Michael Catford

Australia

Is Colombia Safe?

“You’re going where?” – my mum. When a parent hears the news that their child is going to Colombia, they are typically…less than thrilled. And to be fair, if you had ingested the last four to six decades of Colombian news, you’d probably be a little hesitant to send a loved one there, too. From […]

6 of the Best Places to See Sloths in Central and South America

The cute face, the doting eyes, the hilariously long time to get from A to B. Sloths are the loveable idiots of the animal world and it seems like their purpose in this world is to make people go awwww. A lot of folks don’t know this, but sloths actually exist outside of the internet […]

The Best Things to Do in Costa Rica’s Magic Cloud Forest

Green. I don’t know if I truly understood what that colour was until I arrived in Costa Rica, a nation wedged between Nicaragua and Panama in the very centre of Central America. Beaches, forests, wildlife, and fun come together in Costa Rica to form what the locals call pura vida. Life is more balanced here: […]

5 Things Guidebooks Won’t Tell You About Ethiopia

The scars of European invasion and exploitation run deep in Africa. Centuries of fighting, pillaging, and colonization have taken their toll on the continent and most cultures are now smudged facsimiles of their original selves. But then there’s Ethiopia. Ethiopia is the only African country that hasn’t been colonized or overpowered by a European nation […]

A Backpacker’s Guide to Finding the Perfect Hostel

“What if we filled this 2-person hotel room with 16 more beds and charged people a little bit less to stay here?” – some genius. Hostels are many things to many people. To the backpacker set, they’re a godsend: a way to travel the world on limited funds and meet some like-minded folks along the […]

How to Guide: The Galapagos on a Backpacker’s Budget

In 1835, the HMS Beagle dropped in on a chain of Islands off the coast of Ecuador. “You guys think these finches look weird?” muttered Charles Darwin, a young naturalist on board. “Yeah, a bit,” said the crew. And thus our understanding of the natural world changed forever. Anyone who has ever watched a David […]

A Backpacker’s Guide to Traveling Africa Overland

Africa is big. Seriously big. Like, imagine how big Africa is in your head. Wrong. It’s even bigger. This was a fact that I didn’t entirely grasp when I made the decision to travel overland (i.e. on roads) up the east coast of this huge landmass. Point A was Cape Town, South Africa. Point B […]

7 Activities for the Backpacking Adrenaline Junkie

I’m far from hardcore, but I generally enjoy the feeling of a racing heart and clammy hands. Adrenaline is Mother Nature’s drug, served up for free when you place yourself in the right situation. Never do I feel more alive than when I’m going fast, falling from a height, or using mum’s good fabric scissors […]

5 Insanely Awesome Budapest Ruin Bars

From the bathhouses-turned-bars of Ancient Greece to prohibition speakeasies, the art of serving liquor in unconventional places is, to my mind, a tribute to the ingenuity of humankind. And nowhere is this alcohol-fuelled ingenuity better demonstrated than in the city of Budapest, Hungary. In the last 15 years, this town has seen an explosion of […]

Hidden Australian Beaches: 4 Best-Kept-Secret Destinations

Any backpacker who has been to Australia will be familiar with the east coast. A well-worn tourist trail carves its way along the coastline from far north Queensland, through New South Wales, and down to Victoria in the south. When people say they’re going to an Australian beach, they mean they’re going to one on […]