Where we’ve been
We’ve been lucky enough to travel to some pretty spectacular places on this big glorious globe of ours. From the skyscrapers of New York City to skiing in the soaring Alps; walking the length of the Great Wall of China before diving on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef.
While James has always been a nomad at heart (there is a lot of photo evidence from his youth including questionable traveller hairdos and far too many backpacker wristbands!), it was when we both moved to Europe that we started to travel together. Living in Germany and enjoying the benefits of borderless travel under the European Union, we drove over to the Netherlands, France or Belgium almost every weekend, or hopped on a cheap as chips flight to countries like Croatia, Hungary and even Morocco, to the bustling city of Marrakech.
We discovered so much of Germany during our six years there, from brewery-hopping in Cologne, finding the best things to do in Bonn (our ‘home town’ over that time) and exploring all the best hidden gems in Germany.
Both our corporate jobs also saw us winging our way further afield with stints across Asia, many a trip to the USA and almost weekly travel across Europe.
But it was really in 2019 that we saw our passion for travel really take off (excuse the pun). We sold up all our belongings, asked our parents to take care of our prized cat, Lily, and we went travelling full-time. We gave up our security to saunter across the world for a year. Oh, and we started this website to document it all.
Our trip around the world
In early May 2019 we headed off, arriving in Bangkok, Thailand. We spent the next few days exploring this amazingly vibrant city, before taking a train, boat and bus to Koh Tao, Koh Pha Ngan, and Krabi. Next we headed to Myanmar, falling in love with downtown Yangon, ticking off a massive bucket list in the temples of Bagan and Mandalay, before we returned to Thailand in early June to see Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai, then took the slow boat into Laos.
We started an affair with Laos – wandering the streets and admiring the sunsets in Luang Prabang, tubing down the river in Vang Vieng and taking in the sights of Vientiane. But, we had to move on, this time to Vietnam.
The land of coconut coffee and crispy spring rolls, we travelled the length of Vietnam, from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City and nearly everywhere in between. Next up was Cambodia where we immersed ourselves in that country’s sad history, spent time on the beaches of the Koh Rong islands (note: don’t do this in the rainy season!), and perused the galleries and temples of scintillating Siem Reap.
Next stop? China. One of the lands less travelled by ‘westerners’ like us we ticked off another major bucket list item: hiking the Great Wall of China; one of the most legendary landmarks in the world. We ran through Beijing’s Forbidden City, went shopping in Shanghai, walked the walls of Xian, saw the cuddly Giant Pandas of Chengdu, climbed the famous ‘Avatar’ Hallelujah Mountains of Zhangjiajie and got up at dawn to take in the ancient city of Fenghuang. China is probably our favourite country (other than Myanmar) in Asia – if you haven’t been already we’d highly suggest you read our China itinerary since while the country is exquisite, it’s not the easiest to navigate.
After China we needed a slower pace and so made our way to Indonesia. Touring around Bali, meandering around the waterfalls in Munduk and eating far too many smoothie bowls. Highlights from Indonesia probably include beach-hopping in Lombok, diving in the Gili Islands and snorkelling in Nusa Penida.
With too many nasi gorengs under our belts we headed to Singapore and Malaysia. It was a whistle-stop tour as we spent most of our time exploring the Instagrammable spots in Singapore like the Gardens By the Bay, and then hopping around Kuala Lumpur to see the Batu Caves, Thean Hou Temple and, of course, those glittering Petronas Towers.
Before we knew it, we had landed in the Philippines. Arguably the most beautiful place we’ve ever been, we had the ‘misfortune’ of being stuck on the ‘world’s most beautiful island’, Coron. While the weather was poor we were lucky enough to get a few days out on the water before we headed from Coron to El Nido, then Puerto Princesa and finally back to Manila for our flight to….
Australia! We arrived into a bitterly cold Adelaide; quite the shock to the system after about 9 months of hot and humid weather, where we explored the street art of Adelaide and later Melbourne before ticking off a big bucket list item: driving the Great Ocean Road. Actually, Australia was all about the landmarks and the bucket list, particularly along our epic road trip between Cairns to Brisbane, where we dived on the Great Barrier Reef, cruised down the Noosa Everglades and floated in the fairy pools, and saw the pristine white beaches of the Whitsundays.
And a trip to Oceania wouldn’t have been complete without seeing one of the most naturally beautiful countries in the world: New Zealand. We spent about 5 weeks exploring both the South and North Island of this incredible nation. Campervanning for the first time we saw some incredible sunrises over places like Mount Cook, went white-water rafting in Hanmer Springs and just explored the most iconic places. Like Hobbiton, and the geysers of Rotorua, the islands of Paihia and, of course, the most populous city: Auckland.
Suddenly it was the new year and, while our original plan had been to travel to South America, we felt like South East Asia was calling us yet again. It was back to Malaysia via Kuala Lumpur, fast becoming a second home for us. But this time we wanted to see more than just KL and explore the amazing cuisine, culture and iconic places of Malaysia. So after a few days reacquainting ourselves with Kuala Lumpur it was off to drink white coffee and spot street art in the off the beaten track city, Ipoh. We loved this town so much and hope to return one day…
Next? The Cameron Highlands to drink tea and pick strawberries, George Town (Penang) for even more street art and lashings of laksa, and finally from Penang to Langkawi, the island paradise where we spent most of our time on the beach, before heading back to Thailand.
And just like that it was our penultimate stop on our RTW trip. It was a triumphant return to Thailand as we decided to spend a month island-hopping. Starting off on the ferry from Langkawi to Koh Lipe we then moved between the most incredible islands in the Andaman Sea: Koh Lipe, Koh Lanta, Koh Phi Phi and finally, Phuket. We stayed in the most beautiful hotel we’ve ever seen in Phuket, we ate so many plates of mango sticky rice and just generally enjoyed Thailand and all it has to offer.
Before we knew it, we were supposed to be off to South Africa (Cape Town to be exact) and then Turkey before, returning home to the UK. However, a little thing called the ‘virus’ (it shall not be named on this blog!), interfered with our plans. We were suddenly stuck in lockdown back in Kuala Lumpur, quarantined in our high rise apartment and living off Honey Stars cereal until we could find a supermarket nearby. It was a frantic few weeks of figuring out whether we could return to London, whether our flights would go (spoiler: 2 cancelled flights later we finally made it), and whether we’d avoid catching it altogether.
And that’s where you’ve caught us right now. As you read this little update we’re holed up in London waiting it all out. Like many of you, we’re spending our time doing puzzles, baking banana bread and working on this website of ours. The world of travel is uncertain right now but we’re optimistic about the future. And we’re excited to bring you the next update to this page… whenever and wherever that might be.
Countries we’ve visited