Picture golden-sand beaches, sunshine, cinematic cities, cowboy towns and national parks filled with the world’s tallest trees. Our summer road trip around California was my favourite travel experience of 2018. We drove from LA with stops along the coast to San Francisco, then to Yosemite, Sequoia and Kings Canyon national parks, ending in San Diego.
Hello from Oregon, USA! I’m writing this from a caravan overlooking the red outcrops of Smith Rock State Park, with a cup of Earl Grey beside me, reflecting on how long it’s been since I blogged. In fact, my last post was back in Lake Titicaca, which now feels like years ago. Since then, we’ve travelled through Peru, visited Machu Picchu and spent three idyllic weeks road tripping in California. Somewhere along the way, amongst dealing with a ton of freelance work and a house-sitting disaster, I just had to let blogging go, but now I’m back.
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.
Big news - we’ve just booked flights to Colombia in January! As I write this we’re on the ferry back to the UK to celebrate the festive season with family before we begin our 2018 adventures. Driving home for Christmas has taken us to the supreme Cologne xmas markets and to Bruges, which may well be the most beautiful European city we’ve visited to date. Here’s the lowdown on our festive journey and South American plans.
In the last three months, we’ve travelled over 5,000 miles across nine countries in Europe by car. The journey has taken us from the canal-lined streets of Amsterdam and the beaches of the Algarve to Bavarian castles, Slovenian lakes and finally, to Prague. Here’s a look at our experience of travelling Europe by car, including the benefits, tips and some key things to consider if you’re planning your own Europe road trip.
Welcome to our latest pet sit, a Portuguese farm house with a veranda framed by pink flowers. There are orange groves in the garden, a pool and never-ending sunshine. Each morning we stroll around the 30,000 square-metre grounds of our home for the week, followed by a friendly pack of dogs and pigs. How exactly did we end up in this slice of rural heaven? Let’s rewind 2,080 miles to the start of our road trip to Portugal.
The cool mountain breeze was laced with the scent of pine trees. At the water’s edge, campers played music, pitched tents and put up deck chairs as black swans glided past. Somehow, we’d stumbled upon a slice of European summer during a Christmas break in Northern Thailand. Our road trip around the Mae Hong Son loop was full of surprises like this, from monks controlling drones to selfies with policemen and the twistiest roads we’ve ever navigated.
The wind battered my face as the city streets disappeared and we zoomed towards the mountains. Slowly, familiar motorbike-riding aches started to set into my body and I tried not to think about the purple scar on my knee and the crash in Vietnam that had caused it. After over a year, we were back on a motorbike embracing the freedom of being able to take a random Wednesday off work to explore. Destination: The Sticky Waterfall.
September brings back memories of the epic, eight-week road trip we took through New England this time last year. Although I’m currently happy here in sunny Chiang Mai, my thoughts periodically transport me back to that world of autumn leaves, scenic drives, Halloween pumpkins and forest walks. I have vivid memories of salty air, jagged cliff-tops, harbours and seaside towns as well as the taste of blueberry pancakes, apple cider and clam chowder. This reminiscing has inspired me to finally write a New England Fall foliage guide which includes our trip highlights, tips on where and when to see the best fall foliage, which festivals to visit and what to eat.
Even though we're now in Spain, getting ready to move to Madrid next week, it seems like just yesterday that we were whizzing down leafy roads in New England, country music playing on the stereo of our rental car. The three months that we spent travelling on the east coast of the USA made for one of my favourite travel experiences to date. I was so happy in New England, particularly in Vermont, that I often ache to be back there. Whilst reminiscing, we've put together this short USA travel video of our trip highlights.