2013 was a year of travelling in SE Asia, New Zealand and South America, as well as heading back home to the UK, getting a job, and (almost) buying a house.
New Years Eve 2012 was spent on the Khao San Road in Bangkok, whereas New Years Eve 2013 was spent in bed at home as Ben had the flu – what a difference a year makes!
We both had a fantastic time in the earlier part of the year, island hopping in Thailand, then spending time with family in New Zealand, before flying to Chile to see what South America had to offer.
January 2013 marked the half way point in our 7 month RTW trip, having already spent 2 months in India and a month exploring Laos and Vietnam, it was fantastic landing in New Zealand and staying in one place for a while (even if ‘a while’ was only 2 weeks relaxing in Golden Bay, before we headed on a camper van trip around the North Island).
Having spent 6 weeks in New Zealand we were both excited to get on the road again and headed to South America. We spent a month exploring South America and visited Chile, Bolivia and Peru. It was a short but sweet trip to South America and it definitely wet our appetites to see more of that area, in particular Argentina and Southern Chile.
In South America reality hit that we were heading back to the UK in only 1 month and I started searching for jobs on the internet and speaking to recruitment consultants over Skype. I had previously left a job in London working as a restructuring & recovery accountant, and decided that I’d go back to doing the same thing in Manchester as it paid a good salary (and I’d invested 3 years of my life getting my chartered accountant qualification). Both myself and Ben ended up landing on our feet and managed to secure jobs within a month being back in the UK. That was in May 2013, and boy has time flown by since then!
We spent most of the summer setting up our own business, a wedding venue, whilst still working full time jobs, and maintaining a travel blog. Whilst travelling we promised ourselves that when we landed back in the UK we would both go on a Spanish course together, that I would attend a graphic design course, and that we would buy a house – we have done none of those things. I’d like to make excuses and say that ‘work’ got in the way, which I think it did, but in general the ‘hum drum’ of ‘normal life’ got in the way. One of my resolutions for 2014 is to try to maintain a better work/life balance, although this is extremely difficult because I think I’m a workaholic.
We are currently trying to buy a house – a process that has so far taken 4 months and we haven’t even exchanged contracts yet (no one told me buying a house was this difficult – although the house isn’t ‘easy’ first time buy), however I am hoping we will have everything sorted soon.
In 2014 I would like to take steps to achieve a ‘location independent’ life, something I hope learning graphic design will help me achieve. We also need to buy a house, somewhere that can be our base, no matter where we are in the world.