80 pubs, 12 countries, 4 continents. 1 Dream.
It began in the winter months of 2005 when, still in travel mode from an overseas holiday, I was mountain-biking in the Hills of Perth (Western Australia) and suddenly came to a stop. There it was, a moment of inspiration that came out of nowhere – a round-the-world pub tour.
Around the World in 80 Pubs.
An idea was born. An idea that became Thirsty Swagman – the world’s first travel operator specialising in zero-boring-sightseeing adventures. What really excited me about this was that it would combine my twin passions of travel and the love of a good beer or two. One of the things I have learnt in my travels is that the best place to meet and get to know the local people is at their local bar. You’ll discover more about a place and its culture at their pub, than at a boring museum or historic site.
I believe that nobody ever tells their grandkids about visiting the Eiffel Tower or another museum. Those are usually consigned to the back pages of some photo album that never gets looked at. But the amazing stories – that time you met those crazy characters in outback Australia, those beautiful girls you met in a bar in Finland, that guy who had the whole pub laughing in stitches, that celebrity you bumped into at a disco in New York – they are made in the countless watering holes that are found wherever people enjoy the company of fellow thirsty travellers.
Certainly my most memorable and amazing travel experiences and some of my best friends I have met at the pubs throughout the world.
Of course the Governments of today would never approve – they would say it’s encouraging binge drinking and loutish behaviour and perhaps for 5% of the population this might be the case… but for the majority of us who enjoy the odd beer or two and still behave responsibly while enjoying a good night out, this just does not apply.
Now I know the government has a job to do, however I’m fed up with all the rules and regulations that are being put in place that are trying to crush our freedoms of choice and our individualism. Honestly we are turning into a nanny society and the great tragedy is that these rules are being put in place to try and manage and control the most dysfunctional members while the rest of us unfortunately have to pay the price. Suffice to say that our tours are designed for 95 % of the population who can enjoy a damn good time without being an idiot!
And what about all those wowsers that would tell us that drinking is dangerous for your health. If we listened to their advice we would all be sitting at home wrapped in cotton wool, eating carrots and lettuce and sipping a glass of water.
Well I would rather be dead than live that sort of life. In my opinion beer is one of the greatest inventions ever. In the social setting of a pub, it’s one of the great pleasures of life that really makes life worthwhile. History is written in pubs and bars throughout the world, every day of the year. Lifelong friendships are formed, even love stories that may indeed…. well…. account for many of us on this earth today.
It is said that there are no such things as strangers. Just friends you haven’t yet met. In a pub is where you meet the best of them.
Anyway enough of my little soap box speech…
By now you might have gathered I’m a bit of a maverick, in fact I’m the black sheep of the family. I tried the 9-5 stuff for a couple of years, but frankly I couldn’t stand the regimental life and having someone else dictate what I had to do. So I started my own business, when I was 24, selling software to schools. It was pretty good but it didn’t excite me like the idea of running the world’s best pub tours and building a company that specialised in these adventures.
So on the 2nd of April 2007, I decided to hang the naysayers and launched Thirsty Swagman.
And so begins a journey… to fulfil that dream, taking travellers to see the world through the bottom of their glass!
Join me… if you’re thirsty for adventure.