Back in Venice

Italy, Thoughts & Reflections 1 Comment »

Walking in Venice brought back memories I’d almost forgotten. Standing in places so far from home where I had stood five years ago, often froze me in thought of passing time. On a bridge over the Grand Canal, I gazed at the empty façade of a hotel, where once before I had watched red, white and green flags wave, lost in daydreams of Italian history. Approaching a café I had flashbacks of sitting at an outdoor table, discussing plans of travel with a hostel friend. Coming down a set of stairs, I found myself in a spot where I had once sat up all night with an older Russian girl who was drunk on wine, listening to her tell endless tales of home. In these moments of reminisce, I found it shuttering that Venice had been here so long before me, welcomed me once, awaited my return and will be here still, long after I’m gone.

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The Paprika Parade

Audio & Video, Hungary No Comments »

Video footage from the October 23, 2006 protest in Budapest, Hungary. Shot and edited by my new friend William, an independent animator from NYC who is currently residing in Budapest.

Smoked Out

Thoughts & Reflections 3 Comments »

I have mentioned a few times how traveling throughout the world often feels like time-travel. Some places in India and Thailand had little to no signs of the modern world where they work and farm using the same tools and living in the same shelters as they have for hundreds, maybe thousands of years.

Even in Europe, I sometimes feel as if I’ve traveled back in time. Most often it’s a trip to the early 1980’s, when I was almost too young to remember what it was like sitting in a smoky restaurant or in a cloudy waiting room.

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Travel Update

Plans & Itineraries 3 Comments »

It’s damn cold in Europe right now. Having been following summer weather since January, it really caught me by surprise. We’ve been boiling water on the stove in the van for heat, but the damp air is starting to warp all my books. Our hopes are that as we make our way south, things will warm up again.

The rest of my travels this year are somewhat planned out. Desiree and I are making our way through Eastern Europe to Istanbul and then finally Greece where I’ll put the VW in long term parking at Athens International and we’ll fly together to Egypt. A week later, my good friend Mike will be meeting us in Cairo.

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Lighter Load

Germany, Thoughts & Reflections 1 Comment »

As part of my efforts to seek exposure for writing and photography, I spent the last week tuning this website up. It should load faster and have less distracting stale information now. There are more posts on the homepage now too.

All the fun stuff on the map is still there and I added some one sentence stories for each location. Go click “Where Else Have I Been” and explore around a bit. Make sure to note the controls that show up beneath the map.

My mom will surely be letting me know about all the typos, but if you find anything else amuck..please let me know!

Letter to You

Plans & Itineraries No Comments »

Hello You,

First off, thanks for following along with my travel stories and photography for so long. Don’t worry, it’s not over yet!

I thought it well to let you know I am taking a short break here in Germany before another stint of moving around this fall. Sometime in October I’ll be heading again by VW bus through Eastern Europe down to Athens, Greece. I may also spend a couple of weeks backpacking through Egypt before going home for the holidays. Although I won’t be moving around as much, I will still be traveling, writing and taking photos come 2007; possibly beginning with a relatively long term move to Thailand.

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Paragliding

Audio & Video, France, Switzerland 5 Comments »

I spent one week flying at Dune da Pyla, France and made ten high altutide flights in the Swiss Alps. Watch how the gliders rise right off the beach from the strong and steady sea winds. It felt so amazing taking off there, just being lifted off the sand and into the sky. Look how close I come to the fence when taking off in the Alps. I knew I’d make it. :o)

An Average Day: Part 8 of 8

Travel Stories 3 Comments »

A fictional day comprised from parts of many non-fictional days while I was backpacking in Europe

Buildings spread apart and I’m suddenly standing in another square. This one, with a statue at center and people crossing in all directions, is especially vast. Deciding it a good place from which to find my way home, I sit down on a cold, hard cement bench, finish eating my messy falafel wrap and then take to reading again. As pages turn, the sky’s light grows weaker and shadows on my book made from overhead lamps distract me.

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An Average Day: Part 7 of 8

Travel Stories No Comments »

A fictional day comprised from parts of many non-fictional days while I was backpacking in Europe

Golden arches appear as I round a corner. Although I don’t eat the food at McDonalds, I can’t deny there is something warm and comforting about the place. Somehow it reminds of home. There is a comfort in knowing my expectations could be full filled. I realize that at a very young age a piece of me was taken hostage by their marketing, just like it was by Coke and countless others. I ponder my love and my loath for the manipulative power of marketing as I pass a smiling statue of Ronald and enter in search of a toilet.

There is a line and a short woman is taking payment. I wait with my cards, shuffling and spreading them at my waist as we patient men inch our way forward. I place thirty cents into the small plate on her small table and she raises her arm as if welcoming be aboard.

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An Average Day: Part 6 of 8

Travel Stories No Comments »

A fictional day comprised from parts of many non-fictional days while I was backpacking in Europe

I go back to writing and take a few longer breaks to stretch, sip my water and try to come up with a way to talk to the cute waitress who’s been smiling at me. Considering she couldn’t understand a lick of what I was saying when I was looking for the bathroom, I leave her to be another pass at fate.

After four or so hours, with the afternoon heat starting to wane; I decide I’m ready to do something else. Having not paid for the food I gulped down hours ago, I head for the counter to cash out. My waiter’s shift has ended, so I tell his replacement what I had. While traveling, there are so many chances to get stuff for free because of systems like this. I imagine I could have saved hundreds of dollars and given it to the poor people in India, sort of like Robin Hood, but as always I pay the full amount and say thank you in the local language. Then pocketing my change, I take out a pen and my little brown notebook. Still standing at the counter, the cashier watching me idly, I jot down the cost of my meal, offer a quick nod with a smile and head on my way.

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