Hey guys ! We are Gemma and Campbell from highlands2hammocks, two Scots on a budget adventure. We quit our jobs in May of 2018 and have been travelling ever since. Our aim is to inspire people to embark on their own adventure of a lifetime, and we are honoured to be guest posting on Just Us Two Travel’s page.
This year has been one big adventure for us !
CANADA AND BEYOND
It started off with us living in London, where we had been saving as many pennies as we could for our round the world trip. Our first trip of the year saw us jetting off to Ontario, Canada for a week of freezing temperatures and winter activities. This was our first ever trip to Canada, and it captured our hearts.
A couple of months later it was time for the next trip away, a camping trip to Wales. Over a long weekend we explored the rocky and isolated shoreline of northern Wales. By the time May came we were ready to say goodbye to London and full-time work, swapping instead to adventure and life as digital nomads.
Our adventure of a lifetime started with a quick visit to Scotland, followed by a 2 week trip touring and camping our way around Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland. We have both grown up spending our holidays in a tent or a caravan. So this lifestyle was one we slotted back into nicely.
Our Ireland trip was quickly followed by us parting ways for a few days, Campbell camping on the Isle of Arran with friends and myself meeting friends in Barcelona. This break apart allowed us to see friends before we would be living in each other’s pockets ! Our next camping trip started in June and we set off exploring the incredible north coast of Scotland, the North Coast 500 road trip. This opened our eyes to the beauty that lies on our doorstep gave us a deeper insight into the history of our home.
A short time was spent camping in England as we visited my brother and then we took a trip over to visit Guernsey in the Channel Islands, where I spent 2 years working after university. We camped, surfed, did a LOT of walking and caught up with good friends whilst here.
It wasn’t long before we took another trip back to London, where we started our long anticipated European Trip. We had a rough idea of where we wanted to go and had slightly planned out how long we would spend in each place, however we made sure we were going to stay flexible. With two Interrail train passes, we were able to travel Europe for 2 months. Our trip began with the historical city of Amsterdam, quickly followed by Berlin, Prague, Salzburg and Budapest. This was then followed by Pula, Ljubljana, Bled and Munich.
We were then ecstatic to get to Croatia where we camped right on the cliff over the sea, spending our days jumping in and out of the water. It was then that we had a happy accident and our plans started to change. The plans of getting a long overnight train to Bled ended up with us having a stopover in Ljubljana. This wasn’t a city we had planned to visit but oh my, we are glad we did.
ITALY AND GREECE
Whilst in Prague we met up with other travel bloggers, enjoying the delicious beer it has to offer and being inspired by our fellow nomads. This networking continued when we met another inspirational couple in Salzburg, so inspiring in fact, we decided to change our method of travel to match theirs ! We purchased bikes from them and set off south down Italy’s eastern coast, dreaming of Greece’s turquoise waters. After possibly the toughest week of our lives, and 800km of cycling, we arrived in Bari, our final Italian stop. From here we headed eastwards to Greece, island hopping along Naxos and Santorini for the next two weeks.
Having fallen in love with the blue waters and beautiful Greek locals, it was time to begin our homewards journey. A ferry back to Italy and a train across the country took us to our first stop on the western coast, Salerno. Here we explored the incredible Amalfi coast by boat (don’t do it by bus unless you like winding roads), before heading further north to the ancient city of Firenze in Florence.
Unfortunately, it was in this city, whilst we were on a trip to Pisa, we had our bikes stolen. If this taught us one thing it was that worse things can happen. Of course, we were really bummed about losing our bikes as we had plans to cycle across France. But, we were both safe and well so we didn’t let this ruin our trip.
Our next city was Zurich and whilst here we came up with the grand idea to hire a camper-van. We spent the next week exploring Nancy, a small French city where Campbell studied for 4 months. Planning our next adventure. We then hired a beautiful converted camper-van from Van-IT and headed into Normandy in the north of France. Here we spent a week wild camping, eating croissants and having some real chill time in the French countryside. We enjoyed a few days in Paris before getting the night bus back to London. After a few days we headed back to our hometown in Scotland.
Our original European trip ended up being extended by almost a month. Teaching us one thing about adventures, having faith in yourself. Things may not go to plan, but you will come up with a solution. Now we will take a lot more of a ‘go with the flow’ approach when we travel. We will still enjoy researching into where we’re going and having a rough idea of what we want to do. However, ultimately being spontaneous is the way forward for us.
OUR NEXT BIG ADVENTURE
At the end of the year we are heading down under to start our working holiday visas, first stop Melbourne. We are heading to Indonesia in March and will see where we end up from there. Exciting times ahead !
If you enjoyed reading this then head over to our website to see what else we have been up to ! We are also active across social media. Make sure you drop us a message and let us know if you have visited any of these awesome places. If you have any recommendations for our next adventure let us know.
Check out our website highlands2hammocks