Thailand & Vietnam
In the summer of 2017 I travelled to Thailand and Vietnam. This was my first time in Thailand and my second time in Vietnam. I had planned to travel South-East Asia for a few months but graduation on July 14th made me reconsider and 3 weeks before graduation became the plan.
Flying via Dubai, I touched down in Bangkok on the 17th July. Immediately I hit the streets on a Food Tour around Chinatown with withlocals.com. This was my first taste of Thailand and I loved it. I spent 4 days in Bangkok seeing the sites before a short flight to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
In Vietnam I spent 4 days sightseeing, shopping and shooting; both on camera and with an M16 rifle. The M16 rifle was shot at the Cu Chi Tunnels, the famous tunnels used by the Viet Cong in the Vietnam War.
From Ho Chi Minh City I travelled to the Thai island of Koh Samui. On Koh Samui I scaled one of the many waterfalls and swam in the ocean. After 4 days I took the ferry to the famous party island of Koh Phangan but as my hotel was a bit secluded I did not party but instead rented a kayak to explore the shoreline. A short ferry ride later I arrived in Koh Tao where I climbed up to viewpoints, snorkelled off of Koh Nang Yuan and of course, ate more food.
On the way home I spent 2 days back in Bangkok on the Kohsan Road (the backpacker street full of bars and clubs) but sadly due to a Buddhist holiday, no alcohol was served those two days. Instead, I spent my money on many massages in preparation for the long flight home to Scotland.
In 2011 I visited Vietnam and spent much of my time in Ho Chi Minh doing the same as I did in 2017. However, in 2011 I travelled north to Hoi An where I went on 2 scuba dives and cycled through the paddy fields. This experience drove me to visit Vietnam again in the future.
Jordan & Israel
2012 was the year I travelled to Jordan and Israel with my family. Hiring a car, we drove through the desert from Amman, Jordan to Aqaba on the Red Sea where we spent our time scuba diving and snorkelling. From here we drove north visiting the ancient city of Petra before spending a night in the Wadi Rum with the local Bedouin people near the home of Lawrence of Arabia. Here I rode camels, ate a meal cooked in a sand pit and saw more stars than I had ever seen before.
After our time in Jordan came to an end we spent 7 hours in queues and a bus crossing the 3 mile border in 45 degree heat. However, it was worth it to see the beautiful city of Jerusalem in Israel. In Israel I spent my time visiting many historical sites and the Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum.
I've been travelling to the Alps for as long as I can remember. When I was 11 we went to the Dolomites in Italy where we hiked up mountains and stayed in a number of mountain huts. At 12 I scaled my first snow-capped Alpine mountain, Aiguille du Tour. At 3am I put my crampons on and I headed up the glacier towards the summit. A week later I crossed the Mer de Glace from France to Italy. This included descending a ridge from the Aiguille du Midi with 1000 feet drops on either side.
Other times in the Alps have been spent skiing in both France and Italy where I've improved my abilities considerably.
In 2015 I planned a 3 week trip through Eastern Europe. I travelled by train and bus to Krakow, Budapest, Zagreb and Split.
Starting in Krakow I learned of the horrors that WW2 brought to the city and of the nearby concentration camp of Auschwitz. I also experienced the local nightlife on the Krakow Pub Crawl before departing by bus to Budapest.
The bus travelled for 8 hours south through Slovakia before reaching Hungary and its capital city. In Budapest I explored the grand architecture and visited the 100 year old Szechenyi thermal baths.
After the uncomfortable bus journey to Budapest (there was no toilet on board) I decided to change plans and take the train to the next destination of Zagreb, Croatia.
Zagreb was an interesting stopover on the way to the final destination. It was home to the Museum of Broken Relationships which was both extremely funny but also poignant. The city also had a very beautiful park that much of my time was spent in. However, it was on to the final destination of Split, Croatia.
The journey to Split was much more pleasant and far shorter than the journeys that came before it. Arriving in the ancient Roman town I was greeted by the man who was to take me to his Airbnb apartment that I had rented which was located 5 minutes from the beach. The next day I rented a small 5 horse power motor boat and took it across the straights to the Island of Brač. I anchored for a few hours then struggled against the wind and waves to return it back to the harbour. A few days of exploring the city and swimming in the Adriatic was all I had left until my flight back to Glasgow.
Upon returning home I created a short video of my travels and put it on YouTube.
It can be viewed here.
In 2011 I visited Darwin where I explored the coastline before venturing into the outback of Litchfield National Park. In the national park I swam under 3 different waterfalls and walked through tropical forests but also almost desert-like terrain. This was also where the largest spider I have ever seen decided to make an appearance on the car window whilst driving down the highway.
Back in Darwin I learned the history of the town including its bombing by the Japanese in WW2. It was also amazing to witness the one day residents of the Northern Territory are allowed to use fireworks, Territory Day.
New York & Washington DC
In 2014 I had just finished my first year at university and I was off to the USA. Staying in New York for a week I explored Central Park and stared down at the city from both the Empire State Building and the Rockefeller Centre. After New York I took the Amtrak to Washington DC. I cycled a 40 mile round trip to George Washington's Mount Vernon home before visiting many of the memorials around central DC. The trip to the USA inspired me more than I would have thought at the time. The places I had seen in my favourite movies and TV shows were there to see and touch and I knew I wanted to be a part of it.
Cycle Around Scotland
In 2010 I cycled 250 miles around Scotland.
Starting in Kinloch Rannoch we cycled south-west to Bridge of Orchy then north to Fort William. From Fort William we travelled towards Mallaig in the rain until finally the sun came out as we arrived. Returning south, we passed through Fort William once again on our way to Spean Bridge. This is where we left the roads and well-made dirt tracks for mud and bog as we ventured through the glens, past Loch Carrour and the now, thanks to Trainspotting, famous Carrour Station. Finally back on dirt track we quickly made our way back towards Blair Atholl then up into the Cairngorms to Braemar. The next leg of the journey was the hardest as it was all up hill towards the Lecht Ski resort where we took the chance to make use of the downhill mountain biking tracks. From the Lecht we went on to Tomintoul, Carrbridge and finally back home to Inverness.
It rained almost all the time with the wind apparently changing direction so it blew into our face constantly.
I wouldn't have had it any other way.