20th August 2015

 Spin the Windrose is One!

Yep, hard to believe that I clicked ‘Create a new blog’ a whole year ago. Where has the time gone?!

It’s been a bit of a mish-mash year for the blog, and for James and I really. I was largely inactive on Spin the Windrose from September to March, mainly because I hadn’t a clue what to write about or what style of writing I wanted to use. I wasn’t at all sure on where I wanted to go with it. I didn’t even name it ‘Spin the Windrose’ until earlier this year!

To be honest I’m still just as clueless on where I’m going with Spin the Windrose – all I know is that it’s a great personal hobby for me to record my experiences and share them with others. My main aim is to help other travellers with their travels, and to persuade people to travel more! I’m still learning, I’m still exploring and I’m still discovering what I like to write about, what I’m good at writing about and what people like reading about.

Here’s a few quick stats on the progress of Spin the Windrose as at today’s date:

It’s also been a mish-mash year for us personally.

When we graduated from university last August, we were so ready to just hop on a plane and start our adventure! But reality called – we had to pay off our overdrafts and save up to afford it, and of course we had to plan, plan, plan!

Our original travel plans were very different to what we are actually doing, though I’m just as happy with the way the way things are going now. If I have learnt anything from travelling it’s that you should not try to plan too much, but enough to be prepared.

To celebrate a year of Spin the Windrose, I started thinking about all the things we have done since August 2014. Some moments are dull (working 8am to 8pm to save up for our trip), some are horrible (being robbed in Phnom Pehn), but most are hilarious, joyful memories that I will never, ever forget! Here’s an insight into reflections of the past year…

  1. Visiting the most famous temples in the world: the Angkor Temples – Preah Khan, Angkor Temples, Near Siem Reap, Cambodia

  2. Having a monkey stand on my head – Jaipur, India

3. Seeing monks chanting in Wat PhoBangkok, Thailand

  1. Paying for drinks in two currencies at once – Cambodia (U.S. Dollars and Cambodian Riel)

  2. Seeing the flag-lowering ceremony at the Wagah border crossing Punjab, India

  1. Spending Valentines Day on the beachGoa, India

  2. Getting a job abroadAuckland, New Zealand

  3. Haggling a pair of earrings down from $12 to $3 – Russian market, Phnom Pehn, Cambodia

  4. Getting traditional Indian henna on my hand – Jaipur, India

  5. Eating a fried scorpionKhao San Road, Bangkok, Thailand

  1. Having my first fish foot spa – Siem Reap, Cambodia

  2. Moving in with James (if only temporarily!)Auckland, New Zealand

  3. Getting the infamous Delhi Belly..!! – India

  4. Getting lost in the remote countryside in the dark on a bikeBattambang, Cambodia

  5. Experiencing the Great Indian Railway – India

  1. Successfully getting a Cambodian Visa for the actual price, without being scammedPoipet border crossing, Thailand to Cambodia

  2. Going wine tastingWaiheke Island, New Zealand

  3. Swimming in the Arabian SeaGoa, India 

  4. Being the furthest I have ever been from home – New Zealand

  5. Completing the walk to the Jakhu temple in 27 minutesShimla, India

21.Getting drunk from beer for the first time ever Bangkok, Thailand

  1. Standing on the roof of a palace – Nahargarh Fort, Japur, India

  2. Riding a moped (if only for 15 seconds… Still counts!) – Goa, India

  3. Riding the Bamboo TrainBattambang, Cambodia

  4. Accidentally sitting in the designated monk’s seat on a local bus – Bangkok, Thailand

  1. Spending my 23rd birthday abroad: the first birthday I have spent away from home – Auckland, New Zealand

  2. Trying traditional masala chai – India

  3. Watching the sunset over the Gulf of Thailand – Kep, Cambodia

  4. Watching thousands of bats fly over the fieldsBattambang, Cambodia

  5. Eating the below pancake – Little World Café, Palolem, Goa, India 

  1. Visiting the Thai King’s Palace Bangkok, Thailand

  2. Accidentally turning all our laundry green from James’ elephant pants – Battambang, Cambodia

  3. Drinking shots of Fenny, a traditional Indian spirit Sakahari Spice Farm, Goa, India

  4. Trying authentic Pad ThaiBangkok, Thailand

  5. Learning the horrific events under Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge Regime – Phnom Pehn, Cambodia

  1. Seeing a tiger in his natural habitat – Rhanthambhore National Park, India

  2. Having geckos roaming our hut on a daily basis – Goa, India

  3. Drinking the best fruit shakes ever Battambang Riverside market, Cambodia

  4. Travelling by Tuk Tuk – India, Thailand and Cambodia

  5. Standing at the summit of a volcano that could erupt again at any timeAuckland, New Zealand

41.Visiting the Taj Mahal – Agra, India

  1. Enduring over 6 hours of Cambodian pop music videos while on a coach journey from Siem Reap to Phnom Pehn – Cambodia

  2. Getting lost in the maze of Chatuchak weekend marketBangkok, Thailand

  3. Visiting the holiest Sikh temple in the world, the Golden TempleAmritsar, India

  4. Escaping reality on the remote paradise of Koh Tonsay (Rabbit Island)  – off the coast of Kep, Cambodia

  1. Running up and down a huge, natural sand duneWaitakere Ranges, New Zealand

  2. Drinking cocktails from teapots – Cassette 9, Auckland, New Zealand

  3. Dancing the night away to Goan Trance music at a silent discoGoa, India 

  4. Seeing a mesmerising circus performance by underprivileged children – Battambang, Cambodia

  5. Realising there is so much more of the world we still want to see!

 Waiheke Island, Auckland, New Zealand 

What a fantastic year! Here’s to the next. 

Have you done any of the above? What’s your best moment from your travels? I’d love to hear from you!

Hope you’ve enjoyed reading!


2 responses to “ Spin the Windrose is One!”

  1. Holly says:

    Love this 🙂 Keeping a blog is such a great way to make sure you remember all the little details of your travels. I will definitely start one if we go on another year abroad one day. Although I don’t think mine would be as insightful and interesting as yours is – my old travel journals from my gap year mainly say things like ‘I saw this temple and it was really big’, ‘I saw this church and it was really big’, ‘we got soooo drunk’. Ha! Missing you. Hope you’re still having a great time. xxx

    • Haha love it Hol! Definitely agree – it’s a good way to look back on what you’ve done! I try to write every few days in my notebook, but a lot of the time it’s stuff like you said – ‘amazing temple’, ‘great food’, etc. I try at least to write a keyword or phrase that will make me remember little funny moments I would otherwise forget! I do try to write down names of restaurants and prices etc too, and I keep all my tickets and receipts and stuff.. I’m such a hoarder! Haha. Missing you too, lots of love xxxx

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