May 8, 2014 - News    No Comments

Week 19 – photo of the week – the simple life pleasures

Life is simple when you’re backpacking. And truly if you learn anything on your travels it will be not to sweat the small stuff.

A beer on the beach it was for mr Sherifi this week. And while I had various drinks on the multiple beaches I visited on my travels, this is something I considered truly special.

week 19 - life's simple pleasures on koh wai

How often do we truly have nothing better to do than build sand castles?

Maybe when we’re 5, away on holiday with our parents desperately trying to get rid of us for that precious half an hour of doing nothing but catching some sun…

Well, C and I started our big adventures off by visiting Koh Chang – an amazing Thai island first to unwind and get familiar with all that backpacking malarkey. Someone told us in BKK that once we’re there we should venture a bit further out into the sea and visit the little Paradise Island of Koh Wai.

We landed on this beautiful little gem in October 2012 and couldn’t believe that places like this still exist. No internet, no roads, electricity supplied only for a few hours a day through a generator, rain water showers and nothing to do but sunbathing, eating lovely food, kayaking and swimming in the turquoise crystal clear waters.

I know it’s not everyone’s cup of tea but after living in London for over 7 years this is all we needed to switch into our travelling moods and learn once again what that weird, almost foreign sounding word ‘relax’ means.

We spend 4 days in Koh Wai Paradise huts, that were literally wooden shacks with a bed and a mosquito net, fell asleep to the sound of waves crashing on the beach, woke up going for a swim in the sparkling waters and generally did not very much for the rest of the day apart from reading books, chatting, playing cards and building sand castles.

Life was just so simple, so jovial with no worries and nothing to think about.

But then again, the lesson that we both learned is that life really and truly IS that simple and everything around it is just noise.

May 2, 2014 - News    No Comments

Week 18 – photo of the week – The City of Queenstown, New Zealand

Macca knew straight away what my response to his blog this week – The City of Cusco was going to be.

You’re going to write  about Queenstown aren’t you he said to me… Well he wasn’t wrong.

week 18 - queenstown beach

And I must say I do like a big city and I do like the hustle and bustle every now and then and on my travels I truly and deeply fell in love with the crazy chaos of Bangkok, I loved Singapore and I loved Saigon but yeah, I must admit that Queenstown has that amazing charm and the surroundings are just simply stunning.

To be able to pop your walking boots on and step outside to some of the world’s most beautiful tracks is just a winner for me on all counts. The simply stunning Lake Wakatipu, the ranges of The Remarkables surrounding it… I mean look at this backdrop!

 queenstown skyline

For those of you who know me or read some of my pieces talking about trekking and walking will know what I mean. Paradise on Planet Earth that is for me ladies and gents.

Queenstown, in the Otago region of the South Island of New Zealand is also named the world’s adrenaline capital and boy are they right saying this! According to Wiki in 2012 Queenstown offered 212 adventure tourism activities. Anything from sky diving, to world’s first commercial bungee jumping and canyon swings is right there at an arms length.

You can shop, dine and party. You can chill, escape the world and forget about everything…

I can’t wait to be back in early 2015 and if anyone ever asks where would my dream home be… Well you all now know where, don’t you?

Apr 25, 2014 - News    No Comments

Week 17 – photo of the week – Breakfast with Cockatoos

We’re back Down Under this week talking breakfast.

Macca reminisces his brekkie with Lorikeets on the East Coast beach. While I talk breakfast with Cockatoos on our friends balcony in Sydney.

week 17 - breakfast with cockatoos

You’ve seen this cute fellas before when I was talking about our wildlife encounters during our trip down the East Coast. We met them on a lovely sunny morning enjoying our brekkie at our friend’s place on the North Shore in Sydney.

Like Macca’s Lorikeets, our Cockatoos turned up out of nowhere. We could hear them first, hiding in the trees, then the first and the bravest of them all landed on the bannister tilting his head to the side looking at us and investigating what we were eating.

Soon all his friends joined in and we offered them some sunflower seeds. Firstly sprinkled over the bannister, then out of a bowl, and finally out of our hand.

cockatoos in Sydney

And yeah, there is something special about interacting with nature in such a close way. We’ve had breakfasts with giant lizards by the beach, met lorikeets in the Tablelands, found a possum behind a coffee machine and had kangaroos procreating at 2am in the morning outside our little camper.

It was awesome and I truly think that travelling up or down the East Coast gives you some of the best chances of experiencing it on your travels.