Us in Sagada, the Philippines

Six Months of Travel: Our Video, Stats and Summary

Exactly six months ago today we were jetting off to begin our travel adventure in New Zealand. I still remember how strange and surreal those first few days felt as we struggled with jetlag and tried to absorb the fact that we were literally half way around the world without a job or home to go back to. As I sit typing this outside my beach bungalow on a beautiful Thai island I can scarcely believe all that’s happened since then or take in how incredibly lucky we are to be living this life of travel. Getting here was a long, hard slog but I can absolutely say that all the years of dreaming and saving, all the painful goodbyes and the bouts of homesickness we’ve experienced since we left were absolutely worth it – there is nothing I’d rather be doing right now than travelling the world.

Us in Sagada, the Philippines

Us in Sagada, the Philippines

Travel Stats for Six Months

As you can see from these stats, our first six months of travel have been fast-paced and we’ve moved around a lot. We’ve also spent a good chunk of our travel savings, mainly during those first two months in New Zealand and Australia. Luckily, these costs have been offset by our income over the last six months. Although our earnings have been fairly meagre compared to our old salaries in the UK, we’ve still managed to almost halve our overall travel costs with freelance work, meaning we’re actually down by only £6,844. You can find out exactly how much we’ve spent in each country in our detailed travel cost posts.

Beds slept in:                    91
Photos/video taken:        7,655
Countries visited:             6
Money spent:                    £12,134
Income:                              £5,290
Flights:                                16
Bus journeys:                     31
Train/tram journeys:         38
Ferry/boat journeys:         33
Hire cars rented:                3
Taxi journeys (jeepneys, tuk tuks, trikes, songtheaws and cars): 61

Video: Six Months of Travel

We’ve captured so much footage and taken thousands of photos of our adventures over the last six months – here are our travel highlights in video (music by Hanson, Scream and be Free).

In Summary: Six Months of Travel

Our first month in New Zealand was filled with fast-paced travel and we moved from one adventure to the next; hiking on glaciers and up volcanoes, taking boat trips, exploring glowworm caves and throwing ourselves out of a plane. We were on an absolute high the whole time we travelled through New Zealand and at the end of that first month I wrote, perhaps a tad naively, about how well we were adjusting to our new life of travel.

Our next stop, Australia started with a bang when we fell utterly in love with Melbourne before recuperating for a week with Andrew’s relatives just outside of Sydney. Then followed a more subdued three-week road trip down the East Coast of Australia and while we had a great time sailing the Whitsundays and snorkelling on the Great Barrier Reef, our bank account was taking a beating and we were more than ready (or so we thought) to move onto cheaper and more challenging pastures in Asia.

The View of Mount Doom from Mount Tongariro

Conquering the Tongariro Crossing, New Zealand

Challenging is an understatement for what we experienced when we arrived in Jakarta, Indonesia. We hit rock bottom during our six weeks travelling through the country and suffered from severe culture shock and homesickness; it was as if we’d been soaring high above the clouds for several months, taking in the incredible views in calm comfort before crash landing in a strange new land. During our time in Indonesia we became budget fanatics, did some serious soul searching and learnt some important lessons about how we want to travel in the future.

I firmly feel that, in hindsight, what we went through in Indonesia was a necessary and unavoidable transitional period that taught us a lot and after moving on early to Malaysia we rediscovered our love for travel and began to finally embrace the realities of life on the road. We had an incredible three weeks in Malaysia searching for wild orangutans in Borneo and although we didn’t achieve what we set out to, we well and truly got off the beaten track, had some amazing adventures and met some incredibly kind people.

Andrew at the Batad Rice Terraces, the Philippines

Andrew at the Batad Rice Terraces, the Philippines

I’ve yet to write about what we’ve been up to since we left Malaysia but there’s plenty coming up in the next few weeks about our trip to the Philippines, which is the most beautiful place I’ve ever been and has become the country I most want to return to during our time in Asia. Six months of travel has really made us realise what we miss from home though and people are high on that list. Luckily, we’ve had some welcome visits from family and friends over the last few weeks in Thailand; it’s been great to catch up and share a taste of our travelling lifestyle.

Amy’s Top Five Travel Experiences

There have been so many highlights during this first six months of travel but for me, the adventures that really stand out are the ones which oddly, were either physically, mentally or logistically challenging – here’s my top five travel experiences to date:

  1. Hiking the rice terraces of Batad in the Philippines
  2. Staying with locals and sleeping out under the stars in the jungles of Borneo
  3. Skydiving in New Zealand
  4. Hiking the Tongariro Crossing in New Zealand
  5. Going caving in Sagada, the Philippines
Hiking in Batad, the Philippines

Hiking in Batad, the Philippines

Andrew’s Top Five Travel Experiences

As you can see, three of my top five travel experiences took place in New Zealand, which just goes to show how much I enjoyed the country but I’ve also loved all the physical challenges we’ve tackled so far.

  1. Skydiving in New Zealand
  2. Our Rock Boat tour of the Bay of Islands, New Zealand
  3. Staying with locals and camping out in the jungles of Borneo
  4. Hiking the rice terraces of Batad in the Philippines
  5. Hiking the Tongariro Crossing in New Zealand
Andrew and Mr Chem, Malaysia

Andrew with Mr Chem, who gave us a lift and bought us lunch in Malaysia

Top Ten Places we’ve Stayed

On average we’ve moved on every two nights since we hit the road. The longest we’ve stayed in one place is six nights – which is an exhausting realisation. We’ve slept on boats, buses, trains and in hostels, hotels and homestays; we’ve even camped out in the jungle. In case you’re travelling to any of the areas we’ve been to, here are the best places we’ve stayed so far:

  1. Andrew’s family in Penrith, Sydney
  2. Bike and Tours, Lahad Datu, Malaysia
  3. Keri Keri Farmstay, Keri Keri, New Zealand
  4. Tanita House, Chiang Mai, Thailand
  5. Rainbow Lodge, Taupo, New Zealand
  6. Wendy and Patrick’s, Golden Bay, New Zealand (Air B&B)
  7. Caz and Taryn’s, Melbourne, Australia (Air B&B)
  8. Matt and Jane’s apartment, Raglan New Zealand
  9. Apple’s Retreat, Kanchanaburi, Thailand
  10. Civic guest house, Townsville, Australia

*We’re not affiliated with any of the hostels/hotels listed above.

Our Travel Plans for the Next Six Months

Although we’ve had an amazing first six months on the road we are feeling pretty burned out and plan to recover by renting an apartment in Chiang Mai, Thailand for a month. We’re looking forward to getting to know Chiang Mai, taking a couple of short trips out to other areas of Northern Thailand and volunteering at an animal shelter. We’ll also be focusing on building up some freelance work and getting up to date with the blog. In mid-October Andrew’s parents fly out to Thailand for a visit and by the beginning of November we hope to start a four-month trip through Burma, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. As always, we’ll be sharing all our adventures right here on the blog.

  • Carmel
    Posted at 21:25h, 03 September Reply

    6 months? Has it just flown by? I remember reading some of your early posts like it was yesterday. Funny how quickly time passes…you don’t even have to be having fun, either. Glad you are, though!

    I’ll have to bookmark this post with your top ten places to stay as we’ll be hitting a few of those destinations. Happy half-anniversary! 🙂

    • Amy
      Posted at 03:51h, 04 September Reply

      I know Carmel, I can’t believe it’s been six months either; in some ways the time has flown by yet in others it feels like years ago that we left the UK. Definitely check out some of those places we stayed – we loved them all and would go back to each and every one.

  • Patti
    Posted at 23:20h, 03 September Reply

    You’ve accomplished and seen so much in 6 short months! I think the way you’ve described those months is very honest – the highest of the highs and the lowest of the lows, but it seems as if you’ve found a good balance for moving forward. Keep taking 1 day at a time!

    • Amy
      Posted at 03:48h, 04 September Reply

      Thanks Patti, yes I do feel like we’ve found a good balance now and learnt a lot from our first six months. Now we are looking forward to settling for a few weeks to prepare for the new adventures ahead.

  • Heidi from Wagoners Abroad
    Posted at 08:28h, 09 September Reply

    I love this type of summary! Oh I hope to meet you guys one day. Can’t wait to hear more about Malaysia and Chiang Mai as well. We are thinking of spending time over there next year (we think). Recharge and enjoy the family visit.

    • Amy
      Posted at 14:26h, 09 September Reply

      I hope we cross paths one day too Heidi. We’ll be sure to let you know all about what our time is like in Chiang Mai, we’re already starting searching out apartments now and are looking forward to a bit of a break before we take on our four-month trip around the rest of South-east Asia.

  • Gabi @The Nomadic Family
    Posted at 05:39h, 10 September Reply

    i love love love the movie guys. i love your top five, and top ten lists. so wonderful that you’ve taken the time to reflect and celebrate how amazing your time has been. love the idea of a month to settle down and relax in chaing mai. enjoy it guys! gabi

    • Amy
      Posted at 06:54h, 10 September Reply

      Thanks Gabi – we will definitely enjoy our down-time in Chiang Mai!

  • Alyson
    Posted at 09:51h, 10 September Reply

    And here’s me thinking the best accommodation you had was in Port Douglas on my sofa- bed! Well done guys, 6 months already.

    • Amy
      Posted at 11:26h, 10 September Reply

      Your sofa bed was definitely in our top 20 but our stay with you was just too brief to mention (and you’ve moved now so I can’t link to it) 😉

  • Laurel- Capturing la Vita
    Posted at 12:10h, 10 September Reply

    LOVED riding along on your adventures with the video. What a wonderfully blessed and adventurous 6 months you have had.

    • Andrew
      Posted at 14:17h, 10 September Reply

      Thanks Laurel. We have had an amazing first six months on the road and can’t wait to see what the next six bring.

  • Steph (@ 20 Years Hence)
    Posted at 16:28h, 10 September Reply

    I cannot believe that you guys have been going for 6 months already! Like Carmel said, it seems like just yesterday you stepped out into the world—it’s incredible how fast time has flown! I can’t wait to see what the next 6 months bring and to read about all the adventures you have yet to share… so stoked to read that you fell hard for the Philippines! We were really hoping that when we reached Indonesia, it would be even better, but after 6 weeks here, there’s no question: Philippines won our heart and Indonesia just can’t compare! 😀

    • Amy
      Posted at 14:26h, 11 September Reply

      Hi Steph, I’m with you there, Indonesia just can’t compare to the Philippines! The more time we spend in Thailand the more we find ourselves appreciating just how good the Philippines was too; I can’t wait to start writing about the adventures we had there. We are definitely planning to return to the Philippines before we leave Asia because as you well know, three weeks just isn’t long enough to explore the country properly.

  • Charlie
    Posted at 04:45h, 12 September Reply

    Wow, 6 months already! How did that happen?! Time flies! Love the summary and looking forward to hearing more about Chiang Mai, heard it’s a great city to spend time in.

    • Amy
      Posted at 05:49h, 12 September Reply

      I know Charlie, the time has absolutely flown! We’re off on the long trip up to Chiang Mai today to start searching for apartments; we’ll be sure to post plenty about our stay.

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