Archive | Travel

What I Learnt from a Birthday Party in Shanghai

It was only after the birthday party that I learnt why some people we had invited came and why others didn’t. Even during the celebration I was puzzled and a bit rattled because of what had happened just a few hours earlier, in the afternoon, before the birthday meal in the evening. At the time I […]

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A Decision at a Spanish Port

Sometimes we are at a junction, unsure which way to go, and it’s only many years later that we reflect on how a particular choice of path took us in a direction that changed our life irreversibly. I was in Spain without a plan, travelling solo, just me and my backpack, taking each day as […]

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Kyoto in the snow

It sounded like a call to prayer, an incomprehensible voice from a loudspeaker somewhere nearby. I looked around but I was disoriented, confused. I was carrying my backpack, on the road again, but where was I? I was no longer in Malaysia; this was Japan. This isn’t a Muslim country; there are no mosques here. So […]

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Coming home in Beirut

“Welcome Mr David. Why are you so late?”, Mady said as she opened the door to the apartment that was to be my temporary home in Beirut. After showing me around the place and giving me the three keys I would need to get from the street to the apartment, Mady gave me the schedule […]

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A Sense of Place

As someone who loves to travel and experience different countries and cultures, it has been easy for me to be envious of those people whose childhoods had been spent overseas, travelling from country to country, exposed to more than one language, and being educated in international schools along with the children of diplomats, military officers and corporate […]

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Travel quotations

The following travel quotations inspire me in one way or another. Some of of these travel quotations have links to my travel blogs on associated subjects; and some are referred to in my travel blogs when relevant. “I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list.” Susan Sontag “To travel hopefully is a better thing than to arrive.” Robert […]

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A postcard from Malin Head

Nobody sends them any more, but I thought I would write you a postcard from Malin Head. You know, just a few sentences scribbled on the back of a piece of card, saying “I wish you were here”, and reporting on the weather. Talking of weather reports, “Shannon, Rockall, Malin, Hebrides, Bailey” is a familiar sequence […]

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Surviving without wi-fi in Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea is a place we’ve all seen on maps and on TV, where remote jungle tribes are discovered and studied by anthropologists. No doubt the best of this country is well away from the cities: hidden inland villages or a coastline that offers perfect conditions for diving. I didn’t have time for either of […]

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