GMC Safari / Astro Van Interior Measurements for Minivan Camper Conversion

A couple of years ago I converted a Plymouth Grand Voyager minivan into a campervan which I drove across Canada. After being Astro-inspired by some friends I recently bought a 1997 GMC Safari (also known as a Chevrolet Astro van) while on a trip to Victoria. The plan is to leave it in Victoria til the spring, when I will fly down, spend around a week converting it to a camper, and then drive it up to the Yukon. This way I don't have to worry about winterising it (winter tyres/engine block heater), and we can take our time road tripping/camping up north when the weather is a little warmer. This

Running through a ‘proper’ winter: first impressions

I have been running seriously for about five years now. Despite numerous set backs (see this and the footing section below), I am now running nearly every day. This has required a change of attitude towards running, notably to schedule my life around running, as apposed to trying to 'fit in' a run when I can. This also means that I have chosen to run despite the weather. For the last two months I have been living in Whitehorse, in Canada's far Northern Yukon Territory. It gets pretty cold here. When I arrived in October the temperatures were around the -10oC mark. This quickly dropped to -20oC

Applying For Canada’s Federal Skilled Worker Program

Earlier this year I applied for permanent residency in Canada through the Federal skilled worker program. This program allows you to apply for residency without a job offer in place, but relies on your education, skills and experience. From the Canadian Immigration FSW site: Canada encourages applications for permanent residence from people with skilled work experience and education that will contribute to the Canadian economy. As you would expect, the application process is complicated and long. To give you an idea, it took me around three months of toil to get everything together in order

Lessons from creating WordPress plugins

Ever since I created Auction Nudge in 2008, customer support has been a top priority. People would email me their questions, problems and feature requests and I would go out of my way to help or accommodate them. It was important to me to keep my users happy and it made business sense to surpass expectations, even though the tool is completely free to use. While creating Auction Affiliate earlier this year, part of my strategy was to create a WordPress plugin which gave users a friendly interface for setting up the content they wanted Auction Affiliate to display on their site. I was happy with

A Journal From The East Highland Way Walk

Recently I headed up to Scotland to do a couple of long distance trails. Below are some of my thoughts and experiences recorded in my journal as I walked the East Highland Way. Day 1 05/07/14, 22km Avimore → Inverglass Fine weather, the trail much more interesting than the Speyside Way from the offset. Passing alongside lochs with hills in sight. Passed a bothy, another one on the map - perhaps tomorrow night. Got a pint at Loch Insh water sports centre, overlooking the loch. Met a couple (American guy, Canadian girl) who said their car was stuck. I couldn't believe the track, not much

A Journal From The Speyside Way Walk

Recently I headed up to Scotland to do a couple of long distance trails. Below are some of my thoughts and experiences recorded in my journal as I walked the Speyside Way. Day 1 29/07/14, 12km Buckie → Nether Dallachy   My flight to Inverness was delayed an hour and a half but the busses to Buckie were straight forward. Stocked up on food but could only find a huge gas bottle. Very tried from the journey up here, on top of a late night while visiting a friend in Birmingham yesterday. Starting in Buckie at 5:30pm, I had to bribe myself with the reward of a pub in 8km in order to start

A Journal From The Offa’s Dyke Walk

A couple of days ago I finished walking the Offa's Dyke path, a 177 mile (285km) long distance walking trail that roughly follows the England-Wales border in the UK. It took 13 days to complete, covers all manner of terrain and goes through some rural villages and small towns. Apart from a few nights staying with friends and family I wild camped every night. I really enjoyed the journey and learnt a few things along the way. I also met a lot of very nice people. It was a bit of an escape from technology for me so I didn't 'blog' as such, but I did write a bit of a journal which I have typed

A Holiday In Mexico

It has been both a fun and relaxing week in Mexico. I am trying to have a bit more of a 'holiday' this trip - so I booked some accommodation in advance and have been taking it very very easy. This is quite a different to my winging-it, must-do-everything approach that I usually take on my trips. So far it is going well. I flew in to Cancun but wanted to avoid the mega resort so immediately took a bus to Playa del Carmen where I had booked a rustic hut near the beach. As I walked out of the bus station there was a big street party taking way which made for a nice welcoming party. (unfortunately

Ending My Trip In Style – The Yukon and Alaska

It felt a little strange to be heading back West - the complete opposite direction to home and covering a journey which had taken me 5 months to drive in just 7 hours on a plane. My 3 flights up to Whitehorse were well rewarded however - leaving the airport the Northern lights were right above us. Carly explained that I was very lucky because although Aurora activity is common, you aren't always able to see them due to the clouds. The night was clear and the view only got better as it got darker throughout the night. I managed to pick up a cold the day before leaving Halifax so that, combined