10 Life Lessons From a 10 Year Old – Rediscovering My Childhood Diary

Thumbs up for Donatello

Thumbs Up For Donatello!

Post-Holidays blues are a horrible thing. Almost one month to the day since I returned to Ireland from travelling South America, I’ve been filling my days with practical odds and ends to keep the mild depression at bay.

One of those activities has been to finally clear the attic space in our family home. Years of useless junk has collected there, including my once treasured X-Files memorabilia, a horde of Christmas board games played once and a treasure trove of dolls and toys from our childhood.

An interesting discovery I made was a set of diaries from the early ’90′s that I had completely forgotten about. Continue reading

Learning Spanish in Guatemala

Charming Colonial Antigua

Charming Colonial Antigua

My motivation for learning Spanish was pretty straightforward:

  1. I was about to embark on a 9 month backpacking whistle-stop tour of Central and South America, and felt that my experience would be heightened if I could speak some of the lingo.
  2. I wanted to come back from my travels with a newly learnt, practical skill I could use in the real world.
  3. I had heard that meeting local women was next to impossible without knowing at least the basic tenets of Spanish grammar.

Continue reading

Mountain Biking ‘The World’s Most Dangerous Road’

The Long and Winding (Death) Road

The Long and Winding (Death) Road

OK Guys. To break the ice, everyone do a quick intro – your name, where you’re from and one fun fact about yourself.

We could barely make out what our Bolivian guide was saying because the van we were in, which was loaded with a dozen bikes on its roof rack was throwing the passengers inside around like a tumble drier. We had managed to navigate through the streets of La Paz to find ourselves at the base of the mountain. The climb was steep and there were potholes that could swallow a truck in one gulp. Continue reading

A Volcanic Adventure

A Rare Glimpse of Acatenango

It was my last week in the charming colonial city of Antigua in Guatemala.

Four weeks were spent studying Spanish and I was looking forward to field testing my new skills in cities that weren’t so overrun with gringo’s. However, while I was still in Antigua, there were a few items I wanted to tick off the list, and climbing one of the three nearby volcanoes was top of that list. Acatenango seemed to be the poster boy of most of the agencies so I was leaning toward that as option one. Continue reading

From Snickers to Sneakers – Marathon Training for Virgin Runners


Juggling Evening Strolls With A 9-5 Job

The first (and only) marathon I ever completed was eleven years ago.

I was halfway into my college course at University and firmly entrenched in the student lifestyle of boozing, binging and exercising my fingers on speed dial for the local Chinese takeaway. Fortunately I had enough self-awareness to catch myself and realise that I needed to haul ass out of that toxic state and get back into shape. Continue reading