Phil's Travel Index
- Martial Arts
When I was a kid, we used to visit my grandparents in Auckland on a fairly regular basis. My grandfather spent several post-war years with the merchant marines and in the process he travelled a great deal. Our bedroom had a map of the world on the wall, complete with pins in all the many places he visited during his travels and even coloured thread running between pins to show navigation/shipping routes.
Every night at bedtime, he would lift me or my brother up to the map and get us to pick a pin on the map and once we had settled down, he would sit on the end of one of our beds and in his deep, baritone voice, he would then tell us all about the place we had picked.
His stories covered all aspects of the particular place, from interesting buildings or monuments, to strange and exotic customs, festivals, rites and rituals. He would tell us about the food, weather, language (often speaking a few words of the language he had picked up) and of course the animals and people. My brother and I fell asleep, dreaming of far-away places...and it sure beat boring fairy tales!
Throughout our childhood years my grandfather instilled in both my brother and I, a keen sense of wonder in the world around us and ever since, I've longed to follow in his footsteps and see as bigger bit of the world as I can manage.
When I was 10, I was lucky enough to experience a little taste of other countries, when I accompanied my parents and brother, on trips to Australia and the US. We also had a couple of exchange students and visitors from places such as New Caledonia and Japan come to stay with us and they proved to be interesting and entertaining people.
Like many of my country-men and women, I have followed my wanderlust and the nature of my work has meant that I have been able to indulge this passion and have seen quite a few interesting places and meet a lot of interesting people. My travels have taken me to Australia, Europe (including Holland, France, Belgium, Denmark, Sweden, Malta, Madeira and Ibiza), the Americas (including Florida, LA and West Virginia), Asia (Hong Kong, Thailand, Japan and Singapore) and Africa (South Africa, Botswana and Zimbabwe); plus of course I have travelled the length and breath of the UK (mostly with the Sealed Knot) whilst living there.
My dream is to one day get a job working for a publication such as National Geographic or the Lonely Planet as a writer or photographer. Don't laugh! Dreams are free!
I came to the UK in 1990, intending to work my way around western Europe for a year or two...and ended up staying for 20 years! My work as a freelance IT specialist was much more in demand here than back home in New Zealand and the UK is a pretty nice place to live.
You'll probably get bored with my repeated use of the words "Fantastic", "Marvellous", "Excellent" etc. which are dotted throughout the following pages, but the truth is I've never really been anywhere that I didn't enjoy immensely. If you travel with an open mind and heart then you'll find something special in every place you ever go.
Check the links in the left border for a brief low-down on just a few of the places I've visited.
Alternatively, you can click on an applicable yellow Map pinon the map below.
World Map image © Copyright 2008, Bandanna Club. All Rights Reserved.