I think getting outside and walking is one of life’s simple pleasures. It is pretty much free, and it gives you the opportunity to see and do things that you would have missed out on by staying indoors. As with all simple pleasures, sharing these walks with friends and family is even better than venturing out solo. That is why, after being tipped off that the Tamar Valley trains were running for free, I jumped at the opportunity to head out to Gunnislake with the family in tow. Suspension of cash payments due to Covid19 is a slim silver lining I had to take!
After a Covid19 lockdown initiated hiatus, Emily and I made the most of the bank holiday and got out onto Dartmoor. It felt like it had been ages, and in all honesty it really had. 6 months of travel, poor weather and a strict lockdown had prevented us getting out to our local National Park for the best part of a year. Still, that’s the best thing about the outdoors. It’s there waiting for you and it’s all the more glorious for it.
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.
Hawaii 🌸 Truly one of those places you don’t realise how special it is until you visit. A Pacific island paradise, with every convenience you come to expect in America. The problem is it is so remote. A tiny dot in the Pacific and a daunting prospect for travel if you’re from England. Which is why we chose to visit on this trip; flying Taiwan to Colorado you couldn’t ask for a better layover. Since we only had 5 full days we decided from the outset to spend them all on Oahu as there is so much to see and do there.
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.
Kaohsiung has a lot of parks. Which is fantastic. Living in a city, both Emily and I love them and the convenient outdoors green spaces they bring. Lucky for us, Anja and Kevin were able to point us in the direction of many of the best during our stay in the south of Taiwan. Whether wandering around the Lotus Pond or ambling our way around Weiwuying park, we were never too far from nature despite the high rise environment we were based in. With plenty of amazing local delicacies just waiting for us to walk enough to gain an appetite (from savoury beef noodle to peanut butter mochi stuffed waffles) we made sure we got out and about as often as we could!
If you go in through the dragon and out through the tiger you get good luck 🤷
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.