Founders Footsteps Blog 1

Founders Footsteps Blog 1

Samantha Goodburn / 5 min Read

Back to where it all began

It’s been over 10 years since Gandy’s was founded by the Forkan brothers, Rob and Paul. Following the loss of their parents after the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, the brothers built positivity from tragedy by starting Gandys, the business for like-minded adventurers. From Day 1, Gandys has used the profits from the business to help educate children around the world. 

A lot has changed over the last decade, but one thing has remained the same - a deep love for travel and exploration. And now it’s time for Rob to share that love with his new wife, Roisin. And we want to take you along for the ride as they travel to all the places Rob visited when travelling with his family, that inspired him to launch a business that gives back to the people who need it the most.

"Rob & Roisin in Dubrovnik for their Wedding"

Rob and Roisin met during the 2020 coronavirus lockdown, when travel was impossible and everyone was closed off from exploring the outside world. Despite the restrictions, they hit it off immediately and in time, they decided on a destination wedding in Dubrovnik, Croatia. 

With travelling in his blood, Rob was determined to take Roisin on the same journey which led him to where he is today. Eager to see the sights, Roisin was also ready for a change. As a doctor who worked throughout the pandemic on the front line and both of them being caught up in the daily grind for the last 15 years, it was time to rediscover the spirit of travel and joy of backpacking, to explore new cultures, communities and ways of life that are very different from London life. 

After so many people had not had the chance to travel due to the lockdown, the wedding was a wonderful reason for friends and family from around the world to come together to celebrate the happy couple - it was an unforgettable day!

"Rob in Thailand wearing his Gandys Java Backpack"

The first stop is Thailand. The newlyweds arrived in Bangkok and spent a few days soaking up the wonder of the busy capital city. From visiting The Grand Palace to enjoying the delicious street food and the buzz of Khao San Road, it was a chance for them to settle in.

The highlight of the trip were the floating markets, something Roisin had never experienced before. Taling Chan Floating Market is located on the outskirts of Bangkok and it gave the couple a glimpse into the country's rich history and traditional way of life. Immersed in the vibrant local culture, Rob and Roisin tucked into the classic Thai dishes, such as Pad Thai and Mango Sticky Rice. 

From there they travelled down to the gorgeous island of Koh Samui to soak up the gorgeous scenery: the white sand beaches, turquoise waters and lush jungles. Of course, Roisin made sure to take the latest Gandys backpack, the Galle, with her on their day trips.

The final stop in Thailand was Koh Tao, which translates to ‘Turtle Island’. Just 70 kilometers (43 miles) north of Koh Samui, the island is renowned as one of the best diving destinations in Thailand, offering crystal-clear waters, vibrant coral reefs, and diverse marine life - so Rob and Roisin had to give snorkelling a go!

"Roisin in her Gandys Galle Backpack & Fruit Salesman in her boat"

The couple loved the laid-back and relaxed atmosphere compared to the more bustling neighbouring islands in the Gulf. They loved how the island combines relaxation and adventure, and its focus on conservation. Having experienced challenges with environmental conservation in the past, the people of the island are making a huge effort to promote sustainable practices in order to protect the island's future. 

Next stop, Agra India. After a few weeks in Thailand, Rob and Roisin will be moving on to travel around India - the place where Rob enjoyed many years with his Mum, Dad, brother Paul and Mattie and little sister Rosie. The first place to visit will be the Taj Mahal, somewhere where his dad had always planned to take Rob’s mum, but sadly never got the chance to. Now it’s time for Rob to take Roisin and show her the exquisite architecture and breathtaking beauty of the monument that was built as a symbol of love and devotion. 

"The Taj Mahal"
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