"Welcome to Willettsworld!" Willettsworld's Profile
Name: Glyn John Willett
Date of Birth: 12th September 1972
Residence: Welwyn Garden City, England
Job: IT Test Analyst
Hobbies: Travelling (obviously!), music, photography, cooking, attending concerts, motor sport, supporting the mighty reds - Liverpool FC, reading travel books and planning trip itineries
Fav food: Indian, Chinese, Thai, Good old British sunday lunch
Fav music: Level 42 (I have my own website on them at www.level42.150m.com, 80's music, Coldplay, The Cure, Pet Shop Boys, Franz Ferdinand
Fav films: Italian Job (the original one!), Back to the Future, Star Wars, The Great Escape, North by Northwest, Pulp Fiction, Groundhog Day, Ipcress File.
So, how did I get into travelling? Well my parents are partly to blame. It all started back at around Easter time in 1978 when I was just 5 years old. My parents belonged to a twinning association, (sometimes known as "Sister cities", in some parts of the world), in my old home town of Royston in Hertfordshire, UK, which meant that we travelled to its twin town of Grossalmerode near Kassel in Hesse, Germany virtually every year when I was growing up. About the only thing I remember from that first occasion of, what we in the UK call "travelling abroad", is waking up on Easter Sunday and digging in the garden of the family that we were staying with in order to find Easter eggs that the Easter bunny had planted the night before. As we don't have this tradition in the UK, it was a lot of fun for me to do, as a 5-year old kid. We carried on going over for visits which included two trips in 1980 and 1985 in order to take in what they call a heimatfest - basically a big carnival procession, fun fair and a lot of beer drinking that only happens once every 5 years (presumably in order to get over all the hang-overs!). I then went back to the town on my own a few times in the 90's but haven't been back since 2003. It will always be a big part of my life and I love it and the local area deeply.
On other family holidays we visited France, normally around the Paris area, Jersey and Guernsey in the English Channel, Majorca a couple of times - once in a friend’s apartment and the other time in a hotel; Corfu and Tunisia (the latter two in the same year which wasn't the norm for people to do back in 1989). I then had upper school to finish and so didn't travel anywhere until I travelled with a friend on a bit of a car trip to Germany, Switzerland and the south of France. This was when I fell in love with the Cote d’Azur and came back for a few trips in subsequent years, although the last time I visited was in 2002. It was basically the glamour of the area such as Cannes, Nice and Monaco that I couldn't stay away from even though I tended to stay in unglamorous campsites as they were cheap (it's not a cheap area to stay). I also visited Normandy a fair number of times during the mid-90's as my aunt and uncle bought a small cottage which meant that I could stay, either with them or on my own, for next to nothing.
In 1996 I changed jobs and was earning a little more money which meant that I could travel further afield. In 1997, myself, a friend at work and his friend took off for my first trip to the USA where we stayed in Orlando and visited all the attraction parks in the area. It was my first taste of American life and I've been back three times since, although my heart is in ancient historical places. I then changed jobs again in 2000 and decided to visit my father's cousin’s family in Australia in 2001 and to take in as much as I could see in the 3 weeks that I could get off work. That is where I told myself that it would be nice to stay and visit any country for a longer period of time but it wasn't possible to do at that time due to work.
I then did several 2 or 3 week trips to SE Asia, South America, Eastern Europe and Italy in the first half of this decade. By then I had become free-lance in my job which meant I was earning good money and so decided, in 2006, to take the plunge and go backpacking for four months in India. India had already fascinated me as a country to visit and I thought, "Well, if I can survive there, I can survive anywhere". I had a wonderful time and it truly gave me the backpacking vibe. In 2008 I spent just over four months visiting China, North & South Korea and Mongolia which was a truly memorable experience but it certainly won't be the last. I have 'itchy feet' and plans to visit several more destinations in the years to come so keep an eye out on here as to where I've ended up.
BTW, when I say that my parents were only partly to blame for my travelling bug, the others to blame are TV travellers such as:
Alan Whicker who used to have a programme called Whicker's World (hence my VT homepage name) where he globe trotted his way around visiting the world's high society.
Clive James who did several travel shows in the mid-1980s such as Clive James in Las Vegas and Clive James' Postcard from... which combined interviews with his social wit and humour.
Michael Palin who's done several travel series starting with Around the World in 80 days in 1988 where he travelled as closely as possible to the path described in the famous Jules Verne story without using aircraft; Pole to Pole - travelling from the North Pole to the South Pole, following as closely as possible the 30 degree line of longitude; Full Circle - in which he circumnavigated the lands around the Pacific Ocean counter-clockwise, a journey of 80,000 kilometres; Sahara - in which he trekked around and through the world's largest desert; Himalaya - in which he travels through the Himalaya region; and New Europe - in which he travels through Eastern Europe. All of these shows bring home the beauty of travelling along with his famous Monty Phythonesque humour. His travel programmes are responsible for a phenomenon termed the "Palin effect": areas of the world that he has visited suddenly become popular tourist attractions.
Other shows include Ewan McGregor and Charlie Boorman's Long Way Round and Long Way Down, Ray Mears' bush craft and other series, Bruce Parry's Tribe and Amazon series and the Travel Channels Globe Trekker series.
I like stats, so here's a few travel related one's regarding my travelling adventures to date:
I've visited 59 countries, taken over 130 flights, stayed in over 330 hotels, 15 houses/apartments, 49 campsites and on 3 boats.
Since my first BIG backpacking trip in India in 2006 where I started to keep a daily journal, the transportation I've taken includes:
148 autorickshaws (tuk-tuks)
116 metro rides
33 "baht buses" (pickup trucks)
31 cycle rickshaws (cyclos)
23 cable car rides
21 light rail/sky trains
21 airport trains/buses
7 chairlift rides
5 fun train buses
4 sliding car rides/luge
3 bamboo rafts
3 long-tail boats
3 funicular trains
2 rowing boats
2 horse & carts
1 electric golf buggy
1 bamboo train
Managed to get a week off work and spent a few days in Lisbon, with a day trip to Sintra, before heading down to the Algarve and touring along the south coast. Will be adding pages soon....
Western Turkey - Dec 09 - Jan 10
Flew into Istanbul on a mini winter break over the New Year period where I spent 5 days visiting this fantastic city which I had always wanted to visit. On the evening of my last night in the city I hired a car so that I could tour around other parts of western Turkey such as Edirne, the Gallipoli peninsula, Canakkale, the ancient settlements of Troy and Assos, Bergama, Izmir, the Roman ruined city of Ephesus near the town of Selcuk and finally back to Istanbul via Iznik.
S.E. Asia - Nov 08 - Apr 09
Decided to take another big trip around S.E. Asia where I visited Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei. I've added a lot on these countries which you can check out on my travel pages.
China, North Korea, South Korea, Hong Kong & Mongolia - Mar - Aug 08
I went on a big trip to all of the above, starting in Hong Kong. Check out the travel pages I've added.
Tunisia - Dec 07 - Jan 08
I went to Tunisia for a 10 day winter break after Christmas and during the first week of January. I started in Tunis where I took in Carthage and the world famous Le Bardo Museum before heading south to Sousse, Monastir, Mahdia and El Jem. I then headed west to Kairouan and then back to Tunis via the Roman remains at Mactaris, the small off the beaten track town of Le Kef and the wonderful Roman hillside town of Dougga.
Malta - September 2007
I spent a week touring around the lovely rocky island of Malta and saw a great deal of both the main island and the nearby smaller island of Gozo.
I spent four months backpacking around India and I've at long last finished adding pages on all the wonderful and colourful places I visited:
Delhi, New Delhi, Chandigarh, Kalka-Shimla Railway, Shimla, McLeod Ganj, Amritsar, Border ceremony at Atari, Agra, Sikandra, Fatehpur Sikri, Gwalior, Jhansi, Orchha, Khajuraho, Lucknow, Allahabad, Varanasi, Sarnath, Bodh Gaya, Kolkata (Calcutta), Bhubaneswar, Puri, Konark - Sun Temple, Jaipur, Amber Fort, Ajmer, Pushkar, Jodhpur, Jaisalmer, Udaipur, Mumbai, Elephanta Island, Aurangabad, Ellora & Ajanta caves, Goa, Hampi, Bangalore, Mysore, Kochi, Trivandrum, Kanyakumari, Madurai, Mamallapuram, Pondicherry and Chennai.
I spent a total of 10 days in sunny July here and had a wonderful time. Here’s my itinerary:
Day 1: Arrive in Ljubljana after flying from the UK.
Day 2: Ljubljana
Day 3: Ljubljana
Day 4: Bled and Vintgar Gorge
Day 5: Škofja Loka and Kranj. Then train to Maribor.
Day 6: Maribor
Day 7: Train to Koper via Postojna Caves
Day 8: Koper
Day 9: Piran
Day 10: Izola
In May 2005 I did a 3 week driving tour around Italy, San Marino and Vatican City taking in all of the following places:
Turin, Susa, Genoa, Monterosso al Mare, Corniglia, Pisa, Lucca, Florence, San Gimignano, Monteriggioni, Siena, Perugia, Assisi, Santa Maria degli Angeli, Rome, Pompeii, Naples, Sorrento, Capri, Ancona, Rimini, Bologna, Ferrara, Padova, Venice, Verona, Milan
In February 2005 I went to Brazil taking in the following places:
Rio de Janeiro - this was my second time in Rio (the first being as part of a South America tour I did back in October 2003). I came here this time to see the Carnaval and some other areas of the city I hadn't visited before.
Parque Nacional da Tijuca - this is a huge rainforest only a few miles from Rio and makes for a great days walking.
Petropolis - Imperial city retreat in the mountains north of Rio which is ideal for a day trip.
Foz do Iguaçu and Parque Nacional do Iguaçu - Wonderful waterfalls which I saw from both the Brazilian side and the Argentine side.
Personal Pages (1)
Top Travel Pages
Share your travels with the world!Join Now!
Badges & Stats
- 8,151 Reviews
- 34,766 Photos
- 26 Countries
- 279 Cities
- See All Stats
- See All Badges (65)
- Commented on one of Willettsworld's Ljubljana travel pages
- Willettsworld and munki are now friends.
- updated a Quarteira Travel Page "Quarteira - Well located Algarve beach resort"
updated their Profile Page "Welcome to Willettsworld!"
- Uploaded a Photo to "Milreu - Part 2"
- Wrote a Review Milreu - Fish mosaics in Faro Off The Beaten Path
- Uploaded a Video to Bukit Garam
- Posted in Technical Help Forum "Re: Videos have disappeared"
VideosSee All Videos (26)
Top 10 Pages
- Top 5 Page for this destination Beijing Intro, 163 reviews, 623 photos, 10 travelogues
- Istanbul Intro, 136 reviews, 545 photos, 10 travelogues
- Top 5 Page for this destination Slovenia Intro, 99 reviews, 416 photos, 3 travelogues
- Delhi Intro, 108 reviews, 371 photos, 7 travelogues
- Singapore Intro, 100 reviews, 376 photos, 10 travelogues
- Top 5 Page for this destination P'yongyang Intro, 89 reviews, 373 photos, 7 travelogues
- Shanghai Intro, 81 reviews, 373 photos, 10 travelogues
- Lisbon Intro, 87 reviews, 359 photos, 10 travelogues
- Udaipur Intro, 97 reviews, 335 photos, 5 travelogues
- Top 5 Page for this destination Rio de Janeiro Intro, 103 reviews, 327 photos, 5 travelogues
- Paris Hotels
- 22161 Reviews - 53866 Photos
- Orlando Hotels
- 3079 Reviews - 5774 Photos
- New York City Hotels
- 15523 Reviews - 30893 Photos
- London Hotels
- 23058 Reviews - 47256 Photos
- Rome Hotels
- 11941 Reviews - 26470 Photos
- Cancún Hotels
- 1927 Reviews - 3713 Photos
- Myrtle Beach Hotels
- 319 Reviews - 425 Photos
- Las Vegas Hotels
- 8346 Reviews - 17013 Photos
- Manila Hotels
- 1908 Reviews - 4459 Photos
- Baguio Hotels
- 325 Reviews - 885 Photos
- Toronto Hotels
- 4278 Reviews - 8803 Photos
- Melbourne Hotels
- 3341 Reviews - 7498 Photos
- Goa Hotels
- 2036 Reviews - 3787 Photos
- Istanbul Hotels
- 7630 Reviews - 19467 Photos
- Panama City Beach Hotels
- 193 Reviews - 288 Photos