December Update: Hanging up our backpacks

December Update: Hanging up our backpacks

In December we finally reached the end of the first leg of our travels, and arrived in Christchurch (on New Zealand’s South Island) where we plan to live for the next year or two.  It’s been a long old journey to get here — longer than we planned in both time and distance.  So all in all we were ready to hang up our backpacks for a bit.

Except that we had a family Christmas to be at, 1400 km away.

More on that below… for the moment suffice to say we’re back in Christchurch now, we’ve got nothing more ambitious than a weekend trip planned, and frankly that feels wonderful.  I’ve been enjoying going to the swimming pool regularly, eating lots of home cooked food, volunteering at a community garden, catching some live music, hanging out with friends.  Re-iniviting a modicum of routine into my life.

I’d become so sick of being one dimensional: travelling, talking about travel, writing about travel, reading about travel.  It’s a joy for me to be adding other things back into the mix.

But already, after a few weeks of staying still, I’m feeling enthusiasm building for travel again. This makes me marvel even more at how low my travel motivation had got.  Which was you know, really, really low.  Put it this way, at one point in November I started crying because I had to check out of a hostel before I’d had time for a shower. I may also have cried at having no milk to put in my tea.

Reaching breaking point with travel is not something I expected to happen to me…

Continue reading at our new home…

November Update: a new home!

November Update: a new home!

So, it’s been a while. A few reasons for this, but the most exciting one is, drumroll please…

Salt With Your Coffee has a new home! You can now find us at saltwithyourcoffee.com!

As with any new home, the decor isn’t quite how I want it yet, and I haven’t quite figured out where everything lives. But the main thing is there’s plenty of room, and plenty of flexibility to make the changes I’ve got planned over time. I hope you don’t mind sitting on boxes at the house warming party. I’m attempting to hold myself to the mantra that done is better than perfect.

Before I get on to what else we’ve been up to recently, a tiny bit of admin on following the blog now it’s been rehoused.

  1. If you follow the blog by email you should have got an email telling you about this post.  If that didn’t happen we’d be very grateful if you could let us know!
  2. If you follow using Facebook then nothing’s changed, you’ll still be able to see new posts on our page.
  3. If you follow with your WordPress account then you’ll still see new posts in your reader, but if you want to get email notifications then you’ll need to sign up for emails manually on the new site.  Sorry about that!

Phew! Moving on…

It’s been a busy few weeks for us. Lots of changes. Really the biggest one is arriving in a country where we plan to stay for a while: New Zealand. I’m not sure how long that ‘while’ will be, but let’s just say that I’ve bought myself a coffee mug and a swimming pool membership, and I’m getting a library card.

Continue Reading… at our new home.

October Update: On the road again

October Update: On the road again

Big news this month is that we spent almost half of it in one place, for the first time since April!  We’ve been doing a lot of hanging out with family and general normal stuff, as well as a few short trips and days out.

Slowing down and spending an extended period of time in one place has been great (mental wobbling aside), and it’s made me really think about how we want to travel as we continue on this trip.  I got the idea of deliberately spending a month in each place from a fellow blogger, and right now that sounds very appealing — digging a bit deeper into places, as well as retaining some aspects of routine, and avoiding burnout.

Something to think about anyway.

But couple of days ago we sorted out our next step in our travels, so it’s on the road again today!  More on this below. Continue reading “October Update: On the road again”

One year travelling round the world: thoughts on our first trip anniversary

One year travelling round the world: thoughts on our first trip anniversary

Today marks the end of our first year on the road. In 365 days we’ve visited seventeen countries and two sort-of-countries (Hong Kong and Macau), sort-of-visited another country (North Korea), crossed over two more (France and Belgium), and sailed in sight of another three (The Phillipines, Palau and Papua New Guinea). We’ve crossed borders 31 times (33 if you count the Korean MDL), once every 11 or 12 days on average. Gosh.

Seven of these crossings we made by boat, one by air, and the rest overland (or bridge).

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Leaving Russia for Japan by ferry: much more exciting than flying!

We’ve been on three continents, and ventured across both tropics and the equator. We’ve travelled thousands and thousands of kilometres — 4000 of them on the world’s longest passenger railway, 3000 by bicycle, and 8000 on board a cargo ship.

We’ve seen the great wall of China alone at sunrise, climbed sacred mountains, had a Russian sauna next to the biggest lake in the world (then jumped in), hiked ancient pilgrimages, floated in hot springs, sipped cocktails on top of skyscrapers, abseiled down a 60 metre waterfall, motorbiked down dirt roads to deserted beaches, learned how to rock climb by ourselves, roamed the temples of Angkor, snorkeled with sharks (plus a sea turtle, a ray, and a conger eel), and been surprised to find scores of whales breaching and splashing their tales, metres away from our boat.

In a sense these moments are what travel is all about, the peak experiences that make you feel truly fortunate to be alive, and to have the opportunity to travel. But they’re not what travel is made up of. They’re one day in 10, sometimes much less. Day to day, travel for us is about soaking up a place, trying the food, drinking the coffee, hanging out in the beer gardens, sitting in a temple watching the world go by. Continue reading “One year travelling round the world: thoughts on our first trip anniversary”

September Update: off on an Aussie road trip!

September Update: off on an Aussie road trip!

September has been a strange month for us. We left Asia after more than ten months of wandering, and in some ways it was not with a bang but with a whimper. We were loath to take the first flight of our now nearly year long trip, and doing so lent a weird disconnected feel to our last few days on Asian soil. I’ve become so used to the gradual, comprehensible slide from one place to another than overland travel creates. To hop from Hanoi to Hong Kong in less than two hours left me with a sense of not really being here and now, and of my presence being temporary. Just an interlude in my real life. Continue reading “September Update: off on an Aussie road trip!”

Tomorrow’s the day!

Tomorrow’s the day!

Exciting news! We are boarding our cargo ship first thing tomorrow morning, so we’re off to Australia! Aaaaaaah!

I’m writing sat out on the terrace at our hostel for tonight, the YHA Jockey Club Mount Davis, which has a spectacular view of the harbour, outlying islands, and the Hong Kong skyline. We’re having one of those moments that travel is all about. Everything seems well with the world, we have a spectacular view, each other, and impending adventure. And beer. Continue reading “Tomorrow’s the day!”

August Update: we’re catching a cargo ship!

August Update: we’re catching a cargo ship!

Keeping the blog up to date with our actual progress round the world has turned out to be nigh on impossible while we’re on the road.  So in lieu of suddenly finding thirty extra hours in the week, I hereby inaugurate the saltwithyourcoffee monthly update.

Drumroll please.

We’ve spent most of August travelling slowly in Malaysia, as we tried to sort out our next big adventure: getting to Australia by boat. Continue reading “August Update: we’re catching a cargo ship!”