Our last stop — China. When looking around for what was the cheapest most direct flight home, Shanghai was our pick. It works out too that they now offer transit visas for up to 144 hours so we were able to stay in the city for a few days to explore.

This was perfect for Maeghan — after she visited in 2009, they announced the launch of a new Disney World and she had a goal to visit them all. …

After WWII, Korea was divided in two: the Russian occupied North Korea created a communist government, and the USA-occupied South Korea moved to a new democratic government. As the country started to develop, tensions began to rise and the Korean war began that further separated this single country into two very different and opposing sides.

Years later, with the help of the United Nations Command, Korea tried to unite the two governments and bring peace. …

Maeghan missed an opportunity to visit Korea while working at Intel but she had heard from partners at Samsung how special this place is. We decided last minute to take a chance and head to Seoul for 10 days and we are both so grateful we did… move over Tokyo, Seoul may have dethroned you as our new favorite capital.

There are lots of interesting things we learned here.

  1. In just the last 60 years, the country went from mostly farmers and being one of the poorest countries in the world, to today one of the top 15 economic and prospering developed countries. …

Maeghan came to Disneyland HK 10 years ago during her study exchange. It was a highlight back then, but this time around considered skipping Disney for this visit.

But during our little detour, we are rarely able to spend time apart. Logistics are complicated, the location isn’t the safest for solo women or we have a set schedule. But on our last day in Hong Kong... Maeghan decided it was going to be a ME! day and Disney was on the agenda.

The park is much different from what she remembers but overall, totally worth it.

The not-so-often expressed struggles of long-term travel are hard to write about. We don’t want to sound ungrateful or obnoxious... but everyone has hard days.

Maeghan was last in Hong Kong 10 years ago for school when she did a study abroad at Lingnan University. This was Olivier’s first time in China and after coming from a small island without any roads straight to the big city, it was a bit of an adjustment.

Hong Kong is a huge city filled with sky-scrapping apartments across a small island (Hong Kong proper), to Kowloon (the other side of the harbour) and the New Territories that boarders mainland China. We did our usual activities, a city walking tour, scouted for some hidden craft beer gems and hit up some of the tourist attractions but one thing we quickly realized was that Hong Kong is not really a city you can stop and take a break in… for real.. there are no chairs or areas to sit. The parks often have fences that block you from sitting in the grass and on the streets or even in the shopping malls — there are no where to stop and rest your legs. …

We felt torn with where to go after Moalboal. Palawan Island is a famous hotspot for diving, but we’ve read that it’s gotten crazy busy over the last few years, so it’s not so peaceful anymore. We also considered heading to a few other islands (as there are so many to choose from!) but after a very last minute decision, we did a 9 hour transit day to Malapascua in hopes of some good diving and more chill setting.

Between Easter and the Asian Labour day holiday, there has been a crazy influx of tourism in the Philippines, so we had our fingers crossed that Malapascua would be an exception as the only reason people go to this island is to go diving. …

After diving around Apo Island and hanging out in Dauin, we headed off to Moalboal — famous for its sardines, waterfalls and proximity to Cebu City.

The town was hectic, more so than Bohol.. lots of tourism and not much space to get around. Most of the dive shops were completely full —and one guy told us it was a big holiday, Labour Day… so we would have a hard time finding a shop or accommodations that could take us.

To be honest, we felt pretty lost. Lost on where to go next in the Philippines, and what we should do while we were here. There are so many islands to explore but transit here is not the most reliable or convenient. …

We decided to take a break out from scuba diving for a few days and try a scooter trip around the island of Siquijor. The day was hot and muggy, so the wind blowing in your face was actually the best solution.

We chased some waterfalls, stopped by some local hot spots and ended up at their most famous beach for a swim.

The next day we booked a snorkel trip to Apo Island to see some turtles.. and they were GIANT. The size of a dining table. Initially, we didn’t think it was worth scuba diving… but after the day there it was clear that we were wrong. The water everywhere has been so clear, and filled with life — Apo was no exception and a bit more tucked away that some of the other islands. However, day-trippers are everywhere, and some of them show a clear lack of empathy for nature… we saw some people grab the turtles by their arms and legs, or stand on top of the most healthy looking coral and jump on it because the water was shallow enough… heartbreaking stuff… we went over and told the people to stop as well as the local guides did as well, but we feel bad for supporting an activity like that; a sanctuary is supposed to protect the animals, not turn them into a theme park. …

We’ve been looking for a place to recover from the hike, chill out, get a bit of work done and we found the most perfect place — Siquijor Island.

We initially booked just 3 nights here, but have already extended our stay to more than a week. The vibe here is so peaceful and friendly. There is enough development for you to enjoy a wide-variety of food and still enough of a hidden gem that you need a scooter to get around as there is very little touristic infrastructure.

Most of our time was spent in a similar routine: breakfast 8:30–11am, Scuba diving for a few hours, working/relaxing, eating dinner and then some walking around the beaches for sunset. …

We did no research for almost 3 weeks due to the limited wifi in Nepal. After the hike was finished, we weren’t really sure where to go. Monsoon season starts hitting most of Asia at different times over the next few months, so the search is complicated — you really want to make sure you’re not headed towards non-stop rain.

Maeghan had heard some great things about the Philippines and thought maybe a warm beach and diving break would be a good start to our transition back to real life and recovery from a long trek.

So we booked a flight to Cebu in the Philippines for 2 days… and figured we’d make a plan once we get there. We arrived quite late, and decided to go walking around down town Cebu at midnight to find a McDonalds that was 10 min…


Our Little Detour🌏✈️ 👫

hi there! Maeghan & Oli here — we’re checking in from our around-the-world tour. See pictures here, read content here 👉www.alittledetour.ca

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