return the car to Zaragoza without further mishaps.

Andorra - Small but Beautiful -  3 to 5 November
We never thought we'd be renting a car and driving all the way to Andorra on Seth's Birthday, but that's how things turned out. Having the car was nice since we were able to reach places high up in the mountains with fantastic views.

Celebrating Seth's Birthday in Barcelona -  1 to 3 November
It was neat to step out of a train station in Barcelona after an 11 hour journey and recognize exactly where we were. Our big accomplishments in Barcelona were to visit the United ticket office and start celebrating Seth's B-Day at 12 midnight on 3 Nov.

Piss, Shit, Garbage and a Dead Rat in Cannes -  31 October
As you've probably guessed by now, we did not like Cannes. We had an impression of a glamorous place where movie stars come to socialize. We found a smelly train station, lots of dog pooh and garbage, plus one dead rat on the main beach.

Nice was Nice in the Low Season -  30 Oct to 1 Nov
We'd heard so much about the French Riviera that we decided to stop over on our way to Andorra. Even during a torrential downpour, we enjoyed Nice since we had everything we needed on our street: a fast Internet cafe & an Indian Restaurant.

Monaco - Europe's 2nd smallest country - 29 to 30 October
We liked Monaco but were not overly impressed. It really reminded us of a scaled down Hong Kong. The Monaco aquarium though was well worth the visit to the country. We saw fish that we don't remember ever seeing before living in nice coral.

The Leaning Tower and the Friendly Cat in Pisa -  28 to 29 October
We consider our night here in Pisa to be a big tick on our "Been There, Done That" list. We spent an enjoyable evening sitting near the tower with a friendly black cat. It was nice to see the tower area being enjoyed by local people and their pets.

San Marino - Europe's 3rd smallest country -  27 to 28 October
We never planned to visit Europe's smallest countries, but we got such an overwhelming response from our friends to the  Locomotions about Liechtenstein that we figured we'd travel from Murnau to Madrid via the tiny lands in-between.

Liechtenstein - Europe's 4th smallest country -  21 to 22 October
We figured we'd go to Prague for the weekend, but the ticket window was closed when we arrived to buy tickets. Seth looked at the rail map, saw how close Liechtenstein was and we decided to go there instead just because we could!

A few quick hours in Innsbruck, Austria - 21 October
Instead of just changing trains in Innsbruck, we walked into the town center.

A Quick Weekend in Italy with friends -  13 to 15 October
Our friends Tod and Kristen from Tokyo were in Italy on vacation so we joined them for a weekend. Tara thought the overnight trains between Munich and Italy were fine. Seth has decided that overnight trains just plain suck!

Learning German in Murnau, Germany -  30 September to 26 October
Tara planned to come here 3 years ago for a 4 week German class. However, she was not able to due to work. It was quite a surprise when she called up and found out that she still could attend a class. So, we lived in Murnau for nearly 4 weeks.

Enjoying Zurich With Old Work Colleagues - 26 to 29 September
We planned to be in Zurich at the same time as Seth's work colleagues were all in town for a meeting. We also met up with two other friends from work. It was good to catch up with everyone and realize just how far out of the work loop we are!

London to Zurich via Disneyland Paris - 24 September to 25 September
We had a hard time figuring out when and how we were going to leave London. Seth ended the decision making process the minute that he suggested we go via train and stop at Disneyland Paris en route.

Enjoying Being Back in London - 14 September to 23 September
It was again nice to be back in London. We went to many of our favorite restaurants, relaxed, unpacked and clean out our backpacks. We saw Gary and had two fun nights out when we went for a yummy Indian dinner. It was not better than Cats.

The Long Journey to London - 10 September to 13 September
We were really ready to leave Scandinavia on the 10th of September - exactly one month after we arrived. However, we had to go back to Stockholm to pick up our forgotten credit and then we decided to try to save money by taking sleeper trains.

Visiting Ottestad, the town Tara's great-grandparents came from - 6 September to 9 September
Tara's fathers is 100% Norwegian and this makes Tara 50% Norwegian. Since we had lots of time to travel throughout Norway, Tara wanted to see if she could learn something of her Norwegian past. She learned much more than she had hoped!

Meeting Our First Servas Hosts in Trondheim - 4 September to 6 September
We read about a neat international hospitality organization called Servas in the Arthur Fromer's magazine a couple of years ago. We will have wonderful, special memories from Trondheim, Norway since we were able to stay with Servas hosts.

Ever Northward: Stockholm, Lulea, Narvik, Tromso, Hurtigruten - 17 August to 4 September
Our ultimate goal was originally Tromso in Norway. However, in the end, Tromso was not far enough North for us and neither was Hammerfest (the world's Northernmost town). We went as far North as you could: The North Cape.

Choosing Copenhagen from the airport departure board - 10 August to 16 August
We're really happy that we decided upon Copenhagen at the last minute even though we had bought tickets to Spain. We had a comfortable place to stay, found an excellent internet cafe in town, saw movies, relaxed and planned our next destination.

Exploring the Highlands of Scotland - 3 August to 9 August
Grace & Jeff took us up on our offer to meet up in Europe. The four of us had already traveled to Scotland together. This time we headed north for an enjoyable week of castle viewing, caber throwing, Skodanuga-ing & LochNess monster searching.

Honeymooning in Paris - 30 July to 2 August
Not our honeymoon - but Mike & Dasha's. A few weeks after attending their wedding in San Francisco, we met up with Mike & Dasha and are happy to report that they had a fun honeymoon and we had a great time together in Paris.

Relaxing in the Cotswolds with friends - 29 July
Due to some excellent timing, we were able to spend a day with Steve & Naoko at Steve's parent's house. We toured the Gloucester cathedral, sped down country back roads, visited local farm animals, hiked up a hill and feasted on fish & chips.

Studying at Oxford University - 23 July to 29 July
This was a fun week! We met a large number of interesting people and were definitely on the 'inside' of the university since we lived in the student rooms and ate in the spectacular student dining hall. We blew out our budget for this, but it was worth it!

Revisiting our old neighborhood in London - 19 July to 22 July
It was good to be back in South Kensington again. We loved staying in the Imperial College dorms and would happily come back for another week. In four days, we only got a chance to eat at one of our favorite restaurants - and they remembered us!

Catching up with friends and relatives in San Francisco
We included the West Coast in our itinerary so that we could attend Mike's wedding on July 15th. Instead of staying in hotels, we asked friends and relatives if we could stay with them for a couple of days and we're really glad we did!

Doing nothing & loving it on Salt Spring Island
After Seth heard that Bailey and Kahlua would be coming to Salt Spring with Bob and Eileen- there was no way we were going to leave Vancouver off of our itinerary.

Final preparations prior to departure
In April, we prepared a list and divvied up things we had to do before leaving. Even so, there were some last minute preparations as we prepared to load all our worldly possessions onto our back. Plus we had a surprise day at Great America.

Living the corporate life in Chicago
Tara's expat contract stipulated that she had to successfully complete her assignment in Tokyo and be repatriated. Due to this  clause, we found ourselves living in a fully paid corporate apartment for 30 days while we waited for various sums of money.

Bye-bye Tokyo
We really loved living in Tokyo and it was sad to leave. We will miss many friends that we made in our two years living in Tokyo. Plus, we will miss many aspects of Japanese society - including heated toilet seats!

A Surprise Trip to Chicago
We didn't realize that Tara's contract provided for a 5-day trip back to Chicago prior to our repatriation. It was a very pleasant surprise that we learned about when a relocation co-ordinator contacted Tara about a month before the end of her contract.

Months and months of planning & preparations
We started planning for our trip as soon as we returned from our "alternate life" in January 1999! Taking time off of work to travel had been a dream of ours since 1998. We even had a six month route planned. But, when  Tara quit her job in early 98, we were both offered expat contracts in Tokyo if she would stay with the company. Living in Tokyo was an opportunity we didn't want to pass up, so we put our world tour on hold until just after our two year Tokyo assignment.


World Tour 200 web page history:

About 2 months before we left we started these web pages which will chronicle our trip. However, it was not until Day #9, a
Monday when we were staying with Chris & Sam in San Francisco, that these pages really got underway. So, thanks must be
given to their iBook and wireless network + cable modem. Things were just so convenient and so fast, it made sense to finally
settle on graphics and a format.