I realise it’s now February (when did that happen by the way?) but a lot has been going on during January for us and this has been a steady work in progress…but I’ve finally had time to finish so here it is!
2015 was such a big year for us both and we’ve had the time of our lives! Most importantly, it’s continued in to 2016 and we’re now in a position where this year will also be full of new things, success and of course as much travel, exploring and adventure as we can manage!
Since leaving the UK in April 2015, we’ve visited 6 countries, 12 cities, 5 islands and countless beaches around South East Asia and Australia. It’s so strange to think that 9 months has past and it’s going to be impossible to choose a favourite moment from that time, so I’ve done my best to round up a few of the highlights below which has been so much fun to do, looking through all the pictures again and reliving the memories…it only makes me want to do it all over again 🙂
Conquering Adam’s Peak at Dawn – Sri Lanka
There were so many amazing things we experienced in Sri Lanka and I think it’s safe to say that it’s remained our favourite place yet, we were so spoilt very early on in our travels and loved everywhere from the hilly countryside to the tranquil beaches. But one of the stand out moments for me was making the 3 hour climb up 5500 steps to the top of Adam’s Peak [Sri Pada]. We took the gruelling challenge during the pilgrimage season over Sri Lankan New Year, which made it all the more special, climbing side by side local families including grandparents and young children, even babies carried by their parents, in order to reach the sacred Buddha’s footprint that rested at the top. Read the full story of how we got on here.
I loved the challenge, and it definitely led the way in terms of what I wanted to achieve while traveling – I love the outdoors and there’s no better way to experience culture, adventure and the unknown than sticking on your sneakers and sports bra and getting to it!
Taking The Train Through Central Sri Lanka.
There are so many different parts to our journey from Kandy down to Ella that make it memorable but the main thing was the transport itself. The trains in Sri Lanka are old, with no ‘trolley’ service or refreshments, no wifi and not much speed…but that was the beauty. It meant we were able to sit in the open doorway, dangle our legs out of the carriage and take in the hilltop scenery and tea fields that stretched for miles. We also spoke to our fellow passengers, discovering new stories and that lead us to the most extraordinary part of the journey…arranging a beer run with the help of the train guard and local man!
Falling In Love With Malaysian Cuisine.
Ok so, with us a food highlight was always going to appear! We loved eating in Malaysia, from the bustling street of Jalan A’hor in Kuala Lumpur to finding a local Laksa haven in Penang! A lot of the way we explored this beautiful country was through taste and there was no shortage of amazing dishes to try. One of my favourite experiences was checking out a very local laksa joint with no menus, tourists or English speaking wait staff and trying to figure out how and where to order, when a lady sussed our confusion and offered to help us order a selection of the best! We were very grateful as it was all incredible, we ended up back there a couple more times before our departure.
Vroom Vroom! Ko Lanta
Ko Lanta was beautiful! For our first stop in Thailand, we wanted an island that would offer some relaxation, glorious sandy beaches with warm water, a bit of action and adventure but nothing too strenuous…and finally the perfect amount of social vibes that were chilled and interesting but wouldn’t get us too messed up (we knew we had copious amounts of alcohol filled buckets to get through on Phi Phi!). We found it all…the Chill Out House – relaxation ✅ check. This place was made of wood, featured hammocks, cushions, music, books and had the best staff and visitors you could hope for. Skinny dipping at midnight with bioluminescent phytoplankton – glorious beaches with warm waters ✅ check, hiring out first mopeds/scooters and exploring the island – action and adventure ✅ check! And drinking time at the minimart, every night from 7 – social vibes ✅ check. We even got involved with walking some of the homeless dogs from the shelter – the added bonus of something adorable and animal related ✅ check!
This island really was the perfect place to kick start island hopping in southern Thailand and it instantly felt like home, we could have easily stayed a month.
An experience unlike any other and a huge achievement too, I was thrilled when I qualified as a Dive Master on Koh Tao with Big Blue Dive School! It gave me me so much confidence when it comes to the open water and really opened my eyes and heart to the ocean. There is so much to discover below the surface and I can’t wait to develop my dive skills further throughout my travels around the world.
We met so many likeminded people, all with a passion for this one thing – diving – and we have definitely made more than a few handfuls of friends for life from that tiny island!
There is nothing I would recommend more from travel, especially if you’re someone after sports, activities and big thrills! Even if you think it’s not for you (I honestly didn’t) I urge you to try it, test the waters ? and see if you like it.
Here’s to another year full of adventure, travel and memories. First stop the East Coast!