Exploring

Stress & Sweet Singing Rugby players in Suva

How did I end up in a lounge with the Fijian national rugby team, being asked if I wanted to lead their regular before dinner devotions? It was a random and rather beautiful end to an afternoon that had been full of stress and a few tears. I arrived in Suva as planned around lunch time, looking forward to my air bnb with a pool, hot water showers and a chance to do some laundry. I’d texted my host Elizabeth the day before with […]

Sleepy Sigatoka

It was always going to be hard to match the beauty and enjoyment of staying on Kuata Island but I couldn’t stay there forever. It was time to explore the mainland. The bus from Nadi to Sigatoka (pronounced Singatoka) was less than $6 and took an hour. I was the only non-Fijian on the full bus. An older bearded gentleman sat next to me. After a while we had a little chat. Turns out he went to Canterbury University and Massey back in the […]

Barefoot Kuata Island

Day 2 in Fiji,  I headed to the Denerau Marina where I was to take my boat to Barefoot Kuata Island. Denerau is actually an island, less than 3 square kms in size, attached to the mainland by a causeway. The golf course on the way in looked gorgeous as did the homes on the other side of the road. Few locals can afford to own them though and this is a distinctly tourist area. The Marina was a relaxed yet busy place with all […]

Arriving in Fiji

Nadi (said Nandy, rhymes with Andy) is home to Fiji’s only International airport, so travellers usually need to stay here for at least a night before their boat leaves to the islands the next morning or they head off for more beautiful spots on the mainland. There is plenty of accommodation available here with all the fancy hotel chains having beach side resorts in Denerau (where the marina is) and a few backpackers and hotels in Nadi itself. I opted for an air bnb […]

Living with the locals

Angloville

In 2016 Antony and I did 5 different Angloville programmes (and a Diverbo Englischhausen which I will blog about separately). All the programmes were really enjoyable and a great chance to meet locals. We can highly recommend doing these programmes if you are a native English speaker travelling in Europe! Participating in an Angloville programme usually means spending 5 nights in a resort or hotel in the countryside, where, as native English speakers, you receive all meals and accommodation for free. In return you […]

Workaway at a Wine Hostel, Georgia

A week spent in the stunning wine region of Kakheti, helping out at a wine hostel was just fantastic. We had missed the wine harvest by a few weeks so there weren’t any wine-related things to do (aside from drinking the wine) but we kept busy with various other tasks. Ucha was our host, a young Georgian guy with fantastic English and a relaxed and friendly personality. He opened up his home (which he shared with his father) to many travellers throughout the year […]

Workawaying in Armenia

We walked across the border from Iran into Armenia and got the visa for Armenia in just a few minutes. After the border guard had spent quite some time admiring our passports (first NZ passport he’d seen) we then had to wait for the exchange guy to finish his coffee break before we could get some local currency and a taxi to nearby Meghri. No-one was in a hurry.  The taxi driver drove incredibly slowly and tried to convince us to let him drive […]

Couchsurfing in an Iranian Village

Aside from our first 2 weeks on Qeshm island, the following 6 weeks in Iran were almost exclusively spent staying in cities. There was one night in the desert and one other exception- when we couchsurfed in the village Nasrola Mahaleh, (near Fouman) in Gilan Province, with our host Hamed and his parents. This was quite a different experience and just wonderful. The village was in a green rural valley in the north of Iran. Cows and other animals wandered freely along the roads. […]

Travel tips

Arriving in Fiji

Nadi (said Nandy, rhymes with Andy) is home to Fiji’s only International airport, so travellers usually need to stay here for at least a night before their boat leaves to the islands the next morning or they head off for more beautiful spots on the mainland. There is plenty of accommodation available here with all the fancy hotel chains having beach side resorts in Denerau (where the marina is) and a few backpackers and hotels in Nadi itself. I opted for an air bnb […]

Money Matters Poland

We got just a brief look at Poland, visiting only Warsaw and Krakow, both cities I really enjoyed. We also had just over a week at Moscibrody for a couple of Angloville programmes (more on this here). In total we had 20 nights in Poland, 8 of them at Angloville. Costs are given in Polish Zloti (Zl). The exchange rate for Zloti to New Zealand dollars was 1 NZD = 2.94 zloti Accommodation Antony and I were in Poland from May 2 -22, 2016. […]

Angloville

In 2016 Antony and I did 5 different Angloville programmes (and a Diverbo Englischhausen which I will blog about separately). All the programmes were really enjoyable and a great chance to meet locals. We can highly recommend doing these programmes if you are a native English speaker travelling in Europe! Participating in an Angloville programme usually means spending 5 nights in a resort or hotel in the countryside, where, as native English speakers, you receive all meals and accommodation for free. In return you […]

How can you afford to travel for a year?

Many people ask us (or perhaps want to ask); ‘How can you afford to travel for a year?’ The short answer; We spend less when travelling than we do at home! We spent less flying around the world for a year than we did at home in Ashburton the previous year. If we factor in the income we earned from renting out our house while we travelled, the cost of travelling was actually less than half the cost of living at home. And this was when […]

Quotes

Rumi wisdom…

Listen with ears of Tolerance. See through eyes of Compassion. Speak with the language of Love ~ Rumi This mural was painted by a workawayer on the wall of the accommodation at the restaurant in Qeshm, Iran, where I workawayed (twice). Sarah C from Ireland painted this in January 2017 and chose the quote with the host Annelie… it’s another of Rumi’s wise sayings! The art reflects Southern Iran… camels, desert, and a woman in typical Bandari dress. I love it!

Life, Death & the year 2016

It is the last day of 2016. A memorable year for many reasons. On the international stage it seems the year has been full of alarming events (Brexit, Trump’s election, heightening of the Syrian refugee crisis, Standing Rock, truck attacks in Nice and Berlin, the rise of right wing party popularity across Europe etc.). In New Zealand our prime minister standing down mid term was also rather surprising. On a more personal level, I have had THE most amazing year one could really wish […]

Learning

Day 5 Operation Refugee

Today, June 20th, is World Refugee Day and the last day of Operation Refugee. It has been a really interesting experience eating these refugee rations. I am stoked we have been able to raise so much money for refugees… together our sponsors have donated $2395. My individual total is the highest at the moment, being $1759 but I’d love to see it get to $2000. People can donate for another month so it’s not too late! Click here if you want to support Syrian […]

Day 4 Operation Refugee

Our first night in the tent went without a hitch… the forecast rain was very light and came around 6.45am after Antony was already up and inside. It wasn’t too cold outside, about 3 degrees the low. I was toasty warm in my sleeping bag with a long sleeve merino top, PJ pants and a warm hat. Antony had just boxers on but was warm enough – such a hottie 😉 We both slept fine. Frost and minus 1 forecast tonight though! Usually on […]

Day 3 Operation Refugee

Day 3, Sunday June 18 dawned and the first thing I did was grab my phone and check the total amount we’d raised in Operation Refugee. $2000 exactly! Thanks to some clever exchange rate calculations, my Scottish friend was the one to get the total to that exact amount. I looked outside to a very white lawn and frozen garden and thought… oh boy, we’ll be sleeping there tonight. A little bit crazy! This morning Antony stacked the load of firewood that had arrived, then […]

Operation Refugee Day 2

Day 2 of eating refugee rations was a lovely sunny Saturday… Conveniently my 9am web-meeting was cancelled so I stayed in bed until 10, reading and catching up with friends’ news and their videos of travel adventures etc. So lovely not to be rushing off anywhere. We had a late breakfast, same thing as yesterday but not quite as tasty. Rice with cinnamon. It overflowed – again- you have to be quite observant cooking rice, beans etc. This is now the third pot of […]