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 the 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”

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”

How is this my life? (II)

I told y’all that China post wouldn’t be a one off. 

Welcome, friends, to the rib-tickling, rip-roaring, raunchy (really? no, probably not), rambunctious, raw and ridiculous second installment of How is this my life? which offers zero advice to fellow travellers, asking instead the important questions like: What am I doing here? Did that seriously just happen? and, of course, How the fuck is this my life? Continue reading “How is this my life? (II)”

And the sun sank on China

He who has not climbed the Great Wall is not a true man

– Mao Zedong

That may be all well and good, Mao auld chum, but y’all ever camped on the Great Wall? Naw? ‘Fuck up then. What’s more: that kind of gendered hyper-masculinity doesn’t fly anymore. Double ‘fuck up. (Now I’m safely off Chinese soil, I feel it’s safe to tell former dictators to ‘fuck up.) Continue reading “And the sun sank on China”

The game of Mao has now begun

According to my WordPress app, this is the longest gap I’ve left between posts since starting my journey. And for good reason, too.

Since leaving the lofty peaks of my birthday in Zhangjiajie, my days have been packed full of adventure, leaving me little time to write anything but the odd short poem (be a good sport and check out the ones I uploaded a couple days ago, eh?). I’m now back on yet another long and relatively (un)comfortable Chinese train, so it’s time to share with y’all those adventures. Continue reading “The game of Mao has now begun”

Nae blue folk, but the mountains were decent

I’m stuck in a Catch-22. I find myself mimicking Alice in Wonderland, running around, always a little lost, marvelling at smoking caterpillars and grinning Cheshire cats. China is a land full of inspiration and wonder and every day I find something new I want to write about. But, running around like this I can never find the time to write my blog about everything I want to. And the catch is, if I did spend my time writing as much as I want to, I’d not have the time to experience all that I find so inspiring. Continue reading “Nae blue folk, but the mountains were decent”

The day that Pizza Hut saved my life

Have you ever been offered help to lift something and declined the offer, thinking:

Pfft, you seen dis measly slab of cement? You seen deez arms, son? I got dis.

Right before putting your back out under the weight?

Ever been sat watching the rugger and said to yourself:

I guess if I wanted to, if I really really had to, I could probably take Julian Savea in a fight. Continue reading “The day that Pizza Hut saved my life”

How is this my life? (I)

Before I even start writing this I know it’s not a one-off. This is going to have to be some sort of series, each ending with a soap opera-esque:

What more’s in store for this intrepid traveller? Find out next time in How is this my life?

I know this because every day, every day there is something which stops me in my mental tracks and has me asking myself, honestly, how the fuck is this my life?! Continue reading “How is this my life? (I)”

These towns, becoming like dem ghost towns

I’ve got a draft blog post sitting here, which I may still post post-India, but which I no longer feel appropriate to post right now.

I was going to talk about the exhausting, invasive and (as I was arguing) justifiably money-hungry nature of India’s cities. However, I’ve now struck out further west into Rajasthan, and as I go I find – even if only inch by inch – less and less to complain about; less and less which stirs up my anxiety.

The algorithm is simple: the smaller the town, the friendlier the people, the more relaxed your surroundings. Continue reading “These towns, becoming like dem ghost towns”

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