How the internet has changed our lives in the last 15 to 20 years is enormous. From time to time I try to imagine how life was without the internet. If you wanted to know something, you actually had to search for the right chapter of the Encyclopedia Britannica, browse it for a couple of minutes to find a summary that didn’t make you much wiser. So you had to take your bike and ride to the library, which was often closed so you had to wait to increase your wisdom until the day after.
Now you take your phone, enter the term in google, and you get thousands of explanations in all kinds of different languages and with difficulties ranging from brain surgeon to moron.
The first person I met when I arrived in Skopje, Macedonia was Brad. An American in his early twenties, who had joined the army after high school, a way of life that took him to the Western Balkans. He was a little loco, but of the good kind.
When we reached the subject of photography, we saw that we had an equal interest in Urban Exploring. Brad was quite happy about this, because he had been waiting for months to find someone who wanted to visit an old demolished soap factory with him.
This is a guest post by Joey Ferrer
The enchanting tropical island of Gran Canaria is located just off the coast Africa and is famous for its year round sunshine and beautiful beaches. While there are a wide range of different holiday options for Gran Canaria, all inclusive holiday deals are by far the best value for money. The great thing about booking this type of holiday is that holidaymakers will be able to spend more time having fun rather than worrying about arranging every little detail.
Language is what made us climb out of the trees and start walking straight, it’s one of those fundamental differences between ourselves and every other creature on this planet.
Somewhere between 50 000 and 200 000 years ago there must have been a human - or Homo Sapiens as they called themselves those days - who wanted something more than basic communication.
What was indie again?
The only thing that Wiki could teach me about this subject is that indie is short for independent. Interesting, but I had expected more from professor Wiki.
There are a lot of links though, to indie art, indie games, indie music, indie film and indie everything else.
Indie is a term that can be used for everything that is not mainstream, or - very important - everything that does not want to be mainstream.
About a year ago, I’ve entered with my blog in the 1000-1000 Travel Blog Challenge. The purpose of that contest was to improve SEO, advertising, page ranking and other very nerdy stuff, in order to end up with a blog that has a 1000 visitors a day, generating an income of a 1000 dollars a month.
I failed terribly.
The exercises had very little to do with creating good content, I am sure that the techniques really work if you stick enough time in them, but they were so boring that I soon decided not to proceed.
It was somewhere near Checkpoint Charlie, the most famous crossing point between East- and West-Berlin during the Cold war, that I spotted this setting.
Even though the Berlin wall has been pulled down for over twenty years by now and the checkpoint is nothing more than another tick on the to do-list of every Berlin visitor, I found that this image resembles the general German post-war idea.
As a follow up of my previous photo essay about the East Side Gallery, I wanted to bring you another piece of Eastern European tragedy.
If I asked you to name two famous walls, what are the odds that you will say “the Chinese Wall and the Berlin Wall”?
One or two rock fans among you may also note Pink Floyd’s “The Wall”, but with that we've named the most known walls I guess. Even though WiKi teaches us that there are many more.
For those of you who have just arrived from another planet or have been sleeping through most history classes, I’ll give you a short explanation of what the Berlin Wall is.
Stick with me, it’s not that much.
If you’re a frequent reader of this blog, you might have noticed that I’m quite in love with the Balkans. But I’m not the only one. The last three years, Croatia had an average of eleven million tourists per year. Yes, Croatia is also part of the Balkans.
But I like my travel destinations to be a bit uncommon, “off the beaten track” as we travelers say. So I gave Bosnia and Herzegovina a shot, I had a look at Montenegro, I went to Serbia, Albania started to get close to what I had in mind, but this time is was going to the most mystical country of them all. Kosovo.
Great weather is not always a good thing in every context, it appeared to me a couple of days ago. And boy, did we have a piece of great weather this spring.
Any of you living in some tropic paradise might wonder what else I’d expected but you must realise that living in Belgium most of the time means living in cloudy, rainy and windy weather.
But not this year, oh no.
To enjoy this to the most, I’ve been spending most of my time outdoors. Campin’, city trippin’, chillin’, relaxin’, (way too much) beer drinkin’ and certainly not... bloggin’
All individuals have their own personality, which is good, or life would be boring.
All individuals have a natural aversion of certain other personalities, which is also good, or life would be incredibly boring.
But there are certain personalities that are just plain irritating, annoying, disturbing and aggravating to everybody. Which is bad, because they will ruin a place for everybody else.
What’s up next?
Good question, glad you ask!
Because next is an 18-day-Western-Balkan-trip waiting for me.
Yay! Whoohoo! And more of that.
To be more specific, on the evening of the 29th of March I’m flying to Belgrade, Serbia and I have a flight back home on the 16th of April from Thessaloniki, Greece.
In these days of modern technology, getting lost seems to be a lot harder than one would expect. Less than twenty years ago, you had to be careful when exploring unfamiliar grounds because before you knew it you didn’t have a single clue on how to get back.
But those days are gone.
Cell phones, GPS systems, notebooks, internet cafés and the wide spread of the English language have made it fairly impossible to get completely lost. An important consequence of this is that mankind will loose a series of skill which appear to be considered completely useless by now.
But are they really?
Sleeping in dorms is something preserved for the backpacker. What playing bridge is for old people and binge drinking for frat students is sleeping in a loud and crowded dorm room for us, the cheap and smelly backpackers.
When I tell people about solo traveling, an often asked question is if that isn’t very expensive, because single rooms are always more expensive than if you’d share a double. When I answer that I often sleep for an average of 10 euros a night - depending on the location of course - and that I had once taken a three nights for five euros offer, unbelieving eyes stare at me.
How did I do that?