A bit about me
Growing up on tales of parents’ many adventures instilled in me an insatiable appetite to explore the world myself.
Early adventures on safari in South Africa and Zambia and salmon fishing in Canada reeled me in. By the time I set off on my own solo backpacking adventure to India for four months at the age of 19 I was completely obsessed.
I challenge anyone to find another continent that can match Asia for the sheer diversity of travel opportunities that it offers. The range of beautiful destinations, rich cultures and fantastic food is as varied as it is enormous! I cannot wait to set off on my next adventure.
My favourite place
The Akihabara district of Tokyo is the centre of all the weird and wonderful in Japan. If you have ever wanted to learn about some of the more unique or bizarre pop culture phenomena in Japan; look no further than Akihabara. A relative ‘Space Age Mecca’ for all lovers of high-tech gadgets, anime, video games, cosplay and manga surrounded by Tokyo’s neon lights and , it feels like stepping into a science fiction film.
People often speak about the harmony of both the modern and traditional elements of Japan
At the opposite end of the spectrum from Akihabara but no less awe inspiring is the lovely Miyajima Island. Just off the coast of Hiroshima, this beautiful temple island was totally unaffected by the horrors of the Atomic Bomb. Few areas in Japan offer more stunning views in such a peaceful setting. Miyajima is a feast of incredible photo opportunities (like the Torii Gate at the Itsukushima Shrine!!), charming Shinto Temples and a winding network of walkways to take a leisurely stroll and befriend the local deer. Well worth at least a day trip if you are visiting Hiroshima.
My favourite hotel
With its grand setting inside the walls of this magnificent old hunting lodge that to this day is owned and run by the royal family of Jodhpur; its beautiful rooms decorated in traditional Rajasthani style; the friendliest, most helpful staff; and fantastic guided excursions into the surrounding natural splendour. I cannot recommend more strongly that you find a night or two to visit Rawla Narlai on what can be an otherwise hectic Rajasthan itinerary.
My most memorable experience
It is an impossible task to pick just one.
Taking part in Holi Festival and Shivratri with a rural communtiy off the beaten tourist path of Rajasthan was really special. Few other tourists had previously been included here so I felt truly honoured to have witnessed these significant holy days without the usual tell-tale signs of a more commercial operation. The colours of Holi Festival are truly magical.
Tsukiji Fish Market in Tokyo is an unmissable experience for sushi lovers when visiting Tokyo. To see the hub of the Japanese fishing industry at full flow is astonishing. When you can stand the hunger no longer, tuck in to the freshest, most delicious sushi and sashimi in the world.
My top Tips
- Take your time. In my experience it is better to linger slightly longer and really appreciate your surroundings rather than attempt to cram too much in. You can’t see everything on your first visit but if you really love it you can always return.
- Before my first trip to India I was advised to take a small shot of my preferred spirit at the start of each day to line your stomach. It seemed to help with the infamous ‘belly’ for the most part.
- Take lots of photos and make sure you can save back-ups! One of my saddest travel regrets was when my camera broke in the sands of the Thar Desert outside Jaisalmer after collecting four months’ worth of irreplaceable photos and happy memories with no backups! Never to be seen again!