Four Months of ‘One World One Year’
It’s hard to believe that my husband, Mark, and I are already a third of the way through our one-year journey around the world. We packed our bags at the end of May and have traveled to 16 countries throughout Asia, Russia and Europe since then. From large cities to remote islands, each country has provided its own adventure.
Early in our trip we entered Russia to ride on the Trans-Siberian Railway. Soon after arriving in the country we saw a TV news broadcast about a crashed airplane. It was reported in Russian so we didn’t understand it and didn’t have internet access at the time to find out more.
We later learned that it was a Malaysia Airlines flight that was presumably shot down over Ukraine, and that the Russians were blaming American espionage for it. This worrisome news made us wonder how Russians would react if they realized we’re from the United States.
We had our answer two days later on a bus ride when a young Russian man said that the driver would kill us if he found out we were Americans, but to not worry because he told him we were Italians instead.
Concerns for our safety were heightened, however, we chose to stay in the country and complete the infamous train ride as planned. We spent 20 days in Russia and were lucky that nothing bad happened to us. It might have helped that we started telling people we were from Canada.
It was a relief to finally exit the country and enter the safety of Scandinavia. In Finland we stayed at a summer cottage with Mark’s extended family where we recovered from the crowded cities and summer heat of Russia, and before that, China. It was a much needed break where we enjoyed swimming and boating in the lake and lounging in a sauna. From there we continued to Norway where we went north of the Arctic Circle to the Lofoten Islands. This was one of our favorite places we’ve visited with its stunning mountainous landscape.
Another place we looked forward to was the United Kingdom and returning to an English-speaking country. Mark was raised in Scotland before moving to Springville, so we met with his old school friends and traveled to the very north of Scotland for beautiful beaches and small villages. We also made our way to the west coast and were amazed by the tall, unusual rock formations at Isle of Skye.
Next, we are heading to Nepal in mid-October to trek in the Himalayas, and will spend the following four months in Southeast Asia before continuing to the Pacific and South America. To follow the adventures, visit oneworldoneyear.com and on Instagram @oneworldoneyear.
Britnee Johnston takes in the view from above the Old Man of Storr on the Isle of Skye, Scotland.