•Merry Christmas & Happy New Year•

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Dear friends!

What shall we say – today is already Christmas and we are back home since 107 days, back to Hamburg! Actually we wanted to give you an update a lot earlier but somehow we didn‘t manage. Too many things needed to be settled and we don‘t have to tell you that time is running fast.

 

Exactly one year after we‘d started our trip our big adventure was over. Arround noon we boarded a plane in Hanoi and after short stopovers in Bangkok and Istanbul we arrived in Germany. Hamburg was welcoming us with it‘s finest weather and an authentic „moin moin!“ from the ground staff which made us smile immediately. It never felt so good to be back home.

 

Bam, bam! For the last time we dragged down our backpacks from the luggage belt and there they were… family members and friends allover the arrival hall holding up farewell banners, balloons,  sunlowers and Germany flags. We really could not have asked for a nicer welcome gift! Back home we enjoyed simply everything! The tasty food, our own bed, the clean toilet, the conversations with our family and friends, the love of our parents… the first time back home felt like a dream.

 

But yeah, at one point in fall the sun disappeared and there was no upcoming country to visit. Job hunting, rainy days and visits to various authorities dominated our lives again and all the good resolutions faded from day to day. We peg to the memories frantically and to the feeling of being completely free – to live! All that we had for the past year and it felt so good.

 

Well, after facing so many challenges we feel that we can cope with that situation too. So, no worries! We are doing fine and take the time we need to really arrive back home, One door gets shut, another will be opened and so on!

 

We wish you and your families a Merry Christmas and happy holidays! Contemplation and serenity – love, friends and joy in your life! Let the year 2012 come to an end, learn from your mistakes and be happy about what is to come. Welcome the new year 2013 with a big smile and BE HAPPY!

 

And now we gonna enjoy! See ya!

 

Patrick & Sonja

 

 


 

•A smiling ending•

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On August 19 we took the bus from Phnom Penh to the biggest city in Vietnam: Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon). Already from the bus we could see that Vietnam is a wealthier country: motorbikes and neon signs everywhere and the Vietnamese people dress quite fashionably. In the city centre of Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) the international luxurious brands are all lined up and there’s a huge variety of restaurants of all kinds (except Mc Donalds and the other the junk-food chains). This historically interesting city with its 7 million citizens is fast moving and vibrant. During rush hours the roads are congested with rattling motorbikes and crossing the street was a real challenge sometimes.

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•Everything’s roger in Cambodia•

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From Bangkok we continued our trip on August 12 towards the east. After 6 hours on the bus we reached the boarder of Cambodia. The moment we put a foot on Cambodian soil we had fallen in the hands of the Cambodian corruption: „You have passport photo? No? Give me US$ 3!“ and also the „Bus-Mafia“ was ripping us up, big time.

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•The lost paradise•

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After several hours on another minivan we arrived in Krabi. Long rides like this are extremely exhausting but the view of the mighty limestone hills at sunset was pretty amazing and the sore backs were forgotten for a moment. In a rattling long-tail boat we continued our 12-hour-journey to finally reach our destination: the laidback peninsula of Railay. Since our last visit in 2007 only little has changed… some hotel resorts were added but the vibe is still the same.

 

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•Beware of the sharks!•

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By bus (maybe the best we’ve ever had ‘cause of the massage-function in the seat) we crossed the next boarder and arrived in the historical town of Malacca after five hours and with a relaxed back.  We spent two days there and discovering the sights including China Town with its “chicken feet snacks”. Yummy! ;-)

 

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•Singapore – small but excellent•

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The city state of Singapore (south of Malaysia) is simply breathtaking: on the same land area like Hamburg (720 km²) it inhabits 5 million people – that’s more than New Zealand’s population. It is one of the biggest trading hub of Asia with one of the world’s biggest ports and shopping malls on every corner. The official languages in Singapore are as differs as the nationalities of its citizens: Chinese, Indian, Malay, Indonesian and English. So spending time and travelling around in Singapore is easy as ABC and works without any language barriers. And also the cuisine and the culture is super versatile. But first things first:

 

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•Volcanos, temples and more•

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Upon arrival in Malang (Indonesia), we strolled through the city centre and booked a trip to the Mount Bromo, THE volcano in that region which we had already seen quickly from the plane. The alarm clock rang at 1 am and half an hour later we sat in a van which was speeding through the night uphill. Around 4 am we reached the observation deck (Mount Pananjakan) where heaps of other tourists were already waiting, squeezing their shivering bodies around the bonfires of the locals to fight the cold. The view of the volcano Semeru (highest volcano of Java), the smoky Mount Bromo and the perfectly shaped Mount Batok at sunrise was breathtaking and definitely compensated for the early wake-up and the freezing temperatures.

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•Interview with PASO•

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After publishing a guest article from us, Green-Responsibility.de has published an interview with us (PASO). Here you can read it! (If you need a translator, try this one)!

 

Many thanks go out to the team of Green-Responsibility.de!

 

P.S.: If you like the interview, feel free to “share” it on facebook! :)

 


 

•10 tips for your outdoor activities [Travel tips special]•

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It doesn’t matter where on this wonderful planet you live or travel to! One thing is clear: there is no planet B! This should be reason enough to protect it with all its diverse landscapes, creatures and plants. To do the first step we all should treat natural areas, animals and plants with care and respect them. So here are some more tips on how to behave correctly in the outdoor (picnic, camping, hiking, etc.):

 

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•The countdown is on…•

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We’ve crossed deserts, climbed volcanos and glaciers, jumped off a plane, swam in all three oceans of the world and we even faced the biggest challenge now: we booked our flight home!

 

The countdown is on! Some relaxing days in Thailand and some adventures in Cambodia and Vietnam still lie ahead of us before coming home in 6 weeks (Sep 9,2012), exactly one year after we took of.

 

It’s a strange feeling after travelling over 10 months non-stop!

But one thing for sure: we can’t wait to see family and friends again after so long! And we are looking forward to be back in Hamburg, lie in our own bed, eat the awesome food from home and of course to use our own (clean!!) loo! ;)

 

In this sence: See you soon!