Travel

“Where in the world?”, travel stats, Q&A, bucket list, photography and more 

Travel awakens the senses, fires the imagination, stretches our physical and mental limits and feeds the soul like nothing else. Whilst it’s not without its ups and downs (see, for example, here), I love to venture out and explore new places whenever I can. Prepare to soak it all in, have your preconceptions challenged and perhaps change your life forever. I travel because – despite the undeniable stress of it – I believe life is too short not to take every opportunity to explore this vast, complex and often awe-inspiring planet we call home. It’s all we’ve got.

WHERE IN THE WORLD HAVE I BEEN?

CONTINENTS – 5  (2 more to go. Though I’m unsure about Antarctica!)

COUNTRIES – 36

CAPITALS – 22

Experiences:

BEACH – EUROPE, MADAGASCAR, PHILIPPINES, CAPE COD (USA), DUBAI, COSTA RICA, COLOMBIA
SAFARI AND WILDLIFE – NAMIBIA, BOTSWANA, MADAGASCAR, COSTA RICA
HIKING – THE ALPS, UK, KYRGZSTAN
CAMPING & SLEEPING WILD – UK, NORWAY, USA
FOODIE ADVENTURES – THAILAND, ETHIOPIA, COLOMBIA
SNOWBOARDING – NORWAY
DESERT – NAMIBIA, UZBEKISTAN
WATERFALLS – VICTORIA FALLS (ZAMBIA), BLUE NILE FALLS (ETHIOPIA)

Styles:

BUDGET
LUXURY
SOLO
GROUP
FAMILY
FIELDWORK/RESEARCH
ROUGHING IT
CITY BREAKS
INTER-RAIL

COUNTRIES VISITED:

AUSTRIA
BELGIUM
SWITZERLAND
GERMANY
DENMARK
THE NETHERLANDS
SPAIN
UK
JERSEY
VATICAN CITY
FRANCE
GREECE
CROATIA
ITALY
LUXEMBOURG
NORWAY
PORTUGAL
SWEDEN
SLOVENIA
TURKEY
USA
CANADA
PHILIPPINES
THAILAND
BOTSWANA
ZAMBIA
NAMIBIA
ETHIOPIA
MADAGASCAR
REUNION 
KYRGZSTAN 
KAZAKSTAN 
UZBEKISTAN 
UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
COSTA RICA
COLOMBIA

THE TRAVEL LIST

A list of the places and activities I want to experience, including the 105 destinations I’m most excited about right now. My aim is to visit 100 countries before I die (Update: this is maybe a little unrealistic? And I’ve since decided I might rather revisit old favourites :p).

Top 10

USA PACIFIC COAST
BC, CANADA
HAWAII
CUBA
SEYCHELLES
ICELAND
TANZANIA + MOZAMBIQUE
MOROCOO
JAPAN + SEOUL, SK
NZ + SOUTH PACIFIC ISLANDS

Experiences

GO ON A RTW TRIP
VISIT 6 CONTINENTS
GO ON A US ROAD TRIP
VISIT ALL 50 US STATES (yikes!)
GO ON AN ARCTIC EXPEDITION
DO A HOUSESIT
LIVE IN A MEGACITY (OTHER THAN LONDON)
DO A LONG DISTANCE RUN IN A BIG CITY ABROAD
SLEEP UNDER THE STARS (NO CANVAS)– ~ APRIL 2015
TRANS SIBERIAN OR MONGOLIAN EXPRESS
SEE THE NORTHERN LIGHTS
GO ON A SAILING TRIP IN THE SOUTH PACIFIC

Destinations

NORTH AMERICA
EVERYWHERE!!! BUT ESPECIALLY:
CALIFORNIA
GRAND CANYON, ARIZONA
CANYONLANDS, UTAH
COLORADO
MONTANA
IDAHO
OREGON
TEXAS
NEW ORLEANS
ALASKA
SMOKY MOUNTAINS NP
VANCOUVER
CANADIAN ROCKIES
YUKON, CANADA
NEWFOUNDLAND, CANADA
 
SOUTH + CENTRAL AMERICA
PERU
RIO, BRAZIL
BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA
TORRES DEL PAINE, CHILE
COLOMBIA
COSTA RICA
BELIZE
AUSTRALIA + THE PACIFIC
SYDNEY
THE GREAT BARRIER REEF
PERTH
MELBOURNE
AYERS ROCK
WHITSUNDAY ISLANDS
TONGA
BORA BORA
NEW ZEALAND

 

 
ASIA
BEIJING
SHANGHAI
KERALA, INDIA
INDONESIA
HIMALAYAS
BHUTAN
LAOS
MYANMAR
CAMBODIA
MALAYSIA
JAPAN
MONGOLIA
MALDIVES
SEYCHELLES
SEOUL, SK
 
EUROPE
ICELAND
FINLAND
BERLIN
MONTENEGRO – ?
AFRICA
MOROCCO
SAHARA DESERT
TANZANIA
EGYPT
SOUTH AFRICA
MOZAMBIQUE
MALAWI
SENEGAL

Active stuff

LEARN TO SNOWBOARD
SKATEBOARD IN LA
TRY SURFING (changed my mind in CR!)
TRY SCUBA-DIVING (?)
HOT AIR BALLOON RIDE
HELICOPTER RIDE
TRY PARAGLIDING (?)
TRY KITESURFING (?)
WITNESS A (SAFE) VOLCANIC ERUPTION
RAINFOREST CANOPY WALK
GO GLACIER HIKING
 

 

 

TRAVEL Q&A

MOUNTAIN/DESERT/OCEAN/JUNGLE… WHICH ONE ARE YOU?

I OFTEN GET QUITE SEA SICK ON BOATS, BUT DO LOVE BEING NEXT TO THE OCEAN, ON BEACHES, CLIFFS AND ISLANDS. I’M TERRIFIED OF SPIDERS, SO NOT OVERLY KEEN ON JUNGLE. BETWEEN MOUNTAIN AND DESERT, I’D HAVE TO GO MOUNTAIN FOR THE DIVERSITY, GRANDEUR AND SHEER BEAUTY. I LOVE FORESTS, LAKES, GLACIERS AND PANORAMIC VIEWS – ALL THINGS TYPICALLY FOUND AROUND MOUNTAINS

WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR WORST JOURNEY?

DURING MY YEAR ABROAD IN MADAGASCAR. A FRIEND AND I WERE TRAVELLING OVERNIGHT FROM ANDASIBE IN THE THE HIGHLANDS TO MORONDAVA ON THE WEST COAST. THERE WAS NOTHING GOOD ABOUT THIS JOURNEY! FROM BEING SEVERAL HOURS LATE LEAVING TO A FELLOW PASSENGER BEING SICK IN THE TAXI BROUSSE. PEOPLE WERE HALF SAT ON EACH OTHER, THE TEMPERATURE WAS SWELTERING, THE ENGINE NOISY AND OVERHEATING AND THE SOUNDSYSTEM WAS BLARING OUT MALAGASY POP MUSIC THROUGHOUT THE EARLY HOURS. ALSO, IN THE MIDDLE OF THE THE NIGHT WE WERE HELD UP FOR A COUPLE OF HOURS BY A SCARY-LOOKING GROUP OF ARMED SOLDIERS AND NATURALLY WE HAD NO CLUE WHAT WAS GOING ON.  IT WAS EXHAUSTING AT THE TIME, BUT LIKE MOST THINGS OF THIS NATURE FUNNY TO LOOK BACK ON NOW. 

WHAT 3 THINGS DO YOU ALWAYS PACK?

CAMERA. MOTION SICKNESS PILLS. GUIDEBOOK THAT HAS MAPS.

TOP 5 PLACES YOU’VE VISITED?

NOSY BE, MADAGASCAR. NEW YORK CITY. LAKE DISTRICT UK. LOFOTEN ISLANDS, NORWAY. SOUSSUSVLEI, NAMIBIA

WHICH PASSPORT STAMP WOULD YOU MOST LIKE TO HAVE?

IMPOSSIBLE TO CHOOSE! BUT TANZANIA, SEYCHELLES OR THE MALDIVES, NEPAL, NEW ZEALAND, SOME SOUTH PACIFIC NATIONS, AND CUBA COME TO MIND. MOST OF ALL I WANT TO GO BACK THE AMERICA, EVEN TOUGH I HAVE THAT PASSPORT STAMP ALREADY

BEST MEAL ON THE ROAD? AND THE WORST?

IT WASN’T “ON THE ROAD” EXACTLY, BUT SEVERAL DAYS IN A ROW OF EATING ONLY PLAIN SPAGHETTI FOR BOTH LUNCH AND DINNER WHILST STAYING IN AN ETHIOPIAN VILLAGE (ALBEIT COMPLIMENTED WITH UNRIPE APPLES AND DRIED BISCUITS) GOT VERY BORING VERY FAST. BEST? BANGKOK STREET FOOD PERHAPS… OR, A MEAL I HAD AT A RESTAURANT IN ISTANBUL CLAIMING TO SERVE THE BEST MEZES IN THE CITY – SERIOUSLY TASTY STUFF!

WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST GREAT TRAVEL EXPERIENCE?

A DRIVING HOLIDAY AROUND NAMIBIA WHEN I WAS 16, WHICH WAS FOLLOWED BY SHORT TRIPS TO VICTORIA FALLS IN ZAMBIA AND CHOBE NATIONAL PARK IN BOTSWANA. THIS TRIP WAS DEFINITELY WHAT SPARKED MY INTEREST IN AFRICA.

WHO OR WHAT INSPIRED YOUR LOVE OF TRAVEL?

MY DAD IS A KEEN TRAVELLER AND WORKED IN THE TRAVEL INDUSTRY FOR A COUPLE OF DECADES. I’M SURE HEARING ABOUT HIS TRAVELS, WATCHING HOLIDAY SHOWS TOGETHER AND SEEING HIM READ BROCHURES FROM A YOUNG AGE INFLUENCED ME, AS WELL AS ALL THE FAMILY TRIPS WE TOOK IN EUROPE OF COURSE. RIGHT NOW, I’D SAY THAT MY LOVE OF NATURE AND WILD LANDSCAPES ARE BIG MOTIVATORS. AT THE OTHER EXTREME, I’M ALSO PARTIAL TO MEGACITIES

WHERE OR WHAT IS YOUR GUILTY TRAVEL PLEASURE?

TAKING FAR TOO MANY PHOTOS THAN IS STRICTLY NECESSARY. IT’S NOT NECESSARILY ALWAYS A PLEASURE THOUGH, MORE A COMPULSION IN SOME CASES! BUT I AM DEFINITELY GETTING BETTER AT LIMITING MY SHOTS AND THINKING QUALITY OVER QUANTITY.

ANYWHERE YOU’D RATHER NOT GO?

I’M NOT A FAN OF THE COLD, SO I’D BE A BIT RELUCTANT TO GO TO SOME OF THE REALLY CHILLY PLACES LIKE THE ARCTIC/ANTARCTIC, AS LEAST OUTSIDE OF SUMMER. I’M SURE IT WOULD BE INTERESTING, I’D JUST HAVE TO PACK A HUGE AMOUNT OF LAYERS.

WHAT DO YOU LISTEN TO ON THE ROAD?

I DON’T TEND TO LISTEN TO MUCH MUSIC WHEN ACTUALLY TRAVELLING. HOWEVER, I DO LOVE BRINGING CDS BACK HOME WITH ME OR (NOWADAYS) LOOKING UP LOCAL MUSIC I HEARD ONLINE. LISTENING TO THEM AGAIN SENDS ME RIGHT BACK TO THE PLACE AND HOW I WAS FEELING AT THE TIME. MY FAVOURITE PURCHASE SO FAR HAS BEEN AN ASTER AWEKE CD I BOUGHT IN ADDIS ABABA.

WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO READ ON YOUR TRAVELS?

NOTHING MUCH EXCEPT FOR THE GUIDEBOOK. ALTHOUGH I’M AN AVID READER BACK HOME, I FIND THERE’S ALREADY SO MUCH OCCUPYING MY MIND WHEN TRAVELLING, I DON’T REALLY HAVE THE ENERGY OR NEED TO TAKE IN ANYTHING ELSE!

IF YOU COULD COMBINE THREE CITIES TO CREATE YOUR PERFECT METROPOLIS, WHAT WOULD THEY BE?

OUT OF THE CITIES I’VE BEEN TO, I’D SAY PARIS (FOR THE CULTURE, ELEGANCE AND ROMANCE) + ISTANBUL (FOR EXOTICISM) + MIAMI (FOR THE CLIMATE) = PARADISE… OR A RATHER ODD MIX!

 

TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHY

Some of my favourite travel shots. Check out my Flickr for more! (n.b. I no longer update Flickr. Instagram would probably be a better place to check now)