• My Story: Marc-ing my Territory

    Travel • By Marc Nelson • 01/06/2016 • 0 comments

    Accepting a blessing from a female monk (yes there are female monks) in the temple of Angkor Thom, Siem Reap, Cambodia.





    So, apparently I’m Cluster’s resident travel writer, or as I like to put it, travel bum with not much else to contribute. How did I land such an illustrious position you may ask? Probably because I’ve been genetically and environmentally bred to travel aimlessly around the world, like a Jango Fett clone of travel. Ok, maybe that’s a bit of a stretch, but there’s a hint of truth to the environmental breeding part at least. I’ve been traveling the world since the age of seven, thanks in part to a mother who speaks 5 languages and a step-father who worked for development aid organizations like the UN and Asian Development bank. This meant moving every few years to such far flung places as Tanzania, Kenya, Hong Kong, and yes, even the Philippines, where I had the good fortune of being an expat brat who’s parents’ company paid for my expensive private schools wherever we went.


    The other up side to this kind of lifestyle is that whenever we moved to a new region of the world, we’d usually take our vacations in and around that neck of the woods. So being in East Africa meant weekend Safari’s, or semester break trips to Mauritius or the Seychelles. While in Asia, it would be learning how to scuba dive and sail, and visiting other South East Asian countries during school vacations. Annual trips back to Australia to visit my Dad and brother meant flying long distances solo from the age of 8 (the flight attendants always gave you extra candy and toys which I loved).


    This constant traveling around as a child instilled more than just a travel bug. It gave me a terminal travel disease that I have neither the capacity, nor the desire to get rid of. I’ve been pretty fortunate in so far as being able to travel often and far for “work”, although even this isn’t enough to satiate me. Traveling is so much a part of who I am that I get antsy if I can’t pack a bag and explore the world on a regular basis.


    Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not a spoiled trust fund baby with a limitless bank account who flies first class everywhere. Instead of taking a 2 week holiday flying first class and staying in a 5 star hotel, I’d rather take a 2 month journey flying coach and staying in Airbnb’s and hostels for the same price. Of course there are always exceptions to this rule, but generally I’m a pretty low maintenance traveler, as I believe that the joy of travel is not found in fancy hotel rooms, but rather in spending more time experiencing a city and getting to know the locals.


    I’ve travelled far and wide (50+ countries so far and lived in 7), and see no reason to stop anytime soon. I have made a pretty comfortable home and life for myself in the Philippines, and use this as a base as I plan my next out of town trips between TV gigs. I look forward to sharing my travel tips and tricks with you, as well as some of these adventures both past and future, and my fervent hope is that it will make you realize that travel doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive. What it is, is a funky adventure and one of the greatest educations you can get.


    So please watch this space and join me as I use this blog as an excuse to keep traveling…