This section contains a collection of personal stories which will entertain you or which might even encourage you to pick up your backpack and travel.
There are many reports in the media which contain dire warnings about the dangers and the hazards which are lurking out there for every traveller, but if you insert the word ‘unwary’ into that sentence, then things immediately become less scary. The dangers are greater for every unwary traveller – but with a little bit of common sense and some advance planning you can set out with confidence.
I spent a year in South America where my intention was to ‘tick off’ the majority of countries on the continent, however I hadn’t expected to get stuck in Colombia for six months. I now have very few expectations when I travel. I take each week as it comes. I begin with a loose route and itinerary but I am open to change. I like the variety and the uncertainty which comes with sleeping in a mixed dormitory or sharing a cab with a group of travellers to a local beauty spot that only the local people know about.
Since I first read Paddington Bear as a small child I had a yearning to see ‘..deepest, darkest Peru’ for myself. And I made it there. I saw Machu Picchu as the sun rose above the mountains and I trekked and canoed into the Amazon (from Ecuador). I loved the frozen wild beauty of the Baltic States at the tail-end of the winter and I adored the vibrancy and timeless charm of the Catalan villages.
But you don’t have to travel to the other side of the world. You can explore the parts of your home town that you have never bothered to visit before, or go and check out that new museum or art gallery. I have spent lovely days exploring new parts of the UK and reacquainting myself with my childhood haunts. And I try to bring these places alive for you, painting a picture in my articles and telling you the stories about the people that I meet.
In my opinion, the best way to learn about a place is to immerse yourself in it, wandering the streets slowly, sitting with a coffee and watching the inhabitants go about their day to day business. Take a local bus and shop at the street markets. Observe without judgement and enjoy the difference and diversity.
And if things go wrong? Well, now you are having an adventure!
Click on the drop-down country tabs on the menu bar to read my stories, or if you want more detailed information about a specific place, region or country, then check out the destination fact sheets below.
Click on the links to find fact sheets which contain information, ideas and itineraries as well as suggested places to visit and things to do when in a region; and they will hopefully whet your appetite and encourage you to get out there and explore the world for yourself.
If you would like me to explore someplace on your behalf, drop me a line via the ‘Contact Form’ on this site and if my travel plans allow I’ll get along and see what I can find out for you – or you could even join me and share the experience.
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