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Published: December 13th 2016
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
The last ten years
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
• 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.
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 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 birthda
y, 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 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.
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