❤ THANK YOU! / ありがとう! ❤

IKIMASHO! has made it through to the final for Best Travel Blog in this year’s Blog Awards Ireland. Thank you to everyone who voted for me! I guess now it’s a case of whether the judges go for a straight down-the-line entry or my oddball stuff. To be honest, despite there being a number of great travel blogs out there, there are also far too many generic sites around today: the whole scene is swamped with people writing about “the top ten places to buy ice cream in Paris” and “seven reasons to visit blah blah blah.” It’s making the travel writing industry stagnant – and so I hope with this blog I can show that creativity and originality are still the most important assets as a writer and photographer. Oh, and actually travelling. You wouldn’t believe how many travel writers there are out there who don’t actually travel!

So far my year has looked like this:

Jan – March: Japan
April: Thailand, Nepal
May: Northern Ireland
June: Northern Ireland, Morocco, Spain
July: Northern Ireland, Denmark, Sweden
August: Sri Lanka
September: Indonesia

Which brings us into October…

Current Travel Plans

Today I flew across the Bali Strait by propeller plane (£12!) and I’m now in the Banyuwangi Regency of East Java. The airport was maybe the smallest I’ve ever been at, with a wire fence separating the road and the runway. On the way into town my motorbike diver spotted a procession down a side street with a kid dressed up in Javanese garb riding a donkey (above). Little moments like this are what travelling is all about: something magical happening when you least expect it.


I’ll be in Indonesia for a few more days, hoping to climb Ijen Volcano which has a blue fire at night. From Banyuwangi I’ll then take a six-hour train journey north to Surabaya. (Interesting titbit: Banyuwangi train station is the southernmost train station in Asia. The track ends here – you can go any further by train in the whole continent!)

On October 4th I’m catching a flight to Bangkok and once again making the trip out to Isaan on the Cambodian border to see my friends Allan and Fanfan. I had a blast with them last time I was there in April. You can read all about that here. Onwards from Isaan I’ll travel to Southern Thailand with the hope of seeing the Nine Emperor Gods festival in Phuket.


Once again THANK YOU for every single vote that helped IKIMASHO! into the final. More than anything I want to shake things up a bit. Ikimasho! is my own variation of how you spell ‘Let’s Go’ in Japanese. So…


x Justin x

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