We saved for 3 years and then went Hoff to travel the world. Chris Columbus and Magellan eat your heart out...do you reckon other people will have already discovered the places we are going to? You bet!About Us
Neil, originally from Hartlepool, UK and Donna, originally from the Wirral, UK have known each other for 17 years. We bought a house, got cushy jobs in Nottingham and always had a passion to travel and see what more was out there in the big wide world (sounds corny or what?). The opportunity came when we were both made redundant and given nice redundancy packages and so we rented out the house and set off into the unknown.
If anyone has any questions or comments on our blogs please contact us through our blog. Date we left the UK
29th September, 2006Expected date of arrival back into UK
The end of never....Highlights of our trip so far
- Sitting under the stars drinking smuggled vodka and sprite on the top deck of a Chinese junk in Halong bay, Vietnam.
- Seeing the sun rise over Macchu Picchu, Peru and the clouds lift to reveal the Incas hidden city.
- Cruising on a slow boat in Laos and meeting some very good friends along the way.
- Staying in beach side cottages in Palawan, Philippines and wondering if paradise can get any better?
- Showing Donna's parents how to travel backpacker style in SE Asia...even with the pink and silver wheelie suitcases!Lowlights of our trip so far
- Donna getting the squitz in the middle of the Inca Trail, Peru and running out of immodium.
- Getting kicked out of a hostel in Tupiza, Bolivia at 3am because we refused to be extorted for more money from the nasty owners!
- Travelling around the Philippines on a bus, boat, bus, taxi, trike, boat, bus combination whilst having very bad flu.
- Realising that Thailand was no longer the paradise we once thought it was.
- Getting stuck in typhoon after typhoon in the Philippines.What we have learned from our travels so far...
- Asians love Karaoke or rather ....why doesn't the rest of the world enjoy Karaoke..after all what harm can there be?
- The less rules there are on the road the less accidents there seems to be
- Immodium should be carried on any journey over 1 hour.
- Transport cartels are rife in SE Asia...particularly around transportation hubs (airports, ports etc) so prepare to haggle like crazy in these places or follow the locals and see how they escape the hubs!
- Transport cartels are our number 1 HATE in SE Asia....GRRRRrrrrrr
- Package tourists are generally the enemy of many backpackers because they spend too much for the local market and out price backpackers and also the locals causing a nasty love/hate relationship of tourists versus locals.
- A good comparison of how good value a country is can be determined by the price of beer in a bar!
- Some hoteliers have no business sense whatsoever..they would rather a room be empty than give a discount in low season...WHY?
- If you cant ride a manual bike then getting around can sometimes be very difficult!
- Being on the road for a long time highlights who your true friends are back home.
- Cadbury's chocolate is not as good outside of the UK as it is inside the UK!
- You can never get bored lying on a beach everyday.
- Most of the beggars that will ask you for money are not as hard up as the poor people which don't ask for money. As a backpacker if we gave money to every beggar which asked us for money we would have been home 6 months ago!
- As a spending tourist or backpacker you are very welcome in most countries but you will never belong to that country and get the same respect as the locals....so don't expect it!
- You should try and keep the really good places to yourself and not write a travelblog about them as no doubt they will be ruined in no time at all. Does that mean we visited places we haven't wrote about on here?.....you bet!
- Always back up your travel blog as sometimes server problems can result in you losing half of your blog entries.
- The scourge of reality tv has spread everywhere....We'd like to ask you - based on the following - have we been in Asia too long?
1. We think squat toilets are great...the position makes the poo come out faster. But Neil can't read his book on a squat it's too difficult to balance (yes, he has tried!)
2. We now think why walk in a straight line when we can zigzag and stop dead randomly in front of people, thus making our walks more enjoyable and fun.
3. Why should we walk on the boring old pavement, we walk on the road giving a sense of adventure to any journey and it also gives Donna an opportunity to push some annoying moped drivers off their bikes
4. When a person tells us the price of something we immediately respond 'discount?' (we even did this in KFC once)
5. We *quite* like Westlife's new CD (?)
6. Neil likes to sing 80's love songs loudly to Donna (or anyone else around) whilst walking down the street!
7. If there is neon/flashing lights/loud music, we are drawn to the pretties like bees to honey
8. We don't queue any more
9. We don't hold doors open for people any more, we just let them slam shut in people's faces
10. We are happy to shoulder barge anyone in our way, particularly when getting to the front of a queue
11. We are mesmerised by TV in shop windows, karaoke places and fights in the street.
12. Opening an umbrella inside a shopping centre is no problem for us, it won't bring you bad luck...you never know when those fire sprinklers will go off!
13. We cross roads not caring if a car is heading for us at 40mph - he'll swerve you know! Green man means cross the road; red man means cross the road, no man means cross the road
14. We are not shocked at how bad toilets are - troughs and open cubicles are no problem for us!
15. We accept where there is a wall, there is wee...just hold your breath
16. We don't mind Asian's wanting their pictures taken with us...of course we'll charge a nominal fee
17. If a car almost hits us, Donna just thumps and dents the backside of the car...but we always remember to run if the driver gets out the car!
18. We treat all people who say hello to us with suspicion (they are probably trying to sell us something) and take a swing at them with our rucksacks if we feel so inclined.
19. We know how to say 'no I don't want any' in 17 different languages and dialects
20. We no longer look at long journeys in terms of hours spent travelling but rather how many food vendor and toilet stops we'll have and whether we'll have goats or chickens sat on our laps!
21. The first things we ask strangers we meet are - what is your name, how old are you, where are you from and how much do you earn without even thinking!
22. We no longer shut our eyes for fear of death on fast and furious taxi journeys...we quite like the adrenalin rushWe have now been travelling for