About

About Me

My name is Luke and I am from England. It is my goal to visit every country in the world whilst working full time as a Captain in the British Army. I travel at weekends and holidays and in 2015, having visited a total of 17 countries in 12 months, I decided I would set myself a goal and try and visit every country in the world.  Since then I have visited over 80 countries, seen some amazing sights and met some extremely friendly people.

So far I have visited the following countries:

United Kingdom

Spain

Malta

Cyprus

France

Denmark

Belgium

Germany

Netherlands

Morocco

Turkey

Iraq

Estonia

Finland

Sweden

Hong Kong (China)

Nepal

Vietnam

Cambodia

Thailand

Laos

Croatia

Austria

Luxembourg

Switzerland

Liechtenstein

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Greece

Norway

Ukraine

Burma/Myanmar

Italy

San Marino

Monaco

Andorra

Canada

Bulgaria

Macedonia

Kosovo

Serbia

Hungary

Jordan

Egypt

Poland

Kyrgyzstan

Romania

Portugal

Czech Republic

Mexico

Belize

Guatemala

El Salvador

Honduras

Nicaragua

Costa Rica

Lithuania

Latvia

Ethiopia

Sweden

Panama

Vatican City

USA

Lebanon

Israel

Palestine

Algeria

Western Sahara

Mauritania

Senegal

Gambia

Guinea-Bissau

Kazakhstan

Ethiopia

Somalia (Somaliland)

Belarus

Qatar

Sri Lanka

Slovakia

Ireland

Slovenia

Sudan

India

Liberia

Sierra
Leone

Guinea

Uzbekistan

Why I say no to tour guides

Let me start off by clarifying that I don’t hate tour guides perse, they’re normally locals who have learnt a great deal about a certain city or attraction, a lot can speak at least one foreign language and they probably have to put up with the same boring questions day in day out and display immense patience. On the face value these fountains of knowledge seem useful, if not vital to fully uncovering the secrets and history of a city but that is where I think you’re wrong.

Yes they might know the 2000 year history of the ruins you’re visiting and their English (French/Spanish etc) might be near perfect but what are you actually gaining from them? Below I have outlined what I believe is wrong with them:

1. Anything they have told you could’ve found out on the internet by yourself if you’d been bothered to (it really is a wonderful tool).

2. They take you to the sights and sites that they think you want to see and are the most popular. This means two things: a) You only get to see a select number of things before moving onto the next location. b) Because your tour guides takes you to the popular sights chances are every other tour guide will also take their clients there so it will be over crowded and you will ultimately get to see less.

3. Unless you’re in a small group or at the front of a large one you can’t hear what’s being said anyway.

IMG_20160404_112244
Spot the tourist.

4. You often have to follow someone through crowds who you identify by the flag/umbrella/shoebox (when in Prague I saw a guide doing this) to me it come across as the same feeling I had  when I was 4 holding my mum’s hand whilst shopping.

5. They’re expensive, especially for backpackers who tend to be travelling on a tight budget. You might able to afford the expense during a weekend break to Paris but if you’re travelling for a couple of weeks or months then the price of paying for a guides at every ‘tourist location’ you go to would be astronomical.

6. They take away your freedom. You’re told where to go, what you’re going to see, how long you’re going to spend there and you have no flexibility outside of these parameters.

7. You miss sights. It’s simple, you won’t see everything there is to see. You’re only visiting things that someone else has deemed ‘must see’.

8. Most importantly the sense of adventure is taken out and lost.

In summary I believe tour guides themselves are impressive but everything that they represent I hate. You lose your freedom, you can’t explore and you’re told where to go and what to see because someone has decided that they’re important. If you go without a guide you can spend as long/short as you like anywhere, you can go super early in the morning to avoid queues, you don’t have to wait for the whole group to catch up, you get to see things you otherwise wouldn’t (I mean how many tour guides take you to the downtown areas of a city? Even though its always one of the most interesting places) and finally you can explore, discover new places and have an adventure which to me is what travelling to new places is all about.

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4 thoughts on “About

  1. I love that you’re showing people how they can travel and discover the world while working full time.! No need to quit your job! Re tour guides – I would say « it depends «  When I travel I research & plan everything myself – I love doing that. When on location I sometimes use tour guides for specific trips that local transport makes difficult to do (I don’t drive) Some have been spectacular and some not. PWYC tours are almost always worth it, while more organized tours are not as good. And in some places you can meet up with locals who will show you their city/town and you make a donation to the city – so not necessarily a tour guide. Just another option. I hope your blog/IG account will show people they can organize their own travels and make their own discoveries is just one of the joys of traveling.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your support, I do actually agree that tour guides/ locals can add a lot of value to a place although I do strongly advocate people planning and going on their own adventures. Good to meet a like minded person 🙂

      Like

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