Fairly representative of my holiday break this year!
Happy New Year everyone! Apologies for our absence of late, New Years resolution number one is to start writing again so here I am. It’s funny how even though we haven’t been working the days just seem to fill up with things that need to be done, it’s quite easy to get into the bad habit of not sitting down to write and it’s something I’m trying my best to fix.
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Photo credit: Thomas Hawk
We’ve seen wondrous sights and witnessed dozens of new cultures and customs and I will be forever grateful for that, but what is the greatest thing I’ve discovered? How lucky I am and probably not for the reason you’re thinking. I still firmly believe that if you want to travel it simply takes hard work, dedication and changing your priorities, it has very little to do with luck. The reason I feel lucky is because of the complete chance that I happened to be born in the United Kingdom.
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In my old “normal life” I got to do stuff like this, not too shabby
I’ve been reading a lot from people recently who are all going after their career dreams with a crazy amount of ambition and motivation. It’s inspiring to see people chasing after the thing they feel they are meant to do but it also got me thinking about the rest of us, the ones that have never had a passion like that. There seems to be an often voiced opinion in the travel community that if you have a “normal” job, own a home, car etc then there is something wrong with you. It’s thought of as a terrible waste of your life if you spend your working hours in an office and people who work in cubicles are seen as prisoners that need liberating. If someone is unhappy about their working life or longs for something else then of course do something about it, but for most people (me included) taking home a regular paycheck and working a steady job will be enough.
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My favourite village in all of Yorkshire – lovely Linton
Towards the tail end of June when we would have originally been heading home for good, we were in fact gearing up for the next leg of our adventure in South America. We planned a stop in the UK for 10 days to attend the wedding of some friends and catch up with loved ones, a little holiday at home before setting off again.
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6 months in – hanging with a local pooch on Rarotonga
We never set out on this trip to ‘find ourselves’ or have some sort of profound spiritual experience, we simply wanted to experience different cultures, see some amazing sights and above all else have a great time. For us, the emphasis was on having fun rather than discovering some deep new meaning to our lives, shallow but true! That said, I can safely say that long term travel has changed me for the better and I couldn’t be more thankful for that. Today marks the 365th day of our adventure and I feel like a completely different person to the one boarding that plane to Calgary in 2012.
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Up close and personal
The Asian elephant is the second largest land mammal on the planet, only surpassed by its African cousin. So what would you do if you were stood in the middle of a huge field with two of these 3 tonne giants walking straight at you? They are not shackled in any way and they are getting closer! Do you turn and run? No, you keep walking towards them, strangely calm and feeling unthreatened. Eventually you are stood next to these two beautiful creatures dwarfed in their majestic presence and all you can do is reach out and give them a stroke and a cuddle. Does this sound ridiculous? Probably, but that is what we did!