Belfast, so often overlooked when considering ‘where to go’ in the UK, Ireland and indeed Europe. Belfast has really formed its own, very special identity over the years. It’s not England, it’s not Ireland – It’s very much just Northern Ireland. It really is a special place that I’m delighted i’ve had the chance to get to know so well.


Bound for Bangkok

The morning finally came when we were to be transported to Bangkok. We were both in high spirits. Looking back on this now, Ben’s positivity at the time really is a testament to his character. Little did we know, without correct treatment he would have almost certainly have been dead by the following morning. However, he seemed so strong that we both actually thought the antibiotics were finally beginning to take effect. It goes to show how powerful a positive mindset can be when faced with even the most relentless of conditions. I truly believe that Ben’s positivity played a huge part in enabling him to fight the condition for as long as he did.

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The beginning of the end | Luang Prabang

The first stop in the Southeast Asia part of our trip was Luang Prabang in Laos. Our main destinations in Southeast Asia were to be Vietnam, Myanmar and Thailand. Laos was something of a last minute decision, as it was the most convenient place to access from China. After researching into it a bit more, I became increasingly interested in the country. We planned to spend time in Luang Prabang and Vang Vieng, before finishing off in Si Phan Dong, the ‘four thousand islands’.

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We spent around 15 days in Japan, each day presenting us with something new and exciting. Japan is an overhaul of the senses and really a very easy place to get around. The Japanese are the nicest, most accommodating people I have ever come across. Even when there is a language barrier, they try their utmost to help you.

Here is a selection of my favourite pictures taken in Japan.

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Learning about Chinese Food with Rice&Friends

While living in Hong Kong, my cooking skills were well and truly neglected. The combination of small kitchens, abundance of affordable restaurants and generally busy lifestyle, made cooking at home a fairly rare occurrence. The eating out culture of Hong Kong did expose me to all kinds of dishes, which got me more interested in food. I vowed that upon returning to the UK, I would do my best to learn how to be a better cook.

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Dreamy Dali

By the time we finished our horse-trekking adventure, our time in China felt like it was beginning to draw to a close. When we applied for our visa, 30 days seemed like a long time to spend in one country just travelling around (this was the first time i’d been on a backpacking trip..) After spending two weeks in the Sichuan province alone, we found ourselves with only eight days left before we had to leave China. Eight days didn’t seem nearly long enough to explore our final destination, Yunnan. However, we were determined to maximise our time.

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Travel – Culture – Adventure