Our Ten Year Travelling and Blogging Anniversary - and an Announcement

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November 29th 2016
Published: December 13th 2016
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It's been ten years. Ten years since we set off on our travels on a one-way trip to Thailand. Ten years since we set up and started this blog. Ten years seems like a long time. It especially seems like a long time when we think about everything that has happened.......

On 1st November 2006 I turned 30. Our plan had been to leave the country in October, and spend my 30th birthday riding an elephant at an elephant sanctuary near Kanchanaburi. The best-laid plans and all that.....for various, house-related reasons, on my 30th birthday we were still living in our house in Leeds. We had given up our jobs, sold most of our stuff, and were living in a house with virtually no furniture in it. For my 30th, we went for fish and chips at the Wetherby Whaler, a very good chippy in Pudsey, where we were living. It wasn't quite what I had envisaged.

However, not long after that, on 10th November, we finally boarded a plane to Bangkok, Thailand. Initially supposed to be a 'year-out', we are still going. Ten years on.

The last ten years have been
When we first got to Bangkok....When we first got to Bangkok....When we first got to Bangkok....

Ten years ago now. Have we changed a lot?
amazing. In that time we have become English teachers and lived in five different countries - Thailand, Spain, Vietnam, China and Ukraine. Now we are back living and working in Bangkok. Over the past ten years we have:

• ridden on the neck of Asian elephants, given them baths and spend several months just hanging out with them and their mahouts.
• seen both Asian and African elephants in the wild.
• seen wild orangutans, proboscis monkeys, gibbons and tiny little tarsiers.
• fed Thai people bread and cheese and watched their horrified faces.
• been to some stunningly beautiful beaches, including El Nido in the Philipines and the Gili Islands in Indonesia.
• visited amazing temples, including those at Angkor, and the ruins at Sukhothai.
• been shark diving (Kris actually in the cage).
• learned about the history of South-East Asia.
• seen a ladyboy pole dancing show.
• been in Ukraine during the last revolution.
• drunk cocktails at the top of skyscrapers in Saigon, Shanghai and Bangkok (I'll leave it for you to decide which was the most expensive).
• learned to cook Thai food.
• listened to far too much Abba and Boney M.
• traveled overland between Amsterdam and Odessa by train.
• celebrated Thai New Year by getting soaked in a massive water-fight, celebrated Lunar New Year in Vietnam and 31st January at Boat Quay in Singapore and in the street in Haiphong, Vietnam.
• eaten jellyfish, goat breast, frog meat, jungle rat, salo (basically, fat. A Ukrainian speciality) and a huge range of new tropical fruits. Most were nice. Durian, not so much.
• drunk wasp wine, sake, blue spirit that may-or-may-not have been buried under the ground for three months (lost in translation) and a lot of vodka (popular in Vietnam and Ukraine).
• been on safari in Kruger national park and seen lions, rhino, giraffes, hippos and many, many warthogs.
• been in some really disgusting toilets (the worst, oddly, being in Odessa, Ukraine), and some very swish ones (shopping centres in Bangkok often have Japanese style ones that can wash your bum as well).
• been stuck in Thailand for two weeks after protestors closed the airport.
• ridden in tuk-tuks, cyclos, motorised tricycles, song-thaews, banca outrigger boats, and many aeroplanes.
• taught novice Buddhist monks in a monastery.
• and met a whole range of brilliant people from all over the world. I think over half of my Facebook friend list I have met in the
40th badge on our shelf in Thailand40th badge on our shelf in Thailand40th badge on our shelf in Thailand

Surrounded by things from the last ten years - books about places we've lived and visited, travel guides, sunglasses and reward stickers from 7-11.
last ten years. And many of those names are some of my closest friends now.

Travelblog has been there with us every step of the way. Through it, we have told our story to family, friends and many others. We've joined the Travelblog Hall of Fame. We have become moderators, helping out behind the scenes and giving advice to other travellers and would-be travellers. We have met and become friends with some great people through it. It really is the friendliest online travel community.

On my 40th birthday, this year, I was in a resort in Ko Lak, Thailand. I chilled with Kris and my parents who were over for a visit, had a massage and had drinks on the beach, watching the sunset. This was the end of a two week trip around Thailand with my parents, showing them some of our favourite places here - Kanchanaburi and all its history, Chiang Mai with its multitude of temples, the national park at Ko Sok and the beach.

For our ten-year travelling and blogging anniversary, we are launching a new blog. This will continue to tell our stories of our travels
40th birthday cards40th birthday cards40th birthday cards

With an air con remote and a pile of Thai baht.
and experiences abroad, and we will try and keep it more up to date now. We also want to use it to give advice to people considering teaching English abroad. Lots of people get in touch with us through this blog to ask questions about it, and we meet so many people who want to know where to start. We are interviewing some of the many English teachers we know around the world to get their experiences and advice for people, to create a personal and independent source of information.

One of the other reasons for setting up a separate blog was to learn how it works. Travelblog is brilliant because you don't need to be technically-minded to use it. Ali created a platform that means that anyone can set up and start blogging in a very short time. There are very few problems you can have with it, but if you do, there is always someone behind the scenes to help out. I wanted to know how websites work and how people set them up, so we decided to try our own blog. It's really hard. I'm not kidding you. We have a self-hosted blog and use Wordpress.org to write it, and it's really not that easy. There are plugins and widgets and site builders and a wealth of other aspects to get your head around. It's taken us months to get it looking the way we want. But now I feel I know a bit more about websites. There is so much still to learn but I see this as a journey where the blog and I will develop together.

We will still stay on Travelblog. We will continue to help moderate and we will still blog occasionally. We will still hang out on the forums and join in the chats and advice giving. We'd also love it if some of you wanted to follow us on our new blog. You can find it on www.whatkateandkrisdid.com and 'like' our page on Facebook for updates. Hope to see some of you there.


13th December 2016

Congratulations and another thank you
Hi Guys, A very happy fortieth... that now - sadly - seems so young. Total respect, of course, for your traveling longevity. Sorry for our slow response to, and more thanks for, your second response re teaching abroad. They were much appreciated. Here's to so many more years. We'll be back back on the road at the end of next year, hopefully... and pursuing those teaching qualifications... All the best to you, thanks again, Andy and Ali.
14th December 2016

Here's to 10 years!
And to the next 10! who knows where that will take you. Was it 2009 we met up in KL? - that 7 years has flown by. Good luck with the new blog, you get more freedom going the self hosted route, allows you to build out something completely bespoke.
19th December 2016

Thanks Ali
Yes, it must be about 7 years since our drinks and curry in KL. Lots have happened since then I think. Hope you and the family are well and have a merry Christmas!
16th December 2016

Congratulations on your tenth year of...
traveling the world, teaching English as a second language, and sharing your adventures and advice on Travelblog. I've "liked your FB page" of you new blog and hope your future entries get to me. Best wishes for this new website!
19th December 2016

We'll make sure our updates get to you. Have a great Christmas and New Year!
16th December 2016

10 years and still kicking goals
Dear Kris & Kate. I still think you have the best blogging name...but you know i think that! Keep kicking goals and dancing the fandango. Web masters...gotta check that out! Always dreamed about teaching English in China when I hang up my shingle. Best wishes from the Dancing Ones.
19th December 2016

Cheers Dancing Guys
Well if you decide on teaching in China, hopefully we'll have the resource to help you. Have a great Christmas and New Year!
24th December 2016

A decade of fun, memories and adventures!
Good luck on the new blog....we will miss you being a part of the travelblog family. All the best! Live life to the fullest.
25th December 2016

Travelblog family
Oh we don't plan to leave the Travelblog family! We'll still be around. Merry Chrismas to both of you.

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