Welcome to Couchfish

Just because you’re on the couch doesn’t mean you can’t travel

My name is Stuart McDonald. I’m a co-founder of Travelfish.org, a travel planning website to Southeast Asia. As you know, there’s little in the way of travel, or travel planning, going on right now. That doesn’t mean people have stopped dreaming about travel.

With free- and paid- flavours, Couchfish is the perfect tub of ice cream for the traveller stranded on their couch. Paid subs start at US7/month. Join the trip here:

Every weekday by around midday Bali time (GMT+8), paying subscribers will receive that day’s issue. Non-paying subscribers receive two free posts weekly—one on Tuesday and one on Friday, or sometimes over the weekend. Scroll down for a few more details on what Couchfish is all about.

You can travel from your couch! Photo: Stuart McDonald.

What is in an issue?

Each bite-size issue (between 700 and 1,000 words, with an attached podcast) will include a description of a day's travel in the region, including plenty of links out to other material to read. Think of it as something to take your mind off the news cycle while you enjoy your morning coffee.

Couchfish commenced in Bangkok, and has since travelled through Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia, and it is shortly to enter Malaysia. I’m travelling by ground transport only and where possible, staying and eating at family-owned businesses. I’ll be highlighting stuff that even Southeast Asia old hands may not have heard of—I hope.

You can see the itinerary so far, all laid out on a map, here. The free-to-read issues are likewise on a map here.

So this is a travel blog?

No. This isn’t a record of what I’m doing as, most likely like you, I’m stuck at home. Rather think of it as a wrap on things you could do—one day. I’ll link out to interesting videos, podcasts and perhaps throw in an interview or two. Stuff to get those feet itching.

But what about the lockdowns?

Couchfish works on the assumption that it's business as usual everywhere. All hotels and guesthouses are open. Borders are open. Buses and boats are running. Bars and restaurants are open. Fictional I know, but that’s just for now. One day they’ll be open again.

What are the rules?

  • Planes or trains: No flying unless unavoidable.

  • Visas: I’ll work within visa regulations pre-Corona.

  • Dosh: I’m not working to a budget—budgetless dreams are best right?

What is the point of Couchfish?

  • To get both my and your feet itching.

  • To help publicise small family-owned businesses in the region.

  • To give me something to do.

  • To earn me a little bit of money!

With free- and paid- flavours, Couchfish is the perfect tub of ice cream for the traveller stranded on their couch. Paid subs start at US7/month. Join the trip here:

Please get in touch

If you have a suggestion on somewhere you think I should go, please let me know. Likewise, if there is a business you’d like to see highlighted, let me know. Want to share your experiences of somewhere? Let me know. My email is stuartmcdonald@travelfish.org I’m on Twitter at @travelfish