Our 10-year Travelversary

On the 3rd of March 2013, we left the UK on a one-way ticket to New Zealand, clutching brand-new carry-on size backpacks and little else besides a modest savings account and a desire to break free from London life and see the world. We thought we’d be gone for two years but somehow, a decade later, we’ve managed to carve a nomadic life for ourselves. Sat here writing this, on a terrace above Lake Atitlán while a hummingbird flits among hanging flowers, I still can’t believe this is our life. How on earth did we get here?

Selfie at Ichetucknee Springs, Florida

Escaping into a life of travel

I wish I could have bottled that first taste of travel, that feeling of intense freedom, the tidal wave of new places and experiences that we enjoyed during our first bout of travel. We were such novices, zipping around New Zealand, cramming adventure into every moment (and blowing our budget) on skydives and heli-hikes, visits to glowworm caves and volcanic treks. Every day the landscapes got more stupefying – a parade of white-sand beaches, glittering glaciers and mountains topped with emerald lakes. It was magic, no days spent stifled in an office, no morning commute through constant UK drizzle – we’d escaped.

Us jumping on the Uyuni Salt Flats, Bolivia

The months flew by and we continued at breakneck speed through Australia and Asia, gobbling up destinations and experiences along the way. One day we’d be camping in the Borneo rainforest or hiking rice terraces in the Philippines, the next island-hopping in Indonesia or trawling night markets in Thailand. We whizzed from one bucket-list destination to the next: The Great Barrier Reef, Angkor Wat, Bali and Halong Bay. We gorged on sparkling temples and tangled jungles, motorbike-choked cities and powdery beaches. I blogged and journaled in wonderment about it all.

Looking at the view of Desert sand dunes in Huacachina, Peru

My memories and blog posts from that time are filled with movement; long rickety bus journeys and overnight sleeper trains, bumpy tuk-tuks, crowded jeepneys and tumultuous boat trips. There were noisy hostels and bug-riddled beach bungalows, bouts of food poisoning, rip-offs and arguments, budget (and bus) breakdowns, encounters with thieving macaques and many sleepless, mosquito-filled nights. But on the flip side, there were passion-fruit shakes and waterfalls, neon sunsets, five-dollar massages and banana pancakes – so many banana pancakes. Travel presented the highs and lows of any lifestyle, only magnified and intensified by a thousand.

Andrew ready to go on the 125cc motorbike

Creating a nomadic lifestyle

So much has changed since those simple backpacking days – the world is a different place. When we left in 2013, the word Brexit hadn’t been invented, there had been no Trump presidency or war in Ukraine. Who could have imagined back then that a global pandemic would shut down the entire travel industry and close country borders? What a decade to live through.

Us at Everest Base Camp, Nepal

Throughout it all and despite being grounded in 2020, travel has remained the constant thread in our lives. We may have evolved from those budget backpacking days and I might not blog at the same pace (and my god how the blogging sphere has changed since 2013), but our passion for exploring hasn’t dwindled. It’s been a bumper decade of globe-trotting across six continents. We’ve hiked to Everest Base Camp, gone on safari in South Africa and sailed down the Amazon; visited Bolivian salt flats and Californian beaches, European Christmas markets and Sri Lankan tea plantations. The more we travel, the more we realise there is to still see in the world.

Us kayaking in everglades

Making long-term travel sustainable though has been a 10-year process of trial and error, of TEFL teaching in Vietnam, housesitting, building my freelance travel writing business and finding ways to make money with nothing but a laptop and a wifi connection. Andrew has taught online, in the Algarve and at a London school during the height of the pandemic. I’m amazed every day that we can make a remote living, from anywhere in the world. People actually pay me to write about travel and I’ve even had work published in The Telegraph – a career highlight and something I never could have imagined when I quit my office job in London ten years ago.

Us wearing a coffee and cacao mask after our tour at Finca La Candelaria, Minca, Colombia

Looking to the future

Over the last decade, while our family and friends have been busy buying houses, having kids and changing jobs, we’ve been carving our own messy, unconventional path, all in a quest to build the life we want to live. Along the way, we’ve done things I never dreamed we would: bought a Tiny House, gone vegangot hitched in Thailand and moved into an RV to explore North America. It hasn’t all been smooth sailing and our ideas and plans change constantly – like everyone else, we’re a work in progress. However, I’ve learned that when you put yourself out there and dare to live out your weirdest dreams, life delivers in the most surprising ways.

Maj, the Class C RV we bought in Canada

So, what’s next? The true answer is we have no idea what the next decade will bring. We’re still no closer to figuring out where we belong in the world but we know it’s together. Right now, we’re focusing on the present, on this wild road trip in our RV across the USA and Canada. One thing I know for sure is that we’ll never be done with travel.

Amy looking out at Lake Atitlan

  • Roma
    Posted at 18:31h, 21 March Reply

    Wow you all have done too much, all the best for the next decade, wishing you two loads of happy travels. Love reading all your travel posts. They are so real and insightful.

    • Amy
      Posted at 18:38h, 05 April Reply

      Thanks so much Roma, I can’t believe it’s been 10 years!

  • Rhonda
    Posted at 17:14h, 25 March Reply

    So great, as always, to follow along on your journey! You are a great inspiration and we sure hope we actually meet you in person soon!!

    • Amy
      Posted at 18:38h, 05 April Reply

      Thanks Rhonda – it’ll be great to finally meet soon in Oregon!

  • Mel
    Posted at 00:34h, 27 March Reply

    Good to see you’re still traveling – I took the safer route and apart from the money, you’ve missed absolutely nothing by not sticking to the 9-5 office and suburbia road! But you already knew that 🙂
    Enjoy your trip, it’s so nice to be back to traveling after those lost two years and I’m looking forward to hearing your stories. Take care.

    • Amy
      Posted at 18:37h, 05 April Reply

      Hi Mel, thanks so much for following our journey! I’ll try and add more posts about our adventures in the USA and Canada soon 🙂

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