Myanmar (Burma) – November/December 2018

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Where do you begin with a trip like this? What reason could anyone possibly have to travel to a place where those in power are responsible for such terrible atrocities? For us, the motivation is fairly simple; to visit a friend. The logic, however, is probably slightly more opaque. Simply ignoring a country and expecting all our information to be fed through the TV can’t really get us very close to the truth. Not that I’m saying for a second we’ll have even the tiniest of inkling of what’s going on in a country so diverse as Myanmar but, even to get geographically closer to the reality will hopefully provide a different outlook to that which we see in the news every day. Not everyone in a country could ever be responsible for the actions of those who claim power.

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Dubai – November 2018

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We’ll have a short stopover in Dubai on our way to Yangon. A couple of nights, with one clear day in the middle. I have no great expectations of Dubai, and anything I read or see just strengthens those thoughts. The vision presented on film and TV doesn’t really fit my idea of somewhere I’d like to go. But, I’m open to a different experience.

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Belgium – August/September 2018

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Day 1 – to Brussels

It’s virtually impossible to think of Belgium without that most chief of Belgian exports flooding one’s mind. Yes, we’re all thinking of the same thing….Gotye (that fella who had that song once)! We will be seeking the lesser known Belgian joys however, and hoping to find the odd beer and maybe even some chocolate. Yes, Belgium does beer and chocolate too.

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Toronto – December 2017

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After just over two weeks in Cuba we’ll be spending a couple of days in Toronto to ease us back into reality. With a differential of approximately twenty three degrees Celsius, it promises to be quite the jolt back into winter. Now if we can just navigate our way through José Marti International Airport we’ll be doing fine.

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Cuba – November/December 2017

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Day 1: to Havana

A panic descends as we try to organise transport to the airport. The wonderful Ann Brennan has a bug and can’t provide us with a lift. MyTaxi tells me everything is booked up. Images of us pretending to have been in Cuba flash through our minds but in the end we snag a ride and make it in pretty good time with the border checks and controls going rather swimmingly.

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New York – September 2017

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Day 1: to Long Island City

Incredibly, it’s been 12 years since I was last in the USA. Chicago and New York all the way back in 2005. It’s taken the relocation of my good friend John to draw me back, and I am very much looking forward to it. To top it off nicely, we have The War on Drugs in Central Park to warm up a Friday evening and to sweeten the deal even further; we’ll be treated to Interpol in some kind of former tennis stadium on Saturday. A sort of festival of our own.

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Ryan Adams – September 2017

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Admittedly, I was not completely up for this concert. I could claim tiredness, Monday blues or whatever, but the fact is I just wasn’t feeling it. Having had no joy selling the tickets, the only option remaining was to force my head into the right space. By 8pm, I was rather looking forward to the show. One or two Guinness for me, a couple of hot whiskeys for Orla, in Brogan’s and we’re there. About 20:40 the place clears out leaving us and the bar staff. It’s our cue to head into the Olympia, having completely lost track of time.

 

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