As you know, three years ago, we had to end our year around the world due to the world wide outbreak of the Covid pandemic. Since then, this blog has been silent and lots has happened in between, but I did not seem to find my way back here. But, I’m happy to share that in 2023 we’re continuing our year around the world.
2020 until now
In 2020 we ended our ‘year’ after almost reaching 4 months of travelling. Which is still a long time and we were grateful for what we had, but it never felt finished. Partially because we had to go home in the middle of our first thru-hike, the Te Araroa in New Zealand. After years of dreaming of travelling the world for a whole year, this was not enough. So we never let go of the idea to continue our travels.
In those three years a lot happened. We all lived through the pandemic, which included a lot of weeks in quarantine at home together with all of Belgium and a lot of other countries. And then we found ourselves a job, all still with the idea of leaving again in the back of our minds. I started working as a manager and barista of two coffee shops in Ghent. I worked as a barista before we left and I loved that and I returned to the same bars and loved it again.
We had hoped to leave a few months after returning home, but when accepting the job we realised that the reality was different and it would be at least a year. Covid stuck around way longer than any of us had hoped and in the meantime we came to a great opportunity to buy a house! It had always been a dream to be able to buy something and to rent it when travelling. So far we’ve always rented but the rental agreement felt like a restriction because you can’t easily end the contract and leave whenever you want.
So in the middle of that pandemic we threw ourselves into the renovations of our house. A way bigger project than we had original sought after but it was such an opportunity we found that we decided to go for it. So, that kind of sums up what happened in those 3 years. We worked a lot at work to save up a lot, we worked a lot on the house, we moved in with our parents to save up while working on the house and when life turned back to normal we spent time in between with family and friends. As you can see, it was a lot, it felt like I was combining two fulltime jobs. There were a lot of beautiful moments (we even went to beautiful Madeira) but it was mostly a lot of hard work.
30 december 2023
The moment we landed in Auckland, New Zealand.
We finished our house, we rented it out, we quit our jobs and on the 27th of december we stepped onto our first flight towards New Zealand, the country were we ended our travels in 2020. We enjoyed being at home, but I pushed myself to the limit and not only did I came too close to a burn-out, it also felt like the time to leave. If we weren’t going to do it now, when would we? We never meant to stay 3 years at home before continuing our journey – I’m grateful for those years. It was exactly how it was meant to go. I have no regrets (except for going too far over my own boundaries, but that’s a different story) but it was time to go.
So first of all, we wanted to finish the thru-hike we started in 2020 in New Zealand. We fell in love with the country, with thru-hiking and were so eager to finish. After that, we went back to South-east Asia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Sri Lanka and Thailand. We’re never planning far ahead, we have a general idea, but we’d love to end up in South-America.
There’s still so much to write about from our last trip, there’s still so much to write about in general, but I did not feel in the headspace to do it. Even when leaving again, I wasn’t able to, I felt too burned out, too low on energy. I wanted to enjoy our travels, the moments big and small and I needed to rest. A lot. But now, being 5 months on the road again, I’m starting to feel up to it. So here I am, saying hi again.
I hope to take you with us again on our travels, to share itineraries for your own travels, to share my honest travel stories.