11 months of travel, 4 minutes of video

We’ve been back home for a while now, and are back into an everyday routine. Having both found employment, there are no immediate plans for another multi-month trip, but we do find ourselves constantly looking back on the last year with no regrets and memories which will surely last our lifetime. Its been an amazing journey and we are glad we were able to share all our stories and photos with all of our followers through our blog.

We have compiled some of our experiences backpacking Asia, the Middle East and Europe into a 4 minute video. We hope you enjoy it.

originally published Jan 16,2011

Where to find Shangri La? – Comparing 3 Himalayan Kingdoms

It might be one of the most overused cliches in the travel universe but the idea of a kingdom deep in the Himalaya’s inspired by James Hilton’s classic Lost Horizon has thousands of backpackers and jet setters alike grabbing their warm coats and hiking boots in search of this mystical kingdom.

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Row Row Your Boat

Picture a blue blue lake surrounded by the snow capped Himalaya and on the shore a small town with delicious restaurants, trekking stores by the dozen, Tibetans selling handicrafts, and every kind of accommodation and thats Pokhara.

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The Hunt for Shere Kahn – Chitwan

I was awakened at 6am yesterday to Lianna looking out the window confused asking “Are there elephants grunting out our window?” She wasn’t wearing glasses so I was called upon to verify and sure enough there were some elephants right beside our room.

Not long after we grabbed a coffee and were set to board our elephants for both of our first safari. Speaking to a fellow Canadian the day prior our hopes were not set high as he didn’t see any animals on his elephant safari and suggested the jeep instead because elephants couldn’t enter the national park and were stuck to the buffer zone. When viewing wildlife it all comes down to luck so I assured Lianna you just never know. We were joined up with a group of 5 Russians who seemed to have no interest in viewing wildlife and acted more like they were at an amusement park but this being something Lianna and I had looked forward to for a long time tried not to let the antics of other tourists get under our skin.

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Baby Elephant Love

After the chaos that is Kathmandu (not to mention the added stresses our visa situation put on us) we were ready to get back to nature and so we were headed for Chitwan National Park.

The bus trip south was a bumpy 6 hours but with reclining seats and a stop for some delicious pakoras (Lianna agreed) the trip seemed to go by very quickly. Starring our the window at the scenery helped make the hours pass as well watching the mountains slowly change into farmland but the big Himalayan peaks always in view.

Once we arrived at our bus stop the touts and hotel sales people bombarded the few tourists that were not there on package tours and eventually we found a driver with a less aggressive approach and agreed for him to take us into the nearby town. Lianna and I decided against the first option as it was good priced but too far from the small strip so we decided to look else where and chose to stay at Travelers Jungle Camp which suited us (and our budget) just fine.

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Passing Through Kathmandu

Kathmandu is a weird place. The tourist centre to Kathmandu is Thamel, which being my first introduction to a place purely existing for tourists, freaked me out a little bit. Though after going through China for a month where everything was very different from home, arriving in Kathmandu and being able to buy my favourite British cookies and chocolates that I can’t even find at home made me very happy. There is everything a tourist could ever want here, including wood fired-oven pizzas, steakhouses, and bakeries. I even found myself wandering into one of the many bookstores that stock Himalaya themed books next to worldwide best sellers, and stupidly picking up the book Twilight. Anyone who has read this book (Laurie) knows that I immediately had to go and spend the same amount I would have at home completing the series. Your money can go very quickly in Kathmandu if your not careful even with the price of a good pizza being just over $4, because even if food and books aren’t your thing there are endless shops selling fashion that hasn’t changed since the 70′s – when Kathmandu was put on the map as a tourist spot. Anywhere else you would wonder who the hell buys these clothes, but in Kathmandu you see them walking around in front of you all over the streets. The 70′s lives on here.

There are a few sites that are considered must-sees around the Kathmandu area. So far we have gone to the Monkey Temple, and Durbar Square

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