So it’s been forever. As in really, truly forever. Do you know how forever it’s been? Among other things I’ve managed to do the following (in no particular order):
- I’ve got in (and out) of a dysfunctional relationship
- travelled to 8 countries
- learned to drive and got my driver’s license
- picked up ice-skating and baking as hobbies (I crap you not, I can bake 15 different kinds of bread now)
- written a novel about my travels and the aforementioned relationship failure (still in editing, but you can read about it here)
- bought a ticket to Burning Man
- produced my favorite job of all times
- harvested 60 buckets of potatoes and pickled 30 liters of tomatoes
- completely changed my life by quitting full-time and embracing free-lance
- met astounding amount of amazing people
- decided to move to Germany for a half-a-year language course this fall…
You see what I mean? F-O-R-E-V-E-R!
I’ve been neglecting my backpacking blog while backpacking through France, Italy and Germany… In short, I’ve been one sucky blogger. That said, I’ve lived my life more intensely, with more awareness than ever before – so I hope you forgive me, dear both remaining readers. However, I’ll try to right this wrong: my informational and impressional overdose is so great, that I’ve figured I’ll do a little retrospective recap of the past year – dwelling on past travels is one of the main reasons why people travel to begin with. And for now, feel free to check out an extremely abbreviated photo summary.
From Frankfurt with love,
Everything ends. And in the end there’s always so much pain… Sometimes I wonder how it is even possible to get through without losing a part of sanity. Or soul… Every instance of pain hardens me, like blisters from a shovel harden the palms of one’s hands. I’m disintegrating in heartache – never to be assembled in quite the same way. Each time something goes missing – something soft and tender, something of the quality of childhood laughter.
Every following time I encounter pain, another – different – spot of my unsheltered flesh chips off… And I’m left to observe – in astonishment – how former vulnerability transforms into the cold shield of experience. Struggling through pain robs me of yesterday’s precious sensitivity – and I can’t see any longer: did I get stronger or am I just dead inside?
I’m suffering. Well, big surprise – who doesn’t? But how come it seems that I – unlike the many optimistically coupling and striving for closeness – through suffering lose the very ability to love?
Am I just dead inside?
Who killed me? And why?
Posted in meditations
Here’s a soothing news for those of you who have been stuck in cold offices all winter long: at times my trip through South East Asia has been a phenomenal pain in the ass! There were things now and then that made me deeply miserable. It took some serious guts and a very developed inner beach bum to step over some of the following… Continue reading
Ok, I couldn’t possibly avoid making a follow-up list, could I? I mean if you know me at all, you probably expected an Excel spread-sheet with pie charts and stuff. However after months of spiritual search, I’ve mastered the art of self-control – so you are spared of complex statistical analysis and visual representation of data in 3D. Lucky you!
Instead, I’m posting couple über-basic lists: what I loved and what I hated about my travels. Today’s high five is warm and fuzzy – it’s about the things that rocked. Stay tuned for tomorrow’s edition though – there will be some nasty, dangerous and dramatically stupid stuff there!
So, in the past 6 months I absolutely loved… Continue reading
After the tragic death of my beloved camera phone, my new best friend, Sony’s Cybershot W530, traveled with me through Laos, Cambodia and Thailand. I probably could have been more impressed with the zoom and panorama mode, but wide (and I mean: w—i—d—e) shots and macros turned out contrasty, colorful and beautifully crisp. This is absolutely, totally, one billion percent the best point-and-shoot I ever owned!
Carl Zeiss forever!
Note: all images are hand-held and taken in the basic ‘intelligent auto’ mode. Continue reading
Khmer village house
It didn’t occur to me to compair Laos to Thailand on any level other than culinary. Ok, I have also made a mental note that north of Mekong they drive on the proper side of the road. Other than that, the two countries – though unique in their own ways – seemed to flow one into the other quite seamlessly. Cambodia, on the other hand, strikes me as a completely different kind of South East Asia. Continue reading
A sign at Bangkok's Rambutri Road
This blog was supposed to be real-time-ish. Not day-to-day by any means – there was still actual travelling to be done, actual people to be met and actual alcohol to be consumed – but something on a “this is where I was hungover last week” basis. And I was keeping it together up to the last month of my trip. Then something happened: back in Kiev my rented apartment got sold, so I had to cut my trip short and return to pack up shitload of my earthly possessions. Think furniture, domestic appliances, and enough footwear to equip a little army – if the said army elected to march on in high-heal sandals, size 5. Continue reading
Si Phan Don – an area in the southern-most part of Laos – is said to have 4000 islands. Not that I counted, but somehow I doubt these numbers are accurate. One can see why Laotians would be tempted to exaggerate: theirs is a pretty, but landlocked country – and islands are to tourism what World Cup screening rights are to FIFA: a golden cow. Regardless whether it’s thousands or hundreds, the islands are picturesque, laid-back and typically rural: grazing water buffaloes, slowly-gliding narrow boats, smiley bare-bummed kids… Continue reading
If you were wondering which is the world’s most boring capital, look no further! Laos has more than a fair share of scenic, fascinating, eye-popping destination, but the nation’s city #1 ain’t no one of them. Lonely Planet offered that Vientiane doesn’t show its beauty quite as readily as Luang Prabang. More like never. Continue reading
En route from beautiful Luang Prabang to boring Vientiane, there’s a little town called Vang Vieng. Here a stunning natural backdrop of limestone cliffs and mountainous rivers is at conflict with a characterless, overly touristic inner part – so very similar to Phi Phi. Or another Thai parallel: it is what would happen to Pai, if it chose to turn into Phuket. In short, it’s cheesier than American cheddar. Continue reading