Woohoo!!! Hand Luggage Only is 2 years old. Okay, fine – it was 2 years old like almost a month ago but we’ve been o the road for the past few week and that, coupled with my love of procrastination, is why I’ve not gotten round to writing this post until now. 🙂

Lloyd and Yaya in The Blue Lagoon, Iceland

Now I know everyone says this but honestly, if you’d told us we’d be where we are when we started, I don’t think we’d have believed it. Hand Luggage Only has grown so much, we’ve made so amazing friends along the way and had some pretty fantastic experiences. This has been a space to connect with other travellers around the world and a space to share our experiences – both of which we enjoy very much and feel so lucky to be able to!

10 Important Things To Remember Today! (1)

The blog started thanks to us having travelled for several years and amassing a lot of photographs (I’m a serial photograph hoarder – I even have the first photos I took on my first camera phone, the Nokia 3200). Starting a blog seemed like a great way to store and share these photos instead of using good old Facebook and boy am I glad we did, have you seen how ‘disco’ those Facebook photos from like 5 years ago look now? 🙂 To be fair, the idea of travel blogging isn’t much different from say several decades ago when people travelled, got back home and developed their photos to share with friends and family over food and drinks. The internet has just changed the way it’s done but its still essentially the same thing. 🙂

Random Experiences I Had On Our Trip Across America (1)

Flash-forward to today where each month, over 450,000 fellow travellers come on to our little old blog to read about our experiences and share theirs too.

And there’s of course, the over 527,000 like-minded travellers who’ve chosen to connect with us across all social platforms – I have you guys to thank for my new(-ish) phone addiction and my impromptu fits of giggles when I come across the hilarious messages and comments from you, as we travel. This connection with you still blows our minds and once again, we just want to say a HUGE THANK YOU TO YOU! YOU’RE THE BEST!!! Seriously, your comments, messages, emails and feedback makes us feel very special and while trying not to sound too soppy,we just wanted to let you know how much we appreciate you!!! 🙂

Mount Batur, Kintamani, Bali, Indonesia, Travel (1)

Reef Explorers In The Maldives (6)


Okay, right! I’ve digressed off the title of this post so I better get back on track. Without thinking too hard about it (I’m literally thinking as I am writing this), here are some important lessons we’ve learnt in the last two years of blogging.

1.) There’s no one kind of travelling. You can choose to be a solo traveller, a group traveller, an adventure traveller, a sunshine and beaches traveller… an anything traveller. All forms of travel are absolutely valid – as long as you have fun doing it!

2.) There’s no point trying to create a pre-conceived notion of a destination before you visit. Keeping an open mind about it is the best way to enjoy it. For instance, if you visit Cape Town expecting it to be the same as Marrakesh (or vice versa), you’d leave yourself disappointed – just experience the place for what it is.

3.) Travel is not about money. Granted, it does take money to travel so travel feel synonymous with money but in truth, you can have as much fun in a destination regardless of the budget you have. In simpler terms, you don’t have to travel first class/in luxury or far distances to feel like you’re really travelling.

4.) There’s no point waiting for perfection before you do something. That wait for perfection can be one of the main reasons why you never get certain things started. I say start whatever it is you want to do and learn on the go. A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step after all… 😉

5.) Some days, all you wanna do is stay at home, spend time with family, drink wine with friends and binge-watch Netflix and that’s perfectly fine! Part of the fun of travelling is coming back home.

Lloyd and Yaya at Jökulsárlón - The Glacier Lagoon in Iceland

6.) While we mostly travel with hand luggage only, we don’t exclusively travel with hand luggage only. Some travel needs that checked-in luggage!

7.) To get better at anything, you need to invest some time into learning how to improve yourself. You’ll never learn how to take better photo, speak a language better or even dance better if you don’t spend time trying to improve yourself.

8.) Be yourself more! Sounds like basic advice (and to be fair, it is) but we all have people we look up to and the more you try to look or sound like them, the more you lose what makes you special. There’s nothing more refreshing that reading or listening to someone with a unique perspective that reflects who they truly are. There’s also the confidence that comes from you just being yourself and not trying to imitate anyone else that’s just so obvious and apparent.

9.) There’s no substitute for a good night’s sleep (sorry coffee). Seriously, waking up well rested has the power of changing your whole outlook on things and as obvious as it sounds, it took several years for me to realise this.

10.) You are amazing! This one is a bit more of a personal message from us but you have strengthened, empowered and supported us in more ways that you realise and I’m so very grateful for this. You’ve given us the power to chase our dreams (we’ll try to do the same for you) and the whole Hand Luggage Only community would be nothing without you.

Maya Bay, Phi Phi Island, Thailand on Hand Luggage Only Blog (1)

Okay, I’m starting to get soppy again so I’m signing off here! Thank you so much and have a lovely day! 😉 🙂

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