Music City, Tennessee

It takes less than a minute on arrival in Nashville, to be confronted with the unabashed in-your-face musicality of the city.  Stepping  gingerly into a green cab after a long journey from St Louis, Missouri, my cabbie Joel asks if I want to hear his record. What follows is a smiling sing-a-long by Joel to…

Sex, Lies & Amtrak

The whole ‘crossing America’ thing is of legend. I guess most people with an inner joy of travel would have contemplated it at some time or other, and thought romantically of the dusty highways, the endless panoramas, and the rail track stretching out to the red-tinged horizon and beyond.  I’m no different, and so when…

There’s A Ghost In My House

There’s a number of reasons to spend a little time in Flagstaff, Arizona. This is a very laid-back, bohemian small-town with a calm artistic vibe, but it’s also favoured by  adventure seekers coming to stop off before the Grand Canyon, or to ski in the nearby mountains.  It’s also home to the excellent Lowell Observatory,…

LA Woman

“Hola , Mi nombre es Marc y me encanta Los Ángeles” My first line of Spanish in conversation.  I nervously say the line prompted in front of a handful of people, loosely arranged as a class in a circle in Downtown Los Angeles.  We’re a loose mixture of around five people sat in the bright…

A Day In Toronto

Ok, so the title is a no-go. There’s no way that one simple day gives you what you want from Canada’s most significant City (with all apologies to Vancouver and Montreal, and with lesser apologies to Ottawa) but you can have a damn good attempt at it, if you’re prepared to put in some leg-work….

Off The Beaten Track In Hong Kong

I had already had the immense pleasure of being in Hong Kong a couple of times before my employer stationed me there in 2006.  I’d come to like the city very much, but before living there had only really experienced the business life of the Island and the neon night-towns of Wanchai and Lan Kwai…

Local Rules

I guess my first taste of independent travel happened when I was about 10.  Jumping on a train without my parents permission turned out to be an aborted project when a guard with more responsibility than I returned me on the next train back from a station only 12 miles away.  I seem to remember…

The Cane Toad Experience

When a traveller first arrives in Port Douglas, Northern Queensland, he or she would be forgiven for thinking the term ‘Ocean of Calm’ had been coined here. Not just because of the startling sapphire Coral Sea lapping up against its clean sands, and around into the modest marina, but because the atmosphere of the town…