Welcome to Albatross133, a website that shows that, to quote the author Henry Miller, "One's destination is never a place but rather a new way of looking at things"...
To begin with, here are 10 little things I've learnt about travel proving that it's not about the miles you've clocked up, nor is about simply going somewhere "nice", seeing the sights, coming home, writing it up in Tripadvisor and then carrying on as if nothing special happened. No, travel is about...
The 5am Red-Eye flight out of
Bishkek Airport - Kyrgyzstan
- 1- ... embarking on a journey that takes you beyond the beaten path and lets you live unforgettable experiences
2- ... letting your senses absorb the savours, colours and essences of the surroundings, exotic, ever disconcerting
3- ... those amazing sunsets (and amazing sunrises) you think you'd only see in films
4- ... looking at the heat shimmering over an oasis hiding palm trees or standing on the edge of a glacier and watching clouds sailing majestically below you through a mountain pass
5- ... watching a hummingbird, no bigger than a bumble bee, hovering so close to you, you can hear the hum of its wings as it flits in and out of sweet scented, scarlet coloured flowers of a tropical garden in Martinique
6- ... getting lost in backstreets, harangued in local bazaars, bundled into a pirate taxi and feeling very claustrophobic in a horribly hot and stuffy Marshrutka
7- ... watching groups of angry men facing off with riot police in front of parliament buildings in some far-off country in central Asia
8- ... exploring local cuisine and trying new foods that don't exist anywhere else
9- ... standing dog-tired and forlorn in front of a public transport map in Kyoto and someone tapping you on the shoulder and asking if they can help
10- ... sitting down and talking to people, sharing a glass of what they like to drink and getting a glimpse of their life.
Martinique - St Anne's
(See the "head" land?)
Istanbul - The Bosphorus
and the not so "Black Sea"
Do I or can I consider myself a traveller, a tourist or both? After reading my own mantra I like to think of myself as a traveller, actively looking for new experiences and taking part in someone else's everyday life somewhere else.
A long time ago I heard about a phenomenon called "Club Med", an organisation, and I paraquote "...specializing in an all-in holiday concept at a number of "vacation villages" in exotic locations around the world" and decided the concept wasn't for me.
In my world, I want to integrate and assimilate the mores of the country I'm visiting. I want to see things from a new perspective and, accepting the unsual, understand what I'm seeing, come back and share the experience, hence this website!
After several enrichening visits to an intriguing little country hidden away in central Asia, called Kyrgyzstan, I decided to sit down and, with little encouragement and a lot of inspiration, write a book about what I'd seen. The result was a book called "Destination Bishkek", a story-cum-travelogue about every day life and my personal experiences there, see below.
By the way. I've also written and auto-published a second book of essays, also on Amazon, about other places I've been to, called "Twelves Adventures, One Journey", some of the abridged stories from the book can be found on this website. Have a look, don't be shy. Amazon even offers free reads with their Kindle lending service.