Final Words

Greetings from Canada! I am still a tramp and still traveling, this time alone. It’s been a while since I wrote something. It took time to start transforming all this into words… Now that things have settled in my mind, it is time to say goodbye. And a new hello, as I’ve decided to start a new blog and see how it goes (BalkanBee). Anyhow:

The time has finally come for me to say a few words before this blog is left on its own. Although all this was initially meant as a way to communicate with our friends and families, I’ve received a few messages from people I’ve never met saying this blog helped them go on with their own projects and realizing their own travels. Thank you all for reading.

Please, do not think that ending this blog means that either one of us thinks travelling without money, or almost no money, is a project destined to doom. What happened to Tomi and me is a private matter. People are like lemons, Castaneda wrote, if you squeeze them too much, they loose shape. Part of my ego feels like I should defend myself and say all that happened but I like Castaneda’s saying and will not go into any detail.

What contributed towards my idea to split ways is one of my best friend’s wedding, which will take place in Portugal in July. It would have been hard for me to hurry south and try to hitch a boat so I asked my family to help me get to Europe. They did. (Thank you!) The cheapest option was to fly from Costa Rica to Canada in January and then from there to Portugal in July. Perfect! (Or almost perfect, I did manage to mess up, more on it later.)

Some would think it’s absolutely crazy to fly from infinite summer to the harsh winter – but not me. You see, I am always positive and I love to travel and share smiles, but I am also a calm, quiet person. Tomi is more of a restless traveler, always wanting to go on. I couldn’t keep up with him. Not without a cost of loosing my sense of security. You see… I am very susceptible to stress and no matter how fun and awesome and amazing hitchhiking around without any money may sound, and no matter how strong you believe that the feeling of security comes from within – it is stressful to be homeless. It is stressful to always be among cars, the chaos of traffic, the dust, heat and bugs, to always look for food and shelter. Mind you, we did always find these things, mostly thanks to Tomi, but I could never get to that point of not feeling at least a bit stressed. It was amazing and unforgettable, but at the same time I needed turn the next page. After 16 months of constant fast-paced travel it was time to slow down and rest a bit.

To tell you the truth,  if I was older and wiser and more altruistic I could have sensed these feelings earlier and acted differently. Instead I was stuck in this hippie mindset and, even though I was getting exhausted, I kept telling myself that if I just stay positive everything will be fine and I will eventually reach the point of feeling secure. But I couldn’t get there. I’m young and silly and I hurt Tomi and I am sorry for that. I hope taking it a bit slower and staying for a while in Finland will help him face the source of his restlessness.

So. Winter, here I come! I am no longer travelling strictly moneyless. I never really was. I am still a tramp. A tramp with a workaway profile. I’ve been enjoying the winter, the solitude and introspection as well as the people I meet. I volunteered for a moth with a family with kids and loved it. Also, I finally started taking care of my body and am trying to get rid of the parasites I’ve had since Mexico. It requires lots of self-determination, some natural medicine and a very special diet – something I couldn’t do while constantly travelling in the tropics.

Canada has been very good to me. Hitchhiking is easy and the people welcoming. Also, I am super excited! I was just slowly exploring the south-eastern corners of Canada when this more-than-awesome opportunity to go volunteering in Yukon popped up! It includes loads of road trips, hiking and camping, with the gear and guide – for free! It sounded too good to be true, but it is true and it is another dream coming true. Exploring the great white north! Thus… In the next few weeks I will be hitchhiking all across Canada towards the next adventure.

To come back to Portugal and the fuck-up regarding the ticket to Europe. I do have a flight to Portugal. And it is in July. But, POrto is not the same as POnta Delgada and I was so silly I managed to have my family buy me the cheapest ticket (no changes or cancellations allowed) – to the second one. Thus – I have a ticket to the middle of the Atlantic! Sao Miguel in the Azores. They say it’s the most beautiful island in the whole world. Hopefully it is – as I have no means to buy another ticket and, unless  I stumble upon a cash job over here, I plan to tramp on the island until I hitch a boat to mainland Europe. So much about getting to my friend’s wedding……

If you want to read about my adventures across Canada and getting into the wilderness of Yukon, as well as accidentally flying to the middle of the Atlantic, I’ll post on the new blog: BalkanBee . I’ve never had my own blog and suck at reading blogs, but I’ll give it a try and see how it goes. (Before it was mostly Tomi writing and me taking pictures.)

The beauty of the universe

Nowgasm: “the sudden discharge of accumulated direct perception regarding the beauty of the universe”. That is the name and essence of our blog, a blog that has been fun to write and that hopefully continues to be an inspiration to many, somewhere in the abyss of the internet. It is time for me to say farewell. I got such a generous offer that I could not refuse: back to Europe with 100 euros. My lovely friends backed me up and if everything goes without complications I should be flying to Helsinki some time early February. Continue reading

Sighhh…

(Drafted 14 Jan 2014 in Portobelo. Edited 17 Jan in Panama City.)

So, here I am; alone in Portobelo, Panama, trying to catch a boat to Colombia – a boat that doesn’t seem to exist. Hey! Wait! What? Alone?

Yes, it happened: Lea said she doesn’t want to have a relationship with me anymore and that she rather travels without me. I left The Monkey Farm and she stayed there, making sure there’s continuity and everything runs smoothly. Apparently I’m really good at freaking out the people I’m in love with. The pattern is obvious and repeating: after a great start I slowly become too demanding a lover and in the process manage to squeeze the romance dry. Continue reading

The Monkey Farm

The reason for our recent silence is that we have been working our asses off! “I wonder how lucky you have to be to stumble upon a farm that is just starting; a farm where you could stay for a longer period of time; a farm where your efforts are actually needed to get the place going,” Lea mused after the relaxing Inanitah experience in Nicaragua. “How do you find a place like that?”

Ask and you shall be given!

Well, the universe works in mysterious ways. Vicki Conley, a Californian-turned-Costa-Rican, was in trouble with her farm in the meantime. She had a full-time job while trying to manage the farm on her own. Violent uncontrollable wild fires had effectively wiped out all the vegetation earlier this year and, once she had re-planted everything, the neighbors cows had come in and trampled everything. Regardless of her efforts, Vicki was facing nothing but adversity: even her rabbits were gone, eaten by hungry boa constrictors! Tired and disappointed, she was just thinking of giving it all up. Then, her phone rang. Continue reading

Children of the volcano

Yummy local corn

Yummy local corn

Entering Nicaragua was a tad challenging. The Central American countries are bound by a CA4 treaty that should, in theory, guarantee freedom of movement for everyone, much like the Shengen Agreement in Europe. However, in practice, the border officials interpret the legal jargon as they wish and probably pocket at least part of the money they collect. As the reader might know, we mostly travel without money. While we knew that the border pricks are gonna ask for some cash and Lea had been meticulously picking pennies from the ground to meet this “need”, we were not prepared for the exuberant bribes that they expected us to pay: TWELVE DOLLARS!!! $ 12 each! Of course we didn’t have that kind of riches.

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Stranded in the Caribbean

DSC07796

crystal clear caribbean

In many ways Honduras has been a country of first times (in just a week or two). It has been quite an adventure altogether. As in all CA4 countries (Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua), people keep warning us of perils and dangers, road blocks and wicked people and whatnot. What we experienced in Honduras was, of course, just the opposite. Well… Almost.

We entered the country at the night of the football match when Hondureños confirmed their ticket to the Mundial. At that point we had no idea we’re at the world’s murder capital, San Pedro Sula. So we were carelessly sipping beers in an improvised bar at a car-repairman’s shack. We were joined by some officials, police, I’m not sure, but some of those guys with big guns. Then those same guys fired those big guns, into the air, next to my ear. I was born in a country at a start of a war but this was the first time I had my ear slightly deafened. More guns came later.

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Friends, pimps and kitchen nazis

Greetings from Tegucigalpa, Honduras. We have now-

SCREEECH! (sound of brakes) Wait! What, what, what? You’re in Honduras? Isn’t that like… When and how did you get out of Mexico?

Sigh. Okay. Let’s backtrack a little. We hitched our way from Mexico City to Chiapas, stopping on the way in Puebla to exchange farewells with our dear “Uncle Carlos” – and to make a new friend, Yazmin, who is intimately involved with a project called Eotopia – worth checking out! One night we got surprised by the storm and saved by some indigenous people who took us into their village. Chanal is a place guarded by the mountains – a place where some don’t even know Spanish, where pigs and donkeys roam the streets freely and where there seems to be absolutely nothing to do but sit on the street and groom each other. Nice!

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