Airplane stairs not working - Etihad, Abu Dhabi

The saga continues

Call me naïve, but there was a part of me that thought that when we got on the plane that would be the end of the dramas; that our layovers would be smooth and straightforward; and, that having had all that extra time to sort everything out, Etihad would make sure that there was nothing … Read more

Boarding gate, Hong Kong airport

Sometimes you win…

Sometimes you lose. And sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference when you’re in it. We were scheduled to leave Hong Kong at 6:55pm on Sunday evening, arriving in London at 7:35am Monday morning, with a couple of hours in Abu Dhabi in the middle of the night. To make sure we got there in … Read more

Wade Jo Darcy at Stirling Point, NZ

Held up at the second hurdle

We were scheduled to leave Invercargill at 6:15pm. With a final check in of one hour before departure, we told Darcy we needed to be there at 5pm – you know, just in case. He wanted us to start with a team photo as Stirling Point, to say we had started our journey right from … Read more

Jo and Saxon - London black taxi

Taking a ride on the wild side

Around the world, London’s taxi drivers are famous. The iconic black cabs, the notoriously difficult exam to become a cabbie, the cheerful friendly banter as they take you wherever you need to go. Saxon (a friend from the hostel) and I had all that to look forward to as we waved down a ride to … Read more

View from bus window, Ulaanbaatar to Muren, Mongolia

Rally driving, Mongolia styles

The train from Datong brought me through to the Mongolian capital, but my travels in the country were far from over. After checking in at my hostel for the night, I headed out in search of the main bus station, to purchase a ticket to Muren, a 17-hour bus ride north. In order to find … Read more

Datong train station, China

Face to face with the Chinese Police force

I don’t know what it is, but there’s something about talking to the boys in blue that makes me feel a bit nervous. Even though I’ve never even had a speeding ticket, and I’ve had contact with them, through work, that has almost invariably been positive. And even though they should probably be a comforting … Read more

Erlian train platform, China

More visa dramas

Getting visas on the road is not always the most straightforward process. But Mongolia was one I wasn’t too worried about. Just take the forms and a passport photo to the embassy in Beijing at a certain time of day, go to the bank to make the payment, and then come back with your bank … Read more

Chinese Embassy entrance, Tokyo

The bane of my existence

A New Zealand passport is one of the best passports to have, with 168 countries allowing visa-free, or visa on arrival, travel. That has meant that as I’ve travelled, I have mostly been able to show up at the border and say ‘Let me in, please’, and the border officials have kindly obliged. In Cambodia, … Read more

Dragonball-Z statues at Haneda Airport, Tokyo

Now we’re real backpackers

“Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Haneda Airport. The local time is 10:30pm and the temperature is 22°C. * For your safety and comfort, please remain seated with your seat belt fastened until the Captain turns off the Fasten Seat Belt sign. Please check around your seat for any personal belongings you may have brought on … Read more

Rice field, Mae Sot, Thailand

What is it with me and bus trips?!

Trains I get, but somehow having to catch a bus always makes me just slightly nervous. There’s so much potential for things to not quite go to plan. And so many examples of times when that has been the case. Travelling from Chiang Mai to Mae Sot was another such occasion. The internet had told … Read more