We spent most of 2019 as digital nomads in South East Asia. We worked hard and we travelled hard. We got to know some amazing people and taste the most delicious food. Check it out!
In September 2018, we packed up our belongings and drove across Australia from Brisbane to Perth.
We spent seven months in Western Australia and had Christmas and New Year with family. During our time in late 2018 and early 2019, we worked online and went camping with our rooftop tent.
For my 2019 birthday, I had a lovely little lunch with family and a Danish flag.
We made friends with a local cat, who turned out to be very photogenic.
We saw some amazing sunsets and had picnics together. Morgan cut my hair and we had a little photoshoot together on the beach.
We hung around to look after the place while other family members went travelling. And once they got back, we left to travel South East Asia! We both decided to travel light, with only a 7kg backback each.
Leaving Australia Again: Flight to Penang
On May 7, 2019, we flew off to Penang via Kuala Lumpur airport.
We had a fantastic AirBnB. Our host Kai and his wife had set it up so nicely and were super kind to us during our stay. The view from our room on the 16th floor was amazing. We even had Netflix!
Penang, Malaysia: May 7 – June 19
We had a great time in Penang. We visited local markets and tried awesome food.
An old friend came to visit and stayed with us for a while, which was lovely. We got wet hiking in the Penang National Park.
We visited the famous Chew Jetty and some of the other surrounding clan jetties.
We saw the butterfly farm.
We walked around and viewed some of the famous graffiti/wall art around Penang.
We even tried Malaysian McDonald’s.
We absolutely loved Penang. We were comfortable there and we loved the food. We were there during Ramadan, but there was still plenty of Chinese and Indian restaurants open, and we experienced awesome food markets at night.
We thought we’d be back for Christmas, but turns out our next stop in Malaysia was even better!
Langkawi, Malaysia: June 19 – July 9
We had only booked 20 days in Langkawi, which seemed like a really long time to everyone we spoke to. People told us that there wasn’t much to do there and that we would get bored after 5 days. Boy were they wrong!
We LOVED Langkawi. In fact, Langkawi may well be our favourite place we’ve visited in all our travels combined.
We spent 10 days in Kuah, where there isn’t a whole lot to do. We did ride around and look at the scenery and eat lots of good food though.
We went up Raya Mountain on a cloudy day, which was actually quite eerie and an awesome experience, except that we didn’t see a view at the top.
Then we spent 10 days at Cenang Beach, which is super relaxing and exactly the vibe we like (in the lower season at least). We loved Langkawi so much that we decided to come back and spend more time there later in 2019.
We visited the Eagle Square at night, which was very pretty with light and water fountains around the massive eagle, the symbol of Langkawi.
We visited the beautiful Seven Wells Waterfall and had a refreshing swim there.
Regretfully, we had to leave Langkawi because our tourist visa was up, so we flew to Phuket, Thailand (again via KL Airport).
During this time, I designed the new logo for our business, puri.io. We still laugh looking back at the creative process now!
Phuket, Thailand: July 9 – August 3
We were able to find really cheap accommodation in Phuket because it was the low season.
Phuket itself is not anything super special. It is super touristy and not at all the kind of place one would go if they want to experience the local way of life and local food at local prices. We had to spend over two hours in a minibus to get from the airport to our villa, and the bus stopped at a travel agency that tried to sell us tours. I do have to say though, the water at Kata Beach was super clear and so nice to swim in when there wasn’t rubbish around.
We would never stay there in high season because everything is expensive. But we loved the place we stayed at so much that we really want to return again simply because of the staff and their great food and service. If this place is still open, we will definitely visit again!
I had tequila for the first time, and also a little too much alcohol for the first and hopefully last time.
We were intending to continue on to Vietnam, but we had a bit of a health scare so had to fly back to Australia on August 2 (again via KL).
Australia Again: August 3 – August 26
Back in Australia we got our health issues sorted out and met the new furry addition to Morgan’s family.
This allowed us to offload someof the clothes we hadn’t been wearing, such as a jumper I packed but had found no need for. With lighter backpacks, we flew out again as soon as we were ready.
Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam: August 26 – September 11
We very much enjoyed all the tasty Vietnamese food in Ho Chi Minh. It makes my mouth water looking back at it. Those fresh flavours are delicious.
We had our first experience trying egg coffee in a quaint little place here.
We did get into a little routine here, and found some good places to work and eat. And we found some good food markets. We got upgraded to a really nice room, which we made good use of because Morgan unfortunately got a bad case of food poisoning. But once we were better, we enjoyed getting out and walking around the local park and using some of the exercise equipment there in the evenings.
We also spent a few interesting nights in a newly opened hostel.
And we had fun redesigning our breakfasts.
Hanoi, Vietnam: September 11 – October 26
Hanoi was more to our liking than Ho Chi Minh.
We arrived just in time for their Mid-Autumn Festival, where we tasted their traditional mooncakes and watched the fire dancers. We listened to street performers and dodged children driving little mini cars around in the streets.
We had a really nice AirBnB in Hanoi, with a lovely host who had kind parents that even made us some Vietnamese spring rolls!
We really enjoyed strolling around Hoan Kiem Lake, which was super busy on weekends, and more relaxing during week days.
We spent many nights out drinking Bia Hoi, probably the cheapest beer you’ll find in the world.
We bought matching shirts.
We ate lots more delicious food that was a little bit different to the food we found in Ho Chi Minh.
Some weekends, we even got free beer and hats…
We got used to Hanoi and quite enjoyed it. But we were also happy to leave because the air quality was really bad, to the point that we started wearing air masks.
Next we went back to KL airport for the fourth time to get back to Langkawi, Malaysia, our happy place. But first…
Kuala Lumpur: October 26 – October 31
Kuala Lumpur actually exceeded our expectations, and we strongly considered extending our stay. Instead, we decided we’d like to visit again one day. I haven’t even had time to write a more detailed post on the awesome things we did and saw there, but that’ll be coming soon!
We had an amazing room with an awesome view.
And little did we know, we had arrived just before Diwali, the Festival of Lights. When we lay down that evening, we were pleasantly surprised with a firework show all across the city outside our window!
Once we found out what the fireworks were about, we spent the next day exploring some of the Diwali events around KL.
We decided to spend a bit of time exploring the city, so we went and visited the awesome Perdana Botanical Gardens, which was huge and a lot of fun.
We saw the Petronas Towers and watched a water and light show in front of them.
We also went to the Batu Caves, which were beautiful.
Langkawi Again: October 31 – January 2
We finally arrived back again in our happy place. This time, we got to know some amazing people.
We were lucky enough to get a visit from family for two weeks, so we got to do some touristy stuff together.
One of our highlights was going on a ‘scary ride’ at a local theme park that had us all laughing so hard because it was so silly.
Morgan and I got to take a kayaking tour, which was really fun.
I overcame my fear of heights and went on every ride at the newly opened Splash Out!
We went back up Raya Mountain on a sunny day and enjoyed the view.
Langkawi had some amazing sunsets, and we enjoyed a lot of them in the evenings on the beach. The colors in the sky and the streaks of light were simply amazing.
We spent our Christmas at a waterfall, and New Year’s Eve drinking beer and watching firewords on a crowded beach with some other Aussies from Queensland.
We had some amazing experiences and were sad to have to leave Langkawi again. Hopefully we can come back another year! Thank you, Langkawi.
And the work side of things?
We’ve been slowly growing our business and have written a separate post about that!
2020 Lombok, Indonesia
As I’m writing this post, we’ve now had a couple of days in Lombok, Indonesia. Hopefully 2020 will bring good things!