In my youth, I was a habitual backpacker, heading out for jaunts in Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Peru, India, the USA and Canada, most of which would last two or three weeks before I would return to the UK to start saving again.

After Uni, I tried a ‘six-monther’ in Southeast Asia, keen to see what all the fuss was about. In truth, I fell in love with each of the countries I visited: first Malaysia, then Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia. Had it not been for the threat of expiring visas, I’m not sure I would have willingly moved on from any of them. It really was a tour of enlightenment and I was learning so much - like, despite their proximity, how distinct they are from each other in their language, culture, cuisine, politics, religion and humour. I learnt that they are all fantastic places to visit with so many unique experiences to offer. I learnt that you won’t get a better spring roll than those served in the restaurants of Hoi An, that there is a Thai Green Curry on Soi 18 in Bangkok that is worth the airfare alone, and even that you can get an amazing teppanyaki on the edge of the Borneo jungle! In no time at all, six months turned into 12 years…

From there, I did another stint in Australia on a working holiday visa and then somehow ended up in Japan where I stayed for about a decade, living and working in its second city and gastronomic capital, Osaka.    

Whilst not particularly pretty, Osaka was a great place to live and a fantastic base from which to explore other parts of Japan: the beauty of its mountainous landscapes; the marvellous foods and their regional variances; the wisdom of its seemingly impenetrable language; and the genuine warmth of its people. All of this, I feel, has contributed towards a reasonably deep understanding of Japanese culture (at times, through more social faux pas than I care to remember.) 

Osaka was also conveniently positioned for trips to China, South Korea and Taiwan, and it wasn’t too much further to get back to those localities in Southeast Asia I had enjoyed as a backpacker.  However, travelling as a recently married man, I got to enjoy a more upscale side to the region I hadn’t before, as my wife deemed “that hostel in Saigon” (or any hostel for that matter) was no longer appropriate accommodation. She’s right, it is nicer staying in a good hotel!    

Now we are back in the UK and it turns out all this time I spent wandering and exploring had been perfect training for a job as a consultant in adventure travel. I now have over 10 years of experience putting together itineraries for single and multi-country trips to the destinations that I genuinely love and continue to explore.




Q: Favourite city?

A: “If Japan was a house, Osaka would be the kitchen”  I like eating.  

Q: Favourite country?

A: Tough to choose one but I think Malaysia has a lot to offer, both the peninsula and Borneo.

Q: Favourite meal?

A: It’s a fight between Hoi An’s Spring Rolls and Osaka’s Miso Ramen.  

Q: Most memorable journey?

A: The drive from Darwin down to Adelaide.  

Q: Favourite travel advice?

A: Don’t regret not doing it!

Q: Next on the must-see list?

A: 4000 islands of Laos