2014 in Photos

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.

Exploring England: Is it Really Grim up North?

How to Afford Travel in the UK

An Unexpectedly Great Escape in the Isle of Wight


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.

A Backpackers Route: Poland

How Much Does it Cost to Travel Poland on a Budget?

How to get FREE Bed and Board for a Week in the Polish Mountains

Costa Rica

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.

Living Well for Less in Costa Rica

How Much Does it Cost to Travel Costa Rica on a Budget?

A Thousand Turtles Nesting: An Arribada in Ostional, Costa Rica


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.

Charlie on Granada, Nicaragua

How Much Does it Cost to Travel in Nicaragua on a Budget?

Is Volcano Boarding in Nicaragua Really Awesome?


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.

When I Met the Man Who Built His Own Paradise

How Much Does it Cost to Travel Bocas del Toro, Panama?

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?

Charlie Marchant

Charlie is a long-term traveller from the UK who writes about simple ways to travel sustainably, including how to become a house sitter and slow traveller, eating local and vegetarian, and making responsible travel choices.

11 thoughts to “2014 in Photos”

  1. Happiness is a state of mind. Circumstances help to enhance that existing state. Well done to both of you for making it happen with a lot of hard work and determination. Saying is easier than doing. We all need to be self motivated to achieve our dreams and goals. You are both so lovely and an inspiration to us all. You deserve the very best.

    1. Yes, you’re right. I think that reducing stress as much as possible and appreciating what you have is key to that. Sometimes it’s hard to know what those dreams and goals are and whether those risks are worth taking, but change is an important part of life!

  2. First of all I’d like to wish both of you a Happy New Year. I’m really sure I’ll continue your amazing trip on 2015.
    I don’t have any specific plans for 2015. As you know I’m not so free as you. Any long term journeys are impossible :(
    I really miss London so I hope I’ll go there soon. That’s my plan on 2015.

    1. Hi Mihal – Happy new year to you too! Thank you, fingers crossed we have a good 2015 too. You can make the most of the time you have though, short trips are great too and we like them a lot. We hope that you can visit London again soon – maybe we will be able to see you there, definitely let us know.

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