Well, the love of travel all started for me (Kim) back in 2002 on a school history trip to Eastern Europe.

Prague, Warsaw, Krakow, Berlin… they sparked a little flame of excitement in me that my annual family caravan trips to France had failed to ignite.

The following summer, Interrail pass in hand, I spent five hectic weeks darting around Europe with my best mate, staying in every crummy hostel from Bratislava to Barcelona. We parted ways, me off to Glasgow to start university and she back to her home country of Australia, promising to see each other in Sydney a year later.

True to my word, I put my student loan to excellent use and purchased a flight to OZ the following summer, stopping off in India, Sri Lanka and South-East Asia on the way. I met up with a school friend in India for 3 weeks, spent a week by myself in Sri Lanka and another 3 weeks travelling from Bangkok to Singapore overland on a small group tour.

I spent so long convincing my mum that I’d be fine that I didn’t even have time to consider whether or not I was shitting it about being 19 and flying off to India solo. Standing outside Mumbai airport in the suffocating heat, fending off pushy taxi drivers left, right and centre, surrounded by absolutely nothing familiar my only thought was, “I want a teleporter. Now.”

About Going the Whole Hogg

Am I high, or are these clogs just massive? 
– Amsterdam 2003

Those three weeks were tough. There were good parts, sure, but having thrown myself in the deep end I’d say I was just about treading water. Sri Lanka seemed like a verdant paradise compared to the chaotic desert cities of Rajasthan and I vowed to return one day to explore beyond the coast of Negombo and hill country capital of Kandy.

After three weeks in Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore I felt like a different person. Thanks to the twelve or so other backpackers and trip leader on my tour, I’d seen, done, eaten and tried things I never would have considered had I been travelling solo or in a comfortable safety bubble with a friend.

By the time I eventually got to Sydney it was a bit of an anti-climax. I spent a couple of weeks catching up with my friend, exhausting the last of my funds and sleeping on her uni dorm room floor before returning to Glasgow to start my 2nd year of uni, find a part-time job and save up for the next adventure.

About Going the Whole Hogg

Playing dominoes on the streets of Havana
– Cuba 2005

Sitting in the pub drinking rum and coke I say to my uni mate, “Why don’t we go to Cuba?”

Her eyes light up and within a week we’ve booked flights to Havana, bought a Rough Guide and in August 2005 spent 3 weeks backpacking around the island.

Within a few hours of arrival my friend had had her bag yanked off her shoulder, her passport and ALL her money stolen. We spent our first night in a police station, drawing pictures of everything in her bag for the insurance report as we spoke zero Spanish and couldn’t communicate with the officers. Certainly the most eventful start to a trip I’ve ever had.

Our lack of Spanish abilities hung over us for the duration of our time in Cuba, making everything ten times harder to accomplish, but it was an incredible trip.

Christmas and New Year 2005/2006 was spent back in Australia visiting my best mate. Over 6 weeks we celebrated New Year at a music festival in Tasmania, hung out at her granny’s beach shack, bounced around friends’ houses all over New South Wales and went for long coastal walks with her dog. Pretty idyllic really.

About Going the Whole Hogg

Camping at Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park, Tasmania
– Australia 2005

I studied a lot of Soviet history at university and the summer before my final year I wanted to visit Russia. Turns out so did my mate I had travelled in India with.

So, we booked one-way flights to Beijing and spent 6 weeks travelling back to the UK overland through Mongolia, Russia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, the Czech Republic, Germany and France.

I love trains. It’s my favourite way to travel. So, spending 3 weeks rattling along on the Trans-Mongolian Railway was right up my street. I stopped off at a ger camp in Mongolia, stayed with a babushka at Lake Baikal and drooled over Soviet propaganda posters, statues and architecture in Moscow and St Petersburg.

Fast forward to the summer of 2007 and FINALLY it’s time for Del to enter this saga.

I had just graduated and was working extra shifts in the family run pub I’d been working part-time in for a year or so. The family decided to sell and it was bought over by a company. On the first day of the new ownership, Del (the manager of a nearby pub), was sent round to lock up. Elbow deep in manky water, washing drip trays in the sink, I heard a bold voice behind me. “Hi, I’m Derek.” I turned around, saw his hand extended to shake mine, and stunned by his glorious cheekbones all I could mutter was a pathetic, “Eh, I’ve got a wet hand…”

A few weeks later all of his strategic rota manipulating had paid off and we went on our first proper date (sitting after hours drinking rum and eating mushroom pakora didn’t count).

About Going the Whole Hogg: In front of Bran castle on a Snowy day

Bundled up at Bran Castle, Transylvania

– Romania 2007

In September 2007 I got my first ‘real’ job working at STA Travel, replacing the very person who sent me off on my first trip to Asia three years before. I found out I had a week’s holiday to take before the end of the year and, excited about the prospect of my first paid annual leave, started browsing the internet for cheap Europe flights. “Del, do you wanna go to Transylvania in Winter?” “Sure,” says he.

And with that I knew he was a keeper.

At the age of 27 Del’s travel experience up to this point pretty much extended to one 4 month working holiday in Australia straight after uni, where he did zero working and a lot of holidaying. Mostly on his pal’s sister’s couch.

He worked part-time at a local pub in Glasgow throughout uni and nine years later was still there, managing it these days. It’s not that he didn’t like the idea of travelling, he just never had the impetus to plan, organise and actually go out and do it.

We loved Romania, survived our first fight (about what direction the bus stop was in), and as usual I returned and immediately started planning the next trip.

“Del, do you wanna go to Africa and travel overland from Kenya to Zambia?” “Sure,” says he.

So, in October 2008 we spent a month on an overland truck exploring the Masai Mara, Serengeti, Zanzibar, Lake Malawi, Victoria Falls and more. We camped on the edge of the Ngorogoro crater, hot air ballooned over the Serengeti, dangled over the side of the Devil’s Pool peering straight down Victoria Falls and made some friends we continue to meet up with all over the world today.

“Del, do you wanna spend 8 months on a truck with 40 strangers driving from London to Sydney?”

“Sure,” says he, “But how much will it cost?” “£5000 each,” says I. “OK, so when can we do it?”

And so began the planning for our biggest adventure to date. We settled on the April 5th 2010 departure date, giving us about 18 months to save the five grand for the trip and an extra £7000 or so spending money. We would spend time in Australia at the end of the overland trip and then move to New Zealand and work there for a year or so, getting in just before Del reached the cut off age for the working holiday visa.

About Going the Whole Hogg - Kim in her Star trek stinger suit

Jellyfish protection garb; snorkelling The Great Barrier Reef, Whitehaven Beach, The Whitsunday Islands
– Queensland, Australia 2009

We saved hard for that year and a half (although I still managed to squeeze in a 10 day trip to Queensland on a super cheap flight promo, sailing round the Whitsunday Islands and snorkelling The Great Barrier Reef. Oh, and a 3 week budget trip to Japan to travel all over with my friend who had just finished teaching there).

We busted our arses, working long hours to ensure we hit our company targets and made bonuses, me working shifts at the pub still two or three nights a week on top of the travel agency.

The big day came and we bade farewell to our family and friends and said hello to the 40 people who we would be travelling with for the next 32 weeks through Europe, Turkey, Iran, India, Tibet, China, Laos, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and ultimately Australia.

The group travelled together on the truck, sharing cooking, cleaning and grocery shopping duties along the way. 

We bush camped for about half of the trip, pitching our tents in some of the most incredible landscapes from mountains in Eastern Turkey, to deserts in Iran, the high plateau of Tibet and the vast open space of the Northern Territory in Australia.

We also had nights camping in 45 degree heat in an Indian petrol station, in a police compound in China and in the middle of a live army firing range in Turkey. Our campsite for the night was always a surprise, that’s for sure.

We stayed in hostels, hotels and guesthouses in less remote areas and took a break from the truck for 3 weeks in Southeast Asia to visit Borneo by ourselves, rejoining the group in Jakarta.

It was an amazing journey and one of the best years of our lives.  

After 3 months campervanning all over Australia (and really falling in love with the country for the first time) we had well and truly blown our budget and arrived in New Zealand with some big fat minuses in our bank accounts.

I started work straight away at STA Travel in Wellington, we secured a lease on an apartment and Del hunted for a job. Eventually he started working for a car hire company at Wellington airport. He loved working outside, doing something different and enjoyed running to and from the airport every day, a 14km round trip.

About Going the Whole Hogg - Pilgramunna Camp, Ningaloo Reef, Australia

Pilgramunna Campsite, Ningaloo Reef, Cape Range NP
– Western Australia 2010

Apart from a short holiday island hopping in Fiji we had a fairly quiet year, saving as much as we could and enjoying the area around Wellington on our days off. We decided to save our NZ travels until the end of our year there and spent 6 weeks campervanning all over at the end of 2011/start of 2012, truly the best way to see the country.

About Going the Whole Hogg: DOC camp at Omarama

Omarama DOC Campsite, South Island
– New Zealand 2012

About Goin the Whole Hogg: Kayaking at Tasman Glacier Lake

Kayaking amongst icebergs, Tasman Glacier Lake, South Island
– New Zealand 2012

About Going the Whole Hogg: View from the summit (well, nearly the summit), Wayalailai

Hiking Wayalailai Island, Yasawas
– Fiji 2011

After NZ we were homeward bound, but not without a few months travelling on the way.

We island hopped around the Philippines, returned to Vietnam to explore the north, met up with three friends from our Big Orange Truck to travel around Myanmar, FINALLY made it back to Sri Lanka, returned to Nepal to tackle the Annapurna Base Camp trek for a second time (this time without the altitude sickness or monsoon) and road tripped around Jordan.

About Going the Whole Hogg: Wadi Rum Sunset Panorama, Jordan

Sunset hike in Wadi Rum
– Jordan 2012

Our plan had been to return to Scotland for about 18 months to work and catch up with friends and family before heading off to South Korea to teach English and save enough money to travel South America.

The reality however was that our two and a bit years away had left Del in some serious credit card debt. Like 5 figures serious. He had arrived in NZ with more debt than me and hadn’t managed to save as much while we were living there, but we still made the decision to travel for a few months on our way home.


Because we had the time, we had a chunk of money between us (albeit not enough) and a guarantee of our old jobs and a steady income when we got back. So, in the end we were back in Glasgow working for 3 years between 2012-2015, Del doing a stellar job at paying off his debt and living as frugally as he could until it was cleared. Do we regret the decision? No. We had an amazing time. Would we do it again? No. Funding your travels through debt is not a great idea and we were paying for it for a long time after.

That’s not to say those 3 years were spent solely toiling away on Scottish soil. There’s no cure for itchy feet, after all.

I was nominated for a free trip to California through work, spent 3 weeks backpacking around Central America on a small group tour and in the summer of 2013 Del and I road tripped around Croatia, Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Later that year we backpacked around Uzbekistan, marvelling at the rich architecture of the Silk Road.

About Going the Whole Hogg: Del at Khiva

Khiva, Uzbekistan 2013

By early 2014 we were starting to think about our future.

We knew Del would be debt free by Autumn and we could finally start the ball rolling on our teaching abroad plans.

I heard about some very attractive teaching opportunities in Saudi Arabia and, although we had always pictured ourselves in South Korea, we started to seriously consider this as an option.

I did some research and found out we would have to be married to move there together. Relaying this info to Del he calmly replies, “Well, there’s an easy fix to that.”

“That better not be your proposal,” exclaims I.

We enrolled in a 120 hour online TEFL course and gave ourselves a Jan 2015 deadline for applying for jobs.

In March 2014 we spent a week at a stunning Airbnb on a fjord in Iceland, hoping to see the northern lights. We didn’t. And yes, that’s still a sore point.

No proposal.

In June we road tripped around Andalucia in southern Spain, nibbling on manchego, hitting up flamenco clubs at every opportunity and soaking up the glorious moorish architecture.

Still no proposal.

Come July it was time for a subtle reminder and within a week Del was finally down on one knee at the top of a mountain just outside Glasgow.

Thanks pretty much entirely to the insane organisation skills and generosity of my parents we were married three months later in a converted barn outside of St Andrews. It was a perfect day.

About Going the Whole Hogg: Kim and Del's wedding day

Our wedding day, Kinkell Byre, St Andrews
– Scotland, October 5th 2014
(Photography by Fraser&Gibson Photography)

About Going the Whole Hogg: Kim and Del at Wahiba Sands

Sunset in Wahiba Sands 
– Oman 2014

Our honeymoon came a month later, a trip that had been planned months before we were even engaged.

A week in the Seychelles for my brother’s wedding, a week in the Maldives sailing around on a dhoni boat, snorkelling twice a day, and 2 weeks 4WDriving around Oman.

I never imagined I’d end up in one, let alone two, of the most honeymooney countries out there on, well, my honeymoon. But we did, and it was superb.

About Going the Whole Hogg: Blue sea and sky lagoon panorama

Sailing on a Dhoni (a converted fishing boat)
– The Maldives 2014

We emailed off our final course work for our TEFL certification on New Year’s Day 2015 and immediately started the process of job hunting. In the year since we had researched teaching in Saudi Arabia the rules had changed and it was no longer possible to get work without a minimum 2 years experience. So, it was back to our original plan of South Korea.

“I would have married you anyway,” Del assured me.

Five agonisingly slow months later and four interviews down we were finally successful.

We handed in our notice, sent off all our visa docs and Googled our new home, a city on the south coast called Tongyeong.

Within 4 weeks we were on a plane with 103kg of baggage and within 12 hours in the country we were thrown in a classroom with a textbook and a pat on the back. Almost three years later we’re still here.

About Going the Whole Hogg: A view over Tongyeong from the top of Mireuksan

The view over Tongyeong from the peak of Mt. Mireuk
– South Korea 2015

About Going the Whole Hogg: Scuba Diving at Puerto Galera

Diving Puerto Galera
– The Philippines 2016

About Going the Whole Hogg: Kim and Del on Vatersay Beach

Vatersay Beach, The Isle of Barra
– Cycling The Hebridean Way, Scotland 2017

Our original plan was to stay two years and use the money we saved to visit Antarctica and travel around South America for at least a year, probably stopping to teach along the way.

But, as always our travel plans grew arms and legs and seeing as we loved our new life in Korea so much we figured why not stay a third year, save even more and explore some more of Asia before finally making it to our sixth and seventh continents.

We don’t get much holiday time with our teaching jobs, so we’ve had to make the most of weekends (still excited about having those for the first time in our working lives!), public holidays and the Christmas break to quench our thirst for travel.

We’ve explored all over Korea, returned to Indonesia to get our PADI Open Water Diver certification during Christmas 2015 and headed back to the Philippines to dive for a week the following year.

We also requested a month’s unpaid leave in July 2017 and returned to Scotland to visit family and friends and spend an incredible week in the Outer Hebrides, cycling 160km from Barra to the Butt of Lewis.

I’ve been into photography since I was a teenager and finally invested in a proper editing suite in early 2017. I started taking notice of Instagram more as a platform for inspiration, learning and sharing my own photography and through this became aware of a number of travel blogs.

I hadn’t really sought out or paid any attention to blogs before. Now though, I was coming across all sorts of useful information about destinations we were planning to travel to (and some we weren’t, but then added to our list purely off the back of some of the detailed and inspiring articles I was reading).

After shrugging off years of comments from friends and family about how I should write a travel book or start a blog or send off articles to this magazine or that, the idea finally clicked.

“Del! We could totally do this!”

“Sure,” said he.

– February 2018
And all the adventures since then, you can read about on this blog