started out as a travelog in 2002, when I hit upon the idea of using a blog to stay in touch with friends during a 15-year-late gap year. I left Glasgow for Bangkok in the winter of ’02, and San Francisco for London in spring ’04, the journey having taken me through Nepal, India, Thailand, Cambodia and Malaysia.

The journey began with a meditation retreat at Kopan monastery, a Gelugpa study centre in the Himalayan foothills overlooking the Kathmandu Valley.  Because I had no idea if or when I’d be coming back, and knowing that I’d probably not be the same even if I did, I chose the name ‘totallygone’, which is by coincidence a phrase from the Heart (of the Perfection of Wisdom) Sutra, one of (Mahayana) Buddhism’s most  celebrated and powerful texts.

The expression also refers to my photographic studies, which focus on capturing an image, an experience or event, before it’s too late.  Commenting on this aspect of photography, Cartier Bresson noted “Photographers deal in things which are continually vanishing and when they have vanished there is no contrivance on earth which can make them come back again.”

Totallygone was originally (and kindly) hosted by, a site operated out of the University of North Carolina, where I studied late last century. It’s currently migrating to a new home and platform (Blogger -> WordPress), so please be patient., the early years, can currently be found at

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