After four years we finally made it back to the country that started it all off for us: Thailand. In August 2009 we spent a month backpacking around the country – it was what got us hooked on travelling. This time around we stayed for three months; the longest we’ve spent in one country since beginning our trip. Not only that but we managed to persuade some of our friends and family to come for a visit too!
We were initially relived that we failed to obtain our 59-day visas for the Philippines as we'd heard that it was a tough country to travel through; reducing our trip to just three weeks also allowed us to visit Malaysia and explore Borneo too, which we loved. As it turned out though, we completely fell for the Philippines and it became one of our favourite countries. In fact, we loved it so much, especially the time we spent in Ifugao and Mountain provinces, that we plan to go back in April next year.
We decided at the last minute to spend a few weeks in Malaysia and this was one of the best decisions we have made so far on our trip. We spent most of our time in the jungles of Borneo searching for wild orangutans and along the way had some amazing adventures and spotted so many other wonderful creatures. Although we didn't have much time left after our stint in Borneo we managed to squeeze in a few days in Kuala Lumpur, where we ended up feeling quite at home.

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.

A bat crash-landed on our bed.I say bed, but it was really just a piece of tarpaulin laid out on the floor of our camp, deep in the jungles of Borneo. Perhaps the bat was confused by the light from our candles flickering feebly in the night breeze, no match for the deep darkness that lay thick around us. While Andrew and I leapt up in shock, the dazed bat pulled itself along on spiky elbows, its leathery wings stretching and contracting as our local guide, Ganya, herded it away from our camp.
After an idyllic couple of months in Australia and New Zealand we headed to Indonesia where travel well and truly got tough. We were  slapped in the face with culture shock when we arrived in Jakarta, had a hard time negotiating our way through Java, suffered severe bouts of homesickness and struggled to balance work with travel - but we did learn a lot in the process.
The best parts of our turbulent trip to Indonesia were without a doubt the days when we were out exploring the country, as opposed to working in a hotel room or killing time hanging around in one place trying to stick to our stringent budget. Our happiest days were those spent visiting Borobodour temple and Mount Bromo, snorkelling on the Gili Islands and taking on the Campuhan Ridge walk in Ubud.  Another highlight was our one-day Eco Cycling tour; we got to explore the countryside and get an insight into Bali life as we biked through the heart of the island – here’s how it went.
I’m a great fan of monkeys and apes. Back home my mum and I often visit Monkey World, an ape rescue centre in Dorset; when we went on safari in Kenya my favourite animal wasn’t one of the impressive big five, it was the gangster of the animal world – the baboon. So, I was pretty excited at the prospect of getting up close to some Macaques at the Monkey Forest in Ubud – that was, until they started attacking us.
Despite the nightmare of our first few days in Java, we were determined to do one more thing before we fled to Bali – hike up to watch the sunrise over mighty Mount Bromo.We were moving fast through Java, an island half the size as the UK but infinitely more challenging to get around. Our second sweltering train journey took us six hours from Yogyakarta to Surabaya, a city almost as huge, ugly and difficult to negotiate as Jakarta. Visits to Mount Bromo are popular with tourists since it’s the most well-known active volcano on the island, but in typical Java-fashion, it still took us hours to find and book a tour.
Australia; home to kangaroos and Neighbours, koalas and crocodiles, was the second stop on our adventure. We travelled from Melbourne to Byron Bay via Port Douglas stopping in many places along the way including Sydney, Cairns, Brisbane and Townsville.