Your travel companion

About three years ago – in Australia – women hiring male escorts to travel with them as companions became a thing.

I have been lucky enough to see places like New Zealand, Iceland, Italy, Fiji, and more with my clients. It isn’t something that everyone can afford, but it’s also something that not all women who are or would be clients of sex workers even know is possible. So I thought I would write an article about it to outline what it is and how it works.

Every one who offers travel companion services has their own style of course, so the way I do it will be different to what my peers offer – but there’s sure to be someone out there who will suit you.

New Zealand

I think that we tend to overlook New Zealand as a travel destination. It’s just New Zealand… not as exciting as somewhere in Asia, not as rich in history and culture as Europe…

New Zealand is absolutely totally worth visiting (more than once!). It’s close, affordable, breathtakingly beautiful, is easy to get around. It will never disappoint.

Lake Wakatipu, looking west toward Glenorchy

The natural beauty of this country is undeniable. The food is good. The wine is excellent. The people are friendly.

Cecil Peak, seen from Queenstown

What it is:

I offer a service as a “travel companion”. That means that I will travel with you, just like a partner would. I’m going to be company during the travel part getting from here to there if we have to fly, catch a train, or drive. I’m going to help with your bags if you need it. We are going to explore our destination together. We are going to share all of the experiences that are on offer. I am a decent photographer with professional equipment, so I am going to document our adventure together so you don’t have to if you just want to concentrate on the experience. If something goes wrong, I am going to do my best fix it. And because I’m a sex worker, of course we can have sex too!

As a professional companion I won’t:

  • Get stressed about travelling – I’ve done plenty in my life and am very calm and collected, even in the face of lost baggage and cancelled flights!
  • Have a meltdown over some trivial thing and spoil the holiday.
  • Be demanding about where we eat and what we do – it’s your holiday, that I’m sharing with you, your preferences and desires come first and honestly I’m going to be fine with whatever you would like to do.

Italy

If you go to Italy then you have to see Venice. And a gondola ride is absolutely worth the cost.

No one needs to sell Italy as a travel destination – but we can also overlook the well known destinations when we think about travel, feeling that they are a bit passe, or not exciting enough.

Can I just say to this: Italy will never, ever be boring. As a country with literally thousands of years of history, culture, food, architecture and more, it will be forever interesting.

Yes, you need to expect more tourists, but that also comes with, more available flights, greater choice of hotels etc.

I have never seen so many tourists as I did at the popular sites in Rome, like the Trevi Fountain. As you can see above it was insanely popular. It changed the experience, but it was still wonderful to see.

How it works:

Duration – A trip away can be anywhere from a couple of days, to weeks. Whatever suits your budget and taste for adventure.

Destination – I can travel within Australia, or overseas. There are a few places that I do not currently travel: the US, due to their draconian laws that means they will deport anyone they think is a sex worker at the border – even when we are travelling just for a holiday. I also refuse to travel to Saudi Arabia due to their human rights abuses and treatment of women.

Most of my clients have places in mind that they want to travel to – however If you don’t know where to go and would like ideas, I can help plan an adventure for us to share based on things you might enjoy. I am always happy to be a part of the planning process.

I’m up for anything from an adventure trip like hiking, diving, skiing, sailing, and more, to classic site seeing, to a relaxing time laying on the beach – or anything in between.

Usually I am traveling together with clients from Australia, but I am also happy to have you “fly me to you” for your trip, if you don’t live near me.

Tasmania

Constitution Dock, Hobart

Tasmania makes for a great destination – especially if you live in Australia. It’s easy to get to, small enough to see a lot of in a week. And has plenty of attractions, both man made and natural.

Hike to Cradle Mountain, explore Freycinet National Park, visit MONA – the museum of Old and New Art on the Derwent River near Hobart, and see the ruins of the first white settlement in Tasmania at Port Arthur.

It’s easy to visit MONA. Just catch their dedicated ferry up the river from Hobart

Of course this doesn’t even scratch the surface and Tasmania is as beautiful as it is varied.

What it costs – you can see my fees for extended travel bookings on my Price and Booking page. It is also expected that you will cover the cost of travel, food, and accommodation during the trip.

Cooking – If we are staying somewhere with cooking facilities and access to groceries then I am very happy to cook for us. It’s a nice way to relax together after a day of sight seeing, or to help get us on the way in the morning. Eating out is often expensive, so cooking for us can be a great way to reduce the cost of the trip if circumstances allow.

I visited Iceland in 2018 and drove this rather comfortable Suzuki 4×4 around the island from the west cost to the south east. It’s a beautiful, rugged place. A 4×4 is highly recommended in Iceland as the weather and road conditions can be harsh. A sturdy vehicle is a good insurance policy and it lets you explore places that a regular car cannot go.

Driving – I am a safe and experienced driver (over twenty seven years of driving and riding on the road, with a perfect safety record!), so if you are thinking of doing a driving holiday then I can be your chauffeur as required. I hold an international drivers license and have experience (and confidence) driving on both sides of the road. I have driven clients in Australia, New Zealand, and Iceland, with South Africa, Canada, and Norway planned over the next year.

Sleeping arrangements – I am happy to share a bed with you when we travel – I don’t need my own room or bed. But I do require some time and space to myself each day to allow me to keep my energy up!

FIji

If you like warm waters, soft sand, snorkelling, scuba diving, and taking things slow, then Fiji is a great choice

It is easy and affordable to get to, there is accommodation to suit all budgets, and with a little effort you can find places that are quiet and relaxed without throngs of other tourists.

As a scuba diver and snorkeler, I found Fiji to have fantastic clear water, fabulous sea life, and amazing coral. If you like the ocean and want to explore it, then Fiji is a great choice.

My availability – I take bookings for up to four trips a year, those spots tend to fill up fast, so booking well ahead is vital. My next availability as I write is mid 2020. If you have a specific time in mind to travel, please don’t hesitate to contact me to discuss my availability.

After the trip – when we get home I process all of the photos that I took and provide you with electronic copies of them. I also assemble a stylish hard cover photo book of the best images. My photo books typically run to 100 pages or more, visually telling the story of our trip.

This is the photo book I created for a trip to New Zealand with a client in 2018

I don’t charge extra for my photo books, they are included in the cost of the trip.If you would like prints of any of the photos that I take then I am happy to arrange that too. I especially love creating large format prints of landscape photographs captured when I travel.

So, if you think a trip – big or small – with me would be fun, then drop me a line and let’s have an adventure together!

John.

Scuba diving at Oak Park Beach, Cronulla, Sydney

Twelve months ago I completed my Open Water scuba diver’s certificate. It was something that I have wanted to do for many, many years, and I am very pleased that I finally did it.

scuba diver with underwater camera, over seaweed bed
scuba diver over seaweed bed

I recently had a chance to dive at Oak Park in Cronulla, Sydney. It’s a fascinating and popular dive spot that is relatively easy to access straight from the beach. I dove with a a local group and was “buddied” with a diver who, like me, was also a photographer. So we headed out and spent forty minutes on the bottom photographing the fish life off Oak Park Beach.

I am always surprised by just how “tropical” the fish around Sydney are. And the seemingly never ending variety is quite amazing.

Female blue grouper comes up to check out me and my dive buddy for that day.

The highlight of the dive for me was finally meeting some of Sydney’s famous blue groupers! These fish are HUGE. The males being the biggest, with a striking blue colour, while the females are smaller and a green/brown colour. They are quite comfortable around humans (due to being fed, which is not ideal) and when they spot a diver, will come to investigate and often hang around in the hope of a sea urchin treat!

A male blue grouper hanging around, hoping for a treat of sea urchin
The resident male blue grouper Gus (there is only one male at a time in any given area) hung around, hoping for a treat of sea urchin. When a male blue grouper eventually dies, one of the females with change sex and become the new Gus!

The fish life is so varied – most of which I have never seen, or even know the name of.

These fish stayed close to the rock walls at all times and moved in large highly synchronised schools. I have no idea what they actually are! And fish identification, I have found seems to be even harder than bird identification!

Fish that I have yet to identify – hanging out along the sandstone wall that you follow out from the beach at Oak Park
My dive buddy photographing the “old wives” (Enoplosus armatusthat are very common off Oak Park beach
Another species that I couldn’t identify, doing a great job of camouflaging itself among the plant life on the sandy bottom
“Don’t mind me…” Gus chilling with my dive buddy

If you are a certified scuba diver – or you would like to get your Open Water certification – I am available for adventure bookings, whether it’s a day diving in Sydney, or a week on the Great Barrier Reef, or diving in Fiji. I can am very easy to travel with and will bring you home safe with loads of beautiful photographs of your trip – both above and below the water.

John

Full moon – blood moon…

Last weekend I accompanied a client on a trip to a wildlife rescue centre near Canberra. On Saturday morning – around 4.30am we abandoned a nice warm bed to view the 2018 July Lunar Eclipse – you might have heard something about a “blood moon” – well that was it!

You can read more here if you are interested in the technical details of this lunar eclipse…

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/July_2018_lunar_eclipse

It’s hard to describe the strange beauty of seeing the full moon slowly, slowly eaten away by the earth’s shadow. Fading away from its silver brightness to a dull orange/red.

It was a humbling experience – a demonstration from nature of just how tiny we are – which I think, is a good thing to be reminded of occasionally.

I didn’t have the appropriate camera gear with me to take a good quality photo of the blood moon, but I did take a shot with my phone. You can see the moon bottom right with Mars in the background naming an appearance!

And another larger view. You can see the red colour bleeding into the face of the moon from the right as the shadow deepened.

John.

Sydney Harbour – Hermitage Foreshore Walk to Neilsen Park

I got out for a walk today.  Down to Sydney Harbour and along the Hermitage Foreshore Walk to Neilsen Park.  It’s a long time since I have been down that way, so it was lovely, despite the initially cool weather to see the views over the Harbour and walk along the cliffs.

It was very much a “stop and smell the roses” kind of day today.  So I took the camera along with me and made the most of the excursion…

John.

 

 

The Camino Way

St Jean Pied de Port“The Camino de Santiago known in English as The Way of Saint James among other names, is a network of pilgrims’ ways serving pilgrimage to the shrine of the apostle Saint James the Great in the cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia in northwestern Spain, where tradition has it that the remains of the saint are buried. Many follow its routes as a form of spiritual path or retreat for their spiritual growth. It is also popular with hiking and cycling enthusiasts and organized tour groups” – from Wikipedia

BiarritzFor those who follow my Twitter account (@JohnOhOfSydney) you will know that I was lucky to be booked by a client to join her for a few days walking The Camino de Santiago from the South of France down into Northern Spain earlier this year.

It was a fabulous trip – filled with beautiful scenery, physical challenge, and the solitude of wild places.

Golden eagle on the French PyreneesI am not a religious or spiritual person, but you don’t need to be to enjoy this trek and to grow as a person from the experience. I had the opportunity to practice my photography skills along the way and I can say that the scenery was truly stunning – like nothing that I have ever experienced. I love Australia and the Australian landscape, but I have always had a strong reaction to the deep and vivid greens of European lands and forest.

Camino way Pyrenees forestSomething that surprised me was discovering that there was very little animal life – other than domestic animals – as we walked over the French Pyrenees Mountains. There was some bird life (including golden eagles which were most impressive), but I literally didn’t see a wild animal until we reached Pamplona – and that was a solitary red squirrel.

The food in southern France and Northern Spain was surprising to me. It was probably the biggest cultural difference from Australia. The local food was very limited in its variety. A lot of bread, cured meat, and cheese – and quiche! I love all of those things, but you can have too much of a good thing…

Lunch at OrissonIt emphasised to me how much Australia has benefited from migrant culture. We have such diversity in the food available to us on any given day on in any place. There will always be Asian food, European food, American food – the list goes on. And our fresh produce is, I think, second to none in the world, and that makes a huge difference to the quality of dishes.

The walking itself was serious and requires preparation. The first day from St-Jean-Pied-de-Port to Roncesvalles is approximately 27kms. Forest path near RoncesvallesIt would be a long walk just on flat ground, but this part of the trip climbs 1,200 meters over the French Pyrenees and down another 500 meters into northern Spain. It’s a walk that many people split over two days rather than one, but we did the whole thing in one go. It was quite an achievement and a spectacular experience.

For anyone contemplating this walk, I would definitely recommend that you take your time. Don’t rush to get to your next destination. Walk slowly. Stop often. Look around. Take lots of photographs.

There is always another days walk ahead, but taking the time to really enjoy where you are (and will likely never be again!) is invaluable.

If you are contemplating a trip and would like a companion for your travels, then please seem my Travel Page for rates and conditions.

John.

Well, it’s been a while!  I realised today that I haven’t posted anything to my website since June is year (!).

So in the spirit of not being so slack, here is a photo that I took some time ago at the Brick Pit at Sydney Olympic Park.  I’m have posted other images of the Ring Walk in the past, but this one showing the artificial lake that has become home to endangered golden bell frogs and much more wildlife is one of my favourite images.

Brick Pitt lake, Sydney Olympic ParkClick the image to see the full sized version.

It seems like only yesterday that it was January and I was having some time off – the year has truly flown by for me.

In recent times, I have been lucky enough to travel to France and Spain to walk the Camino Way with a client and to spend several days in Tasmania experiencing the best food, wine, art, and culture that Hobart has to offer.  It has been an amazing time – if tiring!

I am still working to process the photos that I have been taking in my travels and I will post more about my trips in due course.

John.

Shoalhaven River walk

My job as a male escort for women is never dull.  I have said many times that I consider it the best job I have ever had. In large part this is because I regularly meet new and interesting people and often do things that I may not have the chance to otherwise.

A case in point is a trip that I have been asked to take with a client who is fulfilling a dream to walk the Camino Way in France and Spain.  I am going along for the first few days of her odyssey then flying home while she continues on across the mountains.

It will be my first time in both France and Spain and I am looking forward to experiencing new places and cultures, not to mention the views of the Pyrenees Mountains – which we will be walking over.

To that end I need to be in good hill walking shape, because – while the Camino Way is a well worn route that thousands of people walk every year, it’s still a serious climb!  So, in preparation I am varying my normal exercise routine – mostly riding my kickbike around the very flat Olympic Park and its surounds – and adding some serious hill walking.

My first walk was down to the Shoalhaven River in the Southern Highlands in New South Wales, a couple of hours south of Sydney.  The Shoalhaven River sits in a very deep gorge that it has carved for itself over the millennia.  And the walk in and out is steep.  The views are beautiful, in that understated Australian landscape way and despite the cold and wind on the valley rim, it was calm and warm down by the river.

It made for an excellent walk that definitely taxed me!  I will be doing similar walks again a few times before I go, and based on the challenge of the first walk it should stand me in good stead for walking the Camino Way!

John.

The ghost of Melbourne (and a life) past

Flinders St station - Melbourne

Flinders St station – Melbourne

I lived in Melbourne before I moved to Sydney. Specifically in Richmond, and before then Prahran when I was at university.

Back then Prahran was the poor cousin to, well, just about every other inner Melbourne suburb. The process of gentrification hadn’t really taken hold and it was still a cheap place to live. Affordable to students and just a short walk from where I studied. But the area was somewhat down at heal. Most of the pubs were still typical inner city dives – dark, smelling of beer, and inhabited by people there to drink away the day and forget. It wasn’t an inspiring landscape.

When we look back on our lives, we have pictures in our heads of the way that places were when we knew them. But nothing stays the same. Everything changes. Life moves on. Especially so in cities. But memories are comfortable places. They don’t challenge us, or ask us to change, or better ourselves. In fact they can be excellent excuses for not changing. For staying the same.

Last week while I was in Melbourne, I was lucky enough to have time to walk down Chapel St on Saturday night. Chapel St (for those of you who don’t know Melbourne) runs from Richmond, all the way down to St Kild. Through South Yarra and Prahran.

When I lived there, Chapel St had two faces: the glamorous South Yarra end and the down-at-heal Prahran end. Walking from one end to the other was to see a (certain) cross-section of life and culture in Australia.

The dazzle of Chapel St on Saturday night

The dazzle of Chapel St on Saturday night

Not any more.

I was truly stunned by what I saw. I had intended to only go half way down Chapel St, then turn right and head back to my hotel. But when I reached the half way point I was amazed to see that the glitter of South Yarra now spilled on into Prahran. Even the South Yarra end was more alive. More restaurants, more people, more activity – More life!

I blame Fifty Shades... but not too much

I blame Fifty Shades… but not too much

And it just went on and on… The further I walked, the bigger the change. The few restaurants in Prahran and the dingy shops have been replaced with more eating places than I could count – it seemed like every third shop front was a restaurant. And the shops themselves were now much more up market. And everywhere were people! Masses of them. When once Chapel St was a bit of a desert, even on Saturday night, now it was positively crowded! Tables full of people clogged the footpath, security staff stood guard at door after door of trendy pubs, clubs, and eateries. And everywhere were people going too and fro.

It was like nothing I ever expected to see in my old home.

And it was invigorating!

Chasers nightclub still exists?  25 years later?  How is that still 'cool'?

Chasers nightclub still exists? 25 years later? How is that still ‘cool’?

Not expecting to see anything of note, I didn’t bother to take my camera and sadly my phone battery died as well, so I only have a few photos to share. I tried to capture the moment, but it’s not an easy thing to do with such a brief photo essay.

Having walked the length of Chapel St and confirmed that my favourite theatre (The Astor) was indeed still there, I turn off Chapel St, walking past my old university (much renovated and upgraded I saw) and into the comparative darkness and quiet of High St, heading back to my hotel.

The walk gave me time to think. And the lesson that my exploration of Chapel St was trying to teach me was this: life is about change – or more to the point: life should be about change.

Especially when we are talking about ourselves. Places that stay the same, that don’t evolve, don’t challenge us. They allow us to be comfortable with who and what we are. They allow us to not grow. The extreme changes in Chapel St made me realise that not only were the memories that I had of that place no-longer current, but that my attitude toward that place was not even relevant any more! It made me stop and ask the question of _who_ I really am. Am I the person who went to university there? Are the ideas and attitudes that were shaped by that place – that doesn’t even exist any more – still useful and relevant? Was I living in the past? Did I need to look harder at myself?

The answer was and is: yes. We always need to be looking at ourselves, asking ourselves whether the ideas and beliefs that we hold are still relevant? Or are they holding us back from doing and being what we need to be? Are we letting the past dictate our future? Is it time to build a new life that gives us the things that we really want?

I wouldn’t expect Youtube to throw up instructional life lessons, but someone there threw up some ideas that mesh well with my exploration of Chapel St. He said words to the effect of: you need to stop regularly and ask yourself “Am I doing the one thing that I really want to be doing with my life?”. If the answer is no, then that is what you need to do.

Of course not everyone can simply change the course of their lives. We all have commitments and history that place limits on us. But the lesson is sound: we need to be constantly assessing ourselves and our life and making the changes that we need to make to be happy, healthy, and fulfilled.

This about the hardest, most scary thing that most people can do. We are hemmed in from day to day by responsibilities, by “conventional wisdom”, by expectations, by our own fear of change. But we can’t let that stop us.

We have to be brave – because the world simply WILL NOT WAIT for us. It will change around us. It will not care how difficult life will become. So it is up to every one of us to take on that challenge and find a way to thrive.

John.

Stop and smell the roses – we only get one life

Tasmania is beautiful. If you have never been there, I highly recommend it. I was lucky enough to stay on the east coast, near Feycinet National Park (pronounced frey-sin-ay) for three nights recently. It is a truly magnificent area with rugged mountains, beautiful beaches (with rather cold water this time of year!), fabulous fresh produce, beautiful wildlife, and much to see and do.

I will share below, some photos that I took, but I also want to talk about how it made me feel. Sometimes trips away can be exhausting, but I truly found this place to be a pleasure to visit and for reasons that I can’t explain, it was a relaxing and refreshing experience. No hustle and bustle perhaps. Fresh air and good food. Exercise, but no grind and stress. I came home feeling truly invigorated by the experience and curious to see more of Tasmania one day.

The lesson that it taught me is that the world is a remarkable place. Worthy of exploration. Worthy of protection. And as people we often forget this. We are wrapped up in lives that don’t afford us the time, energy, or money to really appreciate the beauty  and fun of the world.

The same can be said for sex and our sexuality. Like quiet enjoyment of nature, being able to enjoy sex means that we need to be able to put aside the worries of the day and of life and truly be in the moment. Not an easy thing to do in a busy world where everything else takes priority in our lives – and society is so often busy sending us mixed messages about sex and what part it should play in our lives.

I hope that you enjoy the photos below.

John.

Wineglass Bay

Wineglass Bay

The Hazards

The Hazards

Coles Bay

Coles Bay

Swanwick Bay pelicans

Swanwick Bay pelicans

Tasmanian devil

Tasmanian devil

Wineglass Bay from Cape Tourville

Wineglass Bay from Cape Tourville

Wineglass Bay from Cape Tourville

Wineglass Bay from Cape Tourville

The Nuggets

The Nuggets

The Tasman Sea under leaden sky

The Tasman Sea under leaden sky

A Pacific Gull (Larus pacificus) over Carp Bay

A Pacific Gull (Larus pacificus) over Carp Bay

All good things must come to an end, but this is hardly a disappointing place to fly home to!

Sydney Harbour

Sydney Harbour