‘Writing Off the Page’ – How to use writing as a means to travel the world.

Travellers, those hippy-types, who faf around asia all year in search of ‘themselves’

Writers, those self-centered-types, who faf around the house all day in search of ‘an idea’

Travel writers, searching for an idea whilst (sometimes) finding themselves.

Three mis-conceptions I had before leaving England, picking up a pencil and boarding a one-way flight half way across the globe. I’ve found out a few things along the way, things i’d like to share. If you love to write or you love to travel hopefully I can convince you that the two can be the most wonderful combination. Here goes.

Money? that’s fiction, right?

Travel writing will never earn you enough money to live on, I had better get that in early, at best you might be able to buy a new biro once in a while! This is exceptionally true for those budding young writers out there, taking a gap year from ‘creative writing 101’ in search of a million dollar story.

If your ‘destination’ is to become ‘rich beyond your wildest dreams’ than you needn’t travel the world. In fact, you needn’t travel further than your local retail park. But what if you’re not ‘in it for the money’?

Well, that’s a start! If you’re passion is for the words and not for the cash than you’re ahead of the game.

I read a speech once made by Alan Watts. He talked about if you truly love something, eventually, you can become a master of it. And when you become a master of something you’ll be able to charge a good fee for whatever it is you do. Sounds great to me.

The secret of writing.

There are so many writers to read. So many ideas to immerse yourself into. So many hours of procrastination to be had before becoming a masterful writer. Those really want to write will always do so. But the really good writers have something in abundance which the average joe-bloggs-would-be-novelist lacks. Inspiration.

That’s it. Secrets out. So simple too! just go out and be inspired, write a best seller, and retire in the Maldives before they sink. If only that were true.

Well actually there is a source of inspiration in the world, it comes from a Vietnamese hostel at 3am. It comes from waking up hung over on a boat and having no idea where it’s headed. It comes from an Indian yogi’s 7ft of unwashed hair. It comes from going out into the big wide world and experiencing new things.

But most importantly, Inspiration comes after you learn how to say ‘yes’.

“yes, I will try juggling those! so what if they’re on fire?!”

“yes, I will go with you to find your brother. where is he again? the arctic?”

“Yes! Free-diving looks like fun. bet I can hold my breath longer!”

What’s in it for me?

As if 14 hour bus rides and dysentery wern’t enough!

You’ll find that horrible things like writers-block cease to exist, it is replaced by an overwhelming urge to share your experience with the world (whether you write it in a simple blog or shout it from the beaches of Koh Tao). Life becomes a real adventure, the never-ending search for the next great thing… to be able to tell the world ‘i found this’. Here’s what I found…

  • Opportunities are found only when we go out and search for them.
  • New experiences fuel writers (and travellers).
  • The best stories come from great adventures.

So use writing ‘for a living’ your excuse to travel the world. Use writing ‘for a living’ as an excuse to say “yes”.

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Vietnam’s Tourism Industry – Should it be left to the kids?

Here is an article I wrote for a website. here’s a sneak peek…



The full un-diluted version of Vietnam blog is on its way too!






Vietnam.

 

 

“Start in Hanoi, then work your way to Saigon. You’ll see a difference in the south” – A simple piece of advice given to me before becoming a tourist of this country. 

 

 

Hanoi Airport – August 2013 – My first time in Vietnam. Like most travellers my first priority was getting to the hotel. ‘This taxi drivers great!’ I thought – we’d been exchanging stories, it was a 40 minutes ride into town – so a little conversation goes a long way! Then conversation turned sour…

 

 

“Pay – You pay!” Insisting the toll booth we went through cost over ten times more than it did. He became visibly angry – raised his voice. The English he’d been chatting to me with had all been ‘forgotten’ and he became more animated in his demand.  

 

 

Now, I’m aware he must see hundreds of tourists a week – and, sadly, I have no doubt he thought by shouting i’d give in and pay. What took me by surprise was – this tact became a frequent occurrence – when dealing with anyone in trade.

 

 

 

 

Employee’s of the tourism industry seem to have been given this handbook on dealing with us tourists.

 

  • When ‘pointing’ and ‘one-syllable-directions’ fail – try raising your voice.

 

  • If the offender still isn’t doing what you expect – become more aggressive with your gestures. 

 

  • Be as defensive as possible when challenged on any of your demands and Remember – when in doubt, just refuse to speak English.

 

 

 

 

In total, I rode five 12 hour ‘sleeper’ buses, and what I noticed was rather shocking. No matter when you got on, or where, it was a case of western people are at the back – natives are at the front. When sitting in a seat deemed ‘wrong’ (i.e too far forward) a staff member would repeat the steps from the guidebook I mentioned above. 



 



Once and only once did i attempt a Rosa-Parks-esque stand-off. Refusing to move to the back of the bus. He became furious and told me to get off.

 

 

 

 

I’m sure there are many reasons why in these particular cases – its just-so-happened – to be this way. But surely better people-skills are required. Surely better training could be given. Surely no-one deserves a verbal onslaught from an angry bus driver.

 

Funny, i thought, that in every other aspect Vietnam had proven to be exceptional. Hotel workers were some of the best i’d encountered. Street sellers were polite and easy-going. Restaurant staff were as good as the food (which in Vietnam is very good indeed!).

 

 

 

 

Why then had the travel trade been left so far behind? Are us tourists really that bad? I needed to know, and strangely an answer came to me from an unlikely source.

 

 

Saigon’s Parks are a breath of fresh air. You can see people learning to dance, outdoor martial artists giving lessons, dozens of children skating and students. Students of english – this generation of academics gave me hope for Vietnam’s tourism industry. What seems like the whole school – are out in the parks simply going up and talking to people. they are practising english.

 

My most enjoyable night was spent talking in the park. We talked about everything. We debated politics. We chatted about english traditions. We discussed patriotism. When I asked them how long they’d been doing this one lad they said that every night for over a year he’d been coming to talk to foreigners. when I asked why he did it he said… 

 

 

 

“If i learn English it means I can get a better job, I can go to university or even get a scholarship somewhere. I practise everyday because I want to get better, because I learn new things and because i make new friends everyday.”

 

 

The advice i got about ‘people changing’ as i travel through Vietnam – was true. I saw an attitude change. I saw a generation change but mostly I saw a thirst for knowledge – and a spark of passion in young people that I fail to see back in England. So if you ask me ‘what do you think of tourism in Vietnam?’ I’d say go, dive in and get to know the people behind the job description.

 

 

 

But be wary of Airport taxis!

 

Cambodia’s Lies – through the eyes of a skeptic

Cambodia’s Lies




Shocking isn’t it. Before you ever set foot in Cambodia – You have been lied to. True maybe for the whole world now-a-days. But this country is like a novel. One which the author got 300 hours in – realised the HUGE plot holes – and gave up.




 

I will ease you in. Start where I started. England (notably not Cambodia) where I planned a trip around Asia…



 

Thailand – Cliché traveler destination. Might as well have a big ‘Start here’ printed on it.

Loas – Often mis-pronounced. It’s between me and Vietnam.


Vietnam – There was a war here once. Lets see what the fuss is about.


Cambodia – Cheap. Buy things here before India.



 

 

That was (more or less) my itinerary. Based on both research and references. Somehow all failing to mention the corruption, the lies and the propaganda. I hope to amend this. Read this article and be fair warned!




 

The first lie. Go to Cambodia, it’s cheap. No, it’s not.

 

 

Don’t get me wrong – compare house prices, a weekly shop or a moped to those in the UK – Asia wins hands down. But of the four countries I mentioned – Cambodia was the most expensive.

 

Street food was double that in Thailand. The hotels matched prices of Saigon. Even the kids-with-a-million-sunglasses were extortionate. Why then was this – noticeably – one of the poorest countries I have seen?

 

Who is all the money going to? – We’ll come to that.

 

 

 

 

 

The Second Lie. Go to Cambodia, the people are amazing.

 

Amazing is a strong adjective to use. You get the idea though. I was led to believe the citizens of Cambodia were what make this country great. 

 

Tourism is the countries biggest income. This is reflected in people. 

 

 

I imagined what the kids think. All they’ve seen is – western people must have a money tree! – I have little money… – these people need to give me their money!  

 

Its  tough, some 80% of all Cambodians are under 30. It’s hard to find an ‘old’ cambodian at all. Which suggests a free-rule for teenagers becoming impolite, deceitful and otherwise disengaged from visitors of Cambodia.

 

 

Of course this doesn’t ring true for everyone. But when you visit you will see for yourself, and why wouldn’t they be like that?! Poverty meets tourism – that’s not a good film idea. There was actually a poster in a tourist guide that read 

 

“Children aren’t the attraction. Think before visiting an orphanage”

 

 

This says it all about us tourists. The mentality of ‘wow, look – the third world. let’s go see the children quick’ – Actually that’s not too far off the truth. when you see a 60+ western man with a young Cambodian girl on his arm. Gold around her neck and a distinct look of depression in her eye.   

 

A far cry from the youngsters of Vietnam – thrilled to talk to a native Englishman to improve their second language. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The third lie. The worst lie. Cambodia’s history.

 

This one got to me. The representation of horrific events. I chose my words carefully.

 

Two out of the three highest grossing tourist attractions in the country are – ‘S-21 prison’ and ‘the killing fields’. In short – a brutal prison where genocidal khmer rouge tortured innocent people – and the fields they were taken to be executed.

 

 

I found ‘the killing fields’ an ‘interesting’ place. It certainly does have a lot of human remains on display. you can pay to buy a flower, walk 5ft and place it down at the steps. (after you’ve paid to get there, get in and get the audio tour)

 

I found things here didn’t quite add up though. Little things. Little inconsistencies here and there. Facts and figures changing. The awful propaganda film they play three times a day. The Kids selling bracelets.

 

 

 

More so I have to say about S-21 prison.

 

Once a school. Turned into a prison. Now a museum – asserting that most of what you see is exactly how it was found in 1979.



 

Here’s a list of discrepancies I found at s-21 –  



 

1. Block A is the first building you enter. Photos of the rooms ‘as they were found’ show the last 7 bodies in the prison tortured to death. The bodies now buried just outside the door in large memorials. 

 

Each of the photos are on display – in the room they were taken in. Set aside the awful quality of the photos and Windows appear to have moved. Something wasn’t right.

 

 

 

 

2. Gallows stand tall in the Courtyard. A plaque states prisoners were hung by their wrists. Dunked in a vat of feces, then interrogated immediately.

 

S-21 is stated to be the most secret of the Khmer rouge’s prisons. Public gallows and feces dunking. In the capital city. Not the most effective way to keep your secret prison secret.

 

 

 

 

3. Block B is now a memorial to the prisoners. Thousands of photos. Each one a prisoner of S-21. All murdered. All cataloged with names and numbers. – well this building puzzles me. 

 

The story goes (stated on the walls of block B) that the detainees arrived in a truck. Were measured. Then Photographed. Then Beat. Women were raped. Then Put in mass detention rooms. Later moved to individual cells. Tortured. Taken to the killing field. Killed. (Not necessarily in that order). 

 

Why then do the photographs show smiles on the faces of these inmates? who is happy to be led – handcuffed – into a prison complex – riddled in barbed wire – with gallows and huge buckets of poo – hearing screams of torture – seeing those in front of you beat and the women dragged off for rape. 

 

Smiling yet?

 

Some of the photos are poor quality, most are clear(all better than the ones taken after the prison was discovered – abandoned) 

 

For the displays some were blown up to around 8 times bigger then the original ‘little’ photos. Then, oddly, had been edited to look older. Tea stained and ripped. Yet the thousands of ‘little’ photos were fine? that’s strange.

 

 

 

 

4. Block B also housed the Torture equipment. Complete with Illustrations of how it was used. What confused me here was a water torture device. A large wooden box – similar to a coffin – only three times as wide. It would be filled with water and the poor man inside would be handcuffed to the metal bar inside. Forcibly ‘half-drowned’. 

 

10 years of use. 30 years later. Zero water damage. A wooden box, with iron shackles – constantly filled with water. 40 years on and it was as if never used.

 

 

 

5. The building that looked most visually interesting. Block C. Wrapped head-to-toe in barbed wire. Not just any barbed wire though – Barbed wire that was clearly not 40 years old.

 

Inside – shoddily constructed cells. Uneven and leaning over. maybe 200 3ft x 6ft cells.

 

 

The bricks were exactly the same as you see everywhere in Cambodia. The concrete between the bricks – looked as new – as the concrete holding up the metal supports (Put in place by the museum to stop the cells falling like dominos).

 

 

 

 

6. Maybe this one goes down as the straw that broke my ‘skeptical’ back.

 

The Khmer rouge abandoned this facility. They were loosing a war and left S-21 behind them. Why then did they choose to leave… 

 

-Photographs and measurements of every murdered person.

-Photographs of Dead and tortured inmates.

-The names of every Khmer rouge that worked there.

-Documents, detailing interrogations (and torture) of every single inmate – Thousands of files – Signed by the wardens.  

 

All of that evidence was just ‘left behind’. The Khmer rouge were, no-doubt a brutal force, but Stupid – they were not. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I am therefore – of the opinion – that S-21 prison was indeed a prison at one point. However was probably not housing a grand total of 12,000 – 15,000 innocent inmates over its years (depending on which book you read)

 

 

I believe it is more likely that the whole thing was politically fabricated. Made up to serve a different purpose. Used as a propaganda tool.

 

 

Strangely, I later found out, this is also to belief of the oppositions leader in Cambodia. However the last time he publicly said his opinion he was heavily and publicly berated.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

The final lie of Cambodia. One which isn’t at all well hidden. The Government.



The corruption of a prime-minister (former Khmer rouge to-boot) and the trickling down ooze of corruption throughout every government-owned entity. 

 

Hell – even the Cambodian anti-corruption agency is owned and run by the political party. Which makes me wonder what exactly they do all day in that office?

 

 

It is well know throughout the world as one of the most underhanded, unethical and unscrupulous regimes.

 

 

 

…But hey, Cambodia has got no natural resources the ‘worlds police-of america’ need to steal. There not threatening any one except their own population. There resisting, but following (in a shade of grey and 7 years late) the UN’s demands for equality. 




So lets let them be for now and all focus on Syria.     

 

World trip – Day One

You join me at the best possible time. Boarding a plane. Looking down the gap between the door and the jetway. Makes you feel strange going into, what is essentially, a large metal tube. Soon to be a large metal tube 35,000 feet in the air. A large metal tube that seems to have the same ant infestation as your kitchen cupboards.

Breathe a sigh of relief, you’ve taken off and you’re not dead. I tend to do that at least. Theres something deep within us all that can’t help but imagine “What if we started to nose-dive – or the tail brakes off – or this tilt turns into a barrel-roll”.

I feel silly confessing this, I have willingly jumped out of an aeroplane – twice! Both times attached to a man I’d met 15 minutes before. The second time in no more than shorts and a t-shirt. So for me to be planning the last few seconds of my life every time we hit the slightest turbulence seems absurd… I guess that’s human nature – stubbornly ignorant.

Twelve relatively comfortable hours later – watching 3 star movies. Documentaries on Planets & the universe. Pee’ing twice. Wondering why on earth only aeroplanes have headphones with two mini-jacks (rendering my new Dr. Dre beats useless) – We land.

The familiarity of stepping off a jet in a new country makes me feel like James Bond. I clutch Mary’s hand all the way through the airport. She’s been here before and knows the score. We fly through customs and lift our packs off the conveyor. Its time for the bit I’ve been waiting for since we landed. The one step after the air-conditioned airport.

Heat hits you like every english summer you’ve ever had all at once. This is where you pause. Turn to Mary (unless you happen to be with someone else) and beam a smile of relief. A smile of excitement. A smile of an adventure starting.

The inevitable happens after this brief moment of joy. A truly evil force in the world. One of gut wrenching slime and soul shattering filth. The airport taxi service. For the pleasure of bad driving, bad manners and bad smells – you seem to be paying the cretin roughly three times more than you should. My advice – either walk the 14 miles to your hotel or buy a used car on Craigslist the day before (it’ll probably be cheaper!).

The next part of the agenda is echoed around the world after a twelve-hour flight – sleep. Grunt at the hotel staff. Lug your belongings to the lift. Decipher the room keys unique method of access. Sleep. Don’t worry – the world will be out there when you wake up. Kiss Mary (that parts just for me) and sleep.

Sleep.

sleep

sle-

For Writers (and those with opinions of any calibre)

If you don’t know what you want to write, my suggestion is, don’t become a writer.

Those who choose to write for a living are generally the type of people who are quiet when out for the monthly ‘we must invite so-and-so round for dinner darling, i hear she has a new man and we simple must meet him’. Quiet only due to the fact that ‘so-and-so’ casually slips into dinner conversation that she met Mr. Blah-Blah because Sagittarius happened to be in her favour that week of her menstrual cycle. Or that they’re meant to be together because they both went to the same church as children and the Bible that she dropped on her way home from sunday school happened to be the same colour as his t-shirt the day he bought a new copy of the old testament. Upon hearing such utter nieavities your better half more the suggests with a unmistaken look that ‘quiet’ is exactly how you should remain (At least that is until Mr. Blah-Blah and whats-her-face have left earshot). In short, in my opinion, a writer must have an opinion.

Furthermore – said opinion should be of the calibre to warrant it being committed to  text. Every jolly-do-gooder has an opinion on the world but when such gems as ‘”fucking who talkin shit bout me so just don’t alright??” plague my Facebook feed everyday i wonder if the term ‘limited’ truly gives justice to these people’s capabilities. Maybe I’m just a stickler for good old-fashioned diplomacy. Don’t make the mistake of thinking I don’t have outbursts of emotion from time to time (especially confronted with aforementioned theologists) but I like to exhibit a slight more tact then my keyboard thumping Facebook friend.

I have been distracted from my point, like in the film Tron where you cruise along at insane speeds and then fly off on a tangent equally as fast, I have ‘tron’ed’ from my subject – writers.

    I am currently reading a book entitled ‘C.E.O of the sofa’ by P. J. O’Rourke. His background is journalism and he brings across through his past papers a truly remarkable sense of humour in the most unlikely situations. A full review of the book will be penned as soon as I finish but until then I would like to mis-quote his text if I may (I mis-quote only due to the fact that his book is currently in the jumbled accumulation of all my belongings, sitting on the hotel room floor. I, however, am trying to escape the blisteringly cold chill of an AC unit which knows two settings – arctic and off)

P. J. O’Rourke on the subject of Women hiding all the secrets of success in the business world in ‘how to manage with a toddler’ books

“I suppose women thought men would never read these books. Or women thought these books would be read by the kind of man who bikes to his job at the organic food co-op–not a threat to promotion. Anyway, women didn’t work very hard at putting their percipience into code. Even a bored chairman could crack it. Examine the following passage, allegedly about biting…”

He then takes a passage from the children’s book and replaces characters with ‘executive assistants’ and ‘account supervisors’ and the passage plays out in a completely new light. Seemingly confirming his theory of a secret sisterhood of business-women who pass on vital information through ‘123… the toddler years’.

Thats what I love about writers. They can take any mundanity and put their opinion on it, Transforming not only the way they look at the world, but, with a little ingenuity and the right linguistics, the way the reader looks at the world. So, back to my point. If you don’t know what you want to write, my suggestion is, don’t become a writer. Maybe that should read ‘If you lack an opinion worth writing’

Plan How To Change Your Life Forever

    I’m going to talk about the way I looked at the next few years of my life, more specifically the ways I planned it all. I’m not saying that my ‘to do’ list is going to be the same as yours but I will say that there is a method you can use (exactly like I did) to see what your short (and long) term future could look be. I will say at this point that if you want to understand how I got to this point then go back and read my earlier blogs about How to earn money quick and where to begin? 

 

Now the answer to how exactly to go about planning a life different to your day-to-day routine is both the easiest question you’ve ever been asked and the most difficult. the funny thing is, we all know and we’ve all been asked it…

 

Alan Watts made a speech that i can never forget,  I’ll let you decide what to make of it…

 

(Click here to hear the speech yourself in a new window)

 

 

 

“So I always ask the question: What would you like to do if money were no object? How would you really enjoy spending your life? Well it’s so amazing as the result of our kind of educational system, crowds of students say ‘Well, we’d like to be painters, we’d like to be poets, we’d like to be writers’ But as everybody knows you can’t earn any money that way! Another person says ‘Well I’d like to live an out-of-door’s life and ride horses.’ I said ‘You wanna teach in a riding school?’


Let’s go through with it. What do you want to do? When we finally got down to something which the individual says he really wants to do I will say to him ‘You do that! And forget the money!’ Because if you say that getting the money is the most important thing you will spend your life completely wasting your time! You’ll be doing things you don’t like doing in order to go on living – that is to go on doing things you don’t like doing! Which is stupid! Better to have a short life that is full of which you like doing then a long life spent in a miserable way. And after all, if you do really like what you are doing – it doesn’t really matter what it is – you can eventually become a master of it. It’s the only way of becoming the master of something, to be really with it. And then you will be able to get a good fee for whatever it is. So don’t worry too much, somebody is interested in everything. Anything you can be interested in, you’ll find others who are.

 

 

But it’s absolutely stupid to spend your time doing things you don’t like in order to go on spending things you don’t like, doing things you don’t like and to teach our children to follow the same track. See, what we are doing is we are bringing up children and educating to live the same sort of lives we are living. In order they may justify themselves and find satisfaction in life by bringing up their children to bring up their children to do the same thing. So it’s all wretch and no vomit – it never gets there! And so therefore it’s so important to consider this question

 

 

What do I desire?” 

 

 

 

 

    Upon hearing this for the first time the words struck a chord within me. I think this is true for a lot of people. His words simply make sense. What he talks about makes sense. The best thing is he is telling you that you don’t need some magic potion to be happy, you don’t need the money or the education. All you NEED is already possessed by you – the clarity of mind to sit down and think to yourself ‘what do i enjoy’



    I did just that, i thought about everything from if a university degree would make me happy, or if I wanted to become a teacher, if I loved film enough to try to make a career in that… In the end I wrote a list. I sat down and wrote a list of things I want to do. now these were not all sensible, they were not all practical and they definitely were not all going to change the world but nether-the-less I wrote down things like…



see the sunrise and sunset in the same day.

Fire a big gun

play a song on guitar

live in another country

sing in public





    My list is not finished (and may never be) but the important thing to me was I could see them. I could look at this piece of paper and see goals to head toward. You want to know how to plan a life changing future for yourself? Start by asking yourself exactly what you want in life, if you do that then it will not matter if its boring, stupid or completely insane because its YOURS. If you can write 5 things today that you would love to do tomorrow and end up doing one of them because of it then its WORTH DOING.

 

Try and prove me wrong.






    There we have it. I had the drive and passion to leave my day-to-day life. I was earning the money I needed to leave and I had a list of things I wanted. Time to take a leap of faith…



 

How To Get Rich Quick… Get Sick!

Working two jobs, paying the rent, paying the bills. Sounds pretty average right? I mean, we all can name dozens of people doing the same thing right now. So how did i manage to save up enough cash fund my escape? Well i didn’t do it alone, I got help from an ‘unconventional’ organisation and at the same time had an unforgettable experience.

Flucamp. Yes, it is exactly what it sounds like… That is, if you thinking ‘Flucamp sounds like where you take multiple trips to the heart of London to undergo rigorous trails and tests to determine your physical capabilities, your mental capabilities and your pre-existing medical history (including genetic implications). All culminating in a Fifteen day Quarantine period as your body is introduced to a particular strain of rhino-virus, then being left to allow the infection to spread before being subject to the latest version of a manufactured chemical ‘cure’ in the hope that no adverse effects arise and the compound can be approved for use in general public’  … well if you were thinking that i would be very impressed indeed because that’s exactly what flucamp is!

The fact is, medical trails are very common. (more so when you travel further a field to places like the united states of america but nether-the-less we’ve all heard of them) and the compensation you receive (for the relatively short time it takes to complete) is huge. Not to mention the additional money you save by not having to pay for food, water or accommodation for the time you’re in there.

‘Perfect!’ I thought to myself. Hearing this medical trail was accepting applicants was music to my ears. The money they offered was substantial and would be a huge boost to my savings pot. I quite literally wasted no time in texting back to the number to request a phone interview.

Now, I realise writing this, that this method of ‘earning’ money may seem a tad extreme to some people and certainly when I told people I was planning to go ahead with it all the reactions were mixed to say the least! With the expected remarks of “you’re crazy! I’d never do that! what if you grow an extra eyeball or something?” I think my favourite comment was “I’ll see if you survive it before I ever apply”

Despite the somewhat sceptical outlook that those close to me shared, I was quite confident and even rather excited at the opportunity (not least of all because after discussing the details of the trail I learnt I was to receive three and a half thousand pounds for the time I would spend there)

So lets fast forward to after my first blood screening, they checked here if my white blood cells were correct, they were. Continue past my second physical screening where my lung and heart were put under scrutiny… I passed. All the way up to my first day in the quarantine unit… The picture is me on the first day in a rather fetching face mask. No contact with anyone for the next two weeks. Now a full review of my time in flucamp would take far to long to write about here… So if anyone is interested as much as I was at the thought of this (or any other medical trail) then you can see the Vlog I made whilst inside. One video each day the whole way through.

The long and short of it is that for two weeks of sitting in a room alone I was given three months wages.  Now if anyone can find an easier way for the average joe to make that much money then feel free to add your ideas for us all to know!

Here we go then. After making the decision to get up and do it the first priority was to increase my income with a second job. The second step for me was to find a way to dramatically increase my savings in a short space of time. Next was where it starts to get fun… how on earth do you begin to plan  your life after leaving everything you know behind. That is my next challenge…