Declan Collins, author of “Travelling on Four Continents”, recently published his series of travel diaries with us. We spoke to him about travel tips, his favourite places and the eye-opening experiences you can gain from planes, trains and automobiles.

“When travelling to new places and new countries it is exciting and one never knows what to expect. After a very long flight, a taxi man (who does not speak English) wearing white gloves and a smog mask in Tokyo, makes you think. Arriving outside Tbilisi in the early hours, in a strange hotel in the back of nowhere with lots of your men standing outside, at 4.00 a.m. is interesting.

One of the intentions when writing the book was to revive happy memories for previous travellers, as well as being a guide to new visitors.  I was thrilled to see the Spanish Riding School in Vienna. I remember the friendly people in Ibaraki, Japan who fed us in their own home and drove us to the football stadium.” He muses.
“The book is a series of individual travel diaries which started when I went to the World Cup in Japan in 2002. Knowing that one is writing a report later makes one focus more on the holiday and get more from it, especially good memories when revisiting the diaries later. I wrote the first diary to note things that would be useful if I revisited. Often, in a short sojourn, one finds things out at the end which would have been useful to know at the beginning. In the book I cover small points such as voltage, cash machines, local transport etc. Istanbul special taxi prices can be twice the non-special meter version.

I like one stop vacations, having seen too many airports. Finding the right place to stay as well as the location is important advance planning. I look for boutique hotels and ask friends or use the Internet to decide on locations. Some places, like Berlin, have different centres. I picked Mitte, in the old East side, where many of the principal places are located.

On his favourite places, he says “I liked them all and would happily return but it is more exciting to find new places. This year I found Lake Como, an hour from Milan by train, {it was} very nice. China would have to be high on my favourite list. The book covers present, old and future parts, as well as the great Yangzi river.

On his experience publishing his book with Lettertec, he said “For Andrew Haworth at Lettertec and the wonderful graphic designer Claire I have nothing but unqualified praise.”

I always wanted to write a book, as well as visit China and learn another language, like Spanish. It will be something small to leave behind for my grandchildren.

About the Author

Declan Collins is a Chartered Accountant born in Sunday’s Well, Cork. He is interested in horses, golf and of course, travel.

About the Book


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