Crazybus: Yerevan to Istanbul

Yerevan to Istanbul, 3-4th August, 2013 Where is she from?” the woman asks Hrach in Armenian. “She’s from England”, he tells her. Her eyes grow wide. “England, ooh!” I feel awkward. I look at my feet and let Hrach do the talking. We pay for my ticket, then sit around in the waiting room, feeling […]

Hate packing? Ask your smartphone for help

If you hate packing as much as me, you probably already know about smartphone apps that help you with it. There are several applications with different features. Whether you’re going on vacation or hitchhiking like David Uriegas, they will help you out. From an article on New York Times, I chose two of these apps. Travel List is the simplest app out there. The reason why it’s so different is that it has a peculiar option of reminding you to pack in case you forget and leave the location. It also has different categories like “diving” and “snow sports”. You can always delete existing items and add your own to the list. Packing Pro might look too complicated at first. What makes it special is that it can...

Brigette Reviews On The Road

On The Road by Jack Kerouac Write 6 words you would put on this book if it were in the “Blind Date With A Book” shelf. Friendship, Road Trips, Self, Love, Writing Any particular reason for choosing this book? I try to read a classic now and then and this one had been on my list for a while but it wasn’t until I had such a terrible reaction to the film that I had to know if the book was anything like the film. Genre: Classic Literature Who was your favorite character and why? Sal Paradise because he had such an open mind and heart. Who was your least favorite character and why? There was not a single character in this book that I could not find a redeeming characteristic in, so in some small way I loved each and every one of them....

The Road is Life

“In every country every week there is always something really cool happening.” Meet David F. Uriegas. He travels alone with a small camera, a tent, a compass, a fire saucer, an iPad, two notebooks, some clothes, and a “fucking small towel”, which he hates. Have you ever met a Mexican with Irish accent? David worked in Ireland for a year. But his journey began 3 months ago in England. From there he traveled all the way to Georgia, then Turkey, Greece, Macedonia and now-Bulgaria. Since he was a teenager, wanderlust was guiding him. This desire led him to leave home and go to Ireland. During these past three months he has slept under trees and bridges. He has camped on beaches and in forests. He has also lived like a...

#306 - Let's Stay Together

I wake up with music. It’s all explained in the About Dream Songs link above. * #306 – Let’s Stay Together by Al Green Though I always refer to him now as The Reverend Al Green, he didn’t become an ordained pastor until about five years after this song was riding the top of the charts in 1971-72. His focus changed from soul to gospel after couple of scary life-changing events, which happens to be a coincidence I personally share with this song. Now it seems funny, but at the time… not so much. Al Green will always be one of the coolest and smoothest soul singers of all time. Like Ray Charles and Marvin Gaye, he’ll never go out of style. But in 1971 he was the new kid on the block. Charles and Gaye had been...

Smile On, Thumb Out

Sorry I’ve been neglecting this blog for the end of the year, but life has been so busy! I’m home now but oh man life still hasn’t slowed down one bit! Being home has been a whirlwind, but so far so good. I’ve been home for ten days now, but I’ll get to that later. I’m going to split up the end bits because just so much happened!   Last time I posted I was still in Lake Tekapo, but shut in due to bad weather. Thankfully the next day things cleared up and I was able to hike up the beautiful Mt. John.   Beautiful blue lakes, a good hike, and great views, what more could you want? Unfortunately I had one of those roommates that just isn’t impressed with anything. She’s seen better just about...

Betting on the road 3: Walking on the edge of Europe, the feeling of geographic limits

Around Sagres, Portugal 12th/13th of July As we get close to Sagres the sky turns into a deep dark blue, it’s the wind, the west wind bringing clouds and bad weather on the coast. We stop outside the village and step out of the van. A dry landscape of rocks and cliffs outstretch, flat, unreal, to a dark violet horizon, on the other side the restless violent movement of the Ocean brings into the wind the voice of the water, the little village is lost in the vastness of the earth. An old fortress lays on a promontory, it looks a gate an entrance to another world. The wind blows stronger and stronger, the air is cold, few drops of water are falling. We walk slowly,  just few words comes out of our mouths to fall quickly to the ground as...

Siphiwe’s Late Night Lesson

  Driving home one night as I rounded the last bend to my house there stood a man on the sidewalk soliciting for a ride home. I felt a pressing urgency to assist this man, but instead I begun to justify why I did not need to help him. See, this is a regular occurrence as my house is situated about 600 meters for one of the main streets in our area linking two major cities. I have assisted individuals from time to time at late hours such as this since the taxis aren’t as regular if at all at this hour and I also knew where he was headed, a township about a 15 minute drive from my house. It was already 11 pm and I need to be up at 4 am to get done with everything I need to get done. I need my 6 hours of sleep you know. And since I am...

Free time in Canada

Skyline of Detroit, Michigan from Windsor, Ontario. March 12, 1942 Dear Folks Did you get the cards which I sent to you from Canada?  I wrote them in a drugstore in Windsor & left them for the druggist to mail.  Nearly everything costs more in Canada than it costs here but our money is worth more than theirs.  If we spend a Canadian dime here we must give a penny also.  If we change a dollar into their money we get one dollar & ten cents.  I tried to find a few souvenirs for all of you but they didn’t have a very large variety from which to choose so will try to find something for the men some other time.  Mom, I am sending you a handkerchief which I bought in Windsor, Canada, also one to Frances & to Josephine. I received your...

Butterflies & U-Hauls

Andy got his teeth cleaned the other day. I was a wreck over putting him under anesthesia, but I found an actual doggie dentist who would not make him sit in a cage for hours. It was pricey but worth it, since I tend, in situations like this, to get past my anxiety over money by picturing myself in the future, after Andy is gone, thinking about how I will feel if I don’t spend the extra money to keep him out of a cage & get his teeth x-rayed, & it becomes a no-brainer. The day I brought Andy home from the shelter I vowed to him that he would never be in a cage again & I simply cannot go back on that. So instead of him waiting in a cage for the pre-anesthesia drugs to take  effect, I sat on the floor in one of the little...

Betting on the road (2): Passing the border, slowly the trip began

Ayamonte the last Spanish city, Spain 11th of July 2013 A warm night of summer rocks me, the sky is clear. I sit on the bank of the Guadiana river watching to the west. The river is deep, wide, it flows for miles from the middle of Spain to the Atlantic Ocean, creating the natural western border of water between Spain and Portugal. This trip has began few hours ago, when I took a bus from Sevilla to the last Spanish city, Ayamonte. Far away, on the other side of the water, a young red crescent moon lays above a long line of roofs: tomorrow I ll be there, in Portugal, it is my last Spanish night and I am calm, there is only sounds of water and swinging of boats here in the pier. I feel myself as balancing on a long wire. To the north the...

My 5 Travel Site Musts

At a glance, I have about 1050385 travel-related web pages listed in my web bookmarks. I’ve become weirdly OCD about organising my bookmarks, so I know exactly how to find just that exact website whose entire url name escapes me. Still, out of those 1050385 bookmarked web pages, there are a select few that I use again and again, be it for booking my flights, finding a bed for the night, or reading about the adventures of others. Skyscanner. Let’s start with the most addictive, shall we? Skyscanner is simple enough: select the airport/city/country from which you wish to depart, choosing either a specific date or the month in which you will be flying, select where you’re flying to, and behold, a list of prices with...

"Mais c'est impossible. Il n'y a pas de route monsieur." & "Syndrome Orangina."

Bruxelles, 18 novembre 2013 Je suis à la “Travel Clinic” de l’hôpital Cesar de Paepe. Dans quelques jours, je compte prendre la route pour atteindre Kinshasa. J’ai hâte de partir mais avant je dois me faire vacciner. Je prends un formulaire à complet avant de passer chez le médecin. “Quels pays allez-vous visiter?” J’en ai aucune idée, je connais juste le point de départ et celui d’arrivée. Je note alors : “Bruxelles-Kinshasa par la route”. - “Mais c’est impossible. Il n’y a pas de route monsieur.” me dit, d’un air surpris, le secrétaire du département vaccination. “Ah je comprends maintenant, vous êtes marin ! Je suis moi-même congolais, j...

Grand Taxi To Essaouira

It was almost noon in Marrakech and the sun was doing its best to turn my face the shade of a coconut. I was far from the heart of the old Medina of the city, having walked toward the outskirts for over an hour until I was on the main road going to Essaouira. There was a gas station across the street from me and a stoplight–a rarity in Morocco–gave me the opportunity to hail passing cars. While there was no shortage of cars on the road, after an hour and a half of sticking my thumb out it appeared this wasn’t going to be my day to hitch a ride about 150 km west to the coast. As I began walking toward the bus station, destiny hurtled a big blue Mercedes directly into my path. In Morocco they have normal taxis, for inter-...

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