Blog

Blat through the Baltics: Riga
13 Oct 2015

Blat through the Baltics: Riga

One further week, and one further Baltic country. This time, the minibus rattled along roads in northern Lithuania, past fields where farmers had erected stork-nesting platforms in hope of attracting the fortune-associated birds, and pulled up in Riga amid unseasonable sunshine. Latvia, the brother-in-arms of Lithuania and likewise home of one of the oldest surviving Indo-European languages, was to be my home for the next seven days. These are my impressions.    

Read More
Blat through the Baltics: Vilnius and the Curonian Spit.

So much can happen in one week. This is true of life in general, but travellers experience this in hyperdrive. The myriad colours, locales, tastes, characters and sensations experienced between my arrival in Vilnius, Lithuanua and the first sighting of the Baltic Sea from the Curonian Spit are far too many to recite. For that reason, why not follow the adventures in my first true Baltic country across 28 photos? And why not listen to traditional Lithuanian multipart music at...

Read More
Blat through the Baltics: Warsaw
24 Sep 2015

Blat through the Baltics: Warsaw

It all started last Monday at the Ausländerbehörde. At approximately 7.30am, in exchange for a stack of meticulously-prepared paperwork, I received something I had long coveted: A two-year freelance working visa extension. This led me to where I am now, writing this post while sitting in the front row of a double-decker Polskibus, just about to the cross the border from Poland to Lithuania. You see, as soon as the visa came through, I set into motion a trip which...

Read More
Things that no longer surprise.
5 Sep 2015

Things that no longer surprise.

After more than three years living in Europe, it’s happened. Things that would quite easily have turned my head when I first arrived, now simply fail to surprise me. Fill me with wonder, sadness, confusion, admiration and falafel, yes; but surprise, no. I guess an incident on Thursday got me thinking about this: Waiting for the traffic lights on my bike at Oberbaumbrücke, a man pulled up next to me. He was wearing a white pair of Zalando brand headphones...

Read More
The Second Berlinniversary.
4 Aug 2015

The Second Berlinniversary.

“What in the name of ‘Hoff is a Berlinniversary?”, I hear you ask. It’s a milestone I am truly happy to have been able to reach. Berlin leaves many traps for unwary newcomers, many of whom leave brokenhearted. Those, who caught up in the city’s myriad distractions, ‘forget’ to work and go home broke, those who would love to work but cannot get the visa, those who underestimate its winter or the transience of its flighty inhabitants. So last weekend,...

Read More
On Britain and family
23 Jul 2015

On Britain and family

Britain, Britain, Britain. My thoughts on visiting the country of our colonial forefathers are still mixed. Given all of the opportunities to travel anywhere in the world, why would a New Zealander choose to head there, a land with a very similar culture, but higher expenses, stodgier food and ‘orrible weather? Nevertheless, there I stood in London, several weeks back, watching fighter planes streak over Buckingham Palace while the Queen, Kate and Wills and potty-mouthed Prince Philip appeared on the...

Read More
Responsible Travel? What the…?
15 Jun 2015

Responsible Travel? What the…?

To some, the idea of responsible travel is an oxymoron. Travel requires energy, mass travel requires mass energy, mass energy is currently  produced unsustainably. The world would be a sad place if, in the name of travelling sustainably, we must simply daydream from our armchairs. To promote this would also be madness: who would listen? People will travel. People should travel. But we’re going to be in trouble if we don’t do it sustainably. So what on earth is responsible...

Read More
The Taipei Stopover
1 Jun 2015

The Taipei Stopover

Despite having visited Taipei on the to-and-fro of my 2014/2015 Christmas trip to New Zealand, the nature of print media means the travel feature I wrote back then has only just now been published. I managed to break up the long haul Frankfurt-Auckland flights with two, day-long stopovers to explore the sights and tastes of this fascinating city. You can read about it here, on the Otago Daily Times website. Although I had a blast exploring Taipei, I’m still a newbie...

Read More
Lessons from Bootstrap Backpacking

The title of this post may conjure up images of a sun-seasoned traveller. He strides down a dirt road somewhere exotic: sure steps in a double-knotted pair of sturdy leather boots that have, and will continue to take him,  down many paths in many lands. However, ‘Bootstrapping’ is a term one comes across often in Berlin, and many other metropolitan hubs. The word comes from the 19th century saying  ‘to lift oneself up by one’s own bootstraps’, or in other...

Read More
Good Things Come in Threes
16 Apr 2015

Good Things Come in Threes

At the risk of sounding like a corporate engagement fanatic, I believe a good milestone is grounds to celebrate. Things have been rather busy since a particular milestone I celebrated earlier this month, but the lack of any written material around this has not been due to a lack of excitement. Excitement at realising I’ve now been abroad for three years. What? No… That can’t be right. Three entire years? I had to break that period down to make sense...

Read More
Follow
Get every new post delivered to your inbox
Join millions of other followers
Powered By WPFruits.com