While in London for the week with work, I had the weekend to fill and was keen to try and get somewhere new. After some research online I settled on Porto as I could get there on a direct flight from Galway, and I’d heard good things about the city as a weekend destination.
Adding in the travel time and finding my hotel in town, I was left with less than two full days to enjoy the many delights around the city. And enjoy them I did! Apart from wandering around the steep cobbled streets around the old city down to the river, the highlight was definitely the port I drank. I managed to squeeze in five cellar tours on the far side of the river, and visited another three to do some tasting.
The blog has suffered from even more neglect over the past year or two, but I’m determined to start being more diligent! For the time being I’ll capture the travels I’ve done from the last post until now, so at least I have it documented:
Australia: Business trip to the Gold Coast and Melbourne to see the fam
Cuba: Havana, Pinar del Rio, Cayo Levisa
Iceland: Reykjavik, Snaefells, Jökulsarlon, Golden Circle, Blue Lagoon
Ireland: Dublin, County Wicklow, Glendalough, Eoin & Sally’s wedding in Tinahely/Aughrim
Netherlands: A couple more business trips to Amsterdam
Norway: Winter visit to Oslo to see my sister, Christmas 2013 with the family in Oslo, skiing and ice climbing in Beitostølen, Tromsø for Aurora Borealis and a half-marathon
Peru: Cusco, Ausangate trek & climbs with Sky High Expeditions, Machu Picchu
UK: London over several visits for work, Skipton (Yorkshire), Edinburgh
US: SF Bay Area, couple of weekend trips to Yosemite NP, SXSW @ Austin TX, Hawaiian island of Kauai for Thanksgiving 2013, Houston TX to see my sister, Big Sur/Monterey
Now I just need to work out what service to use to get my photos in the cloud – Flickr, Picasa, iPhoto…?
So much for promises! I sadly STILL haven’t updated this site since I last promised it waaaaay back in April 2009. I’ll blame it on the fact I’ve been a busy boy (as always), but I have to admit that I’ve become more likely to post photos on Facebook than here. I’ve now set things up so that any blogs published here will also be posted on Facebook, so that should incent me to continue my postings here.
Since I last wrote I’ve done a bunch more travel (again, as per usual), and hope to get some photos up from these adventures:
Afghanistan: Kabul city and surrounding area, Panjshir Valley, Salang Pass & Tunnel
I know, I know, I’ve been reaaaaaally bad at updating this site since I moved to Madrid back in October last year. I’ve been keeping myself busy through a LOT of travels on weekends, and that combined with management consulting hours doesn’t leave a lot of time to post photos up here! But keep reminding me to update it and I promise I’ll get to it soon!!
Here’s a taste of what’s coming:
Spain: Madrid, Ávila, Toledo, Segovia, El Escorial, Mallorca, Pedraza, Córdoba, Sierra Nevada, Sevilla, Pedriza and Manzanares el Real, Valencia
Switzerland: Basel, Baden, Elm, Zürich
Morocco: Marrakech, Fès, Merzouga and Erg Chebbi (Sahara dunes), Todra Gorge, Essaouira, Ameln Valley, Aït Benhaddou
India: Delhi, Agra, Taj Mahal, Milan and Christina’s Wedding
I recently celebrated a personal milestone of sorts that I wanted to share with each of you.
A couple of months ago I passed the ten year mark living and working overseas. It's an achievement I'm proud of, but it does leave me in a somewhat contemplative and reflective mood. When I left Australia young and naive back in late 1998, I never, ever thought that I'd still be going strong a decade later! In my wildest imagination I couldn't think that I'd live and work in six countries on four continents, pick up a couple of languages along the way, or that I'd travel through ~80 countries throughout this incredible planet. I've seen and done some amazing things that I'll treasure always. I've been, admittedly, incredibly fortunate.
And of course there are all of you who I've shared it with along the way! I'm thankful to each one of you for being part of my personal journey, and for letting me be a part of yours. For some that was nothing more than a fleeting and fun encounter in some far-flung corner of the globe. For others, at the other end of the spectrum, knowing you has been a deep and enriching experience that has influenced, affected, inspired and shaped me profoundly. Indeed, you have all left your mark on me in some way or another, and I'm enormously appreciative of that.
I can only wonder what lies in store for me in the next ten years on this path less traveled. I really have no idea as I'm still taking life as it comes, but I sure hope it's as wild a ride as the last decade! In case you haven't been able to keep track of my whereabouts, I'm now living in Madrid, Spain, where I transferred from San Francisco with my work (Bain & Company, a management consultancy) back in October last year. No complaints at all, life is good! And, as always, I have some more adventure tucked up my sleeve – in the next few months I will be riding a motorbike through the Hindu Kush mountains of Afghanistan, lazing on a beach in Cuba, and running with the bulls in Pamplona! Definitely the year for living dangerously!!
I hope you're happy and well, wherever you are in this amazing world and whatever you're doing. Until our paths cross again, and I hope they do, please always keep in touch! I'd love to hear from you.
Back in June of this year, Bain gave me the fantastic opportunity to apply for a transfer to the Madrid office. It was an opportunity I couldn't say no to – to get myself back to Europe, to get to know Spain as a resident and not a tourist, to continue to improve my Spanish, and to experience another part of the Bain network.
I've been waiting months for all the paperwork and authorization to come through, and have jumped through numerous hoops to get everything sorted. But, today, I've JUST got word that my visa has FINALLY come through, and I'll be leaving SF in a 2 weeks!!! Aaaargh! I'm super excited, but have so much to do before I can jet out!
So to all my friends in Europe – look out! I'm comin' back…