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Two Scots abroad cool heels on the Coast

Gemma and Craig
Scots Gemma Orrock and Craig Armit at Machu Picchu in the Peruvian Andes.

Have you heard a couple of new Scottish accents about town? That’s probably us, Gemma and Craig, travel bloggers from Scotland. We’ve just spent the last four months in six different countries and are now enjoying being stationary in Roberts Creek.

Craig and I are on temporary leave from our lives back home in Scotland. We’ve downed tools as teacher and tradesmen, sold everything we own and hit the road for 18 months to travel around the Americas (and Europe). We kicked off our trip in Austin at South by Southwest (SXSW) music festival. SXSW is one of the main reasons we are travelling; we both love music and when we met three years ago, we agreed that we had to tick that festival off before we died.

Peru was another priority. Craig had watched many documentaries on Machu Picchu and had to see it with his own eyes. Strangely enough, the anticipated trek to the Seventh Wonder of the World wasn’t our favourite trek. An unplanned two-night hike up and down the Colca Canyon topped it. That’s the beauty of travel. Peru was a country of firsts – we sand skied in a lagoon in Huacachina, went to school to learn Spanish in Cusco and slept in a city with three volcanoes watching over us
in Arequipa.

Surprisingly Peru wasn’t our favourite country; Colombia was. I know what you are thinking: is Colombia safe? The Western media would have us believe it isn’t, hence why we never had it on our itinerary. However, many travellers we met on the road recommended we make the trip. From street art in Bogota to quiet beaches and sleepy coffee farm towns, Colombia has something for everyone. The war on drugs is still raw but this is part of Colombia’s charm. Locals in Medellin shouted ‘thank you for coming’ at us. Travellers visiting Colombia shows well-needed progress for the country.

Before Colombia we spent three weeks in Bolivia. Craig’s highlight was cycling the World’s Most Dangerous Road in La Paz (I found it terrifying), whereas for me Salar de Uyuni aka the Salt Flats, provided a day of giggles and the most stunning photos I’ve ever snapped (or modelled in).

Life on the road is not always relaxing. Our last stop before Canada was Cuba and we found our time there hard work. We planned to spend three weeks travelling around the country but this was cut short because Cuba is expensive and at times the lack of travel information made us feel like hostages. We did have some fun, drinking cocktails in Havana, cycling through the tobacco plantations of Viñales and scuba diving in the Bay of Pigs!

Why Canada? Craig lived in Vancouver for a year in his early twenties and always speaks about it with such positivity; I just had to see it. Although Vancouver is an outstanding city with its beaches and mountains, I am grateful to have spent the summer in the Sunshine Coast. We’ve taken a road trip to Skookumchuck Narrows, a boat tour around Pender Harbour, paddle boarded for the first time at Sechelt Inlet and climbed Soames Hill. I can see why you guys call BC, Super, Natural!

What is next for us Two Scots? We will be with you in Canada until January, then down to the States and Central America in the New Year before home via the European leg of our career break. You can keep up to date with our travels and find out how we can afford to do so at -– hop aboard, it’s some ride, and don’t forget to Like us on Facebook!