travel

#71 – Visit the Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco

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…)

(Untitled thoughts of one who doesn’t say thank you enough)

“You don’t know what you have got until it is gone”. A common phrase that everyone will have been told at some point or another. It’s applicable to pretty much all walks of life as well, from the unsung hero, to the all-rounder at work, to that friend who may fly under the radar but will never let you down when you need them most.

Most importantly, it’s a phrase that should resonate strongly when it comes to your family, especially your parents. At least, it does with mine. All three of them. And it is especially prevalent when it comes to social media interactions. (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…)

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

#25 – Go White Water Rafting

‘Rivers know this: there is no hurry.
We shall get there some day’
– A.A. Milne

Picture this: you’re in the front left-hand seat of a yellow raft with four other people, one of whom is your “guide”. After a few paddle strokes, you get called to stop. The current takes you to the edge of the river. Below you is a 7m drop, the highest commercially rafted waterfall in the world. You get called to assume the position, feet tucked under the front of the raft, paddle gripped tightly, head bowed down into your chest. You steal one last glance as the raft begins to tip over the edge and it’s 3… 2… 1… (more…)

#24 – Take a ride in a helicopter

‘The helicopter: the flying carpet of the Scientific Age’ – Michael Hampson

Helicopters. They really are something. If you haven’t been in one before, I implore you to do so at some point.

I was quite lucky I actually got to ride in one at all actually. It was the only way to get up to Franz Josef Glacier, and then get back down again. Considering that the FJG Ice Hike isn’t able to take place under poor weather conditions – and there had only been 8 hikes in the previous month – I was worried that it wasn’t going to happen at all. So, when it did… happy days!

They are pretty things you know. Agile. Sleek. Speedy. Smooth as hell when it comes to take off and landing.

Like I said, Helicopters. They really are something.

To see my complete bucket list, click here

#22 – Climb Mt Ngauruhoe (Mt Doom), New Zealand

‘And as the captains gazed south to the Land of Mordor,
it seemed to them that, black against the pall of cloud,
there rose a huge shape of shadow, impenetrable,
lightning-crowned, filling all the sky’
– J.R.R. Tolkein

An optional ascent on the Tongariro Crossing, Mt Ngauruhoe really is the pinnacle of this little excursion. Snow at the peak all year round, an incline that leaves you scrambling on all fours, ground that breaks away at every step, an active volcano, and the chance of death – quite literally. What’s not to love?

It’s not even that big. An additional 600m climb, allegedly. But it takes between 2-3hrs and is not recommended for those who struggled with the Devil’s Staircase or are physically unfit. Several of us from the Kiwi Experience group set off up the mountain together and we all made it to the top at varying times, although we did get slightly *very* separated on the way down.

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#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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