How to rough it on the road and still come back smiling

I’ve been back in the land of peat, rain, brick lanes and whisky for a few weeks now. Back home in┬áthe autumnal Scottish Borders where my family, friends, dogs and home comforts are busy easing me back into the normal swing of things (slowly, but surely). And somehow, somehow, as so many have already pointed out (with more than a dash of surprise), I made it nine and change months round the world and came back in one piece. Continue reading “How to rough it on the road and still come back smiling”

Not The Usual Suspects

There came a time when I was travelling, I peg it as being around midway through South America, where I felt I’d reached a breakthrough stage as a traveller. I believed I’d reached the point where I was past getting too attached to people I met on the road, who inevitably I’d be leaving sooner rather than later.

I thought therefore that I was over that aching heartache that comes with leaving new friends behind. Not, of course, because I wasn’t meeting cool people in South America or in Mexico, but because I’d done enough of these transient goodbyes to have grown a tougher skin, to keep on keeping on, just as before, no matter who I left behind.

Such is the nature of travelling though, that your most certain assurances are sure to be challenged at some point or other. Continue reading “Not The Usual Suspects”

RIP Juan Gabriel, Star of Mexico, Latin Pavarotti

The city sprawls itself haphazardly across storm capped mountains, for as far as the eye can see. The plane hits a wave of misty turbulence as we approach the runway; thunder and the roar of the engines become indistinguishable. I have just landed in Mexico City, and I’ve no idea what lies ahead. Continue reading “RIP Juan Gabriel, Star of Mexico, Latin Pavarotti”

The End Product of One Too Many Introspective Hangovers

I was sitting on yet another bus a week or two ago, Shaun and I headed for Quilotoa – an active volcano outside of Latacunga, Ecuador. I was sitting there, watching a countryside not so dissimilar to Scotland’s pass us by – all lush greens and forest and pasture – listening to music that reminds me of home, when I was struck by a moment of perfect clarity. Continue reading “The End Product of One Too Many Introspective Hangovers”

Indiana Bannerman and the Journey to the Lost City

What did you want to be when you were a kid?

I ask because so many of my pals had comic book aspirations, like: become an astronaut, a musician, a crime-fighting-bat-masked-vigilante (some were more original than others). But then there I was, wanting nothing more than to be… an archaeologist. Continue reading “Indiana Bannerman and the Journey to the Lost City”

Names

Because variety is the spice of life, and I miss the spice of Indian food, I decided to do something different with my blog for a change. Something a bit more intimate, and something which hopefully might give you a new kind of insight into travelling. I dunno, but fuck it. Instead of the usual gig, here I have copied word for word (complete with all the terrible grammar and overuse of the word ‘wonderful’) the latest entry in my journal. Continue reading “Names”

Living La Vida Buena

We’re perched on the back of a pickup truck, gazing with pride at the newly finished chicken coop we built (from foundations up), eating walnuts picked straight from the tree beside us. To my right is a field full of horses – I spot Indio, the one I’ve been riding the past few days – and behind them, on the horizon, the Andes.

I could live like this, I think. Quite easily. Continue reading “Living La Vida Buena”

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