We are Ann and Peter Ellis of Bolton, Lancashire. Having worked for 37 and 42 years respectively in the insurance industry, we decided it was time for a change.
In 2012 we had the first “exotic” holiday of our lives when we visited Bangkok and some of the Southern Thai Islands. We booked every part of our holiday independently and everything worked like clockwork. On our return journey to Manchester we bought a Lonely Planet book covering the wider region and by the time we had reached home we had read enough to convince us we wanted to explore the region further. We visited Vietnam the following year, loved it and decided we wanted to see more of Asia.
We had wanted to visit New Zealand for years following lyrical waxings by family and friends. It would be silly to visit New Zealand and not Australia in the same trip and so we decided to go for it and plan a trip to cover NZ, OZ and Asia.
We saw no point in rushing such a trip and so it would have to wait until we retired from work. But we wanted to do the trip whilst we were reasonably fit and able and so we decided to bring retirement forward by a year or two and retire at the end of 2014. We also decided to rent out our house to help fund the trip and in the last weeks of 2014 and early January 2015 we made busy getting the house ready to let. The final weeks were pretty hectic but somehow we managed to get everything in place just in time for our flight on 20th January.