Ivan and I have been married for almost 27 years and have lived in KwaZulu Natal, South Africa for all of those years – originally Durban then Mtunzini (North Coast) and most recently, for the last 16 years, in Hilton in the Midlands. We have 2 daughters, both teachers, Caitlin, our eldest is teaching Grade 2 in Pietermaritzburg, and Candice, our youngest, although qualified as a high school teacher, is currently teaching English in Vietnam.
7 years ago Ivan and I took our first South East Asia trip – doing the obligatory Phuket intro to Thailand. We spent most of that trip going around to various temples, islands and places of interest and fell in love with the culture (granted, we certainly saw out fair share of bars as well).
We have since been over every year further exploring more of Thailand as well as Vietnam, including cycling the Mekong Delta and Cambodia.
We had decided that when Ivan turned 60 in February 2016 he would retire and we would pack our backpacks and bicycles and head to South East Asia to travel for a few years – we didn’t put a time frame on the duration of this trip but wanted to just go with the flow. Unfortunately fate had other thing in store for us. In November 2015 on my 50th birthday I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Ivan still gave up work but instead of travelling we spent the year concentrating on my treatments and recovery. All went according to plan and we are now planning our trip the only difference being the dates!
And so we are now here at the point of finalising our imminent departure – provisionally mid May 2017 depending on what my wonderful oncologist tells us on Monday!