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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The Bustle of Hanoi

 The bustle of Hanoi

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.

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Vietnamese black iced, please

Vietnamese black iced, please

“They have black coffee, yogurt coffee, egg coffee! It’s so delicious, I am staying here forever! “– I wrote to my friend in Bangkok who has a cafe within his home stay. 
“Egg coffee? Ewww!”– he replied.
“It’s really delicious and not some new age thing. Locals drink it! “– I tried to convince him.
“OK, can you bring me some?”

 

As a sworn tea lover, I decided to write a story about the Vietnamese coffee, for which I converted into a coffee worshiper.

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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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