Derek Seto

Delek Delek

Derek Seto


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.


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
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
Emarat-e Badgir
Tabiat Bridge

Europe » Belarus » Minsk Voblast » Minsk December 2nd 2018

Belarus: the final frontier. The last vestige of the former USSR, the last bastion of Soviet Communism. Located far behind the old Iron Curtain, Alexander Lukashenko has ruled here since 1994, the country known as Europe's last dictatorship. Isolated from the world, Belarus is a place most average people have never heard of and a place seldom in the news. But what kind of place would it be? Exactly the kind of place that fascinates me apparently; exactly the kind of place I had to check out. Belarus is also a final frontier for me. The first time I tried to go there, things went horribly, horribly wrong. About a year later, a second expedition had to be prematurely abandoned. It has been one of the most difficult countries I have tried to get to. Therefore ... read more
Modern Minsk Skyline
Presidential Administrative Building
Holy Spirit Cathedral

Middle East » Cyprus » Larnaca November 6th 2018

We had now come to the last couple of days of the trip, a trip that had seen us so far sample three very different environments; the strange atmosphere of the divided city of Nicosia; a slice of Turkey in Northern Cyprus; and then the unique, energetic and intriguing liberal Arabic vibe of Beirut. Now we were back in Cyprus and we were going to explore what the Greeks and British have left behind in the Republic Of Cyprus. It had been a long day being carted across the Lebanese countryside and at the end of it, we now we were on our flight back over to Larnaca where we arrived around midnight. We had still to arrange a rental car however so we still had to keep going a bit longer before we could ge ... read more
Coastline Near Lara Beach
Ancient Kourion
View From Ancient Kourion

Middle East » Lebanon » Beirut November 4th 2018

Beirut. The name never conjures up neutral reaction; usually raised eyebrows or enlarged eyes from anyone a little familiar with the place. Perhaps your first thoughts are about war. Perhaps they are about a cosmopolitan melting pot of cultures and religions. Perhaps they are about its vibrant bars and crazy nightlife. Perhaps they are about the awesome band of the same name. Whatever your opinions and whatever instantly comes to mind however, there is one thing that we can all agree on; Beirut is a name that fires fascination. It has certainly always done so for me and this started from a young age. When I was a kid, Beirut was always associated with violence, with reports on the six o'clock news always carrying stories about the latest bombing or assassination. Then as a teenager, the ... read more
Mohamed Al Amin Mosque
Place de l'Etoile
The Temple Of Bacchus, Baalbek

Middle East » Cyprus » Famagusta October 30th 2018

Now, I've visited a couple of disputed territories, with some being much stranger than others. There is always something intriguing about them though, which is why Scott and I thought we'd check out what it's like in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. We'd already seen the Turkish half of Nicosia, so we had some idea of what it's like; but we thought we'd venture into the territory a bit further to check out a couple of supposed coastal gems - Kyrenia and Famagusta. I don't quite know what I was expecting but the outskirts of North Nicosia are actually quite nice. They definitely aren’t poor. We got a decent look at them as our colectivo made its way towards Kyrenia. In look... read more
Lala Mustafa Pasa Camii
Old Town Kyrenia
Kyrenia Castle

Middle East » Cyprus » Nicosia October 28th 2018

It has been five months since I last wrote, which naturally and obviously, was the last time I travelled. Back then, I took a sneaky trip to Leipzigbefore starting my new job – five months later, it was time to get away for my first holiday since starting work again; the first time I have worked for almost three-and-a-half years. The holiday was well and truly deserved. About a month after I had started, I was put on a big project and the long hours, combined with the stress of delivering the project on-time and performing my job to high enough a level to pass my probation period, left me absolutely exhausted. This was on top of getting used to working life again, remembering how to do my job, settling into a new city, establishing new ... read more
Archbishop's Palace
Selmiye Mosque
Venetian Walls

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