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countries

glimpses of elsewhere

(words & photos)

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countries

   

 

   Strap into your chair, destination elsewhere. This journey will take you places and leave you with stories, for a place is only ever as one thing or another as your experience there. Well, my experience in this case. The little coincidences and grand people I met along the way ultimately wrote these plots and memories while I coauthored. That’s why I can’t claim to paint any accurate, exhaustive or conclusive portraits of countries and cultures. Just my subjective, impressionist bits and pieces, exploring places and people, traversing narratives and notions and traveling trains of thought inside one strolling mind. Come with, won’t you?

 

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latest places / stories

countries | Europe | Montenegro

Kotor / Cruise out of Control: Consumerism on Vacation,
Ethics Left at Home

the ugly dynamics of a journey sold as destination

 

Of course, like with all needless and senseless consumption, the cheap cruise tickets came at a price. I had met those who pay it. explore

countries | South America | Bolivia

Uyuni / Traversing the Zig-Zag Road between Pain and Pleasure

why well-being is underrated – putting happiness and suffering in perspective

 

With all the pain I had ever felt in the past for now, all the pleasure was ahead. explore

countries | North America | USA

New York / Dream Arrival: Jamming Untamed Imagination into Tight Realities

a story of a dream coming truer and a city that was smaller the second time around

 

...there was certainly something endearing in that city coming down to earth from its pedestal... explore

countries | South(east) Asia | Nepal

Himalayas / Hiking Alone, Astray & Everestless

when you set out to see Everest, but Everest doesn’t care

 

And after a while, seeing or not seeing Everest became a mere matter of perspective. explore

countries | Europe | Greece

Athens / The Rise and Fall of Empires

Who’s next?

 

Former empires might have traded their swords for pencils, yet the battlefields remain and the war for growth and power goes on. explore

countries | Central & West Asia | Kazakhstan

Astana (Nur-Sultan) / The Surreal Deal

arbitrary travel moments you never could have imagined

 

In a way, I’m sleeping the dreamy sleep of extraordinary travel routine. But every now and then, I wake to the almost absurd reality of a situation I never could have imagined and the vastly arbitrary nature of these instances bestows a surreal feel upon me. explore

countries | Europe | Albania

Tirana / How Little Can You Learn About a Country in One Day?

passing through Albania in 24h

 

...this is pretty much where the flying visit reaches its maximum altitude of inflight insights, falling short of the point where travel peaks in my opinion: when it opens up a more intimate angle on a foreign culture and the people who live it through their habits, everyday rituals, and mannerisms. explore

countries | Central America | Cuba

Havana / On the Cusp between Eras

sung patriotism & whispered criticism: torn in a changing nation

 

Transformation is a blurry wave, unlike the crisp ripple of a sudden revolutionary fist. explore

countries | Africa | Rwanda

Kibuye / Living with Explosive Likelihoods

the gamble with odds that aren’t all that disastrous – living near dangerous potentials

 

They are accustomed to the normality of any given day that isn’t the one when calamity strikes. explore

countries | North America | Canada

Port Rexton / Only Passing Through: Unsung Towns of Unknown Dreams

the delusive beauty of scratching a place's surface instead of digging deep

 

...the unknown leaves space for imagination and in the foreigner's head any town can tell any story... explore

countries | South(east) Asia | Indonesia

Jakarta / Beautifully Ugly

inner beauty & authentic travel - less pretty cities well worth the visit 

 

Why pretend that you are easy on the eyes of strangers who are just checking you out, soon off to generic liaisons on Bali? You aren’t Kuta, you don’t wear makeup. You look run down. Your old town has seen much better days. And you don’t smell so nice either. But you have character. And soul. And true Javanese street scenes. explore

countries | South America | Colombia

Cartagena / Police Negotiations

haggling over fines for non-existent crimes & how to break the corruption cycle

 

But one needed to keep in mind that these were still cops, no matter how corrupt. It felt like our bargaining power matched theirs, but at the end of the day they were in charge and would decide over our fate that night: jail or no jail. explore

 

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Bolivia

Uyuni / Traversing the Zig-Zag Road between Pain and Pleasure

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Window Worlds

different world, same life