Namaste and welcome! We are Kirsty and Mark Bennetts and Kathmandu & Beyond is the story of our never-ending travels.
We aim to provide inspiration and advice for independent travellers and armchair explorers by featuring evocative travel photography, how-to guides and storytelling from our travels past and present.
We are full-time travellers and have been nomadic for eight years. The actual travel part of travel blogging and photography are our priorities which can mean a bit of a delay in writing up our journeys. We’d rather be out exploring or spending the evening sampling the local beer than spending time at our laptops!
Why Kathmandu & Beyond?
Although we have both travelled for as long as we can remember, and have been travelling together since 1996, this particular journey began in November 2008, when we left the UK for Nepal’s capital, Kathmandu – Kirsty to continue her job as the Asia Product Manager for an upmarket UK-based tour operator and Mark to take on a consultancy project for a local travel company wanting to develop their trekking programme. We soon learnt that life in Nepal is rarely dull and that the Nepalese are some of the loveliest people you will meet.
After 7 months living in Kathmandu … we went “beyond” – initially continuing to work, and then, when expat life gave us itchy feet, as full-time travellers. We now combine freelance projects with our nomadic lifestyle.
We have spent a lot of time in Asia and, in addition to Kathmandu (Nepal), we’ve either lived in or spent extended periods of time in Chiang Mai (Thailand), Siem Reap (Cambodia), Yangon (Myanmar), Bali (Indonesia) and Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam).
We’ve also travelled extensively in South and Central America and Europe and our travels have taken us to 100-plus countries around the world – Mark has been to over one hundred and Kirsty is not too far behind. You can see them all here.
Kathmandu & Beyond aims to tell the tales, put pictures and words, plot the map and feature photographs of our travels.
We hope you enjoy reading about our travels and would love to hear from you. We’re constantly trying to improve this website, so if you have any comments or suggestions, please drop us a line or two.
More About Us
Editor in Chief
Number of countries visited: 95
Favourite Countries: India for its incredible diversity, Cambodia and Burma both for the people and the sights, Japan because it’s the country that gave me the biggest culture shock I’d had in a long time, Bolivia for such an amazing contrast in scenery, Thailand because it feels like home and Mexico because it could feel like home. Oh, and I have recently fallen in love with Cuba and Turkey!
It’s not a very fair question for a traveller!
Best Travel Memories
A handful from too many to count on one hand!
- The Galapagos – I was completely blown away by the proximity of such weird and wonderful wildlife. Having to watch my step for fear of treading on a Blue-footed Boobie or sea iguana freaked me out – but in a good way!
- My first ever time in Asia – it was Bangkok and I’ll never forget it! It was the beginning of my love affair with travel.
- Travelling by fishing boat from Flores to Lombok via Komodo National Park – aside from seeing Komodo Dragons, the ocean was crystal clear with fantastic snorkelling and the scenery was stunning.
- Seeing my first tiger in wild in India at Bandhavgarh National Park and returning to the Taj Safari Lodge to find a rose petal-filled bath and a glass of red wine beside it!
- The enormous nothingness of Mongolia – staying in a yurt on the steppes surrounded by nothing except the stars and a lot of goats …
Kirsty’s Bucket List
- Take a camper van trip through New Zealand
- Experience the colour of Papua New Guinea
- See the Northern Lights
- Photograph Lemurs and Baobab trees in Madagascar
- Explore East Timor
- Discover Iceland
- Visit Iran and experience the hospitality everyone raves about!
He does what he's told!
Number of countries visited: 102
Favourite Countries: India, Nepal, Thailand, Colombia, Iran and I was really impressed with what we saw on our recent visit to Mexico . If I had to pick one then I guess it would either be India or Nepal. I love the diversity and ‘organised chaos’ that India has to offer, but I guess equally I am a mountain & trekking junkie and there is no where better on the planet than Nepal for getting up close and personal with some of the biggest mountains in the world. So, although it isn’t a country, I am going to say the Sub-Continent and cover all my bases!
Best Travel Memories
- Travelling from China to Pakistan via the Karakoram Highway in the middle of a storm
- Completing a 30-day trek to Upper Mustang in Nepal
- Being invited to an Animist funeral in Torajaland (Indonesia)
- Enjoying a few too many chang (local beer) with a group of Tibetans in Lhasa and spending the whole night talking in Mandarin (I don’t speak Mandarin!).
- The two days spent hitching from Kyrgyzstan to China and all the friendly truck drivers that picked us up along the way
- Exploring Jaffna and the rest of northern Sri Lanka by local bus
- Finally trekking around Mt. Kailash in Tibet – this had been on my wish list for a long time
- Visiting the DMZ from both the north and the south side of the Korean border
Mark’s Bucket List
- Afghanistan, Afghanistan and Afghanistan. Ever since reading Eric Newby’s ‘A Short Walk in the Hindu Kush’ some 20 years back I have had an obsession with getting to this country. My most recent attempt to visit (there have been several) was in 2012 when travelling in Central Asia, but that time I was halted by the elements and had to give up.
Tajikistan is also high on my list as are… Georgia and Armeniaand …
- I definitely want to see more of Mexico some time soon.
Click on the following links to learn a bit more about where we are now and where we’ve been. We rarely know where we’re going next! …
From the Road
Where are we now? Keep up to date with our travels – as it usually takes us some time to write about the places we’ve been, our latests posts don’t always reflect our current location. However this page will tell where we are right now and displays our latest social media feed. Go to page
List of Countries Visited
Where have we travelled to? Our latest country tally and a list of all the places we’ve been to can be found here. Go to page
Our Journey Maps
Check out the route we’ve followed since we went nomadic in 2008. See our maps