Stepping into a new land, with its promise of unforeseen adventures and exotic sights, is a truly visceral experience. I first dipped my toe into adventures abroad in my early twenties and haven't looked back. In that time I've travelled to over eighty fascinating countries across five continents - and counting. People no longer ask how I am, only where I'm going next. I've seen so much - yet there's still so much to see. This site brings together my love of travel, photography and writing. Join me on my adventure.
Where I've been
Where I'd like to go
Where I am now
Countries lived & worked
about my travels
In travel writing the word icon is much overused but I know that I am lucky enough to have seen some of the world's biggest travel icons: the Statue of Liberty in the USA, St Basil's Cathedral in Russia, the Taj Mahal in India, the Lost City of Petra in Jordan, Niagara Falls in Canada, the ancient Pyramids at Giza in Egypt, the Great Wall of China, the Blue Mosque in Istanbul, the Shwedagon Pagoda in Burma, the Registan Ensemble in Uzbekistan, the Dome of the Rock in Israel, the awesome purple peaks of Milford Sound in New Zealand and the Sydney Opera House. It's only when you've seen the globe's most impressive sights that you can truly say you've travelled the world. Be sure to check out the full list of my world icons in my World Wonders Blog.
Some of my bigger adventures include the European Inter-Rail trip which took in twelve countries across north, east and southern Europe; the rail journey stretching along Canada's eastern seaboard which also included a border crossing into the United States; my trip through seven countries of the Western Balkans by bus; my adventure along the legendary Silk Road taking in the four Central Asia 'stan countries of Kasakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan and my triple country marathon through Belarus, Azerbaijan and China.
I take great pride in having been to some of the less frequented places out there; some solicit complete bafflement or just concern from the people that I tell. These are the kind of places most of my fellow countrymen would choose not to visit. However, I like to give the more off-the-beaten track places a chance and, more often than not, I am richly rewarded for doing so.
about my adventures
Travel is about sights but also about experiences. I have camped overnight in the Jordanian desert; ridden an elephant on safari in India; climbed and abseiled down a glacier in Iceland; white-water rafted through Bosnia & Herzegovina and Montenegro; floated in the salty waters of the Dead Sea in the Palestinian-controlled West Bank; got up close and personal with rescued orang-utans in a Borneo rainforest; taught English as a Foreign Language to teenagers in Spain; been on a game drive to see the 'Big Five' beasts in South Africa, and eaten lunch with nomads on the top of a mountain in Armenia.
I have also slept in a yurt on top of a mountain plateau 10,000 feet above sea level in Kyrgyzstan; showered in the cascades of a Cuban waterfall; been dolphin watching in the Arabian Gulf; climbed the Sydney Harbour Bridge in Australia on my birthday; drifted high above the ancient pagoda plain of Bagan, Burma, in a hot air balloon at daybreak on New Year's Eve; seen amazing underwater creatures whilst snorkelling along the coast of a Fijian island, and walked several kilometres of the Great Wall of China on a cold winter's morning.
A few of my more unconventional travel moments have seen me technically stepping foot into North Korea through the infamous blue Armistice meeting room in the DMZ; illegally entering an abandoned communist headquarters in the shape of a giant UFO 5,000 feet up in the Central Balkan Mountain range in Bulgaria; seeing Joseph Stalin's eerie death mask in his Georgian hometown of Gori; spending New Year in the the Belarusian capital Minsk - the last dictatorship in Europe, as well as travelling to the rebellious break-away state of Transnistria - a country which doesn't exist.
about life in australia
As I drew closer to the 'upper quartile' of my thirties, and with the prospect of the next few decades stretching out before me like an uninspiring concrete pavement with the words "more of the same" chalked tauntingly in large, banal letters, I felt it was time for a life MOT.
With punishing Australian visa restrictions kicking in at the age of forty, it was a 'go for it now or forever hold your peace' scenario. I can handle most things, but regret isn't one of them. I was at an inescapable crossroads; it was a simple binary choice. Now or never? Stay or go? Home or away? UK or Oz? Pigeons or possums?
In March 2016, and after a gruelling bureaucratic process during which I was awarded a first class degree in tenacity, my daily life and my love of travel combined when I emigrated to Sydney in Australia. I hope the move will usher in a period of travel to a whole new part of the world hitherto a bit too long haul to get to, namely Oceania and Asia.
In the short time I've been here I have been whale watching out in the Pacific, appeared (briefly) on Australian television, attended my first ever Aussie barbie in the neighbourhood, dealt with lizards on the sofa, come face to face with a giant Goanna whilst out bushwalking in an Aussie national park and had more spider and cockroach encounters than I care to quantify.
That said, I'm approaching this new phase in my life as pragmatically as possible: I have no doubt that not everything is going to be sunshine and koalas but figure it will be interesting and stimulating finding out. Keep up to date with my Australia Blog which charts the highs and lows of my new life Down Under.
frequently asked questions
Q: What is your favourite country?
A: I get asked this question the most and can never answer it succinctly. I start off with three or four in the hope of narrowing it down from there but then end up with a longer list. The truth is, I've found something to like and love in nearly every country I've been to. Then again, I suppose that's the way it should be, shouldn't it?
Q: How do you find the time to do all this travelling?
A: I travel during the school holidays and pretty much any slab of time is up for grabs. I have, on many occasions, chosen to squeeze in more than one trip by shortening the first; this often means that my itineraries are pretty jam packed. I also take advantage of any long weekends for shorter haul trips to neighbouring countries.
Q: How can you afford to travel so much?
A: I live quite frugally when I'm not travelling. I don't smoke, drink, buy expensive clothes or eat in fancy restaurants. I also spend far less time travelling than others might. Whilst some stay for two weeks, I'll stay for just one. This helps to keep my costs down. I sleep in low to mid-range hotels or homestays, organise my trips independently and only ever hire a guide or pay for tour services when absolutely necessary.
Q: Do you want to visit every country in the world?
A: Who wouldn't! However, I'm not engaged in a purely numerical quest despite what the country counters on this site may suggest. Travel shouldn't be a competition. There are countries I'm desperate to get to and others I'm far less fussed about. I wouldn't cry if I made it to my 100th birthday and hadn't seen every country in the world. I would, however, take great comfort from those that I'd wanted and managed to see.
about this site
This site brings together my love of travel, photography and writing. It contains no advertising or sponsored content because it is, quite simply, about chronicling my love of travel.
My Destination Chronicles are the leading pages of the site. They avoid the reductionist format of many travel sites which turn travel writing into listicles and top tens. Instead, I've opted for a detailed written piece supported by carefully curated photographs. This, I feel, helps capture a more comprehensive sense of place. Countries I have visited more than once have been given their own menu page and journeys which have involved more than one country have been kept together on the same page to preserve a sense of the journey undertaken in its entirety.
All photographic, visual and written content is original and has been created by me and therefore copyright protected. Please take the time to read my Terms & Conditions.
where next in 2019?
This will be a mini paradisal getaway to the beautiful island country of Vanuatu in the South Pacific in search of the beauty and serenity I recently experience in Fiji.
Hong Kong & Taiwan
This will be a city break to the incredible Hong Kong. I'll take the opportunity to hop the short distance to the Taiwanese capital Taipei.
Thailand, Cambodia & Laos
I'll be continuing my travels across Asia with a triple country adventure to three of its most iconic nations. This trip will also bring me one step closer to seeing all of the Seven Wonders of the World with a visit to Angkor Wat.
Beyond 2019: A Wishlist
Turkmenistan, Iran, Lebanon, Tibet and Mongolia.
Enjoy your journey around my site. I hope it's a destination to which you'll return often. Travel safely.