Hitchhiking Japan: some tips

I’m always a little bit nervous when hitchhiking in a new country, especially where there’s a language barrier. But Japan is great to hitchhike! People know the concept (pronouncing it ‘hitch hike’, emphasising the space between the two syallables). We also saw some Japanese hitchhikers. To hitchhike, you do the same as you would in…

Hiking the Dewa Sanzan in Honshu, Japan

Japan is a hiker’s paradise, and the Dewa Sanzan (the three mountains of Dewa) is a  pilgrimage route of the aesthetic Shugendo religion. Shugendo pilgrims and Japanese hikers can walk all three mountains – Haguro San, Gas San and Yudono San – although many non-religious hikers choose to walk just one or two of the…

Hitchhiking Honshu, Japan

Tokyo is surely the most capitalist, consumerist city in the world, and is not a good introduction to beautiful Japan. Billboards and lights scream at people to buy stuff. Trains are crammed with adverts whilst people are transfixed with smartphones. Everywhere I turn, there are women who  look like film stars. Looking perfect is seemingly…

One month hitching Sumatra & Aceh

We travel from Malaysia to Sumatra, Indonesia, on the Vomit Boat. Its real name is the Star Express. But throughout the four hour journey we listen to everyone on board throw their dinners up into plastic bags (ironically, before this, the staff give everyone a meal of chicken and rice when the boat is still…

Hitchhiking, hiking & camping Malaysia

“Aaaaggghhhh! You fucking wankerrrrrr!” I scream at a young guy as I chase after him on my scooter. He has just grabbed my breast, whilst driving at 60kmph on his scooter, and now I’m on a high speed chase. But after just half a minute I wonder what I would actually do if I caught…

Ton Sai, Thailand: the destruction of paradise

“No Entry!! MOVE ON!” a security guard yells at us as we jump off the longtail boat at Railay beach. He is guarding a new, expensive resort, meaning that the ‘common’ public have to wade through the sea, waves crashing up to our waists, rather than step on the resort’s swimming pool grounds. Heaven forbid…

Problematic backpacker tourism in northern Thailand

The below blog post addresses just some of the problems of (mostly white European) backpacker tourism. When I first travelled in south-east Asia ten years ago, I did not see that my presence could be detrimental to the communities that I was visiting. My awareness of this has grown and evolved over the last few…

Scooter travels in northern Thailand

In July 2016 we spent two and a half weeks travelling around the far north of Thailand on scooters. We were careful not to photograph people without their permission, and we avoided driving into many of the small villages that we passed. This is because these villages never see tourists, and may not want to,…

Hiking the GR10 trail in the Pyrénées

We hiked the GR10 in June 2016. I don’t like climbing mountains. I think of it as macho: the egoic human wanting to conquer the peak. Don’t get me wrong, I love long distance hiking, and I have done my fair share of hikes. But I don’t feel the need to climb a few thousand…

More reflections on being alone: Hiking the Carian Trail (part 3 )

I am walking the Carian Trail, an 800km long hiking route in south-west Turkey. See parts 1 and 2 here and here. Day 8: Eski Datça to Pigs Hollow (15km) I have started a new section of the Carian Trail – the Datça Peninsula. To my relief, the trail becomes unbelievably beautiful and, thank god,…

Smash Patriarchy: experiences of travelling alone as a woman

***The below blogpost shows my experience of just a couple of days of travelling alone. Although it is written about the region within the borders of Greece, I have had similar, and worse, experiences in other countries.*** My friend Albin once told me how he had taken a succession of ferries from Turkey to Italy….