I’m originally from Glasgow, Scotland but I’m currently based in Doha, Qatar.
Where do you work when you’re not leading trips?
I’m a Music teacher at an international school in Doha, Qatar. I’ve recently been promoted to the Extended Leadership Team with a remit for professional development, so I’m excited to begin interacting with colleagues and students in that role.
Your spirit animal:
I’m not much of an animal guy, but I saw a pair of white lions in South Africa recently and absolutely fell in love. I saw them on Christmas Day, so I guess that played a big part in it.
How do you take your coffee? (Or are you more of a tea person?)
I’m actually not much of a hot drinks fan, but if push came to shove I’d order a double espresso.
Have you ever done a solo trip? Why or why not?
Almost all of my trips since 2013 have been solo travel trips. I’ve done China, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Morocco, Greece, and South Africa on my own and utterly loved every moment. I’d whole-heartedly encourage everyone to experience solo travel at least once in their life; it instills in you some great qualities.
The most underrated must-do activity you’ve ever tried:
Walking the Great Wall of China. Classic must-do but it’s a stunning experience, and worth it alone for the toboggan ride back down!
Trains, planes or boats?
Planes through and through. I’m a bit of an aviation geek and love flying. Trains bore me and boats freak me out a little.
Strangest place you’ve ever visited:
Phon Phisai, Thailand. I was based there for three months when I taught for the British Council. It was a three hour drive from the nearest big city and airport, right on the Mekong River bordering Laos. It was such a fantastic authentic experience but being the only westerner around had its tribulations too.
Favorite airline for international flights:
Emirates. I love Qatar Airways and it’s the airline I use most often, but I have a particular talent for getting free upgrades to Business Class on Emirates (I’ve had three so far), so they always get my vote.
What is the biggest lesson traveling has taught you?
Always carry more than one bankcard. I had a horrible experience in Hanoi a few years ago when an ATM swallowed my debit card at 5am right before I was leaving for Halong Bay and I had no other cards. By sheer luck a girl I’d met in Laos was in the same hostel so she helped me out. So, another good lesson there was valuing new friendships.