Ed RexThe Man Behind The Handsome Travel Blogger
Hi, I’m Ed. Pleased to meet you!
- Ed Rex is the Founder and Travel Editor for RexyEdventures.com and The Deaf Traveller. He has worked for many travel brand organisations including lowcostholidays, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, MyDestination and Hotel.info.
- He has also been featured in many travel publications including Eating London, Hostelbookers, TNT and GapYear.com.
- Ed has been invited on press trips to Italy, UK, Iceland, Ireland, Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg, Portugal, Thailand and Germany.
- He is a respected reviewer of travel accommodation and services that’s frequently shared out throughout all platforms including Vine Street Studios, Granada Inn Backpackers and Palmers Lodge Zagreb.
- Ed’s perspective on adventure travel, unexpected travel, luxury budget travel and handsome travel inspiration is extensively sought after through interviews and blurbs including Traveller’s Autobahn and Travel Blogger Interviews.
- Ed is an active member of the Travel Blogging Community attending blogging events such as Traverse, TBEX and Travel Massive. He is often interviewed by fellow travel bloggers.
- Ed has already been named as the top 25 budget travel bloggers by FlipKey, Top 10 Budget Travel Blogs by Cision, Top 50 Travel Tweeters by Beat the Brochure and Top 12 Instagram Pages You Should Be Following by Cosy Traveller.
- He also has a unique outlook on Deaf Travel as he is profoundly deaf himself and often shares his thoughts on being a Deaf Traveller in many disability related websites including Australian Hearing and Disability View.
- Handsomeness 98% 98%
- Digital Marketing 75% 75%
- Walking Tours 57% 57%
- Countries Visited 33% 33%
About RexyEdventures.comRexy Edventures is a travel blog, set up in October 2011, chronicling the: ‘Adventures of a Deaf and Handsome Luxury Backpacker Travelling the Unexpected.’ That’s a bit of a mouthful isn’t it? Let’s break it down.
- Adventures – Ed truly has an adventurous spirit searching for his next big adrenaline fix. He has thrown himself out of planes and bungee jumped in New Zealand, zip lined across at 888m high in Italy, took part in a fertility ritual involving eating a snake heart’s raw in South East Asia, saw dangerous wildlife up close in Africa; and exploring the scariest cave in the world in Laos.
- Deaf Travel – Ed goes to prove that independent solo travel for deaf people is truly possible! He wants to inspire any deaf person to pick up a rucksack and see the world. He recounts how sometimes it is useful to be deaf on his travels and he offers advice how deaf people should make the most of any situation. Perhaps his Personal Cochlear Implant Journey will inspire you.
- Handsome – A new addition to RexyEdventures.com. His readers’ appreciation of his selfies and poses of his travels has launched a section called Handsome Travels where he hopes to inspire any reader to take a trip by just one photo including a cheeky smile.
- Luxury Backpacker – Ed has got older and wiser. This means he appreciates more and more his small luxuries in life, yet, he still wants to travel on a budget. He gives you ‘luxury budget travel.’ Staying in luxury hostels, eating out in more local restaurants and undertaking more unique experiences, he hopes to inspire than anyone can travel on a budget even with luxury.
- Travelling the Unexpected – Ed loves being pleasantly surprised at a new destination. He might just book his flight in and out of an unknown destination and discovers the place without any research or planning. Perhaps, the time he had to take a memorable home stay in the middle of a forest in Asia, when he accidentally found out he was working on a nudist resort or when he absolutely loved snowmobiling across a glacier in Iceland.
This is My StoryA life of Travel
Life Before Travel BloggingSoon after I was born in Hull (UK), I was introduced to travel immediately as I went to my first destination: Loch Lomond in Scotland. It probably comes to no surprise that I was born in a fanily that absolutely loved travel. My father was a Scout Leader exploring the mountains and hills of Europe before venturing out to Kenya, South Africa, Australia and Iceland for his manufacturing business. Equally, my mother loved to travel on the cheap whether it was taking a bus all the way from UK to Italy, ferry trips abroad, a girlie holiday to the Balearic Islands before joining my father on his trip to South Africa. She had always drummed into me that I shoudl travel before I settle down. I’m glad that she was right and yes, I’m still travelling. More so, I have an uncle who was the most adventurous of us lot (that was before I came along!) as being stationed in Gibraltar for his National Service before inter-railing around Eastern Europe before the Soviet Union fell, embracing the raw nature at the remote outposts of the British Isles at Orkney and Faroe Islands. His photo albums are shock a block full of postcards. So it was quite right that I should follow in their footsteps to explore the world. By the time I was of age to travel, the world has become smaller thanks to advances in technology and communication. However, I was up on the trajectory to travel when both my parents discovered devastating news about me when I was 4. They discovered I was profoundly deaf. Although I could read and write, I couldn’t really speak much and my parents were concerned. After seeing a specialist, they moved me to a school with a hearing impaired unit, which kickstarted the path to my independent and fantastic life. I’m very indebted to my parents and the school who strived hard to make me the man I am today. Through the course of the Natural Aural Approach and intensive speech therapy, I was lucky enough to attend a mainstream school for my secondary education. But throughout my primary education, it didn’t mean that I couldn’t travel. Actually, travelling helped me with my deafness. I would be so excited, I wanted to tell everyone everything what I got up to, rushing out words in such imaginative and descriptive gusto. We started off going to our holiday home in Keswick, the scenic Lake Districts in the North West of England, where I would be found frolicking in the river and climbing up mountains. I would spend long weekends in London, entranced by the lavish musicals and the soaring sights of tourist London. All that, I would write in a journal to be presented to the school. Little did I know that this was the beginnings of my travel blogging career in the making! Soon enough, my parents took me with them to the Balaeric Islands of Majorca and Menorca before taking me further afield to the Canary Islands off the coast of Africa at Tenerife and Lanzarote. I would find my huge appreciation for water sports much to the worrying annoyance of my mother and also find a love of sailing in the open seas. More so, I just loved to grab snorkelling gear and discover the marine wildlife of the beaches in great detail. Lanzarote was a highlight for me as I became interested in Geology and Sciences as I discovered the volcanic activity that are on the Canary islands and exploring the moonscape. My grandparents and I become a lot closer on a trip to Tenerife as we all shared a love of silliness and I always remember fondly a camel ride with my grandad who was in hysterics throughout. I also developed a love of British travel as we spent weeks away on my school holidays to the Yorkshire Dales scoffing Wensleydale cheese or checking out the panoramic Victorian and Georgian architecture of Derbyshire. Even travel became involved in my education as I entered secondary education. We took school trips to both Belgium and France for history trips to see the WW1 Battlefield Trenches in Ypres igniting my interest in world history. We also went to a Belgian Chocolate Factory in Bruges, which probably made me appreciate food in other countries on a whole new level! But more so, even as a deaf person, I would really interested in learning another language. So it was to my parents’ joy that I decided to take French at GCSE level to which I got a high mark in the end. i even got an A in a French Listening Test! To celebrate, the school took us to the most cultural thing to do in France…Disneyland Paris! But we did visit the city of Paris and climbed the Eiffel Tower as well. Before I was due to start Higher Education, my parents’ still took me on holidays in Britain. They were adamant that Britain offers opportunities for travel tay rivals any others in other countries. With that, I was instilled with a firm belief that travelling in Britain is one of the top activities you can do in your lifetime. So much so, that I firmly believe you can backpack in Britain on a budget and discover cultural gems, natural beauties, historic cities and fantastic food. We went all over the place ranging from Devon in the South West to Derbyshire to Eyemouth in Scotland. Then our last trip abroad as a family was while I was in Higher Education at the age of 16. We went to Malta in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea. For me, this was the moment when I was truly interested in travelling around the world. Our hire car broke down in Malta’s sister island of Gozo and I do remember it was hilarious that I had to push the car all the way back to the Ferry. It was moments like these that you remember fondly of travel. As soon as I passed my Higher Education exams, I was whisked away for the first time to live away from home at the University of Leeds. Granted, it was only an hour away by train, but for me, it was a total new experience. I would have to fend for myself, become independent and find my way in the world. I absolutely hated it at first, completely homesick, but through my sheer determination and burgeoning stubborn streak, I persisted and soon fell in love with the student way of life. I began to explore Britain on my own, visiting old and new friends whether in St Andrews, Manchester, London or Leicester. I took field trips for my Environmental Sciences course to wild Cumbria and picturesque Dorset. I fell hard for Britain, I really did. But I would soon venture out of the UK through RAG (Raise and Give), in which I fundraised money for charities by undertaking daring and crazy activities. Other than walking over hot coals, skydiving over Lincolnshire and shaking a bucket in new destinations such as Harrogate, Liverpool, Birmingham and Coventry, I tasted my very first backpacking experience on a Charity Hitch-hike from Leeds to Paris in 18 hours. That’s when my professional travelling started… See More: Hitchiking from Leeds to Paris
A Step Closer to TravellingAs I finished my University exams, I was elected by the student body of Leeds as the Fundraising Sabbatical Officer of the Leeds University Union for a year. One of the projects I supported offered the opportunity for students to volunteer in North Uganda to help build and refurbish schools. So off I went in 2007, stopping over in Dubai and spent almost two months camping and volunteering in the beautiful country of Uganda. It was a truly rewarding experience especially as we connected with the extremely friendly locals and their children, eager to learn; We also slept under the star-strewn sky in the National Parks seeing elephants, lions and giraffes a plenty; We also white-water rafted down the River Nile (before nearly getting eaten by a crocodile!) and backpacked our way on African roads. It will be an experience I will always remember. See More: Uganda Project When I returned to the UK, I took a string of temporary jobs working as a barman, data entry processor (soul destroying!) and mystery shopper. But I soon landed a full-time job as an Environmental Monitoring Technician, which saw me travel to different parts of England including Matlock, Nottingham, Durham and remote Yorkshire. Starting in winter conditions was tough but I was soon made of sturdy stuff as I continued well into the summer enjoying the rays of the sun tanning my beautiful body. I still travelled on my holidays in 2008 cycling in Wales from Hereford to Cardiff via Grosmont and Newport, and taking a weekend break to Tenby in South Wales. More so, I visited my next new country just across the Irish Sea to Dublin for my 23rd Birthday drinking far too much Guinness and enjoying the live music scenes. . See More: A Birthday in Dublin I began to dream more about travelling. So much so, I went through my list of friends’ asking if anyone wanted to travel together on a round the world trip. I wasn’t confident yet to travel solo and despite a few near possibilities, I didn’t go. I turned my mind to my work and became ambitious. This meant I had to quit my job as I couldn’t climb higher so i went to attain more qualifications by going back to University, this time in Newcastle Upon Tyne, for a Masters Degree in Environmental Consultancy. My year long time in Newcastle is one of the best years of my life and I will always fondly remember exploring Northumberland, Tyne & Wear and County Durham. I still visited friends throughout the UK and I began to appreciate London through the eyes of a local, not a tourist. Before I finished my Masters’ degree, I toyed with the idea of travelling around the world on my own. However, my deafness began to decline rapidly at this point, to the extent I wasn’t feeling confident at all to do so. But I didn’t really have time to think about this as just before I sat my exams, I received a job offer with a National Water Board, Severn Trent Water, against the backdrop of the economic recession that struck that year. There I moved to Leicester in the East Midlands of England to work the next two and a half years there. As an Certification Technician, I had to visit Severn Trent Water sites throughout the Midlands and Home Counties that allowed me to explore England in yet greater detail. I just loved Warwick, Birmingham, Gloucestershire and Worcestershire. I would often be jumping into my trusty car to drive to another British destination that I never visited before. On holidays, I would visit Oxford, York and other English historic locations. But a big event for me was flying a 2 seater plane across the River Humber! It was a complete Birthday surprise from my parents. Also, during the Royal Wedding Bank Holiday Weekend in 2011, I took a seaside caravan holiday with a group of friends to Norfolk and stayed close to the Royal Sandringham Estate. We dubbed it ‘The Honeymoon! But most of my summers would see me partying at the Music V Festivals in Staffordshire seeing my favourite bands such as The Killers and Snow Patrol Live! See More: V Festival My obsession with music didn’t stop there as I went on a holiday with a university friend to Munich in Germany, another new country I visited, to see Take That for my 26th Birthday. This was yet another taste of what was to come as I explored the food and culture of the Bavarian capital, its dark past at the Dachau Memorial and also a day trip to Salzburg in Austria to see the setting of the Sound of Music. See More: Munich When I returned to the UK, I was ignited to travel around the world thanks to an operation…
The Beginning of RexyEdventures.comBy Summer 2011, my progressive deafness was at its lowest point. I no longer could hear on the telephone. I couldn’t cope with noisy social situations and began to become extremely tired often opting to choose to stay home rather than explore. This needed to change. And it did. I made one of the most important decisions of my life by choosing to have a Cochlear Implant Operation. And it utterly and completely worked! Suddenly I could hear sounds I didn’t even hear before. My confidence grew tremendously. I became more energetic, lively and so much more happier. See More: My Cochlear Implant Journey Barely a few months after my operation, my work situation changed. The company was undergoing a restructure and my attempts to climb higher in the corporate structure was rebuffed. The situation became untenable for me. What was I to do? My thoughts began to think about travel. I was already inspired by an older deaf friend who travelled solo in South East Asia and I began to get addicted reading travel blogs such as the likes of Backpacks and Bunkbeds and Adventurous Kate who made me want to travel more and more. Then came the inevitable. I made the decision to travel solo around the world. After shopping around several travel companies, I managed to buy a RTW ticket starting the next year. All I needed to do was save money ready to go travelling. But at the same time, inspired by the travel blogs I was reading, I started my own blog. This was when RexyEdventures was born. In my half empty flat of sold items, I wrote my first blog post. I still kept my travel plans a secret. I carried on life as normal still taking holidays and weekends away in the UK (on the cheap) with my friends, a cottage weekend that spawned my second blog post. See More: Lo! The Hills of Lincolnshire I became more involved with GapYear.com who put on an event in Birmingham, where I stayed at Birmgham Backpackers. There I met fellow people who wanted to travel solo. And I would meet them on my RTW Trip in SE Asia and Australia. Christmas 2011 came and went and I revealed to all my travel plans. It was tough to hand in my 3 month notice at work but I felt a huge relief in having done so. But my blog was starting to gain attention. I hadn’t even started my RTW trip yet and I received my first commission as a travel blogger. ScotRail wanted me to review their Caledonian Sleeper service from London to Edinburgh. This was my first ever review, in which I poured my excitable enthusiasm into. To this day, that blog review post remains to this day, the most read article on my website. See More: Review: The Caledonian Sleeper
My RTW TripWith partnership opportunities and writing placements bursting my inbox to the brim, I left the UK on 25th March 2012 from London Heathrow Airport to start my RTW Adventure for the next eight months. Starting in Thailand, I backpacked my way across the country into Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam taking in the serene cultures, party atmospheres, gorgeous nature and sightseeing opportunities. Check out my favourite experiences below: See More: Thailand: Songkran in Chiang Mai Laos: Kong Lo, the Scariest Cave in the World Cambodia: Angkor Wat at Sunrise Vietnam: Hoi An Flying back to Thailand, I went rock climbing at Railay Beach before snorkelling at Ko Tao and dancing at the Full Moon Party in Ko Pha Ngan. I was having the time of my life and meeting new people all the time boosted my confidence on travelling on the road. However, with travelling, sometimes you do face your down points like I discovered in Thailand when I got both mugged and held at knife point. So I decided to hightail it out of the crime ridden country into perfect Malaysia where I spent time in Kuala Lumpur with a fellow travel blogger, Tom of TomarHawk’s Travels. Soon afterwards, I had to meet my flight out of SE Asia at Singapore so I travelled there for a few days checking out the commercial hub of South East Asia. See More: Thailand: When I Was Held At KnifePoint Malaysia: Kuala Lumpur Singapore: Singapore In June, I arrived in the fresh cool air of Cairns in Queensland in Northern Australia. Unfortunately, I was struck down with Tonsilitis that saw me cooped up in a hostel that opened to my eyes to a lot of shenanigans! Luckily, I was able to escape to Atherton Tablelands to trap wildlife and head on a campervan trip to Cape Tribulation, the ancient Daintree Rainforest and Cooktown. See More: Cape Tribulation After a month in Northern Queensland, I drove a campervan on an epic 15 day journey to Brisbane sightseeing wondrous waterfalls, the famous Australia Zoo, hippy Nimbin, the glamourous Gold Coast and the Sandy Fraser Island. It was a true experience to remember that saw me live off the land and a journey filled with extraordinary moments. See More: Townsville and Magnetic Island Fraser Island Byron Bay After spending a few days in Brisbane, I was given a WWOOF (World Wide Opportunities for Organic Farming) placement in the Sunshine Coast where I accidentally found myself working on a Nudist Resort! It will not be a memory that I’ll forget gardening in the nude. But one of the owners had another idea… See More: The Naked Travel Blogger Soon after, I jumped on a plane to the other side of Australia to Perth in Western Australia. There, I caught up with emigrated university friends and stayed in the Outback and Wildflower Country. I attempted to grow a moustache. It didn’t work. Here I celebrated my 27th Birthday by seeing The Amazing Spiderman in Perth’s Grand Cinema. See More: A Birthday in Perth I didn’t want to leave Western Australia as I absolutely loved the stunning coastline and the red Outback, but I had to get back to Sydney to meet up with a friend. Luckily, Sydney proved to be one of the best cities I’ve ever been to. Staying longer than I expected, I had a grand old time touring the nearby Blue Mountains (Where I nearly died) and saw the Sydney Harbour up close before chilling out on Bondi Beach and Manly Beach. See More: I’m Sexy in Sydney and I Know It As the end of my three month stay in Australia drew to an end, I finished my trip in Melbourne that was ravaged by Winter. Driving along the windswept Great Ocean Road was a true highlight of my time in Australia but touring the popular soap opera set of Neighbours had me buzzing. And I hugged a soap hunk. See More: When I become a Good Neighbour Six Months after I left the UK, I finally arrived at my most anticipated country to visit: New Zealand. Immediately from Auckland, I took the Naked Bus (It’s a name…sadly) to the Northlands including Paihia where I hiked (got lost) for six hours, took a Sand Safari on 90 Mile Beach taking in Sand Tobagganing and finally, reaching Cape Reinga, the point where the Indian Ocean and Pacific Ocean met. The Northlands of New Zealand will always remain a special place in my heart as I just loved being one of the locals around. See More: Cape Reinga Back in Auckland, I jumped aboard the Kiwi Experience Bus using my Funky Chicken Pass, to tour the best of New Zealand. In the first round of the North Island of New Zealand, I checked out Hot Water Beach, Coromandel Coast, the glowworm caves of Waitomo and White Water Rafted my way down River Valley. I also got to grips with Maori culture at their Hangi Feast in Rotorua before jumping off yet another plane to do a Skydive over Lake Taupo. Here I stayed with my cousin for a week checking out the local scene before heading my way down to Wellington, the capital of New Zealand. See More: Egging On in Smelly Rotorua Skydive @ Taupo Whitewater Rafting to Welly The South Island of New Zealand is still my favourite place ever in the world. If I had the chance to move there, I would be there in a shot! Who knew I would fall in love the landscapes, the nature, the clean and freshness of it all. My favourite places in my favourite country definitely has to be the Abel Tasman National Park where we speedboated our way round; The Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers where sadly we couldn’t climb due to adverse weather; Wanaka – a serene and breathtaking place where I have ear-marked to live; Queenstown, the adventure capital where I threw myself off 138m high on a Bungee Jump; Nilford Sound; Christchurch; and Kaikoura where I saw the best sunrise ever in the world. My two weeks on this special island was my utmost favourite on this RTW Trip and in hindsight, I wished I spent two months there. See More: Wanna Get To Wanaka! Milford Explorer 3…2…1…BUNGY! Seal’ing the Deal on South Island Soon after a month and a half in New Zealand, it was time to leave to my next destination, not before checking out Wellington in great detail and seeing Lord of the Rings Country at Hobbiton! I was so excited like a little boy on set! See More: Hobbit for the Day Now, in the last weeks of my RTW Trip, I went for a holiday (from my holiday!) in the magical islands of Fiji in the South Pacific. Calling in on the main island and Blue Lagoon Island, I fell head over heels in love with Mantaray Island that for this shy beach-goer was absolutely out of this world. It was paradise! See More: Man, Mantaray Island is the Best! As I hoped to visit North America on my way back home from Fiji, I ran out of money and thus my only two hours on US soil was spent in the garden outside LAX Airport where I changed flights to land back home in the UK after eight months away.
Travel Blogging Life & More TravelsI absolutely enjoyed sharing with my readers about my adventures and with partnerships, collaborations and exchange of ideas, I was very enthused to professionally start my travel writing career thanks to the World Travel Market that I attended in 2012. Meeting fellow travel bloggers that I had only spoken to over twitter, it was great to be welcomed into the arms of the Travel Blogging Community and with support from them, I kickstarted 2013 in style by booking a flight immediately out of Europe again to visit a continent that I hadn’t been yet: South America. See More: WTM 2012 January 2013 saw me living the high life in Buenos Aires in Argentina alongside Two Bad Tourists. We supported each other professionally throughout our once in a lifetime trip from the bohemian vibes of the city to the grassy plains of Argentina all the way to the foothills of the Andes Mountain Range where we cheekily visited the famous Mendoza Vineyards. Overawed at the grand Iguazu Waterfalls, we crossed the border into Brazil and partied in the outrageous Rio Carnival. See More: Last Tango in Buenos Aires Wine Drinking 101 Sleepy Parati Rio Carnival Returning back to the UK, I stayed home working on new plans while I planned the rest of the year. Soon in April. I attended the first ever Traverse Conference where I would be one of the founders of the Travel Lads. New digital marketing ideas for social media and engagement spawned for the website and I soon became involved in many marketing opportunities. See More: Traverse 2013 Kicking off my Spring/Summer Travels, I first went to Ashford in Kent before going on a road trip to Wales. We stopped off to stay in England’s most haunted castle and explored the nature of Wales in Snowdonia and Brecon Beacons and Welsh history in Caernarfon and Conwy. See More: Caernarfon is Where I Found My Welsh Heart I jetted off to my Iberian Adventure starting in Madrid where I loved the cool atmosphere before travelling around Andalucia in Seville, Cordoba and Granada. Shortly, I crossed the border into Portugal to stay in Lisbon, which in the end I absolutely hated, before escaping to the Algarve for a beautiful wedding. Not mine! See More: Why Madrid is AWESOME! An Andalucian Adventure Why I Hated Lisbon Now it was the turn of Germany! It was Hamburg and Berlin who grabbed my attention. There, I discovered 20th Century European History and the fantastic culture of today’s German people. Germany proved to be extremely popular with me. Could it be my second favourite country in the world? See More: Walking in a Daze in Hamburg Walking Tour of Berlin There was no time to relax when I returned to the UK as I landed myself a job with MyDestination in London in August that year as their copywriter. Living in London was a highlight as I got to immerse myself in the comings and goings of England’s capital city. Furthermore, London is a major gateway to the travel industry and I got to delve deeper within the travel blogging community. If I had a great memory of London, it definitely had to be extremely delicious Eating London Tour… See More: Eating London Tour When October came, I attended my first ever Travel Blog Exchange (TBEX) Conference that took place in Dublin, Ireland. It was a truly glamorous affair that re-affirmed my committment to Travel Blogging. I had one of the most hilarious tours in Ireland on their Wild Wicklow Tour Trip and seeing the awesome Glendalough Lake. See More: Wild Wicklow Tour Upon my return, I finished up my time in London and returned home after the World Travel Market event in 2013. There I decided to start settling down, seeing as I was inching closer to the grand old age of 30, and use my recent knowledge and experience to get a job in digital marketing for a travel company. And I did, with lowcostholidays.
Travel Blogging and Great PartnershipsAt 2014 rang in, I moved to Brighton on the south coast of England to start my new job It was a surreal experience being a Northerner in a typical Southern city. But I grew to love this quirky city, warts and all, and used it as a base to explore more of London and the South Coast including Eastbourne and Canterbury. See More: Canterbury: The Betrayal Even as I worked as a digital marketer, I was still a Travel Blogger by night with side jobs including working for The Journal Publication as their Travel Correspondent. By the time February rolled around, I was whisked off to Newcastle Upon Tyne in the far north of England for the 2014 offering for Traverse to learn even more tips and secrets of Travel Blogging Success. See More: Traverse 2014: Newcastle Edition I still had wanderlust coursing through my veins by the time May rolled around. I was headhunted by various travel organisations and I decided to leave my job at London Gatwick to travel around Europe for the summer. So June and July proved to be the best months in 2014 for my very own travel blogging opportunities on press trips and new destinations. Italy was first as I checked out Basilicata with four other travel bloggers on behalf of Love Basilicata who wanted to see this southern Italy region at its best. We learnt how to cook pasta, ziplined at 888m high, saw the majestic sights of Matera that won the 2019 European City of Culture, and had one of the best sunsets ever on the Adriatic Sea. There was even a festival celebrating the marriage of the Trees. Weird! See More: Is It Worth Visiting Basilicata in Italy? But as soon as I came back from Italy, I went to Luxembourg for the weekend to see the city at the height of the World Cup at the behest of the Luxembourg City Tourist Office. Ticking off another walking tour, I stayed at the Youth Hostel Association and checked out the underground caves and the panoramic Grund valley. See More: Luxembourg City In Pictures Grabbing a rare opportunity, I was invited to come up to the highest point in London: The View From The Shard. Dressed to the nines, I could see for miles across London and ticked off the tourist buildings from one fixed point. It was really a rather glitzy affair being looked after by their staff. See More: The View From The Shard But it was time to get shooting off again but this time on P&O Ferries as they wanted me to promote online the overnight ferry connection route between my hometown of Hull to Zeebrugge in Belgium. It was an opportunity that I had wished to do for absolutely years and just staring out on the stormy North Sea was a surreal experience. In Belgium, I was asked by Visit Flanders and Visit Gent to experience the cities of Bruges, Ghent and Brussels. I hated Bruges thanks to the tourist infestation but fell in love hard with Ghent, which to this day is my favourite European city. I was also very pleasantly surprised by Brussels, contrary to public belief that it is boring, whereas it was one of the most funky capitals I had the pleasure to stay in. See More: 33 Reasons Why Ghent is Beautiful As I returned home for a brief stay, I was excited to receive an invitation by KLM Royal Dutch Airlines to board their Vintage Dakota DC-3 Plane for a flight around the skies over Humberside and my hometown. The Dutch Royal Family even used this plane in the past. I was left buzzing and I especially wanted to go on it again! See More: Flying Royal Class with KLM From working with one airline to another, I was invited by Flybe to help promote their twilight flights to a destination I was absolutely itching to visit: Iceland! Meeting with the President of Iceland was a true highlight along with snowmobiling on a Glacier, chilling out in the Blue Lagoon and sightseeing the city of Reykjavik. I am so determined to visit Iceland again when I can. Perhaps for a honeymoon? See More: Should You Visit Iceland In The Summer? There was no time to rest as my next destination was Dusseldorf as I was invited by the German National Tourist Office to check out the youth hotspots of the city. In sweltering heats, I completed my mission and saw the modern and arty scenes of the German city up close. See More: The Top Eight Youth Hotspots in Dusseldorf Determined to give myself a rest from travel blogging work, I went on a two and a half week backpacking trip in Croatia in August with one of my best friends. It was an absolutely hilarious adventure with great banter. Starting in Zagreb, the capital, we passed through Pula, Zadar, Plitvice Lakes to Split. There we went island hopping in Hvar and Korcula and finished our backpacking adventure in gorgeous Dubrovnik. But before we left, we sneakily ticked off a new country visited by jumping across the border to Mostar in Bosnia-Herzegovnia before going back home. See More: Hvar: My Island in the Adriatic But I still had more travel blogging work to do. As the year cooled in September, I was on my way again yet to Finland. Invited by Visit Porvoo, I went to sightseeing Helsinki first before staying in delightful Porvoo where I really became connected to nature. Touring the Pellinki Archipelago is something I’ll never forget especially sitting astride the stern of the speedboat watching the still waters reflect the majestic beauty of the islands that dotted the horizon. See More: 47 Reasons Why You Should Visit Porvoo Upon my return, I spent some time in London as I was invited to many exclusive events including Trek America. However, as I truly broke two ribs thanks to an unfortunate biking accident, I had to stay in the country while they healed. However, it didn’t stop me to see Britain in Autumn as I went to see York, Bath, Sheffield and Leicester. See More: York: An Autumnal Day As I felt I wanted more things in life, I needed to settle down more. I still wanted to travel but I knew the travelling that I had been doing needed to change. I was getting older and I wanted my small luxuries with me. I realised. I was no longer a budget backpacker. I needed to rebrand myself. As I thought on this, I actually got myself a job as a Digital Marketer for a Marketing company in Hull. I needed a break. Throughout a couple of months, I rebranded myself as being just a budget backpacker to: ‘Adventures of a Handsome and Deaf Luxury Backpacker travelling the Unexpected.’ Hence, the new RexyEdventures was born and ready to go.
The new look RexyEdventures.comAfter rebranding RexyEdventures.com, I was still in the position of being a Digital Marketer. I began to think whether a return to full time travel blogger was really for me. Here I was about to turn 30 this year as January rolled around and you know what? I decided to go for it one last time, when the time was right. Still in Hull, my hometown, it didn’t mean I would stop travelling, hell no. I began January off with a visit to London, my very own capital for just a bite to eat. I just had a hankering for the Beigal Bagel that could be found on Brick Lane and it was the very first video I shot on my brand new GoPro after coming runner up in the Papua New Guinea Tourism Board competition. See more: Grabbing a bite in London As February rolled around, I had in my mind to visit 15 European destinations in 2015. And where better than to go than mainland Spain’s most popular destination: Barcelona. But first, as I hightailed it down to London yet again, I had an early morning flight and reviewed my very first luxury budget travel accommodation the is the Premium cabin in Yotel in Gatwick Airport. See more: Review: Yotel Premium Room, Gatwick Airport Before I knew it, it was time to go to Barcelona. I had reserved expectations of this Spanish destination as I completely adored Madrid and would I be betraying my beloved Spanish capital even as I’m going off peak in Winter? I needn’t have worried. The Rainbow Barcelona Tour was a complete revelation as they showed me the local and unexpected aspects of that destination. I won a competition with Two Bad Tourists to tour with them and I was pretty glad to have done so. Check out the articles here: See more: Would you go to Barcelona in Winter? See more: Why Barcelona could be better than Madrid See more: Review: Rainbow Barcelona Tours See more: Review: TOC Hostels, Barcelona As I was still working as a digital marketer in Hull, I couldn’t get enough time to go travelling in February, but I still continued to use my weekends away to promote British destinations. One such favourite weekend was back down to London again to undertake a Jack the Ripper walking tour for a good friend’s birthday but also to stay in a prison in Kings Cross that has now been converted into a luxury hostel. Namely, the Clink78 Hostel. This is where I actually got to stay in a prison cell! See more: Review: Clink78 Hostel, London Soon, March rolled round and I began to make preparations for the Spring and Summer ahead. After all, it’s when there’s warmer weather! The first weekend of March offered this as I meandered across the country to see Manchester finally. This north western powerhouse city has always been on the cards to visit properly. I had been there quite a few times but for some reason I always fell ill. Perhaps it’s because I’m betraying my Yorkshire roots! But at least this time, I didn’t and got to explore a full weekend in Manchester after staying in the Palace Hotel, right in the middle of the city. See more: A quick weekend guide to Manchester, UK Hull still remains to be one of my favourite destinations. It’s my home town of course and I just know there’s lots of unexpected delights in this under-rated city. One such case is the exclusive Al Porto restaurant on the side of the marina and set in a converted shipping warehouse. You should definitely go. And what better time than to take your own Mum there on Mother’s Day! See more: A taste of Italy in Kingston Upon Hull for Mother’s Day By the end of March, I finally handed in my notice to give one last go to travelling full-time. I knew in myself that it would be the last time in a long while I could go this so I was determined to make the most of it. To celebrate, I went to pay my yearly homage to my spiritual capital that is York. Going there with a close family friend, we skipped a plenty on the castle walls and played on the fun fair on this Easter weekend. See more: An Easter Saturday in York So, what do you do if you finish work and looking for inspiration to go full-time in travel blogging? To Traverse Conference, of course! I had already been to the previous two years in Brighton and Newcastle but this time it was set in Kingston Upon Thames. Little did I know that Kingston Upon Thames held an unexpected secret that I simply had to write about. That article actually won the competition ran by the local tourism board for me to come back to Kingston Upon Thames and stay in luxury at Warren House Hotel and use the vouchers within the city. See more: How Kingston Upon Thames shaped the world Making preparations and finding myself with free time to kill, I began a series of escapades in my local region, East Yorkshire, with the family dog. We hightailed it in my car across the Holderness district visiting the local beach, Withernsea, and exploring the stately Burton Constable and the market town of Hedon. See more: Wet n Wild Dog at Withernsea May would be the intense month of travelling. First of all, I kicked off May Bank Holiday weekend with a visit to one of Britain’s home countries where I never been before: Northern Ireland. Steeped rich in recent British history, it was interesting to see how Belfast shaped to being after a flight with Flybe from Leeds Bradford airport to land at Belfast City airport. With a quick visit to the Titanic Museum, the infamous prison and walking through the city, my friends and I took a wander through the Dark Hedges (famed for Game of Thrones), Giant’s Causeway, Port Rush and Bangor. I couldn’t believe it. Just why did I leave it so long to come to Northern Ireland? It’s beautiful! See more: Why didn’t I come to Northern Ireland before?! Afterwards, I also took a quick visit to Liverpool, another north western city, to check out one of my favourite bands who reunited for a series of one off concerts. I’m not ashamed to say it, it was S Club 7! But their performance was just the icing on the cake after exploring the city that I truly believe is extremely handsome. Hence, why I shot a view detailed ‘Why Liverpool is Handsome like me!’ But there was no time to lose as I was ready to get my adventure travels started. This meant travelling to my sixth continent to explore and that was the United States of America with Trek America! Boarding on a Virgin Atlantic flight (still remains to this day as my favourite airline) I undertook a series of trekking adventures through the national parks in Nevada, Utah and Arizona, topped with a helicopter flight over and trekking in the Canyon as well as enjoying the VIP experience in Las Vegas. It was fantastically amazing travelling with like minded travel bloggers, YouTubers and fashion bloggers on this thrilling press trip with Trek America. Check out the posts below: See more: iTrekHere: The Longest Sunday of my life See more: iTrekHere: This Rex is in Jurassic Park at Zion National Park See more: iTrekHere: The scariest ride of my life! See more: iTrekHere: Travelling across Utah (Warning: Contains delicious pies!) See more: iTrekHere: Living like a Native American in Monument Valley See more: iTrekHere: Hiking the Grand Canyon See more: iTrekHere: The Las Vegas VIP Experience But while I was away, I was given an amazing opportunity. You see, I knew in my heart that I wasn’t ready to be a full-time travel blogger again even though I totally LOVED the adventures I’ve taken this year. I was offered the position to be a Marketing Manager for a UK wide charity that was close to my heart. I simply jumped on it and moved my base from Hull to London…again. See more: A Londoner again! But cheekily, after four days in my new job, I was on a plane again to go out of the country for a long weekend. This time to return to one of my very first destinations in Europe that is Munich in Germany. I returned there as one of my best friends was getting married and wanted to have a Stag Do there. A Stag Do is the men in the wedding party to go and have one last freedom of activity together before shackling to the wife. (Actually, his marriage is really rather sweet.) So, what happened? Read on to find out more: See more: A Stag Do in Munich When you get to my age in my late twenties, you’ll find that wedding invitations arrive on your doorstep by the dozen. Your friends and family are getting married and despite that I live to travel, it was such a pleasure to see them tie the knot and also in great locations too! The first one of the summer was set in the rolling beautiful hills of the Cotswolds in the heart of England. See more: A wedding in the Cotswolds Throughout June and July, I focussed on living in London, enjoying different and quirky activities including taking a Unity Boat trip down the River Thames, partying in the Soho District and taking a multitude of walking tours. But my favourite thing was to observe the long-term Londoners. They are a character unto themselves and I couldn’t stop laughing every time I took the London tube. See more: Waterloo & City Line: London’s Open Secret The summer was in full swing and the weddings and stag dos still flowed on. One of my favourite stag dos had to be a trip up to the North York Moors in the beginning of August. Hiking, tippling at the local pubs and relaxing in the hot tubs in the middle of the woods certainly kept me out of trouble! See more: How North York Moors can keep you out of trouble! It was time to take advantage of the prizes that I won in the competition earlier on in the year with the local tourism board in Kingston Upon Thames. i return to the town yet again but this time to stay in the swanky Warren House and exploring the town in great detail. I certainly got my pose on! See more: Why you should be staying at Warren House in kingston Upon Thames But while I was there, as a lover of Royal British history, I knew I had to visit Hampton Court Palace, one of the historic Royal Palaces of London. The residence of many Kings and Queens past, it was also Hampton Court Palaces’ 500th anniversary. To celebrate they put on ‘time plays’ where you could get a glimpse of what significant events happened there that shaped the course of history. Well worth the experience! See more: Meeting the Royals at Hampton Court Palace As August finished, it was yet time to review another hostel in London but this time with Astor Hostels. I wouldn’t say it was a luxury hostel but well worth the value if you looking to stay in London on the cheap. See more: Review: Astor Hostels: Queensway London As I began to be very familiar with London, friends came down to visit me. It was my prerogative to act as a tour guide for them. Sadly, I completely failed and entered in a series of blunders never to be forgotten! See more: How to be a Bad Tour Guide in London Also, I played host to an aspiring deaf photographer who I’ve been mentoring for a number of years. He’s still at university but I can see a very bright future for him. Check out his photography skills and what’s more, he’s got fantastic photos of me! See more: Sightseeing London with Millman Photography Still settled in London, I began to work more and more with travel brands based here. Including getting invited to exclusive launch events that showcased new and up-coming destinations and travel features. Just be warned that the Tenerife carnival post has photos of me like a drag queen. Eeeep! See more: OK Google becomes eyes free on your travels See more: Let’s get Carnival Fiesta style for Tenerife! Ah, but I wouldn’t be in London for too long as I was bound to Spain yet again but with a intrigued expectation. Yes, I was going to Benidorm, famed for bad British tourists who prefer to get sunburnt and drunk. However, i was very pleasantly surprised as I explored the activities and the local aspect of this destination. See more: Why this British guy changed his mind about Benidorm, Spain Before long, I swapped the sunny beaches for the architectural playground that is Rotterdam in the Netherlands. Working with KLM UK and King Kong Hostel, another luxury hostel, I spent a weekend exploring the Dutch delights particularly as I looked for food. I even made a video too! See more: 28 Reasons why you should visit Rotterdam See more: Review: King Kong Hostel, Rotterdam Then dum dum dum! It was my birthday! Not any old birthday, it was my 30th birthday! Inviting a bunch of my best mates down, we had a quirky tour of London led by a brash Scottish guy before retiring for wine at London’s oldest wine bar, Gordon’s Wine Bar. It was a special day and I simply loved it. See more: How to have an amazing birthday in London! As travel blogging is always on the move, it’s always interesting to see what new marketing trends are happening. One of my favourites in 2015 has to be the work I’ve done with Hotels.com about unrooming hotels where we film the first minute as soon as you enter your room (mine was in Pullman Hotels in St Pancras) and upload to YouTube to be shared. See more: Unrooming Hotels with Pullman Hotel, St Pancras As December rolled around, I was soon ensconced in London living the commuter lifestyle. But on the weekends, I would shoot off to day trips in England particularly as I revisited Stratford Upon Avon to make a pilgrimage to the bard himself, William Shakespeare. See more: Stratford Upon Avon: A fleeting visit to Shakespeare Knowing me, I love a challenge particularly in London. So, when I was offered the chance to run up one of London’s most secretive buildings for charity, I knew I simply had to do it. The views at the top was completely worth it! See more: The London Skyrace Scraping in one more luxury hostel review before I decamped to Yorkshire for Christmas to spend the time with the family, it was the turn of another Astor Hostel showing, this time in the London district of Victoria. See more: Review: Astor Hostels Victoria There you have it! That was 2015 for you. It’s definitely been a topsy turvy kind of year with life situations changing. But it’s been grand. Find out more about my thoughts about 2015 here. It;s a bit of a rollercoaster! See more: 2015 RexyEdventures Travels: The Review
2016: The Year of EuropeThe start of 2016 heralded with new plans for the year. I had a good feeling when I started and my eye turned inwards to my very own continent of Europe. Still in my 9-5 job, I had to be realistic. If I truly wanted to go somewhere further afield, I would have to use up lots of my annual leave. So, I began to realise that there were so many places still left to visit in Europe and also, as I always say, travel can always begin at home. With the raging winter of 2016 that battered across the continent, I opted to stay home and look at my baggage and update my travel essentials. Featuring a brand new suitcase that still in 2018, is my favourite suitcase: See more: Review: London Revelation Suitcases Also, I still kept up to date on what’s happening in the travel blogging world and the industry. Thanks to various tourism boards and travel brands, I was invited to undertake sneak previews of that could be possible on the other side of the world to travel in: See more: A Taste of Singapore in London See more: A beautiful wintry day in London See more: #ILoveSydney with Qantas Airlines February passed coolly by and I was hard at work in my job. But luckily, I love my family so I headed up to Hull in East Yorkshire to see them particularly for Mother’s Day in March. See more: A Sparkling time at an Afternoon Tea in Hull However, I still kept exploring my home base in London, checking out the attractions and activities to do in the capital. See more: Being a VIP at a Football Premiership Game See more: Richmond Park, Europe’s Biggest Urban Park Finally, as the weather warmed up, I could now jump on a plane and explore Europe. With two weeks off to have from the end of March, I decided to explore two countries. First up, Denmark, the happiest country in the world! Taking adventures in Copenhagen, I went further afield in the country to explore Helsingor, where Hamlet is set to be based and more importantly, where I could have the best photo of me EVER! See more: Copenhagen: the happiest capital in the world? See more: 10 Hilarious Reasons why you should visit Copenhagen See more: Helsingor Castle: Denmark’s secret See more: Helsingor: A Day Trip Out of Copenhagen See more: Copenhagen: A first look See more: Copenhagen: A free walking tour With a quick flight back to London for a wedding for the day, I jumped on board for another one to Eastern Europe. This time, to Prague! It was a quaint experience as I was also there during Easter time. Exploring the city, I also sampled Czech cuisine, beers and also the culture too. Check out the videos I made here. See more: Prague: An Easter Experience See more: Review: Eating Prague Tours Alas, May 2016 saw a passing of a dear old friend. My rucksack. It had been with me since 2011 and it wasn’t until I picked it up at the airport after my flight from Prague that it completely fell apart. Luckily, then came Arcido Travel – the smarter way to travel. It was also about this time when I began to feel like I should travel in more luxurious style. The Novaya Backpack is still my go to rucksack for adventures! See more: Novaya Backpack from Arcido Travel Also in Hull, we had been announced as the City of Culture 2017. So, I began to look at Hull from a tourist perspective. Enter my hilarious videos that I shot with some questionable music! See more: Have you been to Kingston Upon Hull on Hull Trains? See more: Hull & Beyond: Humber Bridge See more: Hull & Beyond: Old Town on the Fish Trail Also in June, I was given a chance to go on a Surprise Trip by Surprise Trips when I wouldn’t know where I would be going until I arrived at the airport! The Fly Away American came with me and we were excited to find out that we would be going to Ljubljana in Slovenia! Wow, that’s a third destination of Europe of the year! See more: Ljubljana, Slovenia with Surprise Trips Shortly after that in July, I attended TBEX (Travel Blog Exchange) Conference in Stockholm. I arrived earlier so I could explore Stockholm in more detail and discovered 85 reasons why Stockholm is so handsome! Plus, I went to the ABBA Museum three times too. Not that I’m a fan… See more: Stockholm: 85 Reasons why it is so handsome! See more: Handsome Travel Blogger at the ABBA Museum Stockholm See more: ABBA The Museum: Where you really thank them for the music By September, I went on my fifth European trip to Norway via a cruise with my parents stopping off at Flam, Olden, Molde and Bergen. I haven’t yet written about this as it was a truly personal trip, which I will explain soon. By October, the weather came back to put us in the cold again. Coupled with a lot of work for my 9-5 job, I didn’t take any more trips abroad for the rest of the year. But it didn’t mean I could explore the local sights. Right? See more: Riding the Tallest Slide in the World See more: Woollaton Hall – A Quick British Country House Visit By the end of 2016, I was pretty pleased to have discovered a lot of British destinations and took five trips in Europe. But as 2017 rolled around, I knew that it would be a challenging year for personal reasons that I had to stay close to home, suspecting that I wouldn’t be blogging as much as I had done in previous years. But 2016? It was a blast!
2017: The Year of British Travel
Well! 2017 is a special year for me as my hometown of Hull became UK City of Culture! A series of exclusive arts, festivals, culture and more would rampage across this north eastern city all kickstarted with a breathtaking and panoramic light show called ‘Made in Hull’.
See more: Made In Hull for UK City of Culture 2017
But it was time to fly back to London to continue with my day job but my travel blogging still continued thanks to being invited to a series of exclusive events hosted by Tourism Boards to give me a taste of what they are planning for their countries through mini-experiences, food and more!
See more: Skiing in Sweden just got closer
See more: Malta is More
Still working in London, I’m often reminded to my mantra that travel starts at your doorstep. But I love the quirky different things so taking advantage of a few friends visiting the capital, we went to Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium to take tea with a bunch of cats!
See more: Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium
After a summer of sun in the UK, it was time to fuel my adventure cravings by heading to Forest of the Dean on the border between Wales and England to partake in the Gloucestershire natural delights of caving, mountain biking, hiking and more whilst sampling good home-cooked and locally-sourced food!
See more: Caving in Clearwell Caves
I simply love travelling in Britain. So, from end of the country to another, I arrived in Kent, the garden of England, to check out the scene of a major pivotal event in British History – The Battle of Medway. I visited old docks, castles, and more to discover the hidden secrets of Kent!
See more: Celebrating The Battle of Medway
It’s not to say that I stayed in Britain throughout 2017, I also headed into Eastern Europe to discover my first Baltic country – Lithuania. Starting in Vilnius, the capital, I travelled with The Fly Away American to Trakai, a place where fairytales come to life! But did you know that we went with €300 between us and we only spent half?! It’s a great budget destination for sure!
See more: 40 Budget Tips for Vilnius in Lithuania
Still travelling in Eastern Europe, my next port of call was Romania! Going for a long weekend with my best friend, we checked out the sights of Bucharest, the capital. and to delve deeper into the city’s hidden secrets.
As summer ended in the UK, I took one last gasp to chase the sun all the way to the south coast to enjoy Hastings – another pivotal scene of British and enjoy just being by the seaside.
See more: Hastings: Where 1066 comes alive
Come autumn, it was time to head to Europe again. This time, landing in what seems to be my regular European haunt – Amsterdam in the Netherlands. I was invited by Clink Hostels to stay in their Clink NOORD hostel but also to check out a whole new district I hadn’t explored – Amsterdam NOORD. It was utterly mind-blowing and I would urge you to visit this district away from the tourist areas.
See more: The Hidden Secrets of Amsterdam Noord
Finally back in the UK just as the year started to end, I went exploring again on my doorstep in London to check out Kings Cross’ hidden secrets. It was surreal as I pass through Kings Cross almost every day on trains but never thought to explore much. Now, I had my mind opened to all possibilities and still to this day, I often stop by a sight, attraction or a hidden secret when I get off in Kings Cross.
But little did I know that very shortly, my time in London was about to come to an end permanently…
2018: The Year of Home
Due to family personal reasons, I had to move back to my home town of Hull. Leaving London behind, I knew that this year wouldn’t see me travel far.
After moving back, I went on a last hurrah for the year to Rome to find out more about the sights of this beautiful city in winter. And my god, it was beautiful! Thanks to The RomeHello Hostel for hosting me!
See more: The RomeHello Hostel Review
Back in the UK, the rest of year saw me staying in my home town in Hull with the occasional visit to London for work. But it’s not to say that I haven’t been planning! In 2109 and 2020, there’s gonna be great destinations ahead. Watch this space.