Tomorrow we set off for Colombia! We’ve been talking about this South America trip for so many years that it’s taken on a surreal, dream-like quality for me. Now it’s a tangible thing. This time tomorrow we’ll be zooming across the sky to the other side of the world. Here’s a look at how we’ve prepared for this adventure, from buying a new camera to organising insurance, researching visas and compiling our packing list.
Despite having just booked one-way tickets to Colombia, Andrew and I have been talking a lot lately about finding a future base in Europe. As much as we love our freedom, we know that after our South American adventures we’ll need to find a base in Europe where we can hang up our backpacks, work and save for the years ahead, but where could that base possibly be? Well, I think we found our answer when we rocked up in Porto.
As the year draws to a close and we prepare to leave for South America in January, it’s time to take a look at our 2017 travel roundup. I feel incredibly blessed to have enjoyed yet another year full of new experiences, adventures and travel. In 2017, we managed to live in Thailand, trek to Everest Base Camp, explore Sri Lanka and road-trip around Europe. We got married, went vegan, continued to earn a living remotely and, of course, blogged about it all.
Big news - we’ve just booked flights to Colombia in January! As I write this we’re on the ferry back to the UK to celebrate the festive season with family before we begin our 2018 adventures. Driving home for Christmas has taken us to the supreme Cologne xmas markets and to Bruges, which may well be the most beautiful European city we’ve visited to date. Here’s the lowdown on our festive journey and South American plans.
In the last three months, we’ve travelled over 5,000 miles across nine countries in Europe by car. The journey has taken us from the canal-lined streets of Amsterdam and the beaches of the Algarve to Bavarian castles, Slovenian lakes and finally, to Prague. Here’s a look at our experience of travelling Europe by car, including the benefits, tips and some key things to consider if you’re planning your own Europe road trip.
Portugal’s capital Lisbon is a city full of winding cobbled streets, bright yellow trams, wide piazzas, historic buildings and UNESCO treasures. Picture medieval towers, dome-roofed monasteries, baroque palaces and ornate churches. If, like us, you have just a few days to explore the city, it could be worth getting a Lisbon tourist card which grants you discounts, free travel and entry to top attractions.
“Dear tourist,” the graffiti in Coimbra read, “one Airbnb tourist kicks two to three students out of our city – enjoy.” I came across this message on my first night in Portugal, and as a full-time traveller who uses Airbnb almost exclusively in expensive parts of the world, it made for uncomfortable reading. This Airbnb ban issue has been playing on my mind ever since and I can’t help asking myself, has Airbnb become an irresponsible way to travel?
We’re off again! As you’re reading this post, we’re in the midst of another mammoth 2,000-mile journey, this time from Portugal to Prague. This week we're driving through France and Germany via Neuschwanstein Castle, then spending a few days in Slovenia before we head to Prague. Despite these exciting adventures, I feel a twinge of sadness about leaving Portugal, a country where I’ve felt welcomed and largely at peace, well, minus some technical troubles.
It was late afternoon in Polonnaruwa, a Sri Lankan city filled with ancient ruins, and a meandering bicycle trip had led us to the lake just in time for sunset. We parked up and watched as the sun sank behind distant hills, streaking the sky with buttery oranges and yellows. As the daylight faded I felt a swell of gratitude for that perfect travel moment, for having the freedom to experience the simple beauty of a Sri Lankan sunset.
There was a real treat waiting for us at the end of our 2,080-mile road trip to Portugal, a house sit to rival all others in the sun-kissed Algarve. From peaceful afternoons working on the veranda and sunset dog walks on the beach to chasing down runaway pigs, this is what our house-sitting Portugal adventure was like.