So for the first time since starting this blog I have a job. So I know what you’re thinking; whatever little interest you may of had in my adventures is now undeserved. However I still plan to make loads of trips around Europe and North Africa throughout the rest of the year and won’t sink to blogging about how congested the roads are or how it sucks how the cute girl from marketing has a boyfriend. Once I get some money coming in it’s going to be all on again! My new job also gives me 25 days/year holiday (5 more than standard in NZ) and 8 bank holidays. So I just thought I’d briefly summarise my transition into a new life in the UK.
So this is what happened:
23rd of May, 2014 (eve of my birthday) – I quit my job while working over in the states then travelled the world and had ankle surgery.
23rd of January, 2015 – I touched down in London and began my job hunt.
22nd of February – moved into a new flat in Cambridge.
23rd of February – started my new job as a Mechanical Design Engineer at the Safeline X-Ray division of Mettler Toledo.
Just moved into my new room with 25kgs of stuff. Huge room upgrade over my London room.
Hanging out in London, searching for jobs gets rather dull after a while. I decided I needed some weekday peeps to hang with as all my other friends were selfishly at work and couldn’t entertain me. So I went on a website called meetup.com. To quickly sum up the site: someone makes a group such as “pancake lovers”, makes an event “blueberry pancake evening” and people search online, sign up to the event and then a bunch of strangers all meet up and make pancakes. It’s quite cool. There really is something for everyone, from computer gaming right through to sexual fetishes. I opted to try find a group of photographers and I got very lucky. It turned out that in two hours they were meeting up just a 15 minute bus ride from my place. Too easy! So I signed up online and went along.
I showed up to a coffee shop and payed my £3 fee to this guy named Tops who was running it. There was 12 of us. I was the youngest by a long shot and everyone was very different from one another. I really enjoyed the dynamic as we all had the same passion of photography to talk over and enjoy hearing about one another’s interests. It was a four hour street photography walk down towards Shoreditch. Tops was hilarious and had no hesitation when it came to sticking his camera right in people’s faces. It surprised me how most of the guys had opted for sexy small compact cameras instead of DSLRs. Maybe I need one like that for street photography. Strangers are less intimidated by a small camera.
One of the dudes from my meetup
Street photography walk. This is on Hoxton street, like 50m from my flat
So I did an insane job of booking my flight to London. I saved $200 and scored a 2 day layover in Singapore by spending far too long looking at flight websites and eventually booking through two different retailers using my laptop and tablet at the same time. I did have a little scare when my tablet purchase was successful but the one on my laptop bugged out. Second time lucky I got the ticket though.
Very cool bridge.
My time in Singapore could have been better though to be honest. I went there with the standard backpackers plan of dropping into a hostel, meeting friends and exploring the city with new people. So I’m going to blame my trip not reaching it’s full potential on two factors. My hostel being average (Joyfoy backpackers hostel), and the fact I caught a cold on my flight. The hostel could’ve been great but it was just missing one very important feature. Other travellers! There was quite a few people staying there but they all seemed to be from different Asian countries and more so living in the hostel rather than staying there to socialise.
This is the guys set up in my hostel room. He had a full on lighting system set up and would wall himself off for the night. He was surprisingly more friendly than the younger guys in the room.
So I modestly threw myself a leaving event. I got a gang together and we floated a river for four hours. Beers and music in tow. We even had a bit of beer pong going on. Which was quickly deemed too tricky so changed to if you threw a ball into someones raft then they had to drink.
The amazing float team
On the water
So it’s over, done, ticked, finished, terminado!
So I’m going to answer some FAQs.
- Where did I go?
- What were my highlights?
- What were my lowlights?
- Where were my favorite places?
- How much did all this cost?
- What was the most fucked up shit I saw?
- What now?
I’m a strong believer in self reflection and self improvement. Here’s the sum up of all my adventures over the last four months. I’ll start with the geography side. I’ve split it up over two maps. A global map and another map with just Europe.
Global map. Not including Vietnam stops while travelling up the country.
After making the global map myself I then decided for the Europe section it would take me all day to draw a map of my trip in Photoshop. I instead recruited a website to take all of the leg work out of it for me.
Map of Europe. Not including Sail Croatia stops and day tours on Contiki and what not. Starting in London and finishing in Istanbul. As you can see it’s not the nice logical loop of Europe I intended on taking.
Yep, southern hemisphere! I’m back, and what an event to return to. A truly amazing weekend of debauchery and excitement. One man’s last splurge of unmarried life.
This is my friend Cam who’s getting married in Tauranga the following weekend on the 25th of October.
Cameron in a dorm room locker
We arrived into Istanbul quite late. We got dropped right into the area where just three days previous there had been big anti-ISIS riots where 30 people died. From what I gathered the Turkish government were letting them train near the Turkish border on Turkey’s side. We were worried as to whether the riots would affect our trip or not but asides from having to delay going out to the bars a few hours on Saturday night (due to riot police in the streets) we were unaffected.