Hi, I’m Vicky and I fill the boots around here.
Gather round, I’ve got a story to tell you. And I’m very good at telling tales.
Where it all began.
I’ve always loved being out and about in the great outdoors, growing up in rural north-east Scotland, and got my first taste for overseas travel on a geography field trip to Switzerland at 16. I developed a passion for adventure on expedition in Belize with Raleigh International. Trekking in the jungle, sleeping in a hammock, scuba diving on the barrier reef, and working with archaeologists on Mayan temples influenced my idea of what “real life” should be. Soon after, I took part in a university expedition to Malawi, trekking, kayaking, and erm… working as a labourer on a building site.
Since then, I’ve explored both home and away on road trips, rail journeys, and sailing voyages, and over the years my wanderlust has continued to deepen. I’m a hiker, camper, biker, and paddler, and completely unashamed to admit I’m a total geek for natural history.
These Vagabond Shoes grew from a blog I started to let family and friends keep up with my travels, but I soon realised there was a wider audience interested and that I loved telling my stories too.
If you ask me why I think you should travel, I’ve got a thousand reasons. I’ll keep on listing them until you book that trip into your diary.
What can you expect from These Vagabond Shoes?
This is my personal blog, and stories based on my experiences, the places I’ve been, and the people I’ve met, are at the very heart of it. I write about adventures, travel, and ways to get outside and explore more, with honesty and, hopefully a healthy dose of humour.
These Vagabond Shoes aims to explore everywhere, from my small corner of the UK to far-flung islands, distant cities, and the more remote parts of the world. I look for inspiring places and wild spaces, calling at cafes and bars, book shops, museums, and intriguing spots along the way. I visit the places I think will be interesting, even if it’s not what other people might contemplate.
But don’t expect this blog to resemble a journal, with posts in chronological order, as I mix up my personal stories with how-to guides, recommendations, travel advice, and anything else that happens to interest me at the moment. And I’m interested in pretty much everything, in no particular order either.
Follow my adventures as These Vagabond Shoes take a wander around the world.
More about me
Originally from a small fishing village north east Scotland, I’ve been based in the south of England for several years, most recently on the beautiful Isle of Wight.
After graduating with a degree in marine biology and a Masters in environmental management for tourism and recreation, I spent several years working in conservation as an environmental education and youthwork specialist. I’d spend my day in the woods hunting for the Gruffalo with teeny-tots, and watching teenagers attempt to fell trees with the power of flirting.
Following redundancy of my job in 2013, I joined the crew of the Viking longship Draken Harald Hårfagre, spending summers sailing around Norway and the British Isles. This kindled a lasting passion for sailing, and since then I’ve been fortunate enough to split my time between working a seasonal wildlife ranger job and developing my sailing skills as a deckhand on tall ships.
In 2016 I was part of the expedition crew that sailed Draken across the North Atlantic, calling in the Faroe Islands, Iceland, Greenland, and Newfoundland on route to Canada and the US.
I am strongly drawn to the natural world; from the rugged coastline around my home in Scotland to the vast blue water of the North Atlantic Ocean to remote reef-fringed islands in the South Pacific, from the rolling fells of northern Scandinavia to the craggy peaks of the Picos de Europa to the barren volcanic moonscapes of North Island, New Zealand.
Any free time I manage to find is filled with hiking, wild camping, kayaking, and exploring new places I visit, both at home in the UK and farther afield. I’m currently working towards both Mountain Leader and Yachtmaster qualifications.
I have an obsession with maps and charts, and the feeling of translating the image glimpsed on that sheet of paper into a living landscape around me. Do I get lost? All the time, but because I want to and I enjoy the challenge of finding my way back again.
I can’t live without a good cup of tea. Several cups of tea