A new look and a new start

64 comments

I drifted away from blogging for a while. I didn’t mean to, it just happened. Time slipped through my fingers like water, and I was a stone skipped happily across its surface, watching weeks pass me by with every leap forward. One month, two months, three, then four, and suddenly June became October.

But these four months have not been spent idle. Since my last post we continued our motorbike tour of Cambodia, spending a total of two months exploring her indomitable beauty amidst the monsoon rains. We then had a brief fling with Vietnam, spending just one week in Ho Chi Minh City, eating amazing street food and watching Wimbledon in our hotel room.

From Vietnam we flew to Bali, and spent the next two months sailing around the islands of Indonesia; Gili Trawangan, Lombok, Komodo, Rinca, Flores, and a string of breathtaking atolls in between. We slept beneath the stars, summited a volcano, and came face to-to-face with deadly reptiles. From Indonesia we took another flight to Singapore for a brief stay with Lee’s brother and his girlfriend, before taking the bus across to Kuala Lumpur to end our first year on the road in style at the stunning Park Royal serviced suites.

volcano

Lee and I at the summit of Mount Kelimutu, Flores

We then circled back home to visit family and friends, just in time to celebrate my grandmother’s 86th birthday, and surprise my older sister on hers. Lee spent a week enjoying his beloved Haggis back home in Scotland, and I have been safely ensconced in my mum’s house here on the south coast of England. Our laundry had its first decent wash in a year, and so did we.

welcome

Our welcome committee at Heathrow airport

nanny

My beautiful grandmother on her 86th birthday

On top of all this, somewhere along the way Lee and I also managed to create a successful design business that we hope will enable us to sustain our new life on the road. It started unassumingly when we built a website for a dear friend of mine whilst living in Koh Tao, Thailand back in April. From this began to flow a tiny trickle of new enquiries, then in a matter of just a few short months, these trickles became a steady stream of diverse and inspiring clients, who have led us to designing ten websites, two book covers, and a multitude of other projects in just six months. Though we never set out to build a business on the road, fate played its hand, and has guided us towards a new path that fills us both with excitement and gratitude for what lies ahead.

Then there was the project that you are looking at right now, our website redesign. We started working on this back in Vietnam, but our hectic work and travel schedule prevented us from finishing until we came back home and set up office in my mum’s living room. It has been a real labour of love, and incorporates both my writing and our design portfolio, plus a host of other aspects that bring together all the things I am passionate about, and really reflects my personal taste. Those of you who have been following our journey for the past year may notice that I even managed to squeeze a photo of my three beloved little Indian kittens in the rotating homepage gallery. You have no idea how happy this makes me!

A major new feature is our online shop, which we hope to develop further over the next few months. It will offer a wide range of graphics and templates aimed at bloggers and small business owners, as well as artwork and stationery. There is also a section for free downloads, where I will be offering weekly wallpapers for your desktop, and other helpful templates and printables.

Some fun features include my monthly mixtapes, inspired by the places we visit and the music we listen to along the way, plus a new books page where I will be highlighting my favourite literary offerings. I’m aiming to read two books a month, and you can keep up to date on my current choice by checking out my sidebar.

But most importantly to me, it just looks nice. It’s a place where I can come and write and create and feel good about what I am putting out there. The original site was the first blog Lee and I ever made, and it showed. My love of clean lines and white space is still there, but now we’ve been able to bring in lots of little details that I just adore, focusing on inspiring imagery, colour, and creating a sense of calm and peace onscreen. Lee has been the picture of patience and tolerance, dealing with my daily design changes and frequent stress-outs, and bringing my ideas to life. I seriously could not do this without him.

And I also couldn’t do it without you either. If you didn’t come here to read my ramblings there wouldn’t have been a blog to redesign, so thank you from the very bottom of my heart for continuing to show up, even when I don’t. It never ceases to amaze and thrill me.

Tomorrow we say goodbye to our family and friends, and leave England once again for our next big adventure. I can’t wait to share it with you all, and I hope you will come back next week to find out more about it. It’s a huge change for us, and we can’t wait for it to start.

It feels wonderful to be further bound once again.

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{ 64 comments… read them below or add one }

Amanda October 24, 2013 at 22:39

Yay you’re back – I’ve missed your blog posts. Love the new design xxx

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Hannah October 27, 2013 at 15:21

Thank you my dear, so glad you like it x

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Patti October 24, 2013 at 23:03

Love the new look – very clean lines with just the right shades of color. I found myself “just checking” your blog from time to time over the past months to make sure I hadn’t missed anything. Good to know you’ve been busy living life to the fullest. Looking forward to following once again – and stay tuned as Abi and I will be hitting the road again in just about 6 weeks. Welcome back!
Patti recently posted..Walk With Nature ~

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Hannah October 27, 2013 at 15:22

Thanks Patti, it feels good to be back, and I feel so blessed to have such loyal readers. And I’m so excited to follow your next adventure!

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Helen October 24, 2013 at 23:21

We’re still here Hannah xxx
Helen recently posted..Photo Essay: African Elephants

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Hannah October 27, 2013 at 15:23

Thank you so much!

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Rhonda October 24, 2013 at 23:29

Love the new site Hannah. Congratulations on such a lovely design! I’ve been missing your posts so am thrilled to hear what you’ve been up to.
Rhonda recently posted..Happening Halong Bay

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Hannah October 27, 2013 at 15:23

Thank you so much for your continued support Rhonda, it really means the world x

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Rika | Cubicle Throwdown October 25, 2013 at 01:17

Nice to see you back Hannah!! What an end to an amazing year. I’m looking forward to hearing what you guys are getting up to next.
Rika | Cubicle Throwdown recently posted..Things your scuba diving instructor will never tell you….

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Hannah October 27, 2013 at 15:24

Thanks Rika, I can’t wait to share it with you all. It feels so good to be back on the road again!

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Carmel October 25, 2013 at 01:29

You’re back! Yay!!! It all looks lovely and as a grateful and happy customer, I am glad you and Lee have found something that makes you happy and sustains your travels. Can’t wait to read more of your next adventures!
Carmel recently posted..WELCOMING CHANGE

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Hannah October 27, 2013 at 15:26

Thanks honey, it has been such an unexpected blessing. It’s funny how, once you start following your dreams, a whole new world begins to open up to you xxx

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Sophia-Rose October 25, 2013 at 02:34

It all looks amazing chick! Bloody brilliant. I’ve missed your ramblings! ;) Feeling very greedy for more, more, MORE!!! Big love to you and Lee from Ho Chi Minh from us both xxx

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Hannah October 27, 2013 at 15:27

The written ramblings, or the real ones?! Miss you too, big hugs from both of us xxx

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Jade October 25, 2013 at 02:35

Time speeding by is a very familiar feeling…!
Excited for you to be back! Everyone needs a break once in a while, no point forcing blogging when you aren’t feeling it. The site looks great.

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Hannah October 27, 2013 at 15:31

Thank you Jade, I’m excited to be back too! It’s so nice to be blogging again :)

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Dalene October 25, 2013 at 03:25

Love that photo of you and Lee.

Looking forward to having you back! Especially as you blog from that place that I’m going to come and steal from you somehow :)
Dalene recently posted..A Love Story

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Hannah October 27, 2013 at 15:42

Haha! You’ll definitely have a fight on your hands with that one!

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Agness October 25, 2013 at 04:05

Great to see you back here and we really like your design. We also love the design you made for Audrey of ThatBackpacker! Hope you will catch up with blogging soon! We look forward to reading new posts!
Agness recently posted..How To Combine A Full-Time Job With Long-Term Travel

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Hannah October 27, 2013 at 15:47

Thanks Agness, so glad you like the new design, and Audrey’s one too – her site was definitely one of my favourite projects to work on.

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Colleen Brynn October 25, 2013 at 04:13

Awesome. Well done.
Your grandmother is a real beauty.
Colleen Brynn recently posted..Oh, Mr. Sandman…

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Hannah October 27, 2013 at 15:48

Thank you Colleen, isn’t she a stunner?! I just adore her.

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Nicole | The Wondernuts October 28, 2013 at 22:42

I was about to say the same thing! She’s very beautiful. =)

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Hannah October 29, 2013 at 10:26

Thank you, she’ll blush from ear to ear when I tell her!

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TammyOnTheMove October 25, 2013 at 05:53

Yay, you are back. I missed you!!! The new site looks great!
TammyOnTheMove recently posted..My Cambodia homestay experience

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Hannah October 27, 2013 at 15:49

Thanks honey! I’m really happy with it, it feels so much more me :)

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Clare October 25, 2013 at 07:07

The site looks beautiful Hannah, really clean and I love the little details of colour and the fonts. Can’t wait to hear about your new adventure! :)
Clare recently posted..Overland in Malaysia – Jungle Trains and Giant Spiders

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Hannah October 27, 2013 at 15:50

Thanks Clare, that’s praise indeed coming from you x

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Elisa Choi October 25, 2013 at 07:44

Congratulations on a wonderful new site Hannah! Fresh and inviting to read. So happy for your 1 year of adventures and I can’t wait to read your next one. Take care! :)

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Hannah October 27, 2013 at 15:52

Thank you Elisa, I’m really happy with the way it turned out, and am so thrilled to still have you following our journey!

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J from Travel on Inspiration October 25, 2013 at 09:04

Hey, welcome back. The new site looks great. You’re obviously a very talented designer.
J from Travel on Inspiration recently posted..The Top 5 Useful Caravanning Gadgets – For Less Than £100

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Hannah October 27, 2013 at 15:50

Thank you J, I really appreciate your kind words.

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Anna B October 25, 2013 at 10:57

Good work Hannah :) I love the photo of you and Lee :) Hope to catch up soon xxx
Anna B recently posted..Growing a special bean in time for Christmas

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Hannah October 27, 2013 at 15:51

Thanks honey, hope you and the bump are doing well xxx

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Marisol October 25, 2013 at 13:01

Hi Hannah, welcome back! I missed your soulful posts. I so love your new look as well as the others sites you designed. Looking forward to next post, which I hope will come soon:)
Marisol recently posted..Thimphu, Bhutan (Part 1): The Festival, the Big Buddha and the City

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Hannah October 27, 2013 at 15:53

Thank you Marisol, I promise there will be an update very soon – I’m so excited to share our new plans with you all!

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Kira October 25, 2013 at 16:46

Hannah the new site looks amazing!! You are a super talented lady, and great at what you do. We are so glad to have connected with you, and to consider you at this point a friend :). Here’s to new travels. Can’t wait to follow along with you.

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Hannah October 27, 2013 at 15:54

Thank you Kira, and likewise. I love it when clients become friends :)

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Shannon O'Donnell October 25, 2013 at 17:13

It’s beautiful Hannah! A lovely place to call your online home and a great showcase of the gorgeous design work you do. So happy to hear your design business is flourishing and I look forward to following the next part in your journey! :)
Shannon O’Donnell recently posted..A Little Escape … Staying Present in the Power of Story

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Hannah October 27, 2013 at 15:55

Thank you Shannon, I’m so glad you like it!

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Marissa | Tiny Pilgrim October 25, 2013 at 18:22

Hannah! The site looks great – I love the designing that you do.

Looking forward to reading about your next adventure

Cheers!
Marissa | Tiny Pilgrim recently posted..Good Reads

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Hannah October 27, 2013 at 15:55

Thank you so much Marissa :)

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Lindsey October 26, 2013 at 07:58

Hannah! I’m so glad you’re back! I’ve missed your candid way of looking at life. I love the new design too :)
Lindsey recently posted..Why I Felt Uncomfortable in Bali

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Hannah October 27, 2013 at 15:56

Thanks Lindsey, it’s so good to be back and to hear from you all again!

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Christina Rosalie October 26, 2013 at 14:18

The new look is gorgeous and fits your beautiful soul and work…. and your travels continue to utterly inspire me Hannah!
Christina Rosalie recently posted..You are not in control

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Hannah October 27, 2013 at 11:23

Thank you so much Christina, that means so much, especially seeing as I find YOU so inspiring. And I am absolutely LOVING your book, as I knew I would xxx

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jessica wray October 27, 2013 at 09:55

Sounds like such amazing travels you have had recently! Glad you are back blogging and I can’t wait to read about what’s up next!
jessica wray recently posted..Teaching English in Spain with BEDA : My School & Schedule

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Hannah October 27, 2013 at 15:56

Thank you Jessica, it’s been a great year, and I’m so excited for what lies ahead.

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Claire October 27, 2013 at 23:36

I’m so happy you’re posting again! And the website is beautiful. I love the “what I’m reading” section, and I’m going to have to check that book out myself!
Claire recently posted..Views from Savannah

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Hannah October 28, 2013 at 16:09

Thank you Claire, I’m so glad you like it! And you should definitely check out Christina Rosalie’s book, it is simply beautiful :)

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Victoria October 29, 2013 at 21:36

Beautiful. Love it!
And I’m back in the UK now, with your belt in tow.
Must arrange a time and place to meet up.
Can’t wait to see you! x
Victoria recently posted..On plans and patience…

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Hannah October 30, 2013 at 09:03

Thank you my dear, and thank you so much for bringing my belt back with you! I’ll send you an email to arrange meeting up, I can’t wait to see you again!!! Lots of love to you and Steve xxx

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Hogga October 29, 2013 at 23:26

very nice

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Hannah October 30, 2013 at 09:04

Thank you Lindsay!

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Sarah Somewhere October 30, 2013 at 05:28

Welcome back! Congratulations on your new site (it’s beautiful!) and your business success. All the best for your upcoming adventure!!!
Sarah Somewhere recently posted..Four Years

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Hannah October 30, 2013 at 09:13

Thank you Sarah! It’s so nice to be back, and to have so many new adventures on the horizon :)

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Ashlie October 31, 2013 at 00:14

Simple, clean, fresh – looks great! I’ve been wanting to add a ‘reading section’ but widgets don’t seem to do the trick. Also love the recent pins :) Looking forward to hearing about this next stop!
Ashlie recently posted..A Conversation With Kim About Confronting Hard Truths & Giving Up Bullshit Excuses

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Hannah October 31, 2013 at 08:15

Thanks Ash! Widgets can be tricky – my site is completely custom coded, and I would definitely recommend going this route if you want to add something similar to your site to enable you to create the exact look you want. If you need any help just give me a shout :)

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Alex November 1, 2013 at 21:37

Yay! So happy to see you are back on the blogging bandwagon. I’ve missed you! Love the new look, my talented friend.
Alex recently posted..Love Out Loud

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Hannah November 1, 2013 at 22:02

Thank you my dear!

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Molly Yonderblog November 6, 2013 at 17:14

Lovely new design Hannah! I also can’t wait to hear more of your adventures! Bon chance in France!

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Hannah November 6, 2013 at 18:45

Thank you Molly!

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Alli November 7, 2013 at 13:44

Hi! I just discovered your blog, so I think I found it at the perfect time: just when you returned to blogging :)
Alli recently posted..Kimchi day!

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Hannah November 7, 2013 at 14:52

Thanks Alli, it’s lovely to have you following our journey.

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