I grew up in Melbourne’s safest suburb of Park Orchards, where I rode horses, hung out with my dad in his vegetable patch and played basketball and field hockey. I studied Arts/Law at Monash University and then after saving enough (thanks to a skateboard shop, a church and a publishing company), I spent exactly 365 days ‘chasing the sun’ through Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, China, Nepal, India and Pakistan, before spending two very enriching years in London. I arrived there when I was 26 – the same age my father was when he left it for Australia via New Zealand…
Many blog posts are based on my travel experiences, which also include Iran, Turkey, Israel and the Palestinian Territories, though the majority are about Bangladesh, where I lived for nearly three years. For the majority of this time, I’ve worked as a special correspondent for The Independent in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
How did I end up in Bangladesh? I loved journalism night school so much that I left my job in London at a government agency to spend six months learning shorthand and other skills essential to becoming accredited as a newspaper journalist by the UK’s National Council for the Training of Journalists.
However finding paid work as a journalist in London was really tough – sort of impossible. Then an email I sent out of the blue resulted in being lucky enough to do a six month internship at Bangladesh’s highest circulating English language newspaper, The Daily Star. It’s a fantastic place that I still miss.
My internship began back in November 2009 – and I only recently left Dhaka. In August 2010 ago I married my Bangla translator after a seven month courtship (short, though twice longer than my mum and dad’s). Sherpa’s also a journalist.
I also freelanced for IRIN, the UN’s news service and some of my other stories and photos have been published in Himal, The Guardian and The Scotland Herald. I’m available for commissions, so please don’t hesitate to get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org
My long-term goal is to write a nonfiction book about my experiences as a correspondent in Bangladesh.
UPDATE: Sherpa and I left Bangladesh for Burma and I’m now working at The Myanmar Times. Yangon is an incredible city. I think I know how lucky I am.