Saturday afternoon Liam and I went out for a fabulous socially distanced lunch out with his family, where we had some delicious lasagne at Bonnie’s Brunch. A newly opened family run cafe in Plymouth we have all given two thumbs up to. We got back home and decided that even though the promised heat wave wasn’t quite as strong as anticipated, the weather was still far too nice to pass up! We packed up our bags and headed up to Venford Reservoir on Dartmoor, somewhere we had visited earlier this year with Liam’s parents (link). This time however, Liam had something new and exciting in store for me. I couldn’t wait!
Now that I am back on that Monday to Friday working life grind the weekends have become a thing of beauty again. Two days of complete freedom for us to spend how we like, and Liam and I the thing we love to do most is to get outside and explore the beautiful areas we are so lucky to be surrounded by. After two weekends of dreary wet weather we finally had a clear day where we could get back out there. We decided to spend the day completing the next stretch of the South West Coastal Path, 9.8 miles from Erme Estuary to Noss Mayo.
When Liam and I returned to England we were so excited to start this new chapter, after applying and receiving offers to start new job roles we felt like it was all going to fall into place again… but then came Corona and put everything on pause. Unexpected as it is, we are grateful that we have our health, each other, a roof over our heads and that we can stay in touch with family and friends wirelessly. Being under lockdown is a challenge for anyone. It’s been hugely important and helpful to us to still be able to get out of the house once a day and go for a walk. It’s given us the opportunity to see areas nearby that we wouldn’t necessarily have visited too often in the past. Also we have had exceptionally nice and sunny weather this past week so we were really able to make the most out of our outings!
Our last day of our mini east coast road trip rounded off back in Massachusetts, destination: Plymouth. As soon as we started planning our trip to the east coast, Liam and I knew we wanted to stop here, marking the beginning of our around the world trip in Plymouth UK and the end of the trip in Plymouth Massachusetts. These two towns have such a strong historical UK and US relationship with each other so it was even more fitting for the two of us to visit.
The only things I knew about Connecticut before visiting on our east coast road trip came from watching Gilmore Girls growing up, which took place in the fictional Connecticut town of Stars Hollow. I knew that this was a place that had history, plenty of people with old American money, Yale, and some beautiful scenery. Having a car meant we were able to explore this small state with great ease during our time there, and there’s still plenty to see should we ever get the opportunity to revisit! We arrived in Hartford around lunchtime which was perfect because we had worked up an appetite and had our food destination chosen and mapped out. We found this place on that amazing sandwich list that led us to two amazing sandwiches in Hawaii and in Colorado, so we went off with high hopes to J’s crab shack for a Lobster Roll, something that screams New England especially to someone who grew up landlocked. The place was busy with a diverse crowd of people enjoying their seafood plates, we ordered and sat down next to a massive tank of bright fish and one massive eel who was probably judging us for eating his aquatic friends. The lobster roll was packed with fresh meat, warm and drizzled with butter and lemon. Simple yet unforgettable, a total treat.
Looking out the plane window the clouds finally break, below an endless stretch of plains filled with crop circles. Small clusters of cities dot the way until the plains meet the great majestic Rocky Mountains. The plane descends further and the white peaks of Denver International Airport come into view and no matter how many times I fly into D.I.A or the length of time that passes between, the feeling I get seeing this sight is always the same. A wave of nostalgia, comfort, and gratitude to have grown up somewhere so beautiful. It feels like home. I’m through the roof with happiness that I get to share this with Liam for the second of many times to come. Especially since we’re here for the holidays! Family, friends, and festive food and scenery.
The final leg of our time in Taiwan had come. Anja’s birthday was just around the corner and she was able to get a four day weekend off of work to celebrate it! And what better way to see in a new chapter than with an epic road trip? Liam and I, along with Anja and her partner Kevin (who was kind enough to drive us all), piled into his car for what was bound to be an amazing experience filled with wonderful new sites, delicious food and quality time laughing and chatting between friends. First stop? The town of Taitung.
During our stay in Taiwan Liam and I were based in Kaohsiung where Anja, my best friend from university, is currently living. Since she was working during the weekdays while we were over, we decided that we should take a few days and go check out the capital city of Taipei. This island nation has an impressive rail network and we were able to take the high speed rail from Kaohsiung to Taipei in two hours! Mind you, we only took it the one way. The 4-6 hour journey regular train is far more friendly on the wallet.
We didn’t manage to get a picture of the trains in action but here’s what Taiwan’s HSR looks like
Our final destination on this fabulous change of plan trip to Korea was the capital city, Seoul. We hopped off of the budget bus we took from Jeonju (which was still such a remarkably nice bus compared to the ones we’ve been taking recently) and headed straight to the Dongdaemun design plaza. A remarkable space located right on a metro line. The sleek and futuristic metal sheeted buildings and surrounding sculptures make a perfect playground for any photographer. So many different angles and lights to capture! There are places to eat and shop both inside and out of the buildings making it even more enticing to stick around this area for a while. A space also exists inside one of the buildings where designers can display their projects or set up shops to sell their goods. It’s an amazing place to find something unique and special. A center for arts and culture is one of the best things to have at the heart of any city and I’m glad we got to see this one in Seoul.
We decided to come to Gwangju because it was a spot between Busan in the south where we had already been and Jeongju further north where we were heading next. Plus the flight from Jeju to Gwangju was £34 for the two of us. It was a no brainer. We weren’t expecting anything special really, but still did a quick search to find out what to see and do while we were here.