Cuba: Tips, tricks and personal impressions #2

People

Cuban people seemed to me rather distant. I could say “as if we were in two parallel worlds” … but the problem is that we are indeed in parallel worlds. We are just tourists, the ones who spend money, enjoy their time and leave. And though the whole life in Cuba takes place on the streets and you get a chance to witness many small daily life scenes, you are still just an outside observer. With no doubt even that glimpse at Cuban life was very enriching and interesting but unfortunately I cannot think of any engaging conversation or meaningful connection with local people. I talked to casa owners, taxi drivers, tour guides and bar tenders – but it was mostly “just business”. (Bear in mind I speak fluently Spanish, so that was not an issue). Maybe a company of six people was just too self-sufficient, I guess this would partly explain the lack of interaction with locals. But the other part, I believe, is that we were mostly seen as a source of income and there was no genuine interest in us. (The truth is why should they even have this interest? There is nothing special in us :)) Anyway, I guess it was just a mismatch of expectations and reality.

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Cuba: Tips, tricks and personal impressions #1

Cuba is a firework of emotions, it is a different world that will make you smile, laugh, love and hate it all at the same time. Sometimes you will wonder if this is for real, sometimes you will be insanely annoyed, sometimes you will be left breathless contemplating the beauty of this country and its people. It is a unique place that can become one of your most wonderful journeys or one of your worst ones as well… all depends on your attitude. But I would not even know how to describe the right attitude, I guess it’s either your vibe or not and when it clicks it’s an unforgettable adventure. Continue reading “Cuba: Tips, tricks and personal impressions #1”

Dancing in Cuba

When I went to Cuba I decided to record some dancing of mine around beautiful places on the island. It was hard to shoot, hard to edit, the result is not the best, but I still kind of like it. Because the video just radiates happiness and fun. When I watch it I instantly smile and feel energized. I would love to create more videos like this in the future and I already learned something from my mistakes, so I hope that the quality will be better next time. Enjoy!

Discovering Taipei

Taiwan was my first ever south east Asian country, I have never been to this region before and I was really looking forward to discovering it. Everything was new to me, especially the food and the humid weather (both were killing me xD). The culture as well was very different from what I was used to (Europe, Middle East and Latin America), both in terms of “sightseeing list” and in terms of local lifestyle. Sometimes I had my difficulties adjusting to this new world, but overall I looooved the experience, because it was really unique and special for me. I remember recording long voice messages to my friends telling them about all the new things I was encountering every day. I just had so much urge to share my Taipei adventure and I could not keep it to myself. Continue reading “Discovering Taipei”

A week in paradise on Sardinia

This year I have finally realized that hopping around continents and visiting a huge amount of cities and places in 3 weeks was not the only type of vacation I needed. I actually have been suspecting it for quite a while and now I came to the point to try it. The same place for one week. No sightseeing list, no to-do list, no Instagram photos – just the beach, the sea, beautiful nature around and time for myself. Maybe I am simply getting old, who knows =) But my week on Sardinia was wonderful like a dream … For the first time in many-many years of my active travels I came home feeling rested. Truly relaxed, energized and recharged.

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What to see in Brazil?

When I decided to go to the Olympics I knew I wouldn’t be going just for Rio. I really wanted to explore more and to get to know this country better than a simple visit to Corcovado. But Brazil is a very big and diverse country and has so many things to offer that one can easily get lost in endless options. I would divide the attractions into 2 categories: nature and cities. And though many people on the internet were saying that true Brazil was not about  cities but about stunning landscapes and amazing wildlife, my trip was mostly concentrated on the urban beauties. The reason was very simple: I didn’t have enough time to fully immerse myself into the wonders of nature, which require quite a lot of time to reach them and to explore them with guided tours. Visiting cities, however, was much easier in terms of logistics and the span of 2-3 days was also enough to enjoy the main attractions. So here is a list of places that we have chosen and a small description of why you should go there: Continue reading “What to see in Brazil?”

Rio de Janeiro the crazy

On my second day in Rio I had to go to volunteer accreditation center and to pick up my uniform. It was located in the Samba city (Cidade do Samba) close to the city center. I checked the map and went to “Central” metro station from where I was supposed to walk like 2km. What I found at Central was a chaos of people, vehicles and street crossings all around …it felt quite uncomfortable and intimidating to be in this mess of events (but me generally I don’t like big cities and their madness). I was afraid to take out my phone and check the route (I was expecting someone to snatch it from my hand anytime) so I went to the police and asked for help… They were no good in pointing me into the right direction, but at least in their presence I was brave enough to use my phone 😉 Continue reading “Rio de Janeiro the crazy”

Rio de Janeiro the beautiful

I have been struggling with this post for a while because my experience of Rio was very different from other cities in Brazil. It’s easier to post nice pictures and talk about what you have seen and done as a plain tourist (hopping from one point in the sightseeing list to another), but it is much more difficult to write about something that you lived as a … lets’s say … prolonged visitor. Your experience is not linear anymore: it’s an irregular mix of events, moments and episodes and it is just hard to create a single thread of a story. In my head I have flashes of random memories that are filled with emotions and thoughts, and I don’t really know how to put it all together into one “Rio” post. Nevertheless, I will try. Maybe by starting with the simple things and telling you how I got there.

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Memories from the past: Istanbul

A week ago I remembered that I actually had another blog in English. It turns out that I have created it 5 years ago! Already at that time I had this idea of writing, but I never really stuck with it and published only a couple of posts. Nevertheless, in 2013 when I was doing my IAESTE internship in Istanbul, I was updating it quite regularly. I have reread my posts now and the sweet memories made me laugh =) So I decided to import the entries here and now they can be found under the istanbul tag.

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