About Ben Bland

This author has not yet filled in any details.
So far Ben Bland has created 28 blog entries.

Trekking in the Nepal Himalaya – What They Don’t Tell You

There are loads of blogs and sites advising you on "everything" you need to know before embarking on a big hike through the Nepali mountains. I attempt here to offer a few things from my (albeit limited) personal experience that you might not find elsewhere. Of course, there will be some overlap, but [...]

Recommended Reading: Insights from the Last Few Years’ Books and Shows

Introduction I've always been a slow reader. Someone once told me that was a "sign of genius", and he was a journalist and book publisher, so I'll take that one. The truth, though, is largely mired by laziness. Then, nearly five years ago, I discovered audiobooks. Suddenly reading was something I didn't need to make time for. [...]

Red, Dead or Med: Three Idiots, Three Countries and Three Seas, in Eight Days in the Middle East

Note: this was one of my early attempts to craft a single travel journal piece from an adventure. Two of my best buddies and I spent eight chaotic, harebrained days in the Middle East in the autumn of 2004. It took me more than ten years to see the opportunity to publish my writing. Jordan Waking up in [...]

My View from the Lip: Six Months of Surf and Self-reflection on the Nicaraguan Pacific

Note: this is an unusually long post, as it covers a six-month period in one place. And, while this post focuses on our surfing experience, it runs simultaneously with the more general piece about our lives as hotel managers at Buena Vista Surf Club during the same period. Back in my teens my best [...]

The Dirty Secret About Paradise: It’s Boring

I'm specifically talking about the postcard idea of "paradise" here, something like white, palm-fringed sand under empty blue skies, or a palatial suite at a five-star boutique hotel. Whatever it looks like to you, the trouble with "paradise", besides not existing in the first place, is that we get used to it. We get used to everything, it's [...]

My Favourite Animal Encounters From Around the Globe

Here's a trivial and subjective list of some of the encounters I've had with wild animals that have, for widely different reasons, stayed in a special place in my memory. They're in no meaningful order. Albatrosses, Otago Peninsula New Zealand (2010) From within a whirling, squawking cloud of seagulls, we saw a strangely captivating bird soar [...]