Everything was at once familiar; the hot slap of humid air, the lemon-and-lime coloured taxis with tiny Buddha statues perched on the dashboards, the sparkling spikes of temple tops poking out amongst the malls and city blocks and the occasional orange-robed monk padding down the pavement. After over a year, we were finally back in Thailand.
This week we’re back in the UK preparing for our big move to Thailand this Saturday! I’m ridiculously behind with sharing our European adventures on the blog but posts are coming soon about our time in Bratislava, our family holidays in Italy and Spain and my favourite city of the year: Prague. Right now though, it’s all about getting ready to head back to Thailand – here’s a look at how we’re preparing to start our new life in Chiang Mai.
When we left to travel the world, I never imagined we’d spend the first two years of our trip in Asia. After all, there are plenty more continents to explore, right? We became addicted to Asia though and spent months backpacking in the region before settling in Vietnam to teach. When we finally flew back to London last June, ready for new adventures in the USA and Europe, I certainly didn’t think we’d be returning to Asia anytime soon.  So, why are we flying back to Thailand in August?

Despite having spent over two years in South-East Asia, I feel like we’ve barely scratched the surface of many countries in the region, especially Malaysia. We spent just three weeks in the country back in 2013 and most of that trip was spent watching wildlife in Malaysian Borneo rather than exploring the mainland. Now that we’re returning to Thailand to live, we’re hoping to explore Malaysia and its treasures in more depth on a return visit and visa run.

As Andrew and I search for teaching work in Madrid, I can't help thinking back to our first experience of teaching abroad in Hanoi. I'm hoping the lessons I learned from those exciting, turbulent months in Vietnam's crazy capital city will help me cope with the challenge of starting afresh in Spain. Are you thinking of looking for jobs in Vietnam? Asia is a great place to cut your teeth as an English teacher; in this post I talk to British couple Hannah and Ben about their experiences of teaching at a language centre and an international school in Hanoi.
Are you considering teaching English in Vietnam? I remember well from my own experiences in Hanoi just how daunting the whole process can be. If you’re anything like me, you’ll have a million questions about everything from finding jobs in Vietnam to deciding which city and area to live in, how much money you can earn and what kind of qualifications you need. To help you figure things out, I’ve put together this series of Q&As with teachers currently living in Hanoi, Vietnam.
After writing about my experiences teaching in Hanoi, I often get questions from readers about how to teach English in Vietnam. So, to help you guys decide whether you could live and work in Vietnam, I’m publishing a short series of interviews with teachers who’ve lived, or currently live, in Hanoi. In this first edition I talk to Emma and Loes about everything from teaching highs and lows to pay rates, living costs, visas and teaching English if you’re from a non-English speaking country.
Unbelievably, it’s been three years since we touched down in our first Asian country: Indonesia. Although we went on to spend over two years travelling and living in South-East Asia, I’ll never forget the strangeness and excitement of that first week in Java. I remember the intensity of the sounds and smells; the beeping throngs of traffic, the humid wall of heat, the spicy food, ornate temples, smoking sticks of incense and huge spiders.
2015 has been a year of two very different halves for us; the first spent in Asia, the second in America and the UK. We lived in Vietnam’s crazy capital city, Hanoi, where we saved over £14,000 (and nearly lost our minds!) by teaching English. We relaxed on beaches in Thailand, house sat in London, toured South Wales and took the best road trip ever through New England in the USA. As we prepare to celebrate Christmas in Blighty for the first time in nearly three years, here’s our 2015 travel round-up.