Shimla mountains and a happy meeting

When you travel through a country, especially if you are using a published travel guide, you are walking a well trodden path. Indeed maybe a thousand people are doing it with you simultaneously. This has a very strong effect over time, as more and more guest houses start catering only to the backpacker and spring up all along the route, which had myriad knock-on effects. Such as: taxi services who know the guide books better than you do and hordes of travellers at ever corner all "experiencing" the local atmosphere; all the time failing to realise that they are in a "bubble" like a Disney theme park ride.

It Shouldn’t Happen to a Backpacker: The Moth Story

As a traveller you know, and even expect, the unknown to occur. You want this; for some it’s the whole point of leaving their home in the first place. It’s usually to do with the fun stuff like walking the Great Wall, eating Sushi in Tokyo Fish Market or jumping off a bridge in New Zealand with only an elastic band to prevent your death.

Bodh Gaya Part 2 and onwards to Sarnath

Eating food in India is no joke. On one hand there are high-end coffee cafes that have prices that could only make sense to the gainfully employed. High-end coffee needs to be carefully metered out as it is too comforting and familiar a western experience to eat in such a cafe. Not only does it take you away from your local-encounters in this mighty country, but also takes a large amount of Indian coin from your purse and that directly affects how much you have to spend on the fun things.

Singapore: Gateway to SE Asia

The hottest cold One of the first things that hits you on arrival to Singapore airport is the intense cold.  Litres of Icy cold air is blasted at you from almost all directions from a myriad of air-conditioning machines the size of skyscrapers and it is quite nice to get outside and experience a little heat for a while.  Air-conditioning has been taken to new heights by the Singaporeans, indeed the entire Tube system is frosty cold conditioned, as is every single mall and many of the pavement steps surrounding them.  To walk around Singapore is to be blasted by heat and cold at such extremes you wonder if you have wandered into a new form of torture.

Welcome to New Zealand

New Zealand is a country Cesca and I have longed to visit for many years. Tales speak of this island and its seemingly unique people. That they are more friendly than the most sociable of Australian’s, more “outdoors-loving” than even Scottish highlanders and more into extreme sports than anyone outside Cirque-de-soleil! Moreover, all of the “Kiwis” I have met have been the most persuasive of ambassadors as they have a deep and abiding love of their country, a great love of sporting life and and all of them stand a pint.