About Gary & Ro


About Gary

His mother’s one true love, Gary was born and raised on a small farm in County Monaghan at the heart of rural Ireland. At once the life and soul of the party and a chronic loner, Gary adopted a one-legged chicken called Chicken and a stray sheep called Sheep as his playpals and confidantes. The three amigos passed many happy hours together sipping tea from his sister’s plastic set, frolicking in landmine-strewn fields and playing Dodge The Bullet across the northern border, until one day, in preparation for Christmas, Gary’s mother slaughtered and roasted his closest friends.

Time passed and eventually Gary learned to manage without his childhood companions. Then one day, he met Róisín and, while she was no Chicken and certainly no Sheep, he thought to himself “she’s good enough for all normal purposes.”

Three painful years later and Gary’s life-long ambition to see and photograph the world outside of Ireland’s border counties are finally being realised. Although he had to endure tears, tantrums and occasional vomiting, he is now beginning to reap the benefits of his penance. So with his robot patches lovingly ironed onto his backpack and his camera the love of his life cocooned in bubble-wrap, Gary is ready to take on the world of professional photography with a gusto he normally reserves for late-night chicken fried rice in Charlie’s Chinese Take-Away.

When asked to describe Gary, his closest friends had this to say:

“Oh yeah, Gary is great. He’s like the bicycle to my fish, the hat to my dog. I really don’t know what I’m going to do when he leaves.”

And:  “Gary? Who the hell is Gary? I don’t know any Garys.”

As well as his ardent, occasionally passionate love of photography, Gary enjoys black t-shirts, grey cardigans, elephants, champagne-based cocktails, television boxsets and anything to do with technology. His aspirations include owning a red setter, becoming a full-time graphic designer and photographer and eventually severing all ties with Roisin. That said, he is willing to settle for two out of three for an easy life.

Over the course of the trip Gary will be snapping photos of anything and everything, although he is particularly excited about the Harajuku girls in Tokyo and the skyline in Hong Kong. He will also be in charge of anything technical-related, from maintaining the blog to pulling Roisin’s camera out various western and rustic-style toilets.

About Ro

It is hard to say where Róisín’s love of travel came from. Some say she got it from her father, a modest keyboard player who toured with various up-and-coming bands with names such as ‘Two Cokes and a Bag of Tayto’ or even worse, ‘The Saw Doctors’, in the early 80s before packing in his plectrum and settling for a job as a window salesman to support his one-time-groupie-cum-pregnant-wife.

According to other tales however, her wanderlust comes from her mother’s side. Descendents of the sailors that came over in the Spanish Armada, the Mangan clan never really took to dry land. This was due in part to their strange feet, the second and third toe of which on either foot was webbed – the legacy of a one night stand between a teenaged sailor on his first tour of duty and a fiery, redhead with a sea shell bra, a voice of gold and a box of thingamabobs. Ridiculed by peers and lovers and plagued by stripy glove/sock hybrids, they say that Róisín sought solace in anonymity.

Other sources still say that it was her first social outing, a picnic with her twin imaginary friends Intin and Dintin that gave Róisín her first taste for adventure. Although she eventually fell prey to the twins’ malice – Intin pushed her off the swing while Dintin stole her cheese and worm sandwich – they say that this first badge of independent travel was emblazoned across her heart.

Described by her friends as “the scary glue that holds us together”, Róisín is in charge of everything except for photography and electronics – from planning the route, writing the blog and booking accommodation, to boosting Gary out of a jail in Laos following an incident involving some cocaine he swears wasn’t his and a prison marriage to a man named Hank (for protection only, of course).

Although she is excited about the trip, Róisín is apprehensive about leaving her friends at home, alone, having to fend for themselves. They too are a worried about the year to come:

“Gosh I just don’t know how I’m going to get up in the morning,” said one friend, who asked that she not be named, “Róisín usually lays my clothes out for me and packs my lunch. And that’s just one of the little things – how will I know when to break up with my boyfriend, who I should sleep with and what to eat for dinner if she isn’t there to tell me?!”

For Róisín, the expected highlights of the trip will be scooting around Northern Thailand, hob-knobbing with the locals in Indonesia, catching her first piranha in the Amazon and bouncing her way along the roads of Cambodia in the back of a pickup. She also hopes to challenge Nevis bungee jump in Queenstown to a second round, having gone down sweating and screaming during her first bout in ’08.

*Disclaimer: the above biographies of our two protagonists may be grossly exaggerated as the resulting combination of an active imagination, several bottles of wine and bad television scheduling. Then again, they may not be. Despite its autobiographical nature, neither Róisín nor Gary takes any responsibility for the content of this blog or for any loss of libido, sight, hearing or movement that may or may not occur as a result of reading it. Neither parties condone the use of racism except for in casual circumstances

Then one day he met Roisin and realised that with her obsessive organisational skills and his chronic laziness, his ladyboy dreams could finally become reality. First however, he would have to make a few sacrifices. He swallowed his pride and told her she could sleep on his couch if she wanted. Roisin accepted his offer.
Three painful years later and Gary’s dreams are finally coming true. Although he had to endure tears, tantrums and occasional vomiting, he is now beginning to think that it was all worth it. So with his name stencilled onto his backpack and his camera love of his life cocooned in bubble-wrap, Gary is ready to take on the world of professional photography with a gusto he normally reserves for late-night chicken satays or Bailey’s cheesecake.
When asked to describe Gary, his closest friends said this:
“Oh yeah, Gary is great. He’s like the bicycle to my fish, the hat to my dog. I really don’t know what I’m going to do when he leaves.”
“Gary? Who the hell is Gary? I don’t know any Garys.”
As well as his ardent, occasionally passionate, love of photography, Gary enjoys black t-shirts, elephants, champagne-based cocktails, and when you rub the back of his neck really gently… no even more gently than that, just with the tips of your fingers. His aspirations include owning a red setter, becoming a full-time graphic designer and eventually severing all relations with Roisin. But he is willing to settle for two out of three for an easy life.Growing up in rural Monaghan, Gary always dreamed of getting away. He dreamed about the big lights of the city, conical-hat wearing workers in their rice fields, sipping mimosa cocktails on white sandy beaches, ladyboys in Thailand….

31 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Celina "third wheel" Murphy  |  October 23, 2009 at 2:52 pm

    Yous are both nuts.

  • 2. Joseph  |  October 25, 2009 at 1:43 pm

    Hey Gary,

    Sorry I didn’t make it to Sub Lounge on Friday. It’s been great to work with you. The team is slowly changing with each new departure. Hope you have the best time of your life travelling. Send the team a postcard or something, we’ll put it up on the wall.


  • 3. Bob "Stuck in Dublin" Murphy  |  November 4, 2009 at 9:10 pm

    Yeesh, whoever wrote this got you guys down pat. Like scary accurate.

  • 4. John "hates you both" Cannon  |  November 9, 2009 at 3:54 pm

    Here, I want a physical break up o meter here… big dissapointment..

  • 5. Gerry Boylan  |  November 27, 2009 at 1:11 pm

    Reading the blog I have to ask…………are we related? Sound like a blast.

    • 6. yearlongbreakup  |  December 6, 2009 at 6:39 am

      We just may be!

  • 7. Brendan Reilly  |  January 31, 2010 at 8:03 pm

    Well Gary, how is the backpacking going? Hope you enjoying yourselves

    • 8. yearlongbreakup  |  February 1, 2010 at 11:48 am

      Hi Brendan. Great to hear from you. Backpacking is going really well. We’re in Siem Reap in Cambodia at the moment, it’s really nice but poverty is really widespread and there are a lot of homeless orphans which is really sad. We’re flying to Laos tomorrow, so really looking forward to that. I hope you are enjoying the blog. Send my best to everyone. Gary

  • 9. Andy  |  February 2, 2010 at 7:46 am

    Hey guys, great meeting you @ Angkor What bar last night. Hope you’ll have a blast in Laos. Loads of nice photos, Gary, really nice 🙂 Good journey!

  • 10. Amanda  |  February 11, 2010 at 3:34 pm

    i found you …hope the Blue Lagoon was great fun , Amelia and I had so much fun with you guys in vang Vieng…we are now in Vietnam about to go to Halong bay …woo hoo it is going to be amazing then back to Hanoi for vietnamese new year….would love to see your pictures from toooobiiinnnnnggggxoxox

    • 11. yearlongbreakup  |  February 13, 2010 at 5:19 pm

      Hi Amanda. Great to hear from you. We had a nice day in the Blue lagoon, but it was not near as good as we expected it to be. We’re in Luang PraBang now and really like it hear. Probably going to head to Thailand in the next few days. I tried to find you on Facebook but failed miserably. Perhaps you would have more luck finding me. Just try searching for Gary Boylan or my username (gary.boylan2).

      The next post on the blog will be about tubing in Vang Viang. So stay tuned.
      ps. Say hi to Amelia for me

  • 12. donna brady  |  February 12, 2010 at 12:51 pm

    hey gary ive been reading your blog on occasions wow we really dont realise wot a wonderful world it is out there . gone are the days of that quiet little accordian player in the band lol. it sounds like u are avin a blast . your comments are stories are so fun and entertaining to read . i hope u and roisin ave the time of your lives it sounds like a wonderful experience . take care from your neighbour from lovely scotshouse xx

    • 13. yearlongbreakup  |  February 12, 2010 at 7:17 pm

      Hey Donna. Great to hear from you. Really glad you are reading and enjoying the blog. We’re having a blast, and it is a far cry from Scotshouse. I do miss home a little though. How’s everything with you?

  • 14. emak ade  |  April 10, 2010 at 6:14 am

    Hey, I do like your travel to Jogja, Indonesia 🙂

  • 15. ikhwanalim  |  April 10, 2010 at 2:02 pm

    nice blog,gary.. (or should i call ro,too?) huehehehe.. (laughing)

    you’re a visitors in indonesia ya? ow,please enjoy in it..
    please passing by in at my blog,too.. thanks ya!

  • 16. GRANDONK BLOGWALKER  |  April 10, 2010 at 6:52 pm

    hi ro may i put your blog into my bloglist? 🙂

    • 17. yearlongbreakup  |  April 11, 2010 at 4:23 am

      Of course you can. We would be delighted to be listed in your blog list. Thanks for visiting the blog.

  • 18. GRANDONK BLOGWALKER  |  April 10, 2010 at 6:55 pm

    sory if i’ve bad english cuz im indonisian n didnt have a good english convrsation 😛

  • 19. Kris Tabor  |  April 11, 2010 at 1:22 am

    I am so glad wordpress rolled you out onto the frontpage so I could stumble across your zaniness. I pray I will again have adventures like yours! You have reminded me it has been too long since I last strayed!

  • 20. Laura  |  April 30, 2010 at 4:02 pm

    Hahaha just gave this blog to the guy whos job I am taking over in London as a ref guide for his year of travel. I was showing it to him when I saw this section and noted the following comment-
    ‘ gone are the days of that quiet little accordian player in the band lol’

    Comedy GOLD

    Hope you guys are good. Lots of love xx

  • 21. lallie  |  May 9, 2010 at 7:35 am

    you guys are hilarious! thanks for dropping by the blog and for the kind words. Really encouraging. True… it’s nice to stumble upon kindred spirits. Now following your adventures from the other side of the planet 😀

  • 22. Ciaran McPhillips  |  July 28, 2010 at 6:23 pm

    Hi- saw your blog review on irishmediawatch.ie and just had a look. Have to day it’s fantastic and I feel like I’ve been half way round the world myself just sitting here on my sofa and I’ve only just begun reading. Great stuff altogether, well done.

  • 23. Beth  |  September 16, 2010 at 12:53 pm

    Best. Bios. Ever. Love your writing – just back from a trip on the Inca Trail and found your blog in an attempt to mentally transport myself back to Peru. Thanks for the laughs.

  • 24. ReadersHeaven  |  September 21, 2010 at 5:45 am

    Hi, nice to meet you !

  • 25. P.J.Andreadakis  |  January 26, 2011 at 10:06 pm

    You all sound like self-obsessed snot-nosed wannabes…not funny at all…go home and do something useful and stop wasting valuable time (and money) acting out …you’re not clever…what babble…give yourself and your parents a break…

  • 26. Ciaran McPhillips  |  February 16, 2011 at 10:39 am

    Ooooh! Who’s a bit of a moaning Michael? You know its probably easier for you P.J, to just log off the website rather than leave abusive, offensive messages to people who are clearly enjoying their lives alot more than you. I think begrudgery is the word.

  • 27. Syed A  |  February 21, 2011 at 4:09 am

    Best blog.. ever. Hope to take a trip like this myself sometime.

  • 28. jeffk3700  |  January 9, 2012 at 5:30 pm

    hey . love your travel stuff. how can i contact you guys for a project i am involved with that may be able to include some of your photos/story? Jeff

  • 29. sty42  |  May 20, 2012 at 12:39 am

    Great to read all this back now. Makes me wish I’d kept a blog whilst I was there. Miss you all. See you in Dublin soon. Adam

  • 30. jamesspencerphoto  |  March 26, 2013 at 10:13 pm

    Hey guys! Nominated your blog for a wee award there cuz it’s awesome 🙂

    • 31. yearlongbreakup  |  April 22, 2013 at 9:25 am

      Thanks James!


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