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Personal Travel Stories

In this section, we will be sharing our personal travel stories with you. It consist of short stories on from our travels, which we hope will both entertain and inspire our readers.

We have travelled fair bit in our lives and we will be travelling more in the future. Our passion for travels started early on, with our childhood reading. Asa is a big fan of Tintin and consider him to have influenced her interest in travelling as well as the choice of husband!

The Early Years
Personal Travel Stories

Travelling was not as easy and common when we were growing up as it is now. Most of our travels during our childhood were domestic. We have ever since travelled widely around our country of origin, Iceland, including the amazing West Fjords in Iceland.

We were though both fortunate to enjoy some vacations abroad with our families. In those days, family vacations usually meant beach package holiday. European families flocked to Spain and Portugal for the sun and sea and so did our families several times.

Tourists travelling in remote region of Iceland

Travelling the world is great privilege

When we started University, our travelling started in earnest. Birgir was very active in AIESEC, the world's largest student-run organization, where his duties for them took him travelling all over the world.

Asa managed few trips with her friends during these early years, including life changing Eurail trip around Europe in her late teens. This was her first “proper” trip abroad, i.e. which included planning your trip and “travelling on your own” to number of countries.

We met in University and soon started travelling together. Our first trip together was on the adventure side, three weeks travelling in Egypt. There was no way back, and since then, we have travelled to all continents (except Antarctica) and experienced all kinds of adventures together.

Do you have your own short travel story to share? Why not share it with us. Details on how to at the bottom of this page.

We finished University and the next years we were busy working and building our carriers. We however used our holidays wisely and spent them travelling.

We travelled all over Europe, both on shorter and longer trips. We rented car and drove around Italy for few weeks, spent good time exploring France and Germany, travelled around Greece and enjoyed number of short breaks in wonderful cities like Paris, Prague, Amsterdam, Berlin, Bucharest and Copenhagen... to name just few.

Asa Gislason at Machu Picchu in Peru

Machu Picchu is rightly one
of the new 7 wonders of the world

Every few years we went on extended travels, i.e. for few weeks further afield.

Our first “big trip” was six weeks spent travelling in India, Nepal and Sri Lanka... all amazing travel destinations.

Later we did similar trip to China and then Peru, Bolivia, and Ecuador.

Visiting Machu Picchu and Galapagos that was undisputed highlight of that trip, but we also enjoyed visiting the jungle in Peru and the amazing Lake Titicaca.

During those years, we both also travelled extensively on business. Our business trips took us all over Europe and to the US and Asia. We also moved abroad for our work, to Germany and UK where we currently live.

Round The World Travel Tips And Stories

In 2006 we went on a “gap year for grown ups”. For whole amazing year we travelled around the world, visiting 19 countries on the way. This was truly a trip of a lifetime and a life changing experience. Not to mention, great fountain of personal travel stories.

We started our round the world tour in Africa. There is a saying about Africa, that you either love it or hate it. We loved it. We loved everything about Africa, the people, the landscape, the wildlife, the weather.

After spending one week in Zanzibar, getting the work stress out of the system, we headed to Tanzania, where we spent three amazing weeks working as volunteers in a small orphanage. No words can describe what a wonderful and life enhancing experience that was.

We then travelled south, through Malawi and Zambia to Namibia. We went on our first proper African wildlife safari and had amazing time. We also visited the magnificent Victoria Falls while in Zambia.

Moai statues on Easter Island

Easter Island is one of the most
remote inhabited places in the world

In Namibia, as part of our Namibian self drive tour, we rented a 4x4 SUV with a tent on the roof and drove around the country for just over three weeks. This is to date our favorite mode of transport.

We visited the Etosa National Park, searched for Desert Elephants In Puros, spent wonderful days exploring the magnificent sand dunes, went on number of short hikes and just had the most amazing time exploring this beautiful fascinating country.

Our adventures in Namibia were however far from over. We spent the next two weeks as volunteers on a Lion farm in the southeastern part of the country, which was amazing, unique and bit surreal experience.

From there we went to South Africa where Asa's mother joined us for few weeks. We explored Cape Town, drove the Garden route, visited Swaziland, went on a safari and enjoyed spending quality time together.

From Africa, we went to Southeast Asia. We started with few days in Hong Kong, which was a bit of a shock after relatively laid-back time in Africa.

We though acclimatized remarkable quickly and headed to Thailand were the highlight has to be going to the elephant round up in Surin.

Sunset at Angkor Wat Cambodia

Angkor Wat in Cambodia
is a magical place

We travelled by road over to beautiful Cambodia, where we visited the breathtaking temple complex at Angkor, among other things.

From Cambodia, we headed to Laos, where we had wonderful time, exploring this beautiful, somewhat laid-back country. The highlight though has to be doing The Loop on a small motorbike, truly unforgettable adventure that was.

Vietnam was the last country we visited on this leg of the journey and where we spent our first Christmas away from home. Birgir loves fireworks so there was only one place where we could celebrate the New Year...

The next stop was therefore Sidney, Australia. We celebrated the New Year Australian way, and then travelled for six weeks in Australia, managed to see a lot but not nearly enough.

We especially enjoyed snorkeling in the Barrier Reef and the Outback experience. The remoteness of the Outback has to be experienced to be fully appreciated.

We wanted to visit some Pacific Islands but it was a headache to choose which one, they all seemed amazing. In the end, we decided to visit Vanuatu, which was a great choice. We spent two unforgettable weeks travelling between few of the Vanuatu islands.

Traditional tribe costumes in Vanuatu

Visiting Vanuatu was one of
the highlights of our round the world trip

Highlights include staying overnight with local family in Malekula, travelling with 19 adults, 2 children, live chickens, and lots of luggage at the back of a small pick-up vehicle, peaking down an active volcano and spending night on our own in a tent on a deserted beach.

Oops, we are forgetting the wonderful day spent canyoning down a beautiful canyon in Espiritu Santo.

Beautiful New Zealand was next, though after Vanuatu the adventures seemed almost mundane... but only almost. We had a wonderful time exploring this beautiful country.

The last leg of our RTW trip we spent travelling in South America. We started in Chile, which we enjoyed enormously exploring. Highlights included spending Easters on Easter Island and exploring the amazing Atacama Desert.

We sailed “under” the tip of South America to Argentina where we visited Patagonia, which has to be among the most beautiful places in the world. We only did the Argentina side; we really hope to do the Chilean side some time soon. We also spent time in Buenos Aires and visited the Iguazu Falls, before moving over to Brazil.

We found Rio de Janeiro as enchanting as we expected, if not more. We enjoyed visiting Salvador, and had wonderful time in the Pantanal. The highlight though has to be spending a week in the Amazon Jungle, sleeping in hammocks, and travelling by small riverboat.

Asa Gislason with cheetah in Namibia

Luckily we have had no (serious)
problems on our travels

We have never ever been as sweaty, smelly and bitten by insects; everything stank at the end of the week. It was though so much worth it.

The last two weeks we spent travelling around Cuba and then our adventures was all of a sudden over. Whole year had flown by... almost literally speaking. We felt our “gap year for grown ups” was a success and would not mind repeating it any time.

We had amazing time during our round the world tour and happy to say no bad travel stories to tell.

We had no mishaps on the way... if we exclude Asa being bitten by a lion in Namibia... and baboon... and meerkat... plus breaking her arm playing football... we had no problems whatsoever.

Future Personal Travel Stories

Since we came back from our round the world tour, we have been busy with other things. We have though managed to sneak in few trips, mainly within Europe.

The travel bug is still very much alive and kicking and we hope to be on the road again sooner rather than later. We sincerely hope to extend our travel stories in the future but in the meantime, we enjoy sharing our personal travel stories and travel experience with our readers.

If you have any questions about our personal travel stories, or the destinations we have been to, just contact us via Facebook, Google+, or alternatively, use our Contact Form, and we will do our best to answer your questions.

Are you planning your own trip? Check out our Plan Your Perfect Trip section for tips and advice.