Friends is where I give shout-outs to those who have shown me love around the world. Any time any individual or organisation goes beyond to make my travels amazing, I list them here. Be sure to pay them a visit on your travels – I’m sure they’ll show you love too.
Please note: This is a page to show personal appreciation. Nothing here is sponsored. Any goods/services I enjoyed from those listed below, I paid for in full. For further clarification you can read my Disclosure Policy.
Legacy Gym | Boracay, Philippines
I trained at Legacy for about four weeks in early 2013. They were totally cool with my last minute booking and the coaches have created an awesome laid-back culture there. Amazing place – spent some of the best weeks of my life here.
Auckland MMA | Auckland, New Zealand
I trained at Auckland MMA for about four months in late 2015, early 2016. There is an amazing learning culture here and even total newbies will feel totally comfortable. A strong fight team and great coaching makes it an amazing place to learn. Classes every day except Sunday.
Rapu Surf Adventures | Auckland, New Zealand
I have learned so much from Brett at Rapu and my surfing has improved exponentially since I started working with him. He has a clear passion for teaching and is super focused on your helping you improve your surf game and your understanding of the ocean, especially when you’re new. If you want to take a surf camp these are the guys!
Muriwai Surf School | Auckland, New Zealand
My first ever surf lesson was at Muriwai Surf School with Dylan and I’ve regularly surfed at Muriwai beach ever since. They always show me love and are an awesome laid back crew with heaps of top notch gear for hire. They do daily lessons for beginners so it’s a great place to take your first surf class.
Ache Escuela de Baile | Quito, Ecuador
The people at Ache are practically family. I studied salsa with them for around 2.5 months during late 2014. Frank was my first dance teacher and I learned so much from him during my time there. He’s passionate about dance and teaching and will be totally committed to your progress. Frank also speaks English, if any of you are heading to Ecuador without Spanish knowledge.
Malaca Instituto | Malaga, Spain
Malaca Instituto is largely responsible for cultivating my love for language which has carried through my many years of travel. In fact, I get nostalgic every time I think about this place because it is where I fell in love with travel and language and it served as such a strong turning point in my life. I still remember all my teacher’s names, and had the privilege here to learn from some of the best teachers I’ve had in my life. There is a strong focus on accelerated learning and the teaching is world class. Expect your Spanish to improve immensely.
LSF | Montpellier, France
I made probably the most last-minute booking in their history but they were extremely accommodating and made sure I had a safe place to sleep when I arrived into town Sunday night unannounced with nowhere to go. Great little school in the heart of Montpellier with small classes. Spent a month here in mid 2015.
Manatee Amazon Explorer | Amazon, Ecuador
I cruised the Amazon with the Manatee Explorer in mid 2014 with my parents. It was an amazing experience and the guides were exceptional.
Hostel Hoff | Moshi, Tanzania
Amanda and Sibo at Hostel Hoff have become good friends of mine since my first visit in 2011. I regularly return to Tanzania and this is where I stay. They work primarily with free-to-volunteer projects in the Kilimanjaro region.
charity: water | New York, USA
I ran a project with charity: water back in 2011. In 2013, they fulfilled all their promises and reported back on a project they’d completed in my name in the north of Ethiopia. I visited the site in 2013 to see it all with my own eyes. If you’re looking for a charity that’s truly bringing change, these are my guys.
Shanglong Dragonboat Club | Shanghai, China
This is an amateur dragon boating club in Shanghai who I paddled with during the second half of 2012. There is weekly training and we actually competed in a few international races too. Lots of fun. It’s a great community to be a part of and newcomers are always welcome!
The West Factory | Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire
The West Factory is one of the only surfboard manufacturers in Africa and they’re awesome. They are based in the Ivory Coast and along with making sick boards they also give a lot back to the community. Surfing is almost exclusively for expats (mostly due to cost) so West Factory provides free boards and lessons to local communities to help get them involved in surfing culture, as well as providing jobs. They helped me out a lot when I was trying to plan my surf trip in Assinie – awesome guys over there!
Combat Club Windhoek | Windhoek, Namibia
This is a kickboxing gym in Windhoek run by Coach Pedro. He’s a machine and runs a serious boot camp style gym that will whip you into shape quick. I had such an awesome time training here and Coach Pedro is the nicest guy ever. If you’re into kickboxing or martial arts definitely head down here for some work.
Salty Jackal | Swakopmund, Namibia
This hostel is the passion project of local surfer Ollie, which has been built with so much love you can feel it as soon as you walk in the door. I stayed here for two weeks surfing with Ollie every few days and had an amazing experience. He’s a super chilled out guy and the perfect host for a place like this, you’ll love it. I made a little movie about the experience if you want to see more.
Q23 Academy | Bangkok, Thailand
I trained here for a few sessions back in 2016. Adam is a BJJ black belt/MMA fighter and great coach. I wish I’d had more time to train but the short time I spent here I learned a lot. Bangkok is rather heavy on Muay Thai gyms but if you’re more a MMA/BJJ guy this is one of the best places in Bangkok to get work in.
Scoopoint | Penang, Malaysia
I spent a month working here in January 2019. Very chilled out place with great facilities, not too busy, fast internet, they have a nice community there. There are many co-working places in Penang but I can definitely recommend this one!
I’ve reached out to Mark at Migrationology several times for help or advice and he’s always been super helpful and never asked for anything in return. Just a super genuine dude who runs one of the baddest food blogs on the planet.
Jodi has been a blogging role model of mine since the day I published my first post and still is today. Our journeys have a few parallels which was what interested me initially but you’ll find her writing has an authenticity that is rare in blogging today. I actually had the pleasure of meeting her back in 2015 and she was just as genuine in person as she is in her stories.
Earl was probably the first travel blog I started reading and I’ve been in touch with him a lot to ask for advice about my blog, my book, contributions to my articles and general blogger banter. Of course, he always keeps it real and comes back with sound advice. One of the OGs of nomad life and an inspiration of mine!
I met James in Bangkok back in 2014 and he had a lot of great advice to share. Super accomplished in the digi nomad world and always humble and approachable if I’ve got a dumb question. Runs a super practical, helpful blog on travel and location independence.
Anton is the man! He arranged for us to meet for lunch during my last visit to Manila in 2014, and we had a really good chat about travel and life in some fancy restaurant in the Fort. Not only does he run a killer food blog, he manages some pretty awesome food markets around Manila too.
Met Yoshke in Manila during 2014. He runs some of the Philippines’ most popular sites but in person is super humble and down to earth. Check out his blog, heaps of amazing budget travel advice.