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About the Author

At Rinjani

Travel has always been a big part of my life. Some of my earliest memories involve the cabin of a Boeing 747 en route to Canada, where I spent every summer poring over my grandmother’s extensive National Geographic collection. Struck by the stunning images and stories of far-flung places, I resolved to leave my native Hong Kong at the age of 18 to begin a new life in Europe.

After pursuing an architecture degree in the UK, I spent nine months in the beautiful Spanish city of Salamanca, living out the movie L’Auberge Espagnole and traveling through Iberia with every possible opportunity. Although I have since moved back to Hong Kong, the wanderlust burns brighter still. My passion for travel and storytelling soon drew me into the publishing sector, where I spent three years learning the ropes at an adventure travel magazine called Action Asia.

In the summer of 2015, I left Action Asia to embark on a six-month dream trip retracing the maritime Spice Route. With my close friend and fellow travel blogger Bama, I traveled from Indonesia to India, looking for the legacy of the spice trade in local recipes, cultural habits, architecture, language and religion. Eventually I hope to turn our experiences on that ‘Spice Odyssey’ into a book.

Predictably, my case of itchy feet did not subside once I returned to Hong Kong in time for Christmas that year. These days you’ll find me editing a regional travel magazine, DestinAsian, out of Indonesia’s burgeoning capital of 10 million souls – Jakarta. I still take pleasure in going places between deadlines and the occasional work junket to Singapore or countries farther afield.

My name is James and these are the chronicles of my recent travels. Thanks for dropping by and feel free to leave a comment if you wish!

232 Comments Post a comment
  1. kalp #

    beautiful james. look forward to more!

    March 11, 2010
  2. What an exciting blog! The pictures are breathtaking!
    I look forward to reading more! πŸ™‚

    March 14, 2010
  3. yearlongbreakup #

    Hi James. We’re loving your blog. We’re also glad that you’ve included our blog in your discover section. Always nice to stumble across a like-minded person.
    Gary & Ro (

    May 8, 2010
  4. Thanks for your comment on my blog, much appreciated! And don’t let the lack of gear get in the way of becoming a photographer… a huge amount of the shots on my blog were taken with a point and shoot camera. (dont tell!) You just have to shoot lots, look at other photographers work, think about your composition, shoot some more and be critical of your results. And have fun, thats the most important part!!

    November 29, 2010
  5. Dakota #

    Awesome blog! πŸ™‚

    Keep it up!!!

    April 8, 2011
  6. how much time will you stay in Spain?

    May 11, 2011
    • I will be here until the end of June. After that it will be back to the realities of working life!

      May 11, 2011
  7. Nice posts! πŸ™‚

    May 14, 2011
  8. Thanks for stopping by on the blog! Sounds like you’re living quite the exotic life πŸ˜‰

    July 21, 2011
  9. Hi James,
    As a Toronto-dweller, I enjoyed your recent post about Toronto. It’s always interesting to see the city through a “stranger’s” eyes. You’re right, there’s more to Toronto than first meets the eye. Our city’s leaders are always going on about how “world-class” this city is, but I find that embarrassing. I’d prefer the city to be known for being a City of Neighbourhoods, which it is, and which is much more inviting in my opinion. Anyway, hope you’re enjoying Salamanca. I’ve not yet been there but it’s on my list. Thanks again for an interesting post.

    January 11, 2012
    • Hi Elizabeth,

      A similar thing is happening in my hometown of Hong Kong – the government is intent on branding it as “Asia’s World City” but as a citizen I find that there are many things that fall short of such a lofty title. Thank you for leaving such an insightful comment – I’m glad you enjoyed the entry!

      January 12, 2012
  10. Hey congratulations for your blog. It is really interesting. i am new in this area of travel. Just had been to Brazil. For me it will be nice to read.
    Congratulations once again.

    January 12, 2012
    • Thanks Harish, I’ll be looking up your posts on Brazil. πŸ™‚

      January 12, 2012
  11. Your blog is a wonderful opportunity for travelling from one’s desk or revisiting past memories. Expressive photos, and intelligent, informative comments, thank you, Lou.

    January 12, 2012
    • I’m flattered Lou – thank you for leaving such kind, encouraging words. It’s comments like these that make my day.

      January 12, 2012
  12. I love your blog! Please keep posting.

    January 14, 2012
  13. Wonderful !!! Your blog is so simple, but full, well organized and to the point.

    January 15, 2012
  14. Malou #

    Wonderful blog, James! I love the way you document your trips across Europe.

    February 1, 2012
    • Thank you Malou, I have to say that I love your insights on Dutch life!

      February 2, 2012
  15. Let’s continue sharing the many many wonders of alfresco adventures! Keep this blog alive. πŸ˜‰

    February 2, 2012
    • Salamat Sony! One day I expect to be blogging about the Philippines. πŸ˜‰

      February 2, 2012
  16. Love your blog, James! And how lucky to have lived in Salamanca! We spent a night there in 2005 and were enchanted! Especially loved your post on Cordoba….your wonderful prose brought back memories! Looking forward to exploring your archives:-)

    February 10, 2012
    • Thank you Madhu, Salamanca was absolutely unforgettable! I’ve just returned from a week in Beijing so I was delighted when I clicked on your blog – it looks like you’ve had quite the trip through China! I’ll definitely be following your posts from now on. πŸ˜€

      February 17, 2012
  17. This is an exciting blog James. I share the same passion as you of travel, and I like to do photography too. Would be exciting to meet you some place on one of our trips:) Do you travel on your own or do you find sponsors? i mean, it must be expensive to go to all these places!

    April 7, 2012
    • Thank you Bhaven, I love the photography on your blog!

      I usually travel on my own – recently I spent 9 months living in Spain so that explains the wealth of posts on the country. Domestic travel there is very affordable and I stuck with buses and trains throughout my stay. A number of my overseas trips were done with family; in Canada I stayed with relatives and friends so that helped to keep the expenses down.

      I would love to spend some time travelling around India, it’s not too far from Hong Kong and I’ve never been there. Perhaps we will meet when I make it to New Delhi!

      April 7, 2012
      • You are absolutely welcome to visit India & New Delhi in particular. Its an amazing city with lots of history to it. Typical of a fast developing city with a curious mix of the new, old and the very old. Drop me a note if you ever are here.

        April 7, 2012
      • Will do, Bhaven – I look forward to meeting you!

        April 7, 2012
  18. Amazing blog, James. Thanks for the inspiration and reminders of the powers of backpacking. πŸ™‚

    April 7, 2012
    • You’re welcome, Misha. I couldn’t agree more with your manifesto!

      April 7, 2012
  19. Powerful blog! keep writing! πŸ™‚

    April 8, 2012
  20. Hi James,
    I really enjoyed your piece about the Great Wall. We saw it at Simatai and were surprised to hear that it is closed for renovation. Sad… we chose it because it was not renovated!

    Maybe you should consider Panama for one of your future trips. We are just back from several amazinjg months there.


    April 9, 2012
    • I would love to visit Panama – I have a family friend there so it seems like the right place to start a trip through Central America.

      April 9, 2012
      • Have a look at my blog. Lots of ideas for things to do. Will be following your travels.

        April 9, 2012
  21. Great pictures, great reports. I just started blogging after our recent trip to Cambodia & Vietnam. I’m hooked!

    April 9, 2012
    • Thank you. I’m looking forward to reading your posts – I’ve never been to either one of those countries!

      April 10, 2012
  22. Great blog. Will dip in regularly. I hope you never lose the hunger for travelling.

    April 9, 2012
    • Thank you Bob – I don’t think I ever will!

      April 10, 2012
  23. The Adventures of Twins #

    Thank you for inspiring us to continue writing! Fantastic blog πŸ™‚

    April 10, 2012
    • Thank you Anika & Jo – I love the title of your blog!

      April 10, 2012
      • The Adventures of Twins #

        Cheers πŸ™‚ We’re now an avid follower of your blog

        April 10, 2012
  24. jyhedgehog #

    Great Blog. Will be following. Keep up the good work. =)

    April 10, 2012
    • Thanks! I’m looking forward to reading about your adventures. πŸ™‚

      April 10, 2012
  25. James, I saw that you also comment regularly on Third Eye Mom’s blog (which I adore), so I thought I’d stop by here. Your blog is gorgeous! I can’t wait to read back through your posts and catch up on your story.

    Cheers from a fellow wanderluster!

    May 21, 2012
    • Thank you, Meghan! I can’t believe you’re in Russia right now – it’s been on my wishlist ever since I was given a wooden model of St. Basil’s Cathedral as a child. I’m an absolute sucker for those onion domes…

      Glad you found me through Nicole’s amazing blog. πŸ™‚ I will be following your adventures from now on – happy travels and all the best!

      May 21, 2012
  26. Every time you add a new post, I can’t get over the fact that no one is paying you to update this blog! Your photos and your writing are really professional–I always feel like I’m reading a travel magazine! I have nominated you for The Lovely Blog Award. You can read about the nomination here: . Keep on writing!

    May 27, 2012
    • That’s very flattering, Rachel! This blog is my secret passion and one day I hope to make a living out of writing full-time. Whenever I hit writer’s block it’s people like you who help me to keep going. Thanks for your support and the Lovely Blog nomination. πŸ˜€

      May 29, 2012
  27. James, it’s Awards Season and I couldn’t not add your fabulous blog to my list of nominations for the Illuminating Blogger Award. I won’t be upset if you can’t find the time to play, but if you can, pop over to check it out:

    June 9, 2012
    • Wow, thank you TWLG! I’m really inspired by your writing so it is a real honour to receive this nomination. Would you mind if I also did an Atlas Game?

      June 11, 2012
      • I’d be honoured, James. Look forward to reading it. Now, you know the rules: First place that comes into your head, first recollection, right? Though if a recollection were to prompt the name, that would be fine too!

        June 12, 2012
  28. just discovered your awesome blog, james, and i’m being drawn in. looking forward to digging in deeper!

    June 15, 2012
    • Thank you, Stephen! We have the dragon boat festival coming up next weekend so stay tuned for more on Hong Kong. πŸ˜€

      June 15, 2012
  29. Just found your blog and reading the Hong Kong section! I will go there next month with friends … Any ideas where to go? Perhaps only popular places as we only have around 4 days ;o)))

    Anyway, hope we can meet at Hong Kong then … πŸ™‚

    Great blog!! πŸ™‚

    June 21, 2012
    • Thanks Timothy! For first-timers there’s the obvious sights like the Star Ferry and the Peak (don’t just stick to the tower though – the best views are really from the Peak Circular Walk outside); then it’s worth taking some time to explore the back streets of Central and Sheung Wan.

      There are plenty of places to choose from; the typical itinerary would take in Disneyland and the Ngong Ping cable car to Lantau’s Big Buddha, but as a resident I think they are more than a bit overrated. Still there’s a neat fishing village on the western edge of Lantau called Tai O – it’s a bit harder to get to if you’re pressed for time, but I would recommend an afternoon there to get a glimpse of Hong Kong’s humble beginnings.

      June 21, 2012
      • Hey James, thanks for replying.
        Can’t wait going to Hong Kong!! πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

        June 25, 2012
  30. Hi James, I have nominated you for the ‘One Lovely Blog Award’. Please come by to collect the award here –

    June 21, 2012
    • Wow Ritu, thank you for the nomination! I love the photos on your website – can’t believe I didn’t see them until now!

      June 21, 2012
      • Thanks James and Congratulations! πŸ™‚ Love your travel pictures! and would love to go to Laos, hopefully soon, since it’s not very far from Singapore, where I live.

        June 22, 2012
  31. Hi James, I am so pleased to hear that you have found a job doing what you do so well! I don’t follow many bloggers but you are one I read every time you post. Keep up the fantastic work. Cheers Elizabeth

    June 22, 2012
    • Thank you Elizabeth! I can’t quite believe it myself, it all happened so very quickly!

      June 22, 2012
  32. artijalan #

    Hi James – your blog is great! I’ve visited some of the cities you have too and had to laugh at your post of Ostrava Station. I missed my flight from Prague to Krakow in the winter and had to stop there as well!
    I’m going to Shanghai for 10 months in 2 weeks to teach English and will blog as well – your pictures are great and I’m looking forward to it!

    August 8, 2012
    • Thanks Arti! I never did make it to Krakow while I was there… it must have been magical (and less crowded) in the winter!
      Shanghai is like a wacky city from the future – I was there two summers ago for almost a week and I spent most of it hiding from the 40+ degree heat. August in Shanghai is brutal so it’s good that you’re arriving towards the end of the month!

      August 9, 2012
  33. Hi James, I just discovered your blog – what a delight! The photos and narrative are top-notch. Thank you and keep up the great work. I am from Africa and I hope you will pic a spot and drop by soon πŸ˜‰

    August 9, 2012
    • Thanks for the lovely comment, Jacinta! As a matter of fact I’m planning to visit Kenya, Tanzania and Madagascar in two years’ time as part of a bigger trip across the Indian Ocean – it’s fairly ambitious but I’m up for the challenge! πŸ˜€

      August 9, 2012
  34. reskihasan #

    Hi James… Your Blog is amazing. But, no Indonesia yet, right?
    Thanks for sharing your experiences. can’t wait to read another post πŸ™‚

    August 9, 2012
    • Not yet – but I’ll be visiting Jakarta and Bromo in two months’ time. πŸ˜‰
      Terima kasih for the comment!

      August 9, 2012
  35. Blood-Ink-Diary #

    James, I can completely see the intensity and passion in your photo collection. It’s very beautiful, poignant and a thrilling visual treat ! Well, I shall be doing a creative project in Istanbul in the near future, if you are visiting Istanbul, let me know – we can arrange to dialogue on photographing. My plan is to leave Toronto and arrive into Turkey in next few months.
    Keep photographing, it suits you !! Brava.

    August 24, 2012
    • Thank you Shaheen, what a kind thing to say! I’ve dreamed of visiting Istanbul for a long time now, but realistically I don’t think I’ll make it there for the next two years or so. I’ll have to follow your experiences vicariously for now!

      August 24, 2012
      • Blood-Ink-Diary #

        Hmmm…well, I think you might just make it ! I am optimistic!! Keep photographing, dear James, even when nothing around us makes any sense, capture even those moments. Cheers

        August 26, 2012
  36. Hi there, I randomly stumbled upon your blog and was instantly taken in by your writing and images. I grew up in Hong Kong and Canada, visited Spain for the first time this summer, and have been living in China the last three years, so a lot of your pieces really speak to me. I recently started a blog of travels in China and your style and perspectives are an inspiration. Look forward to reading more!

    October 10, 2012
    • Thank you Frances, what a kind thing to say! I had a look at your blog and love how you’re going everywhere by bike – it’s great that you and Sean really emphasise the outdoors. Haven’t been to very many places in Mainland China but hopefully that will change in the next couple of years!

      October 12, 2012
  37. Hi James
    I’ve nominated you for the One Lovely Blog Award. For more details, see here!

    November 4, 2012
  38. Beautiful blog!! Love the background, your photos, and your posts. Will definitely refer to your post when taking a trip any of the destinations about which you’ve written. Keep up the nice work.

    December 3, 2012
    • Thanks Lexi, I really appreciate the kind words!

      December 7, 2012
  39. Hi, I have nominated you for the β€œOne Lovely Blog” award! Here the link: – congrats!!

    December 19, 2012
    • Thanks for the nomination, Katy! πŸ™‚

      December 19, 2012
  40. I’d like to nominate you for The Sunshine Award! The Sunshine Award is given to bloggers who positively and creatively inspire other bloggers. Find out more about it by reading my post:

    You deserve this. It’s so much fun following your adventures. Your writing makes me feel like I am there with you!

    December 20, 2012
    • Thank you Tisha, that’s really sweet. πŸ™‚ Have a great Christmas holiday and a happy new year!

      December 24, 2012
  41. Living the traveling life vicariously through your blog!!! Well done. Increible, miamor. Tu escribe y encender el fuego de la imaginaciΓ³n.

    January 15, 2013
    • Muchas gracias – what kind words to say! Best of luck with life in the Dominican Republic, I learned Bachata while in Spain and I’d love to visit its homeland!

      January 16, 2013
      • C’mon down, maybe you can teach me … pretty hopeless πŸ™‚

        January 16, 2013
  42. kirstylskilton #

    Just stumbled across your blog and DEFINITELY going to follow and have a read! I can’t wait to start travelling after I graduate!

    January 28, 2013
    • Thanks for following Kirsty, good luck with your degree and hope you go on a RTW after graduation!

      January 28, 2013
  43. Keep up your blog!

    February 24, 2013
    • I will Jean, and thanks for dropping by. πŸ™‚

      February 25, 2013
  44. Hi James I nominated you for the very inspiring blogger award πŸ™‚

    March 29, 2013
  45. nice blog, James! keep up the good work

    regards from Indonesia πŸ™‚

    April 27, 2013
    • Makasih Badai, and thanks too for the follow! Indonesia is one of my favourite countries in Asia – I’ll be going back this summer to climb Rinjani bersama sahabatku. πŸ™‚

      April 27, 2013
      • It’s impressive how you can speak Bahasa quite well πŸ™‚

        Never climbed Rinjani before, but I’d really like to. This year I’ll visit Gili islands for sure, it’s close to Rinjani, you should come to the islands too πŸ˜‰

        April 27, 2013
      • Oh, hanya sedikit-sedikit. I learned a few basic phrases when I visited Jakarta and Bromo last year. πŸ™‚

        Think I’ll save Kepulauan Gili for next time – after Rinjani the plan is to see Lombok Selatan before the big developers move in!

        April 28, 2013
      • yes you definitely have to go southern, it’s more like adventure rather than usual traveling, and the nature’s so wildly beautiful πŸ™‚ Enjoy Lombok!

        April 28, 2013
  46. WhiteTrinity #

    Hi James, I enjoyed your article on Dragonboat race at Stanley. I am a Hong Kong, who studied and lived abroad half my life. Since I also previously lived in Madrid in the 90s, I am going to read your Spain posts; I browsed the photos – gorgeous! Looking forward to following you! Cheers, Mrs. J

    May 31, 2013
  47. WhiteTrinity #

    sorry, mean I am a Hong Konger…

    May 31, 2013
    • There are times when I still miss Spain but I do love being back in Asia – especially with all the wonderful travel opportunities and destinations right on Hong Kong’s doorstep. Thank you for following, Mrs. J!

      June 21, 2013
  48. Lakshmi Loves To Shop #

    Well done on your Freshly Pressed award…very well deserved by you πŸ™‚ I’m always so happy when blogs I love and follow get Freshly Pressed but I feel like I found you first πŸ™‚

    May 31, 2013
    • Thanks very much, Lakshmi! πŸ™‚ Sorry it took me so long to reply, I guess you could say ‘real life’ has had me swamped in recent weeks!

      June 21, 2013
  49. the background image is superb.. really like the fact that its blurred… πŸ™‚

    June 11, 2013
    • Appreciate that, Bhavani. πŸ™‚

      June 21, 2013
  50. Hi James – I nominated your blog for the ABC Award – check out my latest post πŸ™‚

    June 13, 2013
    • Thank you Alison, think I did something similar sometime ago. Travel alphabets are great for triggering memories, aren’t they? Kudos to you for getting nominated beforehand! πŸ™‚

      June 21, 2013
  51. ndetigan #

    hello James, nice blog.. i really enjoyed your articles.. happy travelling! πŸ™‚

    June 20, 2013
    • Makasih and selamat jalan to you too! I’ll be heading back to Indonesia for my next trip, can’t wait for it now! πŸ˜€

      June 21, 2013
  52. sounds like you lead a great life πŸ™‚
    I still spend a lot of my free time over the huge pile of 1990s and 1991 original National geography magazines I got from my English teacher back in High School
    Anyway, I can’t wait to read more stuff on here! Greetings!

    July 8, 2013
    • Not many people have the privilege to do what they truly love, so that’s a fair assumption. πŸ™‚ I would say my grandmother has a true Nat Geo library – it goes back all the way to 1984. Danke schΓΆn for the comment!

      July 8, 2013
  53. Do you, in some ways, relate to Vietnam? I find some lines on your face likely to be a Vietnamese guy.
    Nice to know this amazing blog πŸ™‚

    July 13, 2013
    • Well, I was in Saigon this past January (first time in Vietnam) and I loved it there! Never had anyone think I was Vietnamese though, that’s a first. CαΊ£m Ζ‘n for the comment. πŸ™‚

      July 13, 2013
  54. madisonmckay #

    I just came across your blog, and I am so excited to read about your travels! Good luck with everything!

    July 29, 2013
    • Thanks very much, Madison!

      July 29, 2013
  55. travelqeen #

    Hello James. Your blog is great and I love the images that you include with your stories. These photos gives us a look inside and makes me all the more eager to travel to some of these destinations to mark off my bucket list. Thanks for the view.

    August 13, 2013
    • It’s my pleasure – thanks in turn for the kind words. πŸ™‚

      August 13, 2013
  56. derrickli718 #

    Hi James. I’m glad I came across your blog. It’s an inspiration as I hope to travel more in the near future. Speaking of which, I’ll be traveling to Vietnam and Hong Kong this autumn! Safe travels to you!

    August 27, 2013
    • Hi Derrick, thanks for the comment. I’m sure you’ll have a blast in both my hometown and Vietnam! I was in Saigon this January and I loved it – the food was one of the big highlights. One of my favourites was the crepe-like “banh xeo”, stuffed with beansprouts, shrimp and pork. Do try their coffees if you have a sweet tooth, I especially recommend the hot “ca phe sua da”!

      August 28, 2013
  57. James, this is a beautiful blog. I’ve just happened upon it this evening and hope that my blogs can be as good as yours one day.

    August 31, 2013
    • Thank you, C.M., that’s very kind. My advice is to keep writing, practicing and editing your entries. Investing some time in the layout/design also helps. Good luck!

      August 31, 2013
  58. Great Blog!

    We are looking forward to reading your posts!

    September 8, 2013
    • Appreciate that. πŸ™‚

      September 11, 2013
  59. Hey there! Been enjoying your blog immensely – particularly the Canadian elements beautifully mixed in with everywhere else! And what gorgeous photos and sketches!

    While I’m sure you already have a gazillion β€˜blog awards’ just wanted to say β€˜keep sharing!’

    β€œSHINE ON!”

    September 16, 2013
    • Thanks for the nomination, Carissa! I do miss Canada sometimes… it’s very much a second home for me and a big part of my childhood. Not sure when I’ll get to go back in the next two years but I’ll keep my fingers crossed!

      September 16, 2013
      • You’ll make it to Canada when the time is right. πŸ™‚ Til then keep exploring, sharing and entertaining your voracious blogging audience eagerly awaiting your next missive! Hehe!

        September 17, 2013
  60. Olivia #

    Hi! I’m a new travel blogger to the WordPress community and stumbled across your blog. I love your writing – it really takes me on a journey! I’m still in college but am hoping to pursue international development post-graduation, and am leaving on a year-long study abroad in two days to the UK. I’ll be at the Lancaster University Management School, have you heard of it? I’m so excited to explore Europe, since it’ll be my first time ever! Anyway, just wanted to say hello and that I’m looking forward to following you!


    September 26, 2013
    • Hi Olivia, thank you for the follow and your lovely comment! It’s very noble of you to go into international development, it’s something I wished I’d contemplated in the past. I do have a vague idea of where Lancaster University is, but have so far never been there.

      My advice for you is pretty simple: make the most of your year abroad and travel often; see if you can snag some cheap flights to Continental Europe on Ryanair or Easyjet!


      September 26, 2013
  61. zoezelda #

    seriously. you are like the best photographer i have ever seen!

    September 26, 2013
    • Danke schΓΆn – I’m very flattered! There are many out there on the blogosphere who take far better pictures.

      September 27, 2013
      • zoezelda #

        but i think your ones are special πŸ˜‰

        September 27, 2013
  62. dreschx #

    Awesome blog, keep it up ! I’ll enjoy reading =)

    November 5, 2013
    • Thanks for that, I appreciate it! πŸ™‚

      November 6, 2013
  63. ameera #


    Please check out my travel blog:

    It is about travel within the U.S. It would be really awesome if we could have you as a guest blogger and post about one of your travel experiences in the United States!

    Please let me know.



    November 18, 2013
  64. Hi James,

    What a blog! Just seeing the theme gave a feel of what to expect in content.

    But, browsing through your posts, exceeded my initial impressions itself.

    I could learn a lot from here.

    Thanks a lot for sharing.

    Have a great time.


    November 29, 2013
    • Hi Sreejith, thanks in turn for your kind words!

      I see that you have a number of posts on Bangalore and Kerala… they look like such dreamy places. Hopefully I’ll get to visit in the next few years.


      November 29, 2013
  65. Great blog….safe travels!

    December 11, 2013
    • Thank you, Shikha – I wish you the same!

      December 11, 2013
  66. wow… what a great blog. neat, simple, tell everything clearly! thank you for sharing all the beautiful stories and pictures. I do love it…

    January 3, 2014
    • Makasih juga for the kind words, I have many more tales and photos to come from my latest trip!

      January 3, 2014
  67. James a pleasure to be introduced to your blog by James and Terri at Gallivance. I look forward to following your adventures!

    January 5, 2014
    • Thanks for dropping by, Sue – looks like I really must see more of Alberta (and Canada in general) the next time I go. Wish you a Happy New Year!

      January 5, 2014
      • Yes Canada has so many beautiful spots to visit. Happy New Year to you as well!

        January 5, 2014
  68. That’s funny, I just left my native France to move in Hong Kong ! πŸ™‚

    January 17, 2014
    • I hope you’re enjoying it here, in spite of all the pollution and stress!

      January 17, 2014
  69. selkietimes #

    I just begin in the wordpress word, and I love your blog and your travel destination! Congratulations! πŸ™‚

    January 29, 2014
    • Hi there, thanks for the comment and best of luck with your blogging! πŸ™‚

      February 18, 2014
  70. Wonderful blog!

    I enjoy it!

    February 5, 2014
  71. this is a really nice blog! love the way you are writing πŸ˜‰
    maybe take a look on my journey around the world?
    would be a pleasure to see you all there πŸ™‚

    February 15, 2014
    • Glad you enjoy it, Christian – how lucky you are to be a travelling chef! πŸ˜‰

      February 18, 2014
  72. I love both ‘The Spanish Apartment’ (2002) and ‘Russian Dolls’ (2005), am yet to see the third part, ‘Chinese Puzzle’ (2013). Have you seen all three. Am a great fan of both Romain Duris and Audrey Tautou.
    Nice blog by the way, love those salted duck eggs, from your latest post.

    February 16, 2014
    • I haven’t seen either of the last two, but if they’re anything like ‘The Spanish Apartment’ I think I would love both!

      February 18, 2014
  73. I like your write ups…I am following you..

    February 18, 2014
    • I appreciate it, Leonila. πŸ™‚

      February 18, 2014
  74. Great blog James! I will start following it, as I love to read about travelling destinations and you have great posts… We’ve been in Asia a long time ago and we are hoping to come back soon πŸ™‚
    We are from Portugal (I see you visited us a lot), and we recently started our blog to share our experiences, we will be writing a lot about Europe which is where we travel most. Take a look, we hope you like it!
    Keep inspiring us with your adventures πŸ™‚

    February 24, 2014
    • Muito obrigado! I was only in Lisboa and Oporto for short breaks, when I lived not far away in Salamanca. Out of all the countries in Western Europe I really think Portugal is underrated – so beautiful and with a rich history, great food and lovely people. I’m definitely coming back in the future. πŸ™‚

      February 25, 2014
      • NΓ³s Γ© que agradecemos πŸ™‚ (means we are the ones who should thank you).
        We love it when someone says Portugal is great… We think so, but we are not the best judges… We will write a lot about Portugal and Spain (the famous places, and the others less known but equally great), in case you want some ideas for when you come back. And when you do, let us know, we will be more than happy to give suggestions and help you planning!
        We loved Hong Kong (visited 14 years ago), and we are planning to come back with the kids, I’m sure they’ll love it too.
        Thank you so much for your reply, we’ll be following your stories!

        February 25, 2014
  75. Hi James, really nice blog. I have studied at the University of Salamanca and I also love the city. To be honest I felt in love with every little corner and stone of that beautiful place πŸ™‚ IΒ΄ll keep coming back to read your posts! Livia.

    March 10, 2014
    • Gracias, Livia. πŸ™‚ I count Salamanca as one of the most magical places I’ve ever been – and it was such a privilege to live and study there. Tengo ganas de volver!

      March 10, 2014
  76. Kyushu Local #

    Your blog looks really beautiful, especially the front page. I want to make mine look like yours.

    March 30, 2014
    • My advice is to go with a theme that you like and customise it to add a personal touch. Good luck!

      March 30, 2014
  77. HI James,
    I can’t imagine anyone not appreciating the travelling you do. Do you ever get into the music of the places you visit?

    April 2, 2014
    • That’s a great question, Leslie. I think with travel blogs and so many photos it’s easy to forget that sometimes the most memorable parts of each trip are the sounds and smells we encounter – not just what we see. Music is a big part of that and the more I travel the more I realise it’s a common language we all share.

      There are plenty of songs that remind me of Spain (one of which came on the radio when I was travelling in East Timor!), and several that bring me right back to Indonesia. And I can’t ever forget the magical sound of Balinese gamelan…

      April 9, 2014
  78. leahnotlia #

    James, I really like reading your blog, so I nominated you for a Liebster Award. If you have time to play, go check it out. Either way, keep up the great work!

    April 15, 2014
    • Hi Leah, thanks for the nomination! Not sure if I have the time to participate but I sure appreciate the gesture. πŸ™‚

      April 16, 2014
  79. Never stop exploring! Thank you for sharing your beautiful travels!

    April 28, 2014
    • And thank you for reading, Meagan – best of luck on the road!

      April 30, 2014
  80. travelinginyourtwenties #

    Hey! Just wanted to let you know that Ive nominated your blog for the Versatile Blogger Award πŸ™‚ You can check it out here if you’d like πŸ™‚

    July 11, 2014
    • Thanks for the nomination. πŸ™‚

      July 12, 2014
  81. …New follower, here!!…I just gotta say it: Way to rock the USAL hoodie, my friend, :-)!!…

    August 4, 2014
    • Thanks! Glad you recognised the hoodie. πŸ™‚ I hope you fall in love with Spain the same way I did!!

      August 7, 2014
  82. New to blogging, but not new to hearing tales of passionate travelers like you!! Really loved the bit about how you use to pore over the NatGeo magazines, in your introduction. I spent most of my library time in school AND college doing the exact same thing. I love your writings and descriptions.Just recently concluded college,trying to start off into my own world of travelling. May I never stop once I start!! Keep on inspiring us my friend.

    August 14, 2014
    • Thanks for leaving such a kind, thoughtful comment – I read it first thing this morning and it was a nice surprise to start the day. Blogging takes a certain degree of commitment, especially if you’re holding down a busy full-time job. I hope you can keep writing (and keep travelling!) in the weeks and months ahead. Good luck!!

      August 14, 2014
  83. I’m so glad I came across your blog!! You studied in Salamanca!! O_o my jealous face!

    August 20, 2014
    • Hi there, sorry it took me so long to reply! Salamanca was a real game changer – it was the reason I started this blog back in 2010. Can’t say I’m not envious that you’re going to Spain this month. πŸ™‚ I would also love to visit South Africa some day, especially the Western Cape!

      September 11, 2014
  84. Hi James.. Nice blog!

    September 11, 2014
    • Hi Bijo, makasih dan salam kenal! Saya bicara sedikit-sedikit Bahasa Indonesia karena sahabat saya tinggal di Jakarta. Ketika ada liburan, saya suka jalan-jalan keliling Indonesia bersama dia.

      September 11, 2014
  85. Hiii, James! πŸ™‚
    I have read in one of your comments elsewhere that Philippines is on your top list. I am a Filipina and it sort of flatters me to hear that from a foreign person who loves to travel and share his art to the world. Your blog is really awesome.

    Wishing you safety on your undertakings,

    October 18, 2014
    • Maraming salamat, Mel! πŸ™‚
      Yes, sadly I still have not made it to the Philippines yet… even though I live in Hong Kong which is only a short flight away. You live in a very beautiful country and I can’t wait to explore some of its 7,107 islands. Luzon seems like the obvious place to start, but I’m also keenly interested in Palawan and Panay. Thanks again for writing me such a lovely comment – safe journeys to you too!


      October 19, 2014
  86. Hey James! Thanks for following me! It’s great to connect with you and I can’t wait to read more about your travels and discoveries, especially right here in Singapore. πŸ™‚

    October 21, 2014
    • Hi Kelly! Thanks for following me back. Actually it was Bama who pointed me to your blog earlier tonight – I’m not sure how I missed it. Can’t say I’m not jealous… Singapore is such a great base for exploring the rest of Asia. πŸ™‚

      October 22, 2014
      • How nice of Bama! Awesome to connect with both of you!

        October 22, 2014
  87. In a recent post, I mentioned your blog as part of my own nomination for a Liebster Award. I noted that many of the blogs I love do not meet the Liebster requirement of having fewer than 200 readers, some are long-established and some are brand new, but if the question is who inspires me, amuses me, or makes me think, then your blog is on my short list at the moment! Consider yourself a Liebster nominee and feel free to write something about yourself and pass it on, or just feel the love and ignore the assignment!

    December 31, 2014
    • Thank you very much for the nomination – I am honoured that you picked my blog for its writing. There are good days and bad days, times when inspiration is lacking, and I really believe there is always room for improvement.

      December 31, 2014
  88. Hi James – you are quite the world traveler πŸ™‚ there is nothing like experiencing other cultures to refine our understanding of the world. BTW, I spent an entire summer at the Univ. of Salamanca studying Spanish literature, very long ago (1970s). I still remember that time fondly and often wonder just how much has changed in that city since then. The university campus was stunning, one of the oldest universities in Europe, I believe.

    January 19, 2015
    • Wow Annette, Salamanca must have been even more magical in the 1970s! I wonder about the nightlife then – was it as wild and unrestrained as it is now? The city looks like it hasn’t changed in many years… I think the authorities have done a great job of preserving all those beautiful old buildings.

      January 20, 2015
      • I remember us going down to the bridge on the river and singing all kinds of songs together, a bit of drinking went on…but I don’t remember it being “wild”…

        January 21, 2015
  89. Jumping in to read your travel stories

    January 19, 2015
    • Appreciate it – hope you find something that speaks to you personally!

      January 20, 2015
      • Travel and photography in your blog did speak to me πŸ™‚

        January 20, 2015
  90. James, thank you for sharing both your pictures, your travel stories and your life philosophy!

    I absolutely love your writing style, and your curiosity and researches you make on context and cultural references of places you’re visiting give a real depth to your posts,

    Keep exploring plus ultra,



    February 8, 2015
    • What a kind, thoughtful comment! Thank you so much for this, Ekaterina. I hope my stories (and pictures) can do Russia justice when I get there eventually…


      February 11, 2015
  91. Curious Passer-By #

    Hi, nice blog you have there. I happened to chance upon your blog after reading ‘Temporarily Lost’. Just curious, are you of Chinese ethnicity? You seem to have an exotic blend of Indonesian and Filipino.

    February 24, 2015
    • Thanks! Actually I am ethnically Chinese, although there is talk within the family of some distant Portuguese ancestry… my paternal great-grandfather even had a Eurasian appearance. It’s funny how you brought up those particular nationalities – I’ve been told I could pass for a Chinese Indonesian or Filipino Chinese on many occasions.

      February 24, 2015
  92. So happy I stumbled over your blog, I am taking “baby steps” into blogging about my family’s travels over the past years. And I am sure I fill find lots of inspiration for further traveling through your blog. Thank you for sharing.

    February 27, 2015
    • It’s my pleasure. Blogging is a wonderful creative outlet – I’m certain you’ll get the hang of it pretty quickly. Thanks in turn for the comment!

      March 2, 2015
  93. This is just great! I love your story and admire the amount of countries you’ve already seen. I am also keen on travelling though I just started few years ago and do mostly low budget as my parents never could finance me this sort of things, I somehow managed to see most than half of Europe’s countries already. Hope that someday Ill hit as big numbers of country’s seen as yours, though the most important thing is that this is something that keeps us alive!

    Do never forget to feed your wanderlust!! : )

    March 1, 2015
    • DziΔ™kujΔ™! Well there are so many countries in Europe alone… so you have probably been to 20 countries without knowing it. πŸ™‚ It is always nice to chalk up bigger numbers, but I have become very attached to certain countries so that is now less and less important. You will definitely make it to other continents in the future, I’m sure. Good luck!!

      March 2, 2015
  94. I hope you don’t mind too terribly, but I have decided to nominate your blog for “the Creative Blogger Award”:

    June 17, 2015
    • Thank you for thinking of my blog! I’m not really one to carry on the nominations (haven’t done so for some time), but I appreciate it nonetheless.

      June 21, 2015
  95. Awesome blog. I lost my sense of time watching it. Congratulations

    June 28, 2015
    • I hope that was time well-spent! Thanks for dropping by to read and comment.

      June 29, 2015
  96. Your blog is life ……the pictures are breath taking

    August 2, 2015
    • Much appreciated – I’m glad you enjoy it so much!

      August 2, 2015
  97. wheatfreetravelers #

    Good morning James, I am a new blogger, looking for inspiration and encouragement to journal m

    September 14, 2015
    • wheatfreetravelers #

      I just wanted to say your site has inspired me. Your photographs are beautiful and your stories intriguing. I will look forward to traveling with you thrust this site. Thank you.

      September 14, 2015
      • What a nice thing to say – thank you for the kind words. Best of luck with your new blog and stay committed!

        September 14, 2015
  98. Bonnie #

    Great blog, I’m looking forward to reading your stories and experiences from your travels πŸ™‚

    September 21, 2015
    • Thank you, Bonnie. Good to have another reader on board. πŸ™‚

      September 22, 2015
  99. WTFunDC #

    Thank you for the awesome blog James! I will make sure to read your posts before traveling to different places. They are very helpful!

    December 12, 2015
    • Laurie and Edy, you’re welcome! I hope all those posts will serve as an inspiration for a future trip to Asia. πŸ˜‰

      December 12, 2015
  100. Great blog! We’d love it if you’d check out ours some time and provide any feedback too! Keep up the good work πŸ™‚ -R&E

    January 3, 2016
    • Thanks, Rachael. Best of luck with all your travels! πŸ™‚

      January 3, 2016
  101. Freddy Agustian #

    Hi James.
    Love the posts and pics you have here especially about Banda.
    I am in banda at the moment and loving every minute of it. I just love the atmosphere. I’m not into diving like what most people come here for.
    I will spend more time wading through your posts. Very fascinating.

    February 23, 2016
    • Hi Freddy, good to know that you are loving your time in Banda! It is one of my favourite places on the planet and I am a tiny bit jealous of you right now. I’d go back in a heartbeat.

      If you have time make sure you snorkel at Pulau Hatta and take a day trip to Run & Ai. I still have two or three more posts to come on Banda, but there are so many photos to sort through. Thanks for visiting the blog and writing me a comment!

      February 24, 2016
  102. Wow, I wish I could travel as much as you did. I will certainly look through your travel blog as we plan our upcoming trips. πŸ™‚

    March 7, 2016
    • Thanks for dropping by. I hope the entries here will give you some ideas for travelling around Asia. πŸ™‚

      March 8, 2016
  103. Just discovered your great blog and looking forward to exploring more of your travels. Following now. Best wishes from Western Australia. TJ

    April 15, 2016
    • Much appreciated, TJ. I learned elementary French many years ago so I deduced the meaning behind the name of your blog! Funny how languages can lay dormant and persist in the mind. Thank you for following along.

      April 15, 2016
      • Good to know someone out there gets it! πŸ™‚ Best wishes.

        April 15, 2016
  104. You already have a book. I think you can easily turn most if not all of the posts of your blog into a book.

    June 5, 2016
    • Thanks for the encouragement, Lloyd. It’s certainly one option I’ve thought about.

      June 7, 2016
  105. Some books born from Blogs have done well for themselves.

    June 7, 2016
  106. Very nice About-me page. You wrote: “I spent nine months in the beautiful Spanish city of Salamanca”. Wow, then You must speak Spanish. When Young, I spent 4Β½ months in Las Palmas (Canary Islands) and learnt to speak Spanish. πŸ™‚ Best wishes from Finland.

    November 6, 2016
    • Well, I still speak some Spanish – but in those days I was practically fluent! It’s a shame how quickly language skills can go if you don’t use them on a regular basis. I would love to visit Finland someday, but of course in the summertime. πŸ™‚ Thank you for the kind words.

      December 4, 2016
  107. Hi James, great to meet you! Have you ever been to Romania?

    January 24, 2017
    • Hi Iosif, thanks for dropping by! I haven’t been to Romania yet, but I’ve heard good things from several people who have visited Bucharest and TimiΘ™oara.

      January 28, 2017
  108. Granyia #

    Hi James,
    I wonder would you mind if I use your photo “The village of Lonthoir and Gunung Api as seen from Fort Hollandia” on a blog post about Gunung Banda Api volcano? I would credit it to “James on” if that is okay with you. I’m writing for “Volcano Hotspot” on WordPress. (
    Thank you! – Granyia

    April 13, 2017
    • Hi Granyia,
      Sorry about the late reply – I’ve been offline for a while and didn’t see your comment till now. Yes of course, you are welcome to use that picture with the suggested credit. I myself am a fan of volcanology and it is fascinating (though concerning) to read about the signs of a potential eruption at Banda Api. Thanks too for asking for my permission!

      April 28, 2017
  109. Happy to have stumbled upon your blog! Wonderful writing and beautiful pictures make for good reading. I’m a new follower πŸ™‚

    August 5, 2017
    • Thank you for the kind words! I hope my entries inspire you to travel more and see things in a new light. πŸ™‚

      August 6, 2017
  110. Hi James, introduced to you through Sue :& Dave over at Travels of Life. I look forward to reading about your experiences.

    April 14, 2018
    • Hi Lynn, glad to have you on board. Hopefully my accounts here will be both entertaining and informative!

      April 15, 2018

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