As time speeds on here in Chiang Mai, a slow itch is returning to my feet. It feels like an age since we got a real taste of adventure, so lately my thoughts have been occupied by our upcoming trip to Nepal and Sri Lanka. I can’t wait to hike in the Himalayas and explore UNESCO sites in Sri Lanka. That being said, I’m also slightly anxious about how our budget will cope when freelance work takes a back-seat to travel. With that in mind, I thought I’d take a look back at some of our cheapest and most expensive travel experiences over the last four years.
Work-wise, January has been a good month for me. In fact, for the first time since we left the UK in 2013, I’ve managed to make as much money as I used to in my full-time writing job in London. That’s great news for our travel fund and digital nomad goals, but I’m not getting too comfortable just yet. I know that freelancing can be a risky business and I’m still very much finding my feet. With that in mind, I thought I’d share eight things I’ve learned so far about working as a freelancer here in Thailand.
Last week Andrew and I got married in Thailand. We didn’t have a ceremony, exchange vows or change our names. There were no guests, rings or fancy outfits. Aside from telling our immediate family and some friends, we chose to keep the whole thing under wraps because to us, it wasn’t a big deal. In fact, marriage has never been part of our life plan, so why did we decide to tie the knot here in Thailand? Well, it all comes back to travel.
A brand new year dawns on the horizon, what are you going to do with it? Perhaps you want to build a house, learn how to ski, have a baby, rescue a puppy or take up salsa dancing? Or maybe there’s a voice inside you whispering: “I want to travel the world!” Well, you’re not alone. Four years ago that voice had grown too loud for me to ignore and I was preparing to leave the UK for a two-year travel adventure that has now become a full-time lifestyle. If wanderlust is knocking at your door, here are my top tips on how to make your world travel dreams a reality in 2017.
The sun is shining, the sky is blue and our cupboards are full of festive goodies. When we started 2016 we certainly didn’t expect to end the year back in Asia but here we are, spending Christmas in Chiang Mai after a year of intense highs and lows and many amazing travel experiences. Here’s our 2016 travel roundup and a look at the highlights from what turned out to be a rocky, yet transformative year.
Last week I celebrated my 33rd birthday here in Thailand. It was such a peaceful day filled with an almond-croissant breakfast at a cute café, an oil massage, swim in our pool and dinner at my favourite Italian restaurant down the road. I could never have predicted that at this point in my life I’d be living in Asia with my favourite person, working online and enjoying the freedom to travel whenever I liked. Somehow, through years of trial and error, I’ve ended up in an extremely happy place. With that in mind, here are 33 things that I’m thankful for.
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.
My name is Amy, I’m from the UK and I just arrived in New Zealand yesterday to start my round-the-world trip,” I told the boat-load of strangers as we took it in turns to introduce ourselves. “Ah, you’re fresh then!” replied the Rock Boat guide as we sailed the paper-flat waters of the Bay of Islands. I nodded, assuming he meant that I was a fresh new traveller, because I certainly didn’t look fresh after stepping off a 24-hour flight just the day before. I looked around at the international collection of tourists gathered on the boat deck; all were at different points in their travel adventures while mine was just beginning, and in ‘fresh traveller’ style I was cramming every second with action.
Back in 2013, travel-starved and weary from the routine of daily life in London, Andrew and I chose to leave the UK to travel the world indefinitely. The decision wasn’t driven solely by a desire to simply see the world, I was also searching for something more: the freedom to create a better way of life. So, has travel enabled us to create our dream lifestyle?