Michael Coote
November, 2003

I'm back again from another big trip,
this time searching for a little African adventure. In between looking for a new job and catching up on all those little things I've let go for the last four months, I have decided to take some time to put it down on the web and while I'm here straighten out the older stuff as well.

The site really has grown since I first went looking for a place to dump my digital photos while roaming around Asia. This time around, rather than having a big collection of images I have tried to provide a sampling of each place along with a glimpse into what it means to travel independently. By "independent travel" I'm referring to how I avoid, whenever possible, the packaged tours and do what I can to get to know a place for what it really is. This generally means taking the dirty busses on the rough roads rather than a guided vehicle, doing my shopping in the markets rather than the tourist shops and eating my meals away from the hotel. All this results in getting to meet a few locals willing to hook me up with the inside scoop on what to see and do. Inevitably, I do get plenty of time to hang out with all the other backpackers of the world, which isn't bad at all.

Keep in mind that the country pages on the site are not intended to be any type of a travel guide or even to show a few of the must see attractions. Often times I will skip over something like the Taj Mahal simply because I had my fill of the tourist stuff that day. Overall though I do a thorough job of getting to know each of the places. If a country is listed on this site it usually means that I spent a month or more roaming around it. This does make the task of selecting a few good photos out of the thousands I've taken over the years a daunting one; especially when it comes to picturesque places like Tibet or New Zealand. I do love the memories that come back from sorting through this stuff though - which is the real reason for taking the time to put all this down on the Internet.

In addition, the site is an ongoing project so please bear with my typos, poor grammar and programming bugs. Often times the writing is done in busy Internet Café's while other days, I'm writing from home - or better yet a relaxing beach. Enjoy the pages and don't forget to sign up for the postcards to help keep in touch.

* background photo: Rongbuk Monastery, Mnt. Everest Base Camp, Tibet. At 5,200 meters it is the highest year round inhabited place on the planet.