LESSONS LEARNT AFTER 2 MONTHS OF TRAVELING

Updated: May 20


Danielle and I have been planning our trip for around 3 or 4 years now. We've found there's only so far imagination and online research can take you when thinking about what you want to do? What to pack? and how much things will cost? Only first-hand experience can help with that. These first two months have been an incredible learning curve, and we want to share what we've learnt so all you hopeful travellers can put it to good use too.

A man and woman stand staring out into the ocean while standing on the shore. The woman has jumped up onto the mans back and wrapped her legs either side of his waist with her arms reaching out around his chest. She is wearing a bikini with dark brown bottoms and a white bikini top. The man she is holding onto is standing in black shorts an has dark brown hair. Both are looking away from the camera and gazing out into the vast ocean ahead. The sand on which they are standing is white and soft as the mans feet can be seen sinking into it up to his ankles. The water is see through at the shore but then quickly changes to shades of light green, light blue and as it moved further back it turns dark blue. The sky has some cloud but overall is very blue and it looks to be midday as the light shines down on the pair as they enjoy the spectacular beach and views
There might be some things we'd change, but standing and taking in these sights wouldn't be one of them

WHAT TO PACK?

The million-dollar question, and annoyingly there is no magic answer. We packed what we thought we'd need, but it quickly became apparent we brought way too much stuff. It's left us with heavy backpacks that we need to carry around so hopefully, you can learn from our mistake.

Danielle regrets bringing too many make-up and skincare products. She has tended to only use maybe 4 out of 20+ products she brought with her, so there's a lot that wasn't essential. Now we're stuck carrying them around for the next 10+ months until our scheduled short trip back home. Danielle advises anyone to be brutal with what they plan to take, and only take the very basic essentials you need. Less is more when you're in a hot country, so make sure to be ruthless with your beauty products.

My regret is bringing so many clothes. It might not seem a lot but I brought 4 vests, 8 T-shirts and 2 shirts, 4 shorts and 2 swim shorts, which was still too much. I also packed enough pairs of pants to last a lifetime! I must have thought I'd have "Bali belly" every day for 6 months. my advice would be to bring less than you might think. Once you're out there you can always stock up on anything you do need anyway. Not only does it give you a few souvenirs, but it'll save you from having to sit on your bag just to zip it up!

This incredibly scenic picture shows a skyline view of Bangkok taken from the top of the highest tower in the whole city. A couple are seated on a slightly raised seating platform with a glass barrier behind them that lets you see out at the city which stretches all the way out as far as the horizon. The floor on this particular section of the sky scrapper is glass, so you can see down the 85floors below all the way to the ground and the various other buildings below. The couple are sat at a corner section of the seating area and are facing towards each other as the kiss and embrace during the start of a sunset. The man on the left is sat wearing a white shirt with beige shorts and black feet covers which are required to step on the glass viewing platform. He has his right hand placed on his right knee and his left hand flat on the seating platform as he leans in while kissing the young woman. She is a young blonde woman with a white dress with black polkadots on it. Her feet are concealed behind the man she she has them propped up on the seating platform and her body is turned towards the man. Her left hand is placed on the mans cheek as she kisses him. The picture is bright as the sun only just starts to set in the distance. You can see the clouds starting to turn orange over on the horizon
This skyscraper in Bangkok gave some incredible sunset views, although it was nervy stepping onto the glass on the 85th floor

WHAT DO WE WISH WE HAD MORE OF?

Suncream! I really can't stress that enough. It's something you should be using every day, and it's expensive in countries where the locals don't typically buy it a lot. A lot of local products, including suncream, contain skin whitening products in South East Asia as well. If you're like us, and you want to get a tan in Bali, then you have to make sure you don't buy the wrong products. We would pack as much suncream into our bags as possible next time. The weight reduces in your bag as you use it anyway, it's cheaper back home, and you can be confident it won't be whitening your skin!


Money - It's an obvious one because everyone wishes they could have more of it. There are things we spent money on before leaving that we would take back now if we could. We would much rather have those few extra hundred pounds than have gone on those nights out etc. We're not running low on cash, but every pound is more important when you don't have a constant reliable paycheque coming in.


If you're currently saving to go on the trip of a lifetime then check out our blog on saving money to travel.


WHAT CHANGES WOULD WE MAKE?

The only change we would make is to have done all of this much sooner. Covid put a dent in our travels last year, but going back even further than that we would have set everything in motion years before. Sure, it's not perfect but that's also the beauty of it. When things don't go to plan we have to spontaneously make changes that have led to some of the best times! The freedom of waking up and deciding what our day looks like then and there is something we love.

This picture shows a man and woman walking hand-in-hand across a stone bridge over a lake in a park in Bangkok. The bridge sits flat onto the lake and almost looks like it would sink by stepping onto the stones. There are large stones the zig zag across with small gaps in between. The lake is a dark shade of green that stretches out either side of the flat bridge and out of the shot. The couple are walking across the bridge and hopping over the small sections between each individual stone. The man on the right is standing ahead and leading the woman on his left. He is wearing a multicoloured vest starting pink at the top, and it has a dark blue thick stripe around the waist and the the bottom section under this is a light grey. He has white shorts on and black flip flops. The woman to his side has blonde hair tied in a bun. She is wearing a white strap top that shows the top of her back and then she has black shorts on and flip flops. Ahead of the stone bridge are some steps which lead through trees, plants and grass either side. The sun is shining down on a lovely day to explore the beautiful park found in Bangkok, Thailand.
We were amazed at how picturesque this park was in Bangkok

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WHAT DO WE STILL LOVE?

  1. Travel Rucksacks: We've used these for short and long trips and always recommend them. They feel like Mary Poppins bags at times with the amount we're able to fit in them! There's a small bag that comes zipped on the front which makes for a great day-to-day bag. Beach trips, working in a cafe, carrying our camera equipment...they're excellent.

  2. Tripod: When Danielle purchased this I wasn't originally sure how much it would change things. After the first use, we wondered how we ever got by without it! It took our photos and videos to a whole new level immediately, and it's very easy to carry around. There's a clicker that connects to your phone and lets you get into the frame and take snap after snap. The alternative of asking a stranger to take a picture of us both now seems alien.

  3. Packing cubes: Again, a new one to us but something that works very well. They let you divide your clothing into compact cubes so you can fit more into your bag. When you're on the road a lot they also help you keep your room tidy.

  4. Universal power adapter: This was a brilliant purchase and something that helps us daily. Rather than carry multiple adaptors for different continents you can carry this around and you're problems are solved! It has multiple USB ports and a USB-C port too so works for everything.

A couple are standing on a beach on a glorious and sunny day. They are side by side as they gaze out into the ocean which looks calm and still on a lovely day with clear blue skies and only a slight view of faint cloud. The woman on the right is sat on the trunk of a coconut tree which has grown out along the sand raised slightly off the ground before curving up towards the sky. She is sat with her legs both to the right side of the tree and her feet curled behind her as she balances in place for the picture. The man is stood next to the tree just in front of her in black shorts with short dark brown hair and sunglasses on. The woman is wearing a white bikini and has long wavy blonde hair that falls down over her shoulders and back. The coconut tree eventually stretches out and upwards towards the sky and has lovely green leaves stretching out far on all sides. The beach they are standing on looks gorgeous with white sand that meets the calm blue ocean just ahead. in the distance you can see more of the coast of the island Koh Samui, in Thailand.
Our tripod has helped us take much better pictures as a couple

WHAT HELPED US QUARANTINE FOR 5 DAYS IN JAKARTA?

  1. Nintendo Switch - Boredom kicks in fast when you're confined to a solitary room. Having an escape like this helped.

  2. iPad Pro - being able to download our favourite shows and movies to watch offline has helped us through some tough quarantines and long-haul flights.


There is a lot we are still figuring out about this lifestyle, but are loving every single second of it. If there is anyone reading this that is thinking of setting off on an adventure then I urge you to do it sooner rather than later. Once you set off you'll wish you left a long time ago!

 

For more travel tips check out our blogs on saving money to travel, travelling sustainably and our travel photography guide.


Follow us on Instagram & TikTok as we tackle the what, where, why and how we’re doing this... as well as all the twists and turns along the way.

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