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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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?!