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Experience of a lifetime

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

Patagonia, 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


Acclimatising in Cusco


Photo of the Day: Just chilling out in the pool.

Photo of the day: Time to relax


Only 10 days?


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.

2015-07-08 16.16.36 HDR


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:

  • Xe Om (literally translated means big hug)- motorbike taxis. So fun.
  • Floating markets on the Mekong- if you have time, spend a few mornings doing them.
  • Amazing food. Nom nom nom.
  • Vietnamese coffee- despite giving up tea and coffee (or attempting to) in January, the sheer deliciousness of the coffee here has tempted me back. Who knew condensed milk could work so well?
  • Stunning homestays and hotels tucked away out of towns and cities.
  • Where we’ve been going, very few tourists.

The only downsides:

  • Didn’t see enough. We could’ve easily done the whole 7 weeks here. We met an Irish family who adopted a Vietnamese baby 6 years ago and have come back every Summer since- each time they do 4 weeks in a different part of Vietnam. They think they’ve got another 2/3 trips before they see all they want to see- that’s how awesome this country is.
  • Bloody mosquitos. Everywhere.