Ren & Andrew


Ren & Andrew

This blog documents the feeding of our travel addiction - one country at a time.

Travel is an essential part of our life, and we'll continue to travel until our addiction wanes (which probably won't be in this lifetime)! The more we travel, the more we see; and the more we see, the more we understand that we know so little - which is a brilliant thing.

We love the little corner of south eastern Australia we call home, but we are at our happiest when throwing ourselves into a new adventure and experiencing new cultures. Rather than doing round-the-world trips, our preferred style of travel is to spend a block of time in one country or region and get a real feel for that area and its people. We also love love love eating and drinking! We think that getting to know the food and its associated cultural nuances is a brilliant way to understand a our posts are bound to contain many epicurean details.

If you are interested in our travels please feel free to Follow us, or if you aren't a Travel Blog member and wish to receive an email alert whenever we add a new blog entry, you can subscribe to this blog. If you have any questions or comments, you can contact us through the Comments section at the very bottom of each post or via the Message function.

Hope you enjoy our travel stories as much as we enjoy writing and sharing them with you! 😊
Ren and Andrew

And if travel is like is mostly because it's a heightened state of awareness, in which we are mindful, receptive, undimmed by familiarity and ready to be transformed. That is why the best trips, like the best love affairs, never really end. ~ Pico Iyer

Oceania » Australia » Tasmania December 1st 2021

Some roads aren’t meant to be travelled alone ~ Australian Proverb The West Coast of Tasmania has always held a special place in Andrew’s heart, and I too fell immediately in love with it on my very first trip to Tasmania in the mid-90s. I’ve now visited the region quite a few times, and I should be able to say I know it reasonably well; but it has a certain mysterious quality that makes me think it would take a lot more than a few trips to get under the tough skin of the West Coast. Andrew’s family lived on the West Coast for a few years when he was a little kid, so his understanding and appreciation of it comes from within. When you live somewhere as a child, there’s an honest and candid acceptance ... read more
strahan - ormiston house
strahan - ormiston house
strahan - ormiston house

Oceania » Australia April 1st 2021

Out in the bush, the tarred road always ends just after the house of the local mayor ~ Australian Proverb The cheeky quote was chosen because the Midlands region of Tasmania is predominantly rural, and this sentiment has been quite apt in the past. As the name suggests, the region is smack bang in the middle of Tasmania. It’s far enough away from the two big cities in the State (Hobart and Launceston) to be called country, but a maximum of about two hours’ drive to either. I have lived in the Southern Midlands for over 16 years, and Andrew has lived here just under 30 years. It’s a very special part of the world. Even though it’s prone to drought, bushfires, flooded rivers, severe frosts, black ice and the fiercest of winters… there is something ... read more
craigbourne dam - picnic
midlands road
oatlands streetscape

Oceania » Australia » Tasmania March 17th 2021

A truly happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery on a detour ~ Australian Proverb This blog covers Days 2 and 3 of our trip to the far south of Tasmania… to celebrate our 15th Anniversary. Franklin I absolutely loved waking up and taking in the early morning view of the misty Huon River from our attic bedroom window. It was like looking into an ever-changing real-life painting. It was a very special and beautiful start to our 15th Anniversary. By the time we had a quick breakfast and got going, the light had changed rather dramatically – the mist had lifted and the light was clear and strong. The only comparison I can make is the cloudless sunny bright day that magically appears after an early morning frost. I also loved our walks ... read more
franklin streetscape

Oceania » Australia » Tasmania March 16th 2021

Those who lose dreaming are lost ~ Aboriginal Australian Proverb This blog covers Day 1 of our trip to the far south of Tasmania. The main aim of this trip was to hike into South Cape Bay – the southernmost beach in Tasmania – located along the most southern tip of Tasmania’s South-West National Park. The trip would also take in the western half of the Huon Valley, after which we would drive south until we literally couldn’t drive any further! Tourism taglines in Tasmania often claim superlatives of the tallest, the longest, the oldest etc. While some claims may be accurate, most are quite tenuous… but there’s something rather endearing about it, and we have embraced the concept. We joked about how many ‘southernmost’ claimed places we’d be able to experience in the next few ... read more
summer kitchen bakery pies
summer kitchen bakery custard tart
huon valley - apple orchard

Oceania » Australia » Tasmania March 15th 2021

We are all visitors to this time, this place ~ Aboriginal Australian Proverb This is a very different type of blog for us. Firstly, we won’t be writing it in a HE SAID... / SHE I (Ren) will be doing most of the writing with input from Andrew. Secondly, this Tasmanian trip will span the whole year, with day trips, long weekends and possibly week-long excursions being undertaken whenever we have the time. As is our usual routine before we travel, we’ve started immersing ourselves in books, films and TV shows about/set in Tasmania. Tasmania has many faces and moods, but it seems that many writers and directors have chosen to focus on stories about the bleak and austere aspects of island life. It’s even been given a title – Tassie Noir – a sub-genre ... read more
maps and brochures at the ready
worried jasper
carefree oliver

Oceania » Australia » Tasmania March 8th 2021

May as well be here we are as where we are ~ Aboriginal Australian Proverb Hello people! Between COVID issues sidelining most of the world last year and us being unpredictably crazy busy for 12 straight months, we’ve only just started thinking about travel again. When we returned from our overseas trip at the end of January 2020 (at the start of the coronavirus pandemic), we decided pretty much straight away that 2021 would be the year we focus on travelling locally in Tasmania – the little heart shaped island State at the bottom of Australia. Obviously no one could have possibly foreseen the chaos that has been unleashed on the planet over the last 15 or so months. However, we generally tend to err on the side of caution when making travel plans, because careful ... read more
map of tassie :)
travel viewing
travel reading

Asia » Laos January 31st 2020

HE SAID... In this short trip we travelled through two Southeast Asian countries. We spent six days in Thailand (travelling northwards from Bangkok to Chiang Khong), and then ten days in Laos (travelling southeast from Huay Xai to Vientiane). We usually try to contain our travel adventures to a single country, as it allows us to get to know the place – the food, the people, the political atmosphere, the historic impacts and the currency. However, we’ve occasionally swayed from our one-country travel rule, and with fantastic results. We explored Guatemala, Belize and Mexico in 2016, and Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria in 2018. Both trips were extraordinary, and with the exception of Belize, I really felt we gained a real sense of each individual country. With this in mind, we weren’t too worried about breaking our ... read more
bangkok - nam pla prik (fresh chillies in fish sauce and vinegar)
bangkok - wat pho reclining buddha
bangkok - som tum (green papaya salad)

Asia » Laos » West » Vientiane January 29th 2020

HE SAID... Having checked out of our Vientiane hotel (Family Boutique Hotel) in the mid-afternoon, we shared a light lunch just around the corner at Makphet, the same place we’d lunched the previous day. We were quite taken with the place, as it is a vocational training restaurant for young Laotians, and it is achieving life-changing results. We walked back to the hotel and settled in the lobby for an hour or so, then jumped into a taxi and headed to Wattay International Airport at 6pm. We were leaving Laos. Free face-masks were being handed out by officials at the airport in a half-hearted attempt to protect against the rampant coronavirus that had flared in China in early January. However, the masks really only offered a placebo-induced peace of mind. We were certainly not fully protected, ... read more
our last taste of laos :)
vientiane airport
vientiane airport

Asia » Laos » West » Vientiane January 27th 2020

When you’ve heard it, you must see it; only after you’ve seen it make a judgement with your heart… ~ Lao Proverb HE SAID... Today we were continuing to explore the friendly and peaceful city of Vientiane. We woke late and headed down to the Family Boutique Hotel’s large dining area for a late breakfast. It was the last few days of our Thai-Laotian holiday, and we were focused on relaxing in Vientiane. As was becoming customary on this trip, I enjoyed fresh baguettes and omelettes – my favourite way to start each day in Laos. I also helped myself to cornflakes, toast and jam, excellent coffee, terrible tea and the strange orange cordial that features at every breakfast buffet in the country. After our leisurely breakfast, we shared a jumbo (motorbike with a covered trailer ... read more
pha that luang
pha that luang
pha that luang

Asia » Laos » West » Vientiane January 26th 2020

You know, you teach. You do not know, you learn … ~ Lao Proverb HE SAID... Today we were travelling south from Vang Vieng to Vientiane. We woke early (5:30am), as we had an early start. We were leaving for Vientiane at 8am, and it was our last destination in Laos. We headed down to Phetchaleun Hotel’s large dining area at 7am, where I helped myself to a fresh baguette, omelette, tea, coffee and the ubiquitous orange cordial that our Laotian hosts always offered in the morning. With breakfast complete, we loaded our packs into a minibus and made our way out of Vang Vieng. Within minutes we were speeding towards Vientiane, hitting every conceivable pothole on the way – the roads in Laos are not in the best of condition. At first the terrain was ... read more
iced coffees
khao soi
khao piak sen

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