'We're making our dreams a reality' - meet the couple who are honeymooning for 1,000 days
1,000 days, 30-something countries, five of the Seven Wonders of the World - this couple have been travelling since their wedding in July 2015
A total of 1,000 days, 30-something countries, five of the Seven Wonders of the World... could this be the best honeymoon ever?
Neil Flannigan and Patricia Pérez Vernet are almost three years into married life - but have yet to unpack from their honeymoon.
The couple have been travelling the world since their wedding in July 2015 and are hoping to reach the 1,000-day mark before they come home.
Speaking from a ferry port in Tanzania as they boarded a boat to the east African island of Zanzibar, Neil declared the globe-trotting duo to be on day 942 of their trip.
They began their global journey in Canada and the USA, moved south to Central and South America, before travelling west to Asia.
They then completed their tour of Asia with a visit to India, and have now arrived in Africa to begin exploring the Rainbow Land.
Neil and Patricia's first stop in Canada is just 900km from the Arctic, and have also clocked their location in the world's most southernmost town, Ushuaia, just 850km from the Antarctica.
"It's almost been three years now," Neil told Independent.ie.
"We started on July 12, 2015 and we're still going."
Patricia, who met Neil while studying English in the UK, admitted part of her decision to go travelling was sparked by the English weather.
"We first started to plan the trip because we decided to do something special, but the English weather was a bit too much for me as well," Patricia said.
"We saved as much as we could for two years. Neil proposed in the meantime and that's when we decided we'd go after the wedding and make it a non-stop honeymoon."
~BON NADAL ~ FELIZ NAVIDAD ~ MERRY CHRISTMAS ~ !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! yeaaaahhhhhh yeaaaaaaahhhhh!! We've been travelling for 898 days exactly and still feels like yesterday when we left Barcelona on the 12th of July 2015 to Canada....... Two years and a half later just Neil and I are still out here for 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, enjoying our short lives together, meeting nomadic travellers from all over the world....... The world becomes your home after a while and we have been welcomed with open arms....Haha. And now we celebrate our 3rd Christmas in out of home....... It's hard but we are lucky also. We really do feel like we have achieved something so magical, and yet so challenging at the same time. It changes your outlook on life...we have morphed together! .... Wishing to all of you all the hope, health, love and courage to make next year, the best year of your lives! LIFE, ENJOY, SMILE!!!! MERRY CHRISTMAS TO EVERYONE!!! WE LOVE YOU xxx xxx ❤❤❤❤❤
Neil and Patricia said they are spending as much time as they possibly can in each country, eager to focus on immersing themselves in the culture as opposed to a whistle-stop tour of each place.
"It does depend how long we can stay in each country as well," Patricia continued.
"In the USA, we stayed as long as the visa would allow us, three months. We stayed in Mexico for 100 days.
"Then we spent just 10 days in Belize, we were in El Salvador for a week.
Day 916....... 2 YEARS AND A HALF NONSTOP TRAVELLING!!!!!!!!!!!! Our backpacks and passports are getting full! 30 countries so far!!! Aaaaaand our month in Goa is up! We have met so many awesome people over the last 4 weeks without the stress of travelling... Its hard to leave... Goa is a travellers paradise!! Magical sunsets every evening, people on scooters playing the xylophone, drum circles on the beach at sunset, hippy flea markets, trance party's with free spirited thinkers, open mic nights next to the sea, guitar toting elders... ( legends!), comedy nights with a world of cultures, fish dinners on the beach and reagge tents for dessert!! Hahaha Always the hardest thing is saying goodbye and leaving it all behind! So we hit the road again today! One adventure ends and a new one begins..... A 2 hour train 100km south to Om beach... where backpackers are sleeping wild on a hammock on the beach, cooking food over a campfire ...... Time to go off the grid for a few days and live like a nomad.. ! Yeaaaah!
"We have also learned a few things about travelling along the way. I think we were doing too much in the first year or so. Obviously, some days you just need to rest. So now we are trying to rest even more.
"We've slowed down a little more in the last year, and we think about doing less but concentrating on quality over quantity. We're trying to enjoy each place a little more.
"We didn't stop for the three months we were in Mexico, I think maybe we did too much. We're still learning as we go."
So, the burning question; how are they managing financially?
"We're using the money we saved over the two years before we left," Patricia explained.
"We also received money as gifts for our wedding so we're using that. We received quite a bit and it's helped us a lot, that's been a great help.
"To be honest you need less than you think. We're couch-surfing a lot, we're trying to do that as much as possible.
"It's a great website, and you get to stay with locals in local houses. It's the best way to get to know the culture and meet the people.
"Another tip is to travel like a local, so we use the local bus instead of the tourists' bus, we take the cheapest route at the cheapest time because we have the luxury of time.
"We also cook a lot in the places we stay in. In Asia, a lot of the places we stayed in didn't have kitchens, but then it is a lot cheaper to eat out so it works out."
The stand-out country so far for Patricia is the Philippines, but she said she now has a soft spot for the people of Colombia as they reminded her of her home country, Spain.
"Then I think Myanmar was amazing because it was probably the least touristy place," Patricia said, "and the people were so nice and so, so generous.
"There are some countries we would like to return to as well, we stayed in Malaysia for just eight days because of our visa for Thailand at the time. When we were there, we just thought, 'wow'. So, yes, we obviously would love to go back there."
And what is the plan for when they return from their trip?
"That's the question," Patricia laughed.
"First, we will go to Spain and stay for a month or so. We also have a lot of luggage left in Spain that we will need to sort out.
"We'll see family and friends and then decide what to do. It is scary."