This time last year, Evie Farrell couldn't have even dreamed where she is now.

But after the 43-year-old from Sydney lost a close friend and decided to pack up her life and A$30,000 ($31,000) in savings last February, she and her daughter, Emmie, set off on the adventure of a lifetime travelling around the world.

Here, Farrell speaks to Femail about their first year away from home, what they've learned - and why after one year the pair still have no plans to come home, Daily Mail reports.

Originally, Farrell said her intention was just to travel for a year, but as their year comes to its completion, she said they have decided to go on for at least another six months:


"This year has flown by, we're not ready to come home yet," she said.

"We're about to go back to Vietnam and Emmie will go to school for a few months while I work and try to earn some money to keep us going.

"My savings have all but gone, but we're lucky as we still have rent coming in from our home in Australia, so that's keeping our heads just above water."

The mum of one is a firm believer in the idea that travelling is easier than many might think.

She said that not only is it cheaper than living in Sydney, but it's also rewarding.

"I've learned this year that if you want something badly enough, you can make it happen," she said.

"There's more to life than sitting at a desk every day to earn money to buy stuff. We've travelled for a whole year with one backpack and there's no way I'm going back to my old way of life now."

While travelling Taiwan, Malaysian Borneo, Bali, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, London, Paris and China - where they spent Christmas and the New Year - Farrell has been teaching Emmie, via theNSW Distance Education primary school programme.

Emmie has also been sporadically receiving formal education, such as when the pair were in Hoi An.

"The challenges of being away on a trip like this are mostly the same as the ones we have at home - schoolwork, manners, bedtimes and eating meals - we just deal with them in incredible locations," Farrell said.

A couple of people asked about Emmie sitting on this buffalo and why I feel it's different to riding elephants - which we are strongly against! It's a good question and I'd be interested to know what you think. To me there is a world of difference. This buffalo is a working animal that is traditionally used in the rice paddies around Hoi An, often growing up with a young boy who cares for it during its life. We see them all around the town, just wallowing in rice paddies with their mates and a bunch of geese. That's the life of a working buffalo - work in the fields and then hang out when the work is done. This buffalo was clearly well cared for - they are also really valuable (around US$1000 each which is a huge amount of money here) and regardless of its owners commitment to animal welfare, financially it makes sense to care for the buffalo. In contrast, elephants are taken from their natural habitat, their spirit is cruelly broken through force and isolation and they are kept in awful conditions in elephant camps. These poor elephants are used for the amusement of tourists who watch them do 'tricks', jump all over them for selfies and ride in heavy metal cages on the elephants back as they climb steep hills in pain with the cage digging into their back. They are often chained in patches of dirt and kept 'obedient' with sharp bull-hooks that dig into their skin. It's heartbreaking to see, as they are such beautiful animals and so gentle. Their sole purpose is to earn money from the tourist trade - it's unnatural and cruel. And people still do it! 🐘 When we saw this buffalo in a field, its owner was laying on its back and it looked so amazing we went to take a look and Emmie asked if she could sit on the buffalo too and have a photo. The buffalo was placid and didn't seem to mind - his owner just gently plonked the her up there and she gave the buffalo a big hug - and that was it. I didn't have a problem with it at all - what do you think? Evie xo

A post shared by Family Travel 🌴 Evie & Emmie (@mumpacktravel) on

"We've met other traveling families along the way and seeing Emmie have a great time with kids from all over the world helps me feel okay about her being away from her friends at home.

"She has made so many new friends and had wonderful experiences in all the countries we've been to."

Next, Farrell and her daughter will return to Vietnam, before crossing into Cambodia to visit an elephant sanctuary and celebrate their one-year anniversary of being away from home:

"It was funny being away from home for Christmas and celebrating it in China," she said.

"We celebrated it by going to watch a Christmas show, ice skate and rock climb. We ate local xiaolongbao (Chinese soup dumplings) and caramel-flavoured Tim Tams which we managed to find in a supermarket.

"I wouldn't change our experiences for the world, though, and hopefully our life will inspire more mums and dads to go on an adventure with their children.'

With regards to any regrets about packing up her old life in Australia, Farrell said she has none.

"This is precious time and if we weren't travelling, I would be at work every day and Emmie would be at school and being cared for by au pairs. It just makes sense to me to spend time together while she is young.

"It's the best gift I could have given her and the best thing I could have done for myself, too."

For anyone thinking of trying long-distance travel, Evie Farrell says you can get in contact with her via her blog, Mum Pack Travel. You can also follow her adventures on Instagram.