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Europe » Serbia » West » Belgrade
June 7th 2015
Published: June 7th 2015
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Tokyo Disneyland layoverTokyo Disneyland layoverTokyo Disneyland layover

Monsters Inc. fans will understand what I did there
Airline ticket prices are decided by a group of monkeys throwing chunks of smooshed up banana at a wall full of numbers. If any of those chunks stick to the ceiling, the price also includes an hourly variation of plus or minus $300. That’s the only explanation I can give for this situation - A one-way ticket from Bangkok to Belgrade is more expensive than: a one-way ticket from Chiang Mai to Bangkok, a one-way ticket from Bangkok to Tokyo and a roundtrip ticket from Tokyo to Belgrade. Yes, all of that combined is cheaper than the one-way from Bangkok to Belgrade. Without hesitation, we booked ourselves into that 45-hour journey that spanned five airports and zigzagged over Asia, the Middle East and Europe. Chiang Mai to Bangkok to Tokyo to Abu Dhabi to Belgrade. Since that wasn't tiring enough, we made it more busy and spent a rarely found early morning to evening 13-hour Tokyo layover at Disneyland. All of this was seamlessly easy.

A rewind to start at the beginning of the journey:

The immigration stamps into Thailand stated we needed to depart the country on or before May 21. On the night of May 20, we went through immigration and the officer informed Bob he had overstayed by one day. Why? Oh she thought it was May 22. An immigration officer, a profession hinging heavily on the knowledge the current date, is unsure of today's date. A lot of Thailand operates with knowledge similar to this. But she was receptive to Bob's suggestion that May 21 was tomorrow, and off we went.

We left the hills of northern Thailand after dinner, woke up in Tokyo to spend a perfect day at Disneyland and were in Belgrade reuniting with close friends by the following afternoon. That 40-something hours was a stark reminder that anything is possible and limitations to adventure are merely a silly voice in our heads. The voice says stuff like "you need a king-size bed to get sleep and fancy lotion to look good and eight pairs of jeans to survive in life and you'll never make it through that red-eye" (or in this case two red-eyes). The world is only a frightening and huge and boundary-laden place if you allow that voice to enforce limitations.

Once in Belgrade we sat down with our friends, Allison and Fabian, and two of their friends for the best meal of cheeses, meats and salads. It was at this meal I realized I needed to drop any expectations and preconceived ideas about Europe. This was a different Europe than I have experienced. It's an inexpensive, kind, smiling, absolutely delicious Europe.

We spent the next day eating, eating more, walking along the Sava river and playing games at Kalemegdan park and the old citadel. Then we ate some more and over Montenegrin wine, we spent about twenty minutes planning the road trip and booked ourselves into a chalet at Tara national park for the following two nights. We intentionally planned the two-week road trip irresponsibly to keep things open and without date restrictions. The wine agreed with our spontaneity.

The flight attendant on our Tokyo to Abu Dhabi leg was Serbian. He didn't offer us any tips of what to see or do, he just showed excitement we were going to his home country and told us we would be gaining weight, and now I'm thinking that was an honest, accurate and inevitable statement. He also served us fresh-squeezed orange juice with a smirk during hour 10 of the 12-hour flight.

Our two-week road trip begins now, or toad trio as it autocorrects to if I’m typing quickly on a tablet.


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Plane stylePlane style
Plane style

I fly Japanese style with a mask - totally normal in Asia. Freaks people out in Europe. Sporting some stupid sticker AirAsia made me wear.


7th June 2015

I do like your travel style!!!
You are lucky one of the legs of your epic journey wasn't cancelled, throwing everything off. I'm looking forward to your blogs.
9th June 2015

Thanks, Bob!
I'm working on the rest of the blogs this week. Yes, we were lucky none of those legs were delayed. Sounds like you had quite the journey back and forth to Europe last month!

Tot: 2.154s; Tpl: 0.116s; cc: 12; qc: 32; dbt: 0.0205s; 1; m:saturn w:www (104.131.125.221); sld: 1; ; mem: 1.3mb