Each year I try and progress in all aspects of my life; work, family, travel, training and the blog, and this year was no different.


I set myself some targets as well as having a plan for where I wanted to visit.


It got off to a strange start. Yes, it only took me until 2nd January to get on a plane but when I arrived in Georgia my travel agent got his dates mixed up by a year. The next trip was spent escaping from the Coronavirus as it began to spread around the world. My flight to Iran was cancelled 1 hour before it was due to take off and thank god it was, otherwise I might still be there. Iran was one of the first and worst hit countries and even a few months on it continues to get worse.

City at night in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. 2020 - A silver lining

2020 A silver lining

But anyway, I made it home and the next trip to Turkey was all organised. I have been to Turkey before but there was so much more I wanted to see and I somehow managed to get it all squeezed into 2 weeks. Myself, mum, dad and my sister were being joined by my other sister and her family so it was set to be a great holiday. I almost thought it was too good to be true, which in the end it proved to be.

David Simpson drinking tea with locals at amphitheater in Saudi Arabia. A trip to the edge of the world

2020 A silver lining


If you are reading this before September 2020 then you have actually managed to find my blog before it’s release. Yes, it’s live but I haven’t officially relaunched it. The plan was to launch it before my Turkey/Lebanon trip but as it was cancelled the day before I was due to leave, I had to put everything on hold.

Aerial view of Tiraspol, Transnistria. 2020 - A silver lining

2020 A silver lining

At this stage then website design and layout was confirmed (it took 2 years) but I wasn’t entirely happy with the content, so many of my diary entries had been written. As of May it remains a work in progress, so please bear than in mind, however I am a lot closer than 2 months earlier.



The recent spread of Coronavirus has put our lives on hold and has been terrible for the majority of us. Although it’s important to say a lot of people have has it much worse, not to mention people those who have seen family members die and front line workers having to risk their lives.

David Simpson wearing mask at night in Kuwait. 2020 - A silver lining

However, what it has given a lot of us, is free time and it has afforded me the hours I needed to get the blog where I want. I have been working on this blog almost every night and every weekend for the past 2 years but it just wasn’t cutting it, I wasn’t getting anywhere. But since the lockdown I have been happily working at the same computer for 14 hours a day for the past 8 weeks straight. Added to that, I’ve also had to go through 40,000 photos to trigger my memory and write up my travels from the last 4 years that I had not yet written. So I apologise if some of the entries have spelling mistakes, don’t make sense or seem a little rushed. I am having to sacrifice a little quality in order to get it done. A compromise I needed to make.

Coronavirus information poster. 2020 - A silver lining


In committing myself to have it completed by the time the opportunity ends, I had to sacrifice the other aspects of my life that would have otherwise kept me sane in such circumstances. Instead of working out and staying healthy I ate whatever was at hand. I don’t want to say I didn’t have time as I don’t see that as a valid excuse but rather I didn’t want to make the time. I can worry about these little muscles another time.

David Simpson at the Cascade Complex in Yerevan, Armenia. The end of the Armenian Karabakh road trip


Obviously, the world would be a better and safer place without Coronavirus and I wouldn’t say for a minute I was thankful for it. But what I was thankful for was the free time and opportunity that I wouldn’t have otherwise been given. I would have been just as thank if I had my own family that I would have otherwise spent my time with. The blog would have been launched regardless but deep down I wouldn’t have been entirely happy about it, not in the same way it will be come the relaunch. Fingers crossed.

SAFE TRAVELS, DS x 143/229

Question Time

  • How have you coped with the lockdown, did you use the time to your advantage?
  • Have you done anything productive – spending more time with the family or something you never previously had time for?

Let me know in the comments below . . .

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