Giving up real life to travel the world
Hey, I’m Yvette, I’m so glad you found my blog!
Ever since my first trip overseas I have been obsessed with travel. There was something about walking down unfamiliar streets and taking in the new sights and sounds that drew me in. In 2010, I set myself a goal: that I would travel to at least one new country every year.
For five years I achieved this, but I always had this niggle in the pit of my stomach: I didn’t want to spend a couple of weeks in a new country- I wanted to have this experience full time.
In 2016, I found myself single, broke, and exhausted from working full-time and running a business.
So I made a decision. I sold my business, all my possessions and within three months I had shifted overseas.
It was the best feeling in the world.
In fact I felt so alive, so empowered, and so free that I started this blog to show others how to go on their own adventures.
First stop: Canada
In 2016 I moved to Canada to work a ski season and learn how to snowboard.
I ended up staying for 18 months- spending my winters in Kelowna, BC at Big White Ski Resort and my summer in Banff National Park, AB.
It was Canada that made me fall in love with the outdoors. Growing up on a farm in New Zealand meant I was used to being outside and not afraid to get a little dirty, but it was the Canadian Rockies that made me realise how much I loved being in the mountains.
In my free time I went on as many adventures as I could: hiking, white water rafting, horse riding, climbing, snowboarding, snow shoeing- you name it.
I became a little obsessed with trying new things outdoors, and my confidence in all areas of my life grew. I was an average girl from a small town in New Zealand, and if I could move across the world and go on epic adventures, anyone can (and should!).
This blog is my way of sharing some incredible experiences and showing you how you can do them too.
My life in Scotland
In 2018 I moved to Scotland, my favourite country in the world.
I’ve always been fascinated by Scotland’s history, particularly the First War of Scottish Independence when I found out that King Robert the Bruce was my great x22 grandfather.
My family immigrated from Scotland to New Zealand in the mid-nineteenth century. I’ve had a great time tracing their roots and exploring the land where they worked and lived. My move to Scotland has helped me connect with myself on a deeper level, and I have decided to make it my permanent home!
I now live in a tiny village on the outskirts of Edinburgh with my husband, the Haggis. He occasionally writes for my blog too.
On weekends you’ll find us exploring ancient castles, hiking in the hills, or down at the pub on the whiskies 😉
Hiking the length of Scotland
In May 2018 I was the first solo female to complete Britain’s toughest hike: The Scottish National Trail.
It took me 7 weeks to complete, beginning in Kirk Yetholm by the English/Scottish border and finishing at Cape Wrath, the most north-western point of Scotland.
I can only describe this as the adventure of a lifetime. It’s the most challenging thing I have ever done, and I started this adventure by being completely unprepared (as per usual) about what was ahead of me.
Luckily, I learnt a LOT along the way, and I saw some of the world’s most beautiful landscapes in the Scottish lowlands and highlands.
I am in the process of writing a book about my adventure which includes getting lost in the highlands, snakes, cute Scottish guys, getting caught in a storm and a heatwave (Scottish weather likes to be consistent!) and discovering the secret to inner strength.
I have also written a comprehensive guide on hiking the Scottish National Trail in case you would like to try it yourself!
2021 is going to be another interesting year for me.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, I’ll be staying closer to home and travelling around Scotland.
I was lucky to travel the world in 2020 [for essential reasons] so I am more than happy exploring my bonnie home! I have lots of hiking and outdoor adventures planned, as well as checking out some hidden gems in Scotland.
You can read about my past adventures here:
>> Read: My year in travel – 2018
>> Read: My year in travel – 2019
>> Read: My year in travel – 2020
>> Read: 50+ things on my Scotland Bucket List
I’m going to be spending 2021 writing helpful travel guides from my past adventures in Scotland to inspire your future travel plans.
If you’re planning a trip to Scotland, make sure you read and bookmark my Covid-19 Scotland guide which contains all the most recent information on the travel restrictions in Scotland.
Also- check out my Scotland bucket list to see what trips I have planned for the future.
I’ll also be bringing our Red Fox Labrador pup, Angus, on lots of adventures when it’s safe to travel.
I hope you enjoy my blog and find my travel guides useful!
I hang around Facebook quite a lot so come and check out my page. I also post regular Instagram stories about my life in Scotland and I tweet too!
You can also keep up with me by subscribing to my monthly newsletter.
Saturday 4th of March 2023
I went on my first two month travel adventure in 1994 and try to go somewhere new every year. Finally my first trip to Scotland in May on a genealogy adventure. Both sides of my family emigrated to Canada from Scotland in the 1880’s. I live on beautiful Vancouver Island but I think Scotland will still my heart . I am sure it will be the first of many trips. Thank you for your blog. Cheers
Monday 26th of February 2018
Hi Yvette, nice travel blog! I work for Preply which is an online language learning platform. We were interested in a partnership with your website. If you have interest, just email me and we could discuss all the details. Thanks again!
Thursday 18th of January 2018
there's a lot of travel blogs but i stumbled across yours and have to say it really is very good. Not just because i'm also obsessed with travel and living in vans but you write really well and what you have to say is engaging. I'm British and I use London as a base to travel from. I'm intrigued (given the places you've been to) why you'd want to come here and live in a van? Don't get me wrong, i love the UK but if i could live anywhere there are so many more tempting places... Happy to give tips if you do fancy spending some time here van dwelling!
Friday 19th of January 2018
Hi Russ, Thank you so much for you comment! Reading it has made my day. For a long time I've been more than a little obsessed with Scotland, so it has always been my dream to move there. I am planning on hiking the Scottish National Trail this summer, so will do a bit of wild camping in the highlands too! The plan is to get a van when I complete that, and renovate it myself for the following summer to travel around Europe with. Any tips you could provide would be appreciated; vanlife in Canada was a learning curve and I am sure it will be the same in your part of the world.
Monday 21st of August 2017
Hi fellow Kiwi! Just found your blog. I must get my van kitted out for Summer but freedom camping really has a bad rep here now. :-/
Tuesday 8th of August 2017
Way to go ...remnds me of my travels round Europe in a transit van e