The Drinking Traveller is the Dionysian alter-ego of some guy called Roy. From travel-planning ideas to crazy stories and tips from the road, think of me as your one-stop-shop – the number one online resource for those who like a drink and love to travel. Is there a city you know well? Send me a nightlife guide or guest post. Know a crazy drinking game that’s perfect for the road? Send me the rules and I’ll feature it on the site. Welcome! We’re all “drinking travellers” here.
Where I’ve Been?
Here’s a map of more-or-less everywhere I’ve ever been. Feel free to pick my brains about any of these destinations. No jealousy. If you want it badly enough, I’m here to help you do the same.
I’ve travelled extensively within the UK, and so far my twenties have seen me through 79 countries…and counting. I’ve lived, worked and studied abroad in Japan, Bulgaria and Australia. I’ve toured Europe, the US and Canada by motorcycle, spent a summer in East Asia, a year travelling down the Americas, and another year-and-a-half back in Asia, Australia and New Zealand, plus countless side-trips over the years.
I’d been thinking about setting up a travel site for a while, because I get around a lot and people seem to want to know where I am and what I’m up to and whether or not I’m dead yet. (The only problem was, I hated travel blogging.)
At a travel blogging conference in Brighton, I met the old travel editor at the Times – Steven Keenan – who said there’s no point starting a blog called something like roystravels.com, because Roy can’t travel forever.
He’s got a point; we’ve all seen once-popular travel blogs reduced to monthly “My Day Trip to London” posts before eventually falling off the map completely. But in this case, it looks like he was wrong. I highly doubt I’ll stop travelling any time soon. In fact, I’ve tried, and I can’t. I was born to move.
“When I was very young and the urge to be someplace else was on me, I was assured by mature people that maturity would cure this… Nothing has worked… I don’t improve… once a bum always a bum.”
– John Steinbeck. Travels with Charley
The Man Behind the Mask
One thing you’ll learn about me, as we journey together, is that I’ve never been one to do as I’m supposed to. What you have here is something a bit different – a controversial travel blog about the reality of life on the road – the highs and the lows, the people you meet along the way, the moments you share…
At times stream-of-consciousness, at times diary entry, this blog – in the vein of Jack Kerouac – is dedicated to honesty. It’s a place where I open my heart, don’t pull my punches (just look at my terms of service) and hold nothing back: not the good, the bad, nor the ugly. (Maybe the boring.)
Expect to encounter swingers, plenty of swearing, public nudity, police brutality, breakdowns, drink, drugs, rock and roll, more swingers, and just about every bodily fluid you can think of.
How I Travel?
If you’re looking for a “philosophy”, this is probably about as close as I come. I like to travel…
- On the cheap. The less you spend each day, the longer you can travel for. I rarely pay for anything I can get for free or can do myself, and always find the cheapest way of doing everything. I’m always being asked – often by people with plenty of money – how I manage to travel so much. The answer I give? Money? Time? Luck? No. Balls! I’ve met train-hoppers who’ve crossed continents for the cost of a bottle of whisky. I’ve stayed in private rooms, with en suite bathrooms and right on the beach, for $1 USD a night. Anyone who thinks it’s cheaper to stay at home than to hit the road is tragically mistaken.
- Light. Experience has taught me (the hard way) that the less you carry, the more free you are and the more fun you can have. I’ve been living out of hand-luggage for years. All you need is a spare pair of boxers and a toothbrush.
- Fast. For me, it’s all about that magical, surreal feeling you get when you first arrive in a new place. I aim to ride that feeling forever, to live life as one big, egotistical blur across the face of the world. Nobody knows what makes a life well spent, but I do know what doesn’t: staying in one place. Slow travel and living abroad still beat staying at home though.
- Like a local. I don’t travel to see the sights. I can Google those. I travel for travel’s sake, for the crazy experiences along the way. You’ve probably already heard, it’s all about the journey, not the destination. One man’s trashy hometown is another man’s travel treasure.
- Off the beaten track. I know it’s a cliche, if not a complete paradox, but there is a beaten track and I like to get off it, from the Gunbalanya Social Club in Arnhem Land to dry Brunei’s illusive “lounge” to Jesus’ Backside, East Timor.
- Long-term. For me, travel is a lifestyle; not a holiday. The initial flight is the most expensive part. After that, it’s plain sailing.
- Spontaneously. For Rio carnival I booked my accommodation almost a year in advance. A few days before I arrived, they cancelled my booking and left me with nothing. I had to find something on arrival, which proved surprisingly easy. These days I rarely book anything in advance, if at all. I also don’t have any plans to go to every country, though it looks like I might run out of new ones at some point.
- Under the influence of alcohol. I drink for the same reasons I travel: to escape the old and experience the new. Do you drink when you travel?
(In other words, don’t expect to hear the words “luxury”, “tour” or “teetotal” thrown around here too often.)
What Do I Drink?
In short? Everything. When you’ve drunk as much as I have, you find yourself campaigning for maximum choice behind the bar. So naturally I’m drawn to the craft beer and cider scene, but also wine, absinthe, gin…all the crazy drinks around the world, from Scotch to sake, a glass of port to a Peruvian pisco sour. I’m also trying my best to bring sherry back. Help me out, would you?
What Else Can I Do for You?
I’m also an experienced copywriter, SEO and online marketeer, having worked in-house for a travel company for over three years and with writing on over 100 websites and in the press. If you think I can help you with your project, don’t hesitate to contact me. Remeber, I’m cheap. Dirt cheap…