My Top 10 Travel Experiences

I’ve been pretty lucky over the last few years. I’ve been to many incredible places and done and seen some pretty amazing things. But there’s some experiences that do stand out above the rest. It’s hard to narrow it down to just ten but since I have to do so (well I don’t have to, but I’m making myself do it) then I’d say that it would probably be these, so in no particular order: Continue reading “My Top 10 Travel Experiences”


Getting lost abroad: four places I’ve lost my way and found it again

A wise man- J. R. R. Tolkien, to be precise- once said, “not all those who wander are lost.” He had a point, however sometimes those who wander are just plain lost.

Getting lost is not always a bad thing. If you fall off the beaten track, you might get to see the real city, find places which you never thought you’d see or stumbled across hidden gems. Yes, it can be a nightmare, I’ve had horror film scenes flashing through my mind and you can lose valuable time if you’re in a city for a limited amount of time but I’ve found that it usually turns out for the best. At the end of the day, you’ll probably at least get a decent story out of it.  Continue reading “Getting lost abroad: four places I’ve lost my way and found it again”

17 highlights from California

After writing yesterday’s mammoth California post, I figured it may be handy to write a shorter post with only my highlights from California- just in case you don’t want to wade through 4,200 words of places I went shopping and where I ate lunch.

In all honesty, the real reason I had a fantastic trip was due to the people I was able to stay with. My travel buddy had family up and down the state and they took us in, treated us and showed us the sites. I know not everyone will be as lucky and be able to get down with the locals so in this post I hope to pass on what my hosts showed me.

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A Road-Trippers Guide to California

Get ready for a pretty hefty post (there is a shorter alternative here). I wanted to do a city guide for the places I stayed in California but I realised that I didn’t explore any of them fully enough to write a good guide. Well maybe I did but it was a while ago so I don’t remember all the details. Instead, I thought I’d put together a guide for anyone planning a road trip through California, with a brief outline of where I went, ate and stayed.

In April 2010, I went on my Great Big Gap Year Adventure. California was my first stop, for a 3.5 week road trip from San Jose in the north to San Diego in the south, and back again. I’m now going to pass on the infinite wisdom I gained in this post. On first glance, this may just look like a guide to places but if you bear with me, there’s also tips on transport, routes, music, time and food. I appreciate that this could be deemed an excessively long post but you can always just skip to the sections that you think are the most relevant/interesting/shortest.  Continue reading “A Road-Trippers Guide to California”

My Seven Wonders of the World

Ellis’ Bucket List: see the seven wonders of the world. 

I think the seven wonders are probably a regular feature on bucket lists everywhere: Christ the Redeemer, Petra, the Great Wall of China, Chichen Itza, the Taj Mahal and Machu Picchu with either the Pyramids of Giza or the Colosseum taking the last place (depending on the list you read). So far, I’ve only made it to the pyramids and the Colosseum.

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California Part Eight: lakes, driving and farewells

In the morning, it was time for us to leave San Diego and hike back to San Jose. We had to start early. My travel buddy started the drive and we were relatively lucky with the traffic, especially in LA. After a few hours we found ourselves driving through the grapevine (a mountainous area). The scenery was something even though it was drizzling. The mountains were snow capped and the tips were surrounded in cloud. As we finally made it through, we found ourselves in the middle of nowhere, however this time we were meant to be there and were not lost. Continue reading “California Part Eight: lakes, driving and farewells”

California Part Seven: animals, beaches and even more food

The next day was our day at the famous San Diego zoo and it was my turn at the wheel. We actually got to Balboa Park fairly easily and managed to park free of charge. However, as we didn’t know exactly where in the big park the zoo was, I for some reason decided just to follow the car in front and ended up miles away. It was no big deal really, it was a clear blue, sunny day and the park really was something else. Apparently it was originally built for the World Fair when it was in San Diego and is now filled with around 13 museums. It definitely deserved a return trip. Continue reading “California Part Seven: animals, beaches and even more food”