San Francisco to Chicago

San Francisco to Chicago 4237 miles 14 days 10th – 25th July 2014   On the 10th July 2014 I woke up on a rock in the Nevada desert next to Gino Maccio and a chipmunk. I'm really glad I'd woken up first because my face looked like a prune. In fact, it looked worse…

30 things I learnt in Southeast Asia

1. Don't underestimate how much you can fit on a moped. … Or a push bike. … Or any vehicle for that matter. 2. Wear a piece of elastic under your chin to stop your hat from blowing away. 3. Be enterprising: you can set up a business anywhere. 4. Fix things. 5. If you…

Circles of Familiarity

Busy cities can be daunting places and Yangon, or Rangoon as it was formally known, is one busy place. You can't contemplate it all at once. It's busy. It's boiling. It's dangerously unkept. It's absolutely filthy. We're talking crows eating dead rats on the upturned, broken pavements here. We're talking low hanging signs everywhere that…

Beautiful Bagan

We'd been awake for 20 hours. If that alone isn't frightful enough, for the last ten of them we'd been on the most monstrous bus, not only butt-numbingly uncomfortable, but it played Justin Beiber music videos on loop. Can say with absolute passion that I am not, nor ever will be, a Belieber. Now we'd…

The way we were: Burma

My Grandad Barry was always modifying things to make them better. Spot of electrical tape here, piece of plywood there: he was never far from a strategically placed hook or a carefully positioned piece of pipe lagging (to protect children from sharp edges!) Perhaps your grandparents were similar? When his five children were young he…

The Road to Mandalay

When planning this trip Thailand was one of countries we intended to visit. I'd never considered visiting Burma and knew very little about it. But then during our travels we started to meet other travellers who raved about it. Our friends Christian and Marcel told us to get there before it opened up further, and…

What’s in a name…Burma or Myanmar?

I've always called Burma, Burma. I had no idea where this country that my European friends call 'Myanmar' was. I realised I needed to research a bit more about this country, and began to discover some uncomfortable findings. Burma‚Äôs military-backed government has one of the worst human rights records in the world, with crimes like…