Day 1,826



Some thoughts as I complete my five-year backpacking anniversary as I begin six-months in India.

80 Quotes Book

My second book, creating 80 Quotes book is published today, to coincide with my anniversary, it's available on my Around the World with 80 Quotes website for free digital download. I feel I have created a balanced piece of work toeing the line between inspirational and philosophical quotes. Having said this, we have lived through unprecedented times over the past 3-4 years which is clearly reflected in my writing.

80 Words Book

I had a burst of inspiration while in Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, going from having 23 words to 40 words. Not sure what it was, maybe cafe culture had a part to play, but I was in the zone as some writers like to say, which helped me to the 50% completed draft stage.

My aim is to again publish on the 24th of October 2024, marking another year of travels with my Around the World with 80 Words third book. If someone had told me years ago, I would become an author, I would have laughed, yet here I am.

Destinations

After spending a few weeks back in London back in October 2023. It was finally time, to start travelling again as more countries had scraped most plannedemic restrictions.

However, being unvaccinated, I still had to be strategic in only choosing countries allowing me in. I managed to weave an itinerary that took me to the countries I wanted, but not always in my preferred order.

As always, my number one aim is to stay in the sunshine which I just managed to accomplish in Turkey as the cooler winter temperatures approached.

You can head over to my itinerary to see destinations visited and future planned destinations.

Turkey

I spent just under 3 months in Turkey, starting off with a whole month in the fascinating city of Istanbul. It was a bit risky arriving in late October, but I was fortunate with mainly sunny days with the occasional cooler evenings. Once it got cold, my plan to head south worked perfectly.

While seeing the mainly tourist parts of Turkey, I would love to come back, either on an organised tour or hiring a car which I feel is the best way to see this vast country.

Jordan

As even southern parts of Turkey began to cool, my theory of heading 3 hours further south to Jordan, surprised me in that it wasn't warmer. Fortunately my time was limited to 10 days which allowed me to get a flavour for this fascinating part of the world without getting too cold.

Jordan is considered by many to be an expensive country to visit. Apart from the high price to visit its jewel in Petra, hostels, street food and low-to-mid priced restaurants were very reasonable. The portions I would receive at some eating venues were humongous. All alcohol as expected, was expensive, even a beer, so I chose to abstain.

My memories of Petra will stay with me forever. I would suggest everyone buy the 2-day visa/tourist pass, even though it's possible to see everything in one long day.

Egypt

Heading further south in search of sunshine, I was not disappointed upon arriving in Egypt. While most whizz around on a short trip, I took advantage of the 30 day visa.

I was fortunate to meet up with a friend again catching up with old times and creating new ones as we embarked on a tour and cruise on the Nile.

Forever memories were guaranteed with the magic Egypt had to offer. The warmth and hospitality of the people, the flavours of the food and the sites of the Pyramids of Giza and the Nile were truly amazing.

UAE

As I weaved myself closer to South East Asia, an unusual stop for a backpacker was a week in Dubai. My reason was simple, was this somewhere I could live. I wrote a whole article on the subject for those interested.

I knew Dubai was expensive so planned strategically. Hostels were basic and about £10pn, a simple hotel £35pn, with mid range ones closer to £50pn. I managed to find a deal on a UK travel website for £60pn in a four star hotel with breakfast and my evening meal included.

This was important, a simple coffee and cake costs around £15, low end restaurant meals £30...don't even ask about alcohol...I abstained for a week.

The catch, it was near the airport in south Dubai, while my flight landed in the north in the next state of Sharjah. A taxi was going to cost around £90. I tried to hire a car at the airport but all were sold out. I reverted to being a backpacker and took a local bus into down-town Sharjah and eventually hired a car for £120 for the week. My plan worked perfectly, I would load up on breakfast, head out for the day and return in the evening for my evening meal.

While most tourists would be spending their time visiting the famous sites, my time was spent in supermarkets and shops looking at the price of everyday items.

My week of research informed me I could live in Dubai...mission accomplished.

Thailand

After a very cheap, long and tiring backpacker priced flight via India, I finally arrived back to a familiar country. Cheap and tasty Thai street food, once again touched my lips.

I found a new and modern hostel in Bangkok that would be home for a couple of weeks before heading south for some much needed beach time, staying in a modern condo with rooftop pool with a view of the beach.

Chiang Mai in the north, would end up becoming my home for a month, again in a fantastic and friendly hostel with a great coffee shop. I got into a routine of writing in the mornings with a coffee and breakfast, with my afternoons clear to wonder and explore the streets of Chiang Mai.

Vietnam

My plan to visit Vietnam for 3 months was curtailed by immigration, having to make do with two weeks instead, returning to Chiang Mai for another month.

Hanoi had grown so much since my last visit, offering so much more with fascinating walks especially around the old centre. My aim is to return in 2024, once the 3 month visa is finalised.

Malaysia

Kuala Lumpur would end up being my home for over a month. This city was on my short list as somewhere to call home, however on a previous two-week trip I decided against it.

Somehow, I began to see KL differently this time. Not sure the reason, but it reminded me of a smaller Bangkok or Singapore from 30 years ago. It has a soul, the people are very friendly and the food amazing due to the three main cultures of Malay, Chinese and Indian.

This has again become a possibility, having said this, the new expat visa rules and conditions are no longer as favourable as they once were, these would have to change for me to consider it again.

Malacca two hours south of KL, is without doubt a jewel to visit, a charming world heritage site with a lovely winding river through the historic old town. I again stayed at a hostel that had a wonderful coffee shop where they got used to bringing me coffee every morning while I would write.

Indonesia

I had been waiting for over a year for Bali to re-open to the unvaccinated, making me juggle my travel plans, this finally happened in June 2023.

They have unfortunately, raised their 60-day visa cost significantly, I suspect to recoup the losses from being closed for 3 years.

I strangely enjoyed staying over two weeks in the heart of Bali called Kuta. It's very touristy but has lots of local street restaurants called warungs. These are usually run by older women to earn an income by cooking large batches of food. These are mainly used by locals needing good, natural food at cheap prices. I would get a large plate of 4-5 types of food with rice for under £1.50.

I decided not stay in Seminyak, just north of Kuta as I could simply walk there and avoid the higher accommodation prices as this is the posh part of Bali.

My remaining weeks I spent in Canggu with its surfing culture and its cool coffee shops, co-working spaces and amazing restaurants in addition to the traditional warungs that I prefer.

Charming and spiritual Ubud, would become home for my last few weeks as I wrapped up the writing of my quotes book.

India

As this article is published, I have been in India for just under two weeks. I am travelling south to north, then finally east with a totally open timeline of up to six months, you can see my itinerary for destinations. It's been over 20 years since my last visit which was then on a posh Kuoni 21-day organised tour.

Photography Book

I now have the time to dedicate to my photography book, which has been a long time in the making and in part, waiting for me to start my trip to India which was originally planned for 2022 but the country remained closed. My style of black and white street photography is well suited to my memories from my previous time in India.

Costs

This year's purchases have been a new laptop, my cheap Chinese one decided to seize up one night after only two years of use, my new one came to £326. A couple of my shirts started to display some wear and tear, I surprised myself by deciding to buy pre-owned from a second hand store in Thailand, while handing the owner my shirt in exchange.

As I have mainly been staying in hostels once again, costs have been quite minimal averaging under £700 per month. Egypt was a once in a lifetime trip, so I pushed the boat out with an organised tour, balloon ride and cruise on the Nile. However, as most of my time is spent in lower cost countries, when you push the boat out in more expensive ones like Dubai/Japan, or indulge in expensive excursions, my long-term average travel costs remain very reasonable.

Health

A new year of travelling, eating others peoples food, has had zero impact on my waist and weight. As I have mentioned before, this is due to a number of factors, firstly, being in hot countries with constant sunshine naturally results in eating less food.

Practising intermittent fasting, is how I live my life on a daily basis, this either involves eating breakfast & lunch, or lunch & dinner with zero snacks in between. I regularly throw in a random 24 hour fast, meaning just one meal in a 24 hour period.

I have also managed to top up my vitamin D levels with lovely morning or afternoon walks on the beaches of Bali in preparedness for Plannedemic 2.0!

Covid-19

As always, I have left this subject until the end as everyone is tired of the subject. However, please don't mistake that for its importance.

Governments are rolling out permanent, yearly Covid jabs, sometimes disguised within the annual flu jab. I implore readers to carry out their own research as to the damage the jab has done...the truth is out there.

More and more documents and evidence prove the side effects of the jabs, with some experts estimating millions have died as a result of the jab.

Vaccine Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (VAIDS), Sudden Adult Death Syndrome (SADS) and Vaccine Associated Enhanced Disease (VAED), but few of the known consequences.

The virus was never the virus, the "vaccine" was always the virus. When the world stops rationalising, what they did to us, what they continue to do to our children, only then can humanity begin to heal.

I repeat, please look into this for yourself with an open mind, get past the fact that you were fooled, you will find the truth will completely change how you view the world. I have personally read documents, analysed charts and data proving everything I have been writing about for the past three years, it is not a pretty sight, but will help you navigate your future life more accurately, based on truth, rather than propaganda.

HOMEPAGE

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