Pinge: Palinka – a traditional fruit brandy in the countries of the Carpathian Basin, invented in the Middle Age. Our tipple of “choice” during the Glastonbury adventure.
Wang: sausage, penis
Erstwhile drinking buddies, Susan and Jill cemented their friendship and discovered their mutual thirst for adventures during that fateful summer of 2009, when both girls had returned, now penniless, from their respective trips travelling the world to the height of Britain’s recession. Not a job in sight and not a penny to our names, we survived on the charity of family and friends. It was a strange time, partially hideously depressing and partially the funniest, most relaxed summer we ever had. It is a time, however, that we will always reflect upon fondly, as following one of our charity funded drinking sessions, we embarked upon the now infamous “Hitch-hiking to Glastonbury on not 1p” Adventure (which you can read about here) and realised that we made the best travelling companions – if we can get through THAT and still be friends (indeed it made us closer – whatever the girl equivalent of a bromance is – a ho-mance?) we can just about take on anything.
Fast forward to 2012 (after numerous festivals, mini breaks and a fake lesbian wedding), when we are both now thankfully gainfully employed (Susan as a Business Analyst and moved to Dublin and Jill as an Accountant) and happened upon a poster online for a Palinka and Sausage Festival in Budapest. Fondly remembering our palinka (“pinge”) fuelled adventures (and who doesn’t like a good sausage), we immediately began making arrangements to go. The plans escalated quickly – “Why don’t we push on to Serbia? It’s just THERE!”…”and Macedonia’s just THERE!!!”…and it wasn’t long before we had a 12 day long itinerary taking us to 12 countries. And so Pinge and Wang (2 Girls 1 Country (per day)) was born.
We had invented the concept of “Micro-travelling” – fitting in as much as possible into the shortest period of time, ideal for people like ourselves who work full time and don’t have the financial freedom to jack it all in and go travelling for a few months (and after our previous experience of doing just that and coming back to hideous unemployment and poverty we would definitely thing twice about it!) but still long for adventures in new places.
Since then, we have been on more Micro-Adventures and covered so much in just a couple of years and already have plans in the pipeline for the next few years! We have decided to make this blog to share our knowledge, experiences and hilarious anecdotes, hopefully to inspire others to do the same. If you are inspired by our stories and want some help with your own itinerary – just drop us a message and we’ll be happy to help you!
Our adventures together so far:
October 2012 : Western Eastern Europe (the ORIGINAL Pinge & Wang) – Hungary, Serbia, Macedonia, Kosovo, Albania, Montenegro, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia, Slovenia, Austria, Slovakia
March 2013: Central America – Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Panama
March 2014: Eastern Eastern Europe (Pinge & Wang II: The Rewangering) – Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Ukraine, Transnistria, Moldova, Romania (plus bonus Cyprus)
March 2015: Round the Caspian Sea – Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Armenia, Nagorno-Karabakh, Georgia.
October 2016: In the words of the great bard Shakira – it’s time for Africa! Bottom Right to be exact – Abu-Dhabi, Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania (including Zanzibar), Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Mozambique.
October 2017: Top South America – Tobago, Trinidad, French Guiana, Suriname (got arrested and deported), Guyana and Barbados.
March 2019 – Trans-Mongolian Train with Added Bonuses (need to think off a more catchy name for this one wethinks) – Russia, Abkhazia, South Ossetia, More Russia, Top of Kazakhstan, Mongolia, China and hopefully…BONUS NORTH KOREA!
About the 2 Girls (and their trusty 1 cup)
Finally making her escape from Sunderland in 2004, Susan moved to The Netherlands to live in a caravan with her trusty dog and cat and the then boyfriend. After a few crazy years bartending and making an Amsterdam family, she and 4 of her comrades moved on to take over Copenhagen, where another year of debauchery ensued (everyone MUST go to Non-Stop on Istedgade for a “Special Pint”). Pining to see more of the world, Susan and her gay husband Mark set off to circumnavigate the Northern hemisphere. Making many memories (and Mark many STD’s) along the way it ended in destitution so she was forced to move back in with her parents and regress to being a carefree teenager whilst waiting for the pensions she’d cashed in to come through. 2 of the 4 Amsterdam-Copenhagen crew had gone to Ireland so figuring working in English again might improve her prospects, Susan headed to the Emerald Isle to seek her fortune.
Other than the bartending she has an unfulfilling career in I.T. which pays for the adventures, however she is still trying to figure out what she wants to be when she grows up.
Susan wants to love and touch all the animals and also save the planet. So not too ambitious really.
For her sins, Jill still resides in Sunderland where she has lived all her life (with her boyfriend and Jack Russell), and plans to remain there as for all it is a shithole, it’s her shithole, and the relocation expenses for all of her amazing friends and her local pub would prove too costly if she moved away. Flying-by-the-seat-of-your pants adventures are in her blood, however, having spent all the school summer holidays of her childhood travelling around Europe in whichever clapped out old banger her parents had at the time (that could usually barely tow their massive trailer tent, which frequently had to be unhitched and pushed up mountain roads), discovering fabulous new places away from the tourist hordes and generally making no plans and seeing where the wind blows.
She works as an Accountant (which generally comes as a shock to anyone meeting her for the first time, and frequently to her when she wakes up on a Monday morning), has an unhealthy obsession with H.P. Lovecraft and Victorian interior design and collects musical instruments, taxidermy and antique knick-knacks that no sane person would want in their houseJill is an utter luddite and knows less than Jon Snurr about technology (and is incapable of keeping hold of a phone for more than a couple of weeks before losing it, and owning a computer that hasn’t got about a gallon of G&T spilled into its workings), so Susan is the one you should thank for this lovely looking blog. She just writes some words and that.