Back in January, who knew that our 2014 would look like this…
When we came home from Taiwan at the end of 2013, Luke told me that 2014 was my year. By that, he meant it was up to me to choose what we would do. Moving to Taiwan was his idea and though I chose to follow, it wasn’t an easy decision for me. Although I loved our year away in Taiwan, I felt homesick often and that feeling was always exacerbated by the stresses of teaching.
I loved the travel, I loved weekend road trips, I loved the independence and having our own home, and I loved Luke. But I wasn’t happy as a teacher and I didn’t want to be crawling through the week, desperate for the weekend. I wanted to make changes to our lifestyle. By the end of 2013, we were both ready to leave Taiwan.
Though I don’t think about it as 2013 being Luke’s year and 2014 as being my year, there’s no doubt that this year I was the one who put forward the idea of an alternative travel lifestyle as freelancers and house sitters. Thanks to Luke’s trust, our combined determination and perseverance, and the incredible generosity of strangers, 2014 has been the happiest year of my life.
We started 2014 at home in England. We crafted our plans for the rest of the year, including getting set up as freelance writers and house sitters and our transition into long-term travel. Some of our time was also spent eating scones and walking in the countryside too, of course.
You can’t plan travels without a travel break, so we took an impromptu trip to Poland to volunteer and backpack around the country. Poland was so much more than either of us expected. It is a totally underrated European country full of beautiful landscapes, yummy pierogi and kind people. We would go back in a heartbeat.
Costa Rica has been our travel base this year. Thanks to house sitting, we had the opportunity to see a lot fo the country and experience the local lifestyle. We’ve been all about eating plenty of rice and beans and going to as many farmer’s markets as we could find, but we also had some real travel adventures including witnessing the turtle arribada and tree climbing in the rainforest.
Beautiful colonial cities, incredible volcanoes and cheap beer, what’s not to like about Nicaragua? We totally loved it and have already taken two trips there this year. We’ll be back on Ometepe Island again in February and are planning on making the trek over to the Corn Islands for the first time then too.
After a brief stint on the Panamanian island of Bocas del Toro in November, we’re now exploring mainland Panama through December and January. All I can really say of Panama so far is that the coffee here in Boquete is delicious and that the locals have been really friendly.
If you’d asked me where I’d be by the end of 2014 back in January, I certainly wouldn’t have guessed that I’d still be travelling in Central America. This year really has taught both of us that with a bit of luck and a lot of determination we can successfully stay on the road long-term, working as writers and house sitters. We hope this will continue, roll on 2015.
What’re your plans for 2015? Will you be travelling too?