I can’t believe it’s been a year…

Hello friends… it’s been a while!

I don’t really know where to start.

After running out of money travelling the North island, I decided to stop in Wellington and get myself a job. I have settled into my new life here far more than I ever expected to! Described by the Lonely Planet as “the coolest little capital in the world!” and voted the best city in the world to live in a recent poll, Wellington is an excellent home! It’s pretty hipster, and not really like me at all, but I love it!

After a whole extra month of hostel living, I moved into a beautiful home on Cuba Street with my friends Becky and Jake. Her name is Princess Jasmine and she was perfect!

I have been working as a restaurant manager at a bar on the waterfront called Mac’s Brewbar since I arrived. (www.whg.co.nz/macs) Having spent the last few years working as many hours as possible in my old life, I was starting to really enjoy unemployment. This meant, starting a job in a bar on the waterfront of New Zealand’s capital, in the height of summer was a mega struggle. However, the Mac’s Crew made it all a lot easier and made me feel very welcome ❤️

I have since moved to my new home (Prine Eric) in the city centre. He’s fantastic, so close to everything, has a lovely balcony and even a pool. This month I’ve had to say goodbye to my flatmates and bet friends, Becky and Jake which has been really sad!

Throughout the year I have been lucky enough to visit many amazing places in the Southern Hemisphere. Firstly I met my oldest friend from home in Sydney 🇦🇺 and the following month Travelled to Fiji to do an island hopping holiday 🇫🇯 with 3 of my fave travelling buddies! After that, the Monty’s family were reunited when they arrived in New Zealand and we had a camper van holiday in Lucy (the Jucy van)🇳🇿

I also managed to squeeze in a short trip to the beautiful Martinborough with the grapes 🍇 for a spenny few days of cycling, wine tasting, classy dinners and generally having a loose time with some fantastic people! 🍷

I spent Christmas in the sun with Jen when we travelled to Bali for cocktails, adventure and injuries!🇮🇩 New Year was celebrated from the top of Marina Bay Sands with my hobbling companion.🇸🇬

Despite a lot of recent changes and having to say goodbye to some of the best people I have ever met (Thamires Kristine De Paula Nunes😭❤️) I am really hoping to extend my stay as I am not quite ready to go home!

I have applied for sponsorship from Mac’s, however, due to immigrations inability to make a simple decision, I have found myself( temporarily) unemployed! Instead of awaiting a decision that I am confident will take them several more weeks to make, I have decided to finish my Stray Travel Journey.

A year to the day since I arrived in the most beautiful country in the world, I am re-boarding the big orange bus and embarking on a trip down south.

This morning I woke up at 4am to start of my trip with one of New Zealand’s Great Journeys on the Interislander along the Beautiful Cook Straight. ⛴ This is my second time on the ferry but on this trip, I will be travelling alone.

I have now arrived in Picton and it is 32 degrees! ☀️ it’s not the most interesting part of New Zealand but it does have a lovely small town feel to it!

As I wait here for the bus, I am looking forward to returning to some of my favourite parts of the country and absolutely buzzing about the amazing new places that I have been excited to visit for the last year .

Let the holiday begin…

🚌

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The North Island – Part 2

Hello friends, apologies for the late posting, I have been super busy since arriving in Wellington. I hope you enjoy my post about my last few days of touring the North Island. An update on my wellington adventures will follow 🙂 

On 17th February, I left rotorua for the last time and headed to lake Annuwhenua. On the way, our tour guide, Karl, stopped off to show us the oldest Maori carvings in New Zealand and talked us through the history of his tribe – Ngnati Marawa tribe. We then went to visit his marae, where we were greeted by the elders and introduced to some of the Maori customs and traditions. They were incredibly welcoming and hospitable and seemed more than happy to have us. We then continued on to the lake where we were staying for the night. Our accommodation was adorable and the views from the lake were stunning! Our entertainment for the evening was amazing, firstly we were taught how to weave flax – which is a very common material used in Maori decoration. Ruth and I made ourselves some flax bracelets which was surprisingly simple! After this, we went on to do a cooking class in which we made a traditional Maori bread – very possibly the best thing I’ve ever eaten! We then watched Karl and his colleague make a traditional hangi meal. Meat, vegetables etc. Is cooked in an natural oven, covered with dirt and smoked by an underground fire. It was the most incredible meal – like the best Christmas dinner, but better… we finished our evening with Maori ghost story telling.

The next day we were heading to Taupo, where we had planned to do a skydive (over mount doom). However, the stormy weather meant that this was not possible – I was absolutely gutted! Instead, we visited Huka Falls, which is the most visited tourist destination in New Zealand. From there we walked to a natural hot water fall and had a brief swim. That night we were staying with George, a friend of Ruth’s. We went to Plateau, his restaurant, for dinner and experienced the first luxury we had in weeks! I had a fantastic steak and cocktails with the girls. It was really lovely to meet up with Carly, Julie and Becky, who we hadn’t seen for weeks! We then had a girls night out and did loads of dancing. 💃 

The following morning, George took us to Wairakei Falls – one of the scarier walks of my life. We struggled through a fenced off area and walked along a narrow cliff edge to get to the beautiful viewing point – totally worth it until one of the employees shouted at us for been in a restricted area and we had to leave! 

We then got on to a bus to Blue Duck Station at Whalahoro. Unfortunately, the bus had a few incidents on the way and broke down on several occasions. Our bus driver, Hemdog, handled it very well and kept the bus going between breaks with a little help from us! Eventually, we arrived at our destination, about 7 hours late and had a nice, early night. The following morning, I went horse trekking in the mountains. 🐴 my horse, Cash was a bit of a wild card and bolted away on several occasions. He was lovely, though and took me through the manuka forests to the top of mountains at Blue Duck. It was absolutely beautiful and gave me a chance to catch up and learn a little bit more about my Stray Bus friends. After this, I took a long walk in the rain to the Blue Duck falls. I had a lovely time, listening to The Dollop and trying to spot the rare Blue Duck. 🦆 

The next day, it was time to do the Tongariro Crossing. It is a 19.4km hike across Mount Tongariro , passing Mount Ngauruhoe (otherwise known as Mount Doom). It was hard going but absolutely incredible! It was so scary walking past several live volcanoes and sulphuric lakes but the views were amazing. Shout out to my walking buddies, Carly, Brian and Rachel! Despite my efforts, I became incredibly sun burnt and STILL (one month on) have hilarious tan lines. I’m sure my Lake District friends (if any are reading) will understand that it is very disappointing to complete such a long walk without a pub at the end! However, I was so exhausted, I was definitely ready for bed! 

The next morning, it was off to Wellington, which is to be my home for the next few months! 🏡 

The East Cape

Just a short post today!

I was slightly concerned about my trip to the East Cape as there were so few of our friends that seemed to be doing it. It was, however, supposed to be beautiful so on Valentine’s Day, our wonderful driver (Witux) picked us up from Rotorua and drove us to Te Kaha. There, we were met by Chay, who was a fabulous host as he welcomed us to his home. After introducing ourselves, he taught us a Maori welcome song and we played a few games on the lawn. We were then encouraged to explore our Home For the night. The accommodation itself was fairly basic, but we had a private beach, a hot tub and incredible views from the veranda. After a walk along the beach, we discovered a swing that looked out onto the sea and then spent the afternoon in the hot tub. After finding out that it had been my birthday a few days earlier, Chay and one of the girls made me a birthday cake. 🎂 everyone sang happy birthday, which was sweet and the cake was really good too! I had a great time in Te Kaha but watch out for the insects! I woke up and my foot had swollen up to at least twice the size after being bitten. 🐜 The following day, we continued our tour of the East Cape. First stop was the most easterly light house in New Zealand. There are 785 steps to get to the light house (we counted) but the views were totally worth it! We then went onto Tiki Tiki St Mary’s Memorial Church which is the only fully carved church in New Zealand. Witux told us a little about the history of the church and then played his guitar and sang to us. After this, we went on to Tologa Bay, which has the longest Wharf in the world. After a walk along the Wharf and a quick paddle in the sea, it was on to Tatapouri, where we were staying for the night. Ruth and I decided to do the stingray feeding activity. It was absolutely incredible, the beautiful animals almost behaved like puppies – they were so friendly and had no hesitation in making friends! The stingrays were looked after by a fellow Scot who had spent the last few years working in Aberdeen so it was really nice to catch up with someone from home! We ended the day, playing games at the base with a few beers. Tatapouri is the first place in the world to see the sunrise 🌅 but unfortunately the weather was not good enough to actually see anything. 

For the first time, I even had to used my waterproof rucksack protector, which was exciting (the little things…). We had a fairly uneventful day due to the torrential rain, so after we returned to Rotorua, I decided to have an admin evening, while watching a few films at the hostel. Having not seen a television over the last month, it was actually quite a treat!

Tomorrow, we head off to Lake Anuwhenua… 🚌 

The North Island – Part 1

I am aware that this blog title is not totally accurate but we shall just go with it…

It was really nice to be back in Auckland for a few days – it almost feels like home! I had a lovely day visiting the War Memorial Museum. I chose a beautiful day to walk to one of the highest points in Auckland to visit the museum. I could have quite easily spent days in the fabulous building. There were so many exhibits to see, from Maori culture to geothermal activity and, of course, the war memorials. I had an excellent morning to myself, looking around the museum and the grounds – I especially enjoyed the view of Rangitoto Volcano, that I had walked up the previous week.
After getting very lost on the walk back down town, I met up with Steven, a fellow Aberdonian. He treated me to some drinks at Soul Bar – a shout out to our home town. Having spent the last few weeks in back packer establishments, it was delightful to go somewhere with a bit of class. It was even good enough for the Real Housewives of Auckland, who were being filmed at the table behind us. Thanks for the champagne Steven, and thanks for introducing us Colin!

The following morning, our Stray bus was over an hour late in picking us up, however he redeemed himself when he told us that a mix up with the buses resulted in us getting to use the All Blacks bus. Today we went to stay in Hahei, where Ruth and I took a boat trip to Cathedral Cove. Our driver, Larry, was great and he took us to see the marine reserve, several caves and some incredible scenery as well as Cathedral Cove – the back drop for one of the Narnia films. 
We stayed in some beautiful accommodation, and even had a single bed – which was pure luxury! This is where I met Christine, the inspiration for my previous blog post. She was pretty average… just kidding – she was hilarious. We had a group BBQ before going to sleep in our outrageously comfortable beds. The next day, a group of us walked to Cathedral Cove which was a beautiful walk – after you reached the top of the first hill! Later that day we went to hot water beach, which was really cool. I still don’t quite understand how it works – the core and volcanos and things… 🌋 

The next morning, we drove to Bridal Veil Falls which was beautiful – worth the walk up the 500 stairs on the way back. After this, we went to Raglin, where we were denied a visit to the town centre! Instead we had a day at Black Sands Beach watching the surfers. Our accommodation was pretty basic but it was nice to get a private room with the girls. We also walked to Inspiration Point – after a small detour – where we watched our more agile friends suffer through yoga in the rain. We had a super chilled out night playing Cards Against Humanity and chatting in our room.

The following day was the best day EVER – shout out to Christine! Firstly, we did the Spellbound tour of the Waitomo Caves which was incredible. The first cave was a boat tour where we saw 300,000 gloworms. Up close, they are not quite so pretty, but from a distance, they look like stars in the sky. The second cave was a walking tour where we learned about the features of cave formation and saw 

live Weta and Moa fossils. We then went on to see Hobbiton which, let’s be honest, is the main reason I came to New Zealand. It was incredible to see all the scenery from the shire and learn some interesting facts about the filming of these scenes. Here’s one fun fact: it took 2 years to build the set for only 12 minutes of film throughout all six of the films. We even got to have a drink in the Green Dragon 🐉 where the bar man, Larry, recommended a pale ale that is only available at Hobbiton. Sadly, we had to get back on the bus where we drove to Rotorua, the part of New Zealand I was most looking forward to visiting. 

In the morning, we visited Hell’s Gate geothermal spa, which was pretty Cool! We had a walk around the geysers which were fairly intimidating. One of them was about 150 degrees and there was a small, live volcano that had a warning about the risk of eruption. We then, went into the mud spa and the sulphuric pools that have legendary health benefits. The whole experience was interesting and really relaxing, however, all of my possessions now have a strong scent of sulphur that I cannot seem to get rid of! All too soon, it was time to say goodbye to my good pal Christine, who has left me to go travel the South Island alone. 😥

The next day was my birthday. 🎈 I spent the morning playing Stop the Bus with Juliet and her friends on the other side of the world. I then opened all my birthday cards that my lovely friends had written me before I left (because they are the most adorable people ever). Juliet had even given me a party in an envelope, with balloons, a banner, candles and a badge, as well as a cute little sister elephants. 🐘 In the afternoon, Ruth, Aishling and I did the most dangerous white water rafting in the Southern Hemisphere. It was amazing – even the terrifying 7m waterfall! That night, we all went out for drinks in Rotorua and I was spoilt by Ruth who bought me a tequila or two! We also made friends with some of the locals, who were also having a birthday night out.

In the morning, we had a really chilled day about the hostel before heading to the Polynesian Spa. They had several hot pools and a reflexology walk which looked out onto the lake. It was super relaxing and a lovely way to end our time in the fabulous Rotorua.

Tomorrow, we are off to the East Cape… 🚌 

BC – Before Christine

On 1st February, I boarded my first Stray bus up to Bay of Islands 🌴 Our driver was really funny and full of information about the trip. Unfortunately, we ended up an hour and half late as we were stuck behind a lorry that had caught fire as the weather was so hot! When we eventually arrived in Paihia, it was lovely to catch up with a few people who had left Auckland a couple of days earlier. We had a BBQ 🍗 at base hostel and made friends with a couple of other hostel residents. 

The following morning, Ruth and I boarded the Dolphin Explorer for the Hole in the Rock Tour. It was absolutely amazing and we saw several dolphins 🐬 blue penguins 🐧 and a shark. 🦈 I am now super excited to find an Orca as it was the only thing we didn’t see. After this, we decided to do some admin and sort out finances and travel dates for the following few weeks.The next day, we boarded another tour bus to Cape Rienga. Firstly, we went to see 90 Mile Beach which is essentially a 60 mile-long highway in the sand. It is known to be the oldest and the youngest highway in the world as the tide resurfaces it each day. Swimming is not permitted as the water is really dangerous and vehicles have the right of way. It doesn’t sound impressive but it was actually really cool to drive along the sand. We also managed to spot some packs of wild horses 🐴 which were adorable. Cape Rienga (the most northern point of New Zealand) was the next stop and unfortunately the weather was really disappointing. On a good day, apparently it is possible to see the divide between the Tasmin and the Pacific Ocean. We didn’t manage to see this but the low hanging cloud gave this place a spiritual atmosphere. You could almost imagine the Maori spirits reaching this point before their departure to the afterlife. Next, we went on to Giant te Paki to do some sand boarding which was so much fun!!!! 🏄🏻‍♀️ Then onto Maninganinga Forest to see the impressive Kauri trees – the biggest trees in New Zealand that are over 600 years old. Later that day, it was time to move hostel and so Ruth and I upgraded to a significantly nicer place where there was only 2 of us in a room, some comfy sofas and beautiful views of the bay – absolute luxury! We then had a couple of beers and a game of pool at the nearby bar.
The next morning, Ruth and I headed to Russell to see the “Hell hole of the Pacific.” The original capital city of New Zealand was once the most violent and drunken place in the South Pacific. So much so, that it became the first place to require a liquor license. You can still view the license at the Duke of Marlborough hotel where is has been displayed since 1840. We also went to see Christ Church, which is the oldest church in New Zealand and the only building in Russell that remained standing after the sacking of the city. After a quick trip to the beach, we went to see the Russell Museum to find out the fascinating history of the tiny, but beautiful town. It’s crazy to think that this place was once famous for its sordid history.

The following morning, we visited the Waitangi Treaty Grounds. As it was Waitangi Weekend, there was an incredible atmosphere and loads going on. I was lucky enough to see some traditional Waka in action along the bay. We also did a tour of the museum with an incredibly interesting guide who was able to tell us all about his heritage as well as the Treaty of Waitangi. The longest Waka in the world was at the museum to celebrate the weekend, as well as the British Royal Navy Band. Unfortunately, I couldn’t stay all day as I had to get back to Paihia to catch the Stray bus home to Auckland. Although I didn’t manage to stay to see all of the Waitangi festivities, I definitely made the most of my time in the stunning Bay of Islands. 

There isn’t a place that I wouldn’t return to in this beautiful part of the world but, for now, back to Auckland… 🚌 

Arriving in Auckland🇳🇿

On 23rd January, I landed in Auckland. After a long flight, we checked into an extraordinarily mediocre hostel in the city centre. Despite sharing a less than satisfactorily clean room with 8 strangers, it was nice to have somewhere to call home. After a few drinks in the rooftop bar and a wander around Auckland harbour, it was time for bed. I wouldn’t describe myself as high maintenance but I definitely enjoy a little bit of luxury and so I was less than impressed with the communal facilities. However, after a much needed sleep and shower, everything seemed a lot better.

Day 2 in Auckland began with sorting out the boring but important details for my stay such as banking and tax codes. However, after a 3 hour orientation, I was feeling a lot more comfortable about life in New Zealand. After our induction, we headed to the top of Sky Tower to see the fabulous views of the city. It was then time for a night out in the city – firstly, happy hour at cassette nine, followed by the karaoke “rock” bar 🎤.

The next day, our hosts had arrange for us to take part in a walking tour of the city- I was really looking forward to being shown around and getting to know a little bit more about my new home. However, I managed to sleep through the whole tour, not waking up until after 2pm – #jetlag! To cheer myself up, I spent a horrific amount of money and booked a spontaneous trip to Fiji 🇫🇯 as well my stray bus pass. 
The following day, I had to wake up upsettingly early in order to jump off the Auckland Bridge. After having been quietly confident about the jump, it turns out I am terrified of heights! The instructor had a difficult job persuading me to take part but in the end I did it and I’m so glad I did! I wouldn’t necessarily repeat the experience in a hurry but i have no regrets!

That night, the group headed to the pub for an organised bar crawl. I had a fantastic night drinking beers and cutting some fabulous shapes with the girls – our dancing was on point! 👯

The next day, a group of us caught the ferry to rangitoto volcano 🌋 for a trek to the top of the mountain. We were all super organised with only one bottle of water and one bottle of sun cream between 6! This made for a tiring walk of dehydration and sunburn but we made it to the top and were rewarded with the most incredible views of the mainland. On the way down the mountain, we took the opportunity to climb through caves which was a great experience, despite being a bit claustrophobic.

On the Friday, I caught the ferry to Waiheke 🌴 which is an outrageously beautiful island. We did some wine tasting at Wild on Waiheke ( I would thoroughly recommend the Syrah) and spent the afternoon sunbathing on the beautiful beach. I cannot wait to return to Waiheke as it is such a magical place.

After being woken from an accidental nap, I spent the next afternoon at mission bay. It’s a lovely beach with incredible views of rangitoto and downtown Auckland. The water is beautiful but the beach itself is perhaps a little too much of a tourist destination! At night we watched the fireworks and light show from Auckland harbour. The show was stunning and accompanied by a live symphony orchestra.

The following day was Laneway Festival. I had no idea who any of the bands were but in order to avoid fomo, I decided to buy a ticket anyway. It was a stunning day – not a cloud in the sky – and the atmosphere was great. Despite not knowing any of the artists, I had an excellent time. 

The following day I met up with Isy, a fellow Aberdonian. She, very kindly, treated me to coffee and showed me around the city. After this it was time to pack and get ready to leave the hostel that I was beginning to call home. We had one last dinner together in Auckland before starting to go out separate ways.

I really enjoyed my time in Auckland and will be really sad to leave. Gladly, I will be back next week to sort out some affairs before finishing my travels around north island.

 I am now travelling up north on a Stray bus – first stop, Bay of Islands. 🌴 

3 days in Hong Kong 🇭🇰

Hong Kong 🇭🇰 is the most incredibly place! It has 17,000 people living in each square mile. The outrageously tall buildings gives it the incredible sky line that is so iconic.

After 12 hours on a plane, it was slightly difficult to be excited about arriving in such a fabulous place. The first day was a blur of wandering around downtown and the harbour, trying not to fall asleep!
At night we celebrated Jansens birthday with a bottle of Chinese champagne 🍾 and watched the light show from the star ferry. After this, we had dinner in a very authentic Chinese restaurant in Kawloon, before getting some much needed sleep.

8 hours later, I still felt terrible but it was wide awake and took a walk down to the river after an interesting breakfast at the hotel. Our amazing tour guide picked us up and we went on to see the fabulous views from Victoria peak, the highest point in Hong Kong. We then drove past the beautiful repulse bay before stopping at Stanley market for some shopping. 
As it is the year of the rooster (and my birth year was also the year of the rooster) I treated myself to a lucky key ring to take with me on my travels. I also learned how to say my name in Cantonese, it is not overly different – May-lay-sa.

We also visited my home town, Aberdeen and took a sampan boat around Aberdeen bay which was great, if a little bit emotional!

At night, the group enjoyed happy hour at the pool bar before heading off to a karaoke bar and subjecting the locals to some interesting performances of Queen.

The following day it was time to leave the hotel. Which took considerably longer than expected as I have simply brought too much stuff! After some helpful packing tips from my roomie, Ruth, I eventual managed to close my bag!

We then went on a cultural tour, visiting the Wong Tai Sin Temple and the stunning Nan Lion Gardens.

It was then back to the airport before boarding a long flight of back to back lord of the rings films.

I absolutely loved my time in Hong Kong. The city is beautiful, busy and really interesting and the people are lovely and welcoming. 

I Can’t wait for my return to Asia but now it’s time to go to New Zealand… 🇳🇿✈️

The Adventure Begins

My family have thoroughly spoilt me all week and been incredibly helpful and supportive.
My best friend Beki made the trip from London to wish me luck on my travels and my sister also visited. We had a hilarious but really emotional weekend in Stirling! 🖼😬🥖(the emojis are limited but you know what they are).

On my arrival in Stirling, I discovered that my bank card was missing. I frantically searched through all my belongings but there was no sign of it. I ordered a new card as quickly as possible in the hope that it would arrive before I left but it was not looking likely. Immediately after cancelling my card, my mum found it in the bag that i had searched through at least a million times – very frustrating! Thankfully, half an hour before I was due to catch my train, the postman arrived with my brand new bank card – luck was definitely on my side!

Another fabulous surprise yesterday was my sister visiting me in my London hotel! She made a the long journey from Manchester to join my parents and I for one last family dinner before I jet off! 
I cannot believe that I am getting ready for my flight to Hong Kong! 

I have spent the last week in Stirling with my mind on my upcoming travels. I must have imagined packing my bag on thousands of occasions and literally packed it at least 100 times! I am now locking it for the last time before I leave for real! 😳 

Thanks to everyone for visiting and Wishing me luck – Today is the day… ✈️

The Aberdream is Over 

Today is my last day in Aberdeen, the city I have called home for the past 6 years.

Moving away has been significantly more difficult than I ever imagined it would be. Planning and remembering to cancel my bills, my gym membership, my council tax, my internet etc. Etc. Etc. has been incredibly stressful. Not to mention all the paper work incurred in obtaining my visa, references, updating my cv and making contacts in New Zealand. I mistakenly thought that I would be bored over the last few weeks of unemployment, however, I am so pleased I took the time off to sort out my affairs before moving back to my home in Stirling.

Today, I have had to finish packing up my lovely flat and move everything I own into my car for the drive home tomorrow. After calling Jute street my home for the past 4 years, I am sincerely going to miss it and all the crazy things that happen on this questionable street. I am currently lucky enough to live with my best friend, Mini and it is going to be incredibly difficult to leave her.

Over the last few weeks I have had loads of fun with my friends at various leaving dinners and parties. This has, however, made the thought of leaving all these amazing people so much more difficult. I can’t thank you all enough for your support and I will miss you all so much! 💔 

I am now off to Dizzy’s bar and restaurant, my previous place of employment, to spend my last night in the city with my closest friends! It’s time for some cocktails.🍹

Only 7 days to go… ✈️

Rucksack Research 🎒

Planning my trip has been shockingly time consuming. One of the more challenging things was purchasing a rucksack 🎒 for my travels. Choosing an item that will be my companion over the next 12 months, that must be big enough and sturdy enough to hold all of my possessions was a more difficult task than I ever imagined. There are thousands of shapes, sizes and brands to consider.

Over the last few months, I have committed every break time in the office to google tavel blogs and forums to find advice one which one to buy. But with so much information available, it was extraordinarily difficult to know which advice was the best.In the end, I decided that the best thing to do was to take advantage of the January sales on our annual family trip to the Lake District. My poor family and I spent our holiday searching for the perfect rucksack. From Hawkshead to Windermere, we spoke to a variety of extremely helpful shop attendants and quickly became experts on the subject. It became clear that Osprey was the brand of choice for long term travelling. Our search finally lead us back to the Cotswolds Outdoor shop in stirling, where i purchased a beautiful Osprey Farpoint 70. It has many interesting features, my favourite of which is the detachable 15l daysack and bright green interior.

Now that I am so knowledgable on the subject, I have struggled to walk past an outdoor shop without going in to see what bags are on offer! Luckily the Farpoint does seem to be one of the best bags on the market and I have not regretted my choice!

Thanks to everyone for your help in my search!

Only 10 days to go… ✈️