A Travellerspoint blog

United Kingdom

Hold the phone... We re coming home!

Where have the last 18 months gone...

12 countries, 38 scuba dives, 100s of mosquito bites, over 8000 photos, 1 camera (despite the boat accident), hangliding, tree houses, African elephants, manta rays, surfing, zip wiring through the jungle, temples, gorgeous beaches, caves, millions of bats, sailing, trekking, Hobbiton, motorbikes, rice wine, rice whiskey, BBQs, white water rafting, yoga, Bintang, volunteering, homestays, Great Wall of China, weaving, bike rides, pandas, Angkor Wat, tuk tuks, building walls, sleeper trains, overnight buses, giggling kids, boats, 1 scorpion sting, swimming with dolphins, epic road trips, bungy jumps, crossing the Nullabor, sticky rice, epic reunions, connoisseur ice creams, mountains, getting lost, Asian elephants, stunning scenary, Kung Fu, Orangutans, 2 Christmas' in the sun, 1 new year on a beach and the other on a plane, Nasi Goreng, sunbathing, 7 'engagement rings', more gorgeous beaches, summits, sickness, spiders, bed bugs, kayaking, waterfalls, challenges, geckos, haggling, 1000s of smiles, loadsa new friends, coconuts, sharks, rock climbing, languages, naps, horse riding, wine tasting, more temples, deserts, kangaroos, amazing cities, ups & downs, villages, volcanoes, glaciers, camp fires, baggy trousers, islands, bridge climbs, Oreos, horse races, penguins, archery, Uluru, cooking courses, Komodo dragons, AFL, tea plantations, whales, Game of Thrones... And more!!!


And judging by all the white on this map there is still so much of the world to explore! Must get planning the next trip!

It was time to head back to the UK and what an incredible adventure we had been on!

Packing our bags for the last time was a strange experience, I think I threw out half of my clothes that were fine to travel in but not sure I could get away with holes in my shorts back home. Or even wear shorts! It's going to take a while to get used to the cold! I think New Zealand tried to prepare us though as we waited in the rain for the bus back to the airport.


It was to be a mammoth journey home flying from Christchurch to Sydney, Sydney to Abu Dhabi and finally Abu Dhabi to Heathrow!

But the 33 hour bumpy journey was all worthwhile when we were met by this warm family welcome!


I had the wonderful surprise of Battenberg cake and seeing my Nanna too, who I had been told wasn't going to be there :) sneaky!



I am happy to report that the dog and cat remembered us too!

A wonderful welcome home!

Huge thank you to everyone who helped to make this dream possible from the support back home to the friends we have made around the world. It wouldn't have been the same with out you.

And of course a massive thank you to the most awesome travel buddy and husband to be Dan! WE DID IT!!!!


So here's to the next adventure... Suggestions most welcome :)


Posted by doyledan 03:16 Archived in United Kingdom Comments (0)

Sarah makes it to Nambia!!

Thank god!


So its been a slightly nervy last day or two having said goodbye to Sarah at Heathrow on the 25th August as we did not hear from her until today (27th).

Subsequently found out that internet was not working at the hostel and so I was treated with a phone call which was great to have a few minutes to chat. She sounded really excited and the people she had met so far sound like a good group so I was pleased for her.

The main thing Sarah's family and I were glad of ( apart from Sarah's safety of course) was that her bag made it all the way to Walvis Bay, which if you have heard the story of Sarah's last trip to Africa where she was stranded with no luggage to be then saved by her Dad, it was a relief that she wouldn't have to go through that ordeal again.

Of course with the Internet no existent at the Hostel and Sarah being in the remote deserts for most of her time in Nambia, it is unlikely there will be an update on her travels in Nambia for a while.

So your stuck with my thrilling tales of travel preparation.....only kidding..... I don't plan to prepare at all !! haha! .....no really that's about exciting as it gets at the moment.

Having seen Sarah manage to fit all but the Kitchen sink (see below) in her bag I have begun to make headway myself hoping that I can fit all my stuff in one bag!


Stay tuned for more tales..........

Posted by doyledan 11:56 Archived in United Kingdom Comments (1)

Chasing pigeons in the park

Where it all began

Here we are in the final week before I go and I can't quite believe it!

Its been best part of 10 years since my first encounter with elephants in Namibia and since then I have been boring friends, family and anyone else who would listen on how I will go back one day and volunteer on a conservation project as well as travel the world.

For those who have not heard it before my first encounter around a water hole at Etosha National Park in Namibia was simply magical. Every animal you could imagine surrounded the water - zebra, springbok, giraffe, rhino...even a lioness and her cubs came down! Such a treat but Etosha saved the best till last and as the sun went down silhouettes of elephants appeared against the pink sky. I can not explain why but nearly everyone in the group had tears in their eyes as we watched the family get closer to the water. It was a beautiful sight. A flock of small birds were also taking a drink at the waterhole and we noticed one of the baby elephants watching them intently from between his mothers legs. Suddenly he ran at them, trumpeting, ears flapping and swinging his trunk, but the noise as the flock took to the sky scared him so much he ran back to hide behind his mum. The birds continued to drink at the waters edge and peace resumed but the baby elephant had different ideas. After taking a moment to compose himself and clearly determined not to be to scared this time we watched as he squared his shoulders and made himself look as big as possible before charging with all his might. The birds again took flight but this time instead of cowering away he trotted around the side of the waterhole, proudly trumpeting and swinging his trunk so the birds would not land again. Hilarious!! From that moment I was hooked!

I am now going back to Namibia and will be volunteering on a conservation project with EHRA (Elephant and Human Relations Aid). The aim is to help reduce conflict between elephants and humans by building protection walls around water points and also monitoring the elephants movements and behaviours whilst out on elephant patrol to flag any problem areas in the future. I hope to learn a lot about tracking and identifying elephants as well as putting myself through the physical test of the building work. I AM SO EXCITED!!!

If you want to find out more on EHRA see below


I'll finish for now on a quick thank you to all the patient listeners and for endulging my obsession with all the elephant cards, books, necklaces, bracelets, pictures, etc over the years. Apologies in advance for the 100s of photos you will see of elephants in return!


Posted by doyledan 05:18 Archived in United Kingdom Comments (0)

In the words of Rhino "Let it begin...LET IT BEGIN!!"

sunny 30 °C


And so it begins............

Hello, Dan here.

Its been a long time coming but Sarah and I are finally able to realize a dream of ours to travel together and see what the world has to offer (well 1/3 of it anyway)

We've spent the hours researching destinations and can now give you the plan for our trip (which you can view in the map at the top of this post)

It spans across China, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia (inc Borneo), Indonesia, Australia and New Zealand with the first part being Sarah's lifetime ambition to go back to Namibia and work with the Elephants, which I will let her tell you all about.

We've seen how other travelers have documented their time away and we see it as a great way to keep all our friends and family updated as well as act as a diary that we can look back on in the future.

So watch this space for tales from our experience's..........

But for now I will leave you with Rhino to sum up how we are feeling right now!!

Click here to see Rhino

Posted by doyledan 10:56 Archived in United Kingdom Comments (1)

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