Back up. Back up. Back up.


As travellers all we have of our adventures are the memories and 50 years from now all we’ll have of those memories are the photos and videos we take. Back up, back up, back up, the three rules my dad has always told me when it came to saving photos and files; this is also the best advice I can give fellow long-term travellers.

We’ve been on the road a long time now, as most of you know, so you can only imagine just how many videos and files we’ve racked up. When we were in Aus we had three hard drives, one 2TB for movies and TV shows, and two 1TBs for GoPro videos and photos from our phones.

I started making videos while we were in Australia; my first one being of our sunrise trek up Mount Batur in Bali and my second was of our whole 10 days in Bali and Gili Trawangan (seen here). I managed to edit most of our footage of our time in Australia into several videos but never had the means or WIFI to upload them, and so they stayed saved on our hard drives, waiting to be uploaded; this I would soon come to regret.

In April 2015 while in Canada for a visit and I was fine-tuning a video when the inevitable happened; I dropped the hard drive. I was readjusting how I was sat when it fell and hit the floor. It was broken and my computer could no longer read it. We still had Will’s hard drive that had most of what was on mine, but it still meant starting over with all the videos. I was so defeated.

Then, just after arriving in New Zealand, Will dropped the second hard drive. It was the only other copy we had of what we had already lost. Everything from when I first bought my GoPro (June 2014) to our final days in Australia (March 2015) was on that hard drive. It wasn’t just about the files and footage we lost, I spent hours and hours editing it all into videos that I never got the chance to upload. It was like creating a gorgeous three-tier wedding cake and then dropping it on the floor.

And so, lesson learnt, we now follow these three rules:

  • travel_rustic_blue_bohemian_swivel_usb_2_0_flash_drive-r209d80d27e424832b873b10822245f07_zqalg_324Back up: We now copy all of our photos from our phones onto USB drives and send them home as well as making sure we backup to iCloud every chance we get.
  • Back up: Copy all of our footage from our main hard drive to a secondary hard drive and send it home.
  • 22-301-016-05Back up: We no longer use Western Digital passport hard drives. We now use the shock proof, water-resistant, military grade, Silicon Power brand (the Armor A30 model). In our opinion WD is a great brand but because we are constantly on the move we switched to a more reliable, durable hard drive. (Link)


It seems like a lot of work and money but trust me, when you compare it to what it will cost to recover all your lost data, it is worth it. We’ve just found out that a recovery company (dataLab) in Auckland was able to recover 90% of our files back to usable condition. This is costing us $800 NZD but we’re just grateful to be able to have some of what we lost back. It’s now almost a year later and I never quite gave up on the idea that we might be able to have some of the files recovered, I’m an optimist that way.

I’ve also just found this video that I thought I had lost with everything else but turns out it was hidden away on my computer. It’s not quite fine-tuned but I was unable to alter it without the original files.

This was our Uncle Brian’s Fun, Falls, and Forest tour of the Atherton Tablelands during our second trip to Cairns in May 2015 (just before leaving for New Zealand). It was a great tour and we highly recommend it if you’re ever visiting Cairns.

Hopefully with our data being recovered I will have more videos to share soon.

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