Back in June, we began The Traveller Post, a special edition blog series that is dedicated to people who love travel just as much as we do. Click here and you can check out our first Traveller Post where we highlighted the South African couple who captures their round the world travels in stunning imagery in their blog How Far from Home.

In this month's edition we are proud to highlight the quirky, wonderful and exceptionally talented Emily Luxton of on the U.K.'s finest and most relevant travel bloggers. To follow all of her adventures and how many miles she logs, be sure to follow her on Twitter at @em_luxton and Instagram @em_luxton.

Short Bio: Emily Luxton is an award-winning writer and travel blogger on a mission to explore the world through deeper, more intelligent travel. In an attempt to really get to know the world, Emily seeks out adventure, cultural exchanges, food experiences and more whenever she travels. A lover of the great outdoors, sunsets, good food, and the odd bit of luxury, her travel styles vary from trip to trip, but the hunt for a good story is always the same.


Current Location: Weymouth, UK (home for the summer)

Number of Countries Visited: 28

Best place visited in past year: The Finnish Archipelago.

My dream holiday would be: There are so many - I want to go everywhere! At the moment, Mexico, Japan, and Norway are all at the top of my travel wishlist, as is going back to South America. My dream holiday, though, would probably be to Harry Potter World at Universal Orlando. I'm a huge Potter geek and I've wanted to go there since it opened!

Most beautiful beach in the world is: Playa Blanca or La Piscina in Tayrona National Park - both in Colombia. Can’t travel without my: Comfy walking shoes! I walk everywhere I can when I travel! Also I never go anywhere without a decent camera and a notebook. My MUST HAVE for summer is: A collection of sunglasses!

Share a travel story!

This post was originally published on Emily's blog. Find the original here

The best thing about long term travelling has to be the random, crazy situations and encounters it throws up – throwing you together with strangers who turn out to be awesome, or sending you down a wrong turning with bizarre but amazing consequences! Like my first day in Sapa, Vietnam for example. I was travelling with my boyfriend at the time, and we set out on what was meant to be a short hike down to the neighbouring village of Cat Cat.

emily luxton hiking 3We followed the steep, curling road downhill, amazed by staggering views at every turn, with towering, livid blue mountains appearing in the sky above thick cloud cover. As the valley opened out below, we saw staggered terraces of gold-green rice paddies and silvery patches of small, flooded fields. We reached the entrance to Cat Cat village but bypassed it, intending to go around and stick to the gorgeous views instead of the cluttered strip of tourist shops. But, as we reached the far side of the village, we came to a checkpoint charging an entry fee. Since we didn’t want to go in at all, only walk around, we were a little miffed at being asked to pay just to walk around the outskirts of a village – after all, the land here is public and not a national park.

emily luxton hiking mountianThat was when Jakob showed up. A hulking, bearded, giant of an Australian with an infectiously loud laugh who, we soon discovered, was excited about absolutely everything – from the sweeping views and the adorable local kids, right down to a water-smoothed piece of wood. He and the rest of his group, whose names we never learnt simply because, with Jakob around, conversation never stopped for anything so dull as introductions, weren’t paying the village entry fee either and were trying to suss out a different route around.

Before even learning our names, Jakob had invited us along, and soon we were following a separate road leading who-knows-where, away from Cat Cat and towards the neatly structured rice paddies. We passed moodily grazing water buffalo; groups of grubby but gorgeous local children; a boy of about five taking a nap, bare-buttocked, on the seat of a parked motorbike; small farmhouses surrounded by groups of bustling white ducks and fat, wire-haired pigs; and some kind of three-way fight between a goat, two dogs and a couple of chickens. Not bothering to worry about where we were going, or if we were about to get lost, we found ourselves enjoying absolutely everything; perhaps it was the perfect weather, or the feeling of finally being able to relax after a stressful week of travel and culture-shock, or perhaps it was just Jakob’s enormous laugh infecting us, but it all seemed simply hilarious.Soon, we were sliding down a muddy trail between a small village of tiny wooden farm houses, which eventually led us through a field of boggy rice paddies and down to the edge of a beautiful, bubbling river. The only other people in sight were a group of three young bogs fishing with huge nets, who looked shocked to see a group of crazy white people bursting out of the damp green trees alongside their river. They wandered away in search of more private fishing grounds, and we had lunch in the sunshine on the rocky banks of the glittering river.

Emily Luxton hiking mudNext thing, we were wading down the river in ice cold water, our shoes in our hands, in search of a more adventurous route back. I’m not sure who exactly decided it was a good idea – but they were almost definitely wrong. Forty minutes later, we were still clambouring over slippery rocks in and out of the water, having come hardly any distance at all, with no sign of a way back up the bank in sight. Still, we were having fun and kept finding new things to laugh about. Eventually, someone spotted something that looked like a sloping path through the trees just above an almost vertical wall of wet rock on the riverbank. All we had to do was cross the river, climb up the rock, and we’d be fine. Giving up on keeping my leggings and underwear dry, I waded into the almost-waist-deep water across the fast flowing river – thankfully the guys were a lot stronger than me and able to pull me across – and scrabbled up the sheet of slippery rock onto dry land. Dry land which turned out to be very wet and muddy. With every step sinking to the ankle in the mud, I kept my boots in my hands and pressed on barefoot up the slope.

The final challenge was the simple matter of navigating the rice paddies to get across the field. Sticking to the very edges, where the grass forms a sort of ring around the paddy: one step out of place and it was up to the knees in mud. Needless to say, we all had brown legs by the time we reached the far side. Having finally made it across and back to the same tiny village we’d left the trail from, we found a spring of water to wash in before starting the long hike back to Sapa.

Emily Luxton hiking 1By the way, that entrance fee to Cat Cat we all refused to pay? It was 40,000 VND or about £1.18. Sure, we could have paid that and walked the loop around the village along with everyone else. But by going off road we saw things that we wouldn’t otherwise have seen, had an adventure that was very messy but also a lot of fun, and met some amazing locals. It's still one of my favourite travel memories!

Many thanks to Emily Luxton for sharing one of her favourite travel stories with us! Be sure to check in next month when we feature another fantastic travel blogger!

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