I remember sitting in my London office back in 2012, reading travel blogs and trying to figure out just how people could afford to travel full time for years on end, it seemed so unachievable. Now I occasionally get a little shock when I realise that it’s been two and a half years since Andrew and I left the UK and we’re still travelling and unbelievably, we’re not broke!
We’ve been back in the UK for over a month now and after an incredible homecoming we’ve settled back into life here more easily than I ever imagined we would. As I write this we’re sat at the kitchen table in someone else’s beautiful South-London home while their cute five-month-old miniature schnauzer mills around our feet. We’re house and pet sitting for the first time in our favourite city and even though it’s raining outside, life in London is undeniably great.
The people we met and the things we learnt in Cambodia really touched my heart. In particular I’ll never forget our visit to the spectacular Angkor Wat or how it felt to walk through the Killing Fields, haunted by the thousands of people who died there. I found visiting Cambodia a deeply emotional experience and despite the scars of poverty and genocide my lasting memories of the country are of the peace, kindness and resilience of the Khmer people.
Baby John-William was safely tucked inside his mother’s womb when the typhoon that killed his father hit their home in Tacloban six months ago. The day before the storm, locals say that the skies had been beautiful and clear; despite warnings to evacuate it seemed inconceivable that far out at sea the most powerful typhoon ever to hit land was brewing. In the early hours of the 8th November, Typhoon Haiyan - or Yolanda as she’s known to Filipinos - cut a deadly path towards the small island of Leyte and the house by the sea where John-William’s family were sleeping.
At the beginning of our trip we were looking forward to getting some volunteering experience on the road; something we'd had little time for during our hectic lives back in London. However, our first six months on the road flew by in a whirl of adventures and by the end of it we hadn’t managed any volunteering at all – the closest we’d come was to visit the BAWA animal shelter in Bali, Indonesia. Fortunately, the perfect volunteering opportunity arose during our trip to the Elephant Nature Park in Thailand where we learnt we could help out with their Dog Rescue Project.
We learned a lot about the plight of Thailand’s elephants and got up close to these amazing creatures during a trip to the Elephant Nature Park  - here's the story of our day there.

The Plight of Thailand’s Elephants

There’s a huge contradiction in the attitude towards elephants in Thailand; on one hand they’re revered as sacred animals that helped build the country and win wars but on the other, they’re beaten and abused in the worst ways. Historically, wild elephants were domesticated in Thailand for logging work, however, after this was banned in 1989 they became surplus to requirements and many were either abandoned in forests, sold over the border to Burma where logging is still legal or used instead to make money from tourists.

I knew full-well when we set off on this trip that I’d have to confront many issues that morally outrage me such as the global sex trade, homelessness and animal cruelty. These issues are prevalent enough in so called ‘developed’ countries like the UK but we found that as soon as we hit Indonesia they became even more visible; in particular we were struck by the plight of Indonesian street animals.