“Hey Vince, remind me when you are going to India again… July isn’t it? I’ve been meaning to drop you a line with a new idea.”

“Hey Duncan, great to here from you. I’m flying out to Mumbai in 2 weeks!”

Safe to say the latest UTB initiative was not the most or best planned one in the world, but nonetheless it goes to show that a bit of time pressure isn’t necessarily a bad thing! After a fair bit of scrambling around, and last minute preparation, Urban Travel Blog is delighted to announce a new series of posts that will follow the adventures of our travelling team “On The Road”, in the mould of a good old-fashioned, blisters-and-blunders, diary-style travel blog!

Regular readers will know us for our expert City Guides, to everywhere from Amsterdam to Yerevan, as well as our more journalistic reports on great travel experiences and cool urban trends around the globe, plus our gonzo-style nightlife adventures (…and of course who doesn’t love a carefully compiled top five or an evocative photo story?). As the editor it’s long been my opinion that the typical one (wo)man diary-style blog that (over)populates the Internet can be a little bit dull at best, and horribly self-indulgent at worse… and yet, in the right hands, there is undoubtedly something about this style of travel journalism that can be engaging beyond even the well-turned-out prose of the Sunday supplements’ sexiest scribblers. Not only does a diary-style travel blog give the reader a real chance to get to know the personality of the author (warts and all!), but sometimes the best travel stories are simply not accounts that you can stick in a magazine… they are the one-off quirks, mishaps and curiosities of travel that can’t be replicated… but are a huge part of what makes travel so endlessly fascinating and addictive!

Vince and his karate kid bandana hanging out in Hampi, India

So there you have it: that’s what we’re hoping to capture with our brand new On The Road series… the chaos and beauty of travel, as experienced – and related – by our team of bloggers, as they take it in turns to don their backpacks and tread the sidewalks of the world’s diverse metropolises (no doubt taking the odd jungle, mountain and beach detour en route). Our very first series of posts “On The Road” follows our LA reporter, Vince Robbins, as he swaps Hollywood for Bollywood and explores the mysteries of India and South East Asia over a ten week period. In fact you can already read up on his first tuk tuk ride, an accidental visit to a “love restaurant” and the main attractions of Mumbai in his very first post On The Road! Next stop Goa! And if you want to see where he is, and what he’s doing, right now, you can also follow him on Facebook and Twitter (his Internet access in various Oriental backwaters permitting!).

Anyhow it turns out that we’re not the only ones who think sending Vince off to Thailand via the Taj Mahal is a good idea. Our new friends at Tucan Travel have kindly offered to support the 2.5 month trip, the timing of which fortuitously coincides with their Sense of Asia promotions (we’re a blog that likes to be in the right place at the right time!). Until 10th April 2013, travellers heading out to the far east can benefit from huge discounts of 25-35% on Tucan’s Budget Expedition Tours of Asia. These include their Golden Triangle Tour, where you visit Delhi, the Taj Mahal and Jaipur (“The Pink City”) during an eight day trip; and their Wat’s Up Cambodia Tour, where you fly into Bangkok for a bit of nightlife action before journeying to Angkor Wat in Cambodia and then depart via Vietnam’s famous Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon!). So if you’ve always meant to visit Asia now’s definitely a good time! Their website is www.tucantravel.com if you’d like to take a gander.

Meanwhile, we haven’t abandoned the other three corners of the globe, and the rest of our team of reporters have been typically busy! We recently sent our reporter Sasha Arms down to the bottom of the sea in Gran Canaria’s yellow submarine, in what turned out to be an enjoyably kitsch attempt at finding Nemo, whilst James Pengelley survived a romp in a blacked-out Colombian disco bus, as well as a Police-enforced lock-in, during one very blurry night out in Bogota. Finally Chris Osburn used his lens to chronicle the every-day goings on at Tokyo’s fascinating Tsukiji fish market, exclusively for your viewing pleasure.

That’s about it from me and the crew… but before I leave here’s a message from Class 9d of Friedrich-Bergius School who were kind enough to write to UTB with some thoughts about their home town of Berlin:

Hi Bloggers,

We are students from Berlin and did a school project. We tried to find out what tourists think about Berlin. We talked to a few tourists at Brandenburg Gate. They were in Berlin on vacation or business. They were from Malta, USA, Japan, China, Brazil, England and France.
Surprisingly they thought Berliners were nice. We don’t really think so. If you come here you should visit Brandenburg Gate, TV Tower, Oranienburger Strasse and Kurfürsten Damm. At “Kudamm”, there are many exciting shops and it’s not too expensive. A highlight is the KaDeWe. It’s very luxurious. If you get exhausted from shopping, you can take the public transport to get to a park and take a rest. a good choice would be Tiergarden.
So bloggers- visit the coolest city in the world!

Yours sincerely,
9d, Friedrich-Bergius School, Berlin

So there you go. If that’s persuaded you to visit the German capital then check out our weekend guide to Berlin for lots more tips before you go!

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