So another year of adventure comes to an end, and as we look forward to 2015 I ask you this question;

What travels will you do in the future?

I ask this as a little motivator. It’s easy to say that you will go and visit this place and that, but those ideas can get lost in everyday life. Hell even I don’t get around to doing half the travel plans that I have.

So I’m guessing you read travel blogs like mine and others (of which I have many good ones to recommend soon for the next year) to maybe get inspiration for a possible trip in the future for yourself. Or maybe you just like hearing me suffer from leeches in the jungle!

Either way, if you really want to travel next year,  you will have to be committed into making that happen. Where do you want to go?  What can you do to make it a reality? These are questions only you can ask, but if you want any help then please send me an email through the contact page and I will happily give some advice.

But for now I wanted too share my own experiences from 2014, and maybe there is something in them that may appeal to you. There were so many other adventures apart from the ones mentioned here, but these stuck out most in my mind as my favourite.

The Beginning Of The Year.



Shibuya crossing

Playing around at Shibuya crossing in Tokyo.

I was still in Japan at the start of 2014 exploring for a few more weeks one of my favourite countries. Many travellers are put off going to Japan because of the potential costs, which I explained was not as bad as you may think in one of Backpackingmans most popular posts.

The Kelabit Highlands In Borneo.

The Kelabit Highlands

Crossing water in the jungle of the Kelabit Highlands.

For a few months after Japan I had 2 good friends come and travel with me. We went through the Philippines, Borneo, and Sulawesi in Indonesia. My favourite place exploring with them was the remote Kelabit Highlands on the Malaysian side of Borneo, a peaceful place surrounded by hills and jungle, deep into the interior. I wrote about the journey there, which involved at one point eating a monkey after a day battling with leeches.

Tana Toraja In Indonesia.

Tana Toraja

Barbara who travelled with me for a few months hanging out with some local children in Tana Toraja.

I had visited Tana Toraja for the first time back in 2006 but loved the place, so was very happy to return with my friends to explore some new, and also similar areas. It’s a beautiful place too walk with friendly people and lots of old traditions, such as the funeral ceremonies and cave burials.

The Middle Of The Year.


New Zealand.

Hiking New Zealand

Hiking in New Zealand.

Everything I had heard about New Zealand before going was true. It is one of the most beautiful places I have been. I visited as a child when 7 years old but had only vague memories, so was very happy when I finally got too go back as an adult and spend a month hiking and driving around.

New Zealand is a must visit destination for all those who love the outdoors.

The Isles of Scilly and Amsterdam.

Family on Isles of scilly

With my sister and parents on the Isles of Scilly.

It can’t all be about travel. Sometimes you just need to slow down and chill out for a while. I flew back from New Zealand for my sisters wedding on the Isles of Scilly where I then spent 5 weeks staying with family and enjoying the relaxed pace of life on these peaceful islands.

For a few weeks before and after the Isles of Scilly I stopped in Amsterdam, where I used to live. This again was just pure relaxing, hanging out with friends, and enjoying such things as a Belgium beer road trip.

The End Of The Year.



World Nomad Games

Meeting traditional people at the World Nomad Games.

A friend who lives in Kyrgyzstan invited me to attend the first ever World Nomad Games being held in September. This was one of the best travel experiences I have had. Getting a press pass as a photographer we spent several days with other friends running around between events, meeting traditional people, and just having a great time.

This also gave me the opportunity to write for CNN Travel. You can read the article I wrote for them here.

The Pamir Highway In Tajikistan.

The Pamir Highway

This was my second visit to Tajikistan, and this time went high up the Pamir Highway, which I had not been able too do on my previous trip. It is an astonishing drive, and it should be as it’s one of the highest motorways in the world. Surrounded by snow capped mountain peaks and dry Tibetan plateau scenery it was one of the best road trips ever.

The Gobi Desert In Mongolia.

Mongolia nomad

I have since shaved my beard!

This was a trip I had been dreaming of for a long time. Escaping for over a week deep into the Gobi Desert and staying with nomads in their traditional ger tents was exactly as I had imagined it would be like. Adventure at its finest.


Great Wall of China

Hiking around the Great Wall of China is a good workout!

I spent several weeks slowly roaming around China towards the end of the year. This mostly involved just taking my time hanging out in cities and eating loads of tasty food. But eating good food is one of the best things about travel! I could easily spend more time in China just too eat.

What Will The New Years Bring?

I am writing this back in the Isles of Scilly where I paid a surprise Christmas visit to family after flying from Shanghai to London.

I spent a few days in London en-route and realised how much I love the city, and how long it had been since I had properly explored parts of it (over 15 years)! With that in mind I will spend a bit of time in London hanging out in the beginning of the year, before heading to Amsterdam to visit friends again.

After that I have no real set plans. Maybe visit some more cities in Europe, or take a flight too Taiwan. Who knows. What I do know is there will be plenty more travel stories to come on Backpackingman!

And as always the best thing about travelling is the people you meet on the journey. So heres to meeting new friends and having safe travels in the year to come.

Drinking Belgium beer.


Have A Great New Year Everyone.




Jonny Duncan is a travel blogger and freelance photographer. He specialises in adventure and budget travel with over 20 years of experience. He started blogging in 2013 to give advice for other travellers. He has lived in Japan, Amsterdam, Kiev, and more.

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