Journey Tom works in the travel industry but also lives and breathes travel during his downtime. His life is basically travel. He loves new experiences and journeys, eats lots of Thai food and is happiest sat in the sunshine along a beautiful stretch of coast.
Where did your passion for travel come from?
I had a lot of freedom as a child and would be out all the time messing about in boats, finding new places in the backwaters of Poole Harbour and then walking off the beaten track through the woods.
We did a lot of exploring as a family too, mainly in France and Cornwall before
taking a couple of amazing trips to Canada and Greece. As a child my sister and I often got to choose a lot of the places we went to. The trips were filled with exploring beaches, mountains and historical sites. I might have found them boring as a kid but nowadays I appreciate the fact that my family took me to all these amazing places!
You’ve been around Asia, Europe and the USA, but topping your city chart is Hong Kong. Why?
Hong is my favorite city on the planet. Granted I’ve not visited them all, but of the many I have it comes still comes top.
I first visited when I was just 18, all alone, on my very first round the world trip. The people I met, experiences and memories of Hong Kong are probably what makes is so special.
It’s also such an overlooked place. 90% of Hong Kong is actually rural area and outer lying islands. The history and culture is fantastic, the architecture amazing and the food is super yummy!
You have a music memories section on your blog. If you had to pick one song to sum up your travels, what would it be and why?
Really one song! I’m not sure that’s possible. I’m going to go for Incubus – Wish you were here.
The lyrics are great and are pretty much how I feel about slowing down and just taking the experience in of exploring the planet. Here’s the first verse:
I dig my toes into the sand
The ocean looks like a thousand diamonds
Strewn across a blue blanket
I lean against the wind
Pretend that I am weightless
And in this moment I am happy…happy
You have an ABC of travels, but what is the most important thing about traveling to you?
The main reason I travel is to learn stuff and meet new people and to enrich my life. The world is a beautiful place so why not explore as much as you can?
I love new experiences so try most things and I don’t have this mentality of being too good for some places. I recently went to Magaluf and had a great time.
Enjoy everyplace you visit for what it is!
Easy… Chicken Satay. I eat it all the time, probably at least once a week!
You’re pretty good a photography. Could you share a few of your favourites?
When I first started sharing some of my travel pictures my friends, they thought I was just copying them from Google. It was great that they thought my pictures were that good but I remember at the time telling them to ‘go swivel’ on the skilled finger that took the picture!
I try my best with taking photos but I am a complete amateur and use quite a basic camera and my iPhone. I find getting a good picture is normally just about being patient.
Here’s one from Canada that really got me into photography.
I have never forgotten the feeling I had when I first had this photo developed and thinking ‘it was me that took that’.
You save every spare penny for your next holiday and are very strict about what you do spend your money on. What’s been your cheapest holiday and how did you do it?
My cheapest and pound for pound best holiday was one I took to Cyprus in 2009. I was really limited on budget and just needed a base that allowed me to explore the island.
So I went looking at package holidays and managed to bag a last minute deal for £235 that included flights, transfers and self catering accommodation for 14 nights – less than £17 a day for everything!!
The place I stayed was actually pretty good too. It was right by Nissi Beach and nice and quiet. I managed to get a car for a few days and explored a lot of the island.
I don’t think I will ever get a holiday that is such good value ever again!
What’s your favourite anecdote from traveling?
There are so many funny little things that have happened but the first time my sister saw a Calzone and said very loudly: “Wow look at that giant pasty,” that was pretty damn funny! Sorry sis!
You’ve done a few adventurous trips in your time, like skiing and rock climbing. What’s been the scariest moment of your travels?
The thing that scared me the most is actually something that sounds quite safe; night tobogganing in Slovenia.
We were driven up to the top of a mountain and shown the track we would be tobogganing down. Everyone was given a head torch and taught about how to steer their toboggan with their feet. We were then told that down the track there would be various torch candles lit on the corners. One candle meant slow down, two candles meant really, really slow down and three candles meant really, really, really slow down!
Being competitive a few of us were racing to the bottom and on a ‘really really really’ slow down corner I was trying to overtake someone and lost control and spun onto a tree at the corner. Looking over my shoulder I realized there was about a 100ft drop just the other side of the tree
Obviously during the rest of the way down I did ‘really, really, really’ slow down each time I saw those three candles!
It was an amazing experience though and certainly got my heart pounding. Unfortunately you can’t do it anymore. Now Slovenia is part of the EU health and safety laws have put a stop to any crazy nighttime tobogganing down past huge drops and crevices!
Where are you off to next?
I’m not actually sure where next will be at the moment but I’m in the process of planning a month long trip through Nevada and California with a stop in New York too.