“Please write about us!”, said Esperanza to me before we parted. “We don’t get many visitors. Maybe if someone reads about our village, they will come here”. More than a year after our visit to the tiny indigenous community of Los Ramos in Ometepe island, I still remember her words. It’s time I fulfilled the promise. Continue reading “Los Ramos, A Tiny Island Village Balancing on the Edge of Active Volcano”
While traveling for 2 years in Latin America, I remember being asked what is our goal. I could make something up, say, visit all the countries on the continent. But the truth is, there was no goal. You travel because there is something out there that is worth seeing yourself. Because there are people whose life you can’t imagine, unless you meet them. You travel because you are curious. But there is no purpose, there is no inherent meaning attached to it. Continue reading “Why Traveling is Accidental and How it’s Similar to Having Children”
After almost 2 months in Yucatan, we were ready to get back to central Mexico. Landing in Mexico City airport, the plan was to take a bus to San Miguel de Allende, and stay there for a month as the next anchor in our slow traveling drift. But the bus takes almost 5 hours to get there, so instead we decided to make a weekend stop in Queretaro, a city that lies right on the way to San Miguel de Allende. For some reason travel guides don’t mention it among Mexico’s highlights, but this one-time capital turned out to be one of the most stunningly beautiful cities we have visited in Mexico. Continue reading “Queretaro, Probably The Most Underrated City in Mexico”
Life in Latin America is easy, if you are an expat. The people are nice and friendly, the culture is rich and vibrant and living is usually cheap and with higher standards than those you are used to. But there are also grim sides to the Latin American story, that no one is talking about. Well it’s time someone broke the silence and told the truth.
Having stayed in Merida for more than a month, we had plenty of time to explore the city. Beyond just taking a quick tour of the historic center, visitors often rush off to see the pyramids, which is understandable. But if you have more than a day or two in the city, check out these less-known spots, whose discovery was a pleasant surprise for us.
For the first time in my life I don’t have a physical home to return to. All the stuff that I ever owned is either in my suitcase, at my parents house or sold and given away. For 6 months now I don’t pay any monthly bills. I don’t have long-term rental contracts. I don’t receive spam calls – an unexpected benefit of changing the sim card every now and then. Continue reading “The Unexpected Side Effects of Traveling Slow”
Last Saturday, as usual for Saturdays, I took my son to my parents home. We had lunch consisting of mashed potatoes and meat cutlets – the staple dishes in my parents’ Russian cuisine. My dad read a couple of children books to Ayan. My mom reminded me of my commitments the next week and worried that I don’t exercise enough. All as usual. The same familial ritual that occurred hundreds of time before. But something was different. I wasn’t in a hurry. As a matter of fact, I wanted to stay longer. Continue reading “How Leaving Home Awakened Me To What I Missed All These Years”
If someone would ask me how a city of the future would look like, I would suggest Toronto as a likely model. Not because of some futuristic architecture or hi-tech infrastructure – in that regards Hong-Kong and Seoul would surely have the upper hand. But more importantly, due to its incredible cultural and ethnic diversity. Continue reading “Toronto, the City that Has Been Expecting You”
When we woke up the next day the sky was clear and sun was shining fiercely. On the last day of May the summer was coming to Caucasus mountains. Continue reading “Exploring the Dariali Gorge”
If you are the type of person that prefers going for leisurely vacations, staying in nice hotels and spending time on beaches and shopping than this post isn’t for you. But if you like traveling, exploring places and meeting people than you probably know that the kind of experience you get depends completely on you – your decisions, your mindset, the company you keep. So why do you still make the same mistakes? Continue reading “4 Travel Mistakes Mindful Travelers Avoid”
After breakfast, while waiting for a minivan to come and take us back to Tsetserleg, we went to sunbath at the river. Continue reading “Last Day in Paradise – Leaving the Steppes”
I’m back. After two and a half months of deserts and skyscrapers, camels and Russian minivans, ice-cold lakes and kettle-boiled hot-water showers, but mainly bad roads, warm people and surprisingly competent digestion, I’m back home. Continue reading “Culinary Trip Summary”
Just a couple of days ago I returned from a ski vacation in Bulgaria. Not only it provided me the much desired opportunity to learn and practice skiing in a real European ski resort, but also the dubious pleasure of enjoying the sole company of myself. Since my vacation was bounded to specific dates (after discharge from army, before beginning work), and my budget restricted my options to Bulgaria’s ski resorts, I couldn’t find anyone to join me. Continue reading “Going to Vacation Alone (And Surviving It)”