Christy and Aaron Tracker

Follow Christy and Aaron on their backpacking trip around the world

Jet Laaagggg

Posted by Christy in Posts on 03 22nd, 2011

It is now Tuesday, the 22nd, at 1:15 AM, and I am in Mar del Plata, Argentina. Why am I still awake? Because I am still on New Zealand time, 7 hours earlier (7:15 PM on Monday). We have been here since Wednesday the 16th, 6 days now, and my sleep schedule is STILL messed up!

Yesterday, I fell asleep at 6 AM and slept until 7 PM. I KNOW, it’s HORRIBLE! I am wasting the last few days of our world trip! But I can’t help it, I am so tired during the day and so awake at night!

Any suggestions on how to get over jet lag faster? I told Aaron he HAS to get me up tomorrow, no matter what. I need to get to the beach so I will have a nice tan when I get back to the States!

Midnight at the Oasis

Posted by Christy in Posts on 10 14th, 2010

It was time for our 4-day trek through the Sahara Desert. If there is one thing to know about Karen’s traveling style, she HATES tour groups. She opted for a private tour through the desert for the three of us with a guide, a driver, and a cook. This trek was one of my favorite ventures of the trip. I wasn’t sure that I would enjoy 4 days in the same scenery, but there are many different looks to the Sahara. I think it is best to let the photographs and videos speak for themselves:

Our lunch before heading into the desert Sahara sand dune Our driver Abdul

The only time our car got stuck We drank a lot of tea in the desert Walking along a dune

The White Desert Christy in the White Desert Under a rock arch

Sunrise in the White Desert Waking up to the "so damn bright" sun Camel trip through the desert

We ate really well in the desert Our group in the desert Riding on the truck

Aaron skiing in the Sahara

Christy with a Bedouin child

After the desert we returned to Cairo. Once again our taxi driver was falling asleep. Despite his best efforts (pinching his balls) he kept falling asleep at the wheel. There was no radio in the desert so Christy thankfully sang Lady Gaga out loud to keep him awake.

Karen left us the next morning in Cairo. We were sad to see Karen go, but were ready for our next adventure. Kenya, here we come!

Istanbul (Not Constantinople)

Posted by Christy in Posts on 08 15th, 2010

We had heard from numerous people that Istanbul was a favorite amongst travel destinations, and after experiencing it for ourselves, it did not disappoint.

First I should say that Turkish people are known for their tremendous hospitality. We experienced this the minute we arrived in the city with the bus company that took us from Bucharest from Istanbul. You see, we arrived at our final destination at 3 AM, and Aaron and I had not expected to arrive until at least 6 AM, so we had not booked a hostel for the night. With no Internet access, no Turkish currency, and nowhere to go, the bus attendant automatically invited us to stay in the bus company’s office until morning, which we happily accepted, because we really did not know what else to do.

When we arrived in the office, we got to talking to the owner. After talking for about an hour or so, he offered to take us to the Blue Mosque (one of the most famous mosques in Istanbul), and we were a bit skeptical since it was 4 in the morning and we had never met this man before, but we felt bad saying no, so we went along with him. We are glad we did; it was an awesome experience seeing the Blue Mosque when there were no other tourists around.

After we came back from our trek, the owner had the front desk attendant keep the office open just so we could sleep there! Would any American do that? Doubtful.

When we left the next morning we met our CouchSurfing host Efe, and later on his girlfriend Merve and roommate Berk. This was one of our best CouchSurfing experiences so far, not only because our hosts were awesome, but because we stayed with them over a weekend so they could really spend some time with us. They took us all around the city, from the busy, hip district of Taksim to the Egyptian Bazaar. We drank Turkish tea, smoked a waterpipe, had some of the best baklava in the city AND shopped at the biggest mall in Europe (yeaahhhh).

Christy in the Egyptian Bazaar

What was even better was they introduced us to a lot of their friends, and we even got to join Merve at a celebratory dinner for her university.

Thank you, friends at Isik University, for welcoming us at your dinner. Hopefully this blog post will contribute to your continued enrollment success!

I should also mention that Turkish food is the BEST. It was my favorite food in Europe. I am sure Aaron will do whole other post on the food, so I won’t go too into it here.

So, Istanbul= A+. Go. Go NOW. Meet the lovely people, see the beautiful mosques, eat the tasty food, and come back and thank me later. :-)

Don’t Turn on the Light

Posted by Aaron in Posts on 07 14th, 2010

We had our first weird hostel experience in Barcelona… our roommate slept naked.

Christy and I got upgraded from an eight person room to a three person room when we arrived at our hostel. In general, the fewer people in the room the better. This time we could have used a few extra people in the room to help dilute the awkwardness. The room was extremely hot and to his credit he undressed in the dark after we went to bed and dressed before turning on the lights in the morning, but talk about an awkward night of sleep. The weirdest thing was the fan was off when we woke up. The naked man must have turned off the fan in the middle of the night when he got too cold instead of putting on some clothes.

After that experience, we really cannot wait to get to Paris to meet Christy’s parents and stay in our own private hotel room.

Goodbye England

Posted by Aaron in Posts on 06 12th, 2010

It was our last day in England. We were ready to move on since we thought we would already be in Ireland. After the initial cultural differences wore off, England began to feel a lot like the United States. We had a great time, but we were still ready to begin our next adventure in a non-English speaking country. We were excited for Italy.

Before our flight to Rome we stopped in a pub and watched the United States play England in the World Cup. It was fun watching the game in such a passionate atmosphere. We were happy with the 1 to 1 tie since the US was outplayed all game. The British patrons were not as happy with the outcome.

Christy watching the World Cup in London

After the game we headed to our next hotel… Gatwick airport. We had a 7:10 am flight the next morning so we decided to spend the night in the airport. We found while making sure Gatwick allowed people to sleep there. We discovered a whole subculture devoted to saving time and money by sleeping in airports. The terminals in Gatwick shuts down at night so we had to sleep outside of security. There were a lot of other people sleeping, but we finally found some cushioned benches we could lay down on. We had a hard time getting comfortable because of the light, noise, and air conditioning.

Christy getting ready to sleep in Gatwick airport

At 2:20 in the morning Christy woke me up because security was reopening the terminals. I was not as eager to change sleeping locations since I was having a wonderful dream about playing dodge ball in the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disney Land. Reluctantly, I followed her through security (where there was no line) into the terminal where we found an empty gate. We slept peacefully in our own personal gate 11 the rest of the night in complete peace.

Christy sleeping in Gatwick gate 11