content

The boy who strayed from his path

‘Stay true to yourself, yet always be open to learn.
Work hard, and never give up on your dreams,
even when nobody else believes they can come true but you’

– Phillip Sweet

It is suffice to say that 2017 didn’t really turn out the way that I thought it would. When the year began, I was of the opinion that I would have spent some time soaking the sun up in Byron, that I would have whale watched over in Western Australia, and that I would have travelled to hell and back completing the necessary 3 months of agricultural work required for a 2nd year visa up in Queensland. However, the reality is that none of the above occurred. And yet, looking back on my 2017, I don’t believe that I would really want to change it at all.

This year saw me forge some extremely strong friendships, revisit destinations that I first went to all the way back in 1999, and finally fulfil a bucket list wish that I have dreamed of for as long as I could remember. Most importantly though, it allowed me to (more…)

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(Untitled thoughts of one who has been away for a year and counting)

Well, what a difference a year makes! A year ago today I had just landed in New Zealand and was scrambling around trying to find away to find my phone, ID, and credit card, having left them behind in the car of the people who had driven me from the airport to my hostel – it was made all the harder by the fact that I had only met these people on the flight itself!

It is strange to think that it has been 12months since I last stepped out on English soil. So much has happened since then, however it is safe to say that (more…)

#21 – Walk the Tongariro Crossing, New Zealand

‘In autumn 2000, Tongariro National Park was home to the most sinister
of the Lord of the Rings locations, Mordor,
which is the strong hold of the dark Lord Sauron’ – 
Tongariro Crossing Official Page

I’ll be perfectly honest, when I first made the decision to hike the Tongariro Alpine Crossing, I had no idea of its connection to LotR. I mean yeah, I love the series, but I don’t intentionally set out to visit each filming location (I promise!). Still, to say I have hiked through Mordor is pretty damn cool.

Anyway, the reason I actually decided to do the crossing was to challenge myself. When I was still back at school I was able to complete the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award from Bronze through to Gold, but had really fallen off the wagon since then. So I thought, what better than to try and complete a 19.4km hike through volcanic terrain approaching the peak of the southern hemisphere’s summer?

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#20 – Visit Hobbiton, New Zealand

‘I picked up The Hobbit. And I began to read.
I was swept off to a green, green Shire in a far, far land, and my soul has never returned.
I suppose it never will’
– Steve Bivans

Back when I was a  young boy, my Dad took it upon himself to introduce me to Tolkien’s Middle-Earth. A special limited edition release of The Hobbit was gifted to me, and very quickly became one of my most favoured possessions. Being at an age where reading such a comprehensive piece of work was a difficult task, I have memories of my Dad reading it to me, bit by bit, every night I would stay over at his. This went on for months, and was the beginning of a long-standing love-affair with the world Tolkien depicted.

Naturally, once Hobbiton was created in real-life for the filming of both LotR and The Hobbit, my desire to visit grew ever stronger.

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#15 – Bungy Jump

‘Jump and you will find out how
to unfold your wings as you fall’ 
– Ray Bradbury

Ah, bungy jumping. You’re a special one aren’t you? Me and bungy jumping, we have a special thing going on these days. It’s love. It really is. To date I have completed the following bungy jumps:

And the plan is to, at some point, complete these ones too:

  • Last Resort Bridge, Nepal – 160m/524ft
  • Vidraru Dam, Romania – 166m/545ft
  • Kolnbrein Dam, Austria – 169m/555ft
  • Niouc Bridge, Switzerland – 190m/623ft
  • Europabrucke Bridge, Austria – 192m/629ft
  • Sochi 207, Russia – 207m/679ft
  • Bloukrans Bridge, South Africa – 216m/708ft
  • Contra Dam, Switzerland – 219m/720ft
  • Macau Tower, China – 233m/764ft

I would have the Royal Gorge Bridge bungy in Colorado included in this list, but it is no longer open to the public.

But this post is about my first bungy jump. The Cairns Tower Bungy in 2015.

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#14 – Skydive

If at first you don’t succeed,
then skydiving definitely isn’t for you
– Steven Wright

My first Skydive took place in 2015, over Airlie Beach on the East Coast of Australia with Skydive Airlie Beach. Since then I have also performed a Skydive over Lake Wanaka in New Zealand’s South Island.

Skydiving is one of those things that is on nearly every travellers bucket list. Honestly, when you’re backpacking through Australia and New Zealand, it is kind of like a 50/50 split on whether or not the random person you are going to end up sharing a room with in a hostel has skydived or not. And if they haven’t, more often than not they are planning to.

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(Untitled thoughts of one who has been away for six months)

‘The two impulses in travel are to get away from home,
and the other is to pursue something’
– Paul Theroux

On Wednesday of this past week I celebrated my six month ‘travel-versary’. That’s right. Six months ago I left my family, my friends, and my country behind in order to start afresh. To go on an epic trip abroad. To see and learn as much as possible of the world around us that I can.

Like many others, it’s a trip I decided to do alone, but not a decision I made lightly. Yes, I am having an amazing time in a country and culture that I continually learn about every day, but being so far away from the people you love and care about isn’t easy. Still, thanks to various forms of social media, it’s easier than ever to stay in contact and even though it might not be as frequent as some of them would like, every conversation satiates me and helps me push on.

Creating goals has helped as well. Of course, these goals have taken form in some sort of extended bucket list which, in turn, is going to become a new extension of this blog page.

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(Untitled thoughts of one who strongly dislikes saying goodbye)

I haven’t posted in a while I know. That isn’t due to a lack of possible content, but more because I feel there hasn’t exactly been anything to post. Until now that is.

What you’re about to read won’t be pretty, elegant or eloquent – after all, it is part of my ‘Untitled’ collection – but it will be brutally honest about my opinion/feelings on goodbyes, drawing on personal experience with the odd observation added in.

First of all, I would like to make one thing clear, goodbyes suck. At least, in my opinion they do. The dictionary definition for goodbye is: “an expression of good wishes when parting or at the end of a conversation”. To be honest, I think this is pretty weak. I believe that J.M Barrie hits the nail on the head in Peter Pan when he wrote “never say goodbye, because goodbye means going away, and going away means forgetting”. It is a poignant line that has stayed with me for many a year. Why? Well, because it is true.

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Callum’s 2016 Adventures: South Island, New Zealand pt.2

I was in New Zealand and met this girl. Her sister dared me to bungee jump, so I did!
It was a spur-of-the-moment decision.
I wanted to impress the girl, and it worked!
– Theo James

Queenstown: 07.12.16 – 08.12.16

Queenstown, adventure capital of the world. Home of endless activities, mountains of food and hours of drink. Queenstown should come with a warning really, something like ‘beware, once you arrive you may never want to leave’.

My time in Queenstown was split by a day trip to Milford Sound, so I’ll split up my writing about it in a similar fashion.

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Callum’s 2016 Adventures: South Island, New Zealand pt.1

‘There are parts of New Zealand that I absolutely fell in love with
that I will miss going back to,
but I kind of think that is the part that can continue and will continue on.
I don’t imagine I’ll stop going back to New Zealand,
because I feel part of the fabric there, really’
– Andy Serkis

Kaiteriteri: 29.11.16

Kaiteriteri is a common destination due to its close proximity to the Abel Tasman National Park.  In fact, it’s probably the main/only reason people would go there.

After leaving Wellington and North Island behind via a ferry, we were driven directly to Kaiteriteri, with a brief stop in Nelson. To then get to the Abel Tasman National Park, you usually have to take a water taxi – this is the case whether you are just going to walk around the park or if you are going to kayak.

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