Well what a year! 2015 started out a little grim. We were back in the UK with a failed attempt at reaching South Africa under our belts. We’d not even reached the equator and civil unrest and a big dollop of Ebola blocked our way forward. But that’s the way it is with long term travel.
More serious issues grabbed our attention. During our adventure, Graham was diagnosed with a potentially serious illness, Mowgli was looking tattered and torn and our tenant in our house was being a nightmare. So how did our year pan out?
A Look Back At 2015
Winter in Cumbria
We’d headed north to Cumbria for the winter to be near family and friends. For those that don’t know, Cumbria’s cold. A wet, windy, cold kind of cold. But when things seem tough, family and friends provide the most important warmth you can find.
We gave Mowgli a facelift , a full strip down and respray. We repaired the signs of aging of our 35 year old Unimog and without a trace of Botox or fillers we were pleased with the end result.
We set about fixing Graham. Multiple tests, scans and visits to the consultants were part of the course during the winter months. It felt as though it were never ending and as we reached the beginning of spring, we still had no certainty of diagnosis. He was still breathing and being a grumpy old so and so, so our self-diagnosis was that he was perfectly normal and well.
Reclaiming our home from our wayward tenant was a mission. The media is full of stories about nasty landlords, but forgets to mention the tenants from hell. Perhaps they should put all the bad tenants and nasty landlords together and relocate them to the Isle of Scilly?
Springtime in Asia
Feeling a little low about our home and getting Graham’s full diagnosis, we did what Mowgli Adventures does best. We set off on our travels. After a few weeks of touring the UK in Mowgli, we hopped on a long haul flight to Thailand as a belated wedding anniversary treat.
After seeing the sights of Asia and still with the sand of Krabi beach between our toes, we landed back in the UK to find our house vacated but needing to be stripped and completely refurbished.
Summertime with Doctors & Builders
Walls had to be knocked back to the brick work due to water damage, wooden floors need to be re-laid, industrial dryers hummed for weeks, and a stream of builders, carpenters and decorators traipsed through to recover our home.
Graham’s medical test results came back.. His condition wasn’t as bad as we’d feared and other than a small surgical procedure, all was well. Graham took it easy for the rest of the summer to recuperate and supervised the builders from the garden lounger.
Graham also celebrated a milestone birthday. He’s now officially older than middle aged, which means he should know better. We’re still waiting for that sense of sensibility to kick in!
We figured you’d not be overly interested in most of that at the time, so we were a little quiet on that front and spent some time revamping Mowgli-Adventures.com. We relaunched in time for the Adventure Overland Show, displaying Mowgli and ready to hold a short presentation on West African travel.
The following week we packed up Mowgli, put her in gear and headed south to prolong the summer weather. We’ve been on the road ever since.
We’ve travelled through northern Spain seeing sights and places not on the normal tourist route.
We entered Morocco to prolong our summer and have enjoyed slow overland travel through Rif & Middle Atlas Mountains and into the Sahara Desert for Christmas. We’ve met some wonderful people on the way, many of whom we now call our friends.
Of course, our latest adventures haven’t been without their misadventures. Mowgli’s tumble in Cirque de Jaffar was a dramatic moment. We’ve all recovered, including Mowgli and our journey continues, navigating around steep mountain tracks.
We had some successes and being published in the Expedition Journal was a highlight for us. Mowgli-Adventures.com has grown in popularity and we have 5 times as many visitors as we did in 2014. We’re very proud of this and thank you all for your ongoing support.
Sitting on the warm Atlantic coast of Morocco as the year comes to an end, when we look back at 2015, we reckon there’s been a lot more ups than downs. Despite the challenges the year has thrown at us, life is good. We’re healthy, we’re happy, we’re in the sunshine and we’re fortunate enough to still be travelling. And for now, we’re happy to settle for that.
What are our plans for 2016?
Over the next few weeks, we’re very excited to be launching our photography gallery. Some of our travel photos will be available for sale, but it’s more to showcase our work. We’re keen to take commissions in the photography field. Anyone with any hints and tips on how we best market this aspect of our site, please contact us. We need all the help we can get.
Our intention is to keep travelling on our adventures. We’re yet to decide on where to. Maybe we’ll head west to the Americas, or East to Mongolia. Decision, decisions… Tell us where you would go and why.
In the meantime, we wish you all a very happy new year. May 2016 be filled with new horizons, exciting adventures and much laughter.