Wednesday, 28 January 2015


It had been a while since we've spent time in Australia, and I realized, unexpectedly, that I really missed it! Being in Asia for so long, we had forgotten the intense beauty of Oz, especially the gorgeous colours and smells of the bush, particularly the outstanding wildflowers, and the vibrancy, diversity and arty nature of the cities. For 6 weeks, we were taken in by generous friends and family in Cairns, Brisbane, Nanango, Sydney and Melbourne and experienced funny and varied little snippets of Oz life and culture- bush walking, a live cricket match, birdwatching, uniquely Aussie BBQs, picnics in parks, op shopping, fantastic markets, garage saleing, vineyards, city cafes, opera, the Archibald Prize, rugged beaches, pubs, Dandenong rainforest, a Melbourne Cup sweep, and even lawn bowls! The highlight, though,was catching up with Sal's fabulous family and our best buddies, and it was difficult each time we had to say goodbye.

Beautiful waratah flower

Sal in the bush

Large insect on large flower

Gorgeous grevillia

Spectacular colours

Australian bushland

Wild parrot in our friend's garden

Dessert delights

Sri Lankan feast thanks to my broher and sister in law

Enjoying a beverage at the cricket, Brisbane

Rich trying his hand at bowls, Melbourne

Catching up on sleep on the plane in between hectic schedules!

Sal's beloved Melbourne

People sometimes scoff when we say we need a rest from all our moving around the place. But as wonderful as traveling is, the fact is sometimes we have a hectic and energetic schedule (as in the last year and a half) and we feel the need for a break. For us, the perfect place for this, is our old favorite, Ko Fruitpoia. Much has been talked about this place on other posts, but this year was particularity fantastic, so much so we decided to stay longer than usual, and ended up there for several months. It was the people, really, that made it for us this year, and from the time we arrived in early November when there were only a handful of guests, right through to the busy, more populous high season, we met so many hugely entertaining and brilliantly unique new friends as well as many from previous years. They were all there in all their glory: The Long Time Travelers, The Inexperienced Newbies, The Drunks, The Potheads, The Aging Lotharios, The Keen Young Pups, The Schedule Keepers, The Time Wasters, The Socially Awkward, The Extroverts, The Yoga Fanatics, The Beachbums, The Chilled Out Families, The Musicians, The Princesses, The Young, The Old and everything in between!

Tai Chi on the beach

Noel in a dream

Great friends
Enjoying the serenity

Queen D getting creative

R's new look

Getting artistic

A lonely beach

By far, this year was the time for music. We were so privileged to have many first class musos amongst the guests, and many an afternoon and countless evenings were spent listening to, and joining in with songs and laughter. A hugely special added bonus was Queen D at her very best, with her happiness manifesting in some amazing sea gypsy song sessions, including some written just for us!

Naree feeling inspired

Full of energy, Annie
Tony's hard working hands

Deela in her element

A new song, one of many this year from Deela

And, of course, there were the sunsets......I tried to choose just a few, but every day is different and beautiful, so I've been indulgent!

To say these last few months have given us great happiness and inspiration would be an understatement! We've truly been revitalized and rejuvenated by the good energy of so many uplifting people, and ready to take on the world (or at least some of it!)

Happy and healthy

Friday, 10 October 2014


Although Rich and I have been traveling sporadically since we first met 17 years ago, it's now been five years since we sold up, dropped out and started our new lifestyle as permanent travelers on "The Journey" as we call it. We have been so incredibly lucky in the experiences we've had, the places we've visited and the amazing people we've met.

Co-incidentally, we found our selves currently visiting family in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Cairns in October, exactly as we did five years ago before we left Oz, so it seemed a appropriate time for a bit of a look back in pictures at some of the high points of The Journey. These are all photos we wished to use the first time round, but had to be left out due to space.

  • Our first year was a bit of a whirlwind blur, with the new feeling of freedom still strange in our bodies. After some recovery time in some of our favourite places, we were keen to explore more of India........

Eccentric artist in Singapore, 2009

Monitor lizard, Malacca, Malaysia, 2009
Hornbill on Pangkor Island, Malaysia, 2009

The impressively large Batu Caves, Kuala Lumpur, 2009

One of many lovely Thai islands, 2010

Leaving Ko Chang, Thailand, 2010
Holi festivities, Calcutta, India, 2010

Starting young, India, 2010

Temple celebrations, Mirik, India, 2010

Waiting for toy train, Darjeeling, India, 2010

Sadhu, Assam, India, 2010

Gorgeous village kids, Meghalaya, 2010

Root bridge, Meghalaya, India, 2010

Stunning Himalayas, Sikkim, India, 2010

Buddhist monastery, Sikkim, India, 2010

Gorgeous mountain scenery, Sikkim, India, 2010

Beautiful dancer, Richenpong festival, India, 2010

Allahabad market, India , 2010

Ayodhya ghats, India, 2010

Bodhgaya ruins, India, 2010

The stunning Gwalior fort, India, 2010

Enormous Jain carvings, Gwalior, India, 2010

Bhojpur temple, India, 2010

Contemplative Rich on a train, India, 2010

Indian train, 2010

Ghat at Varanasi, India, 2010

Varanasi cutie, India,  2010

The wonderful town of Varanasi, India, 2010

  • Year two saw us visiting some familiar places, many beaches and the new destination of Burma. An unexpected twist to the year was a 3 month trip to Canada........

Sunset off Perhentian Island, Malaysia, 2010

Our favourite rotis, Kuala Lumpur, 2010
Guesthouse, Ubud, Bali, 2010

Great friend, Fruitopia, Thailand, 2010

Resting under the eye of the King, Thailand, 2011

Gorgeous Thai girls in a festival, 2011

The classic lotus, Thailand, 2011

Fruit market, Cambodia, 2011

Phanom Banan, Cambodia, 2011

Nong Khai sculpture park, Thailand, 2011

Dinner! (for someone), Thailand, 2011

Buddhist temple, Nan, Thailand, 2011

A golden Buddha, Thailand, 2011
Scenic Inle Lake, Burma, 2011

Village women, Kalaw, 2011

Beautiful mango seller, train station, Burma, 2011

Inside sublime Bagan temple, Burma, 2011

Buddha babies, Bagan, Burma, 2011

Stunning scenery, Bagan, Burma, 2011
Enjoying the rare good weather in BC, Canada, 2011

  • The third year was a fantastic exploration of the new Indonesian destinations of Sulawesi and Sumatra, with which we fell in love, and plenty of rest in the usual places in between........

Malaysian shop, 2011
Pantai Bira, Sulawesi, Indonesia, 2011

Kids playing in a lake, Sulawesi, Indonesia, 2011

A man and his chook, Sulawesi, Indonesia, 2011

Hanging graves, Sulawesi, Indonesia, 2011

Grave remains, Sulawesi, Indonesia, 2011

Traditional building, Sulawesi, Indonesia, 2011

Caught in the rain, Sulawesi, Indonesia, 2011

Ko Bulon Lae, Thailand, 2011

Chinese temple, Penang, Malaysia, 2012

Old tile design, Penang, Malaysia, 2012

Kek Lok Si, Penang, Malaysia, 2012

Chinese New Year fruit, Penang, Malaysia, 2012

Thaipusam festivities, Penang, Malaysia, 2012

Lake transport, Sumatra, Indonesia, 2012

Lakeside village, Sumatra, Indonesia, 2012

Coffee, Indonesian style, 2012

Rice fields, Sumatra, Indonesia, 2012

Lake Toba, Sumatra, Indonesia, 2012

Lake Toba, Sumatra, Indonesia, 2012

Market fish, Sumatra, Indonesia, 2012

Gunung Sibayak, Sumatra, Indonesia, 2012

Orangutan, Sumatra, Indonesia, 2012

Outside cave, Sumatra, Indonesia, 2012

Overgrown building, Malaysia, 2012

Nakon Si Thammorat temple, Thailand, 2012

Phattalung temple, Thailand, 2012

  • Year four saw the fascination with Indonesia continue, with our most adventurous travel yet in Kalimantan, followed by a 6 month stint helping our friend run his hostel in KL (of course with beaches either side to recover!).......

Little sweetie, Kalimantan, Indonesia, 2012

Village kids, Kalimantan, Indonesia, 2012

River house, Kalimantan, Indonesia, 2012

Sun setting on Pelni ferry, Indonesia, 2012

Kalimantan, Indonesia, 2012

Rich on boat trip, Kalimantan, Indonesia, 2012

Mahakam river festival, Kalimantan, Indonesia, 2012

Kalimantan Christian carvings, Indonesia, 2012

Baskets, Kalimantan, Indonesia, 2012

Beautiful young girl, Kalimantan, Indonesia, 2012

A well deserved rest, Thailand, 2013

Us in Bangkok market, Thailand, 2013

Homeless man, Bangkok, Thailand, 2013

  • Our fifth year was jam packed with activity and amazing new experiences, with India, Dubai, Iran, Armenia and Georgia taking up a full year's worth of  adventure (with just a touch of R and R in Malaysia at the end!).........

Flower market, Calcutta, India, 2013

Street scene, Calcutta, India, 2013

Beautiful doorway, Chitrakut, India, 2013

Omkareshwar, India, 2013

Glorious coloured statue, India, 2013

Ghats, Omkareshwar, India, 2013

Quiet moment, India 2013
Beautiful little Nandi, India, 2013

River scene, India, 2013

Maheshwar fort, India, 2013

Detailed carving of musicians, India, 2013

Lovely, calm langur monkey, India, 2013

Inside Chittorgarh, India 2013
Pushkar building, India, 2013

Sai Bubba mural, India, 2013

Striking colours, India 2013
Camels for sale, Pushkar Camel Fair, India 2013
Bored girls waiting to perform, Pushkar, India, 2013

Tired pilgrims, India, 2013

Rich freezing in Jaiselmer, India. 2013

Musician busking for tourists, India, 2013

Old door and lock, India, 2013

Gorgeous doorway (one of many!), India, 2014

Temple detail, India, 2014

Stunning room in Bikaner Palace, India, 2014
Walking the wadi, Dubai, 2014

Mosque interior, Iran, 2014

Qeshm island architecture, Iran, 2014

Masked woman, Minab, Iran, 2014

Gorgeous cuties dressed up for a wedding, Chabahar, Iran, 2014

Baluchistan scenery, Iran, 2014

Baluchi sunset over ancient graveyard, Iran, 2014

Sufi man, Kerman, Iran, 2014

Rural scenery, Kerman, Iran, 2014

The stunning desert scenery in Kaluts, Iran, 2014

Amazing cave village of Meymand, Iran, 2014

Quaint doorway, Meymand, Iran, 2014

Lonely tree, Iran, 2014

Mosque doorway, Iran, 2014

Beautiful colours in a mosque, Iran, 2014

Carpentry shop, Yazd, Iran, 2014

More lovely scenery, Iran, 2014

Common sign in Iran (not supported by the  population), 2014

Sal on a walk, Sangan, Iran, 2014

The stunning scenery around Masouleh, Iran, 2014

Masouleh village, Iran, 2014

Detail in an Armenian monastery, 2014

Unusual landscape, Goris, Armenia, 2014

Monastery door, Armenia, 2014

Tatev monastery, Armenia, 2014

Majestic Mount Kazbegi, Georgia, 2014

Spectacular defensive towers, Shatili, Georgia, 2014

Ruined tower, Georgia, 2014

This blog was so enjoyable for us to make, and look back at the fun we've had- here's hoping in five more years time, we can chronicle a whole new batch of adventures!