The Evolution of Packing

I wasn’t always a backpacking traveler. Being from a tiny affluent country in Europe, it’s pretty normal to go on holidays abroad (privilege!) and I personally don’t know any of my fellow same-passport holders who hasn’t been abroad. Travel has been a part of my life since birth. Normally, we’d travel by car, giving us plenty of room to bring Stuff™ and sometimes we’d go by airplane. Only for the latter we’d have to really think about what to pack as there’s limits to how much Stuff you can bring. Amsterdam Schiphol Airport, July 2011. I’m flying to Argentina for five weeks to learn Spanish. My premature birthday present: a huge, lime-green suitcase for checked-in luggage. The weight limit is 23kg and that’s what I’ve loaded into it. Dresses, shoes – yes, even make-up – goes in there. I have to sit on it to close it. I drag the dead weight on the scales for luggage drop-off. Weighing the suitcase at the airport brings the total weight a little under the maximum. Success! Or not…… Read more >

Surprise Storm

Yesterday we hitched to the hotsprings of Benjë, not far from Përmet and on my wishlist for Albania from day one. We went for a much needed warm bath and all was fun until the rain started, then heavy rain and the following hail from the sky that grew bigger by the second. We were Read more >

Power Outages

Yes, that’s a torch on my head. I’m freaking night blind! The last few days were marked with ultimate chill, beer, new friends and the dog. Also this small thing: massive primetime #thunder and #lightning that was our TV for two days and the subsequent power outages (hence no internet and no posts!), which is Read more >

Spontaneous Laundry Day

Yes, this is a photo of clean laundry.. but the story behind it is pretty cool! When #hitchhiking to #Kruče I stopped the second car that passed (one of my fastest hitchhiking times!) stopped for me in like 20 seconds. The driver, originally from #Serbia, owns “Pingvin drycleaning” in the cities of #Podgorica, #Budva and Read more >

The Hitchhiker’s Wishlist

1. Colorful markers to make ultra cool signs 2. Hiking socks. There’s never enough new unsmelly, hole-free hiking socks 3. Zero-mass tent with zero-mass stakes. Why is this so heavy? 4. Rip-proof, dirt-proof and smell-proof backpack. Preferably with anti food explosion feature too 5. Leather hiking boots with cool laces 6. Magic mattress and sleepingbag Read more >

Panama’s Border

Welcome to Panama! Yesterday’s bordercrossing picture from Costa Rica to Panama, hitching into David around sundown with yet another good Samaritan from Honduras. It was a tight call whether I could cross, but I made it! The Panamese immigration officer asked me for my (fake) flight ticket to Madrid and it worked, then he asked Read more >

Trapped in Paradise

There’s a place called Paradise. In fact, there’s many of them, all a flight away from Home. At the club in a resort the adults are the only ones left after their children have gone to bed. A day full of turning-lobster-tanning and swimming in the hotel’s pool – located next to the sea – is over. The included breakfast, lunch and dinner have been eaten for a week. Tomorrow it’s time to get on the airplane and go back home, so the gringo doesn’t sleep tonight, the males and females of ripe and over-ripe age go to the club to drink piña coladas and rum-cokes. At 11 p.m. a little Latino boy walks out of the darkness of the beach over to the hotel and tries to sell some of his mom’s tamales. He’s from what once was a beach-side town, born and raised there, and probably has to go to school tomorrow morning. The little boy approaches 62-year-old… Read more >