Last week we celebrated five years of travel, can you believe that? I still vividly remember waving goodbye to our families at Heathrow in 2013, clutching our brand-new backpacks and one-way tickets to New Zealand, heading off on what we thought would be a two-year trip around the world. Yet, here we are in Colombia five years later, reflecting on both the amazing and tough aspects of this nomadic lifestyle we’ve managed to carve for ourselves.
Tomorrow we set off for Colombia! We’ve been talking about this South America trip for so many years that it’s taken on a surreal, dream-like quality for me. Now it’s a tangible thing. This time tomorrow we’ll be zooming across the sky to the other side of the world. Here’s a look at how we’ve prepared for this adventure, from buying a new camera to organising insurance, researching visas and compiling our packing list.
Despite having just booked one-way tickets to Colombia, Andrew and I have been talking a lot lately about finding a future base in Europe. As much as we love our freedom, we know that after our South American adventures we’ll need to find a base in Europe where we can hang up our backpacks, work and save for the years ahead, but where could that base possibly be? Well, I think we found our answer when we rocked up in Porto.
As the year draws to a close and we prepare to leave for South America in January, it’s time to take a look at our 2017 travel roundup. I feel incredibly blessed to have enjoyed yet another year full of new experiences, adventures and travel. In 2017, we managed to live in Thailand, trek to Everest Base Camp, explore Sri Lanka and road-trip around Europe. We got married, went vegan, continued to earn a living remotely and, of course, blogged about it all.
“Dear tourist,” the graffiti in Coimbra read, “one Airbnb tourist kicks two to three students out of our city – enjoy.” I came across this message on my first night in Portugal, and as a full-time traveller who uses Airbnb almost exclusively in expensive parts of the world, it made for uncomfortable reading. This Airbnb ban issue has been playing on my mind ever since and I can’t help asking myself, has Airbnb become an irresponsible way to travel?
It was late afternoon in Polonnaruwa, a Sri Lankan city filled with ancient ruins, and a meandering bicycle trip had led us to the lake just in time for sunset. We parked up and watched as the sun sank behind distant hills, streaking the sky with buttery oranges and yellows. As the daylight faded I felt a swell of gratitude for that perfect travel moment, for having the freedom to experience the simple beauty of a Sri Lankan sunset.
It’s almost the end of the year and our thoughts are turning towards 2018. Where will our journey take us and what epic adventures can we plan? If you’re also dreaming of a taking a big trip next year but are feeling overwhelmed with the logistics, here’s a guide to planning an adventure in five easy steps.
It’s only now, when we’re just about to set off on a new adventure, that I’ve felt inspired to sit down and write. Amongst all the recent summer house sits, family get-togethers and work, I somehow lost my will to write. Now the car is ready to be packed, there’s a map with a route through Europe etched in our heads and I’m ready to face the road, and the blank page, once again.
Since we left the UK in 2013, Andrew and I have stayed in hundreds of hostels, hotels, guesthouses, apartments and Airbnb places. While some have been incredible, like our five-star honeymoon suite in Thailand, we’ve also stayed in some real dives and battled with bedbugs more than once. Here’s a look at five of the most unusual travel stays we’ve experienced to date, from a longhouse in Malaysia to a lavish London pig sit.