It’s been five years since we visited Australia and we barely scratched the surface during our five-week adventure. So where would we visit on a return trip? Top of the list would be one of our favourite cities, Melbourne, followed by Queensland highlights. The Sunshine State has so much to offer, from Five World Natural Heritage Areas including the Great Barrier Reef, to bushwalking in the outback and whale watching. Combine that with 7,000 kilometres of idyllic coastline and an average nine hours of sunshine a day and what’s not to love?
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.
After finally completing the school year in Vietnam we are itching to dive into the excitement and trepidation of travel again; of new places, plans and ideas. In fact, we’ve plunged straight in, fleeing Hanoi by night train on the very day we completed our final classes and now we look forward to months of new adventures. There will be a huge difference in the next stage of our journey though, we’re saying goodbye to the often hellish bus and train trips we’ve been used to in Asia and travelling by rental car through America and Europe instead.
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.
It’s nearing the end of the year and like most people, Andrew and I have been reflecting on what we’ve achieved in 2013 and looking forward to what 2014 holds. This year was very special for us because we finally got out on the road and started travelling full-time; since leaving the UK in March we’ve had the most incredible, extreme ten months of our lives – it’s been tougher yet more rewarding than we ever imagined it would be. Here’s a look back at the places we’ve visited in 2013 and what we loved about them.

Thinking of renting a car for your travel adventure? We’ve had great experiences with hire cars so far on our trip; we spent a month exploring New Zealand and also took road trips along the East Coast of Australia and the Great Ocean Road in our very own rental car. Here’s why we recommend travelling by car and some top tips on how to make renting a car as hassle-free and cost-effective as possible.

I can hardly believe that it’s been almost a year since we set off on our travel adventure. The memory of getting on that one-way flight to New Zealand last March with a new, uncertain life of indefinite travel ahead of us is still so vivid to me.  When we first set out I thought that we’d be able to explore the main sites of each country within a few weeks or a month, tick that country off our list of places to go and move on. I was completely wrong; instead we’ve left almost every single country we’ve visited wanting to come back and see more of it in the future.
Australia; home to kangaroos and Neighbours, koalas and crocodiles, was the second stop on our adventure. We travelled from Melbourne to Byron Bay via Port Douglas stopping in many places along the way including Sydney, Cairns, Brisbane and Townsville.
The second stop on our travel itinerary was a country we’d both been longing to visit for years – Australia. We were expecting a land of sunshine, beaches, chilled-out people and wonders as incredible as the Great Barrier Reef and Uluru. So, did it turn out to be everything we thought it would be?