Brian’s Story

Brian Barry - Travel Blogger at Wandering On

Hanging out with the dogs while housesitting in Adelaide, South Austrlia

From a very young age, my parents brought me, my sister, and later my two brothers on camping holidays around France, Spain, and Italy. It was no doubt these experiences which instilled in me a passion for the outdoors and travel. One scout trip across the pond to England at twelve and I was an explorer in my own eyes, the thrill of being away from home, surrounded by things to do, no fear of boredom setting in, what more could a young boy want?

Fast forward a few years and a few more camping trips in Europe later and I was in secondary playing rugby with my school. Never the most attentive student I was often caught by my teachers staring out the window daydreaming of all the more exciting places I could be and as soon as my schooling years finished, I was getting out on the road and that was that.

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Snowboarding in Bulgaria

After my first year in university, I travelled with four friends to Hawaii to live and work for the four months of summer. Working in a restaurant and hostel in Waikiki was a real eye-opener for me, meeting people from around the world and experiencing a totally different culture than what I was used to. Working hard and saving all summer I quit with a few weeks to go and travelled around the island of Oahu getting into a shark cage off the north shore, skydiving and taking a trip to Maui on the money I had earned, further developing my love for all things adventure.

Wandering On Travel Blog

Enjoying the surf in Bali, Indonesia

Throughout the following year, I developed a passion for surfing, mountain-boarding, cliff jumping and basically anything that would fuel my adrenaline habit. When two of my friends suggested a round the world trip I was in and that summer we spent four months travelling from Ireland to Thailand, where we became certified scuba divers, trekked in the north, bunjee jumped and took longer bus journeys than we ever knew possible. Next stop was Australia, flying into Melbourne and out of Cairns we rented a simple camper and drove the whole way taking in the highlights of the East coast in just six weeks. Diving the barrier reef, surfing in the south, snowboarding in the Blue Mountains and doing a skydive outside of Sydney for my 21st birthday among so much more made it an incredibly memorable trip.

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Bungee Jumping in New Zealand

From Oz it was onto Fiji and it was here that I truly felt like an explorer/traveller, I had never been this far off the beaten path before and I loved it. On the south coast of Viti Levu we stayed with a local surfer in a simple hut on the beach, jumped off the top deck of a huge passenger ferry in Vanua Levu and sand-boarded the dunes of Sigatoka, Fiji blew my mind like nowhere else. Our final stop was Hawaii but it felt a little stale having been there before, lesson learned, when you have the opportunity, go somewhere new!

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Travelling by motorbike for 3 months through Southeast Asia

Back to university for another year and the following summer was another working/holiday visa to America, this time to sunny California, spending four months working in a snack stall on the beach in a hot, sweaty kitchen staring longingly out at the sand and waves was not my first job of choice but you have to what you have to do and by the end of the summer I had saved just about enough money for a Californian road-trip taking in Vegas, The Grand Canyon, Yosemite National Park, Los Angeles and a host of smaller towns along the coast. A trip to San Fransisco for my 22nd birthday to see Pearl Jam live in concert was the icing on the cake to a summer of surf, sun, good friends and a great time.

Brian Barry Irish Travel Blogger

Kayaking in Kaikoura, New Zealand

With a six-month work placement mandatory for my final year in university my travelling should have come to a halt but with the money I had earned through my placement I bought a van and with a friend we drove around Europe, sleeping in the back of my DIY camper following a few of the 2007 Rugby World Cup games, surfing on the west coast and generally tripping around. When Noelle came to join me we drove back up the west coast to Cherbourg stopping everywhere we could along the way and then it as the ferry back to Ireland.

I love Ireland, it’s an amazing country and all my family and best friends are there yet every time it’s time for a trip to end I don’t look forward to going home but I get really down. With this realisation Noelle and I decided to pack up and hit the road and wander for as long as we can through whatever means necessary and we’re still wandering on.

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\"No one is born hating another person because of the colour of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.\"⁠ — Nelson Mandela⁠ ⁠ \"Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.\"⁠ — Martin Luther King Jr.⁠ ⁠ “Never look down on anybody unless you\'re helping him up.”⁠ — Jesse Jackson⁠ ⁠➳⁠ 📷 Views from the first floor of the Hagia Sophia Museum looking towards The Blue Mosque in Istanbul, Turkey 🇹🇷⁠ ➳⁠ We understand that being white and therefore, inherently privileged, we can never truly understand this struggle, however, we completely stand with the movement and the idea that all human beings everywhere in the world should be treated equally and have the same chances and opportunities in life.⁠ ⁠➳ Unfortunately, this isn\'t the case and the thought that someone can be treated differently simply because of the colour of their skin absolutely breaks our hearts.💔⁠ ⁠➳ In our privileged position, we need to learn about and educate ourselves about these issues in every way we can and do our best to change the views of those around us.⁠ ⁠➳ To quote another great changemaker, Mahatma Gandhi, you need to “be the change that you wish to see in the world.” ⁠ It starts with you, to move in the world with love and respect for all.⁠ ❤️✨✌ #BlackLivesMatter⁠
“Because when you stop and look around, this life is pretty amazing.” —Dr. Seuss » Brian standing in absolute awe at the El Castillo pyramid at Chichen Itza!🗿🇲🇽 » Built by the Mayans sometime between the 8th and 12th centuries, Chichen Itza is a huge complex of Mayan ruins located on the northern half of Mexico’s beautiful Yucatan Peninsula.🗿🇲🇽 The complex is an inscribed UNESCO World Heritage Site as well as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. » Built from limestone, El Castillo stands at a height of 30m including a 6m temple on top. Each of the pyramid\'s four sides has 91 steps up it, making 364 steps total, with the temple topping the pyramid considered an additional step totalling 365, each step representing a day in the calendar.📆 El Castillo is also known as the Temple of Kukulkan as it served as a temple to the Mayan feathered serpent god Kukulkan, or Quetzalcoatl.🐍 » We visited this time last year, however, the spring and autumn equinoxes are the best days to visit to see the “descent of Kukulkan\".🐍 » According to legend, twice a year when the day and night are in balance 🌗, the pyramid is visited by its namesake Kukulkan.🐍 Thanks to the crafty and mathematically brilliant architecture of the Mayans combined with the natural rotation of the Earth on the equinox, an amazing eerie image of a giant snake crawling down the temple is created. Kukulkan returns to earth to provide blessings for a full harvest and good health before bathing in the sacred waters below and continuing on his way to the underworld. » If you can\'t visit on either equinox, don\'t worry! The phenomenon is recreated nightly during the Light and Sounds Show at 7pm in winter and 8pm in summer. » We love doing things independently as much as we can when we travel. As Chichen Itza is located just a couple of hours drive away from Playa del Carmen (and Cancun) we rented a car and drove there ourselves so we didn\'t get to stay for the light show as we had to drive back.🚗 » What\'s your travel style? Are you a DIY person or do you prefer to go on an organised tour? Let us know in the comments below!💬👇 » #WanderingOn #LiveToTravel #Mexico #ChichenItza #SevenWondersOfTheWorld
“Sunsets are proof that no matter what happens, every day can end beautifully.” — Kristen Butler » The sun sets over Edinburgh from Calton Hill, one of the seven hills of Edinburgh.🌆 » Set right in the city centre, Calton Hill is unmistakable with its unfinished Athenian acropolis poking above the skyline, giving Edinburgh it\'s nickname, the \"Athens of the North\". » It\'s a popular sunset spot as it\'s easily accessed - it only takes about five minutes to get to the top of the hill from two staircases on either side, or you can drive up and park - and it offers panoramic views down the length of Princes Street and of Edinburgh Castle.🏰 There are also great views of the coloured cliffs of the Salisbury Crags, Arthur\'s Seat, and the slopes of Holyrood Park.⛰️ » On the last night of April, up to 12,000 people take to Calton Hill for the Beltane Fire Festival, an ancient Celtic fertility festival. 🔥 Traditionally, Beltane was the start of the pastoral summer where animals were taken from their winter shelter to the fields and \"Beltane\" is the Gaelic word for May. » In Edinburgh\'s revivalist celebration of Beltane, three hundred or so voluntary performers from the Beltane Fire Festival Society celebrate the ending of the \'dreich\' (Scottish slang for dreary and bleak) Scottish winter and the hoped-for season of warmth and new growth with drumming, fire performance, revelry, and a ritualised procession around Calton Hill. 🔥 As well as the fiery displays, acrobatics, pulsating drums, and body-painted theatrics, the Beltane Fire Festival Society retell an immersive story for the crowd. » The revival of this festival started in 1988 as a free event but is now ticketed. There is also a Samhuinn (Samhain) Fire Festival on Halloween night which traditionally marked the beginning of winter in the Celtic calendar. 🎃 We hope to catch the Samhuinn Fire Festival festival later in the year! » Have been to any interesting cultural festivals? Let us know!💬👇 » #WanderingOn #LiveToTravel #EdinburghScotland #CaltonHill

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