100th Travel Blog Post and One Year of JWalking

JWalking 100

One Hundred Posts? Really? Have we bored all of you with our rambling on and on about our JWalking lives? I hope not because we don’t intend to stop just yet. Oh and did I mention that it’s One Year since we left the UK and started off on this irresponsible little trip? Sometimes it feels like we’ve been travelling forever.

I hope you don’t mind if I reminisce a bit now? This adventure has been such an amazing ride that I feel I should try and summarise the past year and highlight a few special moments.

JWalking 100

It was March 15th 2015 that we actually made the decision to leave our current lives and do something completely different. We had obviously been considering our future and the direction that our lives were headed for a while but it was Sunday 15th March that we both looked at each other and said ‘Let’s do it then’. We were already in rented accommodation and had got rid of most of our possessions by then so we were ready to do something. Resignations from both jobs on Monday 16th followed and we were on our way.

A few weeks of booking flights, trains and Airbnb accommodation followed. Most importantly we pinned up huge sheets of paper to plan out every detail and help us keep on top of everything that had to be done. It’s not easy quitting two complete lives you know! So many things to do. It can be mind blowing at times. The secret is not to get swamped with the whole plan and just concentrate on one task at a time. Much easier to handle that way.

Stuff and getting rid of everything we owned

I’m always banging on about how ‘it’s only stuff and not important’ but that doesn’t make it any easier to sort out and dispose of. We decided very early that we would not sell anything, we would either give it away to friends and family or charity, or we would throw it away. This was never a money making exercise so we tried to make sure that as many people as possible benefited from our situation.


Currently all we have apart from a small suitcase each and a backpack is a couple of boxes of photos and family memorabilia. That’s it. To say it was a therapeutic experience would be an understatement, we felt a massive weight had been lifted from our shoulders. So liberating. It’s not for everyone, as we always say, but for us it has been perfect.

Travel Blogging

We decided almost immediately that we wanted to write a blog or a diary or some sort of record of our little adventure and the blog idea naturally won as that had been my career, web design. So it began for three reasons;

  1. A diary of our time spent travelling
  2. A means of staying in touch with friends and family
  3. A hobby for me

The travel blog was never originally meant to be for anyone apart from our families and friends but it has grown into something a lot bigger over the past year. Neither of us had any idea how to blog and what was required but we’ve enjoyed learning and writing over the past 12 months and are fairly proud of what we’ve created so far.

Wellington New Zealand JWalking

The JWalking Plan

Well we both wrote a list of places we wanted to visit, compared lists, found they were almost identical, and then made the decision to go to the farthest place first (Australia). Easy. Before though we decided that we needed a few quiet relaxing weeks so had 3 months in Europe before jetting off to Perth and 6 months down under. Then in January we decided that we weren’t ready to stop yet so planned stage 2 in the USA and Canada.

JWalking 100

Everyone we meet asks us ‘what is the best place you have been’ and ‘where did you enjoy visiting most’ and we never really give a straight answer (Jo is still working on her top five films so what hope do we have?). Sounds a bit corny but it isn’t always the location or the scenery that have made our time so special, it’s the people that we’ve met and the moments that we’ve experienced. You’ll know this already if you’ve read any of my previous ramblings. Moments are everything.

The Long Bar in the Raffles Hotel
The Long Bar in the Raffles Hotel

Being chased by wild boars in Bavaria, diving on the Great Barrier Reef, watching international cricket in Wellington, sleeping in a gypsy caravan in Nijmegan Holland, riding the California Zephyr, watching crazy street theatre in Austria, bathing in the hot pools of Rotorua, visiting Alcatraz, an invitation to dinner from our Jewish hosts in Bondi, the amazing penguins of Phillip Island, having our minds blown by the Grand Canyon, and of course the unforgettable Christmas on Milford Sound.

These are just the tip of the iceberg. And I haven’t even mentioned any of the incredible people that we’ve met and become friends with. The list would just go on and on. So what I can do is revert into my previous nerd-like persona and offer a few statistics (I love stats).

JWalking Facts and Figures

In the past year we have;

  • Travelled 39,500 miles
  • Visited 10 countries in 4 continents over 11 different time zones
  • Lived in 33 Airbnb apartments and houses
  • Slept in 55 different beds
  • Visited 37 museums, 32 beaches, 16 lakes and 92 bars
  • Walked over 1400 miles
  • Cycled over 300 miles
  • Transport ……….. 17 flights, 59 train journeys, 84 bus rides, 17 boat trips, 7 hire cars, 6 taxis, 6 cable cars, 5 coaches, 4 minibuses, and 1 gondola.

Finally the most important stat as far as I’m concerned are the 100+ people that we’ve met and got to know along the way. It is them that have made our year so very special and we’ll never forget them.

Wilsons Promontory Victoria Australia JWalking

What’s Next?

The rest of the year is all planned out with 5 more weeks left in the United States and then a few months travelling across Canada. We should be back in the UK in early December by which time we will have decided what comes next. Part of our philosophy (sounds a bit heavy) is that we try not to think too much about what is happening next and just concentrate on today. So plans for next year won’t even be considered until the Autumn. We’ll keep you posted.

Sydney Australia JWalking

Thank You and a Request

Both Jo and I would love to say a massive Thank You to everyone that has supported us by reading our blog and especially commenting. It may not seem very much but each and every comment really brightens our day and makes us feel a little closer to home. So keep them coming, even if it’s just a ‘Hi, how’s it going’. We love them.

Have you been Paying Attention?

What we would really love is for everyone to just leave a comment below telling us what their favourite moment was in our first JWalking year. It would be fantastic to hear what you liked and maybe even compile a Top Ten as you know how much I LOVE a Top Ten.

JWalking 100

Here’s to another year.

April 2015 – June 2016


  1. Can’t believe it has only been a year! You have packed so much in and had so much fun. Long may you continue, love reading what you are up to.
    💕💕💕💕 Mandy Xx

    Liked by 1 person

  2. OMG a year already. I love the facts that you have retained about your journey. how many buses etc. You are the most amazing two people I know. I am so pleased that you had the courage to follow your dreams. I hope that some day I too have that courage.
    As to the question of what is my favourite…. I will have to get back to you on that as so many come to mind. You both make me feel (when you write) as I have shared the experience with you. I will get back to you. Happy travelling and love to you both xxxxxxxxxxxxx

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I have thoroughly enjoyed your exploits in Australia & New Zealand. Love the pics and your humorous writing style. I’m even trying to adopt your good nature when you meet the “strange” people that would totally annoy me. Also looking forward to your Canada adventure & hope to see pics from Europe someday. I live in the U.S., and have never found it as interesting as lands far away … except for the National Parks, that is. Safe travels.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Time flies!!! Fave bits – getting to have a nose about your Airbnb accommodation; the vignettes about the people you have come across, and how much fun you are having with the various modes of transport!!! Enjoy the rest of your travels xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Still reading – still enjoying 🙂 I must try accommodation on airbnb – seems a great way to meet interesting people. I liked NZ (and of course NL).

    Liked by 1 person

  6. And what a year it’s been Jon. I’ve got a quick top 5 but not in any particular order.
    Sam and Tabitha in Lake Bled.
    Climb Every Mountain in Vochera an der Lassnitz.
    Christmas on Milford Sound.
    Nijmegen: And So It Begins.
    Rocky Mountain Way On The California Zephyr.

    And of course a personal favourite, ‘Family and Friends Reunited’ because I’m in it!
    Keep it up bloggers and here’s to the next year, and the next and the next…………..

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Great sum up of your first year, enjoyed reading your blogs and can see you have the bug, it’s life changing. It’s such a massive and brave thing to do give up your home, possessions and job but like you say very therapeutic. Having done a similar thing ourselves we can totally relate to everything, most of all the fact that if you want something so much you have to make it happen, it won’t come to you. Life goes on and when we returned everyone and everything was still in the same rut as when we left, nothing changes unless you change it yourself. Well done on what you’ve achieved so far. Lake Bled, Christmas, the flight from hell and recent train journeys have been our favourites. Look forward to seeing you in December and hearing your next plans…..becoming Air B&B hosts yourself maybe????? J&J xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I totally love getting your new blog posts – and regularly can’t stop myself from opening them to read even when they arrive in the middle of the night -which they usually do!!! I always ask myself before I read them “Where are we now and what adventure are we having this time?” That’s because of the way you write, I feel like I am on them with you. (Think of it as a token little soft toy kiwi mascot attached to your daypack!!). It’s certainly motivating me to view travel differently as I’d become dulled down by the traditional concept of rushing round to big famous sites and once in a lifetime – take your dollars thank you – adrenalin rushes. I really like your laid back slow mo take it all in, walk a lot, experience the moments and build relationships approach. So I guess not so much a single highlight post but more an “all power to you” for the message and the medium that keeps me coming back for more. Miss you guys! Any chance of a second visit to NZ next year?

    Liked by 1 person

    • So pleased you like the blog and are finding time in your busy life to keep up with us. You are so right about the relationship approach. We wouldn’t have you as our kiwi mascot if we did it any other way. Missing you too and still want to come and live nearby and enjoy the wonderful place you are so lucky to be able to call home. Never say never about a return visit. The deal breaker may be your selection of Christmas films?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yep, just do your own version of post in which you tell funny facts about you and nominate others – you can find the rules in the post I linked to you in my earlier comment. I’ve being doing this dreamerachiever blog for a bit over two years now. Earlier I had another blog for couple years.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. I’ve fallen behind in recent weeks! Something about thinking what comes next.

    What an ideal blog to return to though! Really enjoyed reading about how the plans all started in March 2015, that was a good March! I now recall how many times you offered me the chance to buy your car!

    My attempt at a top ten from the blog:
    1. Coast road trip in Australia
    2. The beaches in New Zealand
    3. The 35 hour train journey
    5. The Grand Canyon
    6. San Francisco
    7. The wedding
    8. Gary Mcallister and the Horse Whisperer!
    9. Huey Lewis and the News
    10. Our meet up in March and the subsequent blog appearance!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Hi, like Ben I have fallen behind but I am enjoying a JWalking- Marathon at the moment, catching up on what has been going on. My fav so far is definitely the plane journey from hell with the mad woman and the crazy cabin crew – made me laugh so much.

    Liked by 1 person

    • So nice of you to say. We’re still enjoying it all a year or more after leaving so guess it was a good thing to do. It was you that convinced me to have a go at Twitter if you remember? Really enjoy tweeting now so thanks so much.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. We’ve often said, after we sold and donated all of our stuff to start traveling, that we gained far more than we gave up. This sounds like it’s true for you as well! I also understand your reluctance now, not to plan too far ahead so as not to miss opportunities that might come along. Like too many possessions, having fixed plans can keep you from moving on or in other directions and experiencing amazing things. Here’s to travel, new places and new friends! Anita

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Anita. You’re so right about how fixed plans could restrict our future like our previous possession-filled lives. I don’t know about you guys but we just felt an almighty weight lifted as we relieved ourselves of all of our household belongings. I can’t believe a year has passed already though. We’re slow travellers so try to live in each place we visit and really get a feel for the local life. No idea what’s happening next. Where are you currently?


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