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The early morning air was frigid and so thin I struggled to catch my breath. My legs felt coated in molten lead as I hauled them in slow motion up the boulder-strewn incline. Sobs caught in my throat and my head throbbed in time to my heartbeat. I knew that the only way to cure my altitude sickness was to descend, yet I was mesmerised by the view. Above me, sculpted snow-topped mountains stood against a crisp blue sky, among them, the tallest peak in the world: Everest.

So, it happened. This week we said a very sad goodbye to our life in Chiang Mai. Two days and three delayed flights later we arrived in Nepal’s dusty, chaotic capital city, Kathmandu. Even though our lives are more transient than the average person’s, I still find change hard, especially when I’m moving on from a place that I love. So, on the first night in this strange new city, I’m not ashamed to admit that I shed a few homesick tears for Chiang Mai.

Although we've only just returned to the UK for a break after one of our biggest ever adventures, hiking to Everest Base Camp, we're already beginning to plan the next leg of our journey through Eastern Europe this autumn. Our epic Nepal trek reminded us just how much easier a little bit of careful travel planning can make things, so if you too are in the process of planning your next adventure, here's a look at some of the ways we prepare for our travels.
Sawadee Pee Mai – Happy New Year! Last week we celebrated Songkran, the Thai New Year Festival, which is also known as the world’s largest water fight. Here in Chiang Mai, the streets were flooded with people wielding neon water guns for three days of partying, parades, Buddhist ceremonies and watery fun. This was our second Songkran experience and we’re so glad to be ending our time here in Chiang Mai with a splash (we leave for Nepal next week!)
The stormy afternoon sky dissolved into a fiery sunset that painted the clouds neon orange. Despite being in Thailand for almost eight months, this was the first time we’d sat on a beach and felt the sand between our toes. We watched a fisherman row to shore as the sun sunk slowly into the Andaman Sea and congratulated ourselves on choosing Koh Lanta as the destination for our final Thailand holiday before we jet off to Nepal at the end of the month.
Our final Thai visa run took us back to our former home in Vietnam’s hectic capital, Hanoi.  We relished the chance to hang out in our old city while painlessly applying for our final Thailand tourist visa before we head to Nepal in May. Here’s everything you need to know about applying for a visa at the Thai embassy in Hanoi, including the address, cost and what documents you’ll need.
Things are hotting up in Chiang Mai, quite literally. As temperatures hit 38 degrees, we’ve had to switch on our air conditioning and start avoiding the scorching midday sun again. That’s how we found ourselves rising at 6am last weekend to trek in the relative morning cool up the Monk’s Trail, a forested path marked with orange monk-robe cloth, which snakes up Suthep Mountain.
As we move into our final six weeks of Chiang Mai life, I’m trying to make the most of this city and the life we’ve built here. After failing to set down roots in Spain last year, being able to so easily slip into this lifestyle has been a huge relief. This city has given us exactly what we needed: the ability to live comfortably while focusing on our goal of building a sustainable freelance income. With that in mind, here are five of the things I’ll miss the most about our Chiang Mai life when we leave at the end of April.
Since we left the UK in 2013, Andrew and I have travelled independently through 18 different countries. As an obsessive travel planner, I don’t mind the hours of research that goes into finding the cheapest flights, searching for accommodation and looking up ways to get around countries using local buses, trains, tuk tuks, boats and taxis. Travelling independently allows us to save a lot of money which buys us more time on the road, but what if you have less time to spare and a bigger budget? Could an all inclusive holiday be a better choice for you?