I travelled a bit as a kid, but just after I turned 19 I decided it was time to test out just how dangerous travelling was. So I went to Vietnam by myself, and eventually made it through China and Russia to Europe, where I spent two weeks penniless and sleeping on the street in Italy before eventually making my way home. Since then I've done 3 or 4 other major trips described in detail on my blog and a few other places. Probably the single thing I'm most proud of is managing to hitchhike all the way to Magadan, probably the most remote city on Earth accessibly by road. The experience nearly killed me, however, so I've taken a slightly more pedestrian approach since.
As you can see from the map, there are large chunks of the world that I'm yet to visit. Places I'd really like to see before I'm too old and blind include South America, Africa, Antarctica, Central Asia, Western China, Taymyr, Central America, the Indonesian archipelago, India, and the Middle East, though probably not in that order. I always have a few travel plans on the back burner. I'm a contributor to wikitravel, though when I started it was far less comprehensive than it is now. Still, I wrote most of the stuff on the Russian Far East.
Although I originally did crazy travel stuff as an exercise in self discovery, retrospectively it was also a time of re-invention and improvisation, without which I would not have gained certain insights and experiences.
DISCLAIMER: Much of what I've done was much more dangerous than I thought it was at the time. For me, it is worth the risk to get off the beaten path and away from the tourist crowds. This comes with the very real risk of death. To a 20 year old, this seems acceptable and unlikely, which is why you shouldn't wait if you plan to tempt fate.
Links to various trips
I'm always happy to provide information on any of the places I've been, feel free to get in touch via the contact page.
Physics Olympiad: Austria and Spain.
Blog posts (15 in total)
Trip 1: November 2006 - January 2007. Malaysia, Viet Nam, China, Russia, Poland, Austria, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Taiwan.
Blog posts (22 in total)
Trip 2: November 2007 - February 2008. USA, Scotland, England, Germany, France, Austria, Hungary, Serbia, Romania, Bulgaria, Turkey, Malaysia, Viet Nam, Japan.
Blogs (6 in total)
Photos from this trip lurk on facebook.
September 2008. Vanuatu. Video of volcanic eruption.
Trip 3: July 2010 - September 2010. China, Mongolia, Russia.
Photos: Beijing, Mongolia 1, Mongolia 2, Russian Altai, Baikal/BAM/Yakutsk, Kolyma Highway, Magadan, Kamchatka, Vladivostok.
In September 2010 I moved to Pasadena, California. Numerous weekend trips for field trips, skiing, mountaineering, etc.
Trip 4: August 2011-September 2011. England, Scotland, Turkey, Greece, Albania, Macedonia, Kosovo, Montenegro, Croatia, Bosnia, Slovenia, Austria, Spain.
Photos: UK, Turkey, Greece, Albania, Macedonia, Kosovo, Montenegro, Croatia 1, Bosnia, Croatia 2, Slovenia, Austria, Spain.
March 2013. Costa Rica. Photos.
June 2013. Hawaii. Photos.
Geology field trips: Grand Canyon Spring 2011, Mexico Fall 2011, Walker Lane Spring 2012, Central California Fall 2012, Santa Monica Mountains Winter 2013, Death Valley Spring 2013, Mexico Fall 2013, Zion Spring 2014, Mono Lake Winter 2014, Saline Valley Winter 2015, Arizona Spring 2015.
Grand Canyon by air. Photos.
Dr Casey Handmer >