It’s been amazing from start to finish and neither of can quite believe it’s over.
It’s been really hard to remember everything that we’ve done and so it’s great that we have this blog to remind us. We wrote this primarily for ourselves so that we can look back and see what an incredible ride we’ve had over the past year, but we’ve been really lucky that so many of our friends and family have kept up with our travels too using it.
We fell extremely fortunate and grateful to have had the opportunity to take a year out and travel. We are fully aware that not many people can do what we’ve done and that some people don’t understand why we’ve spent all of this money on, what’s effectively been, one amazingly long holiday. However, as anyone who knows us well will know travelling has been a huge and important part of our lives for a long time, and to us, experiences are so much more important than things. When you travel you see so much and meet so many people, that your mind is opened to just how amazing this world actually is. Believe it or not, our bucket list is actually longer now than it was when we started! We would encourage anyone to travel- we’ve met all sorts of people who are also following their dreams by seeing the world- young families (with 2 little kids in tow- kudos,) retired couples, friends, siblings.
We’re excited and ready to go back to London now- it’s been 5 years and we’re looking forward to buying our house, getting our new little pugs (Bazza and Paul) and having some sort of routine again. It will be hard at first to get used to it all again and the urge to travel will inevitably kick in again soon but we will persist!
So, here’s just a few of the amazing memories we will take from the past 12 months:
Sunset over the Mekong Delta, Vietnam
The many faces of Angkor, Cambodia
2 days of Zip lining through the jungle, Laos
The mighty Vanatar, New Zealand
Mount Cook, New Zealand
The Kepler Trail, New Zealand
Wine tasting and cheesing, New Zealand
13,000 ft of skydiving, New Zealand
Finding this one again, New Zealand
Christmas Day kayaking, Fiji
Diving with a school of Hammerheads, Fiji
Climbing the most active volcano in South America, Chile
Hiking the Inca Trail, Peru
Cycling 18km into the Atacama desert to find the salt water pools, Chile
Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia
The Amazon Rainforest, Bolivia
Unexpected treasures, Spain
Dixon-Atkinson reunion, USA
There’s so many, many more.
So that’s all from us, we’re off back to London and onto a new chapter but these memories will stay with us always. We hope you’ve enjoyed reading.
Much love, L and S xx
It honestly feels like we’ve been away for month, not 10 days. We’ve already seen so much and experienced a side to Vietnam I really didn’t think we would be able to. We’ve met quite a few people who seem to have been rushing from one place to another, eager to get to the next place but I’m glad we’ve taken it (the teeny bit of Vietnam we’ve seen) slowly because it’s allowed us time to take everything in and has made it much more enjoyable.
Although I enjoyed Ho Chi Minh, I’ve found the Mekong region to be much more interesting and would encourage anyone to come here, regardless of how much time they’ve got. The slow pace of life here really appeals to both of us and we have loved how relaxed it all is. All three places that we’ve been to have been well out of the towns that we were dropped in and it was definitely worth the extra time taken to reach them. Each one has required several transport swaps and trying to communicate to people who speak very little English by pointing to a map. No disasters so far though!
Yesterday we arrived in Chau Doc, on the border of Vietnam and Cambodia, and immediately left the town, which seems kind of so so, to travel up to the top of the sacred Sam Mountain (take a wild guess at who this place appealed to.) We are staying in a beautiful lodge, with amazing views stretching well into Cambodia.
This morning, we went on a fantastic bike ride down to the base of the mountain, around it and then back up to the lodge. We then walked upto a shrine at the very tip of the mountain and saw the most breathtaking views. Tomorrow we take the boat for 4 hours up the Mekong, across the border into Cambodia, to Phnom Penh. Very excited.
My highlights from Vietnam:
The only downsides: