Final Reflections: our year away

Two years planning with the help of patient family, friends and employers went out of the window this year.  What we imagined was going to be a year of living in Myanmar and volunteering for VSO turned into a year travelling, almost continually on the move, eventually ending up with a full circumnavigation of the world.

It wasn’t our plan A (volunteering with VSO), it wasn’t our plan B (finding somewhere else to volunteer through if VSO fell through) but it was not a bad plan C!

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All of the places we visited!

Personally I found not working and in fact not having a day to day purpose at all, very hard.  Even harder was the realisation that my savings would only go so far and that I would have to rely on Ryan’s generosity, sharing his wages with me each month.  I am used to being busy and financially independent, so this was incredibly difficult.  I also missed my family and friends very much.

However, despite the change of plans some of my aims were still met entirely: my desire to live ‘differently’; to be challenged; and, reassess what is important to me in life in general!  We have both come away from this year far richer in diverse experience than we imagined, we know each other better than we could have ever imagined too (for better and for worse!) and our sense of living frugally, within our means, as locally as ethically as possible has grown and strengthened.

Would we recommend it to someone else? Yes! Would I do it again? No! But I would do it again differently! Would I stay at home knowing that VSO was not going to work out? Never!  Do I have any regrets? Definitely not!


So, 16 countries later we find ourselves back in the UK.  Reflecting on the year away which feels both like an eternity and as though it went past in the blink of an eye.  Whether it had any long lasting effect on us personally remains to be seen, but one thing is for sure – we have had a multitude of amazing experiences and stories to tell.  It is fantastic to read back through them on the blog here, but in reflection we just wanted to pick out a few of our very favourite things.  If you fancy having a look at what we came up with, please click through on the links below.

Our Favourite Things
For all of these we attempted to do ‘top 10’ lists but sometimes we just couldn’t shorten the lists!  I think most of the lists are vaguely in chronological order, but there is no real order and number 1 does not necessarily mean it was our favourite, plus we would have never been able to agree on the order!

Top Special Places – click here

Most Memorable Journeys – click here

Fantastic Food – click here

Top Natural Wonders – click here

Our Favourite Beaches – click here

Top Wildlife Encounters (the good and the bad!) – click here

Amazing Architecture (ancient) – click here

Amazing Architecture (modern) – click here

Thank you for reading our blog and joining us on our adventure!


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