Hi everyone! We are absolutely loving life here in Thailand on our honeymoon. It is a truly special country and we are loving every minute. I thought I would share a few of our experiences with you, as we go along and also when we return. I know when planning this trip I enjoyed reading blog posts about certain trips/ experiences and recommendations to get a feel for them before booking, so I hope others will find it helpful.

Our first stop of the trip was the northern city of Chiang Mai which is famous for its culture, elephants and food! We decided we wanted to do a cookery class to learn some traditional Thai recipes and we came across the Thai Farm Cooking School on trip advisor. What stood out to me (other than the abundance of 5 star reviews!) was that the tour took you out of the city to the school’s organic farm where you would pick your own ingredients for the dishes and cook them in a quite and tranquil setting. We went ahead and booked it.

What a fantastic day it was! I would thoroughly recommend this excursion to anyone visiting Chiang Mai. Everything about it from the organisation of the pick ups, the teachers, the food and the equipment was perfection and extremely professional. This is a cooking school which has been running smoothly for years you can tell.

Our day started with an 8.30am pick up from our hostel and a minivan ride with our group of about 8 people to the local market. We were introduced to our teacher ‘Wass’ and she gave us a tour of the market; explaining the different spices, vegetables and rices which we may not have seen before. After this insightful stop-off we drove about 40 mins out of the city to the Thai Farm Cooking School.

The farm itself was really beautiful, set in the lush Thai countryside and very quiet. The had several group cooking stations set up for the different groups but they were far enough away from each other that it felt as though it were a private lesson. Everything we could have possibly needed was there ready for us. Once we arrived we had a tour of the farm where Wass explained the different Thai herbs and spices that they grow and what we would use them for. Then it was down to the cooking!

One of the things I loved so much about the experience was how organised it was and how easy they made it for you. All the ingredients we needed for each dish we pre-portioned for us so that we could just get on with the cooking and the eating! The last thing you want to be doing on holiday is peeling potatoes right??! Wass was so knowledgable and went at the right pace for the group. We were whipping up some delicious Thai food in no time!

The menu changes daily but we had the opportunity to make Tom Yum soup, vegetable spring rolls, stir fry chicken with cashew nuts, papaya salad and red/yellow/green curry (our choice) with either chicken on tofu. All the dishes have the option to cook a vegetarian version. After you’ve made your dishes your group (about 8 people) all sit down together and eat them! They were so delicious!

My favourite dish of the day was the desert we made at the end – Mango Sticky Rice. Doesn’t sound like much of a desert I know but I’m addicted to it out here! The rice is sweetened using coconut milk, sugar and coloured with a natural colour (we used a flower) and it tastes devine!


If you are visiting Chiang Mai and thinking about doing a cooking class I would thoroughly recommend the Thai Farm Cooking School and give it 5 stars. The whole days experience was great from start to finish and it’s really well set up so that it feels authentic and not like a tourist treadmill at all. And at £30pp for an entire day’s schedule plus all that food it’s really good value! At the end you will recieve a little printed recipe book with the instructions for everything that you made which I thought was a really nice touch. One tip – go hungry!! Not a single person on our course could finish everything they made!

You can check out the Thai Farm Cooking School for yourself here.

Until next time,


FOLLOW OUR ADVENTURE ON INSTAGRAM !!

When planning a longer than average trip or perhaps a gap year it’s really important to make sure you take not only the right things with you but also the right amount of things. Trust me – you really, really don’t want to take the kitchen sink with you and you will regret lugging around tons of stuff you won’t need. Equally, you don’t want to under pack either. When I was planning my gap year I was at a loss as to what I’d actually need and how much of everything to take. How can you possibly pack everything you would need for several months in one 70litre backpack? Here’s a few tips for anyone in the same position:

❤️ Think carefully about where you are going. This is number one on the list because it’s the most important. There is no generic formula for what to take because the world is such a diverse place and what you may need could vary a lot. In my experience, places like south east Asia are hot, sticky and very casual – pack your shorts and crop tops and leave your heels and hair straighteners at home. You probably won’t need a jumper but you will need a shawl to cover up when visiting the temples. In Australia, however, you might need an extra layer in Melbourne (it’s not always baking hot). Think about where you’re going, the climate, the culture and pack accordingly.

NB I would never recommend taking hair dryers/ straighteners or any of that sort of thing because they are so heavy and take up a lot of room. Having beachy, natural hair is all part of it right?!

❤️ Also – think about what you’ll be doing. New Zealand – high chance you’ll be trekking through those mountains (walking shoes recommended). Singapore – gents, if you want to hit the clubs you’ll need some closed in shoes and a shirt, those baggy vests won’t cut it! In Mauritius you may need a bikini, in Antarctica you may not. You get the idea. There are some things that just require certain equipment or clothing so it’s worth pre-planning a little bit so you make sure you have what you need.

❤️ Get everything out, lay it on the bed, then halve it. TRUST ME you will thank me later. You will only need half of what you anticipate; probably less. Something I always over pack is shoes; taking several pairs of cute sandals for different outfits. When I get there I only ever wear my trusty pair of flipflops, so this year that’s all I’m taking! I know it’s tempting to take all your beachwear but realistically you just don’t need it and you’ll regret it when all your worldly belongings are on your back.

❤️ Pack clothes last. Because you will underestimate how much space other, more essential things, will take up first. Shampoo, for example, is bulky. Same with sunscreen, hiking boots, camera equipment etc. Clothes can be squashed in at the top and can be rolled or folded to fit any gaps.

❤️ Don’t take anything that requires ironing. Just don’t.

❤️ Keep the valuables to a mimimum but, if you can’t live without something then take it. If your life is going to be miserable without your iPhone/ tablet / beats headphones etc then take them; just be careful with them. Don’t force yourself to leave all technology or material possessions behind if that’s just not you. I’m just saying maybe its sensible to leave your Rolex at home in this occasion.

❤️ Remember – they will have stuff there! Unless you are going to the wilderness or perhaps space then you will be able to pick up essentials like toiletries and clothing in the places you’re going. If yo are going away for 6 months please don’t take 6 months worth of your favourite shampoo from the UK. In some places the local shops may even sell items cheaper than what the would cost at home, so do your research. Heads up – this is not the case for Australia, they’re branded goods are super expensive.

I hope these tips will be helpful to anyone packing for a long trip. I will be heeding my own advice next week when Paul and I pack everything for a 3 week holiday in one 60 litre pack between us!

Let me know what you think!

Love,

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