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This month was our thirteenth yr of full-time journey and a yr of reunions!
After greater than two years away from our households and mates internationally, we made a degree of going to see all of them. In fact, we did handle to slide in some aspect journeys to some new areas too…
We started our thirteenth yr as Digital Nomads in Vegas! We splurged on an evening on the Bellagio, spent the afternoon consuming ridiculously large cocktails within the pool, and loved their awe-inspiring fountain exhibits from our room.
I have to additionally confess to indulging in a little bit of playing. I went into the poker site with $200 and got here out with $280. Not dangerous for my first go in a stay poker site, particularly after I managed to lose $100 on my first hand (the much less stated about that foolishness, the higher).
Again to the UK
Our reunion tour started with a quick cease in Milton Keynes to see Erin’s dad and mom, a aspect journey to London to see our mates and meet their children (we met so many new kids this yr), and Burnley to see my mum and stepdad.
The Scottish Borders
My dad moved simply earlier than the pandemic and now lives up in Scotland, in a beautiful small village within the borders, and it was our first time visiting him there.
Scotland is an exquisite nation, and we found extra of it on numerous walks and hikes with them.
My dad and stepmum have additionally gotten into taking part in curling, they usually took us alongside to strive it out.
The Peak District
We rented a spot within the Peak District for a month in March. We spent a lot time on this little stone cottage, consuming tea and doing puzzles by the roaring hearth, residing our greatest Cosycore lives.
Our family and friends from the Manchester space would go to us, and we’d go on beautiful hikes with them throughout the encompassing countryside.
Our favorite hikes within the space had been Lantern Pike, which started outdoors our door, the Snake Path Round, and the Kinder Reservoir Round.
I found that I needed to learn to play golf to qualify for my Center Aged Man membership card. So I bought myself some golf classes, and it was tremendous enjoyable.
That’s till I pulled a muscle in my again (though, tbh, I feel this impressed the Committee—nothing like pulling a muscle you didn’t know you had whereas doing a brand new sport to really feel the a long time).
Highclere Fort and a Marriage ceremony
We headed again down South and took Erin’s Nan and Aunt to Highclere Fort, or Downton Abbey, as most individuals understand it. We bought to see rooms from the present and, randomly, some Egyptian artefacts within the basement.
Some individuals dressed as characters from the present like absolute legends. Having seen how nicely they slot in with the environment, dressing like a Nineteen Twenties flapper must be a situation of entry.
From there, we went to Stevenage to see my stepsister get married. I bought to meet up with household I hadn’t seen in over a decade. We ended up sitting with a gaggle of non-drinkers, but by some means all the wine on the desk bought consumed.
Weirdly, I had a gentle headache the following day. I feel it was from all of the speaking.
Worthing is a pleasant seaside city that’s the smaller, quieter sibling of close by Brighton.
We spent our days hanging out with mates, happening bike rides up and down the promenade, sitting on the pebbly seashore, visiting the pier, consuming on the nice meals vehicles, and having saunas on the seashore.
This final one concerned an incredible little transformed horse trailer proper on the seashore with views out to the ocean. When it will get too sizzling inside, you run into the completely bloody freezing sea to chill again down once more.
Erin’s dad celebrated his seventieth birthday whereas we had been there, and we handled him and some of his mates to a weekend away at Foxhills, a elaborate golf membership and resort.
I might put all of my golf abilities to the check and everybody I used to be with wished I hadn’t.
I visited London to play music with an previous good friend and likewise to satisfy up with a fellow app developer, Taiwo. He has an app on the iOS App Retailer known as Taiword, which I nonetheless play day by day—if you happen to’re a fan of five-letter phrase video games, test it out!
Having been away from Europe for therefore lengthy, we couldn’t wait to get again there! We wished to be settled for a bit (and Erin wished a correct summer time), so we settled for six weeks on Corfu in a splendid, moderately grand home up within the hills.
There’s a native customized on the island that you simply feed the stray cats which are round if and while you really feel prefer it. Three strays would frequently present up on the home, and we began leaving bowls of meals out for them.
Finally, we gained sufficient belief for certainly one of them to guide her new kittens to us, they usually adopted our entrance porch as their new residence. It was the cutest factor on this planet! For six weeks, we bought to play with these cute little fluffballs.
Taking part in with kittens wasn’t the one factor we did there (though it actually was a very powerful)—we additionally hiked to Porto Timoni seashore, which is that this pleasant cove with two seashores again to again, spent our afternoons on the solar loungers on the San George bar; and ate on the many little tavernas within the space.
We additionally rented a ship a number of occasions to get to the quieter coves and the bluest waters. The ocean was heat and welcoming, and the color of the water was unreal.
Earlier than leaving the island, we spent an evening in Corfu City, an exquisite historic centre that’s a pleasure to stroll round.
Return to Puglia
Puglia is certainly one of our favorite areas in Italy, and a spot we now have written about extensively and returning there didn’t disappoint.
We went straight to Matera (truly in neighbouring Basilicata), a novel place with a storied and considerably troubling previous that has been reborn into a shocking metropolis that we love.
We spent our 4 days there looking down one of the best locations to take pleasure in an aperitivo, and we discovered a winner: Terrazza Cavaliere. It’s an unassuming place with moderately priced drinks and first rate snacks (learn extra about our finest locations to eat in Matera).
Bari is extra chaotic than Matera however has a number of allure hidden in its slim, winding streets stuffed with women making contemporary orecchiette pasta.
We spent our time in Bari like we spend our time in any city or metropolis in Italy, consuming! There’s some implausible focaccia, decadent panzerotti (fried dough filled with numerous fillings akin to mozzarella and tomato), and unimaginable pizza available.
Significantly, the pizza at Pizzeria di Cosimo is a few of the finest (and most cost-effective) we’ve ever had.
Learn extra in regards to the finest issues to do in Bari.
A Month in Salento
For August, we rented an AirBnB close to the charming little village of Felline. This unassuming village had a beautiful piazza with a number of good eating places, and so, in fact, we ate at as many as we might.
To hire the sunbeds price €200, however that price will get added as credit score to your account, and you could possibly use that to order food and drinks all through the day. A candy reward for all our work hanging out on all these seashores with out champagne bars.
We additionally took a aspect journey and spent an evening at a seashore resort in Castro, one other fantastic little Italian city with an exquisite city sq. set excessive on the hill that overlooks the marina.
My brother moved to Stockholm simply after my niece was born final yr. I nonetheless hadn’t met her or my two-year-old nephew, due to the pandemic.
We discovered a pleasant AirBnB overlooking the water, a two-minute stroll from my brother’s, which was an ideal little base for every week of kiddy time and a few exploration of Stockholm.
We took the commuter boat into the centre and wandered the previous city, the place we stumbled upon the king and queen of Sweden arriving residence in a horse-drawn carriage.
Stockholm was an surprising gem for us that we completely loved.
It’s so beautiful being surrounded by all that water. Everybody takes benefit of it in the summertime months, swimming and kayaking (Erin joined them just a few occasions—I didn’t as a result of I can’t deal with something colder than the Mediterranean).
Regardless of being a large metropolis, it has a laid-back really feel, and it’s straightforward to get away from the crowds and site visitors and stroll alongside the water.
Again to the USA
We spent just a few days in Bristol, catching up with Victoria and Steve from Bridges and Balloons. We met the most recent addition to their household, and Victoria confirmed us a few of her favorite meals spots.
Bristol is a good metropolis. It’s sufficiently small to be manageable however has so much to supply, and we plan to spend so much extra time there in future.
Then it was off certainly one of my favorite locations…
Disney World Orlando
As this was my postponed fortieth birthday journey, we went all out.
We stayed on the Yacht Membership reverse the Boardwalk and inside strolling distance of Epcot and Hollywood Studios. An ideal location which I took full benefit of—I beloved popping into the parks on a whim.
I used to be excited to see the brand new Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge space at Hollywood Studios, and it didn’t disappoint. Rise of the Resistance is without doubt one of the most breathtaking experiences that Disney has produced.
The brand new Guardians of the Galaxy trip at Epcot can also be a number of enjoyable, if considerably difficult to get on to.
Learn our information to the finest issues to do at Disney World.
We had every week at Disney after which three nights at Common, the place we stayed on the Portofino resort, which was additionally inside strolling distance of the parks.
Highlights there included Harry Potter World, together with the brand new Hagrid trip, which does issues that I’ve by no means skilled a curler coaster do earlier than, and the Jurassic Park Velocicoaster.
We spent three weeks in Austin, Texas visiting mates. Austin is a beautiful metropolis, and the realm we stayed in was filled with tree-lined streets that had been a pleasure to stroll round. Additionally, the town has implausible tacos and margaritas.
We loved a raclette evening at Antonelli’s Cheese Home and an evening out at Tiki Tatsu-Ya, this distinctive Tiki bar the place ordering sure cocktails would trigger dramatic issues to occur within the bar. In fact, we made certain we ordered these cocktails.
We love Hawaii, and getting again there may be all the time a pleasure. We spent a week on Oahu, mountain climbing by the tropical forests, snorkelling, and flying across the island on a doors-off helicopter trip.
A few of this time was spent on the wonderful Turtle Bay Resort, which lived as much as its identify when Erin noticed (after which swam with) turtles whereas on an early morning run. Then later that day, I surfed with them throughout a lesson.
Then we went to the Massive Island, which is so completely different to the opposite islands. Touchdown on the airport and seeing miles and miles of volcanic rock all over the place with little or no vegetation is extremely dramatic and otherworldly.
We had the most effective experiences we’ve ever had—swimming with manta rays. These large however light creatures are drawn to the plankton that themselves are drawn to lights within the water.
The manta rays will swim so near you whereas they feed (generally solely an inch away)! Simply so beautiful to get to see these lovely animals so shut.
We went paddleboarding at sundown on these customized paddleboards that characteristic clear noses with lights to see what’s occurring beneath you.
We had a cheeky evening at one of many resorts close by, the Westin Hapuna, after which headed over to the opposite aspect of the island.
This aspect is so much greener, and we stayed at a beautiful little cottage within the rainforest the place Erin loved her hammock day out within the backyard.
Visiting close by Volcano Nationwide Park was a deal with. Climbing by the caldera with energetic smoke vents and returning within the night to see the eruptions at the hours of darkness was a particular spotlight.
We additionally, considerably randomly, had a few of the finest Thai curries on the Tuktuk Thai meals truck. I extremely suggest the Masaman curry, the most effective I’ve had outdoors Thailand.
Learn extra about our unmissable issues to do on the Massive Island.
Return to New Zealand
We fell in love with New Zealand in the course of the pandemic and couldn’t wait to return.
Lastly, after a yr of continuous journey, we had been able to calm down for just a few months and located a home in Titahi Bay, simply outdoors Porirua, close to Wellington.
It’s a beautiful little spot, two minutes from a protracted seashore in a picturesque bay.
For my birthday, we returned to Martinborough, a splendid wine area with good wineries. I handled myself to a field of classic Pinot Noirs courting again to 2009.
We had a correct Christmassy Christmas for the primary time in just a few years, with an actual Christmas tree. We purchased presents to place below it, made some home made mince pies, and loved a correct roast dinner with our mates.
Since mountain climbing the Narrows in Zion final yr, we now have found that we love strolling by chilly rivers, so between Christmas and New Yr, we hiked by Patuna Chasm.
Afterwards, we retreated to a glamping spot close by. No telephones, no web, only a babbling river outdoors our tent. An excellent technique to recharge.
It’s been nice for us to have a house base for the final 5 months. I purchased a drum package to go along with the bass I left right here final time, and Erin purchased a stand-up paddleboard to take out on the bay—the place she was fortunate sufficient to see dolphins who, interested by her paddling, came visiting to see her and swim below the board.
Being settled someplace longer has allowed us to do issues we don’t normally do.
Erin took swimming classes to be taught a correct entrance crawl, and I did a stand-up comedy class the place I discovered the right way to write and carry out my first 5 minutes.
We’ve taken just a few aspect journeys whereas we’ve been right here, most notably to Cape Palliser, the place we stayed in one other glamping spot, this time manufactured from two transformed delivery containers with beautiful views out into the Prepare dinner Strait throughout to the South Island.
I’ve began visiting a life coach to take care of some relationship points (not with Erin, it must be stated—we’re as strong as ever!). It’s the most effective issues I’ve finished and has opened my eyes to the alternative ways during which we’re conditioned to behave which are usually detrimental to our well-being.
Males particularly should not taught the right way to take care of their feelings correctly whereas additionally being taught that studying the right way to (by, for instance, going to remedy) is a few type of failure.
I now firmly consider it’s the other. If in case you have the sources, strive it out. I’ve already made vital adjustments which have improved my high quality of life.
Our enterprise (now targeted on this journey weblog after Path Pockets’s retirement this yr) continues to thrive, and this has been our greatest yr but, so thanks in your continued assist.
It’s good to really feel like we’re on strong floor once more after the terrifying uncertainty of the pandemic.
I’m excited to tackle some new challenges this yr, certainly one of which is to reboot our publication!
I will likely be taking on the drafting duties, and if you happen to’d wish to obtain my missives in your mailbox, enroll under:
In response to what’s occurring with the Massive Identify social networks, (a phenomenon Cory Doctorow has known as “enshittification“), I’ve been exploring alternate options and created an account on Mastodon for By no means Ending Voyage.
Our visa right here in New Zealand expires in April and we plan to go to Queensland in Australia after which Japan later within the yr. We’re particularly enthusiastic about Japan because it’s certainly one of our favorite locations and it was closed for therefore lengthy.
It feels nice to have the ability to absolutely journey once more, and we’re excited for the yr forward!
Simon (and Erin)