Full-time Travel: A Quick Look Back at Year 3

Today, July 13th 2016, is a pretty big milestone for us. It was this date three years ago, in 2013, that we left Ireland on a one way ticket to Thailand with a hope of staying there for a couple of months and figuring stuff out as time passed.

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To say that the time has gone quick would be an understatement. Since our last review post on two years of full-time travel, we’ve been to 13 new countries and have had our most hectic year of country hopping to date.

Over the past twelve months we’ve spent time in northern Thailand where we focused on growing our online business.

We’ve backpacked through India for 3 months, a trip that we still have so much to write about so stay tuned!

We spent some much-needed quality time with friends and family back home in Ireland.

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We had some great times with family and friends over Christmas in a snowy Boyle

And the latter part of the year was spent travelling through the Balkan region, a 5 month trip that enabled us to cross 12 more countries off the list.

To mark this special day, the following is a quick review post outlining our highs and lows and our top and least favourite places etc.

Here it goes…

Countries that we visited in the past 12 months

The following is a more precise list of all the new countries that we’ve been to in the last year:

  1. India
  2. Romania
  3. Bulgaria
  4. Greece
  5. Turkey
  6. Slovenia
  7. Montenegro
  8. Bosnia
  9. Albania
  10. Croatia
  11. Serbia
  12. Kosovo
  13. Macedonia

Travel HIGHS and LOWS of the Last Year

Favourite new country that we’ve visited in the last year?

Carlo: Albania was my favourite. It’s still relatively untouched by mainstream tourism and there was something very raw about travelling there. The public transport system is terrible though!

Florence: Slovenia for me! It surprised me in so many ways. It’s clean, it’s green, the people are friendly, it’s really beautiful, it’s relatively cheap and it’s got everything going for it in my opinion.

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Lake Bohinj in Slovenia was so beautiful

Least favourite place of the last year?

Carlo: Kosovo. Ok, we only spent one night so I don’t really have a great perspective but from what we saw and based on that one night, it was my least favourite.

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Carlo looking happy at the Bill Clinton statue in Pristina, Kosovo

Florence: I hated Calangute in Goa. It was our first stop in India and I got hit with a major dose of culture shock when we landed.

It was crazy busy. It was way overpriced. It was monsoon season. The beaches were a complete let down. Everyone was drunk. Shall I go on?!

Calangute is the touristy part of Goa so perhaps things would have been different had we went elsewhere.

Standout travel highlight of the last year?

Carlo: For me, it’s got to be driving through the desert in Rajasthan in Northern India.

I love the feeling of isolation and being out there in the openness and stopping off in small desert towns to visit the local markets etc. was an experience that I wasn’t expecting to enjoy as much as I did.

Florence: I loved loved loved Cappadocia. From doing a balloon ride and driving around taking pics of the amazing landscape to hiking and sleeping in my first ever cave hotel, those few days were the travel highlight of the last year for me.

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Early morning in Cappadocia, Turkey

Travel low of the past year?

Carlo: It’s wasn’t an extreme low but suffering from a bout of food poisoning in Mostar, Bosnia was a bad time for me.

And while you might think that I got it from eating some strange local food in a small roadside cafe, the truth is that I got it from McDonalds.

I’ll never eat a big mac again. Ok, that’s probably a lie!

Florence: For me, seeing the poverty in India was pretty hard to deal with. One specific low was seeing (what I think was) a four year old cradling a newborn baby in the street with no sign of a parent keeping watch over them.

It was heartbreaking.

 3 Years of Full-time Travel: Has the feeling of wanderlust decreased for us?

Looking back on the Carlo and Florence that left home on a one-way ticket 3 years ago, I say YES to this question.

It hasn’t disappeared but it has decreased.

What I mean when I say that is we obviously still want to travel. We want to visit more countries, get to learn about new cultures, meet new people from around the world and have brand new experiences that we’ve never had before.

It’s just we don’t have the desire to be on the move as much as we have been the last year.

Both India and the trip through the Balkans were draining. We moved super fast for the best part of both trips and moving onto new destinations every 2-3 days left us tired and craving routine.

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Tuk-tuks, long bus journeys, night trains and no routine does take its toll!

No longer do we want to backpack for 8 continuous months taking in 15+ countries with just the necessities in our backpacks. In fact, I’m getting tired just thinking about doing such a trip!

Finding somewhere that we both like and using it as a base to explore the surrounding areas/countries is a lot more attractive to us these days.

Hence why we’re in Vegas for three months!

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Follow us on snapchat to see what we get up to in Vegas

Plans for the next year?

True to the name of our blog, we leave Vegas at the end of September and after that, it’s a case of next stop, who knows?!

As always, thanks for following our journey guys. We don’t blog near as much as we’d like to but hey, life gets in the way sometimes and we’d rather embrace what we’re doing over sitting at a laptop for hours on end when we don’t have to! 

Here’s to the next year… 🙂 

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About the Author

Florence has relocated herself to S.E Asia to pursue her life-long dream of travelling and working around the world. She's currently working as a freelance writer and enjoys the travel lifestyle. She blogs in her free time - which she now has a lot of!! Her favourite things about travelling are meeting new people, interacting with the locals in a new country, sampling new foods and embarking on long bus/plane/train journeys!!

6 Responses to “Full-time Travel: A Quick Look Back at Year 3”

  1. Happy travel anniversary guys!!

  2. Ray says:

    Congrats on your three year Nomadic lifestyle anniversary! It’s been a pleasure to watch your travels via Facebook and your blog. Love how you decided to pick Las Vegas as your current base in the midst of Summer when most people try to avoid the Southwest United States at this time of the year due to the extreme heat. Do you have any plans on doing some day trips/weekend getaways to other areas near Las Vegas that you haven’t previously explored yet before you move onwards at the end of September?

    • Florence Murphy says:

      Hi Ray,

      Thanks so much for your kind words 🙂

      We’re absolutely loving Vegas so far, although the heat is pretty extreme and walking isn’t always a good feeling when it’s like 43 degrees!

      Apart from that, it’s being really good to us so let’s hope the next two months are as good as the last one has been.

      We do plan on doing some day trips and weekend trips over the next few weeks. We’re going to rent a car and head out to Lake Mead as we haven’t been before.

      We’re also planning on going to Zion National Park, Death Valley, Monument Valley and L.A.

      We’ve also got a helicopter trip over the Grand Canyon planned for early next month and even though we’ve done it before, it’s something we’re both looking forward to.

      We might squeeze more in but that’s the plan for now.

      Thanks a mill for following along Ray and we will be blogging more about these trips as and when they happen 🙂 🙂

  3. Tiffany says:

    Hey guys! I love reading your updates! I bet Las Vegas is hot this summer! We’re in Borneo and it is SO hot here. Hope you have been having a great time!!!

    • Florence Murphy says:

      Hi Tiffany,

      Thanks for following along. 🙂

      It’s so unbelievably hot is right – 43 degrees Celsius most days! It’s too much for my Irish skin tone 😮

      Hope you guys are enjoying Borneo – it’s on our list 🙂

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