About Me

Me, in Coachella Valley!

Hey, I’m John! Just a normal guy from Scotland who has an obsession with travel, and a totally rational love of cats. Here are some facts about me:

Hey, I’m John! Just a normal guy from Scotland who has an obsession with travel, and a totally rational love of cats. Here are some facts about me:

In 2017, at the age of 21, I was pretty fed up. Fed up of working all the time, fed up of never doing anything fun, and fed up of seeing everyone I knew go off to all these amazing places, and never going anywhere myself. 

So… I decided to do something about it! 

On the eve of my 22nd birthday, I booked a last-minute two-day trip leaving the next morning. Long story short, it was an amazing experience, and made me completely fall in love with travel. Since then I’ve spent over 500 days abroad, flying over 180,000 miles, and seeing more of the world than I ever thought I would. I’ve not seen much, yet, but I’ve got big plans! 

Being eaten alive at Kualoa Ranch, Oahu, Hawaii, USA
At Crater Lake, Oregon, USA
At Bakers Beach, taking in the view of the Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, California, USA!

About Travelling Tabby

I started this blog for a few reasons:

  1. It gives me some experience in web development and digital marketing.
  2. It allows me to document my travels and keep a personal record.
  3. It gives me the opportunity to share my stories and advice with the world.

It sounds super cliche, but I really do think that travelling is one of the greatest things you can do. It totally changed my life! With this blog, I’d love to help others get the same joy out of travelling that I do.

That could be by introducing a seasoned traveller to a new tool, or inspiring someone to take their first ever trip abroad. Blogs like these inspired me, and I want to do that for someone else.

In terms of the actual content on here, you can expect the following:

Curious about the name? I would be too! But there aren’t any exciting stories behind it, I just love cats (who doesn’t?). After a lot of brainstorming, I finally came up with ‘Travelling Tabby’ for the blogs name. 

Plus when I’m travelling, I tend to act like a cat in a lot of ways. I’m curious, cautious, independent, and friendly. I mean, I don’t lick myself or eat mice, but you get what I’m saying. 

I designed the logo myself, and even tried to make it look like my old cat, Star. She sadly passed away in 2018, so in a way this blog is also a nice way to remember her. 🙂 (That’s Star below, with her Panda!) 

Star, the cat! Happily resting with her Panda friend

More Information

My first trip was pretty impulsive, but normally I sit down and plan out my trips in advance. I keep track of everything in a spreadsheet, inside of which I’ll also have my packing list, calendar, and finance tracking. I really like to be organized and stay in control of things! 

Most of my trips tend to be under a week in length, but I want to try and have a longer trip every 5 years or so. I (normally) don’t like to rush through places just to check stuff off my bucket list, so if possible I’ll try to stay somewhere for 4-6 days and have a more relaxed experience.

There are so many places around the world I want to visit. I love big cities and nature equally. My two soft spots are skyscraper-filled cities and deserts, mostly because they are just so unlike where I live. My top interests are hiking, wildlife viewing, and seeing iconic landmarks. I also love seeing the weirder side of places. Ghost towns, niche museums, disaster sites, and all that kind of stuff fascinate me!

I try to travel cheap, but not super cheap. You won’t find me hitchhiking or couchsurfing, but I try to save money where I can, especially when it comes to transportation. Although for me, travel is all about the experiences you have and the memories you make. I love stuff like shark diving, helicopter flights, and music festivals. Sadly they are very expensive, so that is where most of my money goes!

I do like trying new foods, but only when it looks good. I won’t be eating a slug in Africa ‘for the experience’ or whatever, but I really love trying foreign variants of my favourite foods. Most of the time I’ll just be getting some cheap street food.

On short trips, I tend to travel with a small suitcase and stay in budget hotels, whereas on longer ones I’ll be going with a backpack and mostly staying in hostels. I really don’t enjoy hostels, but you can’t argue with their price!

Solo Travel
Most of the time I travel solo, and tend to stay solo during my trips. Although I’ll sometimes join a group tour, as it might be the only way for me to see certain places. I’ve done this in the USA (21 days) and also in Africa (40 days), and loved both experiances!


  • May: A 2 day trip to Oban, Scotland, and the nearby Isles of Staffa and Iona.
  • September: A 5 day trip to Barcelona, Spain, and nearby Montserrat.


  • March – July: A 4 month trip to London, the USA, the Bahamas, and China. The USA stops included New York, Florida, California, Illinois, Utah, Nevada, Arizona, Washington DC, and Hawaii. In China, it was Guangzhou, Shixing, and Hong Kong.
  • October: An 11 day trip to visit a friend in Portland, Oregon, USA, and nearby areas.


  • March – April: A 15 day trip back to Portland, and then Coachella Valley in California for a week.
  • May: A 4 day trip to Malaga, Spain, and the nearby Ronda.
  • June – July: A 31 day trip to visit Portland yet again, and also a road trip through Central Oregon.

2020 & 2021
Unfortunately I did not travel anywhere, due to this pandemic thing you may have heard about.


  • May – June: A 7 day cruise from Seattle up to Alaska and back.


  • March: A 2 trip to the Isle of Arran, Scotland.
  • June: A 16 day cruise from Southampton up to the North Cape in Norway and back.
  • July: A 5 day trip to Belgium to attend the Tomorrowland music festival.
  • July – September: A 48 day trip, primarily consisting of a 40 day camping bus tour across Africa. It included a ton of stops in Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia, and South Africa. I also visited Dubai beforehand, and spent some time in Cape Town afterwards.
  • October – November: A 50 day through South America! I spent time a good amount of time in Peru, Bolivia, and Argentina, and had some shorter visits to Chile and Uruguay too. While in Argentina, I also went on a 10 day expedition to Antarctica.

World Trip (second half): Since July 2023 I’ve been living out the trip of my dreams. The plan was to spend some time in every continent over the course of about year, and I’ve already ticked off five of them! The next leg will be going across Asia and Oceania, over the first half of 2024.

Munich: In October 2024 I have plans to travel to Munich, Germany, and visit some friends during the iconic Oktoberfest festival!

I currently live with my Step-Dad in a beautiful wee town called Dunoon. My Mum passed away in 2014, and my Dad lives in New Jersey, USA. I used to visit him every summer as a child, which I think gave me an early love for travel and adventure! Oh, and I’ve got 4 big sisters scattered around Scotland.

After school I got a 2 year HND in Admin & IT at the University of the Highlands & Islands (Argyll College). A few years later, I went back and completed a 1 year HNC in Digital Design & Web Development. In 2022, I completed a 3 year Bachelors Degree in Business Management with Marketing.

My first job was working as an Admin Apprentice in the local Social Work department. This eventually turned into a normal Admin role, which I loved! A nice, relaxing, mostly stress-free job which paid well and had nice benefits. I worked there for a year and a half, before leaving to go travel for a while.

I’ve also been volunteering at a local Oxfam charity shop every week since 2016, which is fun! Nowadays I don’t work, not in a traditional sense, but I spend a lot of time online earning money. This is through stuff like matched betting, completing surveys, and whatever else I can do.

Hobbies & Interests
Most of the time you’ll find me at home working on some kind of digital design project (making books, editing videos, creating websites). This is a huge hobby of mine, and I love being able to combine it with my travels! I also enjoy playing video games, and watching stuff on Netflix. 

I’m a casual follower of Football, Boxing, and MMA. I like most music, but my favourite music artists would be Illenium, Odesza, Mac Miller, Taylor Swift, and Lana Del Rey. Also, surprisingly enough, I like cats! I have a bad habit of spending hours on YouTube, falling into the ‘dumb cat video’ related videos cycle. 

In early 2020, I’d just about finished making this website, and I was getting ready to start making posts on a regular basis. But then of course the Covid-19 pandemic hit, and everyone got a bit distracted by that.

Out of personal interest, I decided to start keeping track of the figures for Scotland to see how the situation was progressing. I won’t bore you with the details, but I ended up making a little page on this website to keep track of it, and it attracted quite a lot of attention!

In fact if you are here right now, or if you know the name ‘Travelling Tabby’, it is almost certainly because of the Coronavirus Tracker. The tracker really has nothing to do with the actual travel blog website, and in retrospect, I should have got a separate domain for it, but oh well!

Anyways, that coronavirus tracker ate up pretty much all of my time between 2020 and 2023, which is why this blog hardly has any posts on it. But with that stage of my life coming to an end, I will start giving more attention to the travel side of my travel blog.

(If you still want to know more, check out the F.A.Q page, or leave a comment below!)

Thank you so much for visiting my blog! I’m still quite new to travelling, and a complete newbie at blogging, but I’m excited for what the future holds. I really hope you get something useful from here.

Also, make sure to follow me on Instagram for fun pictures, videos and stories of my trips!


48 Responses

  1. Found you via the Scottish Coronavirus chart – excellent data analysis and presentation. Shame there’s not something similar of the rest of the UK. I’m interested to know how you accessed the data, e.g. on age and gender of fatalities. Please would you let me know, if you can – maybe I could create something similar, if only for my own understanding.

  2. Hello

    I do hope your tutors and lecturers at UHI are aware of your excellent data and presentation here on covid19. I’m a university lecturer in business and was a senior manager in plcs for many years previously and I do think your data is more useful and accessible than (shhh!) even the government published data. Your information captures the right charts (e.g. excess mortality / trackers v averages etc). I’ve found this way more useful for daily updates than any of the other data available. Thank you!

    1. Hi,

      Thank you so much! 🙂

      Yes, I’ve had positive feedback from my University which is nice of them! And thank you, I’m glad you’re finding it useful! I try to make it informative and easy to take in at the same time!

  3. Hi John

    I look at the gov.scot and nrs websites regarding Covid 19 statistics and information and try to make sense of it all which can be quite time consuming, even as a retired physicist. However, I find your presentations far easier and accessible! Well done. Perhaps the government should temporarily recruit you!! Keep up the good work.
    I shall now look at your travel blog as well.

    T Crompton

    1. Hi,

      Thank you so much! 🙂 I do try to make the information as easy to take in as possible, I’m glad it is working!!

  4. Hi John

    I’m a medical scientist by academic training and have worked in R&D and senior management roles in global multinationals for many years. I have to say your Covid tracker is very impressive! I’ve found it hugely informative – easily the best source of info for Scotland, Your collation and presentation of the data is absolutely superb – crystal clear and instantly accessible. Thanks for your efforts and for sharing this

  5. I’m a professional software developer, I’ve been sending folks to your coronavirus monitor for months now. Excellent bit of work, although the gender gauge looks a bit dodgy… 😉 Thankyou for your effort, as others have said. I wish the other parts of the UK were as well supported as we are, this page spoils us somewhat.

    1. Hi,

      Thank you so much! 🙂 There are some other good pages for the rest of the UK! I thought about expanding mine to cover those, but that would be far too time-consuming, I’m afraid!

  6. Hi I cant thank you enough for the absolutely splendid corona spreadsheets ,they have kept me sane in this troubled time. I was working in Zaire now D.R.C in the late 80s on the then new virus HIV and using minimal computation and very basic spread sheet EPI.INFO from CDC Atlanta. You have made amazing use of present systems and deserve a bottle of wine should you visit the Borders’.
    Tom H

  7. Fantastic, John – I enjoyed your blog; find the coronavirus map useful, and am now looking for a kitten after our previous cat died – so if you come across a lonely moggy on your travels………………..
    And although I’ve travelled a great deal, including a year spent doing VSO in Ethiopia, few places beat the West of Scotland for sheer natural beauty.

    1. Thank you so much! 🙂 I agree, Scotland is one of the most beautiful places in the world. And you’re allowed to say that when you’ve seen lots of the world!

      Sorry to hear about your cat. Losing them is the worst.. but I will keep you in mind if I ever do come across a friendly kitten looking for a new home 🙂

  8. Your corona virus tracker is fab! The most accessible presentation of stats I have seen anywhere on the web. It also makes me feel more comfortable about venturing out and about. Thanks!

  9. Hi John,
    I was introduced to your page on Corona Virus, back in March and have followed daily to begin with and more like weekly now. Its fab to get a detailed insight to how Scotland are doing during this awful time! I’ve recommended this page to many people I know. I’m totally surprised you are not employed by our Scottish government, considering the amazing stats you are providing to us all!

    I love looking at data, i’ve self taught myself on powerbi and qliksense, to see the data i use daily at work, in different visualisations, ehich helps me get my team to focus on the right things!

    I truly hope this leads to great things for you.

    As a cat owner/lover myself and now I realise you write about travel, something I love too for business & pleasure, I’ll be sure to follow your travel blog too!

    1. Hi,

      Thank you so much, I’m glad you like the page! 🙂

      Good on you for learning new tools! I mostly just use excel right now, but powerbi is on my ‘to do list’. It looks brilliant!

      Thanks for following the blog! It’s still in its early days, really. (The virus struck when I was getting close to finishing it, and I’ve not had much time for it since). But hopefully you’ll find some of the future posts of interest!

  10. Echoing the comments above John. Really superb and accessible data.
    I work as a doctor in Scotland in the midst of all this. I have always wanted to know the numbers based on health board /geography and demographics of affected populations. This is super helpful and I’ve recommended to all my colleagues at work.
    Please keep up your efforts, hugely appreciated by us.

    1. Thank you so much, I’m glad you’ve found it useful! I agree it’s nice to look at the geography/demographics of the cases to give the data some more meaning.

      I don’t plan on stopping anytime soon 🙂

  11. Hi, I would just like to say how much I value your coronavirus site which I have followed from back in March. It’s even better now you have expanded it to cover the whole of the UK. I too worked for A+B Council some time back. A great place to live. You’re a credit to UHI and yourself! Keep it up and dream some more, Dave

  12. Hi John
    Thanks for all you have done to make statistics on Covid 19 in Scotland clear, understandable and accessible. This is in contrast to the Scottish Government’s published data which seems designed to confuse. If the SG really wants to be open with the public it should offer you a consultancy to carry on the good work your doing. I hope you are able to carry on for what looks like a long haul.

    1. Thank you! 🙂

      I’ll keep it going for as long as this whole thing keeps going on.. which hopefully won’t be too much longer.

  13. COVID tracker is great – easy to read, understand and presented in a way that keeps your interest.

    When I travel, I use a comprehensive planner/tracker/itinerary planner as well (glad it’s not just me!)
    Your blogs are entertaining and will be useful to those planning to travel to your places too.

    Best wishes for the future – by demonstrating these site, you’ll do well!

    1. Thank you so much! 🙂

      And yes, I love being organized too! Planning the trip can be half the fun. (And right now it’s just about all we can do anyways!)

  14. I have tried to “buy you a coffee” but can’t get the thing to work. I click on the “support” button but nothing happens.
    What is supposed to happen?

  15. Hi I only found you due to coronavirus (sorry) good look with your travels I was trying to read if you accepted donations to help your travelling as this adventure will surely cost a lot of money

    1. Hi, no worries! I’m sure most people are the same.

      The blog isn’t really quite up and running yet anyways. It was just about getting there, but has been put on hold for most of 2020 as I’ve been so busy with the coronavirus trackers. Hopefully I’ll be able to add more content in the future though. 🙂

      And I don’t have a donation pot for the travel fund specifically (I’ve been able to stick to a savings goal for it, and should have enough by the time I leave), but any leftover money I have from the coronavirus tracker donations, after I’ve paid all the website running costs, will generally go into the travel pot, so that works if you were still wanting to donate (not that you need to!).

  16. Thank you for all your hard work in collating the covid data. Check your page every day after 3pm.
    Really appreciate the clarity of the stats you produce.

    Jason will be proud of you 😉

  17. Hi John! just heard about you and your Covid tracker after you were name checked by Professor Jason Leitch, National Clinical Director of the Scottish Government, today at the 2020 Scotsman Data conference. He sang your praises and insisted that if people hadn’t seen the site they should go have a look. Even at one stage suggesting your Tracker was far superior to anything the Govt could do! High praise indeed.

    Fantastic site you’ve created. Great work and a great public service.
    All the best for the future.

    1. Thank you so much! 🙂

      I heard about that, although I never got to see it. But I just found a recap video and I see what you mean!

      Makes me very very proud, that means a lot coming from him. He actually messaged me a few days ago to say well done too, which was very thoughtful considering how busy he must be.

  18. Thank you so much for the excellent work you are doing on the coronavirus tracker. I have been following it since the early days and it just keeps getting better. Aside from it providing loads of useful and interesting information for people interested in the progression of the pandemic, it has also turned out to be a fantastic way to help my son with his maths. As a single mum, working full-time from home, the home-schooling has been a real challenge, but your tracker has given my 11 year old son lots of numbers to crunch and he actually enjoys it! We have talked about percentages, graphs, probability, statistics in general and it has been a great “real-life” tool for us. He has now started looking forward to seeing how things have changed each day. Well done, and thanks from a grateful home-schooler.

    1. Thank you! 🙂 And wow, thanks for sharing! Nobody has mentioned using the site in that way before, so that is really cool. I agree it would probably be more interesting to do maths based on the numbers of the current situation we are all in, rather than some hypothetical situation about a man leaving the supermarket with 11 bananas and 16 apples, haha!

  19. Well, I have no idea why it’s taken me the best part of a year to find your awesome set of coronavirus tracker charts – they’re truly a masterclass in data communications and dashboards. Really, well done. This is a career option – I’m sure you know!

    And I share your love of travelling. Agree 100% that the USA is essentially unbeatable. I’ve done around 20 states, I think, but I’ve had more years to clock them up. For work, pleasure and family reasons. PA, DC, MD, VA, WV, DE, NJ, NY, CA, AZ, WA, IL, IN, MI, MA, RI, CT, OH, KY, NC

    Incidentally, I’m also an Argyll person – in exile – for now. Hope life is being as good to you as it can be to anyone right now. Take care 🙂

    1. Thank you so much! Better late than never, haha! 🙂

      Sounds like you’ve got nearly all of the best states in there. Although if you visit again, Oregon is definitely worth a visit. Crater Lake in particular is one of the most beautiful places in the entire country!

      Things are okay with me, thank you. The situation is improving every day, so hopefully it won’t be long until we’re all back to normal. Hope you are doing well too!

  20. Come to Aus, when we let you in!!! And show our government how to present data in an accessible and person-friendly way – please!!

    1. Haha, I definitely plan on visiting when I can! I’ve always wanted to see Australia, especially the Outback. Maybe in a year or twos time, when all of this is over. 🙂

  21. You’ve created a great website with really well presented and insightful information on the virus. When you are able to travel come to Taiwan – it’s almost virus free and the island and food are braw.

    1. Thank you! 🙂 And I definitely will! Was hoping to visit next year, but I guess we will see how the situation is looking then.

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