Not your ordinary English chap…

by Evans Yonson

Andrew Kay

1. Tell us a background of yourself: Where are you from? Studies? Single? Married?

Hi. I’m from Derby in Central England but currently live in Nottingham (also Central England). I have a (sometimes) easy-going partner called Ricky. A lovely gentleman and all round nice chap. My studies include the usual English qualifications (GCSE’s, A-Levels) and have a BA in a somewhat not too interesting subject – Health and Social Care Services Management … (and breathe!!!). I begin studying a graduate course in nursing in September. A much needed ‘change’ that couldn’t come sooner.

2. What circumstances brought you where you are now? How many years have you been here?

I came about by my parents doing what parents do. I have been on the Earth for 27 years. In terms of how long I’ve been in Nottingham – I came here to be with Ricky. We’ve been together for 9 years now.

3. How often do you go home?

I tend to go home a couple of times a week. Derby isn’t too far away so travelling there to visit family and friends is an easy 20 minute journey by car.

4. What are differences between home and your host country/city/area? Cite differences in terms of people, food, transportation, pace of life.

Oh gosh, well I can’t say there’s much difference between people from Derby and Nottingham. However, comparing people from Nottingham/Derby and London – English people always say that the ‘Northerners’ (Derby/Nottingham) are much more polite compared to people in the south (London). Pace of life here in Central England is much slower (depends on frailty, mobility, mental capacity etc of the population under the microscope) but on the whole, there are sizeable differences between areas only 100 miles apart in ways of culture, accent, wealth and … erm … teenage pregnancies! :p

5. Would you travel alone? Or with your family? Or with friends? Or with wife/partner? Why?

I would never anticipate travelling with immediate family. They drive me crazy. I enjoy travelling alone – basking in the selfishness of not having to commit to other peoples’ ways. Not to say I mind that, because I don’t. But I’m an easy traveller who doesn’t mind jumping on a plane and escaping. Ricky is an easy person to travel with, very easy. As well as Ricky’s good friend, Aaron. Although Aaron is very much an adventurer, both of them don’t mind if I’d prefer to stay in instead of going about. They don’t hassle; they just appreciate. Could that be a positive character trait of Pinoys?

6. How do you travel? By car? By bus? By plane? By boat? Please explain.

I travel by car for commuting purposes only. I could never drive outside of England – the other side of the car, other side of the road I’m unable to coordinate. Therefore, I leave that to others to do. I always travel by plane when I travel abroad. I cannot cope with boats (an ultimate fear of being stranded in the sea). I just came back from Vancouver a few weeks ago and they use a Seabus to travel from Central Vancouver to North Vancouver (I HAD to travel on it to be able to get out and about). Therefore, not to say I refuse to travel by boat, but all the same, it’s my least favourite mode of travel.

7. What is the farthest place that you have travelled to away from your present residence? Why the distance?

Cebu, Philippines. Ricky is from there and so have been three times. It’s a fabulous place; the people, the food, the (always hot) weather, the way of life. The enjoyment of being with people who still smile regardless of circumstances. It makes me appreciate life a lot more.

8. Do you take photographs during your travels? Why?

When it comes to travel, I have only ever been to places where I have had a purpose to go (i.e. visiting family of friends). I cannot say I’m a typical tourist. I enjoy just getting into the day to day life of anywhere I go instead of touring the sites and attractions. That probably makes me a boring traveller, but I prefer to see and experience life from within the culture itself and not from outside as a tourist. Strange?…probably so. But that’s me. Therefore, I don’t tend to take photo’s unless it’s of things which will make me reminisce of those times I was there, instead of taking photo’s for the sake of taking photo’s.

9. Travel light? Travel heavy? Why?

Always travel light! ALWAYS! I cannot deal with being told by the airline rep’ that I am over my luggage allowance (if only i’d be upgraded to first class). There’s been many occasions where, travelling with Ricky to Philippines, this has happened…because of Ricky! I panic about it, so I deal with it by travelling light.

10. Backpack? Luggage? Why?

Luggage, unless only going somewhere overnight or for a couple of days. I’m not a good adventurer so the thought of hiking everything on my back is not an appeal that lures me!

11. What’s in your backpack/luggage when you travel? Complete details, please…

Book(s), money, passport, toiletries, clothes, presents (for whoever I’m visiting and sometimes carrying presents on behalf of others). That’s it really, that’s what makes me a great light traveller!

12. When and where was the last travel? For how long?

Vancouver, Canada. I went to visit family on my father’s side as I have never met them before (cousin, Jo and Uncle). It was such a delightful experience to both experience and live a Canadian way of life for eight days and to meet my cousin, Jo is, thankfully, was my type of person. Eight days of being with somebody you have never met before AND didn’t enjoy…Oooops! I hope to be going again soon(ish).

13. Home? Or host city? Please explain why.

Wherever I am in the world when I’m travelling or if I was to emigrate in the future, home is always where I feel safe and grounded. What’s that motto “you can take [Andrew] out of [England] but never [England] out of [Andrew]! 🙂