Less Baggage Less Stuff Less Procrastination

A different kind of travelogue. As an avid young traveller I often wondered what would it would be like when I got older, gathered commitments, created children and accrued debt. This is what it's like.

Grand Tour #46; Death and Grannies.

Grannies and Death. I used to live here. I was born here and I left. I have an incurable infection with the Travel Bug. But my mother doesn’t. Neither does … Continue reading

26/07/2016 · Leave a comment

Grand Tour #45; The Art of Travel

The Art of Belfast. It is there. You can find it if you look. When we travel we go to markets. We go to all sorts of markets. Lots of … Continue reading

20/07/2016 · Leave a comment

Grand Tour #44; A Great Big Sewer in Dublin

It was the last day of a huge Medical Conference in Dublin called SMACC and frankly I had had enough. I was tired. I was emotional. Dr Kass Thomas had made … Continue reading

14/07/2016 · Leave a comment

Grand Tour #43; Inverary & Loch Fyne

It is our last day in Scotland and I am not happy. Scotland has been a treat, a real treat. It is not as if I didn’t know that it … Continue reading

17/05/2016 · Leave a comment

Grand Tour #42; The Caledonian Canal or Avoiding the Wrath of Cape Wrath.

It was mostly pouring rain. We had some nice country to look at when it wasn’t pouring rain. When it was pouring rain we washed ourselves of the smell of … Continue reading

26/03/2016 · Leave a comment

Grand Tour #41; Building Bridges. Loving your neighbours.

After Applecross, the pass of the Cattle, lots of fish/chips and a very long days driving we headed for a local Bed & Breakfast The owners were negative Christians who … Continue reading

18/03/2016 · Leave a comment

Grand Tour #40; The High Road or The Low Road in The Highlands.

Scotland is heaven. I know it’s not heaven for most people. For those that think it is heaven it’s really not that close for most of the year. I need … Continue reading

03/02/2016 · Leave a comment

Grand Tour #38; Rainbows in Hebden Bridge.

Rainbows in Hebden Bridge After a day on the Regents Canal and a hilarious night with old friends in Angel we had to move north. We had planned to stay … Continue reading

17/01/2016 · Leave a comment

Grand Tour #36; Hip Hipster London

London has portrayed itself as “Hip” ever since it was hip. That was a while ago. It’s really not that hip anymore. It is huge. It is moneyed. It has … Continue reading

30/12/2015 · 5 Comments

Grand Tour #33; Looking at a submarine disaster with your Children.

Getting in a train and going to another country under the sea should be fun. Right? We got up early. Too early. For a three hour drive to Calais. Cormac … Continue reading

02/12/2015 · Leave a comment

Grand Tour #31; Violence in France.

I am against violence. I’ve lived and worked in countries experiencing civil wars. I’ve visited others. I’ve been affected by terrorism campaigns. I’ve been “racially profiled”. I have been targeted … Continue reading

18/11/2015 · 10 Comments

Grand Tour #30; Musée du quai Branly. Why and where from?

Paris. We walked. We talked. We reached our destination. Musée du quai Branly. Quai Branly is a Museum. It is an interesting Museum with an interesting story behind it. A … Continue reading

11/11/2015 · Leave a comment

Grand Tour #26 Drop me in the water

I was in the sauna for the 4th time when it struck me. I had bathed myself 12 times and swam in the pool 4 times in the last 24 … Continue reading

13/10/2015 · Leave a comment

Grand Tour #25 Dazed and Confused on the backstreets of Saigon.

It is 06:00 am. We’ve trundled through the night on another epic train trip. Our last in Vietnam. I had one too many cold beers staring out the window, watching … Continue reading

07/10/2015 · Leave a comment

Top Ten Travel Tips for Families on Overnight Trains in Vietnam (Grand Tour #24)

Top Ten Train Travel Tips for Families in Overnight Sleeper Trains in Vietnam. Hue to Saigon. We are off again on our fifth sleeper experience. This has become a family … Continue reading

01/08/2015 · 2 Comments

Grand Tour #23 Looking Out. Looking in.

Looking out. Looking in. There are temples, there are graves. There are boats, there are waves. My daughter, Aoife, and I left the rest of the family behind for a … Continue reading

29/07/2015 · Leave a comment

Grand Tour #21; Fear of Food. Fear of Tours.

A Fear of Food. A Fear of Tours. After nearly four weeks in Vietnam I got over my fear of tours. The Tour I was willing to risk was a special … Continue reading

30/06/2015 · Leave a comment

Grand Tour #19; Gardening in Tranquil Tra Que

It took an hour of dragging the kids out of bed and out of the bedroom but we got there. We got there later than I had hoped and it … Continue reading

03/06/2015 · 6 Comments

Grand Tour 2015 #15; The Sleeper Bus Episode; One long, long journey into the night.

The kids were excited. I was a little bit scared. 16 hours in a space designed for someone about 16 inches shorter than I was one thing. 16 hours of … Continue reading

15/05/2015 · 7 Comments

Grand Tour 2015 #13; Dalat & Hipsters without Beards

Dalat is Cool. It’s all kinds of cool. It has cool architecture. Cool climate. Cool history. Cool overload. With cool overload comes hipsters. In truth Dalat had much more Vietnamese … Continue reading

09/05/2015 · 7 Comments

Aoifes International Menagerie #1; Vietnam & Chim Lac

There are a few different symbols for Vietnam. The one that I’m doing is called a Chim Lac Bird. Appearing on Vietnam’s ancient Đông Sơn bronze drums, the Chim Lac … Continue reading

03/05/2015 · Leave a comment

Grand Tour 2015 #9; Nha Trang.

Nha Trang is a well established tourist destination on the south coast of Vietnam. It’s just not the sort of place we go. Maybe I am a snob. It’s a … Continue reading

01/05/2015 · 3 Comments

Road Schooling #1; Bad Day at School

Some things are hard. Teaching is hard. I think being a good teacher is one of the most difficult and one of the most valuable jobs there is. I couldn’t … Continue reading

22/04/2015 · 6 Comments

Grand Tour 2015 #3; The Route So Far

The hair is getting big. The Chilli tolerance is growing. The bags are getting smaller. In fact we are already chucking stuff out. Turns out we could go lighter. We … Continue reading

20/04/2015 · Leave a comment

Grand Tour 2015 #2; Airports and Auld Chums

Comedy Airport Hook Ups! So I’m sat in the airport sending goodbye messages to people I’m going to miss when Dr Martin Bicket, legendary Bon Vivant, man of the people … Continue reading

14/04/2015 · 1 Comment

Grand Tour 2015 #1; It begins.

At last. We are finally on the road. It’s been years in the making. Jobs had to be lined up. A big fat gap in jobs had to be created. … Continue reading

13/04/2015 · 2 Comments

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