Are You Taking Just Hand Luggage?!?

Yes, we are each taking one big bag for our year long trip. One bag each. For a whole year. Around the whole world. Yikes!

The luggage carriers

D is taking a Karrimor Trail 35 and I am taking a Quechua Forclaz 30 Air backpack. We’re trying not to stuff them TOO full, so that they don’t split all over the floor at Heathrow Airport. Here they are, completely packed. Mine (the purple one) weighs around 6kg, and D’s weighs about 7kg.

LUGGAGE - BAGS

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The Puzzle of Puzzle

Most of you will have heard about this adorable puddle of fluff. We found Puzzle at a shelter in August 2014 and she meowed her way into our hearts.

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She’s not very good at being a shelter kitty because she really hates other cats! She likes pretending she’s a tiger when she sees other cats in the neighbourhood, but she’s a kitten at heart and ends up running off if they ever get too close.

I think if it weren’t for her, we would have had this travelling thing planned ages ago. But the first question we asked whenever we talked about it was, ‘What do we do with Puzzle?’

I think shelters do a great job, but we didn’t want her to be put back in the system. Also, to be truthful, we want to see her again at the end of the 12 months, and hopefully have her back living with us as ‘our cat’ (although you never can really ‘own’ a cat).

Luckily, we both come from a long line of cat lovers – and ours is particularly lovable. So we have four options;

My parents – They live a couple hours drive away which isn’t great and they already have two cats. But they have a huge garden and both cats pretty much keep to themselves.

D’s parents – They live quite near, but have two cats already who are sisters. One of them is a particular bully to all the other cats in the area.

My brother – Who lives in London. He’s not a cat person, but his girlfriend has just moved in, and she might appreciate a ‘trial cat’.

D’s brother – Who lives near their parents. They’ve just had a baby (our gorgeous niece), but I know they’ve been missing the cat they lost about a year ago.

Update

Puzzle is going to live with my Uncle. My cousins seemed not to hear the word ‘might’ in the sentence, “We might get a cat”, so they are borrowing her for a year to see how everyone gets on with a new fuzzy friend.

The Art of Camera Buying

Today, I bought a new camera for our trip. I am very excited and have been snapping my way through the day, photographing everything I can see from the sofa.

Puzzle

Puzzle is never far away.

 

The old has gone

Our old camera, a Nikon Coolpix, was over three years old! It served us well in those three years, but the technology in it was fading fast and the pictures it takes in the dark are awful! The Nikon was a great purchase at the time, and felt extravagant at nearly £100. It was a rushed grab on Buchanan Street after I dropped the previous one on a bus in Glasgow.

I needed a camera that worked well in low light and, as we were upgrading, Wi-Fi would be a great feature.

To begin, I started looking at bridge cameras – somewhere between a ‘point and shoot’ and a DSLR. I spent a long time cuddling them in Currys before D very gently informed me that there wouldn’t be space in my bag if I also wanted to take clothes!

Maybe it was time for a rethink.

The new has come

Some days later, we found an independent camera shop in town. The guy in there was knowledgeable and lovely, and talked me through all the cameras I might like. We decided that a ‘tough’ camera would be great for me, and the one I preferred was an Olympus TG860.

The Olympus is waterproof, drop-proof, crush-proof and with an adjustable screen that allows easy selfie-taking. It takes 16MP photos with a huge range of settings and uploads them wirelessly using a handy mobile app. I’ll let you know how I get on with it.

Now I just need to not break it before we leave….

What camera do you use for your travels? It is invincible, or do you need to take care of it? Let me know in the comments below.

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Dear Mum

Thank you for being excited about me ditching everything and running away for a year. It never occurred to me that this would be the kind of thing you support! I’m looking forward to Skyping you across the world, and sharing some great times when you come out and visit us. The more time I spend with my family, the more it shocks me that you all had a life before me. Without realising it, I’m planning to follow in some pretty epic footsteps, both figuratively and literally.

Blogging is not as scary as you think, and it means you can show everyone where I am and what I’m doing. Even that hairdresser that keeps asking if I’ve got a job yet. You can even take me with you on your snazzy new phone. I can show you the top four photos of that little town we visit in Laos, instead of the 856 that I took while we were there. In fact, you can comment on my posts, asking how I’m doing and if I’m eating enough (btw I totally am).

In the coming months I’m sure you will have helped me with boxes, given me lifts and maybe taken on a fluffball just so I can do a Forrest Gump. You will have chastised me, advised me and asked about the possibility of me dying more times that I can count.

But thanks.

Love C. X