“Over the first eight months of our adventures, we’ve learned so much! Not only about the world, but also about ourselves.”
Tell us about yourself
We are Kyra and Neil, names can be tricky to remember (and, as we’ve learned, hard to pronounce!) so you can just call us That Kiwi Couple. We met at university and have been together for seven years. For a long time we’ve dreamed of exploring the world together. In January this year we got married and decided our honeymoon would be the perfect chance to see the world. We bought one way tickets, and a week after tying the knot we jumped on a plane not knowing when we would return!
Your favorite place to explore?
The Philippines! Out of all the places we have been we are still absolutely in love with the friendly Philippines. The people are the nicest we’ve ever met, the islands are the most beautiful we’ve ever seen and the local rum is on point.
Our favourite island was Siquijor, an untouched paradise full of milky blue waterfalls, stunning beaches, cliff jumping, and massive sea turtles! Ahhh take us back!
Where is your next stop?
We’re currently on a journey through Europe! We are in Montenegro, and heading to Croatia next.
Your best travel story?
While in Vang Vieng, Laos it’s traditional for backpackers to tube down the mighty Mekong River. Of course we’d heard younger travelers get hold of mind altering substances or simply get drunk before or during the float. We opted to go sober as we value our lives! It was an amazing day! After being sensible and safe, we got back from tubing and Neil was super hungry he couldn’t wait for me to shower before dinner and decided to grab a snack. There were about 10 street food stalls lined up just down from our hostel all selling the same thing, pancakes and sandwiches. Neil absolutely loves a banana and Nutella pancake, so it was an easy choice. He asked for one and the lady said, “yeah, yeah I’ll make one, happy pancake for you sir,” with a cheeky grin. He demolished the whole thing in two minutes and we headed back to the hostel to get ready for dinner.
An hour later we were sitting down at a little restaurant on the river when Neil started teasing me and making stupid jokes – something he normally does when he’s had a little much to drink. I looked up from my menu to tell him to stop it, when I noticed his eyes were super blood shot and he looked really out of it. He suddenly said, “what’s happening? Something doesn’t feel right, I feel anaesthetised.” I got the bill and came back to find he had eaten his entire plate of spaghetti bolognase in less than two minutes and was almost passed out on the table. It took me 15 minutes to carry him to the hostel, a two minute walk, and another 10 to push him up to his bed, we both had top bunks. By now he’d lost his speech and couldn’t move, I kept asking if I should get a doctor and every time he groaned and shook his head. I sat beside him for three hours, when he finally rolled over and said, “I need to brush my teeth,” classic dentist.
After asking around, we found out the next day he’d eaten a “happy pancake” – basically they cook it in hash butter either made from opium or weed. Turns out they’re very popular among young tourist who normally share one between four to six people. Neil ate the whole thing. Again, I think our age may have had something to do with our innocence in this matter. What an adventure.
Is traveling your full time job?
Right now, we are full time explores! But we wouldn’t call it a job! We get a bit of pocket money from our blog, but it’s a passion. Before this year Neil worked as a House Surgeon at Waikato Hospital back home in New Zealand and I (Kyra) was a journalist for a local newspaper. We worked hard to save enough money so we could quit our jobs and see the world.
Any advice for other travelers?
When doing land border crossings in Asia make sure you go with a reputable company! We had a total nightmare going from Laos to Cambodia because we didn’t do our research. It’s a long story but let’s just say the said seven hour journey took 15 hours! Not to mention we were scammed several times at the border.
An everyday tip would be to carry toilet paper with you everywhere you go in Asia. Trust us, it’s necessary.
Something you learned while traveling?
Over the first eight months of our adventures, we’ve learned so much! Not only about the world, but also about ourselves.
Neil: The biggest thing I’ve learned is patience. The language barrier throughout Asia has taught me to take things slow and be more understanding. If you rush things, it just gets very stressful.
Kyra: I had really bad anxiety before travelling, but after the first month living out of our backpacks I stopped having panic attacks and no longer needed medication. I put it down to realising it was okay to be who I was in the world because the world is so vast and different, how can anybody be the same?
An item you can’t live without while traveling?
Deet insect repellent! We’ve been travelling Asia for the last six months and don’t think we would have got through alive with out the magical powers of deet!
The title of your biography?
That Kiwi Couple takes on the world
Do you have a blog/website?
Yes! You can find travel tips and read about all our adventures at www.thatkiwicouple.com