Top 5 of 2017 - A Crobs Abroad Year in Review

Glasgow, Scotland, UK • December 2017 • Length of Read: 5 Minutes


“You must be so excited for the adventures that lie ahead,” said Linzi as we stopped to mess about in an outdoor gym on the Australian headland. It was New Year’s Day, and my hostel buddy and I were shaking off our hangovers by completing Sydney’s Bondi to Coogee coastal walk, having welcomed in 2017 by watching the city’s epic fireworks show over the Opera House and Harbour Bridge. The following morning I was catching a flight to Auckland, New Zealand where I’d be meeting up with my travelling companion Gadams to spend four weeks circumnavigating the country’s North and South Islands. Following that, it was anyone’s guess as to what life had in store for me…

As it turns out, I would go on to spend the first two-thirds of the year traversing the globe on what I would later call the Crobs Abroad World Tour; backpacking through three continents, visiting 18 countries and crossing off 14 bucket list items in the process, including: standing up on a surfboard in Indonesia (#3); getting a tattoo (#23); drinking steins of beer in Bavaria (#28); teaching English in Vietnam (#118); bungy jumping off a bridge (#119); getting drunk on a vineyard tour (#146); eating in a Michelin Star restaurant in Singapore (#25), and following a musician on tour (#135). I truly was living the dream.

Things came crashing down upon my return to the UK, however, with a two month period of unemployment made even more difficult when my heart was broken. Thankfully, I can always count on my friends, both old and new, to lift my mood when times are tough. They truly are awesome. I got back on my feet, secured a fantastic job, moved to a more suitable part of my hometown, met a really cool girl, and put all of my focus and creativity into my next book project. The result was my third paperback Kiwi, Kiwi: A Flashpacking Journey around New Zealand being released in early December and I firmly believe that it’s my best writing yet:

In desperate need of an adventure, Scottish backpacker Chris quit his job; packed up his things; boarded a one-way flight to the other side of the planet, and set out on a month-long circumnavigation of New Zealand alongside a melting pot of crazy, like-minded individuals. Join the newfound friends as they trek over active volcanoes; bungy jump off bridges; confront a Maori tribe; embrace the country’s wild drinking culture; party with beautiful girls, and take a life-changing road trip into the deep south. Their hilarious journey is profane, profound, and politically incorrect, as Chris uncovers the true values and strengths of the bonds that can be created whilst on the road.

From riding scooters through rural Vietnam; to bathing with elephants in Thailand; to exploring the fairytale European cities of Brno and Bruges; to 3am drunken archery in Laos, the number of life-enhancing experiences I’ve had in 2017 has been utterly astounding. Not to mention all the incredible friendships I’ve made along the way - you know who you are!

It’s been extremely difficult narrowing down so many awesome experiences, but after much deliberation and thought, here are my top 5 moments in 2017:  

1) Having a week of absolute banter in Bali before hunting for Komodo dragons in rural Indonesia with my newfound bro Fraser.

2) Taking a horrific, harrowing and humbling tour of Auschwitz Concentration Camp whilst in Poland.

3) Spending the night on a Fijian desert island.

4) Spending four nights on the utopian paradise of Koh Rong Sanloem before riding a bamboo train through the Cambodian countryside.

5) Becoming mesmerized by the chilled-out way of life and incredible food in Bologna, Italy.

Have an awesome New Year, dear readers, and here's to a smashing 2018 :)