Highlights – a bakers dozen!

Top 13 experiences. (because 10 wasn’t enough!)

Lauren and Ricky take on Asia!
Make yours @ BigHugeLabs.com
Make yours @ BigHugeLabs.com

1. Learning to dive
Diving has been such an exciting adventure, our underwater passport. From nervously anticipating day 1 of our PADI course to seeing turtles 30 metres down in the Gili’s, diving has been a huge challenge but one that has been consistently exciting and ever changing. The beautiful corals of Koh Tao, and most recently the manta rays at Nusa Lembongan have been a real wow.




2. Horse riding in Mongolia
I had very little expectation of Mongolia so visiting the national parks and sleeping in the Gers was an amazing experience, one shared with lovely people! Riding the small Mongolian horses stands out as a moment where lots of giggles were shared!



3. Walking the Great Wall of China
The bucket list accomplishment. Walking the Great Wall was stunning, but also so filled with history and such an iconic site.



4. Halloween in Japan
The best night out ever. The Japanese outdid every expectation I could have had for Halloween. The street parades costumes were incredible with people spending 6 months on their costumes. And of course the lovely Japanese people welcome you into this with open arms, Kawaii!




5. Easy rider tour of Vietnams central highlands
The ultimate non tourist, tourist experience. When travelling you always want to learn about the local people and to be invited into their homes and meet people who have never seen a white face before and are fascinated with you was an incredible experience.




6. Sunrise at Angkor Wat
Just a stunning view. Angkor Wat is structurally beautiful and seeing it at sunrise is mesmerising.



7. Nighttime at Hong Kong’s harbour
We love Hong Kong! The warm evenings, beautiful financial district on Kowloon illuminated during a light show. I’ll be back!



8. Crossing 1/6th of the worlds land mass on the Trans Siberian railway
I love this one partly because I cannot believe we did it, partly because of the reactions it gets from other travellers… YOU WENT TO RUSSIA?! Yes we did, and we survived!



9. Seeing wild orangutans in Sumatra
These beautiful creatures are wild in only two places in the world, Bukit Lawang and Borneo. To see these monkeys manoeuvring the trees isn’t light and graceful like other monkeys, but you can’t help but want to hug them!



10. Kuangsi waterfall, Luang Prabang
The pictures of this place do not lie, it is dazzling turquoise and breathtaking in both sight and temperature. I think we felt a great accomplishment biking the 30km journey each way.



11. Full moon party
Not entirely cultural but a lot of fun. 30,000 people is a mega party!



12. The winter palace and hermitage, St Petersburg
The winter palace was home to the Tsars until their untimely end in 1917 and now hosts one of the largest art collections in the world, the hermitage. The scale of the place is huge, the grandeur is incredible but it’s historic significance was its draw for me.


13. Universal studios in Singapore
A really fun day out. Screaming our heads off at The Mummy Returns and watching shows, dancing and street performances. It was awesome!




  1. My dearest Lauren,

    Sorry I missed your FaceTime call this morning. I should be here for most of Friday. I have just read your latest blog. I love them and have huge admiration for your writing skill and also your dedication in writing them so regularly. The experiences you have had are quite amazing. It must seem quite strange being back in a western civilisation.

    Today I have bought a camper-van !! It is really lovely. It has a lounge area at the back of the van which converts into a large bed (for Heidi and myself !) it has a small toilet/shower room and then a cooker, fridge and sink. Cannot quite believe that I have bought it but it is what I have been planning to do. Cousin Gerald came with me and it was very good to have his advice and negotiating skills. I pick it up in approx 3 weeks time. Nichola came with me yesterday to look for a camper-van at Stowmarket and this was the one that I really liked.

    Good luck with finding work. I’m sure you will find something very quickly. Please say hi to Ross.

    Hope to speak to you soon.

    Love to you Nd also David and Ricky.

    GJ xxxxxx

    Sent from my iPad


  2. Hi Lauren, just caught up with your last 3 blogs, it made an arduous journey journey back from London very enjoyable, better than reading the Evening Standard!.

    Your top 13 is fascinating, certainly some places to put on the bucket list for future travels. You have a real talent for making your experiences come alive.

    All the best on the work front and keep smiling!.

    Say hello to Ricky and don’t forget Mothers Day on Sunday!.

    Cheers, Paul and Donna.

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