Derek Seto

Delek Delek

Derek Seto


Hi,

Most of you will have been directed here by me - if so, thanks for coming. If not, thanks for coming anyway.

I am Derek - a Kiwi who in June 2007, set off on a 4 1/2 month sortie around Europe via the USA, and set up this blog so that friends, family and randoms could keep track of where I had been to, and of the shenanigans I inevitably got up to.

The trip inspired me to keep travelling and directly following it, I spent the next seven years living in London, which was a fantastic base from which to continue my travels and thus the travelling continued unabated; as did the growing of this blog after I decided to keep it going - which is now a bit of a monster!

What also continued to grow, was my list of places around the world that I had to visit. It soon became apparent that public holidays and twenty-five days of annual leave wasn't going to cut it - so I decided to pack it all in and went on a two year journey around the world in an attempt to tick everything off my list.
Before setting off, I spent some time back home in New Zealand, travelled around South Africa for a couple of months, went back to London for a month and then lived in Spain for three months.
Once I did eventually set off, I spent eight months in Latin America, followed by five-and-a-half months in Europe and then finally, a year in Asia. From Chile to China, Moldova to Myanmar, India to Indonesia, and just about everywhere in between, it was the journey of a lifetime - and it is all documented right here!

Believe it or not however, all that travelling and not having a proper home for more than three years does get old after a while and I ended up yearning for a normal life (and money) again so thus I decided it was about time to set down some roots (for a little while anyway) once I had completed my sojourn.

Which is how I have found myself in Berlin, Germany, where I am currently living and working.
Despite my best efforts, I never did complete my list of places to go (I guess I had to leave some places for later!) so there will definitely be more trips to be made from here in Berlin.

All of my stories are arranged in reverse-chronological order, so my most recent travels are directly below.
I have organised the blog entries into "trips" as well, which are underneath the map on the right of this page (if you are on your laptop browser) or near the bottom of the page (if you are on your phone). Navigating the "trips" will make it easier for you to browse the blog entries I have written in the past.
The first "trip" consists of the first 32 blog entries covering my initial Euro-trip and the second "trip" covers the following 91 trips I did from London. The next four "trips" cover a quick visit to Australia, my time in South Africa, a couple of random stops to/from the UK and a couple of short breaks from Spain.
You are then able to read through my sojourn around the world, which has been split into three "trips"; "Latin America 2015-2016", "Europe 2016" and "Asia 2016-2017". My current trip "Excursions From Berlin" covers all the trips I have done since I have started living in the German capital.

The blog is primarily for me - so I can remember the places I've been, the people I've met and the experiences I've had.
But if you can take something from reading them, be it travel advice, inspiration to travel, or just a plain good read (haha) - then that's awesome.

Cheers,
Derek



Europe » Greece » Pelopennese » Monemvasia April 29th 2019

It was a long day of driving as we went from Nafplio to the Mani Peninsula via Olympia, so at least the stunning scenery we saw on the Mani coast made the long drive seem worthwhile. Spending six hours in a car with your sister who you haven't seen for a while also presents an amazing opportunity to make up for lost time. It was great to hang out with Fern for an extended period of time, having only caught up with her infrequently and fleetingly ever since I left New Zealand twelve years ago. We still laugh at the same jokes and the same things, but I also found it interesting to discover how we have also both changed and grown over the last twelve years. We finally got to our final destination for the ... read more
Lording Over Monemvasia
The Church Of Agia Sophia
Paint A Picture

Europe » Greece » Pelopennese April 26th 2019

When I was growing up, my sister owned a world atlas that displayed places of interest around the world. I'd always had a predilection for maps and seeing all these famous names on this one was a source of dreamy inspiration, triggering a wanderlust that remains to this day. Growing up in New Zealand, everything seemed so far away, so the thought of visiting all of these places one day aroused a sense of wonderment when I was a young teenager. Well, you could definitely say that that atlas was one of the inspirations behind by travels and it would in fact, go on to inform most of the travel plans that I eventually made. On the map of Greece, I was drawn to the Peleponnese, a massive chunk of a peninsula that makes up the ... read more
Epidavros Amphitheatre
Streets Of Nafplio #1
Sunset Over Nafplio

Africa » Tunisia » Hammamet April 23rd 2019

There’s something enchanting about the narrow alleys of a windswept North African medina. For most people, such a description evokes images of Morocco - but I can tell you that Tunisia also deserves to be visualised in the in the same way. Hammamet, the last stop of my week long journey around the country, seemed pretty busy on arrival, not quite the relaxing, beach resort town that I was expecting. Instead it felt like somewhere a bit more...normal. But I was overwhelmingly relieved to have made it there. Thanks to some dodgy food eaten in Tataouine, the all-day drive back up north was nothing short of an ordeal - I was tired thanks to a night of almost no sleep; I was stiff and sore the whole way which doesn't help when you're not able to ... read more
Not A Bad View...
Streets Of The Medina
A View Out To Sea

Africa » Tunisia » Tataouine April 21st 2019

Though I enjoyed the films, I wouldn’t say that I’m a Star Wars fan so to speak, but I did know that some parts of the movies were filmed in Tunisia; in particular, that there were scenes filmed in the Tunisian desert which looked amazing. Therefore when I found out that the places in these scenes are actually real, I thought that with the time I had available in Tunisia, that they would be worth checking out. I generally always have a Lonely Planet on my phone for the places I visit and I am normally quite reliant on them to guide me in terms of determining where to go, what to see and how to get to places. For Tunisia, there wasn't a Lonely Planet available so I was travelling somewhat blind this time. I ... read more
Hotel Sidi Driss, Matmata
Dougga
El Jem Coliseum

Africa » Tunisia » Tunis April 18th 2019

When most think of a romantic, exotic, French-influenced, North African getaway, the country that most immediately comes to mind is Morocco. But the more famous the place, the more touristy it is and after my average and somewhat dramatic Moroccan experience, I think that I may have found a credible alternative; a place with the medinas, the French, the Arabic, the desert and the beaches, sans all of the hassle; Tunisia. Back in Berlin, life seemed to be all falling into place. By this stage, I had now built up a bit more of a financial base, I was settled into my job and I had just moved into my own apartment in one of the most desired areas to live in Berlin - I almost didn’t want to leave. After three years of travelling and ... read more
Bardo Museum
Antonin Baths
Sidi Bou Said

Middle East » Iran » North » Tehran January 6th 2019

My time in Iran wasn't quite over yet. Indeed I was on my way home but after worrying ever so slightly about getting to Shiraz International Airport on time, navigating the poorly-signed said airport, catching two a hour flight and arriving at Tehran's Mehrabad Airport, I still had about ten hours to kill in the capital before catching my (two) flight(s) back to Berlin. I had missed out on seeing the Treasury of National Jewels when I was in Tehran last and knowing the very short opening hours it had, I headed straight there from the city's domestic airport. Travelling super-light made this a feasible proposition! Locked in a steel vault of metre-thick walls inside the Central Bank Of Iran, are the Iranian crown jewels, a breathtaking collection of precious gems and jewel-encrusted objects that were ... read more
Streets Of Tehran #1
US Den Of Espionage
Exhibits At The Iranian Artists House

Middle East » Iran » South » Shiraz January 4th 2019

Just like the irony of there being no beef madras in Madras, there is no shiraz to be found in Shiraz. A place that once produced some of the finest wine in the world, Iran's 300 pre-revolution wineries have now been reduced to zero. We are in the Islamic Republic after all and as such, there is not a drop of alcohol to be (legally) found in the country, outside of the small Iranian Christian communities that live here. Not that this should put anyone off visiting Shiraz, of course - my next destination has many a sight worth seeing. Oh, does it just. Now when I think about every place I have been in on New Year's Day over the years, the list is a microcosm of all my travels; London, Dubai, Berlin (twice), url=../../Africa/Egypt/Lower ... read more
Persepolis
Aramgah-e Shah-e Cheragh, Shiraz
Pink Mosque, Shiraz

Middle East » Iran » East » Yazd December 31st 2018

It was supposed to be so easy. Have the hostel book me a taxi to the bus station, buy a ticket to Yazd at the station, get on the bus. The first part went according to plan apart from my driver not being able to change a 500,000 rial note, so he asked some fellow taxi drivers if they could help him. One guy with very light eyes and who could easily have passed for being Spanish or Greek was able to give my driver change. He asks me where I am going. “Yazd”, I tell him. He then tells me in very broken English that I was at the wrong station and that there wouldn’t be a bus leaving from here to Yazd for another three hours. He says I can get a bus leaving ... read more
Tunnel Alley
Amir Chakmaq Mosque Complex
Desert View From Chak Chak

Middle East » Iran » West » Esfahan December 29th 2018

It was a hectic scramble getting to the bus station and having arrived at the huge Terminal e-Jonub back in Tehran, I had no idea what was going on. All the signage was Persian-only which I cannot for the life of me decipher, so I just approached the man yelling “Esfahan, Esfahan!” who took me to the ticket office and put me on the bus. At least in China I could at least recognise characters, even if I didn’t know what they meant. I'm not sure if the bus was sticking to a timetable but I knew that buses left for Isfahan pretty frequently from here and would probably just leave when it had picked up enough passengers. While I was buying the ticket, I was pestered the whole way by some dude trying to tell ... read more
Pol-e Khaju
Kakh-e Ali Qapu
Inside The Masjed-e Sheik Lotfallah

Middle East » Iran » North » Tehran December 24th 2018

Twenty years ago, if someone had told me that I'd one day be going to Iran, I would never have believed it. In fact even now I was met with raised eyebrows when I told friends and colleagues of my holiday plans. Requiring a deal with major world powers to curb nuclear ambitions, being a conservative Islamic republic and having recently and arbitrarily detained foreign nationals, the country gets a bit of a bad rap in Western media but even taking this into account, I was still slightly concerned about what might happen to me while over there. But then on the other hand, I had heard of many tourists who had been there and I had never heard anyone say a single bad word about it; only that the food was amazing, the architecture beautiful ... read more
Darband
Emarat-e Badgir
Tabiat Bridge




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