It seems sleep is going to be a luxury for the next month as we were on the road but 7.30 in order to get from Bangkok to Siem Reap.

The border crossing between Thailand and Cambodia was crazy. There were people everywhere and their favourite hobby seemed to be to stare at us, especially Katy who is half Jamaican with crazy affro hair.

Siem Reap

We went to the New Hope foundation for dinner but first sat in an English lesson for a group of Cambodian teenagers. This school is free for them (unlike most schools here) and therefore aims to help families get out of a cycle of poverty, begging and prostitution. The children were so keen to learn and talk to us and the experience has definitely made me want to study for my TEFL after my NQT year is out of the way. Dinner was cooked in the onsite restaraunt school and included an appatizer of crickets fried with chilli which were actually quite tastey!

The next day we were up at 4 in the morning so we could get to Angkor Wat in time to see the sunrise. This turned out to be completely worth it, although after visiting Ta Prohm (the temple Tomb Raider was filmed in) and Bayon Temple (a Buddhist temple with tonnes of carvings of faces) queing with a load of Chinese tourists with no concept of personal space in the midday heat to climb to the top of Angkor Wat was not my favourite part of the day.


After a power nap we went quad biking round the rice fields and got to see and stroke a buffalo. This was so fun! This was followed by shopping spree at the night market (I am now the proud owner of several cliché pairs of baggy elephant trousers) we were all well and truly ready to celebrate our travels over some very strong cocktails and then opportunity to teach the locals how to do the macarena (obviously one of my prouder moments). Cambodian Singapore Slings are amazing for future reference!


Phonm Penn

We had a small and well needed lie in before the 5 hour bus journey to the Cambodian capital today. We got their quite late and so I decided to have pudding for dinner as I was quite tired. We again visited the night market although this one seemed to have a more western influence and I didn’t buy much.

We were up early the next morning to visit the S21 prison and Killing Fields used during the X regime. This was a struggle for everyone seeing the conditions 2million people were kept in and the smashed skulls of the victims who had been beaten to death.

During the afternoon we had some relaxation time by the pool followed by dinner, ice cream and most importantly frozen margaritas!


After a 5 hour, hot, sweaty grumpy bus journey it was time for the most well deserved sunbathe on the beach! The sand was so white and the sea turquoise; absolute paradise! We had a beach BBQ for dinner and watched people set off fireworks and lanterns right next to our table. Provably a bit of a hazard but in Asia health and safety does not exist haha.

We then partied in a local beach bar watching fire dancers and people doing the limbo under fire sticks! Whiskey and coke buckets were also $1 which made this place a winner all round. I could live in this paradise forever. There was a job going in the bar which seems a bit more tempting than teaching 30 children in September! We ended our party time with a swim in the sea before heading back.

Unfortunately the night came to a bit of a sour end as one of the girls I was with got her bag stolen by a man on a moped. She is covered in cuts a bruises and I have a big graze and bruise from my knee to ankle but luckily he got away with nothing more than $70, so a valuable lesson was learnt with limited consequences.

The next day we went on a boat trip and snorkled in the coral reef and had a BBQ on an island. The whole group for fairly burnt but it was lovely to sunbathe and drink bacrdi lying in the shallows.


Landing in Bangkok was overhwelming when the actual realisation that I am going to be in South-east Asia for the next 5 weeks actually sunk in. After panicking that I wouldn’t be able to find my hotel I finally got there to be told I could not check in for another 2 hours. This called for my first adventure to find water and snacks.

I met up with some people doing similar trips to me and in the evening we took a boat trio round the river ending at China Town where I had my first taste of street food (£1 and I didn’t die or get sick!), it was amazing. I’m probably going to get very chubby when I’m out here!

The following day we managed to find the water taxi and explored the beautiful temples Bangkok has to offer although somehow we didn’t manage to find the statue of standing Buddha even though it is the biggest in Asia. I got back to my room to find a girl called Alix had moved in; I was a bit surprised at first but she’ll be sharing my room for the rest of the trip and seems lovely. We met the rest of the group that evening and after a few beers got quite excited for what’s to come!

Packing for going to Asia was essentially far more stressful and time consuming than I anticipated due to the fact that I had to try and cram enough clothes, accessories and essentials into a backpack for 5 weeks in countries that I did not know what the temperature and humidity would feel like. Also, I am a massive hoarder.

Every item I packed was chosen with a specific use in mind, but I have probably, in true Hannah style, managed to over-pack massively.

Initially this was my clothes I intended on taking (i.e. everything I would love to take)


(After listening to my Mum for once I decided that maybe I should consider taking cotton over polyester tops and not take clothes with sentimental attachments) 

I then took the *sensible grown up approach (*Leon’s approach) and cut my packing down to this, still a massive amount of clothes I would inevitably have to throw out and miss and carry on my back like a camel!

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Eventually I got Leon round to talk sense into me and decide on the final items I would drag around Asia with me.


My eventual packing list

  • Backpack:

    • Regatta Survivor 65
    • This backpack has been through a lot with me.. D of E, various Scout expeditions around Europe, to Kilimanjaro.  It is brilliant, with entry from the top and bottom allowing you to get your belongings easily if you pack wisely and remember where you have put stuff.
  • Electronics:

    • GoPro hero + accessories (headmount, chestmount and floaty mount for ultimate photo and video playtime)
    • Nikon waterproof and shockproof digital camera – I have a tendancy to break cameras
    • Pansonic lumix digital camera – just in case all other photography implements fail
    •  2 x 32GB memory cards
    • 8gb Ipod nano – old school but loaded with tunes, audio books and podcasts to keep me amused on long flights / overnight trains
    • Headphones
    • Kindle
    • Phone
    • Head torch
    • Mini speaker
    • All relevant chargers and cables and plug adapters for south-east Asia (the ones with 2 flat pins)
  • Clothes:

    • Dresses / play-suits – 1 long summery dress (can be dressed up in the evenings), 1 short summer dress, 2 play-suits (can be dressed up or down)
    • Bottoms – 2 pairs of denim shorts, 1 pair of lacy pretty shorts, 1 pair of cotton shorts, 1 pair of long cotton trousers (if I get burnt, for visiting temples; I will wear these on the plane too), 1 skirt
    • Tops – 2 x kimono style tops (in case I get burnt / cold / for visiting temples), 1 x long sleeved, cotton, white top (for visiting temples, throwing over stuff if I get burnt), 9 strap tops (some plain, some pretty), 2 x cotton t-shirts (in case I get burnt), 1 cardigan (to wear on the plane and for my eventual return to the UK), 2 x strapless tops
    • Pashimina (for covering shoulders, wrapping round me at night, covering up in temples)
    • Bikinis – 5 x bikinis – variety is the spice of life? All other travel blogs say to take 2 but they’re so small and pretty.
    • Shoes – animal flip flops (comfortable for walking around in the day time), Vans (to walk around when my feet are bored of flip flops, I will wear these on the plane), pretty sandals (to dress up in the evenings. NO HEELS EVER!)
    • Underwear – 8 x knickers, 3 x bras (including one strapless)
    • Socks – 3 x pairs – I will probably never wear these but who doesn’t like having cosy feet
    • Pyjamas – 3 x shorts and strap top sets
    • Sunglasses – Melon polarised sunglasses –my go to sunglasses, again on Leon’s recommendation.  You can design them yourself and they will be fixed for free if you break them; I am beginning to see a pattern here.
  • Toiletries:

I split my toiletries into 2 packs.  1 for washing and 1 for medical supplies.

  • Washing:
    • Shampoo and conditioner (travel size)
    • Soap
    • Deodrant (travel size)
    • Dry shampoo (travel size)
    • Hair spray (travel size)
    • Shower gel (travel size)
    • Baby wipes (instead of having to take lots of bottles of cleanser and toner etc)
    • Moisturiser (travel size) – I need to protect my tan, obviously
    • Makeup (mascara, eye-liner, eye brightener, eyebrow pencil)
    • Nail file
    • Lip balm
    • Mini hand sanitiser – I feel the loos at sometime may require this.. potentially entire body sanitiser!
  • Medical supplies:
    • Suncream (factor 25 and 15)
    • Deet
    • Bite cream
    • Plasters
    • Rehydration salts
    • Nurofen
    • Immodium tablets
    • Malaria tables (I opted for Malarone as you have to take them for the least amount of time and I am only in the Malaria risk areas for a week; the side effects of Malaria tablets can be pretty nasty)
  • Hand luggage:

    • I opted for a quicksilver satchel to avoid having to carry 2 rucksacks at once as I will spend a large majority of my time lugging my belongings from one bus, train, plane, you name it to another.
  • Accessories:

    • Hair ties and clips
    • Money belt – I don’t think my family would let me leave the country without this.. because apparently I am a prime target for handbag stealing locals
    • Bum-bag – because who doesn’t love wearing a sparkly bum-bag and dad dancing?
    • Travel towel
    • Travel pillow (for the plane and the pillows in hostels are always dodgy)
    • Small selection of jewellery
    • Set of playing cards
    • Documentation nicely organised for now in little folders.

IMG_20150719_213851 (1)

My bag and hand luggage all ready to go!  It looks very small for over a months worth of stuff, meaning I have probably forgotten something important; I definitely have a passport, money and documentation so I’m sure I’ll be fine!  I have tried to pack so I have room left in my backpack for souvenirs and fabric (roll on Hoi An!) without having to throw away any of my belongings.

For the next 5 or 6 weeks I have the pleasure of hosting Leon’s blog.  For once,  he is not the one jet-setting round the world.  I am nervously embarking on my first small amount of lone-travelling;  the Indochina discovery tour of South-east Asia (I was not brave enough to go it alone).

 Stay tuned


It’s surprising how lazy I become on updating this blog when I’m living in the UK… I guess when working full time I don’t think there is anything worth reporting!

So here is a summary of 2014!


Shropshire Mud Run (10KM)

My first 10km run and it was freezing cold, extremely muddy, we were chest height in a swamp for 2+ km! Good fun though!

London to Brighton Cycle – On Road

83.6km (+ 20km getting to/from the start line) over 4:40minutes

45 minutes stuck at the 22 mile mark due to accident on the road – Rest was mostly smooth sailing :)

CX tyres didn’t get delivered in time so I was on full knobblies on my MTB.

Holi Festival

Big party in London. Intoxication, paint and music… you guess the rest.



Tough Mudder – Midlands

12 miles, 24 obstacles, 4ish hours? GREAT FUN!


London to Brighton Cycle – Off Road

This was HARD. Hardest thing I’ve ever done and I’m not sure I would be happy doing it again.

120km + 15km getting to/from start line over 9hours 40minutes (6 hours 30 minutes in the saddle) off-road where even when flat you could feel the mud dragging you down. Few points on the journey I wanted to just stop and give up but kept pushing.

Huge thanks to Mike & Rich that helped me through!



Foreign Travel….

I did manage a long weekend in Milan & Rome and a week in Barcelona. Milan I don’t think I would go back to but I absolutely LOVED both Rome & Barcelona!


So that’s it. A quick summary of 2014! This year I have a few things planned: next week!
A couple 10km mud runs in April
Tough Mudder again in May
and then summer is upon us!


Long weekend in Scotland. High winds, random snow storms, LOADS of snow and a smidge of sunshine!

Flights £80 return (+ £40 for me to take Board).
Accom £25 a night inc full breakfast.
Car Rental & Fuel £50 each.
Lift Pass £20 a day.


Wow Scotland is an extremely pretty place. The drive from Glasgow to Glencoe area was dark and blizzardy but didn’t give us any problems and then B&B we sayed in (Fern Villa) was very nice.

Day one: Both local resorts were closed due to 80+ mph winds so we went for a nice 2 hour drive to Cairngorm which had half the mountain open and only 60 mph winds!


Day two & three: Over at Glencoe. Half the mountain open and plenty of snow – Photo’s below!


Got LOADS of GoPro footage to go through before making some sort of video… watch this space!


Jump for joy!

I’ve moved to a new WordPress blog with a shiny new travel based theme! All the old posts have been ported over and some of the formatting is a bit messed up but to be honest I’m not that fussed… It’s all about the future!

Coming up this year:

March – Snowboarding in Scotland
April – Easter weekend parties and 10k Mud Run
June – London to Brighton Cycle
August – Festival Season!
Sept – London to Brighton Off-Road Cycle
… More to be booked!


Well as some of you know I’ve gone and done something silly… Signed up to Tough Mudder on the 12th July 2014.

Tough Mudder events are hardcore 10-12 mile obstacle courses designed to test your all around strength, stamina, mental grit, and camaraderie. With the most innovative courses, over 1 million participants, and more than $6 million raised for the Wounded Warrior Project, Tough Mudder is the premier adventure challenge series in the world. 

The team has been formed!


The training has started!


Now to ask you guys for some donations! Tough Mudder is all about raising money for Help for Heroes and while I would love you guys & gals to donate out of the goodness of your own heart I’m going to throw some crazy incentives out there to watch me suffer even more!

Fundraising Goals:

£100 – I will (attempt) to have an epic (most likely terrible) handlebar moustache for the event.
£200 – MOHAWK! I will visit the on site mohawk station and get shaved!
£350 – Legs (below knee) waxed
… More to come as I think of stuff and everything will be filmed for your entertainment.



Just a quick post to fill in the gaps before starting afresh!

After coming back from all that fun in the sun over in Miami & Roatan I landed a IT contract for Deloitte in Birmingham for a few months. This got me enough money to shoot off to Canada on a 1 year working via in Sept 2013.

I spent the best part of 2.5 months in Toronto having fun & looking for work before landing a job as a Lift Operator at Blue Mountain, a ski resort in north Ontario… Summary: Good people, shit job, cold, no money, free ski pass, learnt to ski / snowboard.

In March 2013 I got offered an IT contract back at Eisai for 6+ months. Took it and here I am today.



This is an old draft that never got published but basically sums up my time between Oct 2011 and March 2012 when I was in Roatan doing my PADI DM & OSWI courses!


Sorry for not updating during my last stint out of the country… I don’t really have any excuses other than I never got round to it and with ‘working’ / diving 6 days a week it wasn’t highest on my priority list.


Location: Miami, USA
Accommodation: Hostel – Miami Beach International Travellers Hostel

  • $17 a night with free breakfast, lunch & dinner (basic but free!)
  • One block from the beach.
  • Party night every night with free/cheap drink and cheap entry to night clubs.
  • Damn good people!

Highlights: Ozzie Bar, Nikki Beach, Awesome Cuban sandwich’s!, HALLOWEEN!



Location: Roatan, Honduras
Accommodation: Intern House! <PHOTOS!>

  • 11 Bed / 5 Rooms house with a few issues, no windows, broken floorboards, pet cat that hates people and bats… I loved it.

Summary: I started my PADI Divemaster internship with Subway Watersports (6-8 week program to go from Advanced Open Water to Divemaster) which basically entailed working in the store 6 days a week, hauling tanks, helping guests and getting my dive numbers up while also doing my own training for Rescue Diver and Divemaster.

Highlights: Obviously the diving & fellow interns however we also had some amazing guests during our first month… An awesome couple who invited the whole team round to their rented house and cooked a massive Thanksgiving turkey dinner and also Eugene who joined us for a big party night in town and must of spent a small fortune keeping drinks in our hands for the entire night.



Location: Roatan. Honduras
Accommodation: Still at Intern House

Summary: Me and my dive buddy Mark finished our DM and both started working for the store the next day. Our days now involved either taking customers (mainly cruise shippers) diving, snorkelling trips, kayaking (while trying to come up with something to point out when there was nothing to see) or helping out with the interns.

Highlights: Passing all the required stuff for DM, starting work, Christmas (Thanks to the bosses Kim & Ed for putting on traditional English/Canadian spread) and New Years (drinking games, midnight skinny dipping in the ocean, hijacking local resort & still going at 7am)



Location: Roatan, Honduras & Miami, USA
Accommodation: Intern House > Miami Hostel > New House!

Summary: Beginning of the month involved more of the same from month before however I had now decided I wanted to continue my diving education and work towards my PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor cert so I would be able to teach people to dive! woo!

I had to leave Honduras mid Jan to go on a visa run (tourist visa is only 3 months) so I decided to pop back to Miami for a couple weeks and use the opportunity to buy myself a full set of scuba gear from the states. Also got given a long list of things to buy from everyone at work as the selection on Roatan is a tad limited and quite pricey.

Sooooo 2 weeks in Miami doing more of the same from last time (party, sleep, beach, repeat) but also some shopping and relaxing.

Once I was back in Roatan I moved in with Mark into a house just down the road from the Intern House… it was nice having my own room and some space/quite to study in for the PADI OWSI which involves a lot more theory than DM did… Check out the photos <here>

At the end of the month I had a diving accident. 2 standard dives (1x 70ft Max 40min – 1hr Surface – 1x 55ft Max 45min) with 2 guests and another DM leading. Nothing strange about the dive, no fast accent or anything yet soon as I was back on the boat I was very dizzy & I couldn’t move my right arm or leg.

Summary of what happened: Put on O2, driven to local medical/chamber, 4 hours on O2, some random checks, no time in chamber, told I may have a hole in my heart (PFO – patent foramen ovale), had to fly to the mainland next day to get an ultrasound of my heart, put to sleep, tube down throat, woken up, told all OK, fly back to Roatan, back to work!



Location: Roatan, Honduras
Accommodation: House in Birck Bay

Summary: Stopped working now that I’m starting my OSWI with an awesome course director from Hawaii (Tim Palmer) – Lots of work, lots of theory, lots of training…. Good fun though!

An examiner came down from PADI USA to Roatan to test the groups from 4-5 of the shops on the island. It was a 2 day exam consisting of Confined Water, Open Water and class room demonstrations & teaching and also written exams…. quite nerve racking as if you failed you couldn’t retest until the examiner came back next month.

Everyone passed with flying colours and then big party afterwards!



Location: Roatan > Miami > Home
Accommodation: House in Brick Bay > Airports > Home!

Summary: After completing OSWI we continued to work towards Master Scuba Diver Trainer with our course director Tim. Again it was a lot of work as we were limited on time but overall good fun!

But alas it was time to head home… only problem was that the only cheap way I found was extremely long.

Sat 6am: Ferry from Roatan to Honduras mainland
Sat 10am: Coach from La Cebia to San Pedro Sula
Sat 4pm: Arrived at San Pedro Sula Airport… Time to get comfortable…
Sun 9am: Flight from San Pedro to Miami
Sun 1pm: Arrived at Miami International Airport
Sun 4pm: Flight from Miami to Dusseldorf, Germany.
Mon 7am: Arrived at Dusseldorf.
Mon 9:30am: Flight from Dusseldorf to London
Mon 10am: Arrived at London Gatwick Airport
Mon 12pm: Bus from London Gatwick to Birmingham
Mon 4pm: Train from Birmingham to Shrewsbury
Mon 6pm: Home, sweet, lovely, omg where is my bed, Home!