Back to the Roots – Inside the Sweden’s Tree Hotel

Britta Lindvall recalls her first childhood memory – she is crossing a small river, walking through the forest, along with her siblings and their friends. They stumble upon a tree house, high up among the branches, and it seems even higher from the little girl’s point of view. ‘I remember everything from that particular moment:…

Don’t Panic: European Hitchhiking Trends of Our Days

The Heart of Gold’s Improbability Drive made it the most powerful and unpredictable ship in existence. There was nothing it couldn’t do, provided you knew exactly how improbable it was that the thing you wanted it to do would ever happen… ’The daaaaay is beauuuuutiful!’ he yelled into my face as soon as I scrambled…

Into the Borderlands: Between Baklava and ISIS

’Suruç, Suruç, I went to Suruç the other day’, I told the couple that happened to pick me up on the way from Göbekli Tepe to Urfa. Göbekli Tepe is the newly discovered archeological site and possibly the oldest temple on our planet, dating back to an ancient Neolithic civilization of 9,000-10,000 BC. Suruç, on the other hand,…

Wanna see my bouncy castle?

^^ This pickup phrase is almost as cool as my own (which I, in turn, borrowed from Zaphod Beeblebrox himself, along with his underwear). Except, I might actually never find my spaceship, while Thomas definitely can show you his bouncy castle. Meet Thomas who calls himself the Bouncy Castle Ambassador. ‘My mission is to bring…

Peace Through Dialogue – The Story of Awra Amba

Initially written for MasterPeace blog (here), I’d like to share with you another feature on Ethiopia. While I was researching my route, I realized that people who travel to/through Ethiopia are generally either 1) hate it, or 2) have enough money to go to all those famous places like Lalibela and Danakil and Aksum. I must say,…

There is no Place Like Home – All Roads Spring from Ethiopia

Ras Quintseb met me in Addis and treated me to a lunch of avocados and other greens in a local migib bet. ‘I am vegetarian. In the Bible it clearly says that Adam and Eve are vegetarians, too: God had given them animals to live with, not for slaughter,’ he started. I thought that he…

How I got adopted into Somalian family as a pet

Mama grabbed the cat from the floor and put him across her lap. The animal didn’t object, knowing that any resistance would be futile. ’Nagib, Nagib, good cat!’ she stroked his fur, and then added, turning to me, ‘In Somali language, cat means bisad.’ ‘Bisad – cat,’ I wrote down and repeated. Mama would come…

Vomiting, goldfish in vodka bottle and fairy queens

I’m being asked quite often about stomach issues in all the weird countries around the world. Maybe the fact that I am vegetarian saves me from constant diarrhoea, and I can’t tell you a story of how I ‘ate some elephant testicles and then couldn’t stand up for 5 days’, but let me tell you…

Echoes of war and chickens in Sri Lanka

Up until recently Sri Lanka was not the most popular tourist destination because of the war that had started in the North back in the 80s and only ended in 2009. In fact, even now the echoes of that war roam the streets of northern towns and islands, where you pass through checkpoints and see…

Where are you from?

I hate this question ^^. It doesn’t tell anything about me. In fact, I never even travelled around Russia. Proud of it? No. But it’s a fact. In Russia, illegal immigrants from Tajikistan and Uzbekistan (and in fact all ex-USSR) are despised because ‘they are stealing our jobs’. In Turkey and many other places, Russian…