Interview with Brian and Noelle from wanderingon.com

How, why and when did you get started blogging your thoughts on travel?

In March 2012, we started a big trip taking in Nepal for three months, India for six months, Sri Lanka for two and a half months and a month in Singapore and Sumatra. We bought the WanderingOn.com domain just before we left Korea, with plans to start our blog. Initially it was all handwritten. We wrote about our stories and documented our travels in notebooks for the first few weeks. We continued to do so while on long treks in the Himalayas and then when we reached Pokhara we took some time to get it all online. We launched the blog from a little internet café at Lakeside in Pokhara after typing up all our posts offline. We didn't have a clue what we were doing; we just kind of made it up as we went along! Honestly, we wished we had begun our blog when we'd left home originally back in 2009. A lot of our trips are not documented on our blog now but there's no point dwelling on it; we just try and move forward with what we have. We try to incorporate our previous trips by posting photos from those trips in our weekly Random Travel Photo Friday feature.


Brian at Pangong Tso on the India-China border, Leh, Northern India

Brian at Pangong Tso on the India-China border, Leh, Northern India

If I were looking for beaches, mountains, city life or night life, where would you send me?

We would probably send you to a different location for each. For beaches, we would probably recommend Sri Lanka. The south coast there is beautiful and while it is becoming more developed, there are still lengths of sand, completely untouched and lined with palm trees if you're willing to look for them.


Noelle with police on Beach Road, Jaffna, Sri Lanka

Noelle with police on Beach Road, Jaffna, Sri Lanka

If it's mountains you're after, it's a no-brainer for us – go to Nepal. The mighty Himalayas will keep any mountain lover entertained to no end!


Brian and Noelle at Kala Pattar, Nepal - Mount Everest is in the background

Brian and Noelle at Kala Pattar, Nepal – Mount Everest is in the background

City life is a tough one. We have visited a lot of cities in Asia and they all had their own charm. Seoul in South Korea is a really cool city – there's always something going on and always a new part of the city to check out. The university area of Hongdae is a great spot to catch a band and have a few beers in the park. Bangkok is another favourite for sure. We don't know exactly what it is about it, but there's a great vibe there, there's plenty of culture and the food… The food is incredible!

What was the longest time in one go that you had no sleep or a hotel bed? Tell us the story behind it.

There have been a few occasions where we have gone for days without a proper bed – hopping on and off sleeper buses and trains in India. However, one time that springs to mind would be our last few days in Sri Lanka.

We left hiking Adam's Peak until our very last night in Sri Lanka. You hike through the night, beginning around 2 AM, to reach the summit in time for sunrise. We had been staying in Nuwara Eliya and arrived into Hatton, the starting point for the trek, in the late afternoon. Really, we should have gotten some sleep then as we were wrecked after the journey from Nuwara Eliya but we were excited about the hike and it seemed pointless going to sleep when we had to start walking in the middle of the night. So, we stayed awake, hiked up and down (in the rain!) and got back to the guesthouse. We had just enough time for a quick shower and we were onto the six hour bus ride to Colombo. From Colombo it was another hour-long bus trip to the airport in Negombo for our flight to Singapore. By the time we arrived in Singapore it was late in the evening but again we were excited at being in a new place so we pushed the boundaries again, staying up late, walking around Chinatown. That night we slept in our dorm beds in the hostel but only for a couple of hours as we were up again early the next morning to explore Singapore. This trend continued for the four nights we were in Singapore – out late and up early, trying to see as much of the city as we could, while we could. We flew to Bangkok next and arrived shattered. We still hadn't recovered from the Adam's Peak hike and hadn't gotten any real sleep in Singapore. We were like zombies but again we were excited to be in a new place and so we went out to meet friends of ours and then, finally, the following few nights we got some proper sleep.


Brian and Noelle with the King of the Boti Tribe and his brother in West Timor, Indonesia

Brian and Noelle with the King of the Boti Tribe and his brother in West Timor, Indonesia

What was the most rewarding travel situation you encountered?

There have been a lot. We can't really think of something that wasn't rewarding. That's why you do it at the end of the day, in our opinion. We've had a lot of big moments: hiking to Everest Base Camp, over twenty three days, independently; driving a motorbike to remote Pangong Tso in Northern India; scuba diving to World War 2 wrecks in Coron in The Philippines; visiting remote tribes in West Timor; visiting Jaffna and Mannar in Sri Lanka; tracking rhinos in Nepal; and climbing up a rickety wooden ladder onto the Great Wall Of China, among others. They were all standout experiences for sure but a lot of the time the most rewarding things from travel for us are the smaller moments – chatting with locals, seeing something totally random unexpectedly, tasting local foods or overcoming some cultural barrier. Those little moments are what really make it special for us.

Do you have a travel product – that nobody has ever heard of – that is a real gem?

We use this little gadget called an 'electricity cup', or at least that's what it was introduced to us by the Israeli girl who showed it to us. We bought it in India for about two euros. Basically, it's the element of a kettle, on a wire, with a plug. You put it into a mug of water, plug it in, usually get a couple of shocks and you have a mug of boiled water! It's great for having a cup of tea in the evening or in the morning. Us Irish love our tea!

What gadgets help you out on your travels?

We're not huge gadget-people really. Normally we travel with a camera, which we never go far without and we'll also have a laptop for storing photos, getting online and watching movies. That's about it for us as far as gadgets go – unless you include the electricity cup! 😉

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