2014 Review – 13 Countries

January – Ireland

We started 2014 at our home in the little town of Manorhamilton, Ireland. Micheal had just finished an intensive course in web design and I was finishing up a diploma in Digital Marketing. We were restless and making plans for how we would start an online business so that we could travel full time.

With most of our time focused on building a business, we didn’t stray very far from County Leitrim.

Benbo Mountain in Manorhamilton, County Leitrim, Ireland. Tarmon Abbey in County Leitrim, Ireland.
Little Nomad at 9 months old, Benbo Mountain in Manorhamilton, Ireland (top right), Tarmon Abbey (bottom right).

February – Ireland

Business plans have begun to take shape and I am working on an app. We have applied for a small grant from the local development board. The director is very excited about my app and tells us that they will fund us as soon as we form our company.

We take a small roadtrip to County Donegal.

County Donegal, Ireland
County Donegal.

March – Ireland

We form our company and surely it was the most exciting thing to happen in Leitrim since we saw that fyling saucer shaped, lenticular cloud in Carrick on Shannon. Wait, don’t go away yet! I promise that the year will get much more interesting.

Benbulben Mountain in Sligo, Ireland, a baby reading, and a lenticular cloud.
Clockwise: The Hills of Sligo, A rare sunny day in Leitrim, L.N. at 10 months old, and a lenticular cloud.

April – Czech Republic, France, Germany

Bad news. The technologically illiterate Leitrim Development Company decides that it is impossible for an app to make money because “apps are free”. Facepalm. They want us to show proof that the app will have sales every month. Are you kidding me? The developers of Angry Birds would not have been able to show you that before the app was released. The useless director assures us that if we can provide this, we will be funded in June. Forget it.

Micheal points out that Irish Ferries is having a big sale that week. We decide that it is time for a roadtrip to escape the continual rain of County Leitrim. It takes us less than a day to decide. We cancel our internet, lock up our apartment, and drive to Rosslare, Ireland where we will take the ferry to Cherbourg, France. It was the best decision we ever made.

We finally arrive in Prague and it is a happy time visiting the friends that we have not seen since September 2012. We celebrate Little Nomad’s first birthday with friends.

Oscar Wilde ferry, fields in France.
Clockwise: Oscar Wilde ferry, fields in France, Micheal and L.N. at a rest stop in France, Crybaby, Back in Prague.

May – Prague

Prague is a magic place in the Spring and Summer. L.N. was so happy to be able to play outside at one of the many parks and playgrounds. Micheal starts working part time at an Irish Pub until he gets more web design clients. I decide to move my old, mostly neglected travel blog to this new domain. I spend a lot of time writing at Kavarna Liberal, working on my app, and doing some freelance marketing jobs online.

Those of you that are looking to become “digital nomads” might be wondering if getting a diploma (advanced certificate for you Americans) in Digital Marketing helped me get more freelance jobs. Yes, it did! I really need to write a blog post on exactly how I got started working online because I get lots of questions about it.

Photos of Prague from May 2014
Clockwise: Prague, Spring flowers, street musicians in Old Town Square, Tim Burton exhibit, Ariadne

June – The Big Roadtrip

We love Prague but staying too long in one place makes us restless. We plan a weekend trip to Český ráj. Of course when we start driving, we find it hard not to keep going and we end up visiting Austria, Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Hungary, and Slovakia before making our way back to Prague. It was a whirlwind trip and I still haven’t finished writing blog posts for all the places we visited but here are a few samples.

Český ráj – Bohemian Paradise
Camping at Lake Bled, Slovenia
Waterfalls of Rastoke, Croatia
Camping on Krk Island, Croatia

Czech Republic, Slovenia, Austria
Clockwise: Kost Castle, Cesky Raj, Boat trip in Ljubljana, Ljubljana, driving through Austria
Slovenia, Croatia, Hungary
Clockwise: Lake Bled, Rastoke, Budapest, Krk Island, Plitvice Lakes

July – Prague

July finds us back in Prague so that I can finish getting some of the photos I need for my app. Can you believe that I moved to Prague in 2007, lived there for years and never visited some of the major tourist sites like Golden Lane? We also took a few day trips to locations like Karlstejn Castle. At the end of July, we packed up our overworked car and began the trip back to Ireland, where we were still paying rent on our apartment.

Karlštejn Castle – Day trip from Prague

Castle in Czech Reoublic, France, Nuremberg, Germany
Clockwise: Karlštejn Castle, baguette machine in France, playtime at rest stop in Germany, street musicians in Nuremberg, Germany

August – UK and Ireland

The ferry that we had originally taken from Ireland triples in price during the summer months. We decided to take an alternate route from Calais, France to Dover, England and then another ferry from Wales to Ireland. This was a mistake because the UK turned out to be the most expensive place that I have ever visited. We should have skipped it and just taken the original ferry home.

Kilkenny, Ireland

Dover England, Brighton Beach, Kilkenny Castle, Ireland
Clockwise: White cliffs of Dover, Dover, England, Kilkenny, Ireland, Brighton Beach, England

September – Prague

Not Prague again! We had a big trip to SE Asia planned and the cheapest flight we could find was leaving from Prague. Micheal had also started a big web design job for a group of hostels and needed to attend a few meetings with them.

Baby with many suitcases. Baby wearing Ramones shirt and listening to headphones.
Clockwise: We don’t do selfies well. We also don’t travel light. Little Nomad continues his music education.

October – Thailand and Cambodia

Two years after we left for Thailand back in October 2012, we return to Bangkok. Unfortunately, Little Nomad was sick in Bangkok but he made a speedy recovery and we continued on to Koh Chang island. After a very welcome rest on the beaches of Koh Chang, we continued on to Sihanoukville, Cambodia.

Bang Bao Fishing Village and Hat Sai Noi Beach
White Sand Beach, Koh Chang On A Budget
Another Look at Sihanoukville, Cambodia

Beaches on Koh Chang island, Thailand. Small town in Cambodia.
Clockwise: White Sand Beach, Koh Chang. Hat Sai Noi beach. Beach bungalow on Lonely Beach. Welcome to Cambodia (after a long bus trip).

November

After a quick trip to Phnom Penh to get more pages added to my passport, we left by speed boat for Vietnam. We had planned to stay in Ho Chi Minh City for 3 months. I fell in love with the people and the food. Little Nomad was mobbed by admirers and one lady actually tried to pull him out of his pushchair so that she could take a photo with him. Sadly, we found that there were too many difficulties related to having a comfortable place to work online and we decided to change our plans once again. We needed to slow down and stay in one place long enough to get some serious work done. There was only one place to go, Chiang Mai. This meant that we had to go back to Phnom Penh to get visas for Thailand. It worked out well because we stopped in Battambang on the way to the border and I got to see Wat Ek Phnom.

We will be back to Vietnam, many times but probably not to Ho Chi Minh.

Mekong Delta – Phnom Penh to Chau Doc

Photos from Ho Chi Minh City and Battambang, Cambodia.
Clockwise: Wat Ek Phnom. Woman selling turtles in Ho Chi Minh. Street scene in HCMC. The best food in the world. L.N. learning about Vietnamese food.

December

As I write this, we are in Chiang Mai, Thailand. You might have noticed that I am really far behind on blog posts. Work has kept us very busy the past two months and I have had less time to work on the blog. I hope to be caught up soon.

Chiang Mai is one of the best places in the world to buckle down and get work done. We are starting to get a little restless again but the current plan is to stay here until February. Of course, that could change at any time.

Photos from Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Chiang Mai, Thailand. December 2014

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