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It's been just over 21 years since I first started this site in June 2002 at the suggestion of friends to keep a log of the places I have been, the things that I have done and the experiences I have had.

It’s also been 7-years since I last updated this page and I thought it was about time to update this – and make it, hopefully, a little less cringy worthy than its predecessor (retained below for your enjoyment and a recognition that writing style has, also hopefully, improved in the intervening years)

From a simple website I started uploading my photos, first to Fotopic and when they closed to Flickr.

I was a late joiner to the Social Media bandwagon hopping onto Twitter in 2009 and then expanding to include Threads and Mastodon. From 2024 I’ve also added Bluesky to the list of social media I’m posting on.

I was even later to the Instagram party only joining to follow a handful of accounts in 2016 and only taking to posting as part of my travels in December 2022.

Along with the website I’m also now regularly posting videos of my journeys to YouTube both as Shorts live in the field and as full-length videos with a new video out every other Thursday. This started as a way of filling the endless hours of blank time that the Covid-19 Lockdowns forced on everyone in 2020 and 2021.

As of December 2023 I’ve managed to get my stats up to:
  • Just over 500,000 miles (800,000Km)
  • 60 Countries and Territories
  • Feet on 4 continents (albeit only by inches into the Asian side of Istanbul)

Here's hoping the knees (and wallet) hold up for another 21 years :)

Tom Butler
December 2023

And here's the slightly more cringe version from 2016...

Welcome to my travelogue. I have decided to put this guide together after suggestions from a friend to keep a log of the places I have been, the things I have done and the experiences I have had.

When I first started this site in June 2002, I was decidedly un-travelled. The last family holiday I went on was in 1988 and after that, apart from one school trip to Calais, I barely left South East England, let alone the country for another 13 years. The furthest North I had been during this time was Bradford, ask any Geordie or Scott and they will tell you that is still south!

Since then things have changed a little bit. From the occasional trip away, it has become a little bit of an obsession.

As of December 2016 I had traveled over 240,000 miles through 32 countries and to most corners of the UK

Over the last fourteen years, the site has mutated and grown. From a small collection of web pages, it now has several tens of thousands of pages and an increasingly massive access database that powers it.

One thing I never wanted to do was to emulate "hardcore travel writers". Whilst I admire people who can travel by nothing more than mules across continents, or who can spend weeks living like the natives in a small rain forest camp, I can't do it. Five nights sleeping in the desert and bush of Namibia, killed any idea of wanting to trek across the Gobi desert, or scale Everest in a pair of flip-flops.

I admit quite happily that I can't abide roughing it and I am perfectly happy to do the touristy things. I'll trek across the barren wastes, so long as those wastes are in Northern Europe, the trekking is done by either plane or coach and each day starts and ends in civilisation (preferably a three star type of civilisation with hot and cold running TV)

Consequently, unlike great travel literature, this site contains no hints on finding the cheapest workers café's or how to ingratiate yourself with the locals to swing free board for a fortnight.

What it does include its lots of suggestions for very touristy things to do.

Travel broadens the mind (if slightly narrowing the wallet and gently par boiling the credit cards). My travels have broadened my mind and helped me to appreciate the world more. I am barely monolingual let alone anything else, but hope that I have taken enough in to start to understand how other parts of at least Europe think and feel.

I have had, and hope to continue to have, some fantastic experiences - driving across a Lava beach in Iceland; Whiskey tasting in Cork; Quad biking in the Namibian desert; crossing the Arctic Circle and spending 4 days without any nights, reaching Hammerfest, the most northerly town in Europe and subsequently heading even further north to Svalbard and the last full service hotel before the North Pole; and watching both the Northern lights and the midnight sun from the decks of the Hurtigruten in the Norwegian Fjords...

...and I can ask for the bill in 10 languages.

Tom Butler
December 2016
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