The End of The Journey?

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Hello, people.

I’m sorry to disappoint some people maybe, but this is it. My planned “world journey” ended five days ago when I flew back home to Berlin. And now I’m here. I’ve been busy setting things up and not too enthusiastic writing this final post, which is why it took me so long to sit down in front of the computer.

Why did I end this journey?

The answer is simple. I got victim to theft. I just had to get back home quickly. But let me start from the beginning.

After I wrote my latest blog article, I headed to Kuala Lumpur. The latest bit was a bit nasty for hitchhiking. Because I had some ringgits left, I decided to take the bus for the remaining way. Was about 2,50 RM in price. Arriving in City Center of KL, I looked around town. First, I went to the most obvious attraction of the city: The KL Tower. But I would’ve had to pay big money to get up there, around 100 RM. I wandered in the city for a little while as it was becoming night. I tried to sleep here and there. In the 7-eleven shop, I couldn’t. In front of a bank, a security man woke me up and sent me away. So I just slept on the sidewalk at the side of a road.

After like an hour, somebody again woke me up. He told me it’s dangerous here. He himself was homeless, so he brought me to his place where I could sleep more safely. At least I thought so. It was the parking spot of China Town. Behind a food stand where nobody should see you at first sight, his wife slept. Here, I kept my bag for the day while playing guitar for money and buying food in the area. In the evening the two of them left to change location.

I stayed in the parking spot overnight. When I woke up in the morning my guitar was gone. There also was a cut in the front of my bag, and many of the electronics were taken out. My hard drive, notebook charger, travel adapter and some cables. Still, I didn’t worry too much. I was prepared that my guitar could get stolen someday, and who cares about some electronics? With my only legit source of income away, things are getting a little tougher, though. I did miss my guitar. But, as I said, I was prepared.

Now I needed to decide what to do. There’s a couple of friends in Malaysia who told me to call them if anything happens. I decided to pick one of them who was living in Changlun. I sent him a message to call me, and then ask if I could stay at his place for a while. Unfortunately, he didn’t call me. I didn’t care. He’s a good guy, I thought. I’ll just hit the road and ask him on spot.

So Changlun was my goal. Just where I came from. This time I would only take some days because I’m not checking out the places in between. In order to hit the road, I couldn’t start in the middle of KL. When you hitchhike, you need to get out of town. That’s what I did. With the train, I got to a small place called Kuang. There, I asked people for the road to Changlun, or Ipoh, or any place in the direction. They insisted on not telling me because they didn’t know what I was doing. But one guy said I could stay at his friend’s place for a night or more. I gratefully accepted the offer.

Next morning, I got driven to the highway. My friend said I could walk it down until a spot where cars were driving slower. I walked and walked, but there wasn’t. Hardly any car would stop here. So I got back to my friend. He brought me to the toll instead, which is where drivers need to go through and pay a toll in order to hit the highway. My friend drove me to the spot where the road split, so I would be standing on the right side and have better chances.

I held out my thumb. Many minutes later, a lorry driver stopped. He took me to a place he thought was better for hitchhiking. I thought it wasn’t. It was just way away from the toll, in the middle of the highway, where cars were driving fast. If I wanted to get back, I would have a long way to go. At night. Well, great. That means someone had to pick me up.

After a while of holding out my thumb again, a light approached me with decreasing speed. A motorcycle. There were two people sitting on it. I explained my situation to them, but they were not too eager of the details. They said they would get me to a better place. I wondered how there would be space on the motorcycle for me with two people sitting on it already. But I trusted naively, thinking that it would work out somehow. So I went to my bag and locked it with the code lock. “Give me your back”, the driver asked me. I gave it to him. He positioned it properly in front of him while I attempted to take a seat behind the two men. Before I could even touch the motorcycle, it drove away.

I ran. As fast as somehow possible. When I realized what was going on, my mind raced. I was getting robbed, I thought. Running after them is useless, I thought. But I still tried. They were driving double as fast as I was running. They didn’t even have to try and flee, they were just too fast to outrun. “Come back!” I yelled. No use. The thought came that maybe they were just taking my bag to the place and picking me up afterwards, but that was just a hopeful wishing. They would’ve told me. No, they weren’t coming back. Yes, I’ve fell victim to theft a second time.

I waited on the side of the road for a little while. What do I do, I thought. Quickly, I decided to just walk all the way down the highway, back to the toll. It had to be several kilometers, but I didn’t care. I just had to. It was late in the night, and this was the only place I could come up with where I could sleep at. I just kept walking. At some point I would arrive. Occasionally, motorcyclists were stopping and asking whether I would need help. I knew that I needed help more than ever before, but I rejected it. At this point in time, there was no way I could trust anybody I didn’t know. I would have to make it on my own.

Luckily, at some point, there was a way down from the highway back to the small town of Kuang. I could get to the train station and sleep there. I asked a motorcyclist for the way, and he offered to take me there. I thought about it. What should happen? All I had left was my belly bag and my clothes. I was safe, so I gratefully accepted.

A small way to the station and I was there. I examined the seats. Not a cosy, fluffy bed, but the best thing I could get right now. I laid down and closed my eyes. Then, the unexpected happened. A security man. I could not sleep here, he said. I sighed. Why did this have to happen, I thought, but I accepted it. “Sorry”, I said, “I don’t have a place to stay, nor money for a hotel, and the streets are not safe.” While I was already attempting to leave, he said: “In the morning you need to go.” He had mercy and let me stay here. God bless! I laid down on another bench. Oh, it was uncomfortable, and it was cold without sheet or sleeping bag. Even without a pillow. In the end, I didn’t really sleep. I got some rest, but not too good. Well, it had to do.

In the early morning I got up. I knew what I needed to do. Get back home as fast as possible. With all the money I had left, some ringgits, I was able to buy a ticket back to the main station of Kuala Lumpur (KL Sentral). I reached KL and made my way to the German Embassy. Arriving there, I found out that it was closed. It was a Sunday, and the embassy’s opening hours are Monday – Friday after 9 o’clock am. I wondered. All the stores in Malaysia are opened on Saturday, and still many on Sunday, but not the freaking German Embassy? This was a bad joke.

I realized that I needed to get it done without the help of the embassy. Maybe it was better that way, anyway. What I needed to do was find an internet café, contact my family, ask them to book a ticket for the next flight to Berlin, and wait for my airplane. Problem being: I didn’t have money. I asked and asked, but few people could help me. Finally, at a restaurant, somebody invited me for a meal. I ate my rice and drank my watermelon juice while telling the two men my story. One of them was willing to help me. He brought me to an internet café, paid my hour there, and gave me 15 RM for tickets to the airport. I found a flight, asked my family to book it, and waited for their reply. My mother would be able get notice and book the flight before evening.

In the street, I was wondering how to earn a little more money. I would need more in order to eat dinner, and for just-in-case purposes. I invested some of what I had left in a can of soy milk, 2 RM. I drank it up and sat down the street. I was trying to figure out how to perform the Cup Song with this can. I wasn’t to good at it, and it didn’t sound good under these conditions in the first place. My clapping and hand-drumming was too soft and the can was hitting the ground way too loud and high-pitched. But without a guitar, this was the best kind of basketing I was able to do. A man came up to me and asked me what the hell I was doing. I was explaining my situation to him and said I’m trying to earn money here. “Stand up”, he said. I did. He gave me 20 RM and said: “Go back home!” It sounded a little harsh, like he wasn’t amused of my little act on the street, but I knew he meant well. I thanked.

Throwing away the trash can, some guys noticed me. One of them was bringing me to an Indian restaurant. He told me to order something I like, and paid the bill for me. I was grateful, being able to enjoy the famous local dish Roti Canai one last time. Plain bread, made up of flour, water and salt, fried in lots of oil, served along with sauce or sugar. Oh, I miss it. The staff of the restaurant even invited me for more meals until I was full. For one last time I could witness the hospitality of this country. It was really wonderful.

It was becoming evening. I went back into the internet café and found out that my family arranged everything for me. Awesome. Now I only needed to get to the airport. I went to the station, got back to KL Sentral and looked for the bus. I was a little late. The bus took an hour, arriving at 22:52. The flight should go at 00:05, midnight. But because I didn’t have luggage and almost nobody was checking in at the counter, check-in went super fast. Within 20 minutes, I arrived at the gate. The flight took even longer to start. When we were finally in the air, I watched some movies and series.

In Frankfurt, I had to wait seven hours until my next flight would go. It was moist and cold outside, and not much better inside. I was freezing, wearing only swim pants, a shirt and slippers. And I could’ve used a meal, for they didn’t have a vegan option by default in the plain. Wandering around in the complex to stay warm, the police stopped me twice. “What are you doing here?” – “Waiting for my flight.” – “Which one? Can I see your passport and boarding ticket?” – “To Berlin. Here.” – “Where are you coming from?” – “Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.” – “You’re dressed quite sportily. Why is that?” – “That was unplanned. I got all my stuff stolen, and this is what I was left with.” – “Okay, thank you. You can go.” I paraphrased a little, but it sounded about as harsh, accusing and investigative as this. I sighed. In smaller places of Malaysia, things were different. The police would first ask whether I was alright and had a full stomach, and offer help. They would really help. The German police isn’t like that at all.

I finally boarded my flight and arrived home. My family picked me up at the airport.

In my latest blog post I said that Malaysia, or abroad in general, isn’t as dangerous as people think. Regarding what happened, please ignore this advice, or take it with a big grain of salt. I still think for myself that you can safely sleep in public places, but you need to be well informed which ones to avoid. And I now know that you need to stay cautious while hitchhiking, or with strangers generally. But I don’t regret it. If things didn’t happen as they did, I wouldn’t have learned those important things. I wouldn’t have made my experiences, and would still be very naive. And I still agree to what other travellers say: If you use common sense, abroad is at least as safe as home. But it doesn’t apply for me because I don’t use common sense. I have done things my bold way, ignoring the advice from almost every local I’ve met that the street is not safe. I wanted to learn it the hard way, and I did. And I’m happy.

Okay, so now what?

For now, I just want to stay home, earn money and live calmly. Work on myself but realizing that home can be just as good a place for personal growth as abroad. And even if not, who cares, I’ve got time. However, I think I want to be abroad again. Maybe next year, maybe even this year, I will see. I will first make sure that I have an income. Even if my possessions weren’t stolen in Malaysia, I wonder what I would’ve done there for the ongoing time. Because I was out of money.

When I go out into the world again, maybe I will ride with a bicycle through Eastern Europe. Or work and save money on a farm in Australia. Or hitchhike through the American continents, all the way from Argentina to Canada. There’s many things to do. I will keep you informed if I hit the road.

I feel that the journey ended at exactly the right time. I figured out exactly what I want to do at home, and I’ve seen enough of both Thailand and Malaysia. I’ve made friends and I’ve made experience. Interestingly enough, the journey lasted for exactly two months. Exactly one month in Thailand, and exactly one month in Malaysia. I took the plain on April 1st, passed the Thai-Malay border on May 1st and took the plain on June 1st. Is this really coincidence? I only know that the universe is funny… 😀

Thank you for you company along this journey. Thank you for reading! I hope I could inspire you with my experiences. And if the journey will continue, I’m sure you will be able to read the next chapters of the story as it’s written.

All the best,

Espyro

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Can you hitchhike across a country without money? My experience with West Malaysia

On May 8th, when I was in Changlun, some 10 km from the Thai border, I decided to go to Bali. Without flying, just road and sea. To get there, I needed to get to Kuala Lumpur first, so I set the city as my first big destination. Further, I wanted to get there only hitchhiking. And I had not a single ringgit (Malay currency: 1 RM ~ 1 €) in my pocket. Now, a whole two weeks later, did it work?

Let me tell from the beginning. The latest blog post was from Jitra, a good way from my starting point already. In this town I stayed over night at an apartment with nine (!) Nepalese guys.

Next up was Alor Setar. Stayed there a night in a big house. The people there were a little rich, and they travelled a lot. They insisted that I should bring them with me once I go back to Germany. Their son was my age and we got along well. He also wants to visit Germany, but people keep telling him he needs to study first. Those boring people…

After that came Sungai Petani. I didn’t find someone to stay with (I didn’t really ask much) and just stayed on the streets for two nights. That’s possible for me because I have a light sleeping bag and Malaysia is never cold. 😀 I was staying near a restaurant that was open 24h, so I was safe there.

In the same restaurant I met somebody who took me to Penang. There again, I slept on the streets, near a Starbucks. I went to the gas station on the next day where somebody picked me up and wanted to take me to Ipoh. But on the road we made a u-turn, deciding to stay in Penang for some more days. He booked a hotel room for the two of us, for two nights. He showed me around in the area, invited me to local food as well as many vegetarian, especially indian restaurants.

Then he took me to Ipoh. Because he and others gave me a little big money on the go (almost everybody contributed at least 10 RM to my trip 🙂 ) I had enough for a hotel room, so I stayed at the Tokyo Hotel for one night. To my German readers: yes, Tokyo Hotel. Afterwards, someone else agreed to let me stay at his place for one night.

Now came many small places. First Kampar. When I was sitting in a 7 eleven shop, a big guy spontaneously invited me to his nearby place in the rural area. I slept there for two nights and washed myself and my clothes in the river.

Then, in Tapah, I also wanted to stay on the street, but someone recommended me to notice the police station and then stay at a bus station. But arriving there, somebody said I should just stay at the police station. So I did.

After Tapah: Bidor. While playing music in front of a grocery store, someone just came up and offered me a dry and quiet sleeping spot in his shop’s staircase. I stayed for one more night in one of his rooms.

Then Sungkai. A backpacker invited me to stay at the place where he was staying. For free, of course.

And now I’m here… No, not in Kuala Lumpur yet. Right now I’m in Sanjung Malim. But not because I couldn’t make it yet. It’s because I didn’t want to. I’m meeting a friend in KL (short for Kuala Lumpur) on May 27th. And I didn’t want to arrive there more than some days early. Rather I wanted to check out every little town on the go that some driver would stop in. KL was just 300 km or so far away from my starting point, Changlun. You could do that in a day, if you were a little lucky. I was hitchhiking on the old road. Good for in between small places. When you want to get over large distances or to big places, then better get on the highway.

Now, let’s evaluate.

Is hitchhiking difficult? In my opinion, not at all. When I hit the road, it often took 5 min to be picked up. Sometimes it needs 20 min, sometimes you need to try somewhere else again. But it works way better than what I experienced in northern Germany. Yes, here in Southeast Asia, most people are unfamiliar with the idea of hitchhiking. But it works! At least some will understand that somebody standing at the road probably wants to be picked up or has some other problem. And there’s more than enough people ready to help you out. But beware! You have to be persistent, as most people are tenaciously stuck with the idea that the only way of travelling is by bus. They will keep saying bus station and unwillingly annoy you with that, and it can take some time to convince them that you have no money, that bus is boring and that you want to hitchhike god damnit! You’ll be fine, though.

How can you keep your stomach filled without money? No, I never needed to be hungry. Why? That’s simple, but so few people understand it in this world. Because strangers care. When you tell somebody you don’t have money, he/she will be worried about you, or want to make your trip enjoyable. As I said, almost everybody insisted on giving me a small amount of money, just to make sure that I’ll be fine. Malay people (and I actually think most people) are very generous when they know it’s for a good cause. When you sit into a restaurant, people will just wave you by. “Where you from? Want a drink? Did you have lunch yet? Had dinner yet?” Then you get into a conversation, share your story, and they gratefully accept it as payment for the drink or meal they just spent you. When hitchhiking, almost everyone will happily invite you for a meal. That’s because strangers care, and they realize that those 10 RM they can give you or this one dish they can pay for you doesn’t hurt them at all, but means really much to you. Even if you’re sitting on the street, just for resting from a walk, somebody will always come to you and ask whether there’s a problem. That’s just the nature of human. However, you need to be clear when you’re a vegetarian, and really persistent when you’re a vegan. Some people don’t know that you don’t eat fish as a vegetarian, and there’s just very few people in countries like Thailand and Malaysia who know what a vegan is. So repeat multiple times what you don’t eat. For me that would be meat, fish, milk, dairy, eggs and honey. Stay calm when people keep asking you whether you can eat chicken or calf or seafood or whatever they don’t know is animals… Sorry for the rant here. Sometimes people just buy you a small treat from the shop, unaware that you will deny it apologetically. But don’t think that as a vegetarian or vegan you can’t find food! Just find a local with good English who can explain to you which dishes don’t contain anything you don’t want (even though they look like it). For example, there’s a traditional dish here called Roti Canai. It’s a fried bread, only containing wheat flour, water and oil. You get it in most restaurants for 1 to 1,50 RM. Soymilk is ridiculously cheap over here. Search well and you’ll find 1L for 2 RM (50 cent).

What about accommodation? Do I have to sleep on the streets? Isn’t it dangerous? Locals often say that the streets are very dangerous for white people. You’ll get robbed, is what they say. Some girl even told me that somebody could slit my throat and go away. I feel like this is all paranoia. People may be just scared and worried about you, and the media is stressing the crimes, too. But I am unexperienced and have nothing to back that up, so better don’t take that advice. Decide for yourself. If you want to be safe, you can. Just ask the local police station to stay over night behind their fences. Nobody will come and rob you on surveilled police territory. Being near frequented places like 24h open restaurants should also be safe enough. You can also make yourself comfy on a bench in a train station. Many people do that However, maybe you don’t want to sleep on the street like me at all. Maybe because you’re not that young, or you don’t have a sleeping bag, or for whatever reason, it’s alright. And I say you can! Just be communicative, ask around a lot, and you will find somebody willing to help you. Maybe someone knows somebody else who can let you stay for a day or more. As last resort, you can always ask the police for help. Well, you will have a problem with accommodation if you need to have a hotel room or a private room every night. In smaller towns, there’s often only hotels in town. Sometimes they only offer a price that a “pennyless person” just can’t afford, like 80 RM. And in local’s homes you can never be sure whether they will have a guest room for you or wifi or anything. Be flexible, I suggest.

My opinion: Yes, you can hitchhike without money in Malaysia. It’s very easy. From my experience, I guess that Thailand is just as easy, and so are many others. I would even go so far that you can do this without big problems in most countries of the world. Because I’ve learned that strangers care, and if you have a problem, there’s always someone to help you out.

One more thing. Here in Malaysia, there’s a word for people who intentionally travel without money. Musafir. You could also translate it to “pennyless person”. It’s very helpful to learn some words and phrases of the local language. 🙂

My aims for the near future:

After meeting my friend in KL, I will go to the Malay coast and take a ferry to Sumatra, the biggest island of Indonesia. From there, I’m gonna hitchhike to the southeastern end, get to Java with a ferry, hitchhike on, and finally take a ferry to Bali. This is my destination. And compared to this little Malaysia trip that I did in two weeks and could do in one day, this one is gonna be waaay longer. I will let you know how it works out.

Greets,

Espyro

Welcome to Malaysia!!! Hitchhiking southwards

Hello, my friends!

After some time without internet, I’m back with an update on what I have been doing for so long. And believe me, it was magnificent!

Shortly after the previous update, when I was still in Chiang Mai, I decided to hit the road. Bored of sitting around, and slowly running out of money, I was ready for an adventure. A hitchhike to Malaysia!

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Why Malaysia? Because that’s the only nearby country without visa fee or application. Sure, I thought about India, Myanmar and Laos before, but that would not only cost money, but also bureaucracy and effort. But most importantly, time. Time I didn’t have.

As my tourist visa in Thailand would last only until the 1st May, it was on the 25th April when I thought I should hit the road NOW in order to leave the country in time. If taking the train, I would need two days. But I insisted on the adventurous route! At first.

The plan was: hitchhiking from Chiang Mai to Bangkok. From there, deciding whether to hitchhike on or to just take the train.

Because I couldn’t find my way onto the highway where people could pick me up, I drove with the bus to the next place, Changlun. 80 km from Chiang Mai, I was more fortunate. After staying for the night, it didn’t take long at all for somebody to pick me up. The local couple was headed to a place 200 km away and took me there. On the way, they insisted on buying me food. On a market, they bought me fruits and loads of Kanom Jok, a gluey white substance made out of only coconut, rice and sugar, enmantled in a leaf of seaweed. I had tried it first in Chiang Mai and fell in love with it! A picture of it below:

Kanom Jok

The two stopped at the bus station of their town and offered buying me a bus ticket to Bangkok. I said no, thanks. Not only because they already did way enough for me, but also because they proved to me that hitchhiking works quite well for me, and I was still thirsty of adventure. So I hiked on.

Somebody noticed that I was standing in a bad position for drivers to see me in time, and picked me up. He drove me to a better spot and invited me to a drink in the nearby café. Strangers are nice, aren’t they? 😀

The third car to pick me up was driven by an interesting family. Joe, a 66 year-old American who used to work for the government and came to all places of the world. Every country. Crazy guy. Plus his Philippinean wife and their little daughter. We were on the go to Bangkok. Joe told me of his life, all kinds of stories from all kinds of places, and gave me inspiration and good advice. I left at Ayutthaya, as it would be easier to hop on a train there and get to Bangkok, or one station further. When you hitchhike, you should always be far out of Bangkok, because it is quite hard to get a go anywhere in town, and it’s a long way to the train station or anywhere else.

When I was in Ayutthaya, I decided to visit the town’s “Elephant Village” before my train went in the evening. You can take elephant rides over there. I already had had a notion that elephants wouldn’t be so happy being used for such tourist attractions, but only when I was there did I know. They suffer in these conditions, that’s for sure. I saw a female just a few meters away from me. She swayed neurotically from side to side, all the time, and tears were running down her eye. Somehow I hoped it wouldn’t be this way in the “kingdom of the elephants”, if you will. But let’s get back to the main story.

I actually took Joe’s advice to take the train for the rest of the way. That way, I would have some time to see Hat Yai, the southernmost city of Thailand and gateway to the border. So I booked a ticket to Bangkok first. At Ayutthaya train station, I met a young guitarist headed to Bangkok. He was only some years older than me, and we came along well with one another. We arrived in the late evening and decided to hang out together and join the night life. We went to Khao San Road and played, but didn’t earn money, unfortunately. After that, in the morning, we went to his home that is located near Suvarnabhumi Airport. As I said earlier, in the huge city of Bangkok, it takes long time to get around, and the airport is very far off. We drove bus for hours and hours, eventually finally arriving at his place. I was worn out from hitchhiking and walking around with my heavy stuff, and just fell into the bed for a sleep. Waking up later, I spent a nice, chilled-out day with my friend. We watched two cool movies in the evening. The next day, we took the train to Hualampong, the main station of Bangkok. My friend wanted to join me on the way to Hat Yai to explore the city by himself, but when he found out that he would have to buy a ticket (not sure why…usually, locals get around Thailand with the train for free) he decided to head back. But it was an awesome time with him! By the way, I didn’t tell you his name because I don’t know how to write it. I call him Luij… Pronounced like Luiji without the i. 😀

The 20-hour train ride to Hat Yai would’ve seemed longer if I hadn’t met Ben there. Ben was also a guitarist, but he was older. Funny enough that I kindly guessed him 27 years when he was actually 45. We had a lot to talk about, but I didn’t really like him all the way. But he spoke good English, which made communication easier than with the locals.

Arriving in Hat Yai Junction, I had twelve hours to leave the country. I first got online and checked how to get to the border. After changing the rest of my money into Malay currency, I wanted to buy a train ticket, but it was completely booked out. I had to take the bus. In the evening, I had a hard time finding it, but I somehow made it with some good help. Sadly, I had to spend my last Thai money to afford the bus ticket, so I couldn’t keep souvenir Baht coins or notes.

In the late evening, I got to the border and received my visa for Malaysia. The man at the counter said something about departure and necessary documents, and I thought that would be trouble and I needed to proof onward travel. But it turned out I only needed to show the departure card I had received when arriving in Bangkok. I walked into Malaysia. Somebody picked me up for some ringgits (RM, Malay currency) and brought me to Changlun, a small town not far from the border.

Out of coincidence, in a 7-eleven grocery store, I met Faiz. A 28-year old local who went to Europe when he was my age. He was also to lots of other places all over the world, and his experience showed that there’s always people to help you and do everything for you, just to keep you alive. He wanted to return the favor, and so he let me stay in his apartment and gave me money for food everyday. That should be temporary, until Faiz’s contact wouldcall back and maybe hire me for his pineapple plantation. But it didn’t seem like something would happen. Again, sick of waiting, I decided to hit the road.

It was just today’s morning when I packed my stuff and got on the highway. A nice lady took me to the next city, Jitra. She gave me her Skype name. 🙂

From there on, two young men took me here, to a café with a Wifi-hotspot. They invited me for lunch, a bottle of water and some cookies, in exchange for a conversation and an example of my guitar playing. As I have no money left on my hands, they even gave me an extra 10 ringgit! (about 2,50€) I feel like wherever I am, people take perfect care of me without me even asking for it. I don’t want to capitalize on people, so I only accept their offers if they insist, and even so, I feel like I can do this forever! …Not like I will. I do have a destination.

So what is my next destination? Bali.

Picking just something, I decided to go to Bali. That’s an island in Indonesia. I have no idea how I will get there, but I will, if my plans don’t change. Bali is a hot place for vegetarians, vegans and lovers of yoga and organic food. Just the place to be for new-age’os like me! 😀 In between, I’ll be sure to visit Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta. I can take my time because I’ve got lots of. Unlike the 30 days in Thailand, the tourist visa on arrival for Malaysia and Indonesia are both chilled 90 days! There’s no need to rush anything.

There’s also a bad news. My laptop is broken. As a result of storing it in the wrong place, in the outside, unprotected from impact, the left side of my display is white out. My monitor space is reduced to 55%… But that’s something I can live with. I want to get myself a smaller, lighter netbook anyway, even though I don’t have the money right now. I’ll figure something out.

So far with the update. As always, thanks for reading! And wherever you wanna go, always try hitchhiking!

Good greets, Espyro

The beautiful people I’ve met so far

To give an update first: I’ve had my first student yesterday!!! I was teaching her German for 90 minutes. It was very lovely, easy and fun. And she even insisted on paying me 200 Baht instead of the 100 Baht I was offering… …on a flyer I hung out in Chiang Mai University some days ago. Aaand I’ve got free accommodation!!! The first day I’ve walked down the university campus, I’ve met Ice, a student of social science and my new friend. He asked his roommate whether I could live in their apartment, and he agreed that I can. Until the end of the month and completely free of rent! This is great news, right?

…Okay, I’m sorry for keeping it short after a long time without updates. But I would like to dedicate this post to give you a taste of how many people I met in Thailand. From the first day, I was meeting new people on a daily basis. Mostly without effort. I’ve shot many selfies with them, and I’d like to share them with you to give you a hint. So here we go!

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And that’s just a few of them. There were many more. 😀 For example, the lovely Canadian girl I’ve told you in the last blog post. Not only that she granted me quite lifesaving 1000 Baht, but she also gave me lots of tips and taught me some useful Thai. Sadly, our separation was so unforeseen and sudden that I couldn’t shoot a photo with her. 😦 All those people created a great experience so far, and it’s always those people who make the times abroad so valuable. People are friendly, kind, generous and helpful. While it is important to always stay cautious, one should not forget that there’s always somebody who can help you when you’re in trouble.

“Stop giving us life lessons and tell us more about what’s going on!!!”

Oh, yeah… About that one, I’m sorry. I hope to keep you updated more frequently in the future. That being said, somehow I’m not driven to write new posts every few days. I tend to create excuses like “I’m too busy” or “Bad internet” or “I’m a little sick right now”, but that wouldn’t actually keep me from blogging if I was 100% into it. I think I wanna be a little more for myself right now, and increase the update flow when I feel like it. I’m sorry, you’ll have to deal with it. Anyway, thank you for staying with me and patiently waiting for my updates!

Until next time,

Espyro

P.S.: That’s me with friends in an Indian temple:

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The Thai New Year leaves me broke

2015-04-15 11.26.50 How much money I got left on 15/04/1513th – 15th April is occupied with the holidays of Thai New Year.Around this time, Thai people celebrate their new year like we do on 31st December and 1st January. And the fact that Thailand has its new year festival dated at exactly this time is pretty much the reason why I have almost no money left. The 22 Baht you see above is everything I got (~60 cents). It’s just enough to eat from a local fruit stand for today. And I haven’t booked tonight’s accommodation yet. In other words, I’m broke.

Okay, I don’t actually have no money, but nothing available. I have about 300€ in my bank account, but I don’t have a credit card or any other plastic card to pick it up here in Thailand. Additionally, my mother sent me the 200€ my health insurance is gonna pay me back for the hospital back in Koh Phangan. But I can’t take that money with me. On a holiday like this, there’s only a few banks opened, but even worse: Western Union is not available whatsoever! (and that is the company that issues the money transfer from my mother to me)

But let’s talk about where I am and how I got here.

Some days ago, as my accommodation on Koh Phangan ran out, the deal I’ve already paid would grant me a boat transport to the southly adjacent island Koh Samui plus another week of bungalow stay. But after a week of staying lonely in my room, I realized three things:

1. I didn’t like the islands. It’s good for party or expensive things like diving, sightseeing and stuff, but nothing for me right now.

2. I couldn’t afford this. The islands are expensive and I’m running out of money. I already put up posters offering lessons, but nobody called me, so it’s hard to earn money here.

3. I wanted to go to Chiang Mai. In the biggest city of northern Thailand, I could eventually earn good money by teaching there. And people always suggest to go there.

So, instead of staying in the deal, I just took a ship to Surat Thani (gateway town to the golf islands). From there, I hopped in a train to Bangkok, and then on another train to Chiang Mai. That took me three days and costed about 1000 Baht (transport+accommodation).

Arriving here yesterday, I eventually found out that Thai New Year is the worst time for doing what I was about doing. Firstly, because almost nobody goes to university on these days. Secondly, because the good hostel and guesthouse deals are all booked out. And thirdly, because I can’t pick up the money from Western Union.

Another thing that doesn’t come in too handy is the way Thai people celebrate their new year. In Germany, you would do some firework all night on 31st December. In Thailand, you run around and shoot people with your water gun. Really, if you spend half an hour outside on one of these three days, you’re wet all over. Some people even use water buckets to shower you. Or, instead of drenching you with normal water, some spend the effort of making some ice water for you. Yeah, nice, right?

To the occasion, barely all people buy themselves waterproof cases for their properties, money, documents and phones. And I can’t do that because no money. 😀 All I’ve got left to do is staying in my hostel room for the rest of the day. Choosing a cheaper one for tonight and going there with my backpack, guitar and belly bag isn’t really an option. That means I have to stay here and borrow the 300 Baht for another night from the staff.

Despite all the bad that has just happened, don’t get the notion that I’m feeling really bad right now.

This is exciting!

This is the first ever experience that I have of being broke and stranding somewhere. It’s very delightful to find out that I would be absolutely fine in such a situation, and that, if needed, I would find a way to cope with such situations. There’s a local fruit vendor just around the corner offering portions of watermelon, pineapple, mango and other fruits for as few as 10 Baht! (actually, the woman at the stand raised the price of watermelons, as I’ve got mine for 6 Baht yesterday) And another cool thing is that however few money you have left, you can get rice cheaply just about everywhere. In restaurants, trains, or other locations, a portion of rice costs only 10 Baht, whereas rice and veggies and/or meat are to be expected to cost at least 30 baht, if not 40 or 50. Sometimes you get the feeling that dishes are actually cheaper WITH rice! That’s how inexpensive rice is in here, and I love rice! 😀

But the coolest thing I’m experiencing right now is that it’s not getting boring. In Koh Phangan, being lonely in my bungalow all day… man, that was boring. But now, staying in a dorm room where there’s other travelers like me, is cool! You do things together, or at least have a cool chat. This is what I wanted all along.

Additionally, all those challenges really make me thrive. With all this difficult and nasty stuff I’m talking about in most of my blog posts, you could get the idea that I’m always having a hard time. But that’s really not the case! I’m rarely talking about the small good things and energizing experiences that happen in between. Getting an awesome tasting fruit shake over here. Having a nice talk with some backpacker while waiting for the train. Finding out that a vendor just some meters from my hostel sells watermelon for incredible 6 Baht! (or even 10 Baht – it’s like 30 cents)

I’ve got to tell you another amazing story! While I was on the boat back to Surat Thani, I met a Canadian girl who was really concerned of my plans and budget, and gave me 1000 Baht. Just that way. She said she can get money easily when she needs more, and she knows how it is to be broke and stranded and having no idea what to do. Her concerns were that I have only 1500 Baht left and the trains would cost me nearly all of that and leave me broke for sure. Actually, because I was booking 3rd class, I paid less than 450 Baht in the end. But what I didn’t know at this point is this Western Union issue. Basically, she just saved me with these 1000 Baht, because without them, I would be really broke-broke by now. I wonder if I would even have a place to stay or something to eat today.

Through these and other little occasions, I’ve learned that people care. When you’re in a really bad situation, someone will help you.

So much for that. I wish you a happy new year!!! 😀

Greetings,

Espyro

How I got sick in Koh Phangan

Hello, people!

Important things happened since the latest blog-update. First things first.

I had myself a sunburn due to not using sun cream. That was on April 6th. And I was also feeling a little nauseous that day.

The next day my nausea increased, and I wasn’t hungry all day long. I was feeling really bad indeed. A chat with my French bungalow neighbor from time to time was a little soothing. But in the evening, I was having diarrhea.

This was serious. I needed help. On the way to the reception of my resort, I even puked on the ground. I asked the woman at the reception for help and whether she could call an ambulance. She did. Just a minute later, a man on a motorcycle came to pick me up. We drove up the road to the hospital, and I was instructed to sit down into the wheelchair.

I was driven into the lobby. A woman asked me for data and the passport. I provided. I was feeling weak, but it all worked out fast and smoothly. The nurses would measure my blood pressure and body temperature, and some minutes later I was laying in the patient bed.

Some doctor showed me a receipt and pointed at a number. I saw it and my stomach twisted itself for a moment. 6500 or something. Fortunately, I was only thinking in Euro, but this was 6500 Baht. Roughly 200€. And even more fortunately, as the doctor was saying, I remembered that my travel insurance would pay.

The doctors connected me to a catheter. For the next 6-8 hours, I would get an infusion of some salt-glucose-solution. And for the time being, I was asked if I wanted something to eat. I ordered a vegetable soup. Additionally, I should drink water with a powder in it. Electrolyte-vitamin-powder with orange flavor. Tasted very delicious, like orange soda!

The next morning, a guy from Belgium talked to me. “When you feel better, come to the reception”, he said. He was also instructing me what to eat and not eat in the next couple of days. My intestinal flora had to regenerate, so only light stuff. Bread with jam and yoghurt, he recommended. No nutella or such stuff. Pasta in the evening, maybe. And next day the same: bread with jam and yoghurt. (I could cut the yoghurt, as a vegan.)

It was 20 minutes to 8am when I decided to leave. At the reception I received the receipt. (What a tongue twister!) With soup and everything, it would cost 6950B. The woman said I should pay now. For that, I needed to exchange my two 100€-traveler cheques. Somebody drove me to the bank, I exchanged them and a little extra money to make roughly 7000 Baht, gave my driver the money and got driven to my bungalow. For the rest of the day, I would only be eating wholegrain toast with jam, drinking softdrinks, water and electrolyte-vitamin-orange-drink, and be staying and resting in my room.

To replenish my health and energy, it would take some time, which is why I’m still not in good shape at the moment. But I regenerated pretty well.

What caused this disease?

Well, I can’t say absolutely for sure, but I think it’s obvious. It was a food poisoning. Western stomachs just aren’t used to the relatively unhygienic conditions at which asian food is prepared. Peeled fruits, ice cubes and uncooked stuff (roasted isn’t cooked) can cause an infection easily. That makes sense because I often ate melon and pineapple pieces and drank lots of fruit shakes which they blend with ice cubes.

When my stomach has adapted to the asian conditions, I can consume these again, but for now, I have to keep to the easy stuff and rest in my bungalow. In some days, I’ll be back to normal.

Thanks for my friends and family for supporting me during my difficulties!

Awrighty, until next time.

Yours, Espyro

Things started to take on speed

It’s been a couple of days since I’ve been making an update. So let me start right from the point I’ve stopped.

On the 3rd of April, I was walking down a street of Banglamphu, Bangkok. I was just looking for a vegan or vegetarian restaurant. Without success. So I just bought some watermelon pieces from a street stand. They were tasty!

Walking on, somebody offered me a small tour around to nearby Buddha temples and monuments, some of which can only be visited today in the year, on a National Buddha Day or something. I first wanted to not accept, but I would also be dropped at the Tourist Information Center, and the tour was only 20 Baht, so I accepted. As I didn’t know yet, this triggered a chain of future major events that led me to the point where I am now.

We were at the Buddha statue (20m tall or so, pretty impressive), at a Buddhist temple, and then at the Tourist Information Center. I sat down and the guy at the desk asked me “How are you?” Fine, I replied. Easily, things started being arranged in the conversation, and in no time, I booked myself a two-weeks-trip to the southern islands of Thailand.

On the next day, I would take the night bus to the south at 5pm, then arrive at 7am, take the boat to the island Koh Phangan, stay there for a week in a bungalow, then take a boat to Koh Samui and stay there for another week in a bungalow. In that second week, I would have the chance to join the festival of Thai New Year on April 13th until 15th. That all would cost me 9500 Baht.

Later on, I realized not only that it wasn’t a good deal, but that this offer fit my personal preferences really badly. And I had to exchange four of my traveler cheques to afford it. But let’s move on.

For the night, the man recommended some of the hostels nearby in the other street, but a Danish man I met recommended me to take one at Khao San road, as it was not only potentially cheaper, but actually the place where most backpackers go, so I would meet quite many people that were like me. That’s what I did.

Khao San Road is a big shopping mall for tourists, mainly. It offers a variety of stuff, the biggest supply seemingly being suits. I was asked by nine guys whether I would want to check out their shop and buy a suit from them. That seemed a lot to me.

With a little asking around, I managed to find a guesthouse for 100 Baht, which is the cheapest I could imagine. It had a French bar. My hostel mates were three Japanese people and a Chinese guy. I hung out with them the rest of the day and some hours into the next day. We even checked out an Indian restaurant where I was guaranteed to find something vegan. And with the Chinese guy, I bought myself a guitar for 2650 Baht plus equipment.

After a wonderful evening and morning at Khao San Road, I went to the Tourist Information Center to get on my bus. Now, I realized that this was not the tourist information center in town. There were many many others with similar names – Tourist Center, Tourist Information Office… – and thus, they all offer their own transportation and accommodation. And even though the guy told me that I could swim and dive and ride elephants there, bus, ship and room for staying were the only things provided from these insane 9500 Baht (barely 300€), as I came to realize. And nothing’s refundable. But let’s move on.

The minibus picked me up. I met a Polish couple there, and with each station, somebody joined. We left and waited for the night bus. More and more people gathered at the spot, and we ended up being 40 people or something. Some of them were also German, and I ended up talking to one of them half of the whole trip.

Finally, we arrived at Koh Phangan. I said farewell to Jan and looked for my resort, the Cosy Bungalow. The first guy I asked told me it’s right there on the right road. I thought he meant just a little walk by that. I walked on and kept asking. Every local seemed to know where it was, and everyone told me to just walk down that road. At some point, somebody said I’ve walked past it. I needed to go back and then go left. I went all the way to the beach, and after asking some tourists, I could finally find it.

I was exhausted, sweat through, walking for feelingly half an hour through the sun with backpack and guitar to carry. I checked in and entered my room. Without the ventilator put on, it’s kind of hot. There’s only two power plugs (one occupied by the ventilator) and those are high at the wall, in quite a distance from the bed. And I don’t even have WiFi here!

I decided to just go to the beach. I bought some sandals and swim pants, got to the beach and took a bath. The sand below the water was covered with stones. You could barely walk. And the water was warm! What a disappointing day! At that point, I just bought a dinner at the supermarket, got into my room and went to sleep soon after. That was yesterday.

By the way, at the market I realized that this island is not as cheap as Bangkok by far. Whereas in Bangkok you could easily spend half the money on food you would spend at home, here on Koh Phangan, you pay even more than at home for food. As you can see, my finances don’t look too good right now. I really need to find something and start working.

But there’s also good news! If I wouldn’t have taked that offer, I wouldn’t have met such wonderful people in a small amount of time! I’m going to give you some photos of me and those people to give a hint, but not right now. I’m looking to find a stable internet connection to do that, and that could take some time.

Greetings,

Espyro

Somebody I missed immediately

The feeling of being abroad, on your own and finally doing what you want is awesome! Yet, sometimes you feel a little alienated, being a stranger to a large city, and you don’t know how that city works or who precisely you have to ask to get what you want or where you want (on the cheapest, of course). That’s why you tend to miss home or people you know.

But sometimes it’s the ones met abroad that you miss hard immediately after separation, just then realizing how much you liked his/her companionship. Let me tell you about the first fellow I met abroad and missed after being gone.

My roommate

Johnathan, my roommate

Of course, I was creeped at first. That’s usually the first thing you do when you’re from a western country, lay on your luxurious hotel room’s bed, listening to a tape, and suddenly spot a cockroach on the floor. Especially, if it is as big as Johnathan was.

Yes, I named him. Don’t even know whether cockroaches have a gender, but that’s not important.

Fortunately, I have acquired the skill of calming down immediately on a scary situation. I handled to not get crazy and start screaming for the whole hotel to hear me, even before giving it a name. I was still a little anxious, but also curious. I tried to let it walk on my paper to guide him outside the terrace, but the cockroach ran away upon every leg’s touch. I had to let it stay in my room.

And because I didn’t want to be paranoid about where the hell this cockroach is every five minutes, I tried something interesting. I tried to love it. And it worked! Then I gave it a name. Johnathan was the best I could come up with at this point, but I think it suits him. Now I accepted Johnathan as my roommate and a fellow creature.

From time to time, I actually searched for him to reassure myself that I’m not alone. I was happy to have his companion! I even imagined that he would watch me and take care that nothing happens to me. And yes, I was alone in my hotel room, but this is big, busy Bangkok for an 18-year-old who never traveled alone. I could use some imagination here and there. 🙂

Later in the night, I was looking for Johnathan, and I couldn’t find him. He didn’t reappear, so I had to assume at some point that he had left the same way he probably entered: through beneath the door.

I immediately missed him. It made me feel a little lonely. Not much, but a little. We just got to know each other (even if only one-sidedly) and he already left. I wanted to say goodbye once I checked out, but that was not gonna happen. I sighed.

The moral of the story?

Yes, firstly, I’m a crazy guy, that’s for sure. But does that really matter? To have someone around that you love for what he/she/it is, isn’t that what unconditional love is about?

I don’t know if this would work for you, but it can help reduce fear of insects or other animals, and help against loneliness. Because I’d particularly rather be crazy than grumpy and sad all the time. 🙂

Espyro

Have you ever done this in a same way? Project something into animals or objects and imagining they were your friends? I’d love to hear.

The April Fools’ Trick

Who doesn’t go twice over the date 1st April? As expected, this date had many people wonder whether I was just joking. And that’s the case for those people I’ve told that I would land in Bangkok on April 1st. Because the two flights plus transition were taking so long, in spite of the early departure at 9:50 in the morning I arrived in Bangkok Airport the next day, which is today, the 2nd April. So yeah, I was not starting in Bangkok on April 1st, but April 2nd. April Fools!!! 😀

Okay, I’ll get over with the jokes and give you a survey of my first (and second) day abroad.

I was sitting in the machine headed towards Oslo, Norway. I had been talking to two guys in their twenties who flew with the same plane. They were headed to Los Angeles, USA. They had helped me with getting through the control and airport right onto the plane. Now in there, I was waiting until everybody came in and sat down to pick a seat next to the window. Unfortunately, that’s when more people came in and someone of those latercomers demanded his seat. But I quickly found another window spot and could stay there. As we flew, I took many, many photos of the sky, looking to have a good view of Berlin underneath them. My neighbor was a nice man. He was little older than me and flying with his little siblings to Oslo for a wedding of his cousin. We were talking time to time. The 100 flight minutes ran quickly!

Arriving in Oslo, Gardermoen Airport, I was going through the control routine and started searching for a snack. For that, I needed to change money. I went to a little mart to ask for an exchange opportunity, but he told me that, as a transitter, there was no way I could. I could pay with Euro bills, though, but I would get a bad fare and Norwegian exchange money. I did it anyway. The 140g salted cashews were 59 Norwegian Crones, which was 6,70€ or something. I had to pay a 10€-note, as they don’t accept coins in foreign currencies at this store. I got 29 NOK exchange money. With that much, I could perfectly buy a 0,5 l orange juice, which I did.

It was 13 o’clock now, and I had to wait until 13:40 to enter the plane to Bangkok. During the waiting time, I was getting a little nauseous, but that went over once I hopped onto the plane. Luckily, I was on a J-seat (ABC/DEF/GHJ). Unluckily, there was no window directly next to me in this row. I could only watch the outside from an angle through the window of my front-neighbor. The flight was rather comfortable, providing a screen with multimedia options such as listening to music, watching movies, playing games and watching the plane fly over a 3D-model of the world. I was lucky with my neighbor again. He seemed to be…a couple of years older than me. Gosh, I must be attracting those people! 😀 He was a Norwegian and headed to Thailand to visit his fiancé and his father. He gave me good tips on what to do in Bangkok, what to eat, which other places of Thailand to visit, and how to fill out my visa formula. Great guy! 🙂

The ~12 hours of the flight were sure long, but went over more quickly than to be expected. I was reading on my kindle, watching a movie (The Darjeeling Limited) and talking to my neighbor. I was trying to get some sleep, which worked expectedly unwell, and my neighbor also had problems, even with taking sleep pills for the first time. After we arrived at 6 o’clock in the morning (time zone +7), we had to stand in line for visa approval. If you think the waiting is over once you hop off that plane, you might be mistaken. In Bangkok, it could take another 1-3 hours to actually leave the airport.

As I went out of the airport’s toilet, I tried to find out, how to get into city. Suvarnabhumi Airport is pretty far off the city into the east. With asking locals, I found out where to hop on a train into the city. As I left the station of Makkasan, I realized that I hadn’t been having a single direct ray of sunlight arrive at my face in Bangkok. Now was the first time. The climate is hot and moist, but every train and every building is air conditioned and kept cool. It can be a surprise to realize how tropical Thailand actually is, and how technology deceives.

Getting somewhere took time for me. I tried to orientate myself, looking for an internet café or a hostel in my Lonely Planet. But it was hot, and I just wanted to get somewhere else, so I took another station by train and headed towards the park. On the street, I saw a little fruit stand and picked up a bundle of 3 bananas for 25 Baht (1€ ~ 35 Baht). In a store, I’ve bought myself a 1,5 l bottle of water to make sure I stay hydrated. That were another 20 Baht.

From time to time, men on motorcycles asked me questions about their bikes. It was hard to understand the Thai accent, but anybody else could’ve guessed what they wanted from me. ^^ I thought they were making small-talk with me, asking whether I want to try. But, obviously, they wanted to pick me up and drive me somewhere. Taxi drivers. After I’ve turned down three or so offers, I decided to take this one and get to the park. It was an awesome experience for the first time in the city, to get driven on a motorcycle the first time in my life! He called a price of 60 Baht, and I gave him 80. It’s not like 60 isn’t enough, but I felt like giving him a tip.

At the park, a policeman started a conversation with me. I couldn’t enter the park, as he explained, if alone. I’d have to take at least a Thai with me, as their security measures require to keep unattended foreigners outside. That was fine for me. Then the policeman asked me where I was staying. Not booked my accomodation yet, I replied. He recommended that I should get to the Victory Monument, where there’s some hotels. He wrote down the name in Thai so that taxi drivers can read it. And he also gave me his number, which I should call whenever a deal someone offers me seems pricey to me, or when there’s any problem. I said thank you and was on the go.

The next guy to pick me up with his riksha-taxi read my letter and had an idea where to go. He offered 100 Baht. I knew this was to much. “Let’s say 80 Baht”, he added to my refusal. I was offering 50 Baht. “Okay, 60 Baht. Hop in”, he said. I was aware of the apparent misunderstanding, but the additional 10 Baht are worth as much as 30 cents, so nevermind. He drove me to a hotel called Victory something something, and I’m not sure whether this was the place the policeman explained. But I didn’t really bother. The man standing in front of the doors asked me if I wanted to see a room. I said yes and asked if they have WiFi. Which they have. That’s why I’m able to write this post. 🙂 He showed me a 900 Baht room. It was big and a little pricey, but that’s the smallest room size they have. I just took that deal, paid the 900 Baht + 500 Baht security deposit at the reception, and the man led me to my room again. Now he said that there’s no WiFi in the room, just in the foyer. No wonder why he told me just now. I maybe wouldn’t have accepted the deal.

Arriving in my room, I threw everything on the ground, plugged in my devices (they have universal plugs! :D) and took some hours of sleep. I turned town the air conditioner because I want to adapt to the hot, moist climate, even when I sleep.

Waking up, I was taking my laptop and some stuff, going down into the foyer. The man showed me plugs that are on voltage and told me the WiFi password. And now, I’m online and writing this blog entry!

That was an interesting first day for sure!

The most interesting thing was that I wasn’t nervous. I expected myself to be at some point. Shaking in the plane, or at the airport, or amongst the dense crowd of Thais and tourists in the train, or just a little scared of all the people and the new culture, or at the borders with the visa. But it didn’t happen. Sure, I was worn out a little, sometimes more, sometimes less, but I was calm all the time. The attitude seems to play a big role, after all. I had a hard time even realizing that I’m right within this journey right now! My brain had cultivated the thought that I’ll be in Bangkok some day in the future, and that’s what it was programmed to think when I was actually just here! It’s hard to believe, but it is true!

But I must also say that I’m a little disappointed. I shouldn’t expect too much from Day 1, but still, I’m expecting things to be more exciting! As it seems, I’ve grown up in a capital and I’m feeling not much different in this capital. Even though everything’s different, it’s fundamentally the same feeling of a city. Maybe I have to explore Bangkok throughoutly first. Maybe I should find some other backpackers to talk to. Or maybe I should plan to visit the countryside of Thailand! Who knows?

But one thing is for sure. The next accommodation I’ll check in at shall be a hostel! I want to get in touch with people! I want to stay up late sharing stories with them! (and I also don’t want to pay 900 Baht a night for a lonely, luxurious room I don’t like)

Okay, that’s it for now! You’ll hear from me later. Now I’m going to search for a backpacker hostel or something.

Espyro

Were you nervous when travelling to a foreign country?

Welcome to Espyrosblog!

Good morning/day/evening/night, depending on when and where you’re reading this from! My name is Espyro, and welcome to my blog. You might ask yourself, what this blog is about. Let me give you an introduction.

Imagine the following: You’ve just graduated from high school. You already know that you’ll make the next couple years the most significant of your life. For two reasons. First: Now that you’re 18 years old and out of school, you’re a fully capable and responsible human being for the first time in your life, so there’s nothing holding you back. And secondly, there’s no time to mess around. As long as you’re still young, it’s best to do all you can to develop yourself and grow. Life is short and precious, after all. But, more practically speaking, you don’t want to find yourself studying a subject you don’t enjoy or doing a job you don’t like in a couple more years. You want to know exactly what to do when the time comes. And that’s why you ask yourself this life-changing and important, yet simple question all over and over again: “What am I gonna do now?”

As you probably figured out, this is the position I find myself in right now. Driven by desire of growth, experience, adventure, joy and consciousness, I’m deciding to look forward into a future that contains all those things in abundance. Now, do you want to join me on this adventure?

Ah well, where’s my good manner? I haven’t introduced myself yet. My name is Lino Metzger, but you can just call me Espyro. I prefer Espyro, because it kinda sounds professional. I’m from Berlin, Germany, which is why my mother language is German. I love to play the guitar and sing, and I’m also highly interested in science and mathematics. I’m a vegan, for the sake of earth, living beings and health. And another thing I like is writing. If that weren’t the case, you probably wouldn’t read this right now. Okay, with that done, let’s get back to the topic.

Let’s explore the world!

Probably the most significant decision I’ve made for my whole life is the commitment to travel. In April 1st 2015, I’m gonna fly to Bangkok, Thailand. With that day, my world journey is about to begin. I’ll visit all sorts of places around the world, but which and when, I can’t say for sure. I’m gonna decide that spontaneously. The same goes with duration. My aim is around a year, where it might end up being only a couple of months, or three years, or even the rest of my life. I can already say that it’s gonna be very exciting, though! I can’t wait for the day of departure, and there’s still preparations to be made at this point. However, I feel April 1st coming towards me faster and faster everyday.

And because I’ve got most of my inspiration and motivation for travelling from a travel blog myself (you should definitely check out Earl’s Blog) I picked up the idea of starting my own blog. So, here we go! 😀

What is this blog about?

The main purpose of starting this blog is to keep people up to date about my journey. That way, It’s easier to have all my loved ones be informed about what’s going on, or just let them know I’m okay. I don’t want to spend a fixed time of my day talking with everybody individually. If you’re one of them reading this: don’t be mad. It’s just that I wanna focus on this journey, and it’s hard to fully be there when there’s always so much binding me to home.

Additionally, I want to see whether more people are interested in reading my thoughts, my experiences, my story. Through the internet, I want to connect with people all over the world. Not just regarding travel. Sure, travelling is gonna be the main topic on this blog, but I don’t view it as a travel blog. I feel the urge to share more. Whatever comes to mind. It’s kinda uncertain, and I like it. I don’t know what this blog will develop into. Similarly, I don’t know where this journey will lead or what lessons it will teach me. But I do know that I’m pretty excited about it. 🙂 So stay with me and we’ll see what’s gonna happen. Or, if this article is older and I’m already abroad, have fun reading through my posts!

See ya!

Espyro