Oliver is…

He that hath a beard is more than a youth, and he that hath no beard is less than a man

…done with 2013

I may be a fortnight late, but here’s a rough a month by month run down of my past year. For those depending on my blog for updates of my life, you’re in for a few spoilers. The first few months are going to be the most boring and I’ve left the last few a bit sparse so as not to ruin future posts. All in all, a bit weak.

One ‘interesting’ point is that this has been my third year running that has been longer than the standard 365 days. 2012 was a leap year, 2013 I gained around eight hours (starting in Australia, ending in Copenhagen) and this year I had the double 21 April. I think 2014 will be a short one.


I saw in new year with Dave, my partner and a friend from work (and his wife). We saw ace fireworks from a not too crowded botanical gardens. I also went to Big Day Out and hosted a Burns Supper for that workmate (and his wife) plus another guy I used to sort of work with. It involved Irn Bru, whisky and an amazing veggie haggis cooked by an amazing woman.

sydney-fireworksPhoto credit


February was quiet, mainly because I was staying at home a lot to try to save money for an upcoming trip. On the 14th I did go to a super-high-up bar, a nice restaurant and the Sydney Opera House for a show with a beautiful woman. The play was too clever for us, including a five minute section in French that other people seemed to get, so we left and went for expensive chocolate instead.


A month of goodbyes, including a trip up to the never seen before Gold Coast. There I saw close up the most easterly point of Australia. It was windy there.



April 13 was the start of my year in many ways, as I got on a big ship and left Australia after around two and a half years there. In this month I visited New Caledonia, Fiji, Western Samoa, American Samoa and USA. Western Samoa was best.

Holland America MS Oosterdam in Sydney


Arriving on dry land three weeks after setting sail was a strange experience, especially as I’d decided (actually a few people had, I was the only one who went through with it) to stay up all night as we approached Canada, which completely negated the lack of jetlag I would otherwise have experienced. After around ten days in Vancouver, I headed up to the Rocky Mountains to see all the beautiful lakes and then down into Seattle to try to find illegal work, apparently, as well as visiting Sacramento and San Francisco.

Golden Gate Bridge


After hilly San Francisco it was on to vapid Hollywood, glitzy Las Vegas (and the Grand Canyon) then back to vapid LA. The last stop was a few days in San Diego, which turned out to be my favourite city in America.



A flight in early July took me from the south-west to the north-east in time to see a truly lacklustre fireworks display in Chicago as they celebrated their kind beating my kind. A 21-hour train ride took me through to New York, supposedly USA’s jewel, but a place that left me cold despite the heatwave. It was also the month that saw the end of my yeard attempt, maybe I’m just reflecting those feelings onto the city. Because of a stupid border guard, I had to fly to a beautiful Caribbean island at the end of the month.

Not always this quiet


Lying on a beach in the Dominican Republic, flying into cold UK. Meeting up with family and friends in Bristol and Edinburgh.

sandy robertson


Up to Aberdeen for a uni friend’s wedding, farther up to see the top of Scotland (coming in a blog post near you soon!) and then back down through Edinburgh to the south of the UK — Cardiff, London, Bath — before a flight to Poland.

ceilidh dancing


I thought Poland would be nice, but in truth it was amazing — Gdansk was brilliant, Warsaw not, Zakopane pretty good and Krakow magnificient. (Don’t need to bother with those four posts now…) There was a nice variance in the places I went and at least two of them I’d be happy to see again. The food, surprisingly, was really nice but sadly the beer was awful. After Poland, I flew to Cyprus for a few days to visit an English old folks’ home before jumping on a ship.


That ship took me to a number of places: Greece, Italy, Tunisia, Morocco, Spain, Spain. I ended up in Tenerife, where I stayed for a few days, before flying up to Santiago de Compostela before travelling on to Porto, Madrid, Zaragoza and Barcelona.


In Spain, it seemed like they waited until December to start promoting Christmas. Isn’t that a novelty? With a travelling companion who doesn’t deal well with the cold, I left Europe at the start of the month to go to Thailand. A few days on the mainland before 12 on the peaceful Koh Tao then moving to the more hectic Koh Phangan where I indulged in a 10-day silence/meditation retreat, before completely ruining all I’d gained there by going to hogmanay at Haad Rin.

What’s in store for next (this) year? I could tell you now, but then it would look ridiculous when I revisit this post in 2015 and nothing resembles my plans at all.

Filed under: asia, australia, europe, life, north america, ,

4 Responses

  1. Dave says:

    More like 50 weeks too early.

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