Hello from London, where we’re housesitting for a couple of weeks before we start the next chapter of our adventure: we’re moving to the Algarve! After a hectic year of travel in the Americas, our plan was always to move to Portugal in the autumn, but we had our sights firmly set on Porto until Andrew was offered a great teaching job in the Algarve.
Hello from Oregon, USA! I’m writing this from a caravan overlooking the red outcrops of Smith Rock State Park, with a cup of Earl Grey beside me, reflecting on how long it’s been since I blogged. In fact, my last post was back in Lake Titicaca, which now feels like years ago. Since then, we’ve travelled through Peru, visited Machu Picchu and spent three idyllic weeks road tripping in California. Somewhere along the way, amongst dealing with a ton of freelance work and a house-sitting disaster, I just had to let blogging go, but now I’m back.
It’s been five years since we visited Australia and we barely scratched the surface during our five-week adventure. So where would we visit on a return trip? Top of the list would be one of our favourite cities, Melbourne, followed by Queensland highlights. The Sunshine State has so much to offer, from Five World Natural Heritage Areas including the Great Barrier Reef, to bushwalking in the outback and whale watching. Combine that with 7,000 kilometres of idyllic coastline and an average nine hours of sunshine a day and what’s not to love?
Last week we celebrated five years of travel, can you believe that? I still vividly remember waving goodbye to our families at Heathrow in 2013, clutching our brand-new backpacks and one-way tickets to New Zealand, heading off on what we thought would be a two-year trip around the world. Yet, here we are in Colombia five years later, reflecting on both the amazing and tough aspects of this nomadic lifestyle we’ve managed to carve for ourselves.
It’s been over a year since we set ourselves up in Thailand to become digital nomads. Since then we’ve moved around Asia, Europe and South America and have somehow managed to stay solvent along the way. So, how did we make digital nomad life work for us, despite the challenges? Is it possible to earn a decent income remotely, and what are our future plans?
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.
“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?
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.