My Heart In the Dirty Hands of Essaouira Hospital

My Heart In the Dirty Hands of Essaouira Hospital

A sudden emergency had us rushing to the Hospital of Essaouira - and then driving in the back of an ambulance to Marrakech. A quite interesting and nerve wrecking experience that reminded us that we were, after all, in Africa where apparently it IS possible to not have a single type of tissue/paper in a whole hospital.

My Unexpected Date with a North Korean Waitress

My Unexpected Date with a North Korean Waitress

A once in a lifetime opportunity presents itself to us as we share a dinner with a North Korean woman in Cambodia. She tells us of her passions and shows us a human side to the otherwise secretive country.  

What Keeps Me on the Road

Leaving home is an arduous process. It’s a system of complex thought that starts with a hunch and spiderwebs out into a conclusion that leaving is better than staying. That doing away with the world as you know is the only solution, the only future worth living for. 

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It doesn’t happen right away, at least it didn't for me. I had known since childhood that I wanted to leave. Growing up sheltered in the suburbs of Somewhere, Ohio had destroyed my perception of the 'world at large'. By age 10 I was convinced that the folds of manicured lawns and white vinyl sided duplexes literally had no end nor beginning. I had dreams where I would run top speed through my neighbors back yards only to find myself trapped in a complex maze of suburbia with no end. This city was my world and I was trapped. 

I really had no other option but to plan my escape. 

This warped worldview made the smallest things interesting to me. A trip to the grocery store was akin to a road trip through India as far as I was concerned at the time. 

This was where my desire to see was born. It became a part of my personality and consumed me more and more each day of development into adulthood. 

It started when I was 11. I got my first bike for my birthday from my grandparents. A small black two wheeler with flame stickers on the sides. It was my first taste of freedom up to that point. My young mind finally grasping the concept that this gift could show me the answer. It could reveal what lies behind the green if I only pedal hard enough. So I did. 

Mom restricted how far I could bike from home, which naturally only made me want to leave even more, so I lied. Tell her I was going to Joey’s house next door or Kevin’s for supper. The second I was out the door I was gone, desperately seeking new exciting monuments in any form possible. My favorite was a middle school nearby called Maple school. It was a public school with a few jungle gyms and swing sets. At the time it was like exploring the jungle. Being in any foreign environment on my own made me feel independant for the very first time. A feeling I found to be totally enthralling, consuming and most of all...addictive. 

As I aged I searched for this feeling in new forms. Like any addiction I found I was building a tolerance after each 'high'. Suddenly my bike rides weren't enough to keep my satiated. 

By 16 I was feeling it again. The slog of suburban life slithering through the floorboards of my childhood bedroom and draining me entirely. I had no option but to run again. To escape the cycle I watched everyone around me dive into head first. I would drive my car to nowhere and get out. Lay in the grass of some field and prove to myself I wasn't trapped in that room. I could leave anytime and go anywhere I wanted it was just a matter of doing it in the first place. The best places in the world were the small corners. The unseen spaces scattered in forgotten locals decomposing out of sight and mind from all but me. 

College came and with it a certain ounce of freedom I could hold onto for a bit. Having my own space, my own house with things I could call mine. It was just enough adventure to keep me happy. But it only lasted so long. Suddenly I found myself back in the same cycle of hopping on my bike and riding for miles until a hidden corner presented itself for me to claim as my one. 

 

I got heavily interested in Urban Exploration. Through my random walks and cycling I managed to find so many amazing things: 

  • An entire abandoned processing plant with two massive warehouses
  • An abandoned bachelor's pad from the 80's with an amazing rooftop where I would take girlfriend to watch the stars
  • Empty water tower where I would hitch up my hammock to read and sketch
  • Abandoned mansion where we would throw parties
  • Mike Tyson's $2 million abandoned mansion (with indoor pool)
  • An empty tuberculosis ward from the 70's
  • Multiple abandoned churches and military complexes 
  • An underground tunnel system 
  • More rooftops than I can count

And it all kept me satisfied. Kept me feeling like my mental map of the world was expanding each month that passed. This constant perception growth gave me purpose, it made the world feel like it had meaning like there was something to strive for. And my addiction grew. 

Until I'm 22. I'm embracing what could be called adult life, or at least tempting the idea to embrace it. I rent a house with some friends in a city and tell myself it's time to end the addiction. I contort my limbs into unfamiliar shapes to fit into the box I'd bought myself. It worked for a bit but, slowly, the limbs grew stiff. I was an addict and the withdrawal came quickly. 

So I hit the 'purchase' button on an Air Berlin confirmation page. $1,100 is deducted from my bank account and I inject the needle to vein. I get the exact same rush a bike ride through the neighborhood once provided many years ago. But this time the rush doesn't leave. This time, I'm floating in a constant state of adventure, an endless bliss of satisfaction.

I'm lost and found all at once. 

For two months I walk streets I never knew existed. I hear languages I don't understand and they're spoken to me and I smile and nod all the while. I drink wine on the street with a friend I just met as he tells me stories of his childhood and personal details of his work life. I jump into a canal in the dead of night with a man that let me sleep on his floor for no reason other than kindness and karma. I count stars with a Danish girl I found myself falling in love with by first word. And the days, each day, has infinite meaning. Each step adds 1,000 pages to my life story as I find my pen depleting of ink. 

Then it ends. And somehow the world expects me to quit cold turkey, just like that. I really had no other option but to plan my escape. 

Our Stats After 365 Days on the road

Our Stats After 365 Days on the road

A full year has already gone by - and so much has happened. For one, we have now officially spent 24/7/365 together, and we love each other even more than when we left. I think that is quite an accomplishment! But here are some fun stats from our year on the road.

A guide to the best cities in Southern Mexico

A guide to the best cities in Southern Mexico

We had an amazing time in Southern Mexico - this is the one place on earth we've ever felt that true vacation feel all the way to our cores. After spending two months staying in all the major cities, we're now giving you the know-how on each of them. Get ready to explore the very best of Mexico!

The ultimate itineraries for Southern Mexico

The ultimate itineraries for Southern Mexico

The Southern tip of Mexico, including the states of Yucatán and Quintana Roo, is the closest you get to a paradise on earth. Offering anything you could dream of as a vacationer and beach-lover as well as the thrills and cultural riches that most backpackers seek, it doesn't get much better than this. But what is the best way to see all of it?

Fantastic Maps Apps for Getting Around When Traveling

Fantastic Maps Apps for Getting Around When Traveling

The ultimate app tool-kit for getting anywhere - whether you want navigation to the closest ATM or find the cheapest way to cross the globe, your smart phone knows how to get you there. We'll help you navigate through the overwhelming amount of navigation apps and get the ones any traveller should carry with them when globetrotting!

Weird Foods Found in a Thai 7-Eleven

Weird Foods Found in a Thai 7-Eleven

You walk into a 7-eleven in Thailand and find a world of mysteries! I ventured into the secret world of unfathomable Thai candy and here's what I learned. I might've electricuted by tastebuds more than once but it was worth it!

Fun Facts about Buenos Aires

Fun Facts about Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires; a huge city with some interesting quirks! Here are some unique and funny features of this city, where you can expect to do illegal trades and avoid dog poops whenever you exit your house...

5 Must-have Compact Travel Items for Ladies

5 Must-have Compact Travel Items for Ladies

Fitting everything into one carry-on small backpack can be a challenge! Especially when you're a girl and are used to a million different tools and beauty items. Here are a few compact travel items that will save you space and optimize the utilization of space in your backpack!

The Soundtrack of Alex and Tamara

The Soundtrack of Alex and Tamara

We all have those songs that somehow become strongly tied to certain memories.
In the rearview mirror it seems that Alex's and my entire story can be told through music. Some of the songs are good, some less so, but these tracks have become the soundtrack of our story.

How to make Danish braided Christmas heart decorations

How to make Danish braided Christmas heart decorations

The braided heart is a traditional Danish christmas decoration. Not only are they pretty, they can also be opened and filled with treats as well as hung on the christmas tree. They're surprisingly easy to make. Here's a quick guide so you can make your own 'christmas heart' step by step. 

24 Danish Christmas Traditions

24 Danish Christmas Traditions

Danes seriously know how to do christmas. We're lucky enough to spend christmas in christmas country and here's a run down of some of the awesome and crazy traditions that are to this day being honored in this capital of christmas.

Extremely funny Danish words pt. 2

Extremely funny Danish words pt. 2

Here's another one for you guys - A small collection of Danish words that will surely make you die from laughing (Well not literally die - it's just a Danish expression). Seriously. I am not taking pee on you (Translation: I'm not joking)...

The very best Turkish food

The very best Turkish food

Here are the most famous, weird, interesting and delicious must-try dishes from Turkey!
We've collected the best local food experiences while living with locals in Istanbul.
Don't miss out on these amazing dishes if you're gong to Turkey.

Our futures in a Turkish coffee ground reading

Our futures in a Turkish coffee ground reading

It seems we wont always be so lucky... Our futures look like they're on shaky ground, at least according to our coffee grounds. Our friend Ozlem picked up our mugs after we finished our Turkish coffee and gave us a proper fortunetelling session. Here are the juicy results.

The Tales of Traveling Toilet paper...

The Tales of Traveling Toilet paper...

There are some things in this world that really shouldn't be taken for granted. Toilet paper is one of them.
No matter where we are we constantly run into toilet paper issues.
Sometimes all it takes is a sprinkle of fundamental human need to force you to go through prettyyyy drastic measures...... Yeah... Enjoy.

Translation of a Portuguese coffee menu

Translation of a Portuguese coffee menu

Survival guide for any coffee shop in Portugal, the country where an Espresso can have 10 different names. Having gone through the mess of ordering a simple Americano in several Portuguese coffee shops myself I've put together this guide which should help you out!