I’m a British photographer, designer and web developer and I live in Switzerland. Permanent Tourist is my personal website. I came up with the name because I try to live like an interested visitor, whether at home or elsewhere.
I spend much of my spare time in the mountains near where I live on the shores of Lake Thun: hiking and taking photographs. I’ve been here since 2001; before that, I lived in Hampshire, England and (as a child) in London.
I speak English and Bernese (Swiss) German fluently, German relatively well, and French passably but with a little hesitation. Through my work on multilingual websites, I also have an understanding of written Italian, and my abilities in German allow me a basic understanding of Dutch.
Long before all this was a twinkle in my eye, I studied to A-level at Salesian College in Farnborough, Hampshire.
The day job
My daily work involves project management, concept work, cross-media solutions and workshop leadership, front-end, back-end and API development, media production, client consultancy, design and sales.
Previously, I’ve been a development manager, team leader, digital developer, media producer, content management system developer and customer services advisor for small, large and international companies based in the U.K. and Switzerland since the 1990s.
I write long-form entries in alphabetical order about my life from time to time. The first was published here in 2013.
Unbeknown to me, during one of my many visits to Switzerland, one of my fellow tourists somehow fell to the temptation of throwing away his return ticket and remain longer than is usually accepted for trippers. He describes himself, quite accurately I think, as the Permanent Tourist.
He now lives in a spacious flat, forever condemned to waking every morning to the sight of the majestic snow-capped alps and turquoise lakes, travel to his cushy lakeside job on the best, most efficient rail system in the world, and spend his weekends amidst scenery that most of us weep at for the sheer spectacle of beauty. To top it all, he does this in the accompaniment of a particularly gorgeous female.
As if this is not enough, he is able to encapsulate all this wonder in which he dwells through his lens with the efficiency of a keen-eyed sniper. Just look yourself, and you’ll see visions that are both stunning, clever and at times amusing. If he went professional, we may as well all throw away our cameras, for we are not worthy.Graham McKenzie-Smith, 2006
Latest blog posts
How I used manual content structuring and the power of the WordPress Site Editor to set up what we believe to be the first non-plugin-based multilingual WordCamp website.
Going on large and small adventures has always made my life a little richer.
A trip to England, a lack of autumn feeling despite the vivid colours and learning how to set a fire.
Using 1970s technology to drive a tank through a miniature landscape.