Lee and I have spent most of our time travelling and working abroad since we met in New Zealand in 2009. When we met, we were backpackers with Working Holiday Visas, taking whatever jobs we could find to keep our travels going. These days, we have established an online income via writing and travel blogging, which allows us a lifestyle of perpetual travel. During the last five years we have had so many fantastic travel memories, from giving tigers belly rubs in Thailand to riding elephants in Laos to drinking in ruin bars in Budapest and seeing Machu Picchu in Peru. These 100 photos represent some of the highlights of our adventures so far.
1. Queenstown, New Zealand
New Zealand is where our story began. Lee and I met while we were working as tour guides and sleeping in the cells of the creepy old historic prison in Napier. After travelling solo for a while after that, we met up again in Christchurch and rented a place together. When Lee had to go back to England, we didn’t want our travel romance to end. He asked me if I wanted to come with him and I thought, “why the hell not?”. Before flying back to the UK, we made a trip around the South Island and visited beautiful Queenstown.
2. Whitewater Rafting, Rangitata River, New Zealand
We also had an amazing whitewater rafting adventure on the Rangitata River, near Christchurch.
3. London, England
In March of 2010 we arrived back in the UK and I quickly fell in love with this country, despite everyone telling me how rubbish it is. We lived in England for 14 months and this is where we built up our online business.
4. Meat Pies!
This is also when I fell deeply in love with the wonderful Northern English delicacy – the meat pie.
5. Trevi Fountain, Rome
In November of 2010 we took a one week holiday to Rome and spent our days wandering around the streets and stuffing ourselves with pizza and pasta. This city has mind-blowing history and architecture around every corner!
6. The Colosseum, Rome
7. The Algarve, Portugal
In May of 2011 we had gotten our online income off the ground and we were ready to make our first foray into the digital nomad lifestyle. We decided to experiment with working and travelling by hanging out in the Algarve region of Portugal for three weeks. The experiment was a great success.
8. Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Next, we packed our bags and flew across the pond to the West Coast of Canada, where we visited with my family for a while.
9. Cathedral Grove, Vancouver Island, Canada
Lee learned that the trees in Canada are much bigger than the ones in the UK.
10. Broken Wrists in British Columbia, Canada
Lee also learned that riding a bicycle is more dangerous than you might think.
11. Banff, Alberta, Canada
Once Lee’s wrists healed, we set off on an epic road trip all the way from coast to coast across Canada.
12. Banff, Alberta, Canada
13. Lake Abraham, Alberta Rocky Mountains, Canada
Our Cross Canada trip gave us a chance to meet up with my friends and relatives scattered across the country, as well as make some new friends via ride shares and couchsurfing.
14. Sylvan Lake, Alberta, Canada
Jumping off my uncle’s boat into Sylvan Lake on a beautiful summer’s day in Alberta.
15. West Edmonton Mall, Alberta, Canada
We also had a cheesy and fun day out at the famous West Edmonton Mall. This ridiculously huge shopping centre has a movie theatre, a skating rink, mini golf, a full sized pirate ship replica, a hotel and so much more – and it hasn’t changed a bit from my memories of it as a child.
16. Wanuskewin Heritage Park, Saskatchewan
We stayed with friends in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan who took us to a heritage park where a buffalo jump had once been. Here’s Lee checking out the re-created First Nations tipi lodging.
17. Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada
18. Nuit Blanche Festival, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
After our Niagara Falls experience, we came back to Toronto to find the streets buzzing! It was the Nuit Blanche Festival, an all night art and culture festival with interactive art displays and open access to museums and galleries from dusk until dawn. As you can see, I was pretty excited.
19. Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Our next stop was Canada’s capital – the lovely city of Ottawa. We stayed here for a while and really enjoyed it. Even though it was October, the weather was still warm and beautiful.
20. Notre Dame Cathedral, Montreal, Canada
We entered into French speaking Canada and hung out in Montreal for a while, enjoying the historic architecture and the poutine.
21. Autumn Leaves, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Montreal was beautiful in October because the leaves were changing so many pretty colours.
22. Trompe L’oeil Murals, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada
We loved the European feeling of Quebec City as well as these incredible murals we found throughout the historic downtown.
23. Signal Hill, Newfoundland, Canada
Our Cross Canada trip concluded with New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, but once we reached Halifax we wanted to go further – all the way to “The Rock”, otherwise known as the remote East Coast island of Newfoundland. Lee got a job selling electronics for the Christmas season and we settled in for the winter.
24. Freezing in St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada
We wanted to experience a true Canadian winter together and oh boy, did we ever!
25. A Newfie Beer Fridge, St. John’s, Canada
We learned that Newfoundlanders always know how to party, no matter what the temperature. While staying with travel blogger Candice Walsh, the outdoor rubbish bin filled with ice – so we simply tipped the frozen cylinder over to make a great natural beer cooler.
26. Hitch-hiking Our Way Around Newfoundland
After living and working in St. John’s for 4 months, we wanted to explore more of Newfoundland and venture into some of the little nooks and crannies of the small towns and villages clustered along the coast. Due to getting “Screeched In” the night before we left and partying on George Street until 5am, we missed our bus and ended up hitch-hiking instead. Luckily, Newfoundlanders are ridiculously friendly and it didn’t take long to get picked up.
27. Gros Morne National Park, Newfoundland, Canada
We couch surfed with some wonderful hosts in Corner Brook, who took us to see the ruggedly gorgeous landscapes of Gros Morne National Park.
28. Times Square, New York City, New York, USA
After a transit strike nearly trapped us on Prince Edward Island, we headed south and crossed the border into the USA. Our first stop was the bright lights of New York City.
29. 9/11 Memorial, New York City, New York, USA
While we were there, we checked out the 9/11 Memorial. It’s a beautifully designed and haunting tribute to the many lives lost on September 11th, 2001.
30. McAfee Knob, Virginia, USA
We headed to Roanoke, Virginia where Lee’s brother lives and stayed there for three months, spending some quality time with our newborn niece. During this time, we explored some sections of the Appalachian Trail, including the jaw-dropping view at McAfee’s Knob.
31. Marching Band, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA
We also took a trip down to New Orleans for a week and fell in love with the energy and the character of this city – and the food! One afternoon we were just walking in the French Quarter and out of nowhere appeared this marching band. We figured we should follow them, because wherever they were going was probably fun. Our instincts were right – they led us to a great live jazz concert at Louis Armstrong Park. New Orleans is awesome.
32. Hanging Out With Gators in the Louisiana Bayou
We also took a tour of the Louisiana Bayou in which we saw some gators and even got to hold a baby one.
33. The National Monument, Washington, D.C. USA
Our next destination was Southeast Asia, but our flight left from Washington, DC so we spent 48 hours there exploring first. Washington is a beautifully designed city and its museums and monuments are very impressive!
34. The Capitol Building, Washington D.C. USA
35. The Grand Palace, Bangkok, Thailand
Welcome to Asia. We touched down in Bangkok and were overcome with immediate culture shock on our first chaotic taxi ride from the airport. We quickly fell head over heels for the colourful temples, cheap and spicy street food and crazy atmosphere.
36. Monkey Island, Koh Phi Phi, Thailand
We ventured beyond Bangkok to the islands of Thailand, spending time on both Koh Phi Phi and Koh Lanta. These islands couldn’t be more different – Phi Phi being a drunk backpacker party zone and Lanta a laid back family friendly peaceful retreat. Lee made a new monkey friend while I got some work done while lounging in my hammock office. Life is good.
37. Hammock Office, Koh Phi Phi, Thailand
38. Tiger Kingdom, Chiang Mai, Thailand
We also visited Tiger Kingdom in Chiang Mai, Thailand – where you can get up close and personal with these beautiful big cats. Who knew that tigers loved belly rubs?
39. Tiger Kingdom, Chiang Mai, Thailand
40. Batu Caves, Near Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Our decision to visit Malaysia after Thailand was based on little more than the fact that a flight to Kuala Lumpur happened to be the cheapest option on Skyscanner. I’m glad it was, because we loved Malaysia so much that we ended up spending three and a half months there. This is Lee at the Batu Caves, which is a sacred Hindu temple built into a cave within a mountain.
41. Food Court, Penang, Malaysia
42. Rafflesia Flower, Cameron Highlands, Malaysia
We also visited the Cameron Highlands, a beautiful part of Malaysia famous for lush green jungle and tea plantations. That’s where we saw the Rafflesia, the largest flower in the world.
Singapore was pretty amazing – a glittering, over the top, glamorous city with plenty of luxurious hotels and resorts.
44. Chinatown, Singapore
45. Treetops Jungle Lodge, Malaysian Borneo
In Malaysian Borneo, we stayed for a while at Treetops Jungle Lodge, a bamboo longhouse in the jungle. I like working in hammocks.
46. Beach near Miri, Malaysian Borneo
The area where Treetops is located, near Miri, is pretty remote and we had the entire beach to ourselves.
47. North Borneo Railway, Sabah, Malaysian Borneo
We took a ride on the North Borneo Railway through Sabah. The views were incredible and we had lots of fun waving at the little children in the villages as the train rolled past.
48. Traditional Dancers, Kuching, Malaysian Borneo
In the city of Kuching in Borneo, we saw these handsome young guys perform a traditional dance.
49. Orang-utan, Malaysian Borneo
We also took the opportunity to see orang-utans in the wild on Lee’s birthday. Watching these fascinating creatures in their natural habitat is something that I will never forget.
50. Kayaking Through the Jungle, Malaysian Borneo
On the same day that we saw the orang-utans, we also went kayaking down the river through the jungle.
51. Bako National Park, Malaysian Borneo
We celebrated my birthday this year by going trekking in Bako National Park, a remote and beautiful part of Borneo that is teeming with wildlife.
52. Wild Bearded Pigs, Bako National Park, Malaysian Borneo
We saw snakes, proboscis monkeys, monitor lizards and adorable curious wild bearded piglets – who wandered right up to say hello!
53. Wild Bearded Pigs, Bako National Park, Malaysian Borneo
54. Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei
We took a very quick detour through Brunei and were amazed by the splendour of the Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque and its 52 metre shimmering gold dome.
55. White Beach, Boracay
Our next stop was the Philippines and we relaxed for a while on the laid back beaches of Boracay, the ultimate sunshine holiday destination.
56. Macau, Special Administrative Region of China
We planned in a stopover for a few days in Macau on our way back to Bangkok, so we could get a little taste of China.
57. The Symphony of Lights, Hong Kong, Special Administrative Region of China
Macau dazzled us with its enormous glittering casinos but Hong Kong stole the show with the Symphony of Lights – the largest sound and light show in the world.
58. Hong Kong, Special Administrative Region of China
59. Angkor Wat, Cambodia
We chilled out in Bangkok again for a month, then set off for Cambodia. I finally got to experience the sunrise at Angkor Wat, a travel experience I had been dreaming about for years.
60. Elephants at Angkor Wat, Cambodia
61. Cambodian Cuisine – “Amok”
Amok is a traditional style of Cambodian curry, served in a lovely folded leaf. It’s rich, fragrant and flavourful – you should definitely try it when you are there!
62. Cambodian Traditional Dancers in Siem Reap
We saw some impressive traditional dancers in ornate costumes while we were in Siem Reap. These two are performing a peacock dance.
63. Taking an Afternoon Nap
This is one of my favourite photos that Lee took in Southeast Asia – it captures the street food culture, the late afternoon sunlight and the tendency for the locals to fall asleep in public at any hour of the day.
64. Mourning the King in Phnom Penh, Cambodia
When we were in Phnom Penh, hundreds of people were gathered around to mourn the death of King Norodom Sihanouk. They were chanting, lighting candles and incense and praying for hours on end – it was quite amazing to watch.
65. The Killing Fields, Near Phnom Penh, Cambodia
The Killing Fields is one of the most heartbreaking and harrowing historic sites I have ever been to. However, understanding the horrors that Cambodia went through in the Khmer Rouge era is crucial to comprehending the history of this country.
66. Reunification Palace, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
The Reunification Palace in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam is one of the most fascinating attractions we have visited. It’s worth a look to check out the ridiculous over-the-top décor that hasn’t changed since the 1970s and the creepy old war rooms in the basement.
67. Boat Cruise, Hoi An, Vietnam
This guy was our captain for a boat trip in Hoi An, Vietnam.
68. Spring Rolls, Hoi An, Vietnam
I love Vietnamese food! These spring rolls were so good that we ordered another plate immediately afterwards.
69. Ha Long Bay, Vietnam
We went for an overnight cruise in Ha Long Bay, which was a great way to see this surreal and beautiful part of the world close up.
70. Riding Elephants Near Luang Prabang, Laos
Our next stop was Laos, where we had an amazing elephant encounter that we will never forget. (and neither will they, as the saying goes).
71. Making Friends With a Baby Elephant
72. Swimming in a Waterfall in Laos
The elephant tour also included swimming in a pristine waterfall in the jungle.
73. Backpacker Bar, Vang Vieng, Laos
Vang Vieng, Laos is a bit of a backpacker party town and it is filled with bars and restaurants that play re-runs of Friends and Family Guy all day long while backpackers lounge on pillows and attempt to get over their hangovers.
74. Tubing in Vang Vieng, Laos
We had a scary experience while tubing on the river in Vang Vieng and had to rescue a young backpacker who had drunk herself unconscious while tubing. Click here to read the story.
75. Beautiful Temple Ceiling in Vientiane, Laos
In Vientiane, Laos, we found the most beautiful ceiling I have ever seen.
76. Whale Watching, Mirissa, Sri Lanka
We stopped in Sri Lanka on our way towards Europe and I have to say it’s one of my absolute favourite places I have been. Seriously, book your flight right now – it’s gorgeous. We went whale watching in Mirissa and saw a whale, as well as several dolphins swimming alongside the boat.
77. Lee in a Pot-Smashing Competition, Negombo, Sri Lanka
Lee joined in with a pot-smashing competition. I think he nailed it.
78. Playing Cricket on the Beach, Negombo, Sri Lanka
The teenage Sri Lankan boys who kicked Lee’s butt at cricket on the beach.
79. The “Miss New Year Tourism” Pageant, Negombo, Sri Lanka
Somehow I ended up in a beauty queen contest. It sounds crazy but it’s true – here’s the story.
80. Traditional Ice Cream, Istanbul, Turkey
From Sri Lanka we flew to Istanbul, Turkey, where this guy was making ice cream in the most hypnotising fun-to-watch way.
81. Istanbul, Turkey
Beautiful Istanbul, Turkey, where we began our Eastern Europe trip.
82. The Blue Mosque, Istanbul, Turkey
When visiting the Blue Mosque in Turkey, women must cover their head with a scarf. Don’t worry, if you forget to bring one they will have extras to offer you at the entrance.
83. Sofia, Bulgaria
Impressive architecture in Sofia, Bulgaria.
84. Zebra Crossing, Belgrade, Serbia
In Belgrade, Serbia they take their Zebra crossings literally.
85. Budapest, Hungary
A very melancholy looking sculpture in Budapest, Hungary.
86. Ruin Pubs, Budapest, Hungary
We went drinking in the ruin pubs of Budapest, which are made from old abandoned warehouses and decorated with the strangest assortment of random things. For more ruin pub photos, click here.
87. Zombie Walk, Bratislava, Slovakia
In Bratislava, Slovakia we were just wandering through the streets when we suddenly found ourselves in a midst of a zombie invasion.
88. Vienna, Austria
We spent a few days in Vienna, Austria just admiring the architecture and the sophisticated atmosphere.
89. Football Chaos, Munich, Germany
Lee wanted to be in Munich during the Champion’s League Final in order to experience some of the crazy football fan atmosphere. Munich won, so the entire city was packed with excited football enthusiasts chanting at the top of their lungs in German. What a night.
90. Brandenburg Gate, Berlin, Germany
Seeing the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin was pretty impressive. We would recommend the Sandemans New Europe Walking Tour of Berlin – it’s a really fun and interesting way to get to know the city’s incredibly complex history.
91. Holocaust Memorial, Berlin, Germany
This is the Holocaust Memorial of Berlin, otherwise known as the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe. It’s incredibly simple in concept, yet to walk through it is a truly chilling and moving experience.
92. Currywurst, Berlin, Germany
Currywurst deserves a special mention, considering the ridiculous amounts of it that we ate during our time in Germany.
93. Berlin Wall, Berlin, Germany
And of course, it wouldn’t be a trip to Berlin without seeing the Berlin Wall.
94. The Lake District, Cumbria, England
After our trip around Eastern Europe, we took a break back in England for a while. It was so nice to visit Lee’s family and our friends. I got into going on Sunday hikes with the Hyndburn Ramblers and got to see some really lovely landscapes around Northern England.
95. Machu Picchu, Peru
After a few months back in England, our next continent was South America. We started in Peru and I got to check off something that has been on my travel wish list for quite a while – Machu Picchu!
96. Colca Canyon, Peru
It was also pretty amazing to hike down into Colca Canyon, which is twice as deep as the Grand Canyon.
97. Colca Canyon, Peru
During that trek, we made friends with a stray dog who followed us every step of the way. We named him Diego and let him sleep in our room.
98. Cabanaconde, Peru
In Cabanaconde, this is not an uncommon mode of transportation. It’s even stranger when you see the horse overtake a car.
99. Alpaca and Mash, Puno, Peru
Alpaca is actually quite delicious – it tastes a little like venison and it goes great with mashed potatoes.
100. Copacabana, Bolivia
We are currently in Bolivia. This is the view from the top of the mountain in Copacabana, a Bolivian town on the shores of Lake Titicaca. It’s a steep climb up the mountain that really knocks the wind out of you, but it’s totally worth it for the amazing vista.