Hello from a very uncharacteristically warm UK! In fact, news channels have been declaring that we’re in the midst of a heat wave (or at least we were last week when I drafted this post). As always, it’s good to return to The Island for our annual summer visit, but future travels are never far from our minds. So, what are our plans for the rest of the year?
There are some trips that work best as unplanned, spontaneous adventures, but trekking to Everest Base Camp isn’t one of them. We did some serious planning for our epic hike and spent hours researching gear, routes and costs before we even set foot in Nepal. As we wanted to trek independently without a porter, we knew we’d have to carry every item on our backs, each painful step of the way. So what did we take with us? Here’s a look at our Everest Base Camp Packing list.
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.

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.