Travel Tales: Tim Doyle

Tim Doyle

Age: 25

Occupation: Travel Film-maker / Presenter / Adventurer

Favourite travel destination and why? Fiji Islands. In 2006, I convinced my university here in Australia to allow me to study at the University of the South Pacific in Suva for seven months. On my weekends I would travel up and down the coast on bike, car and bus enjoying true pacific island hospitality and looking for surf.

At the end of my study I took off for seven weeks and jumped on the local Cargo ferries heading out the remote Lau Group and up to the island of Rotuma, three days boat ride away. When I got there, I lived with the locals; drinking kava, catching fish, eating papaya, mangoes and coconuts for breakfast, lunch and dinner and experiencing a life so different to here in Australia. I made new life-long friends, surfed remote reef breaks and lived off the land – it was an awesome experience!

Worst travel experience? Running out of Money in Laos

What happened? It was our (Tim and Tim’s) first proper backpacking trip overseas, way back in 2003. We were in our third month on the road and we had made it up to a small town called Muang Sing in Northern Laos. After a three-day trek to visit tribes up near the Chinese boarder, we jumped on a truck back to the Mekong River, the lifeblood of Laos, and planned to hop on a boat south to the capital, Vientiene.

It was here where we realised that there were no ATMs in the whole country (now they have a few I believe) – we were absolutely stuffed! We had about 60,000 kip between us (that calculates to about $10 Australian) which, let me tell you, doesn’t get you very far.

With a bit of sweet-talking we managed to schmooze our way onto a boat heading south, with the intention of exchanging our last travellers cheques in Vientiene. Fingers crossed, we motored off.

Over the next three days we managed to crash on other peoples floors and lived off sticky rice, sweetened condensed milk and sweet-chilli sauce (the type they have on the table). No, not the healthiest diet I agree, but something at least.

While it wasn’t exactly the ‘worst’ situation to be in; more fun than anything really – it was exciting to see how cheap travel can actually be and how even in difficult travel situations, sticky-rice, sweetened-condensed-milk and chilli sauce can still get you through. Mmm, anyone hungry?

Best tips for beating jetlag? Immediately signing up for a membership at the local Coffee Appreciation Society.

What is the one thing you don’t leave home without? My survival kit (contains: eight bandages, a mirror, two knives, an emergency blanket, a photo of my dog and family, a hip flask of rum, a head-torch, a camera – all sealed with two dry bags; weird I know, but true!).

Do you stay in touch with people while you’re travelling? If so, what is the best way to do this? Email or phone – I haven’t caught up to facebook yet.

Best meal you’ve ever had while travelling? Glow-worm lavae in the Amazon River

Best kiss? Every evening, when the sun kisses the horizon turning the sky into a caleidoscope of mind-blowing colours – that, and of course kisses from my adorable girlfriend, Kirsty.

Best/scariest/funniest drive? Trying to catch up to a charity car rally over ten days and 5000km of dirt in central Queensland driving a 1963 EH Holden. These rally-goers were professionals and drove like the wind. Tim and I had no idea … Oh and did I mention we were dressed as clowns the entire way?!

What has been the big WOW moment of your travelling life? Realiding over the past two-and-a-half years that I can actually make a living out of travelling – I mean, wow, how awesome is that?! All that I can say is that if you work hard at something; if you have the passion, drive, courage and belief in yourself, you can do anything. That is the biggest WOW moment.

What has taken your breath away?  Sunrise on top of The Castle in the Budawang National Park, south of Sydney.

I set out to complete a four-day hike here with a friend and the within the first three hours I was just blown away; trudging fully-laden hiking packs full of food and water up these huge cliff faces and looking back at views to the coast. Luckily I had some rope that I used to relay the bags up the rock face; a pretty heart-in-mouth experience in itself as I am only a seasonal hiker. But nevertheless we made it to the top and the scenery was just simply mind-blowing – a full 360-degree vista of nature – I just couldn’t believe it. The best part is that the wind was down and there was a perfect spot to pitch the tent, crash out and then watch the sunrise next morning with a billy tea – it doesn’t get much better than that.

For further information about Tim Doyle, please visit

4 comments on “Travel Tales: Tim Doyle

  1. why do we travel? Or like the song goes “does anybody know what we are looking for”?? Why do we consider travel a basic desire nowadays? I especially like how George Santayana puts it in The Philosophy of Travel: “We need sometimes to escape into open solitudes, into aimlessness, into the moral holiday of running some pure hazard, in order to sharpen the edge of life, to taste hardship, and to be compelled to work desperately for a moment at no matter what.” Do we travel to lose ourselves or to find ourselves? In order to find the WHERE, WHEN or HOW to travel, we need to rediscover the pure pleasure of travels and the meaning of our own inner journey and rediscovery.

  2. I love the way you have expressed this idea … especially the words ‘sharpen the edge of life’. Perfect. – EG

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