Barb — 30 years on — and all done after 72 days in Japan

Met this cute girl 30 years ago – we were both lining up for a youth hostel in the city of San Francisco. We only had about 24 hours together in San Fran before we headed off in different directions but arranged to meet again in Canada and then in New York City. From there we both had round the world tickets for London – so caught a flight together . I happened to have a round the world ticket for business class , and so keen was I that I downgraded to fly economy with her. We still joke about this , even 3o  years on.

So here we are 3o years on with a similar dilemma . After 72 days in Japan ( including a little 600 km ‘s in Korea ) we Are lining up again in Narita , Japan homeward bound. As luck would have it my air New Zealand ticket has been upgraded to business – so called loyalty ” recognition” upgrade. 

What to do — hmmmmmm ?

I want Barb to take the upgrade – but we are going to have to board then switch as the Japanese checkin did not make this an easy option – we need to sort it out with the kiwi crew onboard.

Postscript — Barb went business class 😊


  1. That is just so romantic! I had no idea you had a ‘Before Sunrise’ beginning to your relationship. This sounds like a lovely sequel. Bruce…she’s just looking so beautiful here…how could you resist this decision. Thanks for sharing your most incredible solo adventure cycling through Japan and with Barb in recent days. Been an education and a laugh. All the best for your trip back to NZ.

  2. Well, I had a wonderful trip in business thanks to my fabulous romantic man πŸ™‚ Thanks so much Bruce xxx

  3. Barb looks well too smiley with the additional glass of vino. Glad you are luxuriating in business class like rock stars coming back. See you in Auckland. Namaste

  4. What an awesome romantic story. Hope you had a great trip back to NZ. Thanks for sharing your Japan adventure – great stories. We are so fortunate to be able to travel and explore the world.

    • Thanks Andy — next trip , mid August , will be a desert crossing via 4×4 in the Australian outback ( Simpson desert )
      Will try to keep the blog on it , subject to Internet

      • OMG you do pick some amazing places. Yes yes please keep us all posted including your prepping πŸ™‚ Are you renting or buying the vehicle?

      • Good to get your motivational response here Andy — I will follow your advice and get my blog thinking cap on – there is always a story to tell and with blog posts the ones to enjoy reading the most are those with a ” real story ”
        Short summary of intro to the story –my 22 year old son left nz for Australia about 18 months ago and is making a new life in Sydney – my trip is about going to see him by taking a hard route over the Simpson desert.

      • Bruce > Here’s one for you mate: When you were on the road in Japan you were posting high quality photos and adding to your blog. Did you have a travel computer or tablet with you? If so what were you using? Did you have a travel case to minimise damage? In the past I just found an internet cafe but oh how times have changed. Any help woud be much appreciated mate

      • Good question Andy , the world has changed so much – my kit is now a mini iPad and a bunch of apps and a couple of extra batteries to give me a few days between charges . Keeping devices to USB — 5 volts vital . The WordPress app is easy to manage on the mini iPad but maybe suffers in not being as fancy as from a laptop or pc.
        Navigation apps really important particularly moving in places where the language is not easy to learn quickly ( everywhere for me sadly )
        For Internet in Japan I hired a portable wifi device – cellular network in Korea and Japan super fast so no prob uploading photos and again this is usb so easy to keep going without much power.
        Tried solar charging but was not happy with time to harvest energy – in the end depended on finding someplace to charge up — in between camping – odd hotel or proper campground. Use a wifi capable Panasonic compact camera – handy as the files can be sent via wifi to the iPad – no less cable

      • Phew that’s amazing. I read there’s no USB on an iPad though. Really great advice mate > I’ll check out that portable wifi device for starters

      • The iPad charges at 5 volts via its own cable – special plug into iPad but USB plug into power source ( battery or wall – or car adapter ) just like a phone — exactly

      • Yep — many options here Andy
        At the heart of the matter is the question — do u need to go light or not — is the weight of a laptop going to be an embuggerance or not ?
        Backpacking , cycle touring etc it can be – is for me – light and sticking to devices that share the ability to charge via usb –

      • Hiya Dave > I’m a bit lost when you say ‘portable wifi device – cellular network’ > Is that something that can connect you to the internet wherever you go? Also could you give me the name of it so I can check it out on Amazon? If I can get it there I should be able to get it here in Beijing > cheers

      • Yes — all your retail phone outlets should know about them. Interestingly in both Japan and Korea ,hiring was the practical option for a non local . All about controlling the net , something the Chinese do too I’m sure . You are now a local so better deals to own a device yourself may be the best way.
        These devices are about the size of a small phone and again can be powered ( recharged ) vis usb at 5 volts
        Look at

      • Cheers Bruce > It’ll sort itself out. When I’m on the road I always put things down on paper. I’ll deffo get an Ipad and slap a VPN on it though. I plan to sleep in the motor most of the time and cook out in the open but will also make the most of the big cities as well. Cant wait now

      • Sounds like a plan — if you are travelling in a vehicle then charging via usb– ciggy socket is a good option . Need to get some ” decent” extra batteries for your charging requirements. Look at the Mophie range and go for about a 15,000 mAh . Will keep an iPad charged fully a couple of times. Important to get a battery that can charge via usb too — can have it charging in the vehicle too

      • If you are tied to using a laptop , a dongle is a plug in device that will connect the laptop to the net using the phone ( cellular ) network

        The reason for NOT going with a laptop is the weight and the fact that they are more power hungry , need about 17-18 volts and big chargers and you are constantly needing to find mains supply on the go.
        That’s why a mini iPad is great – you can be away from mains power for several days if you have a couple of spare batteries. And all these new functional Apps like language translators , navigational and mapping apps , music apps , photo apps all make life easier. So small and rugged that they travel real well
        Confused yah πŸ˜‰

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