travel blog

#68 – Hitchhike

‘One of the more tiring aspects of hitchhiking is a need to be sociable and make conversation with whoever is driving you.
It would be considered poor form to accept a ride, hop into the passenger seat and then simply to crash out until you reached your destination
‘ – Tony Hawks

Unlike Tony Hawks, I am afraid to say that I did indeed crash out during my hitchhiking experience. Now, my hitchhiking experience may not be quite so exotic / painstakingly frustrating / dangerous (delete as appropriate) as other people’s experiences might be, but I believe that it still counts.

The reason I crashed out was the circumstance. For one, it was other backpackers who picked us up. Secondly, the backseat of the VW was a bed. Thirdly we had just walked the Tongariro Crossing, and I (more…)

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#50 – Have a bonfire on the beach

‘Insert Quote Here’ – Teo Wolter

This memory will live on in me for as a long as I will live because it was a truly special evening for me, even if it did take me 23years to get there.

The site of my first beach bonfire experience was Hot Water Beach on New Zealand’s North Island. One of the guys that I had met right at the start of my Kiwi Experience trip – Teo – and I had made our minds up quite early on that we would be spending our one evening at Hot Water Beach sat under the stars with a little bonfire, so en route to the location we picked up marshmallows to toast over the open flames.

We made our way down to the beach after sunset, following a path illuminated by (more…)

(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…)

Callum’s 2017 Adventures: Phillip Island 1D Tour

‘Take a waddle on the wild side’Phillip Island Penguin Parade

Heh. Every time I see that quote it makes me chuckle. Anyway…

I won’t deny that my decision to take this tour on my 24th birthday was born out of pure nostalgia because, well, it was. And even though Phillip Island is home to more than just the Penguin Parade – it also hosts the Australian Moto GP on its Grand Prix Circuit – it is for the parade that I took this tour. After all, it is something I had seen when I was first brought out to Australia by my dad and step-mum on my 6th birthday, hence the nostalgia making me want to visit once more.

As with the Great Ocean Road and Grampians tour (pt.1 & pt.2), this Phillip Island tour was arranged through Wildlife Tours, although it didn’t require quite as early a start as the last tours! Nevertheless, I still ended up spending the majority of the drive fast asleep.

As the Penguin Parade doesn’t occur until after sunset (more…)

#71 – Visit the Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco

‘This bridge needs neither praise, eulogy nor encomium.
It speaks for itself’
– J. Strauss

The Golden Gate Bridge finds its home in The Golden City. A landmark suspension bridge, it is often acknowledged as a symbolic representation of San Francisco across the world.

Due to my aunt moving to the states for work, I found myself in San Francisco over Christmas 2009 where, amongst other exciting things on the to-do list, a visit to the bridge was at the top.

Unfortunately I wasn’t that much into photography at the time and (more…)

#46 – Visit the Eiffel Tower, Paris

‘The Arc de Triomphe, the Eiffel Tower. They’re monumental.
They’re straight out of Page 52 in your school history book’
–  Billy Crystal

The Eiffel Tower. The “Iron Lady”. A single structure that is synonymous with both Paris and France. This iron behemoth was once the worlds tallest structure, and is as beautiful as it is intimidating. Moreover no visit to Paris can be said to be complete without seeing it and, even though I have been several times now, my most recent visit was my favourite.

Previously I had only ever visited the tower during daylight hours, but Heather reminded me that at night it lights up, with a beacon at its peak, shining through the sky. So on a beautiful autumn evening we found ourselves gazing up at at the illuminated body (more…)

#44 – Visit the Louvre

‘What’s the name of that famous museum in Paris? The Louvre?
I went through that place in 20 minutes’
– Peter Falk

Growing up, the Louvre if often fantasised about as one of the “must-sees” for any trip into Paris – especially for art lovers of all backgrounds. The diversity of styles, and the eras that are represented are well documented, as is the vast underground and overground space that it consumes.

Although I had been to Paris previously, the opportunity to visit the Louvre always escaped me, which I found rather irksome. So, when I went to visit my friend Heather in October 2016, getting to the Louvre was a top priority which – thankfully – she was in agreement with me on. (more…)

Callum’s 2017 Adventures: Great Ocean Road & Grampians 2D1N Tour pt.1

If you have come looking for an article that will given you an in-depth and detailed travel guide to both the Great Ocean Road and the Grampians National Park then I apologise, because you are sorely mistaken. However, if you have come looking for a little information about possible places/landmarks to visit (and some kick-ass photos to boot) then continue reading about my recent journey, courtesy of Wildlife Tours Australia.

Although I left the UK to travel, I came to Aus on a working holiday visa, so I could to top up my bank account and earn some money to help fund future travel plans. However, working full-time can be quite a bore, so you do need to do things to stop you falling into a rut. Fortunately my job allows me every second weekend off and, since I am living in Melbourne, I decided to use those weekends to try and get myself completing some of recommended activities for the area. One of these happened to be the Great Ocean Road, something that I wasn’t quite able to do on my previous visit back in 2015. As the whole weekend was free, I thought I’d splash out and go for the tour that included a visit to the Grampians as well.

The Great Ocean Road officially starts in Torquay, but if effectively takes you from Melbourne to Adelaide (or vice versa). It is known as one of the worlds greatest scenic drives, which shouldn’t come as a surprise because, well, you spend the entire time with the ocean on one side of you. (more…)

(Untitled thoughts of one who is feeling inspired)

Inspiration truly can come from the most unlikely of sources when you least expect it. It’s not like I have been in need of any inspiration recently, because I feel more focussed and more driven now than at any point since leaving the UK. But it’s always nice to find something that will push you just that little bit more.

Which brings me on to something I came across this morning, which hits home harder than it may have done this time last week, due to the events in Manchester.

Whilst scrolling through FB to see how my friends back home and across the world are getting on, a trailer video for a Ch4 TV show – “First Dates” – popped up (odd premise in my opinion but hey, I don’t get reality TV at all). Anyway, this video focused on a first date between an older gent and lady. The gent was discussing how he’d lost his wife 7 years previously, as well as one of his children who had been in their 30’s. This was then (more…)

#26 – Visit the Great Barrier Reef, Australia

‘Do we really care so little about the earth on which we live
that we don’t want to protect one of the world’s greatest wonders
from the consequences of our behaviour?’
– Sir David Attenborough

As of the end of 2016, 93% of the reef faced bleaching. I went to visit it in 2015, during my first stint in Australia. Growing up, the Reef is one of those things that you are often told stories about. You are told of its beauty. Its wonder. Almost like it’s some of fantasy wonderland.

My trip was a tour. Part of the tour included the opportunity to either snorkel or scuba dive.  Unfortunately, I was unable to do either due to mitigating circumstances. I did, however, get to see the coral reef via a glass bottomed boat.

Now that, that was cool. Glass bottomed boats are so cool. I’d happily go around in one again, and again, and again. And it makes you feel special, you know? Being able to see something like that, so up close and personal. At least, it was evocative for me anyway.

It breaks my heart to know that the Reef doesn’t have long left, considering that it had been around years before us, and should have outlived us all. It’s its own eco-system after all.

At least I will have my memories from my visit though, of one of Earth’s most beautiful creations. However, if I were you, I’d get there as soon as possible.

To see my complete bucket list, click here