Submission for Travel writing scholarship 2018 in Argentina, with Worldnomads.com (http://bit.ly/2FoYUIE).
The floor made of sand creaked rhythmically under my feet. Ocean breeze flowed through the invisible walls, surrounded by the island’s lush jungle paths. Giggling, they were building secret spaces among the comfy cushions, ignoring my presence. I was marveling at the world that was unfolding before my eyes. I’ve been dreaming of this place for more than two years. Arriving felt like remembering everything I knew and somehow forgot.
„Miss, what are you looking for?“ „The treehouse,”
I replied to the voice behind the mangoes. “Oh, it’s just there”,
Mon said, pointing at the sign “Welcome home.” Home it became, with Mon’s delicious massaman curry, its remote location, misty mountains and travelers from all walks of life. The Earth was singing. Or was it my five-year-old heart?
Continue reading “Life in a Treehouse”
Here I am, in my home in Dublin, in the house that is my home but it’s not. In the house where my toothbrush is, all of my trainers and fridge shelf with smoked salmon. Atlantic is merciless outside but it’s nice and cozy in bed. Tonight I could actually see the sunset yet, my eyes are fixed on the map. Some African countries are yellow, Brazil is color green and Europe is a huge mess. And I feel homesick…
Ever since I left my hometown at the age of 13, my parent’s house at the age of 18 and my country when I was 25, I was homesick. Now I know what I was homesick for.
Continue reading “Homesick for You”
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
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 to chase that spark again.
Don’t you think so?
To think of the things you love.
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.
Continue reading “It’s Time”
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.
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.
Continue reading “Living in a Treehouse”
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!
Continue reading “Unexpected adventures lead to amazing places”
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.
Continue reading ““I will find you””
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.
Continue reading “How to ever fully “return”? (On going back “home”)”
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.
Continue reading “We are Travelers”