With my project in Estonia moving at a snail’s pace, towards the end of November I once again agreed with my team to go remote until the project was ready to go live. So where to go? Since I had all my cold weather clothes, I figured I’d keep it cold and go even farther north. I’ve seen the Northern Lights before, but there was something intriguing to me about going up to the Arctic Circle for a couple weeks before heading home for the holidays.Continue reading To live is to war with trolls
Ah, Macedonia, the second to last Eastern European country I haven’t been to. Had to visit before they changed their name to North Macedonia to appease Greece. They voted on it while I was staying there, and the vote failed. So Macedonia it is, and no NATO. Continue reading Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.
After I got dad on a plane (actually he got himself there via tram super early so I didn’t even wake up), I decided to stay in Prague for another week since I liked it better this time. The apartment was really nice, and having a beer garden a 5 minute walk away is handy too. Continue reading Wanna thrive in the dust of the universe
Dad and I ditched the dead weight and continued our journey North, into the tourist masses of central Europe during the summer. We started with a very expensive train ride through the mountains of Northern Italy to Madrid. Continue reading Oooh, that’s a bingo! Is that the way you say it? “That’s a bingo?”
Despite its nice parks, Bucharest was still a bit urban for my liking, and I was happy to escape. Away from Wallachia and into Transylvania. Super excited about that, as I’m just a huge Twilight fan. It’s like Dracula, but better. So what better way to celebrate one of the greatest novels/movies of the century than to visit the famed motherland of the vampires.
Continue reading Come freely. Go safely; and leave something of the happiness you bring
Ambition really strikes when ordering plane tickets, and that ambition lead me to think it was a good idea to do a double red eye. First, from Rio to Lisbon, where I would spend a day, and then from Lisbon to Bucharest, where I’d stay for a while. I still think it’s a nice idea in theory – Lisbon is a great city to spend a day – but it definitely makes for a tiring trip. Continue reading We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim.
If you’re considering visiting Buenos Aires in January and February, don’t. It’s too hot. Lots of sweating, which is especially bad since I’m a disgusting waste of life who sits in his own filth most of the time, only washing his clothes like once a month. But what am I going to do, pay the laundry lady $10 every week to wash them? Rich get richer? I don’t think so. Continue reading No mistakes in the tango, darling, not like life.
In accordance with my plan for the year, I’ve parked myself in Buenos Aires for almost the next three months. Because traveling is tiring, and I’ve been at it for a while. The theory is, I’ll have a bit more consistency, can develop some decent habits, catch up on work, and be part of a community. My AirBnb is in San Telmo, which is probably the third most popular district for expats – more of an artsy area than the typical “gringo ghetto” that pops up in these major South American cities. Continue reading I will come again, and I will be millions
I decided to enter the social realm for a few days, booking four nights at a hostel in Riga to start off the trip. The password at the hostel was “justonebeer”. Which of course is “just one beer.” But I’ve been drinking very little and listening to questionable music, so I thought it was just a weird spelling of “juston ebeer”. Surely, a mistake anyone can make. Thankfully, I did not say this aloud so my reputation as someone with some dignity remains intact.
My host sold the place I was staying and bought a new one, so I had to switch for my last few days in Tallinn. The new place was in the up-and-coming neighborhood where there is TONS of construction going on, and I was staying in one of the new buildings. Like, so new that they are doing another one right next to this one and it’s not even close to finished. But it’s much more modern, has a little enclosed balcony with a view of the sea, and it’s just a few steps from the seaplane harbor and old soviet prison. Extremely convenient if you like hanging out at defunct prisons or fly seaplanes.
I flew into Portland for a little vacation on my way to Seattle this time to see if it lived up to the show’s hype, and it more or less did. Hipster, but not as comically so of course. But it’s the land of craft beers and not real jobs and tattoos, as far as I can tell. Continue reading I guess people are just cropping out all the sadness
The San Pedro Sula airport had a Dunkin Donuts in it, so it’s one of my favorite places now, highest per capita murder rate or not. Even so, I skipped to the last few pages in each of my books, just in case. The flight to Roatán was less than an hour, and I found my hostel easily before strolling along the boardwalkish area. It’s beautiful, but hot and humid. So hot. Continue reading Jeez, I’m out of it for a little while, everyone gets delusions of grandeur!
The three hour shuttle from Antigua to San Pedro La Laguna wasn’t exactly a fun one, but we got there. Up and down a volcano. Around a lot of windy roads. I sat next to a Montanan (?) and chatted with her the whole time, one of those free-spirit types that was going to San Marcos, the next town over, for a yoga training and retreat. Continue reading I’m tired. I thought I just needed a night’s sleep but it’s more than that.
To start off my journey in Guatemala, I’d just like to thank Oscar Isaac (who was born in Guatemala) for his recent rise to fame, allowing me to use relevant quotes for my post titles. Otherwise, I would have been pretty lost. It’s the little things.
But my flight went relatively smoothly. Sat next to an older guy from Northern NY who was a Harvard-educated psychologist and now visits Guatemala and Nicaragua a lot. He knew Spanish and was pleasant enough, so we grabbed a transport to Antigua together. Maybe I’ll see him around. Continue reading The challenge is not to act automatically. It’s to find an action that is not automatic.
Back to the land from which democracy, for better or worse, spawned. So there’s a bit of an obligatory awe you’re required to feel putting things into perspective, even though what you’re really looking at is pretty worn out rocks. So maybe I’m crazy for being a little underwhelmed by the ruins, but so be it. Continue reading It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it
I dragged myself out of bed after two hours sleep so I could leave at 4am and catch a bus to my flight. All went quite smoothly, actually, and I arrived and checked in to my hotel on Santorini just after 8am (room was available so I didn’t have to wait). Opted for a quick nap and began my day around 11am instead. Continue reading One original thought is worth a thousand mindless quotings
Worked most of the day in Kotor since there was only one bus that went, and it was at 3:15. So I took the nearly 4 hour ride in a small bus that seats about 20 with a group of locals through the Montenegrin countryside. Apparently Zabljak is not a popular destination this time of year. As I dozed in and out of conscience staring out into the dark, it occurred to me how comfortable I had become with a situation like this, which not long ago, and to most now, might seem rather concerning. Only way to get around though, if you ask me. I mean, they’re on the Euro, how bad could it be? Continue reading Every Allied country gave me a medal, even Montenegro
I started my new, lonely Dubrovnik experience with a walk down to the new town and through the harbor. On the way back, I stumbled upon Cafe Bar Art and had a couple cups of coffee while I worked on my computer. It was colorful and quirky, with bathtub seats and odd decorations. Whether that’s your taste or not, it was a great place to chill out and have a coffee or a beer, so I might go back. Continue reading Though I would treasure your friendship, I’m mainly interested in your facility with murder
The first night I went to Charlie’s Bar with a guy from my hostel in Sarajevo, which was fun. The next night I went to Caffe Bar Mosquito to have some coffee, a beer, and get some work done. Similar to Iceland in that their coffee shops turn into bars, which is kind of cool. I’m mostly working, so not a whole lot of sightseeing is accomplished each day. Continue reading Even Beethoven had his critics. See if you can name three of them.
My venture into the Balkans was on an 8-hour train ride through Hungary and Serbia to Belgrade. It was a long train ride during the day, but I somehow managed to sleep on and off for the entire trip. What didn’t occur to me is that I should buy some food, so I kind of forgot to eat the entire day yesterday (paired with the fact that it’s not easy to find vegetarian food in Serbia. Continue reading Life is and will ever remain an equation incapable of solution, but it contains certain known factors.
Paris was essentially a catchup and recharging point for me. Dad had a couple day trips, and I more or less worked and did a couple walking tours on my own. While I wasn’t in the best of moods, I found Paris to be dirty, unfriendly, and lacking of general WiFi options – the latter upsetting me more than the first two combined. Continue reading A multitude of people, and yet a solitude.
Got up early and decided to walk to the airport, taking a stroll through some neighborhoods of Reykjavik I hadn’t seen before. Flight was less than an hour long, so the puddle jumper dropped down in Egilsstaðir around 11:30, on the other side of the island. My orange Kia Sportage was ready to go, and I was on my way. Continue reading Walk up to me and erase my memory
Reykjavik is a small city with a townish feel, so it’s not as if there’s an absolute ton to do here. So I’ve predominately spent my time working, actually getting things done on time that is, and almost getting ahead a bit as I look to do more traveling over the next few weeks. Don’t want to start that from behind. So this is largely a story of working in Reykjavik. Continue reading I do not allow that a being gifted with thought and will can allow himself to despair
Before my trip out to the west coast, I decided to spend a week or so in Boston. It’s a very clean, pristine city but overall didn’t do much for me. I did a LOT of walking around from my base in the Chinatown area, and did plenty of work in the area coffee shops and library. But a LOT of just walking around. Continue reading I’ll bet you can’t tell me what it smells like in the Sistine Chapel
This is beginning a series of posts that are purely for posterity so I don’t forget where I’ve been or something. My picture archives aren’t great, so you’ve got to deal with what I’ve got.
Now that my brother lives in Maryland, we went to visit him and went to Philadelpha, Wilmington, and Washington DC in the process. Continue reading Cat in the wall, eh? Ok, now you’re talking my language.
Wednesday was a work day, but I balanced things pretty well. Worked from early until around 3pm, and then I met up with Laurens and we rented bikes for a few hours and rode down to Ojo de Agua, some natural spring on Ometepe. It was a serene place, just hung out in the water, read for a while, and relaxed. Continue reading I had nothing to offer anybody except my own confusion.
After a full day of toiling to get my phone case off, which was successful Thursday morning (finally), it turns out the SIM card is just behind the volume adjustments on my phone. Figures. Anyways, I bought a new SIM card, added some minutes, and I now have a working Nicaraguan phone number. Continue reading Violence has been Nicaragua’s most important export to the world.
I went to 1000 Figs for lunch and had a falafel pita. It had a lot of asian foods in it that I didn’t know, but I enjoyed it. Other than that, my post-Mardi Gras activities have started and ended with sitting in the apartment with a cold and headache. Either I’m sick, or a 4-day collective hangover is literally killing me. Continue reading And I will look down and see my murmuring bones and the deep water like wind
I didn’t feel like working today so I took a streetcar down to the famous Garden District. Sandra Bullock has a house there, so I figured maybe I’d run into her and we’d really hit it off. But then I’d probably resent her success and feel awkward when she took me to nice restaurants and bought me presents – favors I couldn’t return. Plus, she’s like 50, which kind of poses a long-term problem. So ultimately I decided just to leisurely stroll through the upper-class neighborhood of charming architecture. Also, I don’t really like Sandra Bullock. Continue reading Good morning America, how are you?
Had lunch at Juan’s Flying Burrito. Quite good but their veggie burrito had a lot of jalapenos in it, and I think I got all of them in one bite. My mouth was fiery for a while and I was sweaty. Still good though. Continue reading Now the only thing a gambler needs Is a suitcase and trunk
A day of taxis and planes, entwined with Atonement and newspapers, finally had me arriving to my new home in New Orleans. It’s right on the Bayou, just off a streetcar line in a nice area, so it’s pretty convenient. After getting settled, I was told to go to Krewe de Vieux, the locals parade to kick off the Mardi Gras season. Continue reading Don’t you just love those long rainy afternoons in New Orleans when an hour isn’t just an hour
Hilton Head Island has been rather calm, as I intended. So that works out nicely. I was able to get a lot of work done and start trying to take the next step with the business, so I consider that productive. However, it doesn’t make for particularly enjoyable updates here. It’s just like, a normal blog of my life, which would be excruciating if forced to consume those pages on a regular basis. Continue reading And I’m not askin’ to be loved or be forgiven
So I’ve now been in Hilton Head 10 days, and have finally begun to explore the island a little bit more. My pattern resembles that of shipwrecked seafarer marooned on a deserted island slowly making wider circles around his home base searching for things. Except my reason is mostly laziness. Continue reading Oh! Ian Knows All About Hilton Head!
I arrived in Amsterdam on Sunday evening. I’m staying out of the center of the city closer to the museums, which is kind of my preferred way to do things. The hostel I’m staying in is very small and cozy, which is kind of a nice change.
With only a few people there, you’ve got to talk to everyone and the hostel people are much more personal. One of the workers there took us on a walk down to the center of the city, actually it was more like a trek. We had a beer at some Australian place, then a more authentic Dutch bar, and then a more touristy bar in the red light district area. Continue reading My thoughts are stars I cannot fathom into constellations.
Since Bruges takes a day or two to see everything, spending 7 days here is a bit of a challenge. But I’m trying to provide an update, even if it’s just me looking at the same things again. It’s getting increasingly cold throughout the week, which is not pleasant. And I did pace myself here, so I do have things to do. Wednesday morning I actually made the trip up the tower. Continue reading We shall strike a balance between culture and fun
Thursday did not involve anything special, as the weather was terrible and I wanted to get some work done. I did walk over to Partenkirchen to see what that half of the town had to offer, and it was much in the same as Garmisch. Some nice little shops. With the cold weather and rain, more and more snow had accumulated on the mountains, making it a very pretty time to be there.
I checked out of the B&B fairly early on Friday and hopped on a train to Munich. I’m staying at a hostel a few stops from the main area, so it was a bit of a walk. Once I was checked in, I used the rest of the day to work, only straying a little ways from where I was and making plans for what to do in Munich. Continue reading I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious.
I went to the 1000 islands camping with dads family. We took a long walk to get ice cream, and people were drinking a lot of those Bud Light fake margaritas. I did not have any of them. Continue reading The record shows I took the blows and did it my way
So a couple hours after arriving in London, I ran to the bathroom in a Pret a Manger and had my phone stolen while I was in there. Which I’m annoyed about, but not really that upset. It was a piece of crap, but it’s still an inconvenience. At least he/she didn’t take my laptop or passport, which were also sitting right there. Mainly, that just means I won’t be taking any more pictures. Continue reading I always had a repulsive need to be something more than human.
It’s the weekend, so now I have to do things. After not being able to find a place in Belfast, I booked my rooms in advance this time, which unfortunately meant my touring options were limited. There are a lot of 2-day to 5-day tours up to the Isle of Skye (a 2-day or 3-day would have been nice), but I had to settle for the 1-day intensive course for the Scottish highlands.
The day started at 8am and ended at 8pm and involved about 8 hours on the coach. I took lots of naps. Continue reading I would walk five hundred miles And I would walk five hundred more
On Friday I started off by visiting a start-up hub in the city. Someone there gave me a tour and showed me everything that was going on. It was alright – not as exciting as I was hoping, but still pretty cool to work in that kind of environment.
Finally, I’m out of Belfast. What a depressingly horrible place. It should be sister cities with Rochester. I finished it off by having a vegetarian fry for breakfast, getting some work done, then getting wasted on Irish car bombs at the Europa hotel #toosoon?, which was right next to my bus station. JK I hung out at the coffee shop next to it.
And then I was off to Glasgow.
Big surprise, it was raining Wednesday morning, so I decided to forego my plans for another walk in Howth Head. After getting a bit of work done in the hotel, I got an early start on my travels, taking the DART to Dublin and then a bus to Belfast.
Belfast is dirty. But they have a lot of nice coffee shops and affordable places to eat, despite the fact that I have to switch back to £’s from €’s. The hostel I’m staying in is small but nice, WiFi in the bedrooms which was great because I had a couple important calls today I needed a great connection and quiet for (which went well). So this place has worked out well for my “working and travelling” plan. Continue reading I cook the world’s best duck flambe
As much as I wanted to do Ring of Kerry and Dingle, I decided to skip them and just move on. So I rose bright and early in Killarney and got on a bus towards Cahir.
After a couple hours on the bus, I arrived at Cahir Castle. It was, of course, raining. The guy at the desk let me stow my bag so at least I didn’t have to carry that around, and then I walked around the castle. Continue reading Some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again.
Work was annoying yesterday, so I decided to take an impulsive trip for a break this morning. Maybe I’d bump into Kate Winslet. “Board the Bus to Bunratty” doesn’t exactly have the same alliterative, romantic quality as “Meet me in Montauk” but it’s what I have to work with. So I got up a little early to take the 7:05am bus to Bunratty, which is just over 2 hours away. The destination of choice: Bunratty Castle. Because if you don’t make spontaneous trips to castles when in Ireland, then what’s the point. Continue reading Have fun storming the castle!
Providing updates during the week isn’t really that interesting. It’s like my regular life, except strangers sleep close by that might steal my things. So here’s your typical day. Continue reading Standing in the sunlight laughing Hide behind a rainbow’s wall
After another relaxing day of work, jumping hostels and getting settled in I decided to finally hit the touristy trips. My main concerns right now are my fingernails, which are growing uncomfortable and I can’t find clippers at any of these convenience stores. In other news, my beardcation growth is substantial and it’s now at the point where it will become increasingly ragged. I’m going all Paul Bunyan on Europe. Continue reading Boys I ain’t never seen nothin’ like a Galway girl
I survived Dublin on St. Patrick’s day. Let me preface this Bridget Jones-style by listing what I ate:
– Bowl of cereal
– 1/2 pear
Pretty stupid, eh? My rationale was that Guinness is basically a meal. So I had a lot of meals. Continue reading One by one they were all becoming shades.
Stepping off the ferry, I could almost smell the locals’ hatred for what the rest of the world has done to St. Patrick’s day. Not that they don’t enjoy the holiday, but it isn’t a reason just to get hammered. Even I couldn’t help but cringe at some of the tourist ensembles (most of whom I assume are college students here on break). Continue reading Being Irish, he had an abiding sense of tragedy, which sustained him through temporary periods of joy.
So yesterday I overdid it and wore myself out too much, so today I relaxed a bit more and worked a lot to make sure I got everything done I needed to. And I didn’t quite finish, because I work a lot anyways, so I need to work a bit more tonight and tomorrow morning to catch up for the weekend.
Anyways, yesterday I walked about 20 miles. That might be a low estimate. I don’t know why I walk everywhere; it’s kind of stupid. I also get lost walking everywhere, which adds to the problem. Continue reading After all, I’m just a girl, standing in front of a boy, asking him to love her.
I like to get an early start, so I walked to a coffee shop and worked from 7-10 to make sure the Internet doesn’t fall apart. Thoreau said something to the effect of “a morning walk is a blessing for the whole day,” but I don’t think he took his morning walks in Midtown. Anyways, I went to Culture for a couple hours, which was a busy little shop with good espresso. Continue reading Chapter One. He was too romantic about Manhattan as he was about everything else.
I do enjoy visiting Manhattan. The bustle, the sea of skyscrapers that block the sun, the endless list of things to do to keep the mind occupied. The way people don’t bother me. But I adore it in the way that I adore art; I respect and admire it without wanting to become it or immerse myself in it permanently. Sure, I could live there for a while, but the sun would certainly set on my ability to handle it. It’s why I didn’t move here a few years ago when I had the great job offer. Continue reading Chapter One. He adored New York City.