Three years ago, a girl met a guy who completely changed her world. He was a wanderer. He said he was planning to leave but she didn’t realize she will end up leaving with him. They took a risk. They fell in love. They changed their plans. They left to see the world together and nothing has been the same since.
Jon and I have been travelling together for nearly two years. Our journey started with a continuous 15-month trip around the world from September 2014 to December 2015. In 2016, we have been on several long trips across different countries in Asia. Currently, we are living in New Zealand. Here’s an overview of where we have been so far:
Our trip started with 2 weeks in Nepal. We visited the bustling city of Kathmandu and the quiet lakeside town of Pokhara. Then we did an incredible 4 day trek to see the Himalayas. The captivating views of the Himalayas was a perfect beginning to our journey around the world. We also stopped in Chitwan to do a jungle trek and see some wild rhinos.
England was our starting point in Europe. In London, we met with Jon’s friends and cousins and did all the touristy stuff — Tower Bridge, Buckingham Palace and Big Ben, etc. In Bristol, we stayed my relatives for the weekend and did a road trip to see Bath and the Stonehenge. Romania was next, Jon and I had always wanted to see the Transylvania region so after a couple of days in Bucharest, we explored Brasov, Rasnov, Bran and Sighisoara — some of the best places in Transylvania. We crossed over to Hungary by train to spend a few days in beautiful Budapest, which later turned out to be one of our favourite cities in Europe. Next was the picturesque city of Prague, Czech Republic. Then a couple of days in Austria, Vienna then a week in Slovenia, where we explored Ljubljana and the stunning fairy tale town, Bled. Winter was coming in Europe so we decided to stay in the southern countries to keep warm. In Italy, we visited in the romantic city of Venice, then the captivating Amalfi coast, the historic Pompeii and Herculeneum and then iconic Rome. In Greece, we had a quick few days in Athens to see the Acropolis then we were off to the Greek Islands — Santorini, Paros, Naxos and Ios. The Greek Islands were truly unforgettable. We will definitely come back for a holiday during summer.
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We then flew to Morocco, an incredible country with rich culture and architecture. We enjoyed our time in some of the best medinas in Morocco: Fez, Tetouan, Tangier, Chefchaouen, Essaouira and Marrakech. The best part, we did a 3 day tour to the Erg Chebbi Dunes in the Sahara Desert.
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We went back to Europe to complete a total of 3 months in this area. We celebrated the New Year in Spain‘s Andalusia region where we divided our time among Seville, Cordoba and Granada. After a couple of days in Barcelona, we crossed over to Portugal. Lisbon, Sintra and Porto were our destinations. Our last stop for Europe was a trip to Paris, France.
After the fast-paced trip to Europe, we recovered in the beaches of Koh Lanta and Krabi, Thailand for 2 weeks. We spent a couple of days in Singapore, where we reunited with some friends. Then flew to New Zealand.
In New Zealand, it was great to finally meet Jon’s family and see the place where he grew up. Jon and I travelled for 3 weeks in the New Zealand. We visited Dunedin, Clyde, Alexandra, Wanaka, Queenstown, Milford Sound, Franz Josef Glacier, Auckland, Taupo and Rotorua. New Zealand is definitely one of the most beautiful countries we’ve been.
USA, Mexico and Central America
A week in Hawaii was our first stop on the other side of the world then we had 2 days in Las Vegas. From there on, it was 8 months overland from Mexico to Patagonia. During our one month in Mexico, we explored a lot of colonial towns and cities, archaeological sites (including Chichen Itza) and natural wonders like Agua Azul and the best cenotes in the Yucatan Peninsula. In Guatemala, we enjoyed our time in Tikal, Antigua, Semuc Champey (natural pools) and Lake Atitlan. We chose to visit in El Salvador and skip Honduras. In El Salvador, we hiked to the Santa Ana volcano, visited the Ruta de las Flores and relaxed in the small town of Suchitoto. We still had to cross Honduras from border to border to reach Nicaragua. We spent about a month in Nicaragua where we travelled to Granada, Ometepe Island, San Juan del Sur, Solentiname Islands and the Corn Islands. We breezed through Costa Rica since the weather was not very good. Manuel Antonio National Park was the highlight of our time there, where we saw monkeys, sloths and good beaches. In Panama, we visited Bocas del Toro, Boquete and Panama City before taking a series of speedboats for a few days to cross between Panama and Colombia via the San Blas Islands, some of the best islands we visited in the world!
In Colombia, we loved the colonial cities and towns which included Cartagena, Barichara, Medellin, Bogota, Villa de Leyva and Popayan. We also went to see the Valle de Cocora, some of the world’s tallest palm trees and did a coffee farm tour in Salento. In Ecuador, we visited Quito, the Amazon, Lake Quilotoa, Baños and Cuenca. One of the best countries we visited in Latin America was next, Peru. It has so much variety from incredible mountain scenery to beautiful colonial cities to the best archaeological sites. Some of the highlights of Peru were Pastoruri Glacier, Laguna 69, Isla Ballestas, Huacachina Desert, Arequipa, Cusco, Ollantaytambo, Moray, Pisac and the wonder of the world, Machu Picchu. Isla del Sol was our first stop in Bolivia, one of the charming small islands in Lake Titicaca. We spent a few days in La Paz then Sucre, the prettiest city in Bolivia. Finally, we did the 3 day tour of the Uyuni Salt Flat and the stunning south of Bolivia which included coloured lakes, snow-capped mountains and flamingos. The out of this world landscape in the Moon Valley in San Pedro de Atacama was our incredible introduction to Chile. We also visited Puerto Varas, one of the towns in the Lakes District of Chile then took a 3 day budget cruise across the Patagonia from Puerto Montt to Puerto Natales, our gateway to the Torres del Paine National Park where we did the 4 day W trek, one of the best treks in Patagonia. We then crossed over to Argentina. We visited one of the biggest glaciers in the world, Perito Moreno Glacier near El Calafate, hiked to see the Mount Fitz Roy in El Chalten then took our first flight after 8 months to Buenos Aires. We then crossed by bus to Santiago in Chile, visited the historic port city of Valparaiso on a day trip then took our series of flights back to Asia the next day.
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We visited my best friend in Hong Kong and explored Kowloon, Lantau and the New Territories. We also did a day trip to Macau. We finally completed our 15-month trip together last December 2015 in Singapore. Jon continued to travel on his own across Vietnam while I spent the Christmas holidays in the Philippines and some time back in Singapore to look for a job.
Here’s a video which showcases the highlights of our first 15 months of travelling around the world:
On Valentine’s Day 2016, after an unfruitful job hunt, I reunited with Jon to explore different parts of Southeast Asia – Vietnam, Laos and Thailand. We started in Central Vietnam where we visited the historic areas of Hoi An and Hue then explored some of the world’s most beautiful caves in Phong Nha. We crossed overland to Laos to relax in the scenic 4000 islands then had a 3 day cruise along the Mekong River. Then we spent two months in Thailand. We went from Bangkok to Chiang Mai, and stopped by a lot of places in between. The best part of our trip in Thailand was staying for weeks in the white sand beaches of Koh Kood, our favourite island in Thailand.
After Thailand, Jon and I went back to Singapore so he can sort his 3-month visa for India. After a week, Jon left for India, I stayed behind for a few weeks in Singapore then went to the Philippines to spend time with my family.
As time went by, we missed each other more than ever. On June 20, 2016, I reunited with Jon in India. In India, we went to the cities in Rajasthan – Jaipur, Bundi, Udaipur, Jodhpur and Jaisalmer. We also visited the wonder of the world, the Taj Mahal. It was magnificent. The most memorable part of our time in India was our engagement while in Orchha on July 13, 2016. The moment was perfect! We were all alone at the chhatris near the Betwa river. While we were on one of the towers, Jon asked me the question and I said yes!
Hoi An, Vietnam
For about three months, we lived in Hoi An, Vietnam. We couldn’t think of a better place to be while sorted out my partner visa for New Zealand. The incredible architecture, the delicious food and the unique ambiance truly make Hoi An an unforgettable destination.
New Zealand: A Place to Call Home
We are currently based in New Zealand, where I am back to work full time as a structural engineer while still making time to fit in trips as much as we can. Jon continues to write on his blog, Jonistravelling.com and our new blog, which is focused on the south island of New Zealand, See the South Island. Jon and I have absolutely love living in New Zealand, where we get to do a lot of hiking and road trips!
Another big update, on October 14, 2017, Jon and I finally got married! We are very excited for this new chapter of our lives.