As you may be aware, I rarely post guest posts on this site. When I was approached by a mutual friend to help publicise some of the work being done to expose human trafficking in South East Asia and around the world, however, it struck a chord. Please take a minute to read and share the post, watch the video and donate a little to the cause if you can.Continue Reading →
In less than two years I’m going to turn forty.
I believe that’s the point when I officially start planning my midlife crisis, buy a sports car I can’t afford, have an affair with the intern and wonder where the hell my hopes and dreams went.
Except, well, I don’t want a sports car, I’ve got a wonderful girlfriend that I have no desire to cheat on and I’m living my hopes and dreams every damn day. Today I’m in Mexico. Next month, Belize. The month after that it’s the US, then Australia. By the time that birthday rolls around in 2015, I’ll have been travelling continually for nearly four years, set foot on every continent in the world and run a marathon.
And then I’ll set some really ambitious goals.Continue Reading →
It was New Year’s Eve last night. I didn’t do much, really — certainly less than in previous years. I’m not big on this particular celebration as it is, and it’s cold here in Guanajuato at the moment. The thought of shivering in city plazas while not understanding the drunken Spanish flowing around me just wasn’t enough to drag me out of the house. Things might have been different if I’d had a warm jacket.
I didn’t have a warm jacket.
So instead, I stayed at home with Lauren. We gorged ourselves on cheese and ham, drank one bottle of wine, then another. We watched New Zealand play an epic game of cricket half a world away, one of us caring rather more than the other. As midnight struck we went up to stand on the roof, kissing in the darkness as church bells tolled nearby and fireworks exploded overhead.
And I had an epiphany.
The change of year is supposed to invoke reflection as well as hangovers. We should always be thinking about what the future looks like, but New Year’s Eve forces the issue.
It certainly forced it for me.Continue Reading →
It’s the time of year when everything slows down. People are on holiday, still trying to digest the last of the Christmas leftovers. The television is full of re-runs and bad movies, the papers are full of feel-good pieces about cats stuck in trees and the internet is full of ‘year in review’ posts in the absence of any ground-breaking stories.
I’d hate to disappoint.Continue Reading →
Last week I celebrated two years on the road. It wasn’t a big celebration – I’d had that with friends a few nights earlier – but as Lauren and I ate smoked fish and polished off a bottle of wine, we unsurprisingly got to talking about the most memorable aspects of our travels.
“What are your three favourite cities?” one of us would ask, and then we’d both have to come up with an answer. “How about your favourite meals? Guesthouses? Sunsets?”
I was as surprised by the differences between our choices as the similarities, and we ended up playing that game for hours. I’m sure that had nothing to do with the wine, of course.
Since I figured that perhaps Lauren might not be the only person interested in those answers, I decided to write down as many as I could remember here as well.Continue Reading →
Twenty four months.
It’s a long time to be on the road.
I’ll hit that milestone tomorrow, a long way removed in distance and experience from when I flew out of Melbourne to start this journey. Even though I was ready to leave, I had no idea what the future would hold. Where would I go? Who would I meet? How would I make enough money to survive? I really wasn’t sure.
Of course, it all turned out for the best. It invariably does.Continue Reading →
Travel plans and I don’t tend to get along. I struggle to make them, and then as soon as I’ve done so, I start finding ways to do something completely different. This isn’t just an occasional affliction – it happens all the time.
When travelling solo this isn’t a problem – changing my mind on a whim doesn’t really matter to anybody else – but it’s the kind of thing that can cause massive arguments amongst groups or couples. When someone has their heart set on a particular place or just likes to have everything organised far in advance, and then a spanner is deliberately thrown in the works… well, let’s just say that chaos often ensues.
Luckily for both of us, Lauren is exactly the same as me when it comes to planning. We’ll both throw ideas around for a while, come up with the best one we can, commit to it… and then immediately start thinking of something else we’d much rather do instead.Continue Reading →
I’ve come to a realisation lately.
Around 18 months ago I wrote a post ambitiously entitled Why I’ll be a 73 year old backpacker, where I outlined the reasons that I’d likely still be wandering the planet as I entered my eighth decade on it. While I still stand by that statement and the curiosity that drives it, it’s become apparent that I’m already becoming a pretty terrible backpacker at half that age.
To be honest I’m not sure I ever really fitted the stereotype all that well, even back in my early twenties. I didn’t have a gap year. I often travelled with a girlfriend. I never got eaten by bedbugs. I used deodorant. Every day, in fact.
These days, though, I fit it even less. It seems as if the longer I spend on the road, the less “backpacker-like” I’ve become. It’s been almost two years since I started this trip, and with each passing week I realise the following to be true.Continue Reading →