Hi, I’m Jo, a British travel writer and former lawyer. On a rare sunny day in England, with my possessions packed into boxes and a Round the World ticket booked, I decided to start this website.
Had I known back in 2010 that Indiana Jo would still be going strong over a decade later, I’d have probably taken fewer naps and quit my goal to read one book a week while I was on that epic global adventure. It was a trip that changed my entire life – but doing things like climbing down a volcano with no shoes on will do that to you.
But what about you? Are you sat at home dreaming of travel? Or are you on the road, looking for travel guides (if so, head over to my destination pages or make friends with the little search button above). Either way, I’m writing this website for you. We all know that travel is good for us, but sometimes we need a little help getting started. And sometimes we even make the leap and take the bucket list trip only to find that travelling alone is more lonely than we thought.
Whatever reason you’re here, know that I’m here for you. So, drop me an email. I always love to chat. Especially about travel. Good and bad. Or, as my nan used to say, warts and all.
PS: If you’re a business looking to connect, check out my Work with Me page.
Want to know a bit more about me? Here’s a short run down of my life since I started this site.
Quitting my job
- I used to be a lawyer in London. It was fun, but not really, ‘me’, if you know what I mean.
- That’s why I had few regrets quitting my job to travel. Ok, fine. I took a sabbatical, because it seemed like a more sensible move.
- I also did a little trial trip to start – a couple of weeks’ vacay as a solo traveler to Cambodia and Vietnam.
- That was my first real taste of what travel life could be like. And I was hooked.
My first around the world trip
- In 2010 I bought an around the world ticket and set up this blog.
- I started in South America, travelled up through Costa Rica and Central America, headed over to Malaysia, explored the Philippines, Japan and much of Asia, and started to work my way back via India and the Middle East. It was the journey of a lifetime and I wasn’t ready for it to end.
Check out my map of places I’ve been if you want to find out more.
From Lawyer to freelance writer
- After a year exploring the world, I kind of forgot to report back to duty after my sabbatical. Actually, I didn’t forget. I sent my former employer a nice message to say goodbye.
- Then I went to go live and in a cave in France (true story it’s in Montsoreau, France.). I was determined to start a new career as a freelance travel writer.
- It was cold in the cave but by the time I emerged at the end of winter, I’d learned how to make fire. And gathered enough clients to keep me in wine and cheese and travel for the foreseable.
Life as a digital nomad
- For the next six or so years, I did the digital nomad thing. It was a challenge learning how to work and travel.
- But I found my way through, loving the freedom. I returned to Vietnam, explored Colombia, grappled with the language in China.
Then things went wrong
- It was all fun and games until I screwed up my knee and had to limp home (literally) for surgery.
- It was the end of my healthy knee, and the end of my 30s.
- It seemed like life’s way of telling me to stay still for a while, so I bought an apartment, car and coffee machine.
- A good decision, as it turned out – my mum got sick and I was in just the right place (Liverpool) at just the right time to spend time with her.
Getting back on my feet (and back to travel)
- I started exploring more of Europe. And, in doing so, I fell in love with Italy’s sparkling wine region – just an hour outside Venice. That one visit led to an entirely new website and business as I started offering Prosecco tours in Italy.
- After a while, I grew restless, as a traveller tends to do. Also, I could see the benefit so travel for healing grief. So, I hit the road again on another one-way ticket.
More life and travel challenges
- Yet, travel didn’t seem on my side. I almost immediately got dengue fever in the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico.
- Still, I pressed on, spending months in Costa Rica and Panama, one of the best trips I’ve taken.
- But, after barely half a year into my travels, Covid decided to bring that trip to an end.
- And, just to add insult to personal injury, after years of increasing levels of pain, in 2021 I got diagnosed with fibromyalgia.
- So, here I am, back in the UK. Exploring more locally for a change. And, addict that I am, I started another site, this one dedicated to my very own British Isles – Guide To Britain.
What’s next? Who knows. But isn’t that the beauty of adventure?
65 Countries Across 6 Continents
So, what does my travel list look like? Back in my 30s, roaming nomadically for 6 years, I was on one of those heady adventures to clock up as many countries as possible. And so, I’ve visited over 65 countries across 6 continents. Those 6 continents being Europe, Asia, Africa, North America, South America, Oceania (Antarctica is the one that’s missing). That’s stacked up to a lot of places. Though, I’ve definitely re-trodden the path through some countries more than other (Italy, Mexico and the USA spring to mind). At the grand age of 40-mumble-something, I’ve been travelling for over 30 years and while the rush to tick off new destinations for the sake of hitting a number of countries has settled, my urge to explore remains.
Freelance and Publications
It’s nice when a big publication picks up on one of your blog posts and mentions it. Here’s a few of the top places Indiana Jo has been featured:
- Profile article about Indiana Jo (Jo Fitzsimons) in Business Insider.
- Huffington Post
- New York Eater
- International Business Times
- Get Your Guide
You can find my past freelance travel, lifestyle and food writing portfolio over on Jo Fitzsimons.
Newsletter and on Social Media
This blog is where I spend most of my time, compiling travel guides, updating my planning tips and tinkering with my packing guides. But you’ll also find me on social media, posting travel failures, pretty pictures and sharing travel tips and travel booking deals.