Blogs from Saltburn-by-the-Sea, North Yorkshire, England, United Kingdom, Europe


The train pulls into Saltburn station with an extended wheezing puff of its brakes, and my arrival on the platform marks the end of what has, on and off, been just over four years of travel. I can't deny that I'm ready for a rest. I've read many travel blogs over the last few years, mainly ones relating to long-term travel. The majority of the writers were on a career break, taking 6 months to a year out to do some form of RTW trip. There were also others for whom travel was the main thing in the writer's life, with occasional bursts of working to finance it. I spent much time looking for the different reasons that compel people to travel. And people take many different things away from a long journey. For some it's ... read more

My journey back to the UK included a short stopover at Stockholm airport, where the ludicrous cost of a DC ate up a chunk of the savings I'd made by not flying directly to Heathrow. Despite arriving in Stockholm at about 7AM, which could not be considered early by airport standards, there was hardly anyone around except the cleaners, gliding elegantly across the empty floor spaces on scooters. At Heathrow I had a layover lasting the entire afternoon, which I filled with my first Times crossword in months as well as an intake of multiple chicken and stuffing sandwiches. My last layover at Heathrow back in 2005 (when I left New York) had resulted in sightings of De La Soul and Andy Bell (from Erasure) but this time celebrities were thin on the ground. I compensated ... read more
Methodist church and palm tree
Well what else are you going to do with an average surface temperature of 6C in winter?

Another year of travelling and another trip back home for Christmas. Feel free to join me in February for further travels. First stop - Ubud and a reunion with LA Woman.... read more
An old friend from home
North Sea surfers
English Christmas tradition

Well then folks only 6 days to go before we jet off to Delhi. Getting somewhat excited now.... read more

This entry is intended to list exactly what I took with me on my trip, together with comments about each item. This includes things I bought along the way, as well as items I discarded. It's a testament to the accuracy of the various packing-related websites that I consulted that the things I took with me tallied almost exactly with the things that I needed, with few redundant or omitted items, meaning my rucksack was light (9.8 kg at the beginning) and there were no crisis moments due to not having some critical item. Essentials Passport (containing Indian visa) - got my visa via The Visa Service in London, for which I had to fill in a couple of forms from online then send them my passport by post. They charged just under 75 quid (30 ... read more

What a tiresome day. For reasons too tedious to relate in full, I'm going to be stuck in the UK for another 2.5 weeks. In short, British Midland cancelled my flight to London, and there was no subsequent flight that would get me to London in time for my connection. And because my Virgin flight to Delhi was bought using airmiles, Virgin would only allow me to swap to another flight with an available "airmiles" seat - the next available one of which isn't until 17th November. This post was originally twice as long, but I have just removed all the obscenities.... read more

Today, about 60 people were killed and over 200 injured in 3 explosions in New Delhi. It seems likely that a terrorist group associated with the conflict in Kashmir is to blame. One of the explosions occurred in Paharganj, where there is a popular market as well as a large number of hotels and cafes catering to the backpacker community. Crowds of people were browsing the many market stalls, buying devotional items in preparation for two upcoming major Hindu and Muslim festivals. The hotel for my first 4 nights in India is in the Paharganj area. Following the principle of lightning not striking twice, I'm inclined not to be worried about this. I'm sure the atmosphere of the area, if not the city, will be different though.... read more

Only 5 days to go before I leave for India, and the doxycycline will be making its first appearance this weekend as part of my breakfast. Despite packing clothing with only one concession to cold weather - a lightweight fleece - my 50 litre rucksack is going to be brimming. I'm thinking that maybe the composition of my pack is all wrong - should 50% of the items really be medication? - but I can't see what I could leave out. I have zero experience of backpacking, so future regrets of what I did/didn't pack will all be part of the fun. I resigned from my job about 3 months ago, and that time has been spent first with winding down my life in New York and transporting everything back to the UK, and then with ... read more

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