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50watts


34 Blog Entries
3 Trips
389 Photos

Trips:

Ending 2005 and Starting 2006
Watt happened next..!?!
A journey elsewhere...

Shorthand link:

http://www.blogabond.com/50watts


I'm half-maltese, half-english, living in France, having met my girlfriend while on my first Blogabond adventure [way back].

I am trying to pass the rest of my life continuing to travel and to make things happen as someone once said.

I have ideas, concepts, designs, interests and unknowns. One 'Project' inparticular can be found 'Elsewhere' or on google i'm sure! But for now, let's see watt happens.

50.



A written harmony. Between ourselves and within ourselves.

Nice, France


There is something about sitting at a computer far away from where you started out. Something very strange indeed. It is easy to let time pass by without stopping for the real reflection on what has been and what could be. Whether it be a journey through other cultures or even that of your own, it would be so much better if i had never stopped writing after i returned to living in Europe. I tried to do it again before but the events of the time were so uncertain. Today, they are as uncertain as ever before but this time i am determined to make sure this blog continues again. A handful of times i have been somewhere, used the internet, found my old blogs [as blogabond first started] and opened up the old trip albums with fond memory. The story never stopped, so why did I?

I'm still living in Nice. I have continued to meet the numerous friends i met along my travels and inevitably make new ones. I have been to new countries, learned to communicate in a foreign langauge and had so many other experiences. Ok, i'm not travelling anymore - but what is travel - isn't it about living another experience? If it is, then i have certainly been doing that!

I still love taking photos, although i don't do it nearly enough at present. I have completed some part-time study through distance learning in Design and had revolutionary ideas about travel and the 'harmony' Mr Kester adovcates. I've acted upon one of those to form The Elsewhere Project and I even expanded myself to harness teaching and social work.

Now, three years after moving here to be with the French girl I met one night in the golden triangle, I am at a crossroads again. And that, has brought me back to blogabond, back to my pictures and back to my reflections. 50.

permalink written by  50watts on April 25, 2009 from Nice, France
from the travel blog: A journey elsewhere...
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Lots to update

Nice, France


I've been on two backpacking trips with the lady in eastern europe and northern europe, so hopefully will put some pics and random memories up this week. Then i also have to get through the german. dutch meet ups and tell you all about the project we made together [the past year!]... its all travel related and really cool. speak soon

permalink written by  50watts on April 25, 2009 from Nice, France
from the travel blog: A journey elsewhere...
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Another great joint birthday!

Cologne, Germany


[Birthday notes and pictrues to come shortly...]


...this status has been sitting here for no less than 25 months and now i am going to finish it.

As mentionned, along with my girlfriend i met up with both Sebastian and Jan from Viet Nam. Then i popped over to Utrecht to kidnap Yoel and bring him to a party - for those that don't know ever since 2006 a group of friends that met in a bar hoi in Saigon and celebrated their birthdays together in Laos have continued to meet up at the same time to keep things going! We had a visit from the Perhentian Princess and then made our to join over 15 other Germans for a bit of a party in Koln!

It was simply superb and Jan was a great host. We went to a random dancehall which was packed to the rafters with late night revellers and it was a brithday where the only picture was taken by one of those random people who works for some private company. It was drunken, it was emotional and it was a pleasure!

Bearing in mind a concept that had been thought out on a Malaysian Beach, we headed back to our respective cities defiant that 'The Weekend Is...' had been born. The Weekend was Koln! 50.




permalink written by  50watts on March 18, 2007 from Cologne, Germany
from the travel blog: Watt happened next..!?!
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A special kinda place....

Utrecht, Netherlands


What seems an eternity ago i met a breakdancing twenty-something with very attractive looks and a superb talent to paint! She told me a story one night as we both lived in Antibes (2003) about the place where she came from, a picture was painted about a place where people left things unlocked because there was common trust. In this place families would invite you for dinner off the street and the ambling flat lands were full of things to do and see! The person came and went like others but the picture that had been painted stayed in a subconcious part of my head until one day at hostel in Rainbow Beach, Oz. It was in this place that i randomly approached a girl and not only told her she was Dutch but also the town where she came from, i was as surprised in myself as her, asking myself where this came from. In the previous world adventure i went on to meet two other people from this region of the Netherlands and one of them fortunately was Yoel. We met as strangely on Perhentian while i was ending and he was begining adventures!

In february he returned and we agreed that while we were visiting Cologne, it would be good to take 2 days to go to this special place! I was alread y sold it seemed! So off we went, arriving to the scenes of bikes row upon row and people slightly larger than your average person! Why is everyone in the Netherlands so huge!?! It wa so good to see Yoel again and finally in Utrecht!

The next two days were simply awesome! The place was just as described and we had the pleasure to meet all the family, Amber his sister and Roman the brother, the parents and even the cats taken in from the other folk who lived but left nearby! One morning we took the bikes out and went for a cycle around Breukelen, the smaller town where he lives, simply it was magnificent. All sorts of wildlife and us just riding along saying the occassional hello to folk! Apparently in the summer it is a brilliant place to be but i think if i had gone in the summer i might not have returned! Lenaic admitted a similar thing! So yeh some beautiful places and fantastic pace of life! Here are some pictures;



Yoel also surprised me with some photos from our last night together on Perhentian, so for those of you who know the story or those that don't there are a few corkers here of us and general island life;


















...BRILLIANT!

Well an hour or so from Amsterdam and if you followed the last blog you will know i made a promise to see Jolanda the Perhentian Princess! Sure did! Here is the proof;

We all caught up together while in Utrecht centraal one afternoon, evading the totally useless love poets and similarly crazy folk who wandered too far from the capital! It was crazy- there we were all sitting outside by the canal in Utrecht! Well we enjoyed the afternoon and a few beers together then it was time for Yoyo (Jolanda) to head back and soon she will be returning to Asia on another adventure!

Finally on the last evening Amber decided to let me on a secret recipe unknown to me; sprinkles on plain bread- yak! Anyways i tried some and it had strange familiarity to pain au chocolat! Anyway then Yoel admitted to the fettish and before longthere 6 boxes of sprinkles around and all out sprinklefest was had! I stuck to just the one slice though~! Amber took hers to work the next day and left me imagining the lucntime conversation about snadwhich filling! Get this- its normal though- even the boxes had the image of sliced bread on them! Look>>> Is this normal?

The evening was complete when sat in a coffee shop Robert (Ambers boyfriend) asked why i love Utrecht... ...moments later i was the proud owner of a well kept FC UTrecht badge sticker and one player photo! An adopted team for an adopted citizen! ;)

A special place with very special people! doieeeee!!!!

permalink written by  50watts on March 15, 2007 from Utrecht, Netherlands
from the travel blog: Watt happened next..!?!
tagged Utrecht

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One Night in Koln: I vill be back!

Cologne, Germany


After some spectacular flying weather, its one night in Cologne and the chance to shake hands (and hugs) with a couple of Germans i met in Saigon. It is approaching that time of year when the words 'your birthday' get louder. Well this year due to the fantastic time spent in Laos last year by the river i have decided to take Lenaic to Cologne. There is another guy who some might recall (Sebastian) who shares the same date and we like to get drunk together on our birthdays! This year Lenaic is here to join and here you can see her and Sebastian in front of the cathedral.

So a quick airport pickup and onward to the delights of the autobahn, City and then that huge cathedral which you really can't miss! We will be coming back here in a few days as we have to go and pick someone up first, from Holland! So arriving by the river i am reaquianted with the imposing design of all things German- and i love it! A clear blue sky, an introduction to Kolsch beer and a some well deserved street food! The French word for street food is Rien or 'nothing' to me and you! Even their fast food places rank slower than those of the outer mongul regions! Back to Germany...

...so smiles all around and then we head to Jan's place. I met sebastian with Jan in Saigon and it was there we made the plans for birthday 2006. Jans place is an awesome holdup, superb sofa of the likes i have never seen, while he kept us fed, watered and tuned in for the duration! Thanks man! Next morning and we made it to the train station with so much time to spare we both bought some shoes! Our destination> Utrecht!



permalink written by  50watts on March 13, 2007 from Cologne, Germany
from the travel blog: Watt happened next..!?!
tagged Utrecht

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Monkey Juice to Monitor Lizard...

Nice, France


Well the first people i have met since my first trip were Craig and Dionne of Perhentian (Malaysia) fame. Desptie seeing them in the UK before leaving for France they came to Nice for a week in February and we enjoyed recollections of monkey juice, big lizards, paradise and people we knew together!It was great to have them here as the first visitors and soon after finding our way around the supermarket together we were opening the wine and beers! We took them to Antibes for the day and other places around Nice and then on a few evenings a few or all of us went out for drinks- one night being particularly heavy!

Craig brought some walkie-talkies and we had a good laugh around and about. I think to be honest the guys enjoyed eating well and relaxing with warm weathter! Craig had to play dodge when he nearly got caught for graffiting a train station! haha! ...and then a similar looking guy wearing the same suspicious clothes tried to steal Dionnes bag!



Dionne cooked an awesome dish one night for us all and me and craig got familiar with Leffe 9%. It was great to see them both and plans are hopefully for a summer visit! Monkey juice to monitor lizard, over. ;)


permalink written by  50watts on February 28, 2007 from Nice, France
from the travel blog: Watt happened next..!?!
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back to reality and pressing 'eject'

Nice, France


...finishing a round the world trip is not easy!

As you will see from my last entry on the previous trip it was an astounding feeling of personal accomplishment (...liking the new text jason!) when i finished and caught my flight home. Time spent at home with the family was great too, but as anyone will know not easy to keep enthusiatic about after several weeks- in turn months and then you start to panic.

My parents gave me some cash and the mission was to find a job, afterall i am university educated and well travelled, what else could i do huh!?! Well...

..there was a little secret tale not divulged in the previous adventures. Anyone who has travelled, particularly alone like i did and who has read the blog in question will know there was one thing missing in the content- there was no mention of any ladies i might have met. A young English guy goes around the world for 7 months to such fantstic places and doesn't meet any ladies? yeah right, c'mon!

There are alternative dimensions to every form of travel you choose and who (if anyone) you go with! These experiences helped shape me as a person and whatever happened within those 7 months was part of the experience of being a young twenty-something and exploring the places and people of the world. I severely doubt that any of the nice ladies i met travelling are reading but in case you are, i hope you are well and that you can understand.

In January of my trip, after a particularly heavy couple of weeks with Ricky from Milan (now living in Prague) hitting the bars in Thailand, i met a Polish girl in the mirror of my hostel at 4am on Koh San Road. We both decided to go to Chang Mai and go hiking, just like that, in the mirror that night brushing our teeth. We lost contact but somehow managed to meet again when my bus north a few days later stopped in some remote place to pick just 2 passengers up. One was Gosia and we didnt realise until the sun rose the next day and we saw each othergetting off the bus in Chang Mai. We found a place to stay (Julies Guesthouse, recomended) and booked a trek for 3 days. The trek was pants because for three days we saw not a lot excpet dense forest and we also got severely ill from eating something dodge. However...

...exhausted on Day 1 and heading into the early night we arrived at our mountain village. The group all in need of a cold beer and some soup before going to sleep, sat back outside and relaxed outside our large hut where we would sleep. There were three girls there already from a previous walk and nobody felt like socialising afterall we were knackered. As i sat outside on the bench recovering i heard a voice from behind the cane walled hut. In broken English the person explained that they live in Nice, somewhere i spent one year in 2003/4. As they emerged to sit around the fire we started to talk, we did not stop in broken French/ English until 5am. I met Lénaïc!The next morning she left to finish her walk and i continued with mine. We met again in Bangkok but it was difficult because she was with a friend on a 3 week trip and we only had the chance to spend a few hours together and take a meal with Andres and Alberto the Chilean guys i knew from Oz. Still we enjoyed each others company and said that we would try and meet in Europe one day.

...i continued my trip and we kept in touch but then it stopped as i found communication difficult from Perhentian. I recieved quite an upset series of emails and extending my trip certainly was not a popular decision. The truth is that after 5months of more travelling i started to ignore her and could really not imagine a life we would ever share. This was furthered in the weeks after i arrived home, the realisation of reality in the UK and all associated matters like finding work.

..so my folks gave me some money to help find a job and what did i do? Well i realised how easy it was to spend £24. And then i recieved a real kick-ass message of this French lady which made me realise a few things. She had made an offer since i returned which i had now been ignoring for 2 months, it was the end of her patience. That night i boooked a cheapflight to Paris for the same money i had spent on something stupid (...but of course necessary!!) in the Uk a few days before out of the cash i had. Shortly after and much to the confusion and probable annoyance to my folks i was arriving in Paris and searching for a train to Clermont-Ferrand (pictured) where she actually comes from in central France.

I had a fantastic week with her, wehre she looked after me, the risk we had taken looked promising and it was only when i left after the week that i realised i was in trouble. She came to spend 2 weeks with me in Barnsley and i took her to see some friends and other places (..its a bit colder in Yorkshire though!). Then a few more weekends and more and more time on MSN followed. Then about 2 months ago we decided we wanted to be together, just on problem- we don't live in the same countries let alone the same cities. She was awaiting acceptance to do her final year in Pyschology somewhere in France and failing this maybe she could move to England?!? Failing this would i move to France?!? Big questions/when i left France i said i would never return there to live, that i wanted soemthing new. I don't speakfluent French... etc

Then, October 17th or near she was accepted in Nice after a tense period for us both and it was decided that i would move to Nice. So here i am, in our appartment writing about it... ...incredibly it turns out i have a photo that proves we walked past each other ein the street 3 years before. There have been many strange twists to the story- she used to work on my residential street in Antibes and on my way to see her a very strange 'Polish' girl sat staring at me through the night in Luton airport- it was more scary than the attempted prostitute-muggers in Saigon.

It has been one month and my re-adjustment is near complete, today i write because over the next few months, maybe years... i hope to blog as i meet all the people i met from my trip around the world, starting in Europe. Right now i am poor and looking for work in this area but i have plans and hope to change matters, as and when i can i will go to see people and you are always welcome to stay here guys and gals! THnaks to cheap flights around Europe it is very easy to get to Nice. So come on and visit, it is better than Barnsley anyway! We have a great located place to visit the Riviera and catch up!

So thats watt happened next. Might be some time until i can update again but going to addstuff for sure and when i have a new camera some pictures too! Might also write about my life as i lie it out here in Nice trying to find a career, make my ideas happen or soemthing else unknown right now.

well thanks for reading. it really has been amazing to see what can happen within just a few months of returning from such a trip. I was not comfortable returning to live in England but i never imagined it would turn out like this. Am i running from the inevitable or am i making a future happen? only time will tell, like it has already!

...but right now, im happy.

My first day in Nice after drinking all night with my mates at home on a truly memorable last night in my local pub. Landlords revenge.




permalink written by  50watts on December 7, 2006 from Nice, France
from the travel blog: Watt happened next..!?!
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It ended, now watt begins...

Barnsley, United Kingdom





To write what i am thinking now is really difficult. I arrived in Heathrow yesterday and decided to come straight home, thing is my train ticket was booked for the day after so it has cost 2 weeks worth of living in Vietnam just for a 2 hour train journey. welcome back! It is definately going to make me think with a different perspective from now on.



Glad to see that 'il-mama' was sitting on the same train bench at the station as when i left all that time ago. She told me to be safe and happily i came back in one piece and immensely pleased with my adventures. Here we are taking photos of each other before a spot of trespassing and a big hug! Then it was into ASDA to pick up some rations, a long way to come just to help pack the bags! ;)



Sitting back at home really does feel like time has been frozen, the sight of all the things you left behind exactly where you left them. The phone even holding the last SMS you sent or recieved, the CD you last played still in the player. The difference is only seen in the bathroom i think, when you go to that same old sink and look up, the mirror telling you its a good time for the first bath in 6 months and your head saying 'You've done it!'

It is definately a proud and sensational feeling to travel solo through the countries i have, to meet the friends i have, to experience the things i have, to eat, drink, laugh, lose, see and learn the things i have! Would i recomend a place from my trip, i would recommend all of it but to different people thats the difference. For me it was all great, it was my route and like every traveller we all have our own routes and detours. I particularly enjoyed the detours! Thanks.

A thanks to all the people that have accompanied me along the way. Those who have shared the various means of transport to get from A to B via C of course and maybe more. To those who i have met on random days and nights, the net cafes, the street stalls, the bars, the beaches and the many beautiful natural places i have been. To those who helped when i was in trouble, and to those i met through helping. To the people of all of the countries for being such an insight into another daily life, especially those who let me live in their homes and live with them. Travelling solo has always allowed me to just walk, and walk, and walk throught the streets stopping where i want and such like. Travelling solo always means you will travel with others at some point collectively. I think the one real advantage it has for anybody thinking about going away solo is this; you will meet people the moment you set off, it is your chance to express yourself doing something you obviously really want to do, so do it, talk about it, share it and enjoy it! Then you will also realise that there are many other solo travellers and there are some things you share by travelling alone that others don't. No matter how you travel you are dependent on one thing; yourself!



My aunt just called, i had to ask who it was. Well i am getting used to having a phone number again so for those in the UK its the number i had before i left. I should think we will talk soon. Hope so.For those abroad i will be emailing soon if you haven't recieved already. Thanks to all those who have read the blog too, hope it was enjoyable and took a little time of the day away. A special thanks to Jason too, thanks for the fantastic space to express my cyberself as i have made this journey, thanks for the bucket offer too (one day i Hope to take you up on it still), managed to get a few new people using your site too, think i was one of the first! Thanks man. What happens now do you keep the blog? I am hoping it will be there for a while. Anyway let me know.

The last thanks is to my family, thanks for your help and support when the storm clouds grew, for all of your words and for understanding when i decided to surpise you by staying away a while longer!

...it has been a sublime way to get from one year to the next! Now somewhere in June 2006 i have to find miss reality...




'Jumpa Lagi' (Until later) my friends.

50.watts next i wonder?

The End!


permalink written by  50watts on June 2, 2006 from Barnsley, United Kingdom
from the travel blog: Ending 2005 and Starting 2006
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Changi Airport McD's computers still full of stories!

Singapore, Singapore


Well here i am at the famous McDonalds (with free interent point) in Changi Airport, Singapore. If you recall this was where i made my impulsive and slightly crazy decision to go straight to Thailand and meet Andy and Ricky. That was an incredible start with two brilliant friends with so many memories. It seems oh so tragically, a very long time ago!

Last time i slept on the terminal floor and woke up mid dream shouting 'BOO!' at a guard. I couldn't actually work out at the time whether it happened or not but it definately did with more thought. I also met three English travellers on these four now famous computers and when we met we realised our paths would probably cross. They did- i was recognised on a bus from Luang Prabang on my way back to Thailand!

It is really interesting that this time on sitting here; a man leans over the broken computer next to me. I explain,

"Sorry it's not working."

He ignores and keeps trying.

"Hello, that computer is not working." (thinking maybe he no speak english.)

then i get a reply;

"f_ck off!"

Nice to meet you too!

I felt like hitting the knob but that would probably have got me in trouble and deportation is not my preferred way of departure. Hopefully this is not a sign of the people i will be crossing next as i return to England.

Well thats it my last overseas entry, one more to go when i get home and its the final whistle.

So bye from Singapore and Asia!


permalink written by  50watts on May 31, 2006 from Singapore, Singapore
from the travel blog: Ending 2005 and Starting 2006
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City Central for far too long...!

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia





Well rolled up into town on the overnight train with Rowan (pictured above) and Joe. We met on the island and were old aquaintances from my birthday at the river in Vang Vieng, Laos. Soon after arrival and the coffee we went for a wonder and soon found ourselves in Times Square, possibly the largest shopping centre i have ever been in. To say large is an understatement, we spent the first 10 minutes working out how were going to see this place best. Sure enough we spent a few hours there, enough time to see and ride the theme park rides on the 5th floor which must rise to about the 13th, impresive for a shopping centre. We also got to see the international food floor with its own seperate wings for different groups of countries.Oh and the IMAX cinema with the largest cinema screen in SE Asia. Then in the evening we watched the F.A Cup final at a rooftop hostel bar in Chinatown with a full view of the city skyscape. Next day i returned to the Golden Triangle area to realise that there were in fact a good 6 or 7 of these immense plazas! With the help of my brother i have picture evidence and a new camera until i get home!






Well the guys left and i have spent most of my time either wondering the streets or on the internet taking advantage of extremely cheap prices. Did manage to meet another couple of English folk who knew a guy who replaced me in Nice when i left Amadeus. So Rhys and Jessica also with the aid of new cameras joined me on a trip around the city one night and on another we grabbed some food and chilled out together around Chinatown. Jessica actually lives about 20 miutes from my house too. And on the same night i also met a guy who i played rugby with while a first year. We only got to realise this after finding that we were born with in a week or so of each other at the same hospital in Aldershot.






Chinatown is where i am staying and it is one of the worst places i have stayed while travelling. The streets around Chinatown are infested with rats and cockroaches, two market stalls have burnt down while i have been here and no-one has done anything about them. They are not little stalls either and they sit near buildings much larger! The street sellers are also the most aggresive i have known and a poor reflection of the great Malay people i have met. I don't appreciate being physically man handled into being sold something, especially after repeating 'tidak' (No) several times already, just let me walk!






The last two days have been good though because the government officials are out to catch counterfeit goods sellers, hence there are nearly no stalls operating on the streets of Chinatown! The stuff they sell is not as good as elsewhere anyway in the knock off gear table standings. The food is also disappointing but never mind. At least there is a 7-Eleven and a decent net cafe! Here is someone getting a wash by the local authority becaue he spent too much time trying to clean a rotten sewer! And the other picture is of a film being made outside the net cafe i use.






I have managed to go up the Petronas towers though and must admit that they are pretty fantastic. Also seen a fleet of a hundred or so policeman, maybe more, riding for fun around town on their motorbikes! And seen quite a few folk from the island days passing through. Oh and watched arsenal so painfully lose with two extremely passionate and then crazy Catalan guys who spent the whole night in the net cafe after ringing just about everyone they knew back home to celebrate, who can blame them! Below is my prison, aka Backpackers travellers Lodge, no really the wardens are really good though! ;)



Well i am going to be hanging around here for a few more days before moving on to Singapore, a friend is around who lives here so will be going to see him. Until then just one final bad point about KL, why compared to absolutely everywhere i have been do the mosquitos bite so much and with so much distaste. Serious the itching they cause here, the little invisible buggers is immense an dmuch worse than even an island! So there i am waiting were i shouldn't be, pretty much sums it up really...



...but the good news and really it is! I got an exact replacement for my mp3 player at a very very good price! KL is actually a really nice city i just do not like Chinatown.

permalink written by  50watts on May 18, 2006 from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
from the travel blog: Ending 2005 and Starting 2006
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