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Andrew Shaw


Who am I? That’s a good question…I will let you know as soon as I have found out.

If you want some labels, I am a father, friend, son, entrepreneur, sport lover, contrarian thinker, lover (not a fighter), speaker, coach, business owner and self-crowned comedian – If the book does well, I will keep that final label!! 

I am me.  Trying, day by day, to show up as the best version I can; and going to sleep better for the experience.  Maximising every minute of life.  Imperfectly perfect, vulnerable, living and speaking my truth about the things that matter to me.



I grew up in a comfortable and loving working class (according to my mum) family in Yorkshire.  I wanted for nothing, well actually, I wanted a LOT but I had everything I needed.  As assumed, I did a ‘proper’ degree at Uni (none of that new-fangled computer shit) graduating in 1999 with a BSc in Chemistry, which, I never intended to use.

My first job was secured through the old boy network (more evidence of my working-class roots!!) and I was bumbling through life.  In 2001, the WTC came tumbling down and my uncle died of cancer.  I realised life was short and precious.  I went off to travel the world and find myself.

I found a lot, but the boxed wine dulled my memory. Shackles not totally broken, I slipped back into ‘pleasing society’ on my return to the UK. I got a job, a house, and a steady girlfriend – as it turned out, none of which “I” wanted.

I spent the last 20 years, wondering why life was so easy but felt somewhat unfulfilled.  Searching for something I shook the “etch-a-sketch” time and again in hard re-start after hard re-start. Don’t get me wrong, I have plenty of amazing ‘unconscious successes’ and don’t regret a single minute of it but I knew there was more to life.

I am now living that life.  Simply showing up as the best version of myself I can, every single day, not compromising on some core life values


  • Speaking my Truth

  • Thinking for myself

  • Living a life that I love

  • Doing the things that I am passionate about

  • Facilitating positive change in the World


As Dr Alban said so prophetically – “It’s my life, take it or leave it, ITS. MY. LIFE. ” … Welcome to the journey.

After multiple mind-bending experiences in Asia and driving 5,000 miles around Australia, the journey is brought to a blistering halt, leaving an indelible mark in the North Queensland highway, Bertha goes up in flames and Andrew loses ‘everything’….

Escaping small village life, Andrew put on his backpack and set off on an epic around the world journey; packed full of exciting, hilarious, thought provoking and often cringeworthy moments. It’s a candid tale of complete culture shock, delivered with self-deprecating humour that will make you laugh out loud and wince at the same time.

From night-time liaisons with a Princess to brushes with the Mafia; from Elephants roaming the Streets to giant glow-in-the-dark insects; Stunning women and beautiful “ladyboys”; friendships and jealousy; daring deeds and disaster; The worst toilet in the world, several brushes with death and many lessons learned in life itself.

It’s a hedonistic tale of self-discovery creating life-long friendships, beautiful and beguiling, pushing moral, cultural, and societal boundaries. This book will make you laugh, gasp and wince all the while providing you an opportunity to examine your own psyche. Will it light a fire of freedom and adventure under you? Maybe or maybe not, but you will love the ride.

This is the trip where Andrew found his true self. It just took twenty years to get over the hangover and realise it…

Note from the Author:

This book is me.  Living my best life as a twenty-year-old. Thinking for myself.  Free to roam, explore, and experience.  Devoid of social expectations, trusting and responsible for myself, I spent 2002 learning about life, other people, and culture and most vitally, myself. 

This is my memoir. Speaking my truth, without any fear of the outcome.  I absolutely love it.  It’s hilarious, truthful, blunt, shocking, cringeworthy, exciting, and emotional.  It’s my TRUTH.  I hope you love it as much as me.

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Australian Flags







What an insight into the world of backpacking and travelling 20 odd years ago!! Funny, well told recollections. Reliving that period of dial up internet, no smart phones and just being present in the moment! Still reading but nice short chapters easy read.


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