Remember those first-time Earthwatchers who went to dig up the history and culture of Easter Island (Rapa Nui) 20 years ago and formed lifelong friendships? Leonie, Laura, Julian, Melanie and John have just returned from their latest adventure.

Not only did they stay in touch with each other over the past two decades but they decided to put their travelling boots back on and reunite for a big trip to the Orkney Islands. This time the next generation got to experience a journey through Viking ruins, medieval churches, and Neolithic sites with monuments from the Stone and Bronze ages.

The Orkney Islands lie off the northern tip of Scotland, where the North Sea meets the Atlantic Ocean, made up of ~70 islands of which only 16 are inhabited. The majority of the population live on the principal island called "the Mainland" concentrated in the towns of Kirkwall and Stromness. Orkney is a place where history remains part of everyday life with ancient monuments dotting the landscape on every corner of the islands.

Leonie said "The landscape was very reminiscent of Easter Island with the sheer cliffs and epic seas. Every day we went exploring ancient ruins and sites and learnt a lot about the inhabitants, their culture and lifestyle. The trip was very much in keeping with our Easter Island adventure!"

While Earthwatch doesn't currently have an expedition to the Orkney Islands, we do have 40 incredible expeditions across the globe to choose from. Book yourself a different kind of holiday and open up to meeting your future lifelong friends.