Our lives are a compilation of the many experiences we have as we blaze our own unique trail through the continuum of time.These experiences define who we are, chisel our behaviours, and influence how we blend into the increasingly complex world around us. Our daily routines provide us with the comfort of stability, a known outcome, a rhythm to follow and a cage we grown to love and hate.
In the US, an intensely capital-driven society promotes a lifestyle of consumption and imbues in the masses a continued sense of deficiency unless we have the latest fashion worn by the socialite du jour or the latest gadget from Apple. These notions of consumerism reinforce our belief that the cage is our safe place and we should work harder to furnish it well with the latest trappings whether it is an expensive new car to better articulate our societal position, a healthier, greener lawn to compete with the neighbors, or a bigger house to store all the dust-covered crap we have accumulated over the years. All the while, we often forget that we are only blessed with a limited amount of time and an ever diminishing amount of energy with which to experience the vast reaches beyond our cage. This may sound trite, however, its importance should be underscored as our uniquely human intellect and desire for knowledge and understanding cannot be satiated with a constant cycle of work, buy, sleep and eat. There must be something more. Eexperiences that challenge our beliefs, expose our limitations, and enlighten our perspective. For us, this “something more” is travel.
With this in mind, we have set out to explore a tiny fraction of the many countries, languages, cultures, and lifestyles that color the globe. We are in search of adventure, knowledge and an experience that can further round our perspective of the world. With nothing more than 2 backpacks, 2 spongy minds and a host of technological gadgetry, we will travel ‘round the world for seven+ months starting from our current home, Australia, and returning to our next home, USA.
So please, join us on our travels and let us know your thoughts as we roam around outside our cage to experience life from just a few of the many different perspectives in order to understand who we are and how we fit into the whole human experience.
On a totally unrelated subject, my debut novel, Where's Unimportant
, is available now! Check it out and find purchase links on my website:
June 6th 2008
After asking around a bit, reading up on our travel book and gauging our time, we decided to make Fethiye the next stop in our Turkey tour. We caught a mid-morning dolmus out of Olympos and up to the local bus stop where we jumped onto another dolmus for the 5 hour ride up the Mediterranean to Fethiye. Once again, the ride was gorgeous, and, being well rested, we were able to sit back, relax and take in the scenery. The road curved along the coast revealing tiny coves, ruins mounted on craggy hills, and deep blue waters. Our arrival into Fethiye came quick and painlessly, and, once we got our bearings, we called up a recommended hostel that had a free pick-up service. It was obvious straight away that this town was “built” for tourism ... read more
June 3rd 2008
We boarded yet another night bus with the sort of enthusiasm typically reserved for a visit to the dentist. As we had come to expect, a clean cut, well dressed man happily served us refreshments upon take-off, and, promptly freshened the air inside the bus as we set off on our trip to Antalya. Meanwhile, the child seated behind us commenced her evening long complaint session, crying at every conceivable opportunity. Her caretakers, seemingly deaf and possessing absolutely zero parenting skills, did nothing to calm her or her flailing appendages which spent most of their time slamming into the back of my seat. After a couple hours of squealing, the child did a poo in her diaper effectively destroying the last shred of comfort inside the bus. Even the conductor’s deliciously scented lemon air freshener was ... read more
May 30th 2008
Saban is 22 years old and just recently graduated with an English degree from a university in Tokat, Turkey. Outgoing, friendly, and eager to practice his English a bit, we bumped into this remarkable young lad in the spotless new bus station (which really felt more like an airport) in Keyseri. He approached us as we finalized our ticket, asking if we would like to hang out together to kill the 5 hours before the bus to Urfa left. We happily accepted his invitation for a rendezvous and settled on a cafeteria in the station to get a bite to eat and to relax before the long, all night bus ride. For three hours we sat and talked to Saban, learning about his studies at university, looking through pictures of his friends, and sharing our travel ... read more
May 26th 2008
It has been about five months now and Rozy and I have experienced, discussed and analysed the many differences (both subtle and extreme) between the transport systems of 6 different countries. Our travels in Turkey bring us closest to some of the most economically developed countries in the world, and, one would probably expect a jump in the quality of the transport system given this proximity and other factors. Turkey’s transport system (specifically the bus system), much to our pleasant surprise, trumped all others we have experienced on this trip by a rather significant margin, and, on an extremely consistent basis as we learned later on in our travels. Getting to the bus station, purchasing a ticket and boarding the bus, at least from our first experience, couldn’t be any more simplistic. Firstly, our hostel sold ... read more
May 22nd 2008
Rozy and I licked our mental wounds caused by a horrendous time in Egypt by taking turns being uber positive about our expectations of Turkey. This was a bold move as overplaying such a hand could result in unreachably high expectations, which, if unmet, could render the last portion of our travels a perceived failure. Throwing caution to the wind, we traded oddly pumped-up enthusiasm as if preparing for a workout with Richard Simmons. We touched down in Istanbul ready to receive Turkey in all its glory, but still subconsciously prepared to flinch at any indication of a scam as we were still in a recuperative mental state. Once out of the portable airplane hallway on wheels (what are those things called?), we were pleasantly greeted with a clean, very modern airport. We followed well placed ... read more
May 17th 2008
So the plan was to make our way along the highly fragmented Egyptian transport network from Siwa to St. Katharine’s Monastery and Mount Sinai in far eastern Egypt. Three bus rides and a full day later, we arrived in Suez full of hope that we could catch the next bus out to St. Katharine’s in order to summit Mt. Sinai like our good friend Moses. Upon our arrival, I spoke to the ticket salesman (only after elbowing my way through a small crowd of people standing around the ticket booth) who informed me that I could purchase a ticket to Sinai once the Sinai bus arrived in Suez in roughly 4 hours. Long story short, we waiting and waiting until fifteen minutes before the bus was supposed to depart only to learn that the bus wasn’t ... read more
May 11th 2008
Disconnected is one of many words that could be used to describe the Egyptian transport infrastructure (hopelessly inefficient is another good way of describing it). We were lucky to score a night train ticket out of Luxor and into Cairo although we had to pay extra to catch the train originating in Aswan (even though we were boarding in Luxor) as the train originating in Luxor had been sold out (makes perfect sense, doesn’t it?). Regardless, we were fit to say our goodbyes to Luxor and hustle our way to Siwa along what amounts to a big “L” shaped series of tracks and roads. The first leg was an overnight train to Cairo, followed by an afternoon train from Cairo to Alexandria then a series of two buses (one from Alexandria to Marsa Matrah, and one ... read more
May 5th 2008
One would think that finding the central bus station for a city of 20 million people would be a relatively straightforward task, unfortunately in Cairo, nothing is straightforward. From our guidebook, we knew that the main bus station was called “Turgomen” and it was located near Ramses Square, however, the book stopped short of providing a precise address since “the bus station is prone to relocations”. Confused, Rozy and I mulled the idea of a roaming central bus station but couldn’t connect to the logic or reasoning behind it. Anyhow, we set off to find the elusive Turgomen and his fleet of buses to take us to our next Egyptian destination Luxor. After arriving via metro to Ramses Square, we began approaching locals one by one asking if anyone knew where we could find Turgomen Station…nobody ... read more
April 30th 2008
Arriving dead tired into any new city isn’t exactly the ideal situation…arriving dead tired in Cairo is simply a bad idea. After a long night in the airport in Mumbai, a 3.5 hour flight to Bahrain, a 2.5 hour layover in Bahrain and finally a 3 hour flight from Bahrain to Cairo, we arrived zombified and ready to find the nearest bed. Instead, we played the immigration game and got our first introduction to the Egyptian way of life…tacit knowledge reins supreme. In this instance, I queued for immigration checking as everyone else, however, when I reached the immigration officer in the hopes of entering the country, I was denied and told to go back to one of the many money exchangers before immigration and purchase a visa from one of them. Realizing how stupid I ... read more
April 25th 2008
Another comfy A/C bus delivered us back to Ahmedabad from Bhuj where we spent the majority of the next day in a stuffy little cubicle in an Internet café waiting for our next bus departure to Mumbai. Evening finally came and we prepared to board yet another (hopefully comfy) Volvo A/C sleeper bus, only, it didn’t arrive. Instead, about an hour and a half late, a crap-mobile of twisted metal (with no A/C) arrived to grudgingly drag us down to Mumbai. We had paid for an A/C sleeper bus and were given a non A/C bus, so naturally, it was time for the guns to come out (aka: Rozy attitude). Huffing and puffing, my sweet little wife flexed her vocal cords tossing complaints of service and demands of refund around in a storm of anger unbefitting ... read more