Ukraine to Turkey by Boat: Booking a Black Sea Ferry from Chornomorsk to Karasu

26 February 2022 update: originally published on the 19th of October, 2021. I moved this post to 2022 so this info about the Black Sea ferry from Chornomorsk shows up on the homepage of my blog. Do I recommend taking this boat from Odesa, Ukraine to anywhere else right now? No, I wouldn’t want to be on a ship that says UKRFERRY on the side right now. As far as I know, the ships named Greifswald (link leads to current location of ship), Kaunas, and Vilnius aren’t leaving the port of Chornomorsk at all right now. You can follow theContinue reading

Bonzur, Mahébourg?! Traveling from Istanbul to Mauritius (Semi-Live Blog)

On the 3rd of December 2021, we’re hopefully flying from Istanbul Airport (IST) in Turkey to Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport (MRU aka Port Louis Airport) in Mauritius. I’m updating this post as we go. If you’re here for the documents checklist to enter Mauritius, click here.    Booking Mauritius Before we even arrived in Turkey, I already knew I didn’t want to spend the full 90 days here. It would be too cold by the end of our visa. And Jonas wanted to spend at least one month in Istanbul, which would result in too little time toContinue reading

Ayasofya Mosque Visit in 2021: from Museum to Mosque—Foggy vs Sunny Day

These events happened on the 5th and 21st of November 2021. Jonas and I visited the Ayasofya (aka Hagia Sophia) on a rather spontaneous basis. This was my second visit to the Ayasofya and my first visit since it became a mosque in July 2020. Click here to read about my Istanbul and Hagia Sophia experiences from March/April 2013. There’s also a breakdown of Hagia Sophia as a ‘wonder’ in the videogame Age of Empires II down below. A Change of Plans We arrived at the İDO pier at the indicated time of 9:30. During the downhill walk from ourContinue reading

How to Get a Turkish SIM Card (In the Small and Non-Touristic Towns of Turkey)

We bought our Turkish SIM cards on Monday the 25th of October, one day after arriving in Karasu. Karasu is a port town on the Black Sea coast and we’d arrived by ferry. It’s relatively small and getting a Turkish SIM card wasn’t straightforward. This post is supposed to help people who are also arriving in Turkey by land or sea and in a smaller town away from places geared toward foreigners. Our Experience Buying a Turkish SIM Card in Karasu FAQ Turkish SIM Card + Internet Freedom in Turkey Which provider should I choose? There are three telecom providersContinue reading

Hitchhiking a Boat: Patience + Frustrations in Corfu, Greece

Good morning from the island of Corfu! Yes, that is correct, I managed to hitch to an island. This wasn’t super intentional… but cool! I’m now at the huge marina of Gouvia on the Greek island of Corfu and it’s super early. Why am I here so early? Because a kind soul allowed me to sleep on the deck of her husband’s boat. Once the people wake up I’m going to try hitchhiking a boat. My approach? By walking around with this hitchhiking saying ‘Italy’ to try and find a sailing/motor yacht to cross the Ionian Sea. Do I feelContinue reading

Croatian Coast: Makarska to Kupari with a Hateful Driver

This was my hitchhiking spot in Makarska along the Croatian coast today. A huge car accident had just happened nearby before my arrival. I caught a direct ride to Kupari near Dubrovnik. But the driver went on a huge racist rant about Muslims and people from Turkey within 10 minutes… He only knew about me that I was Dutch and the physical cues. His mind filled in that I must also be a Christian like him. A heterosexual like him. And an Islamophobe like him. Eek! That’s a lot of projection! Normally when you don’t respond or participate people willContinue reading

Hitchhiking Home for Christmas: Istanbul to the Netherlands in 48 hours?

This is my attempt at hitchhiking home for Christmas. I’m currently staying with friends in Istanbul, Turkey. From here, I’ll need to go to my mom’s place in the Netherlands before December 24th (I think? When is Christmas?). I’m going to try to hitchhike first to Maastricht in the Netherlands. That’s where I started studying and then dropped out in November 2013. It feels a little weird that my hitchhiking adventure through Iran and Turkey, and Georgia and Armenia before that, is ending. Somehow, I can’t really do anything without making it a bit of a challenge. So I’ll tryContinue reading

Beer O’Clock: Hitchhiking from Eskişehir to Istanbul (Turkey)

A magical day of hitchhiking from Eskişehir to the European side of Istanbul! It was very easy to arrive here by hitchhiking, so I’m concluding the day with a celebratory beer. Or two. I’m making a stop in this city before continuing my #HitchhikingHomeForChristmas adventure. The drive from Eskişehir to Istanbul is only 300 kilometers. But the next stretch will be thousands. Istanbul is full of friends, old ones and new, so I’m happy to hang around here for a little while, catching my breath for the way home. Before leaving Eskişehir, I asked around on Facebook if someone could host me. TheContinue reading

Eskişehir, Turkey: Şelale Mesire Yeri Waterfalls and Earthquake!

Let’s talk about Turkey’s underrated gem: Eskişehir. Someone who followed my adventures invited me to his city Eskişehir—a city I’d never have thought of visiting between Ankara and İstanbul. He said it’s a laidback university town with lots of young students and a cool vibe. Sounds good! So on December 8th, I hitchhiked there to say hi to him and his friends. His name is Ali and he’s very outdoorsy and likes to travel by bicycle. I must say that the Turkish traveler community CouchRail on Facebook really works better than any official CouchSurfing stuff. His family was incredibly kind and we exchangedContinue reading