That day I got lost in the Bulgarian woods

We just hung up a bag of food in one of the nearby trees. Food, soap, shampoo: anything that smelled really! I remember from my trip to the USA a few years ago, that, if you are in bear-country, you’d better make sure to keep everything that could possible attract them, far away from you. And apparently, the Bulgarian Rhodope mountains, the place where we were stuck, was bear territory indeed. When setting off this morning the lady at the Chepelare tourist office warned us: “Be careful of Continue Reading

Those moments when travel goes horribly wrong

Aah, the joys of travelling: exploring new cities, meeting new people and the only thing you have to worry about is “where am I going to eat and sleep tonight?” But occasionally, travel goes wrong. These were some of those times: 1/ The car crash in Ireland I am sitting on a rock next to my tent, on a campsite in the small Irish village of Caherdaniel. Beside me is a police offer, trying to sort things out with the insurance company. How did I end up here? It all started the day before. I Continue Reading

The side effects of travel addiction

My name is Els and I have an addiction. I go to bed with it and it’s the first thing on my mind when I wake up. If I could program my dreams, it would hunt me in my sleep too! I have a “travel addiction”! “So, what’s so bad about it?” I hear you say. “There are worse addictions to be had!” Well of course there are and although it’s a very mild addiction, it does feel like a benign drug that comes with some unwanted side-effects: 1/ Lack of security Working 9 to 5 gives me a Continue Reading

Life as an expat: the good, the bad and the ugly!

In March 2016, it’s been 3 years since I moved from Belgium to Northern Ireland. Although I like to think of myself as being “easily adaptable”, expat life hasn’t been and isn’t always easy. There are different phases every expat will go through and while the good definitely outweighs the bad, there are still a few things to consider. Expat life: the good! 1/ It broadens your mind Living in another country means living in a culture that is different from the one you were Continue Reading

A tribute to the people I met on my travels!

One of the best parts of independent and slow travel is the people you meet on the road! Connecting with people when travelling means a lot more to me than seeing the Eiffel Tower or the Taj Mahal. There’s so much you can learn from them, they can show you more about their culture and country than any guide book or museum ever could! I still recall the friendliness of the Scottish and Thai people I met, I can vividly (well, more or less) remember the drunken nights I spent with some Albanian Continue Reading

Village life in the Spanish mountains

It’s mid-March when I land in Malaga, the gateway to Andalusia. John is picking me up and together we set off for Cartajima, a tiny village in the Ronda-mountain range of Andalusia. This will be my home for the next two weeks; the place I chose to start my first experience of volunteering abroad: helping out in a hotel! I am going to help John and Di running “Los Castaños”, a small boutique hotel. My main tasks are setting up the breakfast and dinner table, cleaning dishes and changing Continue Reading