First stop – Istanbul
Except for the last trip to Morocco, on each trip I went alone. All alone. When I was twenty something years old, I sat on the flight of Croatia Airlines. Destination was Istanbul. Plane ticket was cheap and Istanbul was a world I knew nothing about. I was hungry. For different worlds. For far away. Istanbul found me. It was chaotic and raw and majestic. It was perfect.
In Istanbul, I ran from the police and the water cannons and the pepper spray. I went to karaoke where I met a native American. I chatted with Turks over endless cups of tea. I went in and out of trams. I spent hours bargaining and getting lost in the Grand Bazaar, a labyrinth of about 4,000 shops selling spices and teas, pots, clothing, lamps and sweets. I sat in the Blue Mosque. Alone.
Upon graduation from college, I flew more than 8,400 kilometers away from Croatia. Alone. I put my whole life into a red backpack. One-way ticket had one name on it – Thailand. Again I was hungry. This time for the worlds that were even further. I went from one temple to another. I admired the lanterns in Bangkok Chinatown, I ate spicy foods and stared at the palm trees during long train rides. Alone.
In spite of fear, I dived into the mad sea in search of glowing plankton. I chased fireflies and sunsets. I was cycling around the island of Koh Phangan until my feet couldn’t take it. Or until I was being chased by dogs. I followed a Buddhist monk into the woods. He felt my presence but said nothing. I knew he was smiling at me. This childish game brought me to a mango stand. I bought two and tore them with my bare hands, enjoying their sweetness. Alone.
Continue reading “Alone”
Submission for Travel writing scholarship 2018 in Argentina, with Worldnomads.com/Living in a Treehouse (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”
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.
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 that it’s 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 sit in the waiting room and watch the snowflakes stick to the airplanes. While I wait for the boarding, my eyes glance across the man in front of me. In a business suit and with a stern face, he plays games on Facebook. He nervously presses the digits on his mobile phone, while his face remains perfectly still. ‘A little bit longer, a little bit longer, and you’re there’ – I keep telling myself. To the East. To the East. We finally depart. My first solo traveling this is.
To the East…
It seems to me that everyone who spends a lot of time thinking, eventually find themselves setting off for the East at some point in their lives. The truth, the magic of the East calls upon every one of us, but do we all hear its call?
Continue reading “The Call of the East”
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”
Until the eleventh day I did not see streets wrapped in total blackness. Unearthly silence followed me to where taxi buses depart for airport. Even women street vendors have not spoken to each other. Quietly they lied piles of bananas and pineapples on heavy bicycles, getting prepared for another busy day in which they’ll need to earn enough Vietnamese Dongs to feed their families on the outskirts of Vietnam’s capital.
Good morning Vietnam
Despite the deep sleep in which the Old Quarter was in, it seemed as if the sun rose above the Hoem Lake intentionally, to throw its first rays on joggers, speed walkers and Tai Chi performers. At five in the morning even encouraged city rats came out to seek for food and most shocking, motorbikes drove without a single beep.
More and more people began to appear on the streets, opening their shops, pulling plastic chairs on the sidewalks and preparing their businesses for tourists.
Life in all its rawness was about to unravel on the streets of Hanoi.
Continue reading “The Bustle of Hanoi”
In the end, it’s all about the people we meet. 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 we become friends for life.
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 are always slightly open.
Continue reading “We are Travelers”