The Lost Feet

the lost feet
Give me endless plane rides
and bouncy overnight buses.
Give me days filled with stories
and starry nights.
Give me strangers and goodbyes.
Gently, let’s go somewhere new
to ignore the odds
and be destroyed in the most beautiful way.
In the deeper ways
Eating all of our unspoken words.
To make sense
of the chaos
Give me fireworks.
Give me places and people to feel
homesick for.
Give me the wander
and the lost feet,
and I promise
I will come for more.

 

Photo: Ivan Breslauer, Dingle, Ireland 2015.

It’s Time

It is time

Hey you,

It’s time.

It’s time to chase that spark again.

 

Don’t you think so?

To think of the things you love.

Hey you,

It’s time.

Gather your scattered selves and make them whole again.

Rub your eyes because, I am sure it is time.

You learned the things hard way. You risked yourself in the world. You kissed the pain.

And now it’s time.

To find the way home.

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Living in a Treehouse

Living in a tree house

I’m not sure if I should tell this story. What if it never happened? Did I really find such a place, I wonder now, months later?
I will put the words on paper. It’s up to you whether you believe me or not, when even I doubt myself.

 

Years before….

As I sat with my laptop, sipping a cup of tea and browsing through travel websites, resisting tomorrow’s going to work, I found them on Workaway. I shook the head in disbelief and promised myself that one day I will get there – the south of Thailand, on a paradise beach surrounded by dirt jungle paths.

More than two years after, mini van left me in the muddy street. The rain that held back all day cascaded down. The roosters curiously followed my steps to a new home.

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Unexpected adventures lead to amazing places

Unexpected adventures lead to amazing places
I don’t like when someone is trying to sell the story that traveling is free. It’s not. I was busting my ass to be able to buy a one-way ticket to Southeast Asia. It’s even harder when you come from the Balkans where one often has to work twice as much from someone from the more developed country, for the same income. Did that stop me from doing it? No. I spent two and a half years of working  while studying and doing my master’s in journalism, only to embark on an adventure. Was it hard? Yes. Was it worth it? Hell yeah.

 

You never lose by giving your time 

People do volunteering jobs to make a positive difference in the world, to see other realities, save money and to make a change in the world. Yes, you give your time and don’t receive money but you never loose. With volunteering you can only gain.

Because I wanted to save money during the trip itself, I decided to volunteer in exchange for bed and if I was lucky – food. You choose a country, a job and voila, your resume is enriched for a new experience!

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“I will find you”

I will find you

I don’t remember the exact moment when I find it.
Thai people walked in silence around the temple and I sobbed like a baby. They stared at me. I stared at the big golden Buddha in Nakhon Pathom. So after two and a half years of waiting I came to Thailand to cry? In front of the Buddha?! What happened to me?!
I felt oceans of sadness pouring out. There I was. Finally traveling. Finally doing things my way yet I cried and cried, wondering what launches an avalanche of strange feelings inside me.

 

I started walking. I glanced at the monk who stood silently next to me in orange robe. When the last tear dried I felt a frightening void. But footsteps became lighter. Breathing became slower and all of a sudden I could feel myself.
What changed?

Everything.

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How to ever fully “return”? (On going back “home”)

How to ever fully "return"?

It’s strange. One would think that it is hard to pack stuff in a backpack and sit on a plane only to wake up in the country where you will be a stranger. Without familiar faces. Surrounded with uncertainty in a completely different reality. 

Leaving is easy

Someone would ask why on Earth people would do it? Why would anyone consciously threw himself into difficult situations? Who would ever willingly chose to be sweaty, hungry, nervous, in a constant search for a place to stay and in the eternal care where the wallet and passport are? Why?? Why?!!??

As a woman who finally allows her life to be shaped by the coincidences and sweet moments, I ask a counter question. How do you go from new friends and new places to not have a hard time? How do you go from living on the island in Thailand where time is not important to European punctuality and money obsession? How to move from fighting like a warrior against the tuk tuk drivers; sometimes spending the whole day without eating, and for hours in the sun to the: “Lunch is on the table”. “You need to eat more”. Or a small talk, gossiping and negativity.
Aaaaaa! No one is to blame but once when you saw what others did not, you can no longer pursue with small talks.

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LOVE is the quietest part

Love is the quietest part

Travelers are the strongest people I know. We travel for adventure, for different and for the unexpected. We are strong, confident and know how to get by in 3892 different situations. I never met a boring traveler. “We travel for stories! What is a man without a story?!”, said my Argentinian friend Franco.

 

Our lives are formed by coincidences, chance meetings and unknown souls. We are not afraid of anything. We don’t break easily. We put amazing photos on Facebook and Instagram, and make you jealous because we swam with sharks or dived in Thailand or ate some weird stuff. We change destinations, we go in and out of people and comfort zones. Maybe you always see us smiling and think that we are completely in control of our lives. That’s mainly true except when it comes to one thing – love.

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We are Travelers

We are travelers

In the end, it’s all about the people we met. Wherever we end up we recall our crazy days, endless nights and journeys to new frontiers, literally and metaphorically. We might know each other for ages or we met by chance, but now we are friends for life.

 

And it has been going on for ages.

We pack our backpacks and in this constant motion we respond to, our wings spread. By leaving the well known world, magical gates with the sign „Wanderlust“ appear. Behind them is a parallel world where life is lived in a different, more rapid and more intense way. We can’t see it until we become part of it though the doors were always slightly open.
While at home we were slow and kind of passive, the Road dares us. It provokes us.

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Lessons learned in Asia

Lessons learned in Asia

“We’d never seen anything as green as these rice paddies. It was not just the paddies themselves: the surrounding vegetation – foliage so dense the trees lost track of whose leaves were whose – was a rainbow coalition of one color: green. There was an infinity of greens, rendered all the greener by splashes of red hibiscus and the herons floating past, so white and big it seemed as if sheets hung out to dry had suddenly taken wing. All other colors – even purple and black – were shades of green. Light and shade were degrees of green. Greenness, here, was less a color than a colonising impulse. Everything was either already green – like a snake, bright as a blade of grass, sidling across the footpath – or in the process of becoming so. Statues of the Buddha were mossy, furred with green.”
– Geoff Dyer, Yoga for people who can’t be bothered to do it

 

I bought a one way ticket and chose Asia as my first stop for numerous reasons. The most important one was that I knew it was going to be different than anything before. So I picked up my backpacks and with traveling to Asia, I’ve chosen freedom. That freedom has taught me many lessons so far.

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Night train to Chiang Mai

Night train to Chiang Mai

– Hi, I am Fred. I’m Canadian.

His shirt was green as our bed curtains in a night train to Chiang Mai.
– Hi, I am Ivana and I am from Croatia. Do you know where that is?
– Oh, I know. I’ve never been in Eastern Europe though – Fred said.

Stranger in the night

After two weeks in Bangkok, it was time to leave. The Road called me. And the Road knows. When the boat started moving, my heart started blossoming. I was waiting for some kind of excitement but all I could acknowledge was calmness. Bangkok wasn’t the place that could silence my longing for what never quiets – the wanderlust. Will Chiang Mai succeed in this game of taming, I asked myself.

“I love to travel – Fred started talking. – But I won’t be able to sleep. Trains, buses, planes.. I never sleep”.

His movements were slow. Gracious. I could see that his eyes have seen more than he remembers, whilst his skin was touched by the places I can still only dream of.

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