138 Days of Travel

about-james-and-anna
by James & Anna
Updated: February 4, 2024
35 minute read
138 days of travel with Anna and James for Parsec Wallis

We simply cannot believe we have travelled for 138 days or 4.5 months. It has been quite an adventure, and we are very happy it’s over. Don’t get us wrong — it was all very enjoyable. Almost too enjoyable. It was challenging to be enjoying ourselves pretty much every single day because of the amazing locations we were in, while simultaneously managing our business and working on numerous projects.

We had hoped to have a detailed post about each country by now, but quite soon, we realised that it all takes too much time, which would be a shame to waste when we were actually travelling. Instead, we decided to capture every single day of our trip in a random picture and one memory of that day. There is no particular importance. Sometimes it was incredibly hard to choose and some of the fantastic things we saw and did that day had to be neglected, but sacrifices had to be made. Also, quite often the memory and the picture do not correlate that much so if you are confused – there is a very good reason for that. Just look at them as two separate things and not a combination of them. 

15 September 2023

Day 1 of 138: London, UK

27°C

Our travel started at midnight. We kept talking about what to expect, how it would feel to see familiar countries after our trip in 2015 and to explore new places.

Day 1 of 138 days of travel - -Parsec-Wallis
16 September 2023

Day 2 of 138: Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

39°C

We didn’t crave the whole travel that much. It didn’t help that our route to Asia added some additional exhaustion to the one we had been feeling before we had left. 

Day 2 of 138 days of travel - -Parsec-Wallis
17 September 2023

Day 3 of 138: Manila, Philippines

34°C

It was very exciting to end up in a very hot place like Manila. It all smelt fascinating and surprisingly fresh to our senses. We walked around the street of midnight Manila and captured with greed everything we saw around us.

Day 3 of 138 days of travel - -Parsec-Wallis
18 September 2023

Day 4 of 138: Boracay, Philippines

30°C - Our first day of rest for months

We felt drunk from all the travel and the years of masters & business. One of our first memories of the island was falling asleep on the beach and waking up from time to time not realising how much time had passed but unable to do anything apart from sleeping further.

Day 4 of 138 days of travel - -Parsec-Wallis
19 September 2023

Day 5 of 138: Boracay, Philippines

33°C

Many things stayed the same – the beauty of the beach, nature, and sunsets but otherwise, we couldn’t recognise the vibe of the island. Anna definitely wanted to stick to the local cuisine whenever possible but there were too many Asian tourists and Korean restaurants we wanted to stay away from because that’s where we were going at some point. 

Day 5 of 138 days of travel - -Parsec-Wallis
20 September 2023

Day 6 of 138: Boracay, Philippines

30°C

We relocated to the hostel where James stayed in 2015 and where we met briefly. Anna had a very long pina colada because the barman kept saying ‘Sip’ to get rid of all the blender batch. Needless to say, Anna got drunk very fast. 

Day 6 of 138 days of travel - -Parsec-Wallis
21 September 2023

Day 7 of 138: Boracay, Philippines

29°C

James heated up somehow and had a fever all night but felt absolutely fine in the morning. Lucky him as I am nice and nurse like for a limited time only.

Day 7 of 138 days of travel - -Parsec-Wallis
22 September 2023

Day 8 of 138: Boracay, Philippines

31°C

Each and every day the forecast said it would rain all day, and it was actually very sunny for us most of the time apart from the last 2 days. We felt lucky! We were told that it was pretty gloomy all the time before our arrival. 

Day 8 of 138 days of travel - -Parsec-Wallis
23 September 2023

Day 9 of 138: Boracay, Philippines

32°C

James was really vouching for the boat tour because of his awesome memories of one from ages ago, so we booked it. As much as it was fairly alright in the end, Anna felt that it wasn’t exactly the type of activity she enjoys (meaning group tours because private boat hire sounds exactly right). Lesson learned!

Day 9 of 138 days of travel - -Parsec-Wallis
24 September 2023

Day 10 of 138: Manila, Philippines

32°C

We had a very long day of travel from Boracay island to Kalibo airport then to Manila and then to Taal Volcano that we wanted to witness the next morning. We found it very tiring but we were entertained by Anna’s local friend Vivianne who arranged this trip to the volcano for us.

Day 10 of 138 days of travel - -Parsec-Wallis
25 September 2023

Day 11 of 138: Taal Volcano, Philippines

32°C

The view of the volcano was very curious, but what we remember is no connection or internet for about 24 hours, which we found quite an experience for some reason because we actually needed it quite a lot. Spoiler: we did find internet in McDonald’s because the waitress shared her hotspot with us. I guess that’s what we felt was an experience.

Day 11 of 138 days of travel - -Parsec-Wallis
26 September 2023

Day 12 of 138: Sydney, Australia

21°C

Was it our constant exhaustion or not, but our hotel had the best mattress we’ve experienced in all our travel. Also, Anna used her space engineering skills to make the coffee machine work which impressed herself, James, and an Australian couple who also wanted to have that communal coffee.

Day 12 of 138 days of travel - -Parsec-Wallis
27 September 2023

Day 13 of 138: Sydney, Australia

24°C

Sydney Opera House turned out to be less interesting comparing the exhibition dedicated to 50 years since its opening at the Museum of Sydney. The museum room was turned into the living room with different exhibits on the shelves and with a video of the grand opening of the House by Queen Elizabeth II when she was so much younger than what we used to.

Day 13 of 138 days of travel - -Parsec-Wallis
28 September 2023

Day 14 of 138: Brisbane, Australia

22°C

We were surprised how cold, wet and windy Brisbane turned out on our first day. We were not ready for that mentally, but we certainly got warmed by meeting our English friends. 

Day 14 of 138 days of travel - -Parsec-Wallis
29 September 2023

Day 15 of 138: Brisbane, Australia

26°C

Brisbane’s weather continued shocking us with very cold wind accompanied by the merciless sun. It was one of the few times in our life when it was really unpleasant to be in the sun because it felt it was out for a kill.

Day 15 of 138 days of travel - -Parsec-Wallis
30 September 2023

Day 16 of 138: Brisbane, Australia

27°C - Andy & Lexi's Wedding Day

The best memory of that day is Lexi walking down the aisle. No devices were allowed for the ceremony which made us enjoy it so much more. Great idea! 

Day 16 of 138 days of travel - -Parsec-Wallis
1 October 2023

Day 17 of 138: Brisbane, Australia

26°C - Merciless Sun

We managed to make this as one of the most relaxing day of the whole trip by snuggling on a round sunbed and discussing the best moments of Andy & Lexi’s wedding.

Day 17 of 138 days of travel - -Parsec-Wallis
2 October 2023

Day 18 of 138: Brisbane, Australia

27°C

Anna found an outlet where she wanted to get a bikini by the local brand Seafolly. She claimed it would take 5 minutes and was met by James’ disbelief. An hour later we were back in the car like James predicted and back on our itinerary but we still felt that a bikini was a valid excuse.

Day 18 of 138 days of travel - -Parsec-Wallis
3 October 2023

Day 19 of 138: Fraser Island, Australia

26°C

As much as the whole Fraser island is worth a special mention (like we actually did), the lady called Wendy who briefed a smaller group of us about how to drive her 4DW rental cars created for us a very funny, dynamic, invigorating moment. We felt that we lived through a lifetime of all sorts of scenarios that could happen on the island and felt fully prepared (and ready to become missioners following her footsteps).

Day 19 of 138 days of travel - -Parsec-Wallis
4 October 2023

Day 20 of 138: Fraser Island, Australia

26°C

Fraser Island is not a place for swimming (the most dangerous beach on Earth), and yet we managed to swim the most out of all Australia there. Champagne Pools was one of the places where it was safe to swim, and we used that opportunity to the fullest.

Day 20 of 138 days of travel - -Parsec-Wallis
5 October 2023

Day 21 of 138: Fraser Island, Australia

26°C

McKenzie Lake is very beautiful and apparently so clean that you can drink it. Anna did, and it was delicious.

Day 21 of 138 days of travel - -Parsec-Wallis
6 October 2023

Day 22 of 138: Sunshine Coast, Australia

24°C

We had some sort of family lunch for Gordon’s birthday (“some sort” because it felt like our family) which was very warming and fun. It is amazing to be surrounded by people (and animals) we find so interesting and lovely to be around.

Day 22 of 138 days of travel - -Parsec-Wallis
7 October 2023

Day 23 of 138: Sunshine Coast, Australia

22°C

We experienced what Australia has to offer from the hiking perspective. Enjoyable! We noticed that all Australians (especially ladies) wear sportswear only. Pretty much everywhere.

Day 23 of 138 days of travel - -Parsec-Wallis
8 October 2023

Day 24 of 138: Sunshine Coast, Australia

21°C

Kangaroo steak? Anna said yes thinking that was a joke but it wasn’t. Apparently it’s a usual thing. Lexi’s salad was magnificent. We still remember the taste of it and cannot wait to recreate.

Day 24 of 138 days of travel - -Parsec-Wallis
9 October 2023

Day 25 of 138: Noosa, Australia

23°C

While sunbathing on the Noosa beach, Adam and us wondered whether we actually heard the announcement ‘Danger, Sharks, Danger, Sharks’. Perhaps, it was not that because nobody reacted and continued swimming and surfing.

Day 25 of 138 days of travel - -Parsec-Wallis
10 October 2023

Day 26 of 138: Sunshine Coast, Australia

25°C

As much as all sorts of exotic animals was a curious thing to see, we especially found memorable to see Steve Irvin’s son Robert doing the crocodile show. We analysed how well he does it and whether he manages to keep his own personality without clashing with his father’s legacy. We think he has succeeded at that.

Day 26 of 138 days of travel - -Parsec-Wallis
11 October 2023

Day 27 of 138: Sunshine Coast, Australia

25°C

The hotel’s owner was very passionate about showing us around his hotel and telling about all its features. He used to be a surfer in the past and managed to keep his free and boyish spirit into his 60-s. He thought of everything that he missed when he was traveling: free ingredients, utensils, a fully stocked kitchen, laundry. We were impressed with his dedication to the concept.

P.S. In the picture it’s actually Andy who called us to see if we’re able to pop in to say bye while he was babysitting everyone. He is a great host too!

Day 27 of 138 days of travel - -Parsec-Wallis
12 October 2023

Day 28 of 138: Auckland, New Zealand

16°C

This picture helped James to articulate visually how he felt about Auckland on the first day. Perhaps, that’s just because of the hostel we stayed in, charity shops we went to, and gloomy weather. He is secretly a man of luxury. When he gets to choose, he goes for places with swimming pools and all the fancy facilities.

Day 28 of 138 days of travel - -Parsec-Wallis
13 October 2023

Day 29 of 138: Rotorua, New Zealand

17°C

Stinky town – that’s how we remember this place and that’s how locals referred to it once or twice (not the ones from the town). It’s all because of sulphur pools that give the area its distinctive smell.

Day 29 of 138 days of travel - -Parsec-Wallis
14 October 2023

Day 30 of 138: Tūrangi, New Zealand

17°C

The weather was not suitable for any hiking, so we stayed in and luckily there was a fireplace lit. One of the cosiest evenings we had.

Day 30 of 138 days of travel - -Parsec-Wallis
15 October 2023

Day 31 of 138: North Island, New Zealand

10°C

When we saw the snowy peaks of Queenstown from the plane, we felt especially pleased. They gave us confidence that everything would be alright. Why we needed that reassurance, we are not sure, but that’s what we felt.

Day 31 of 138 days of travel - -Parsec-Wallis
16 October 2023

Day 32 of 138: Queenstown, New Zealand

8°C

The hostel we stayed in was the most social and nicely equipped out of pretty much any in the world. We used it to the fullest we think: watched a film in the living room while waiting for our check-in, made risotto in the kitchen and shared it with newly made friends. Ah! And of course, we learnt about Tim Tam Slam – a way of sipping milk tea through Tim Tam biscuits.

Day 32 of 138 days of travel - -Parsec-Wallis
17 October 2023

Day 33 of 138: Queenstown, New Zealand

13°C - Worst Pizza of the trip (tasted like cardboard)
Initially, we planned to take the day to rest and allow Anna to finish her Lord of the Rings re-watch, as she was keen on identifying filming locations in New Zeeland. However, guilt soon crept in, leading us to attempt a hike up Ben Lomond. Unfortunately, flooding had closed the path, but a daring suggestion from locals encouraged us to do a partial hike. We did turn back at a certain point to be on the safe side.
Day 33 of 138 days of travel - -Parsec-Wallis
18 October 2023

Day 34 of 138: Queenstown, New Zealand

20°C - Our favourite wine tasting experience

Amidst the stunning Southern Alps, we had a really enjoyable wine-tasting experience. Engaged in conversation with a young winemaker set to inherit his family’s champagne business in France (Champagne Geoffroy Pascal), we were eager to learn more about vineyard activities while savouring exceptional wines throughout our interview.

Day 34 of 138 days of travel - -Parsec-Wallis
19 October 2023

Day 35 of 138: Manapouri, New Zealand

14°C - Our most adventurous day

Anna swam in the lake near Queenstown which was very unforgettable because of how beautiful and cold it was. We promised to each other that we would swim each time there was an opportunity to swim in New Zealand but we only swam one more time in the same lake at the end of our New Zealand trip.

Day 35 of 138 days of travel - -Parsec-Wallis
20 October 2023

Day 36 of 138: Milford Sound, New Zealand

15°C

The drive to Milford Sound was particularly beautiful. We were happy there was a good hike on the way because that’s what we like doing. It’s a shame we were pressured with time but that hike made us more familiar with local nature which we were grateful for.

Day 36 of 138 days of travel - -Parsec-Wallis
21 October 2023

Day 37 of 138: Dunedin, New Zealand

15°C

It was so random to pick up some even more random recommendation of the best burger in New Zealand which happened to be on the way of our 3-hour drive to Dunedin. It was delicious indeed! Chips were exceptional too. We would do a detour next time.

Day 37 of 138 days of travel - -Parsec-Wallis
22 October 2023

Day 38 of 138: Mount Cook, New Zealand

13°C - Our most beautiful day

How would you feel if a 7-year-old boy would insist on showing around the farm in the middle of nowhere with the main attraction being a newly born lamb at the back of the main house? To any hesitation, he would say that he was in charge. What would you say?

Day 38 of 138 days of travel - -Parsec-Wallis
23 October 2023

Day 39 of 138: Mount Cook, New Zealand

16°C

Sunbathing in the middle of mountain peaks with a direct view of Mount Cook was a very special moment in our lives. James considered proposing there (despite being married, there was no place or moment worthy of a proposal just yet – so he says) but he wasn’t sure that the lack of an incredible meal experience should go hand in hand. That was a good spot but not ideal. Too many factors to consider!

Day 39 of 138 days of travel - -Parsec-Wallis
24 October 2023

Day 40 of 138: Lake Tekapo, New Zealand

16°C

A picnic by the Lake Tekapo is one of a kind because of the colour of its water but we couldn’t quite say whether there was anything else to do (apart from the stargazing events happening in the area but we happened to be there during the daytime, plus it was cloudy).

Day 40 of 138 days of travel - -Parsec-Wallis
25 October 2023

Day 41 of 138: Wānaka, New Zealand

18°C - Coldest night sleep (-3°C at night)

A decision to have a night without booking any accommodation but rather sleeping in the car and enjoy the starry night was taken very quickly. Choosing a spot wasn’t as unanimous and easy though. However, in the end, the stars were truly breathtaking and the sunrise was beautiful (and cold). More about our time in New Zealand is here

Day 41 of 138 days of travel - -Parsec-Wallis
26 October 2023

Day 42 of 138: Melbourne, Australia

14°C

The day when we were fully confident that the pregnancy test would be positive but alas it was not. Shortly, we realised that a significant delay was due to rapid changes in time and climate zones. A moment to remember still! Those 3 minutes of waiting were quite something that allowed us to imagine it all very vividly.

Day 42 of 138 days of travel - -Parsec-Wallis
27 October 2023

Day 43 of 138: Melbourne, Australia

19°C

A flight from Melbourne through the whole Australia will always stay in our memory as a hunt for the Uluru rock. We were told that you can see it from the plane and it meant to look rather magical even from that high up. However, we were too much to the east to witness it. Next time we’d go there to see it close.

Day 43 of 138 days of travel - -Parsec-Wallis
28 October 2023

Day 44 of 138: Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam

33°C

Did we miss the chaotic traffic system of Vietnam? Probably, not really. Anna was happy to show James one of her favourite museums in Asia – Ho Chi Minh Museum of Fine Arts.

Day 44 of 138 days of travel - -Parsec-Wallis
29 October 2023

Day 45 of 138: Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam

33°C

The moment when Anna announced that James no longer is allowed to say ‘Car, beautiful’ (which he did every 5 seconds) and hold her hand really tight each time when crossing the street… yes, that same moment a lady was hit by the car just in front of us. Luckily it wasn’t serious (at least as much as we could tell by talking to the lady) but that definitely seemed like a sign not to stop James’ cautiousness.

Day 45 of 138 days of travel - -Parsec-Wallis
30 October 2023

Day 46 of 138: Hội An, Vietnam

27°C

Trains in Vietnam resemble trains in Russia. We had a very talkative Vietnamese businessman who talked about love for his country while buying us different snacks and lunches to introduce us to the way of travel. Little did he know that people in Russia travel the same way.

Day 46 of 138 days of travel - -Parsec-Wallis
31 October 2023

Day 47 of 138: Hội An, Vietnam

29°C

Today was the day James & Anna hired bicycles in search of An Bang Beach that James remembered visiting back in 2015. It was an uncomfortable adventure because the bike seats were so uncomfortable, and James’ boots were suddenly filled with seawater while walking along the beach. All in all, it felt like we were exploring Hoi An via a mode of transport that was quicker than walking and cheaper than taxis. And Anna was not dressed properly for such a ride.

Day 47 of 138 days of travel - -Parsec-Wallis
1 November 2023

Day 48 of 138: Hội An, Vietnam

29°C

A really nice day that started with the search for fruit for Anna and a barber for James. It was also the day Anna discovered Vietnamese coffee in an Italian restaurant to fulfil James’ need for a margarita pizza (It was a good pizza & coffee even though we don’t actually like coffee). It was really nice exploring the night streets of Hoi An which ended with an attempt to walk back to our hotel which was a fair way from the centre but we ended up getting a taxi, probably one of maybe 4 or 5 taxis on our whole 4 and a half-month trip.

Day 48 of 138 days of travel - -Parsec-Wallis
2 November 2023

Day 49 of 138: Hội An, Vietnam

27°C

The hunt for the special Vietnamese coffee started. Anna woke up craving a very particular serving of coffee with condensed milk from the night before. This whole venture culminated in purchasing all the ingredients and a coffee filter because of disbelief that anybody could possibly recreate exactly what she wanted.

Day 49 of 138 days of travel - -Parsec-Wallis
3 November 2023

Day 50 of 138: Hanoi, Vietnam

32°C

Today was James’ return back to Hanoi for the first time since 2015, where he really wanted to take Anna to the central city lake because for some reason James has to show Anna everywhere he’s been before and he’s relentless with it. An opportunity to clean Anna’s necklace that was turned black in the sulphur pools in New Zealand. It was quite an experience at the jewellers. It involved a very tangled necklace and a team of friendly jewellers to untangle it and clean it under Anna’s very close eye. There were a few attempts to clean it within the hour, and it was done to a standard that is okay if you don’t mind it not being done properly. However, it was good value for £1.

Day 51 of 138 days of travel - -Parsec-Wallis
4 November 2023

Day 51 of 138: Cát Bà Island, Vietnam

32°C

Arriving on Cat Ba Island, another one of those places James really needed to take Anna. By this point in our travels, we were starting to wonder what the point of travelling is and is it our main priority. Seeing all these wonderful places but not appreciating them to their fullest maybe because of traveller’s burnout or maybe because we wanted to get back to England to continue our life ambitions. We kind of felt like we were in a holding pattern just waiting to continue life. Don’t get us wrong, looking back at pictures of our day everything looks so adventurous and amazing. We were probably just tired. The barman who tried to interfere with Anna’s newly found love for making Vietnamese coffee with all her ingredients and equipment probably felt it.

Day 52 of 138 days of travel - -Parsec-Wallis
5 November 2023

Day 52 of 138: Cát Bà Island, Vietnam

32°C

Exploring the island of Cat Ba by scooter was today’s mission. It involved driving very carefully to keep us both safe as in Vietnam riding a scooter is more about confidence than having the appropriate licence. It was an adventurous day of sunbathing, riding the island roads, visiting Cannon Fort, and trying to imagine how it felt looking out from the high up vantage point during war times. Another Pizza night for James was on the cards as we started to miss western food and at this point the food experiences and options in Australia, New Zealand, and South East Asia were disappointing.

Day 53 of 138 days of travel - -Parsec-Wallis
6 November 2023

Day 53 of 138: Cát Bà Island, Vietnam

31°C

A boat ride to see Halong Bay which Anna was very sceptical about. All the natural beauty was long forgotten after the encounter with a monkey that tried to attack Anna twice but James was nearby to rush together to the water to keep away from the monkeys on Monkey Island.

Day 54 of 138 days of travel - -Parsec-Wallis
7 November 2023

Day 54 of 138: Cát Bà Island, Vietnam

25°C

Our last full day in Vietnam saw us enjoy the busy streets of Hanoi. The streets of Hanoi seem to have pavements without motorcycles on, which meant you could walk down the street as a fairly safe pedestrian compared to the streets in Ho Chi Minh. Don’t get us wrong, crossing the street was still as dangerous, chaotic, and yet surprisingly self-organised as ever.

Day 55 of 138 days of travel - -Parsec-Wallis
8 November 2023

Day 55 of 138: Chiang Mai, Thailand

31°C

It was nice to arrive in Chiang Mai and be in Thailand, a place Anna had many memories to share with James. We had a long but enjoyable walk from the airport to our hotel. Anna was actually sick on the flight and those paper bags they give you just dissolve at the first sight of any liquid which meant James’s t-shirts came in useful. Luckily, we planned to do all of our laundry as soon as we arrived. It was nice to be in Chiang Mai because the food choice felt potentially greater; however, James still ended up in 7 Eleven purchasing a minimum of £4.72 worth of food because we hadn’t yet got cash out and that was the minimum card spend. Needless to say, all the food we bought was rubbish, especially the spicy and fishy noodles.

Day 56 of 138 days of travel - -Parsec-Wallis
9 November 2023

Day 56 of 138: Chiang Mai, Thailand

32°C

It was a laundry day (actually a laundry night because it was 2-4am). One of our favourite activities was going to the laundrette and having nice clean clothes. It was also the time where for once time was dragging rather than speeding by which gave us time to think of ideas and enjoy each other’s company. Also, this was the day Anna found her favourite Pad Thai of the trip and also the cheapest at about 70p from a very welcoming restaurant near our hotel.

Day 57 of 138 days of travel - -Parsec-Wallis
10 November 2023

Day 57 of 138: Chiang Mai, Thailand

33°C

We enjoyed a nice night meandering around the night streets of Chiang Mai after moving hotels where we reminisced about our adventures and past experiences. We also quite quickly found out that not all Pad Thais are created equal. Also, we had work calls and projects to complete which were a theme of our travels. Travelling as a digital nomad is definitely not laptops by the beach with a Pina Colada.

Day 58 of 138 days of travel - -Parsec-Wallis
11 November 2023

Day 58 of 138: Chiang Mai, Thailand

33°C - Best food of the trip

Anna found a very nice vegan restaurant to James’ relief. Although we’re nowhere near vegan it was just nice to eat something that you know what it is and can safely eat with pleasure. The Mr. Green vegan restaurant owned by an interesting low-energy Swedish man and his wife was definitely James’ favourite food of Thailand. The wrap and the burger and the spring rolls were amazing. The smoothies were great too.

Day 59 of 138 days of travel - -Parsec-Wallis
12 November 2023

Day 59 of 138: Chiang Mai, Thailand

33°C

Today we spent the morning by the hotel pool which actually was located across the street from where we were staying. A funny story about 3 fellow travellers we kept noticing around Thailand starts by this pool too (reference to day 71). After enjoying the pool we set off on our journey to our next hotel on the other side of Chiang Mai which involved a very long walk where we stopped by Mr. Green again for some much-needed energy. It was probably a 2-hour walk but we preferred the walk rather than taking taxis as it helped with sightseeing, budgets, and fitness.

Day 60 of 138 days of travel - -Parsec-Wallis
13 November 2023

Day 60 of 138: Chiang Mai, Thailand

33°C

By now, James had a cold and was sneezing everywhere. We were also in a hotel that was very secluded and felt slightly abandoned and a bit like the Stanley Hotel from the Shining. At this point, we were definitely knackered from all of our travels, work, and moving around. We spent a few days recovering here without a plate or knife and fork for Anna to eat her fruit.

Day 61 of 138 days of travel - -Parsec-Wallis
14 November 2023

Day 61 of 138: Chiang Mai, Thailand

32°C

Today we moved to a hotel by the train station in Chiang Mai in anticipation of our next adventure. However, as we were leaving our Shining hotel the receptionist was checking our room and one of the towels was orange from a papaya and mangoes we were trying to eat. When they spotted this, they wanted us to pay the cleaning bill but because we were slightly fed up with the hotel we ended up not accepting this and negotiating the cleaning bill which we felt was unfair but understood the situation. The new hotel by the station was such a nicer feel with a much cleaner and more welcoming team.

Day 61 of 138 days of travel --Parsec-Wallis Alternative
15 November 2023

Day 62 of 138: Chiang Mai, Thailand

32°C

We set off in the afternoon after a day of working and spells by the pool on our overnight train to Bangkok. We both love overnight trains because there’s no internet (and sometimes no electricity) and we can just enjoy sleeping in our bunk beds while being transported to a new world, even if our beds were opposite ends of the carriage. We would visit each other throughout our journey. On the train, we noticed our three fellow travellers from one of the hotels again. We were trying to figure out their dynamics as there was one girl who always seemed to lead the way and two guys that followed.

Day 62 of 138 days of travel - -Parsec-Wallis
16 November 2023

Day 63 of 138: Bangkok, Thailand

31°C

Our arrival to Bangkok saw us get in early and we checked in to our space pod run by alien space cats. James’s favourite memory after visiting the worst food hall at terminal 21 or something shopping mall was watching Anna perform her ballerina dance in front of the fountain displays at night.

Day 63 of 138 days of travel --Parsec-Wallis
17 November 2023

Day 64 of 138: Bangkok, Thailand

34°C

When we saw a snake in the lake of the central park of Bangkok, it was worrying, to say the least. Then we realized that it was some sort of giant lizard, which was called a water monitor by the sign near the lake. We thought it was an incorrect translation, but soon after, we realised it is an actual name. We concluded that day out in Bangkok with visiting Jim Thompson Museum, which we found inspiring and curious. 

Day 64 of 138 days of travel --Parsec-Wallis
18 November 2023

Day 65 of 138: Koh Tao, Thailand

31°C

After a night of travel down from Bangkok, James showed incredible endurance on a boat trip from mainland Thailand to Koh Tao. Two hours of sitting around people who throw up continuously is an achievement that Anna can’t be proud of.

Day 65 of 138 days of travel --Parsec-Wallis
19 November 2023

Day 66 of 138: Koh Tao, Thailand

31°C - Anna's Best Day

The best day of the whole travels. It was Sunday, and we made an extra effort to rest. The most magical moment was swimming in those somehow very soft waters just after the sunset.

Day 66 of 138 days of travel --Parsec-Wallis
20 November 2023

Day 67 of 138: Koh Tao, Thailand

32°C

Yes, yes, Koh Tao beach is still as lovely as Anna remembered.

Day 67 of 138 days of travel --Parsec-Wallis
21 November 2023

Day 68 of 138: Koh Tao, Thailand

32°C

Our day’s priority was to find the right spot for the majority of the day and be still there.

Day 68 of 138 days of travel --Parsec-Wallis
22 November 2023

Day 69 of 138: Koh Tao, Thailand

33°C - Our most restful day

We decided to make this week especially relaxing: long sleep, sunbathing, swimming, reading some educational books, and working intensely in the evening. What? Work shouldn’t be there? We didn’t know that.

Day 69 of 138 days of travel --Parsec-Wallis
23 November 2023

Day 70 of 138: Koh Tao, Thailand

32°C

Did we mention that we were keen to rest? Well, we tried our best, as you can see.

Day 70 of 138 days of travel --Parsec-Wallis
24 November 2023

Day 71 of 138: Koh Tao, Thailand

32°C

When we were passing by a group of three friends that we saw for the third time in such locations like Chiang Mai, Bangkok, and now Koh Tao, we had to stop and get to know each other. Anna and Natasha shared a lot in common. Both from Saint Petersburg but from different continents, both in project management, both with a very painful divorce experience in their early thirties.

Day 71 of 138 days of travel -.-Parsec-Wallis
25 November 2023

Day 72 of 138: Surat Thani, Thailand

32°C

A very productive working session at KFC and a deep snooze on the bench of the train station – now that’s the life of true nomads.

Day 72 of 138 days of travel -.-Parsec-Wallis
26 November 2023

Day 73 of 138: George Town, Malaysia

31°C

The Black Kettle cafe became our spot for the day. That’s the place where we spent many hours during the whole stay in George Town.

Day 73 of 138 days of travel -.-Parsec-Wallis
27 November 2023

Day 74 of 138: George Town, Malaysia

31°C

Is it a shame to spend 12 hours in a cafe in a new country working on stuff? Well, we launched a couple of projects and felt better about being slightly ahead of the game. George Town was a place that we explored after 9pm only. Just in time for some major celebrations! The moment Anna found out that she got a distinction for my masters degree made her very happy. We went to celebrate by drinking custom made cocktail in some hidden bar of George Town.

Day 74 of 138 days of travel -.-Parsec-Wallis
28 November 2023

Day 75 of 138: Penang, Malaysia

32°C

It’s funny how Google Maps was suggesting that it would take 3 hours to walk from the bus station to Chris and Sasha’s apartment. We spent some time discussing all the car/taxi arrangements when, in fact, it was a pleasant 10 min walk that nobody thought was possible but it was all legit with zebras and traffic lights.

Day 75 of 138 days of travel -.-Parsec-Wallis
29 November 2023

Day 76 of 138: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

34°C

Kuala Lumpur felt so different from 2015. It became surprisingly ordinary in our eyes. Just yet another metropolitan city.

Day 76 of 138 days of travel -.-Parsec-Wallis
30 November 2023

Day 77 of 138: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

33°C

The team in green went on a walk around shopping malls of Kuala Lumpur.

Day 77 of 138 days of travel -.-Parsec-Wallis
1 December 2023

Day 78 of 138: Cameron Highlands, Malaysia

32°C

Tea plantations are a very beautiful and satisfying thing to see. Drinking tea while looking at them is even better.

Day 78 of 138 days of travel -.-Parsec-Wallis
2 December 2023

Day 79 of 138: Cameron Highlands, Malaysia

30°C

The greatest disappointment is that the strawberry farm is not ‘all you can eat’ and also it’s not the taste of strawberries from your grandmother’s allotment.

Day 79 of 138 days of travel -.-Parsec-Wallis
3 December 2023

Day 80 of 138: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

31°C

The day of exploring and enjoying to the fullest all the pools in Chris and Sasha’s apartment complex. Quite a life having an infinity pool in the building you live in. James believes those are the best pools of his life – and he is a swimming pool connoisseur.

Day 80 of 138 days of travel -.-Parsec-Wallis
4 December 2023

Day 81 of 138: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

34°C - The wettest day

A very eventful day of visiting national museums, being stuck under the rain of the century and meeting Anna’s first love Gena Yu for dinner.

Day 83 of 138 days of travel --Parsec-Wallis Alternative
5 December 2023

Day 82 of 138: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

33°C

Cosy moments of playtime with Valya. James took on the role of a professional babysitter and expressed ecstatic happiness hearing Valya’s ‘It’s gone in the house’ while Anna and Sasha were entertaining themselves by having some grown-up conversations.

Day 82 of 138 days of travel --Parsec-Wallis
6 December 2023

Day 83 of 138: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

31°C

The final day of being in Kuala Lumpur, seeing a museum with an astonishing number of reproductions (is that a good standard?!)

Day 83 of 138 days of travel --Parsec-Wallis Alternative 2
7 December 2023

Day 84 of 138: Singapore, Singapore

32°C

Seeing Singapore through the perspective of the Little India district is a very different experience.

Day 84 of 138 days of travel --Parsec-Wallis
8 December 2023

Day 85 of 138: Singapore, Singapore

33°C

Singapore Sling at The Raffles Long Bar is delicious as well as another cocktail we tried. And of course, eating peanuts and throwing shells on the floor is a very unusual experience that we will remember.

Day 85 of 138 days of travel --Parsec-Wallis
9 December 2023

Day 86 of 138: Singapore, Singapore

31°C

When we reached The Singapore Botanical Gardens we were so knackered that we were desperate to find a bench or two for a nap. After having a snooze (probably for an hour) we were ready for our Night Safari adventure.

Day 86 of 138 days of travel --Parsec-Wallis
10 December 2023

Day 87 of 138: Singapore, Singapore

31°C

One of the favourite places in Singapore for us is Changi Airport. We just feel so at home in there. The Jewel is worth seeing – an outstanding attraction.

Day 87 of 138 days of travel --Parsec-Wallis
11 December 2023

Day 88 of 138: Moalboal, Philippines

31°C

It was great to see Adam after months of travel and exchange our experiences followed by a dive with sardines. That’s what we call quality time with friends.

Day 88 of 138 days of travel --Parsec-Wallis
12 December 2023

Day 89 of 138: Moalboal, Philippines

31°C - The most adventurous day

When you meet another fellow traveller who has seen the world and places, it is very satisfying to discuss how average Kawasan Falls is comparing to some nature gems of the world. As far as we remember, Adam put a waterfall in Wales as number one on his list which only confirmed our desire to explore the British Isles with more rigor.

Day 89 of 138 days of travel --Parsec-Wallis
13 December 2023

Day 90 of 138: Moalboal, Philippines

31°C - The best Bagels we've ever tasted (Ye Old Countrystyle Bakeshop)

Bagels became Anna’s obsession for the whole duration of Moalboal stay. Steve Bagel, how we call him now, is an American and is just wondrous with his bakery. There was so much comfort in eating at least one quinoa bagel with soft cheese and drink a glass of milk tea. That’s paradise of some sort.

Day 90 of 138 days of travel --Parsec-Wallis
14 December 2023

Day 91 of 138: Moalboal, Philippines

31°C

Taking it easy was the motto when we were in Moalboal and after spending a very intense time with Adam catching up and exploring. Snorkelling with sardines did become our go-to activity though.

Day 91 of 138 days of travel --Parsec-Wallis
15 December 2023

Day 92 of 138: Moalboal, Philippines

31°C

For a moment we thought whether we are wasting time and whether we needed to up our game (after Anna said to Steve Bagel that those bagels are highlight of her day). 

Day 92 of 138 days of travel --Parsec-Wallis
16 December 2023

Day 93 of 138: Moalboal, Philippines

31°C Our favourite activity of the trip (Diving)

The first dive for us which was beautiful and very exciting. Led by Steve Bagel’s wife Jin. Best moments of it were sending hearts to each other and receiving applause from our instructor for performing exercises during a deep dive (or close to it).

Day 93 of 138 days of travel --Parsec-Wallis
17 December 2023

Day 94 of 138: Moalboal, Philippines

31°C

A day in between things. We were not sure how ready we are for action (diver’s course, for example or driving around the island) so we chose just to be still. It seems like everyone went for that approach that day.

Day 94 of 138 days of travel --Parsec-Wallis
18 December 2023

Day 95 of 138: Moalboal, Philippines

28°C

We had a walk to the beach and met our local friend Shian who told us that the storm was coming. It passed but we actually quite like the feeling of going through natural disasters together. That’s how we met – while waiting for the typhoon to come in Hong Kong. Which never came either.

Day 95 of 138 days of travel --Parsec-Wallis
19 December 2023

Day 96 of 138: Moalboal, Philippines

30°C - James' most ill day

James was down with fever, Anna was down with bagels and Call the Midwife season after season.

Day 96 of 138 days of travel --Parsec-Wallis
20 December 2023

Day 97 of 138: Moalboal, Philippines

30°C

We cherish moments when there is no internet. But our favourite is a power cut. That’s when nothing is possible to do and we love it. We instantly got out of bed where we were watching a film (The Covenant) and got out onto the terrace, brought our duvet to make us comfy and just sat there for an hour, stared into the darkness and talked about anything and everything. A beautiful moment we absolutely loved!

Day 97 of 138 days of travel --Parsec-Wallis
21 December 2023

Day 98 of 138: Moalboal, Philippines

30°C

We carried on resting in bed. James was definitely in a worse shape but Anna was tired mentally. James managed to eat some plain rice after not being able to eat for days.

Day 98 of 138 days of travel --Parsec-Wallis
22 December 2023

Day 99 of 138: Moalboal, Philippines

30°C

To travel on the day when you are unwell is a challenge of a kind. We’ve done that many times over this trip. Too many. Fortunately, this travel from Cebu to Tokyo wasn’t as bad (James would disagree though).

Day 99 of 138 days of travel --Parsec-Wallis
23 December 2023

Day 100 of 138: Tokyo, Japan

9°C

After a walk around sunny Tokyo, James had to have a nap to complete his recovery. Anna took an opportunity to go for a solo walk and had a very personal sushi dining experience.

Day 100 of 138 days of travel --Parsec-Wallis
24 December 2023

Day 101 of 138: Tokyo, Japan

8°C

Watching Lost in Translation the night before put us into a special mood for exploring Tokyo. We ended up listening to a music band somewhere near Shibuya Crossing. They played something Irish, we thought, but looked all very Japanese.

Day 101 of 138 days of travel --Parsec-Wallis
25 December 2023

Day 102 of 138: Tokyo, Japan

11°C

A Christmas day in the village of Japan, by the fire and with pizza at an Italian restaurant (the only one open at 8 pm) for dinner. We’ll remember that one.

Day 102 of 138 days of travel --Parsec-Wallis
26 December 2023

Day 103 of 138: Hakone, Japan

12°C

We experienced an incredible number of different modes of transport while having a glance at Mount Fuji. How we’ll remember that day is with a moment when Anna burst into tears because the sushi place she wanted to go to eat was closed at 2 pm as they ran out of rice.

Day 103 of 138 days of travel --Parsec-Wallis
27 December 2023

Day 104 of 138: Hakone, Japan

13°C

The bullet train ride is a very invigorating experience. We found it all very comfortable and fast.

Day 105 of 138 days of travel --Parsec-Wallis
28 December 2023

Day 105 of 138: Kyoto, Japan

13°C - The most relaxing day

How James remembered this day: “Anna went for sushi in the mall with George.” Well, that’s true, but let Anna explain herself. James wasn’t keen to have sushi and Anna wanted sushi every day. She found a place she liked the most (it was in the shopping mall and had 6 seats), and there was one available seat that happened to be next to a Taiwanese-American fellow traveller, George. While James walked around the mall searching for the food of his liking, Anna had a quick chat and sushi.

Day 106 of 138 days of travel --Parsec-Wallis
29 December 2023

Day 106 of 138: Kyoto, Japan

11°C

Being in the Bamboo Forest in Japan is a special moment, that’s for sure.

Day 107 of 138 days of travel --Parsec-Wallis
30 December 2023

Day 107 of 138: Kyoto, Japan

13°C - Our longest walking day

We always thought that those red gates in Kyoto only last for a couple of hundred meters. Who knew it would take us 2 hours to walk through almost all of them.

Anna at Fushimi Inari-taisha temple in 2023
31 December 2023

Day 108 of 138: Kyoto, Japan

14°C - Most relaxing meal of the trip

A quiet New Year’s Eve in the company of locals and with sushi.

Day 108 of 138 days of travel --Parsec-Wallis
1 January 2024

Day 109 of 138: Osaka, Japan

5°C - Noto earthquake 7.6 on the Richter scale

Our first experience of the earthquake (7.6 on the Richter scale). When we felt the earthquake, James said ‘That’s fun’. It was definitely not fun somewhere by the coast probably. Feeling the earth tremor was a very unusual feeling. And it felt like we’re drunk and trying to balance ourselves. Quite curious how the hotel announced via speakers “Attention! There is an earthquake. The building will not collapse. Stay calm”.

Day 109 of 138 days of travel --Parsec-Wallis
2 January 2024

Day 110 of 138: Osaka, Japan

11°C

Anna got what she wanted from her trip to Japan – pearl earrings and a necklace. Everything had elevated significantly.

Day 110 of 138 days of travel --Parsec-Wallis
3 January 2024

Day 111 of 138: Osaka, Japan

7°C

When we try not to withdraw any extra cash on the last day in the country, we always face quite a few challenges. We had our last 900 yen, and we were immensely happy with the amount of lunch and its quality. The couple who run the sushi place were very understanding of our situation it seems. We loved it! James loved it because of the value, while Anna enjoyed the taste.

Day 111 of 138 days of travel --Parsec-Wallis
4 January 2024

Day 112 of 138: Seoul, South Korea

7°C

A good thing we checked the airport we need to travel to in Osaka just in the elevator on the way out. It turned out that we needed to go to the farther airport. We were very fast and lucky in the end. Lesson learned without major consequences apart from an unexpected rush.

Day 112 of 138 days of travel --Parsec-Wallis
5 January 2024

Day 113 of 138: Seoul, South Korea

9°C - North Korea Missile Alert

We decided to take matters into our own hands and spent ages at the supermarket. Alas, we were not pleased because we still couldn’t find anything of good value, and the prices were higher than in London.

Day 113 of 138 days of travel --Parsec-Wallis
6 January 2024

Day 114 of 138: Seoul, South Korea

5°C - Cold Weather Alert - Frosty day the next day

A day out where we planned a walking route (despite Google Maps not supporting the walking feature in Korea) and visited all major temples, palaces, and villages. Vibrant from one point of view but something was quite sad from another.

Day 114 of 138 days of travel --Parsec-Wallis
7 January 2024

Day 115 of 138: Seoul, South Korea

0°C

Spent a day working. One of those projects when we massively underestimate the amount of work required for what we decided to offer. However, we heard from the client who said that people are amazed by the work when this business owner shows them the result.

Day 115 of 138 days of travel --Parsec-Wallis
8 January 2024

Day 116 of 138: Seoul, South Korea

0°C

In the morning just before checking out, Anna got unwell suddenly, and we had to extend the hotel for a half a day to allow for a bit of rest that turned into a multi-hour research of how to get home back to England.

Day 116 of 138 days of travel --Parsec-Wallis
9 January 2024

Day 117 of 138: Taipei, Taiwan

21°C

Negotiations at the reception at 9 am after an overnight flight: – We would like to check in early, preferably now. Is it possible? – Only from midday because we don’t have any availability. It costs 600. (note, the full day costs 1000). – That’s pretty expensive, more than 50% of the daily rate. Can we book the full day? – Yes, here is the room. What we don’t get is why we always need to ask the same thing from so many angles to get to the result we requested in the beginning.

Day 117 of 138 days of travel --Parsec-Wallis
10 January 2024

Day 118 of 138: Taipei, Taiwan

19°C - Anna's most ill day

Anna was in bed because she still was recovering while James had a walk around Taipei and took pictures of every person, corner, and street to bring Taipei (and many bubble teas and dumplings) to Anna.

Day 118 of 138 days of travel --Parsec-Wallis
11 January 2024

Day 119 of 138: Taipei, Taiwan

19°C

The first and only proper dining experience in Taiwan. Those pork and truffle dumplings were to die for (Anna’s opinion).

Day 119 of 138 days of travel --Parsec-Wallis
12 January 2024

Day 120 of 138: Taipei, Taiwan

23°C

A sunny walk to the train station, and then a train ride to the airport were beautiful! 

Day 120 of 138 days of travel --Parsec-Wallis
13 January 2024

Day 121 of 138: Bangkok, Thailand

34°C

We quickly tried to evaluate whether we can all of a sudden start eating more vegetables. That thought and effort lasted 2 minutes by that stall.

Day 121 of 138 days of travel - -Parsec-Wallis
14 January 2024

Day 122 of 138: Bangkok, Thailand

33°C

The last moment decision to walk in Neil’s park (we call it like that because of one James’ YouTubers recommended this park) was a very beautiful end of the day. The lighting of everything was incredible.

Day 123 of 138 days of travel - -Parsec-Wallis
15 January 2024

Day 123 of 138: Bangkok, Thailand

33°C

When do you get that much enjoyment from a bus ride? Not sure why we liked it so much, but we did. Maybe because it was cheap, straightforward, and fast.

Day 122 of 138 days of travel --Parsec-Wallis
16 January 2024

Day 124 of 138: Bangkok, Thailand

33°C

Exploring the local parks and supermarkets is one of the main activities we do everywhere.

Day 124 of 138 days of travel --Parsec-Wallis
17 January 2024

Day 125 of 138: Bangkok, Thailand

33°C

Those days we were working every day with a seldom walk outside for a Pad Thai and a 7-Eleven pop-in. 

Day 125 of 138 days of travel --Parsec-Wallis
18 January 2024

Day 126 of 138: Bangkok, Thailand

34°C

We wonder whether we would save lots of time by not going to the supermarket pretty much every day. We do enjoy that somehow! Something to re-evaluate, we think.

Day 126 of 138 days of travel --Parsec-Wallis
19 January 2024

Day 127 of 138: Bangkok, Thailand

35°C

We do notice that whenever we need to relocate, one of us suddenly feels really under the weather and almost unable to move. Anna was ill for 3 days. Bed regime and Julia show (followed by True Detective, which was a complete waste of time).

Day 127 of 138 days of travel --Parsec-Wallis
20 January 2024

Day 128 of 138: Bangkok, Thailand

35°C

James was furious most of the time because of how online shopping and authentications work. 

Day 128 of 138 days of travel --Parsec-Wallis
21 January 2024

Day 129 of 138: Bangkok, Thailand

34°C

What can we say. I watch films and shows, James works and scrolls.

Day 129 of 138 days of travel --Parsec-Wallis
22 January 2024

Day 130 of 138: Bangkok, Thailand

34°C

We walked through local markets in many countries and looked at everything with great curiosity but with even more suspicion. We don’t find many things, if any, appetising there.

Day 130 of 138 days of travel --Parsec-Wallis
23 January 2024

Day 131 of 138: Bangkok, Thailand

31°C

Relocation to a new hotel felt invigorating for once. We were ready!

Day 131 of 138 days of travel --Parsec-Wallis
24 January 2024

Day 132 of 138: Bangkok, Thailand

29°C

Despite being incredibly exhausted, Anna had no choice but to make James happy by agreeing to go to the Bangkok Palace. A beautiful place to see, but what was most curious is seeing the soldiers’ ceremony that reminded us of A Few Good Men film, which is our favourite.

Day 132 of 138 days of travel --Parsec-Wallis
25 January 2024

Day 133 of 138: Bangkok, Thailand

30°C

We followed a routine: waking up at 11, resting till 15, working till 20, swimming and working out till 21, working again till 1 am, watching films till 3-4 am. That worked for the time being!

Day 133 of 138 days of travel --Parsec-Wallis
26 January 2024

Day 134 of 138: Bangkok, Thailand

31°C

We found vegetable spring rolls in the nearby cafe and ate 2 portions of those every day 6 days in a row.

Day 134 of 138 days of travel --Parsec-Wallis
27 January 2024

Day 135 of 138: Bangkok, Thailand

33°C

A commitment to creating this post with 138 days of travel turned into the mission of the day and dozens of hours spent on this mini-project. However, if we are the only people ever scrolling this far and reading our memories, we are very content. We needed to remember every day even if it’s just one random memory and one random picture.

Day 135 of 138 days of travel-Parsec-Wallis
28 January 2024

Day 136 of 138: Bangkok, Thailand

35°C

The final day of traveling was consumed by writing this blog. That’s hours and hours of time. We kept asking each other whether it was worth it. When we scroll through everything – yes, it was! Both seeing and writing that is.

29 January 2024

Day 137 of 138: Shanghai, China

11°C - The first day we lost something on our trip

Anna eagerly took on the task of surveilling a Russian con artist at the Bangkok airport. Amidst her enthusiasm, a pouch containing wires slipped from her pocket – the only item lost during our entire journey which happened so close to the end (if we are not taking into account a mysteriously vanished bikini at some point).

Day 134 of 137 days of travel --Parsec-Wallis
30 January 2024

Day 138 of 138: Surrey, UK

8°C - Our happiest day
A bus ride through the picturesque English countryside with its charming cottages and rolling hills of Surrey made us the happiest in many months. We were home. We were full of enthusiasm thinking about the life that awaited us in this enchanting setting.
Day 138 of 138 days of travel --Parsec-Wallis

The Start

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First published on: January 27, 2024

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