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August 22nd 2017
Published: August 21st 2017
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So today marks one year since we landed back on British soil after our last and longest leg of our travels, which took us overland from the UK to Hong Kong via Northern Europe, Russia, Mongolia and China, over to Japan and then south to New Zealand and Australia.

We spent countless hours on trains and eight months of 2016 living in vehicles and despite this, we have both just about managed to integrate back into normal society and play the part of hard-working, fully functioning adults for a whole year as if we had never been away.

One thing we have been asked many times since returning is whether our travelling years have changed us. Well yes, travelling for almost three years has had some pretty profound effects on both of us, so in our final blog, we thought it only right to sum up and reflect on these changes.

How travelling has changed us:

- After living out of two very small backpacks for almost three years with very limited clothing, we both find it very difficult to buy new clothes. Ross still owns and wears most of his travelling clothes including the underwear. It might be time to update those Ross.

- Liz has sudden random waves of panic about the whereabouts of her passport, having been so attached to it for three years, separation is proving difficult.

- We now really appreciate our washing machine, although we fully mastered the art of washing clothes in sinks and “towel treating” them for optimum drying.

- We have very low standards when it comes to haircuts, both of us having had some pretty awful and amusing cuts on our travels and even lower standards when it comes to accommodation: “It only has a couple of cockroaches and it’s cheap…”, “does it really matter if the bed is made from concrete?”

- We have developed a huge amount of patience. Sometimes you are just stuck in your Loathian bus that’s going nowhere fast in intense heat, has broken air conditioning and no opening windows but there is absolutely nothing you can do about it, you just have to sit still, breathe slowly and trust that you will get to your destination, albeit in eight long hours. Thirteen hours on an overcrowded Chinese slow train with only one working toilet did push this patience to its limit however.

- We’ve become pretty open minded with regards to food, willing to try many weird and some wonderful dishes. Cuttlefish in a dessert was a step too far though Malaysia, Thailand we can't get our heads around beans in an ice cream and Bolivia never again do I want to drink that sweet, lukewarm, sweetcorn drink.

- We've resigned ourselves to the fact that no Thai or Vietnamese food we eat here is going to taste quite as wonderful as it did from street side vendors. We'll just have to go back to South East Asia to get our fix of pad thai and Vietnamese noodle soups with fresh herbs.

- We have sensitive teeth due to a lack of fluoride from drinking bottled water in countries where the tap water was not fit to drink.

- We find it perfectly natural to crawl into the back of a car and go to sleep. It’s really cosy.

- We eye up large people carrier type cars for potential camping/sleeping mobiles.

- Whilst endless travelling is wonderful, we have realised that at some point you have and want to come home, safe in the knowledge that if all goes tits up, you can always go and live in South-East Asia on a shoestring budget or in a trusty Toyota Estima in New Zealand.

One thing that our trip hasn’t done is get the travelling bug out of our systems as we travelled to explore, to learn about and experience different countries and cultures. Whilst we may now be employed full time and about to move into our own house, we’ll never stop wanting to go out and explore the world around us, even if we stay a little closer to home in the near future.


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22nd August 2017

Thanks for sharing how travel has changed you...
looking back on your epic travels, which I started following about half way through, I'm amazed with your perseverance!
23rd August 2017

Home is where you are
Loved reading your blog and like you we have travelled quite a bit but there is 'no place like home'

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