My Evolution of Packing: A History of My Baggage

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 haven’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. Packing light or efficiently wasn’t a concern for the car trips Only for the plane, we’d have to really think about what to pack as there are limits to how much Stuff you can bring. 0. The Carry-A-Corpse Suitcase Amsterdam Schiphol Airport,Continue reading

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Horse with a Backpack in Gjirokastër, Albania

Would you look at this Albanian horsie! Is it a horse? Or is it a mule? Alas, I have no clue. There were many of them in Gjirokastër and many of them carried a backpack of sorts. This made me think that we have a lot in common. I know, it’s not a whole lot to go on. But I wanted to share this picture with y’all nonetheless. Seeing a horse just parked outside a building makes me think this town is a bit like a western movie. I refrained from asking for directions to the saloon. Perhaps one dayContinue reading

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Benjë Hot Springs nearby Përmet, Albania (During a Storm)

Yesterday, Dongbum and I hitchhiked to the hot springs of Benjë (Llixhat e Bënjës). These are not far from Përmet and have been on my wishlist for Albania from day one. We went for a much needed warm bath and all was fun until the rain started. The benign rain quickly turned into heavy rain and subsequently into hail chunks from the sky that grew bigger by the second. Just a few millimeters bigger and these hailstones begin to hurt like a bitch when they hit you. We were hiding from the storm under the arched bridge named Katiu or Kadiu’sContinue reading

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Power Outages, Thunder, and Independence Day (Kruče, MNE)

Yes, that’s a torch on my head. I’m freaking night blind! The last few days were marked with the ultimate chill, beer, new friends, and Lu Lu 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!). Though a bit annoying, this is the perfect weather for reading a book or fixing my backpack by candlelight—or torchlight. We’ve also cooked our meals – pancakes, lots and lots of pancakes – on a Real Fire™. Tomorrow is the day I’ll go to the localContinue reading

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Budva, Montenegro: Spontaneous Laundry Day

Yes, this is a photo of clean laundry in Budva… but the story behind it is pretty cool! When hitchhiking to Kruče I stopped the second car that passed. Besides being remarkable as one of my fastest hitchhiking times – stopped for me in like 20 seconds – the driver owns this drycleaning business chain. He’s originally from Serbia and owns ‘Pingvin drycleaning’ in the cities of Podgorica, Budva, and Bar. He was driving all the way to my destination but had to make some stops at his businesses on the way to exit Kruče. After hearing my story of travelingContinue reading

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Waterproofing my Backpack Before the Next Trip

Waterproofing my backpack before the next trip. This is important maintenance work! I’m doing a lot of preparation works from my mom’s home before I head out again. I’ve been at my mom’s place for a few days since hitchhiking home for Christmas from Istanbul. Though I love catching up with my family here, I can’t stay for new years because I don’t like to be in this country during that time. The reason? They’ve got this insane fireworks culture in the Netherlands. Everyone can buy fireworks and light them up themselves, which wouldn’t be a problem if there weren’tContinue reading

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The Hitchhiker’s Wishlist (2014)

This year’s hitchhiker’s wishlist for Christmas and in general is as follows: 1. Colorful markers to make ultra-cool hitchhiking signs 2. Hiking socks. There are never enough new unsmelly, hole-free hiking socks 3. Rip-proof, dirt-proof, and smell-proof backpack. Preferably with an anti-food explosion feature too (I have traumas) 4. Leather hiking boots with cool laces 5. Zero-mass tent with zero-mass stakes. Why is this so heavy? 6. (Related to number 5:) Magic mattress and sleeping bag with spontaneous ‘my own bed’ feature that makes it as comfy as home. A little like that scene in Harry Potter when they enterContinue reading

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Welcome to Panama! A Border Crossing Adventure

Welcome to Panama! But no, this was yet again more of an adventure than anticipated (and hoped for). This picture is from yesterday’s (11th of June) border crossing from Costa Rica to Panama at the binational city of Paso Canoas. I hitchhiked into a town called David around sundown with yet another good samaritan from Honduras. It was a tight call whether I could cross, but I made it! The Panamanian immigration officer asked me for my (doctored in MS Paint) flight ticket to Madrid. And it worked! But then he asked me for proof of sufficient funds, which comesContinue reading

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Trapped in Paradise

There’s a place called Paradise. In fact, there are many of them, all a flight away from Home. But the people that originate from Paradise are often Trapped in Paradise. A Scene: Visitors and Locals At the club in a resort, only the adults stay behind after their children have gone to bed under protest. A day full of tanning until having perfected that lobster shade, letting their spawn wreck havoc, swimming in the hotel’s pool – located next to the sea – is over. The included breakfast, lunch, and dinner have been eaten every day for a week. TomorrowContinue reading

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