London to Bangkok via Abu Dhabi

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Setting off.

I’m not usually phased by much and setting off travelling didn’t seem that big of a deal — until the night before when I freaked out about the size and weight of my hand luggage! “They won’t let me on the plane!”, “it’ll get destroyed as checked luggage!”, “I need to get rid of all me clothes!”. It ended up being fine and in retrospect the panic I placed on my backpack was actually more likely the idea of travelling finally sinking in and how unprepared I was for it. The next morning I woke up and instead of panic, a serene calmness washed over me. I left the house and however prepared I was or was not — it didn’t matter — I had left.

Leaving on a jet plane.

When it comes to flying, I’m accustomed to a certain type of experience. Anything less than the cramped, rushed and lack of empathy just really doesn’t sit right with me — complements from RyanAir, of course.

Wait. What’s that you say? RyanAir is actually really really terrible and no one should be subject to being treated like aviated cattle?!

Well blow me down; you’re right!

London to Bangkok via Abu Dhabi with the sky-high-luxury Etihad Airways. Window seats on the wing, as requested for both flights. Lamb Kofta with Basmati Rice and Olive Sauce for dinner, served with a lovely feta infused side salad and topped off with a Chocolate Orange Delice for desert. Food at 37000 feet had never tasted so good!

Then there’s the entertainment. Films like Lucy, 22 Jump Street, Guardians of the Galaxy, Begin Again, countless TV shows and my personal favourite, outside cameras so you can see the plane land from the pilot’s perspective. I could go on and on about this little window of happiness. 750 hours of entertainment at the tip of my finger (touch screen technology too). The food, free drinks and entertainment were only made better by the overear headphones, fleece lined blanked and mini toiletries kit that greeted us on our seat before take off.

The 7 hour trip from London to Abu Dhabi just flew by, and despite the bad puns, after three hours in the Abu Dhabi airport checking out their array of watches and hanging out in Burger King with a coke, we had another 6 of it all over again.

On the flight from Abu Dhabi to Bangkok the place was a little smaller and had three seats instead for two next to the window but the screens were better and they had a USB and universal charger for my juice hungry devices. They also had WiFi but the price was sky-high so that didn’t takeoff for us.

Touch down.

Landing in Bangkok we were ready to get to our hotel and plonk out. We booked a cab inside the airport as every guide book and internet article has advised – 1,200 baht and I can’t help feel a little ripped off. We happily paid anyway because you can’t put a price on peace of mind and the also the sandman was getting agitated waiting for us.

After roughly an hour and a half of our driver getting out at every Tuk Tuk station and asking for directions, we made it to the hotel. The UMA Residence looks lovely on the website but man, arriving here just made our 20 hour trip worth every minute.

Then we signed in and our room was occupied… so they gave us a free upgrade. Hello bedtime!

For now, London, farewell.

London, you pulled me back in with your stuffy commutes, great coffee shops, good work and a fast paced lifestyle.

I left you once and I’m leaving you again.

For now — we just can’t be together. It’s not you. Don’t ever think it’s you. Sure, nowhere is without it’s flaws but your bustling ambience shone over all of that.

Truly, it’s not you. It’s me.

I need to see more, do more, be more. One day, who knows? Maybe we’ll see each other again. Maybe we’ll have what we had before or maybe we’ll just be friends. Of course I’ll miss you. I’ll definitely think about you often and all the great times we’ve had. We’ll always have Belsize. Remember that? We were perfect together but right now I need to spread my wings.

I have something else to tell you.

You’re not going to like this but I have to be honest with you. You deserve to know.

I’m… I’m seeing other countries.

Not at the same time, never at the same time. I’m not like that — but after you there will be Thailand. Sure she’s beautiful, but I doubt she’ll have your personality.

And, well… There’s more. It’s not just Thailand. There will be Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Australia, New Zealand and the USA. A lot of the USA.

I know how this sounds. Please remember how much you mean to me. You were my first and no one can take that away from us.

I love you. I’ll miss you.

Quitting my job: the story so far

Quitting my job: the story so far

It’s been over two months since I threw caution to the wind, quit my job and set out to travel the world with Charlotte. Let me catch you up on the story so far and living in Malta.

Riki-Rewind back to May. It’s my last day at work (and coincidentally everyones first day in our new office), I handed in my equipment the previous week to the office move so with nothing to work with and everyone busy unpacking their stuff and settling in, I had the day to get tweaked on ‘Goodbye Coffees’, frolic around the new building (which btw was a fantastic upgrade to the previous office) and check out the area.

It was a good last day.

That evening I had strategically planned (after wrongly assuming my office was still going to be in King’s Cross…) a trip to Paris on the Eurostar. I figured if I’m going to leave work, I’m going to leave in style. Going from a full time job in London to being unemployed in Paris within the space of a few hours felt incredible. Charlotte and I were on our way to the world’s most romantic city.

We stayed for three days and walked EVERYWHERE. Like, 8-10 hours a day exploring kind of walking. It was great, but man, that’s too much. Still, we unintentionally saw all the main sites and had a Nutella crêpe by the Eiffel Tower. We loved every minute of it, even if we were staying in the sex district, a 5 minute walk from the Moulin Rouge.

The feeling of not having to go back to the UK was a feeling of freedom. There was nothing stopping us from carrying on round Europe, but alas, we headed back to the UK, stocked up on chocolate that didn’t make it past the border… because we ate it. All of it.

A few weeks pass, we bought a one-way ticked to Malta and we’re packing only hand luggage for a three month stay. We figured just taking hand luggage would be good practice for backpacking South East Asia. And it was. Most of the stuff I thought I’d need I haven’t touched, so that’s good to know.

I have a Brother living with his girlfriend, Yana, in Malta. They’ve been enjoying our company for about a month now and I got to say, Malta is an amazing place and for short holidays from the UK, return flights for under £100 per person is a no brainer.

An all day bus-pass here is €1.50 and I recommend going to Valetta – Malta’s capital city and Mdina – Malta’s old capital (walled) city which has a population of less than 300 people and they put rubber horse shoes on their horses to reduce noise. While in Mdina, have lunch Fontanella, their cakes are as good as the view.

So anyway, in Malta we were going to spend time preparing for our travels and sorting stuff out, though we haven’t really planned anything yet, I’ve definitely ticked some things off my list:

  1. Finished my portfolio website (mobile responsive and super sexy, of course).
  2. Got this blog up and running again. Still working on the look and feel.
  3. Topped 10,000 points on Treehouse (where I learn programming).
  4. Built Sweat Roulette, a simple fitness web-app with Charlotte.
  5. Had a press interview about Sweat Roulette.
  6. Made the news (half a page!) with Sweat Roulette.
  7. Joined some freelancing websites to make money while travelling.
  8. Got a tan.
  9. Read some books.
  10. Jumped off a cliff. Everyone else was doing it.

And that’s all taken place in Malta within the space of a month when I’m not at the beach – there’s something to be said for having time to do things.

And that brings us up to now.

I’m still looking for potential revenue streams so I can become location-independent, being a designer/developer is a good start due to only needing a laptop, prime for remote work.

Being ‘always on’ is taking its toll though, so I’m probably going to take a week off from the internet soon which I’m definitely going to blog about.

I’d love to hear comments about what you want to hear more of – my travels, making money travelling, the geeky bits – let me know below, yo!

Not everything makes the blog, so follow me on Twitter and Instagram and say hey 🙂

To be continued…

Cable carts over the Thames

Emirates Air Line

My parents came up to London for the day. My dad suggested that we take the cable carts over the Thames. Now I’ve been in cable carts before whilst filming in Switzerland, so I was interested to see London’s take on the idea. It was a really good day out. The carts seat about 10-12 people as they’re huge. You go up, and before you know it, you’re back down again. Then it’s a just five minute walk to the O2 Arena for a quick drink.

Continue reading “Cable carts over the Thames”

Baseball Bat Buying Fail

Sales of baseball bats on Amazon.co.uk have gone up over 5000% in the past 24 hours due to people wanting to defend themselves from the recent London riots.

There are going to be a lot of pissed of buyers.

Creature London

You better watch out, you better not cry, better not pout, I’m telling you why… there’s a massive creature that has just set up it’s nest down Curtain Road. Luckily, it’s not the dangerous type that’ll rip off your head and take a dump down your throat… it’s an advertising agency.

It’s the offspring of Creature Seattle located in London, but way cooler. My creative partner and I have had the pleasure of working here the past two weeks on placement.

It’s been a great experience, everyone is cool and we’ve mainly been juicing our brains generating ideas for pitch work to win some new clients.

The agency only set up shop here a few weeks ago which was nice for us because we got to see a new agency coming together and nice for them because they’re a blank canvas for whatever awesomeness they want to paint on it.

Creature London is definitely going to be a contender in the industry. It’s one of those rare places where good ideas come first, not all of that corporate bollocks that goes on in huge factory type agencies. It’s a smaller agency with big ideas and the combined experience to execute them well.

Also, their website looks dope.

Creature London

And they feed us pizza and beer during late night mock-up sessions.

…and because we’re grateful for them taking us under their horribly disfigured creature like appendage which we’ll call a wing for the purpose of this blog post, we bought them Krispy Kremes.

Now we’ll wait for the laxatives to take effect.