It’s kind of awkward returning to a blog after 5 months of radio silence, so bear with me as I try to catch up on the hundreds of half drafted posts and collections of not quite edited photos from the last year or so! In the meantime, I thought I’d write a little update post on what we’ve been up to since we last got around to writing on a regular basis and fill you in on our travel plans for the year.
Well hello everyone, I’ve been a bit absent this week so thought I’d write a little catch up post to let you all know what’s new. It’s actually great to be at home and we’ve had a great couple of weeks catching up with friends and getting settled back into normal life again.
I confess, I have recently read and loved Shantaram after it popped up on a google search for “books about India”. It wasn’t until I’d researched it a little more that I realised it was basically the most cliched book a backpacker can walk around India with.
If you’ve been keeping an eye on our instagram stories you’ll be aware that we’re now back at home after exactly one year and one week spent travelling full time. *Sob*. We’ve moved into my brother’s old bedroom at my mum’s house (my sister has my old room) and have already unpacked, done the washing and even started to recover some of our possessions from storage.
So here we are. One whole year later, and still travelling – if only for another week or so. I genuinely can’t believe we did it! From that initial terrifying decision to go for it, to deciding to extend our trip from 8 months to 12, to surviving all that time living in each other’s pockets, it’s been a real rollercoaster. I can hand on heart say that it’s the best thing we’ve ever done, for ourselves, for our relationship, for every reason we can think of.
When it comes to travelling around the world the community tends to divide itself between those who travel fast and those who travel slow. Oh, and those who go on holiday – but we don’t care much for their type around here do we?
We’ve been lucky enough to see some absolutely stunning landscapes on our travels. From deserts and salt flats to glaciers and canyons, taking in such beautiful places has been a huge highlight of our trip.
In honour of these incredible spots we’ve compiled a list of our all time favourite landscapes (so far!).
Despite a relative lack of coverage in the western media, most people are aware that the Philippines is experiencing some serious issues at the moment. In Manila it’s estimated that up to 8000 people have died as a result of the extra judicial killings designed to stamp out the city’s drug problems, whilst martial law has been declared in the Mindanao region due to terrorist activity.
As the capital of Malaysian Borneo, this is a larger city than Sandakan but still nothing to write home about. Whilst it looks a little scruffy on first appearance, we ended up feeling safer than expected and one of the real highlights here is the fantastic fresh seafood that you can find in most restaurants.
I can hardly believe it’s time for another round up post, the months are still flying by. We’re now 10 months into our travels and as I’m writing this I’m sat in Starbucks in Hong Kong (exotic I know), watching the rain tipping down outside and trying to catch up on some admin. As it’s going live we’re in Manila, which is slightly more exotic but still fairly rainy.
I had the idea of writing a post like this for a while and have loved reading some similar ones that fellow bloggers have published recently. I think sometimes it’s kind of nice to feel like you’re getting to know the person behind the blog a little more than you normally get to from the standard posts about what they’ve been up to recently.
Bit of a random one as no one I know could accuse me of being green fingered, but turns out we’ve spent time visiting some awesome gardens on our travels and we wanted to share them with you. When we bought our house, one of the top items on the list of ‘must haves’ was a garden.
Okay, so we’re now halfway through our month in Thailand, which has gone insanely fast, so I thought I’d do a quick update on how we’re getting on. Some of you might remember we set ourselves some pretty big challenges for our time here, and I figured I’d be accountable on the blog and let you all know whether we’ve met our goals or not.
We’ve also just about planned our route home from here over the next 3 months or so to round off our current travels to around a year from when we first left the UK.
Time to write another more personal post as I resolved to sound less like a guide book and more like a human being from time to time as I write this blog. So this time I’m taking stock on what I love the most about travelling. I mean, it’s not always easy and it’s definitely not always glamorous. I’ve written about how poor we are, how sick we’ve ended up getting and some dreadful journeys we’ve taken. We’ve been robbed, scammed and had plenty of unpleasant moments over the last 9 months of our worldwide adventures but there’s got to be some reason that we keep going!
There’s something about Thailand that makes me feel weirdly at home. I definitely wasn’t planning to be such a backpacker cliche but it seems to be going pretty well so there you go. Last time we were here was January where we stayed in Chiang Mai and I wrote all about our healthy week there which was more a travel diary than our usual blog posts, and here I go again.
We’ve just arrived on the beautiful island of Phuket where we’ll be staying in a small but perfectly formed apartment for a month to have a bit of a break.
I’ve seen quite a lot of bloggers writing about things they’ve learnt and regrets they have recently so I figured I’d jump on this band wagon as well. As I write this we’ve been travelling for 8 months and have recently cancelled our flights home as we couldn’t afford the charges for a date change. Good times to think about learning curves as we’ve travelled the world!
By rights I should be blogging this post from the UK, after catching our flight home from India 13 days ago… I’m actually writing from a Hello Kitty themed train in Taiwan. We’re heading from Hualien city back to Taipei ready to catch our flight to Tokyo where hopefully we’ll be able to catch some cherry blossoms. Even more exciting is the fact that my mum is flying out to meet us there for a couple of weeks in Japan and as I haven’t seen her for 8 months I’m stupidly excited!
Penang Island has to be one of the coolest, most laid back places we’ve visited and totally not what we expected from Malaysia. Whether you’re looking for urban creature comforts like wine bars and posh restaurants, art and culture or beautiful beaches and wildlife you’re sure to find just what you’re looking for in this little island as there are just so many amazing things to do in Penang. A short hop from KL by plane (£30 return Air Asia with baggage), or a 4-5 hour journey by bus or train, it’s even cheap and easy to get to.