Here is a little summary of our one year of travel. A real gossip article to tell you EVERY-THING !
We’re not ashamed to admit that, before leaving, we had this romantic idea of Marco Polo’s travels and discoveries in mind, of initiatory journey, of meeting new and amazing people, and maybe here and there watch the great wilderness unfold around us.
Jacques Verrazzano World Map 1529. Vatican, Rome - Italy
Of course, we still had this very real apprehension, usually fuelled by the media, of visiting dangerous countries. This was quite intimidating.
We had lots of tools though, from guides (e-books), ranking websites for hotels and restaurants, to a truckload of apps supposedly doing everything and more!
As soon as landing in a new airport, we had a brief respite, and maybe a sense of serenity when coming across the usual bits and pieces of information about the country we had just reached (although the stress was still there, believe me!).
Ngurah Rai International Airport (Denpasar) - Bali
Sir Seewoosagur Airport - Domestic flights area (Mauritius)
After a year, we experience our journey differently. Even after 3 weeks in Cairns, Australia, we sometimes wake up wondering where on Earth we are, literally. It’s always a good surprise!
Artificial public lagoon along the Esplanade - Cairns
We quickly realized how time and energy inefficient the usual monument visits can be. There’s a great many things to consider before even reaching the right place at the right time, price tags in dollars and euros, transportation...Safe to say, we gave up pretty fast for most of the "has-to-be-done" attractions.
Delphine, still half alseep at 6 a.m to visit the Taj Mahal - India
We left the awe inspiring wilderness in Madagascar. Everywhere else was mostly heavily endangered species living like homeless people, off human garbage, or confined in zoos and cages we have little interested in. Some remaining ones are domesticated.
Elephant walking in streets of Jodhpur - Inde
The dolphins were at their usual rendez-vous point with the hundred of tourists chasing them. We’re not blaming anyone here, we were one of them.
Running after the dolphins in Bali - Indonesia
Crocodiles preserve in Assinie - Ivory Coast
Sometimes environmental associations accomplish great work, but our competitive mindset tends to ruin the best efforts. These associations rarely cooperate, if ever, fail to share their data, and so work twice as much for similar results.
Small baby monkey wearing diapers ! in Assinie - Ivory Coast
It’s actually quite similar to some humanitarian groups who tend to say one thing to the public, and act the opposite due to budget constraints and their colossal size.
They still manage to sway and change public opinion on important issues, that’s still something worth mentioning.
On a brighter note, Australia tips the scale back in favor of its (very) wildlife.
Sign about danger against «jellyfish & crocodiles», while a mother is playing in the water with her baby, in Cliffton Beach - Australia
It may be dangerous, be being surrounded by birds of all sizes, flying foxes at dusk and wallabies napping in grass fields makes it all worth it.
Lonely Pelican in Cairns
Unique : a long wait for those big boats that were travelling to Mali by earth (300km with a top speed of 13km/h)!
Road to Bouaké - Ivory Coast
Despite what the media tend to show us, Myanmar and Thailand didn’t look as expected in our humble experience. We never got attacked, mugged or scammed. The police forces were understanding and reasonable for the most part, and the "corps habillés" ("clothed bodies"referring to their uniform) as they are called in the Ivory Coast, enjoy having their pictures taken more than they care to admit.
Police officer in Ubud - Bali
Unfortunately, we couldn’t escape the pointless fine, because in most of the coutries we’ve visited, "If you can travel, it means you might earn ery big money" !
Many basic rules are the same as everywhere else, such as keeping alcohol consumption off the streets, not buying illegal drugs, have a picture of your ID documents on your phone in case you go out without the original ones.
In Thailand, we didn’t have to obey the curfew notice, since the shop usually sell better in the evening, the police keeping a watchful eye anyway.
Night Market in Chiang Mai - Thailand
Moreover, travelling across Asia is very easy, thanks to cheap public transportation costs.
For quite some time now, when we reach a new country we slide back in "intuitive mode", with a few e-guide rules in the back of our head. We then meet and ask advices to people who sound serious enough, or walk a bit more, which is also fine.
Talking about e-guides, we came to realize pretty quickly how obsolete some of them are, be it French or Australian. They often give wrong informations or advice, clearly not up to date with the situation in the countries. Quite understandably, the worst culprits were the ones about Myanmar (Burma).
Fortunately we could often acces to relyable information, thanks to friends we could get locally !
Unlike the thought that the local money is useless in Myanmar...
One of the things we enjoyed the most was visiting small craft workshops, like the ones we found in Jodhpur ou à Rodrigues . Places to meet genuine and honest people, happy to see us, not trying to sell us "5 dollars tours" to visit their hand made noodle shops they really were proud of.
Noodle manufacture in Hsipaw - Myanmar
Umbrella manufacture in Pathein - Myanmar
"Humankind-ness: memories of fresh baked bread in Sainte Marie, cakes offered by the hotel owner in Dehli after we got disappointed by our room, tasting "fresh" hot tofu in Bali, 1kg of noodles in Hsipaw, greens mangos kindly offered for a fruit salad, wonderful vegetarian means prepared specially for us in Chiang Mai , in Singapore...and so many more.
Invitation for the staff lunch at the Swiss Lanna Lodge in Chiang Mai - Thailand
Some aspects of interactions and communication seem universal. Knowing just a few words of the local language goes a long way to break the ice. But most beautiful of all, by its simplicity perhaps, is the smile.
Or you know, Facebook and mobile phones!
Incredible scene: this young boy, busy with his phone and dressed like Sponge Bob Square Pants in Bangkok ! Thailand
The 3G network never far from you, even in the Himalayas with this antenna in Dulikhel - Népal
The more we travel, the less we view the world as huge and out of reach, considering how easy it is to travel nowadays. Our understanding of geography has expanded, we now understand why the astronauts in the ISS say Earth is a landmass without borders.
Australian map, Oceania in the middle
Oversold destinations, stated as unique in the world such as the Great Barrier Reef, or monuments are in fact very similar to other places on Earth. This takes nothing out of their beauty or course, they remain exquisite memories.
World famous Grand Barrier Reef (Thanks to Nemo the fish), Australia
We may shock some of you by stating the place of worship across India, Nepal, and all of south-East Asia look alike. But they really do. We enjoyed the smaller weird remote ones instead. Sacred places emitting these positive vibes, such as this Buddhist temple in Myanmar, made exclusively with bamboo!
Hsipaw - Myanmar (Burma)
Another things shared universally (sadly) is plastic waste, . No one knows what to do with them, they are everywhere, earth, water, even air with the fumes. Unlike to popular belief in our home country, France has nothing to be proud of. It’s a global issue.
After this honest yet at times harsh picture, what keeps us going you may ask?
Well first, we haven’t seen everything, and we won’t! There are always new things to discover, the unexpected places to be found. Some locations are so remote we can’t even access them.
Heliconia of the botanical garden of Singapore
The people : Chance encounters truly make or break the beauty of some places. Others are a good mirror of our own selves, we have a lot to gain in these exchanges. We learn to love, despite the distance and differences.
We keep on learning, discovering and managing on ourselves
Hitch hiking a truck near Panauti - Nepal
Travelling doesn’t make routine suddenly disappear! Travel becomes routine. As soon as we can settle down for more than 10 days, we find our marks back and are able to exercise again, cook, or work on Tatup articles.
When we can cook again !
We keep on seeking the location in the world where we will like/will be able to settle, after the journey.
Tatup is the thread, the engine that makes us go the extra mile, do the impossible to have a good article to show our readers.
Munduk - Bali
It’s not only a booster for human relationships, but is also rewarding on a professional level, showing commitment and hard work when we talk about our life choices to professionals who tend to see us as "professional tourists".
TATUP business cards, printed by MOO
It’s very demanding for us, we have to show energy and dedication to dive back in from our current reality, at least once a week, to maintain regularity and quality in our posts.
Intense Tatup work session with the famous BBoy Sonic à Chinatown - Singapour
It requires good judgement, source checking, avoiding militancy, shortcuts and amalgams.
We also want to thank Feyt (yours truely), our official translator who was quite hard to find.
He managed to keep the Tatup spirit intact, with a bit of humorous notes here and there. The translation is like the funny little sister, not the clone of the original. (Feyt here “I admit talking about myself like that felt weird, but I am thankful for the kind words, and hope our dear readers enjoy my work.”)
Our warm thanks to those helping us when we started: Usha F., Marine B., Jess, Reena and Véronique.
«Yes, becauze our english is not verry well»
We tend to post once a week, twice sometimes, 3 times when we’re crazy! Posting thrice has a price though. We do this on a daily basis. Meanwhile the days keep flowing, Earth keeps moving, and we need to keep on travelling, visiting, writing, drawing, photographing...
For this one year post, count four days of work just for both of us :) !
Right now, we’re depicting our trip in India, whereas we are currently in Australia. Our readers have a hard time figuring where we exactly are.
But we have to keep a coherent timeline, otherwise the photo quality will suffer ( the quality evolves with time as we get better at it) and this way suits us the best.
To have a better understanding: we still need to cover Nepal, Thailand, Myanmar (Burma), Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia before reaching Australia, so yeah, a good 6 months late.
If you want to know where we currently are, you can check our site banner
or the cover image of the facebook page, «We are here» :
The practical rubric we launched a while back, with an article about backpack choices for our trip, allows us to have an in-depth talk about gear and logistics.
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In conclusion, and we are of one mind here, it’s you dear reader that make these articles worth it. We sincerely hope you enjoy them, and maybe even travel with us in a way. Some people like to tell us “how brave and lucky we are”. To that, we answer that people who travel less, or not at all don’t necessarily have a boring life, far from it. In fact, sedentary people are the secret ingredient of this journey.
We also came to realize how little we know about our own country, after travelling so much. I think this adds a few destinations to our list, once we’re back home. A word to the wise.
Stay tuned, we still have so much to share with you !