We had so many backup plans—teaching English in Taiwan, crewing on yachts in the Caribbean, getting a working holiday visa in Australia—as when we set out in March 2010 with a one way ticket to Rio, a 10 day old travel blog, and Simon’s first and only freelance project, it all seemed so unlikely that we’d be able to create a business that would fund our travels. We had savings for a year so that was our deadline to make it work before we’d have to try something new. Despite our lack of business plan, reluctance to do marketing, and refusal to follow much of the online business advice, we somehow made it work.
I fell for Procida as soon as I saw the view from the Terra Murata. A tangle of houses painted in pink, yellow, blue and green tumbled towards Marina Corricella, the sun setting behind it and lighting up the sky in a blaze of orange and pink. Small fishing boats were dotted in the water—the fishermen use the lavishly bright buildings to find their way home.
The Amalfi Coast is one of the most stunning parts of Italy, but also one of the most crowded and expensive. We decided to find out if it’s possible to experience a quieter side of the dramatic coast without spending a fortune.
We recently arrived in Bali, Indonesia and will be spending the next two months in the hippy town Ubud working, practicing yoga, scooting around the rice paddies, and enjoying all the delicious vegetarian food. As UK citizens we are allowed to enter the country without a visa for stays up to 30 days, but this can’t be extended so it wouldn’t be enough time for our intended stay. Instead we applied for a 60 day tourist visa before we entered Indonesia. This can be done at Indonesian embassies all over the world but as we were in London we applied there.
Helsinki is an easy city to like, especially when you arrive on a sunny May evening like we did with bright blue skies and locals enjoying beers on terraces. It’s a compact, walkable city that feels close to nature—there are plenty of parks, and it’s surrounded on three sides by the sea with over 300 islands just a short ferry hop away. It’s a low pressure destination—there aren’t any “must-see” sights but there’s plenty to occupy your time including unusual churches, vibrant market halls, and an island fortress. Our favourite thing to do (surprise, surprise) was explore Helsinki’s surprisingly excellent food and cafe scene.