The Balkans, Mashrou’ Leila & Being on the Road

I have finally bid goodbye to Münster, the quiet little German city that everybody constantly raved about but I just couldn’t warm up to. Since the start of April, I’ve been travelling across the Balkans, soaking in the diverse culture, cuisine, hospitality and unpretentiousness of the region. I’ve finally checked Sarajevo off my bucket list and discovered several other interesting places in the process: Tuzla & Mostar (Bosnia and Herzegovina), Split (Croatia), Skopje & Ohrid (Macedonia), Prishtina (Kosovo) and Tirana (Albania).

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Visual Diary: Postcards from Bali

Earlier this year, I found myself on the Indonesian island of Bali. I don’t think I’ve ever come across that luscious shade of green – and in such large quantities – anywhere else. We stayed at the Karma Jimbaran resort, in a quaint cottage with a charming little pool by the entrance. Continue reading “Visual Diary: Postcards from Bali”

A Backpacking Story

August 2011
Granada, Spain

“So what if it was no longer acceptable to drift with the wind, asking for bread and a roof, sleeping on bales of hay and enjoying dalliances with barefooted farm boys, then running away before the harvest? This was the life I wanted, blowing around like a leaf with appetites.” — Steve Toltz, A Fraction of the Whole

Let me tell you a story.

In a resplendent little hostel nestled along the cobblestoned slopes of Albayzin, Granada, worked a man from Boston by the name of Nick. I met this amicable young man during my travels this summer when I stayed at the Makoto Backpacker’s Hostel. He showed me around — “Here’s our little kitchen. Breakfast is free, from 8 to 11 each morning”, “These are our hammocks, we only request that you take your shoes off when you use them”, “Here’s your bed for the next three nights” — and then proceeded to pour me an awful version of Tinto de Verano at the ramshackle bar.

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