I’m not really the sentimental type but I think it would be remiss of me not to reflect just a little bit on the last 8 months. So here’s a quick end of trip report!
The top highlight:
- The overarching highlight, the time I now look back on with most love and happy memories was the time spent with my parents driving round New Zealand in ‘crunchy’ the campervan. What an amazing set of memories made, what fun times had and what a beautiful country. Thank you Mum and Dad for being truly wonderful people and great travel companions.
The rest in chronological order:
- Dancing under the stars on New Year’s eve flashpacker style with my New York besties in Phuket.
- Hanging out with the German yoginis in Koh Yoa Noi and mastering an unassisted headstand.
- Flying high above Franz Joseph.
- Wandering in Wanaka with the best of friends.
- Conquering switchbacks and being saddle sore in Queenstown.
- Being far too sociable in Sydney catching up with many dear friends and hanging out with my adorable godson.
- Watching the sunrise whilst swimming to Shelly beach with the ‘Bold and the Beautiful’ in Manly. http://www.boldandbeautifulmanly.com.au
- Early morning wanderings around Banteay Kdei in Siem Reap.
- Boating it to Battambang taking in all the Cambodian life along the way.
- Meeting wonderful new friends, scaling rocks and clambering through caves in Kampot.
- Feasting on crab and sunsets in Kep.
- New friends and future plans at the Foundation of Goodness.
Blagging being a blogger
I was a little unsure at first about blogging throughout my trip; would I keep the commitment over the 6 months and could I actually write anything interesting that people might want to read? Going into it I had no idea but was willing to give it a go. Some thoughts:
- One post a week was way too ambitious.
- I ended up binge blogging, so not writing anything for a couple of weeks and then spend two or three days solidly writing and posting.
- Sometimes it was a real slog….but made easier if by the beach!
- Although some days it felt like a chore looking back at the 45+ posts I’m so happy I persevered.
- Initially I thought bullet point summaries would be the way to go. This wasn’t the case and I found myself wanting and needing to write in full prose.
- I had lots of ideas for posts that never got further than notes in my moleskin.
- Blogging changes the way you think about a place or an experience and how you record it photographically.
- For the geeky analyst types out there some stats:
- Number of posts – 46
- Total number of visitors – 827
- Total number of views – 2,156
- Best performing month – January with 617 views
- Country stats – visitors from 34 countries including Iceland and Qatar
- Best performing post – Flashpacking at Indigo Pearl https://iwander.co/2015/01/02/flash-packing-at-indigo-pearl/
Thank you to those of you that have taken the time to read my about my wanderings, follow me and comment. It was nice to know you were out there!
I’m not a ‘foodie’ I don’t analyse my food, I just like to eat and drink it. Often, for me, good ambience and company will easily compensate for average food. Here’s a list of some of my favourite eating and drinking experiences during my time away.
- Thailand street food: These delicious things, I still don’t know what they’re called but basically its coconut milk roasted in a griddle pan served with spring onions.
- Garfish with Mum and Dad watching the world go by.
- Australia Day BBQ by the pool, in the rain!
- Wine and cheese at Rippon Vineyard and Winery.
- Best cellar door – Hunters in Marlborough.
- Home made roast dinner at Sammy and Mikes with lashings of gravy.
- Sundowners at the Warf Bar in Manly.
- Jann Bai, Battambang, Cambodia: French bread, with grilled pork, carrot, coriander and spices (the Khmer equivalent of Banh Mi).
- Lunch in the garden at Rock Ferry Wines in Marlborough.
- Lion larger on the beach in Hikkaduwa with friends.
- Sri Lankan food!
- Rice and curry, especially jack fruit, beetroot, and Maldive fish!
- Egg hoppers dunked in thick, rich chicken curry.
- Late night snacks of wade and kadala.
Well that’s it for now. Thanks again for the visits, follows and comments. I’m back off to Sri Lanka in 6 weeks to start my placement at the Foundation. Maybe I’ll write some more later in the year.
Written at home for a weekend of family celebrations.