April 7th 2014 marks my 300th month of what I like to call, well, life. Like all lives it’s had its ups and its downs but it occurred to me recently that pretty much all the best memories I have are of independent travelling I’ve done as an adult. Sure, life can be great when you’re a kid having everything done for you, but the memories I look back on the fondest are those where I’ve done something awesome off my own back, and the most awesome memories for me happen to be when I was travelling. So without further ado, here in all its self-congratulatory glory is my list of the top ten travel months I’ve ever had.
10. June 2006
Neatly combining the two themes of this blog (and my two passions) – motorsport and travel – this was the month when I went to the British Grand Prix and Le Mans in the space of a week. The British Grands Prix I’ve done 18 times, but this year was particularly special. It was glorious weather, I became aware of my future hero Lewis Hamilton for the first time in GP2, and I organised a trip the following week for myself and a mate to head to La Sarthe. This was the first piece of independent travel I did and the Le Mans 24 Hour race was a hell of a place to start. The circuit is a magical place and this was the year of the silent diesels humming through the night. A month I’ll never forget.
9. May 2007
Monaco, baby! This was the month I organised for myself and two mates from college to bus it all the way through France to Cannes La Bocca, where we soaked up the atmosphere of the Cannes Film Festival before heading down the coast to the most famous motor race in the world: the Monaco Grand Prix. It was everything I hoped for and more. Oh man, take me back…
8. March 2013
Last year my girlfriend and I hired a camper-van in Adelaide, South Australia and drove all the way down the glorious Great Ocean Road. It was perhaps the most sunning drive I’ve ever done and I’d recommend it to anyone. After that I went to my first ever Australian Grand Prix and made this video!
7. March 2014
Last month we road tripped around Scotland. I’ll be blogging more about this very soon but suffice to say I was blown away by the majesty of the Scottish landscapes. The Highlands reminded me of New Zealand but the beaches could have been the Mediterranean. And some of the roads were like the Monte Carlo Rally!
6. October 2012
October 2012 was the month we threw all caution and sensibleness to the wind and flew to the other side of the world for what became an epic 50-week adventure across six countries. The beginning was a thrill though, as we headed up the Australian East Coast, seeing incredible places, people and wildlife along the way. Highlights included Sydney, Fraser Island and Castaway Island.
5. August 2010
My first experience travelling America was pretty epic. I went all the way down on the East Coast, sometimes on my own, sometimes with friends, sometimes staying with Americans I’d met that summer at Camp. I’ve been hooked on ‘Murica ever since.
4. November 2012
What a month! We completed our East Coast of Australia adventure with my first ever dive off the Whitsundays, swimming in tropical waterfalls, skydiving and witnessing a Solar Eclipse. Diving the Great Barrier Reef was without doubt one of the highlights of my life!
3. August 2013
Two words: NEW ZEALAND. Possibly the best country in the world, this place has everything. The scenery is only matched by the amazing activities on offer and our Kiwi Experience bus tour from the top of North Island to the bottom of South Island was three of the best weeks of my life. Highlights included glowworm caves, geysers, hiking across Mordor, horse-riding in Hobbit land, partying at the Poo Pub, heli-hiking a glacier,climbing a mountain, jumping off a canyon, snowboarding,drinking at an ice bar, checking out the eighth wonder of the world – Milford Sound and visiting Christchurch.
2. August 2011
For a long time I never thought this month would be beaten as my favourite month ever (but then I thought that about August 2010 in America too). This was the time when we flew from Chicago to California, drove from LA to San Francisco, saw Yosemite, Death Valley, Vegas, the Grand Canyon and chased Dr Who locations across Monument Valley. The full incredible story is here.
1. September 2013
The month that upped the watermark for ever after. This was the time we got buses around Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam before flying to Singapore for the Grand Prix. Asia is full of life at its best with stories that chilled me to the bone and restored my faith in humanity. The full story of our journey is here, but perhaps this video sums it up best.