1/12/16
Hiking in Batad, the Philippines

Minimalism and Travel, why less is more

The Christmas before we left the UK in 2012, Andrew and I announced that we didn’t want gifts and we weren’t going to buy any. Instead, we donated money to Shelter and took some groceries to the local food bank. At the time, we were in the midst of sorting through our tiny one-bedroom London flat, trying to narrow down our possessions so that they’d fit into two backpacks for our new life of travel. That was the start of our journey towards minimalism, and we haven’t looked back since. Continue reading

19/11/16
Monk taking photos of a lantern display at Wat Phan Tao during Yi Peng, Chiang Mai

Loy Krathong, Yi Peng and a bit of Lantern-Related Terror

With a silent wish for peace, I dropped my boat of leaves and flowers into the Ping River. Entranced, I watched it float away with the current, joining dozens of other baskets all lit by pinpricks of candle light. Above me, against the black sky and a full silver moon, paper lanterns filled with orange flames sailed upwards. This was the climax of the Yi Peng and Loy Krathong festival in Chiang Mai, a three-day event filled with light displays, processions, and sadly for us, a little bit of lantern-related terror. Continue reading

14/11/16
The White Temple in Chiang Rai, Thailand

Thailand’s White Temple

Picture a snow queen’s palace. A building as white as sugar icing, with a three-tiered roof spiked with icicle decorations, and a bridge guarded by troll-like creatures. Imagine a surface flecked with mirrors that sends the sun’s rays skittering in all directions. Look closer and you’ll notice a sea of outstretched hands and a fiery mural riddled with demons, Superman and Freddy Krueger. Welcome to the White Temple in Thailand, one of the country’s most beautiful, yet surreal, works of art. Continue reading

11/11/16
Buddha and Pagoda at Doi Suthep Temple, Chiang Mai

The Cost of Living in Chiang Mai

We love living in Chiang Mai. Every day we wake up in the most luxurious apartment we’ve ever rented and get to swim for free in our outdoor pool. We can eat out at one of our favourite restaurants, meet up for dinner with friends or have a massage whenever we like. We’re pretty much living a dream lifestyle, but for what price? Find out in our cost of living in Chiang Mai breakdown. Continue reading

7/11/16
St Stephen's Square in Vienna, Austria

Our Viennese Whirl

After two days of exploring Bratislava, Slovakia’s Little Big City, we had some time on our hands. A quick map check revealed that we were just a hop, skip and a jump away from a brand new country: Austria. In fact, the capital Vienna lay just 60km away and would take only an hour to reach by bus. We couldn’t resist the temptation to get a taste of a new city, so we set off the very next day on our Viennese Whirl. Continue reading

4/11/16
Wang Put Tan Tea Plantations, Mae Salong, Thailand

Our Mae Salong Mountain Haven

I awoke to the sound of buzzing insects rather than the hum of Chiang Mai traffic. As Andrew slid back the balcony door crisp alpine air hit me and through the grey dawn light, I could spot a stripe of neon orange on the horizon.  The sun was rising over our Mae Salong mountain haven, illuminating dozens of peaks cloaked in mist and a vast cloud sea that filled the valley bowls. It was a sight that made me thankful to be living here in Thailand. Continue reading

31/10/16
Hanoi street vendors in Vietnam

Hanoi Street Vendors from Above

Street vendors are part of the everyday fabric of life in Hanoi. When I lived in the city I’d pass dozens of these women every day. They’d be dressed in conical hats to ward off the sun while they tirelessly pushed heavy bicycles laden with colourful fruit and flowers through the city, from dawn till dusk. I didn’t stop to think about just how beautiful these vendors were until our friend Loes launched her Hanoi street Vendors from Above photo project. Continue reading