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Manuel

Manuel

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Coming home for Christmas

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After 9 days on Borneo, we (John and me) flew to Singapore to celebrate Christmas there. We met our friend Samantha and her friend Darren.

Both of them where so nice and showed us a lot of local food. On the 22nd December we did a hike in the middle of the city. It’s impressive, how modern and green Singapore is. We came across a malaysian wedding, practiced our handstand skills and had great food again.

The next day we spent at the garden by the bay. A typical tourist thing in Singapore. In the evening there was even a Christmas market there. It was funny to see a Christmas choir singing „Let it snow“ with more than 30 degrees Celsius.

On the 24th Darren and Samantha celebrated Christmas with their families so John and I relaxed at the beach. On the 25th we met up with them again for a nice Christmas lunch. And then in the evening it was time for me to go home…

I had to say good bye to John which was hard because we had a great time together. I want to thank John for being my travelbuddy. It was a pleasure to spend time with you. See you in Vienna.

Wait what? Going home?, you might ask yourself now. Why?
There are more reasons for that. Let me explain: After jumping from one highlight to the next since almost six months now, it got kind of normal. It’s a pity. Even the river cruise in the jungle of Borneo or the diving in Thailand didn’t feel special anymore. That’s reason number one.

The second reason is, that I’ve actually done and seen everything I wanted to see. I’ve been to the mountains in Norway, in the jungle in Borneo and at the beach in Thailand. I didn’t feel the excitement anymore to keep going. It feels like it’s just going to be another beach, another temple, another jungle.

And the third and biggest reason is, that when you really miss someone, all you need to do is spend time with that person to be happy and that’s not possible when I’m at the other end of the world. The countries I want to go to don’t run away and I’m sure I can travel again in the future. That’s why it just feels right to come back home now.

I made that decision spontaneously and booked my flight only on the 18th December. This comes with two more advantages: First there are super cheap flights after Christmas and second, I can surprise all my friends and family for Christmas. So I didn’t tell anybody I was coming back home and on the 26th I arrived in Vienna.

The surprise went very well. No one had an idea I was coming back, especially because we’ve had a videocall only two days before.

If you ever have the chance to surprise your friends and family by coming home unexpectedly, do it. It is so exciting and so much fun. After a few days back home now, I can say that I really enjoy to be back. There is no place on earth comparable to home with your friends and family.

I still don’t know where my life is going from now on. Am I going to keep studying or will I find a job? Whatever I’ll do, it will be a new adventure for me as well so let’s see…

I learned a lot of things on this trip and one of those things is to trust, that in the end it’ll be alright. So that’s exactly what I’m doing now. I know that the right thing will come along and that I will make the right decisions.

If you want to know more about my trip or if you have any questions, feel free to contact me. Send me a message or let’s meet up. I’m happy to share my story and my experiences with you.

Last but not least I want to thank you for reading and wish you a happy new year 2019.

Love and hugs,

Manuel

adventuregeneralphotography

One month in Asia already…

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It’s unbelievable that I’m now more than one month in Asia already. On the other hand, I’ve seen so many places and met so many nice people that it could be also two or three months. So let me tell you about my last few weeks.

After the lantern festival in Shiang Mai, Ahmed and me took the night bus back to Bangkok. A normal bus ride that turned out to be a really funny story. We booked the VIP Bus with food and wifi. We left Shiang Mai at 8 pm and were supposed to arrive in Bangkok at 6 am. After that we booked a flight south to Krabi because we wanted to spend some days on the beach in Ko Lanta. But let’s get back to the bus ride. When we got on the bus, of course the wifi was broken. At first we joked around that the food would also be broken. When the bus stopped at 3 am and there was no food everybody was just shaking their head. The bus driver said that they just forgot to stop at the food place one and a half hours ago. When the bus stopped one and a half hours later at the food place we couldn’t believe it. We where only two more hours away from Bangkok and the bus driver decided to turn around and go all the way back to the food place. Everybody was so pissed, that nobody got out of the bus. Especially the ones with a flight or another bus shortly after were really angry. Luckily for us it was not that big of a deal. When we arrived in Bangkok at 8 am, two hours later than planned it was actually better for us because we could sleep two more hours. A couple from Canada that was sitting behind us missed their flight though. Ahmed and me just relaxed a bit, had breakfast and then we went to the airport to catch our flight to Krabi.

We spent one night there and then took the minivan to Ko Lanta. Ko Lanta is a beautiful island and although we already planned to stay there for five nights, we extended our stay to one week. The hostel and the people where so nice so we really had a good time there.

If you ever happen to be in Ko Lanta, check out the Hub of Joys Hostel. It’s only three minutes to the beach, great breakfast and amazingly friendly staff. Most of the days we rented a scooter and explored the beautiful beaches on the island. In the evenings we were just playing cards in the hostel. In the common room there where always people around.

After Ko Lanta we spent one night on the party island Ko PhiPhi. It’s a beautiful island but one night was enough for us.

Everything there is just for tourists and all the tourists are there to get drunk. Not really our kind of traveling. After Ko PhiPhi we spent two more nights in Krabi before it was time to say goodbye to Ahmed. The last evening, we went to the tiger cave temple. It’s a temple on top of a mountain and the view is amazing. It takes 1260 stairs to get to the top. We watched the sunset and then we climbed back down again.

The next day in the morning Ahmed flew to Bangkok from where he had his flight back home.

I want to thank you Ahmed for being part of this trip. I enjoyed traveling with you a lot. You are awesome.

After saying goodbye to Ahmed I continued my journey alone. I took the bus and then the ferry to Ko Tao, which is mostly known for diving and exactly the reason why I was going there. I did my Padi open water diving license.

In three days I learned the theory about diving, did a lot of skill trainings under water and mostly I saw amazing wildlife under water. The great thing is, that all the fish never learned that they have to be scared of us humans, so they are not afraid and some curious ones come really close. After two already great days, the highlight was on the third day. My diving instructor told me in the morning, that there might be a chance to see a whale shark that day. Guess what, we really saw a whale shark. I cannot believe how lucky I am during this whole trip.

My diving instructor is on Ko Tao for four years now and he told me that he saw a whale shark maybe six or seven times in those four years. I’m just incredibly lucky and thankfully another girl brought her gopro so she sent me some pictures and videos.

While being on Ko Tao, my friend John, who I met in Tallinn and then again in Poland and also in Vienna during my time back in Austria, texted me to tell me that it’s too cold in Europe to cycle so he decided to come to Asia as well. He booked a flight to Singapore and I told him about my plans of going to Borneo first and then celebrating Christmas in Singapore so we decided to go together to Borneo.

We met at the airport in Singapore a couple of hours after he arrived there and then we flew to Kota Kinabalu.

We stayed two nights there, went to the beach and played volleyball with the locals. It was great fun. After that we took the bus to Sepilok, where we visited an orangutan sanctuary and also a rescue center for sunbears, the smallest bears on earth. It was nice to see how they help the animals so they can be released to the wild again.

After that we did a river cruise on the Kinabatangan river. It took three days and two nights and we where in the jungle in the rain forest. We did river cruises, jungle tracks and night walks. We saw a lot of monkeys, a couple of crocodiles, a wild orangutan, a lot of birds and much more.

Now John and me, we’re back in Kota Kinabalu where we’re going to spend the next three days and then we’re going back to Singapore to spend Christmas over there. I’m already looking forward to that.

Here are some more pictures of the last weeks:

One of the best sunsets I’ve seen so far

Everybody loves ice-cream

Wearing the raincoat for style reasons
That’s the sign for whale shark
Playing volleyball with the locals

Jungle tracking

adventurephotography

New continent, new adventure

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It’s been some time since the last post and a lot of things happened in the meantime. I participated in an Erasmus+ project in Poland, then I spent three weeks back home in Austria and last week I started my new adventure here in Thailand, Asia.

But not so fast… Let’s start with the project „thanks but no tanks“ in Stegna, which is near Gdansk in Poland. The main topic was nonviolent communication. Luckily my best friend Liam was also participating so I was very happy to see him again.

The whole week was very interesting and a lot of fun. We met people from all over Europe and it was a perfect ending of my first journey through Northern Europe. I want to say thank you to all the amazing people I met on the project. It was awesome. Hope to see you again someday.

I ended up taking the bus home from Gdansk, since I already had the ticket and I didn’t even need to pay for it. What is more, I was really looking forward to coming back home.

My trip through Northern Europe was nothing else but awesome. So many amazing people, new experiences and just one of the best things I’ve ever done. I ended up hitchhiking with 165 different cars for a total distance of almost 13000 kilmeters.

Since this Blog is more about my travel stories I don’t want to go too much into the details of what I did during my three weeks back home. I just want to say that I had a great time there. It was my sisters prom, I met up with many of my friends and family and it kind of felt like holidays back home. Another thing that I really liked was, that two new friends that I met along my trip through Europe came to Vienna to visit me. Joyce from Hongkong, we met in Lithuania and John from the Netherlands, who I met in Tallinn.

I really enjoyed it and I also started to get more and more excited for my next adventure Asia. On the 14th of November we had our flight to Bangkok. Wait… Who is we? We that’s Ahmed and me. Ahmed is a very good friend of mine and he asked me in August if I would mind if he would join me on my trip to Asia. Of course that would be amazing I answered.

So here we are, ready for our journey to Thailand. I’m very happy to have him traveling with me because it’s my first time in Asia and I saw on my journey through Europe that I always enjoyed it more, when I was traveling together with someone else. We only know each other for a couple of months but he is so easygoing so I was sure from the beginning that this will be great. We’ll travel together at least for the first three weeks and then Ahmed might fly back home but that can also change.

Saying goodbye at home was hard again. Matthäus, Liam and Hoa brought us to the Airport.

By coincidence my grandmother was also on the airport that morning and we managed to meet up to say goodbye once again.

Then we flew to Düsseldorf first and from there, with a six hour delay to Bangkok. We arrived in Bangkok the next day at noon and really felt that my body was shocked by the temperature. It was more than 30 degrees. Ahmed booked a hotel for the first two nights in Bangkok. That was perfect so we had some time to explore the city, see some temples, try some streetfood and relax.

After that two days in that busy city, we took the night train north to Chiang Mai and from there the minibus to Pai. Pai is a small village in the jungle, surrounded by mountains. It’s very touristic but still beautiful and way less noisy than the big cities. After Bangkok that was perfect. There are beautiful waterfalls, view points and spots to watch the sunset. We rented a scooter so we were able to explore the whole area around the village. Riding the scooter was so much fun. But you really need to be careful because first they drive on the left side and second they drive like crazy here. Traffic lights are more like a recommendations and the zebra crossing are only decoration on the road.

We spent three nights there and now we’re back in Chiang Mai. The plan is to stay here for three nights to see the Yeepeng Festival and then continue to the south of Thailand to the islands.

On the first evening, there were already a lot of people but not so much going on, so we decided to take that chance to see a local muay thai boxing fight. It was interesting to see. On the second evening of the festival it was just wonderful. I felt like in a fairytale. We were there with some more people from our hostel and it was unbelievable. The night sky was full with lanterns. See yourself:

The start to this new adventure was perfect and I’m already looking forward to the next weeks.

Some more snapshots of the last weeks:

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Three months and friends from all over the world

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The last weeks were so busy that I didn’t find time to write my blog. This is why now it’s going to be a longer post because so many things happened.

The last post I ended with coming to Riga and Riga was great. I spent five days with my friends there. We went to the Sigulda national park, watched a horror movie in the cinema, went out in Riga’s underground, watched the sunset at the light house and much more. A big thank you to Irina, Kristina and Andrey for that awesome time.

Irina, Kristina, me and Andrey partying in Riga

After Riga I continued alone again. Every time when I spend some time with other people it feels strange to be alone again. Nevertheless I wanted to enjoy this time being alone because soon one of my friends will come to visit me in Vilnius. Before that I hitchhiked to the west coast of Latvia. On my way to Ventspils a young couple picked me up and although they did not want to go to Ventspils, they decided to make a daytrip there and show me around so they drove me all the 80 kilometers to Ventspils and we spent the afternoon together.

Agnis and Elina

I found a great place to sleep in my tent next to a lake and the next day I continued to Kolka, which is a small town in the very north of the Latvian west coast. I arrived at noon and it felt like I was stranded on a lonly island. No other people, just me and the sea. The weather was great but still after some time I got bored. In the movies this looks like a big adventure but in real life after not even two hours I was so bored that I decided to head back south. I catched some rides fast but I couldn’t make it all the way to Liepaja. In Jurkalne I decided to stay for the night and it was the best decision that I could make. The place I found there was without a doubt the best place that I slept in the tent ever. There was a big sand beach, perfect weather, no clouds and a beautiful sunset in the sea. In that night I decided that this would be my last night in the tent because it cannot get any better than this. See yourself:

Paradise in Jurkalne

The next day I continued to Liepaja where this guy picket me up and on our way we stopped at some shops because his job was to sell alcohol to those shops. At one point he asked me if I already tried the best Latvian beer. I declined so he came back with a bottle of beer for me. That was not what I expected at 11 am.

After that I spent one night in Liepaja, the next day I continued to Lithuania to Palanga, spent another night there and then another night in Klaipeda. As I stayed in hostels from now on, I met more people there. In Palanga I met a couple from Lithuania and they offered me to take me to Kaunas two days later. I agreed so I continued the next day to Klaipeda, where I went to see the sand dunes in Nida. After one night there, where I met a nice girl from Hongkong, the couple from two days ago, Aidas and his wife picked me up and took me to Kaunas, where we went to see Žalgiris Kaunas, one of the best basketball teams in Europe. It was great fun and cool atmosphere in that modern arena.

In Kaunas I also found out, that the pope Francis was about to come to Kaunas the next day. I decided to wake up early to see that event. When I arrived at 8 am in the place where he would hold a holy mass at 10, there where already 70000 people there. Luckily I was able to get a free ticket and then I also entered that area. It was unbelievable what a big thing that event was. After one and a half hours of waiting he arrived. In his papa mobile he drove past me but he didn’t stop for a hitchhiker like me.

In the afternoon I met up with Joyce again, the girl from Hongkong that I met in Klaipeda. She also wants to go to Vilnius after Kaunas so she decided to join me for hitchhiking from Kaunas to Vilnius. It worked well and in Vilnius we met very cool people in the hostel. One day we rented a car and Joyce, Sam and me, we made a road trip to the hill of crosses.

Sam, Joyce and me at the hill of crosses

It was so much fun in Vilnius. We met Victoria and her brother Daniel from London and even after this few days we had so many inside jokes we kept laughing about. #blessed

Daniel, Victoria, Joyce and me in Vilnius

I spent four days in Vilnius and then Lukas came to visit me. He was my first stop in Linz back in Austria and now we’re going to hitchhike together for 10 days. We stayed one more night in Vilnius and the next day we started our adventure. First we only went to Trakai, where there is a beautiful castle.

Then we wanted to go to Poland to Gdansk. It was already afternoon and it was very cold. We waited at the main road from Lithuania to Poland but not many cars passed. After two hours of waiting a Russian Maserati stopped. We couldn’t believe it.

This guy told us that he would go all the way to Warsaw so we decided that we would also go to Warsaw. I texted Emilia, a friend of mine from the Erasmus + project in Turkey. She said that we can stay at her place and that’s what we did. Even though it was Sunday, we went out in Warsaw and luckily Emilia was free the next day so she showed us around in Warsaw. We met up with some friends from Lukas and also John, the guy from the Netherlands that I met in Tallinn.

John, Lukas, Emilia and me in Warsaw

We stayed one more night and the next day we hitchhiked to Gdansk. It went really well this time. Gdansk is a beautiful city. Unfortunately it is already very cold and Lukas and me we’re both a little bit sick. We met up with Sam again. He is also traveling through Europe. Then we tried to hitchhike south to Krakow. We were not lucky that day and at 5 pm we were still only 170 kilometers away from Gdansk. Luckily one guy stopped that went all the way to Warsaw so we ended up in Warsaw once again even though we didn’t even want to go there. Emilia was so friendly and hosted us again. We went out for a karaoke night and the next day Emilia joined Lukas and me to hitchhike to Krakow together. I was a little bit afraid that nobody would stop for three people but we were lucky and in the afternoon after four different cars we made it to Krakow.

In Krakow I was impressed how many people were out in the streets. Even at 2 am but the semester has just started and there are more than 200 000 students in Krakow. I stayed three nights in Krakow and went out every evening. On Monday Lukas had his bus back to Vienna.

Thank you Lukas for joining me on this trip. It was nice to walk along with you.

After I brought Lukas to the bus station I met up with Milena, another friend from the Project in Turkey. I love it when I have friends in different countries of the world. We also met John again and then we went out with Livia from Romania and Samantha from Singapore. It was a fun evening.

Milena, Livia, John, Samantha and me

After that I hitchhiked to Wroclaw and Poznan where I spent one night each. On my way to Gdansk, where I arrived yesterday, an 80 years old guy picked me up and he even invited me to a restaurant for food. There’s no age limit for picking up hitchhikers.

It is funny that at the same day I got invited a second time for food. In the evening one guy invited me to his house a little bit outside of Gdansk before he dropped me right in the center at my hostel. These are the special moments that I’ll remember for a long time.

Tomorrow on Saturday my best friend Liam is coming and we’re going to participate in another Erasmus + project here in Gdansk. I can’t wait. Gdansk is now my last stop for the trip in Europe. After the project I’ll head back home. I’m looking forward to seeing my family and friends again.

I’ll keep you updated on my plans for what’s coming next.

Here are more pics from the last weeks:

Not sure if Austrian flag or Latvian 😛
Sunset at the light house in Riga

Sam, Joyce and me on the road trip to the hill of crosses
Lukas, Emilia and Samantha in Krakow

Getting invited to someone’s house for food is unbelievable. So many nice people out there.
adventuregeneralpeople

Whaat? Already two months…

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It is unbelievable how fast the last two months passed. But I made so many amazing experiences and met so many people that it could also easily be four months. In this post I will tell you about my experiences in Estonia.

But first there is one more story to be told about Finland. On my way to Helsinki, this woman picked me up.

She told me, that she was a teacher and also a musician. What I didn’t know was that she was actually really popular in Finland. How did I find out? She was car number 100 so I posted an Instagram story about it. Then some people that I met earlier in Finland answered to my story. See yourself:

Her name is Kristiina Brask. That’s what I love about hitchhiking. You never know what kind of amazing people with different stories are awaiting in the next car. Many people ask me if I ever had any bad experience with hitchhiking so far. If you’re waiting for some awful stories now, I have to disappoint you. So far only nice people stopped for me. Maybe I’ve just been lucky but I like to think that only nice people stop for hitchhikers so there was not a single car, where I was scared or anything.

After one night in Helsinki, I had a ferry to Estonia, to Tallinn. I choose a nice hostel in the middle of the old town. Tallinn impressed me right from the beginning. The old town, a lot of street musicians, small streets and just a great atmosphere. I met some people in the hostel with whom I spent the evening and the next day together. There was John from the Netherlands, Konstantina from Greece and three guys from Germany. In the evening I went to a football game with the Germans between the two clubs from Tallinn. Although there were not so many people there and mostly children, there was a good atmosphere.

After the game we did a pup-crawl. It was a funny evening and we came back to the hostel late.

The next day Juliane came from Austria to visit me. I picked her up from the airport in the afternoon. We didn’t really have any plans, what we would do for the six days together but the idea was to hitchhike around Estonia a bit. Well sometimes things happen differently. We ended up spending the weekend in Riga because the guy that picked us up went all the way to Riga so we decided to go to Riga as well. There we met up with my friends that I know from the erasmus+ project in Izmir. Read about the project here.

Kristina, Andrey, Irina, Juliane and me in Riga

What else did we do in Riga? We did a free walking tour, went to a crazy czech bar and went to the beach in Jurmala.

On Monday we drove back to Tallinn with the same guy that took us all the way to Riga on Friday. Toms has had a party weekend and was super tired so I offered him to drive. He agreed immediately and so I drove all the way back, while he was sleeping on the back seat.

In the evening we hitchhiked to the Lahema national park where we spent one night in the tent right next to the beach. Besides the many mosquitoes it was a perfect spot.

The next day was my birthday and I was more than happy not to spend it alone. We hitchhiked back to Tallinn and spent the afternoon with sightseeing and mainly eating. A perfect day.

Birthday cake

In the evening we met up with Liis, a friend of Juliane from her time in America. We went to a nice sushi place and had a great evening.

The next day it was time to say goodbye again.
A wise man said once: Happiness is only real when shared. This is one reason why I enjoyed travelling together with Julie so much. It’s just great to have someone around that is as adventurous as you and you can do crazy things together.

I brought her to the airport and stayed one more night in Tallinn. This time I stayed with a guy that I found through couchsurfing. After that I traveled around Estonia a bit more. I went to Narva, which is right next to Russia. That was very interesting for me to see. Right in the middle of the city, there is a river and on one side you have Estonia and Russia on the other side.

In Narva in the hostel I met a guy from the Netherlands with whom I drove around for one day and after that I met up with Liis again. Her parents live not far from Narva and she offered me to host me and to show me around a bit. I stayed for two nights and I got a private guided tour through the monestry in Kuremäe, we went mushroom picking and the best part: I got invited to do a presentation about my trip in a local school. Liis` mom is headmaster there and so she organized, that on Monday morning, we would do a presentation there. Liis spoke about her time as an AuPair in America and I told them how I started and what experiences I made so far. The students from 13 to asked a lot of questions and I really enjoyed it.

I want to thank Liis and her parents again for everything. Thank you for being so kind and spontaneous, for showing me around and giving me the chance to speak about my trip to inspire others.

Then I spendt two more days in Estonia. One night in Tartu and one night in Pärnu. In Tartu I had a free night in a hotel because they have a cooperation with the school I did the präsentation in. After that I left Estonia and now I’m again in Riga meeting up with my friends here again but I’m going to tell you about my adventures here in the next post.

Thank you for reading. Here are some more pictures of the last weeks:

Funny things happen while hitchhiking
Football game in Tallinn

First time hitchhiking for Juliane
Sander my couchsurfing host in Tallinn
Traveling around Narva with Gidi from the Netherlands
Estonia on the left side, Russia on the right
Tartu or Pisa
generalpeoplephotography

Nice people everywhere

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After Norway I continued to Sweden. I wanted to go straight to Stockholm because I knew that on the 15th of August I was going to meet Evelina, a good friend of my best friend Liam on Aland, which is the island between Stockholm and Finland. It took me two days to hitchhike from Oslo to Stockholm.

In Stockholm I stayed in a hostel for two nights because in the cities it is difficult to find a place for the tent. Evelina recommended me the Crafoord Place Hostel. So this is where I went. The next day I took part in a free walking tour, where a guide is giving a free tour for around two hours and in the end you can tip him if you want.

Free tour Stockholm

It was a very interesting tour, we learned about the history of Stockholm and the original story behind the stockholmsyndrom. The best thing was, that I met three other people that were also traveling alone. Jorge from Spain and Judith and Alina from Germany. We got along very well from the beginning so we decided to spend the rest of the day together.

Jorge, Alina, Judith and me

In the evening we went out and one guy from my hostel, Marco from Italy joined us as well. It was a fun evening. We tried Mead, which is some kind of alcohol made out of honey. It was a funny evening.

Especially Judith’s story was interesting. She was studying in Vaasa, Finland and after that, she decided to drive back home to Germany on her old bicycle. She really recommended me to. go to Vaasa when I’m coming to Finland. She is writing about her trip for a german newspaper and after a couple of days she sent this:

So funny to see your own face laughing out of a newspaper.

For the next day I had an overnight ferry to Aland. Aland belongs to Finland but people are speaking Swedish there. I expected a ferry and was surprised when I came to the harbor and a big cruise ship was waiting there. It had 11 decks with restaurants, spa and casinos on it. I had a small cabin with my own bathroom in it. I slept very well and we arrived at Aland early in the next morning. Evelina was already waiting for me to pick me up. I had four great days on Aland. Evelina showed me around the island, we explored new areas, did some hiking, watched an amazing sunset, played god for some ants, visited an old castle, tried some Aland specialities and much more.

Thank you Evelina, you’ve been a great host and I really enjoyed spending time with you. Also thank you to your flatmates Thoa and Oona for letting me stay at your place for three nights.

On Saturday in the afternoon my ferry to mainland Finland left. Since I had no other plans, I tried to hitchhike north to Vaasa after one night in the tent a little bit outside of Turku. On my way, a woman asked me if I was hungry and then she invited me to her place and made me some food. What a nice surprise. This was the first time, someone who picked me up, invited me to their place and it shouldn’t be the last time. After eating, we discussed what the best route for me would be and then I continued north.

Thank you so much!

I made it to Pori and then Yyteri where I was surprised to see a big sand beach. I found a great place for my tent and then I met two french girls who were also looking for a place to camp so they joined me.

After swimming in the sea the next morning I continued to Vaasa.

Judith, the girl from Germany that recommended me to go to Vaasa, asked a friend of hers if I could stay at her place for one night so I had a place for the night. It was great.

A big thank you to both Judith and Luca for being so spontaneous and friendly.

After Vaasa I didn’t continue north but more to. the middle of the country. The next stop was Tampere. I was quite lucky and found a guy from Gambia that took me nearly all the way to a gas station a little bit out of Tampere where he bought some food for me.

I have the feeling that I only meet the nicest of the nice people. And if you think it cannot get any better than this, then you’re wrong.

I waited about one hour and was already looking for a place for my tent because it was getting quite late and it was also cold. It was frustrating because many cars passed and no one seemed to recognize me. And then the following happened. A guy stopped and said that he would only go to the city center. I thought: „at least I’m not at this shitty bus stop anymore. Maybe I find someone in the city that takes me a bit outside of Tampere where I can put up my tent.“

So I got in the car and on my way to the city, I asked him, if he knows a good place to sleep in the tent. After some thinking he said: „You know what, actually you can stay at my place.“
I couldn’t believe my ears. „Yes I have three boys but they are at their mothers place so there is a whole room free.“

So this is how I met Harri. He is 39 years old and loves all different kind of sports. For the rest of the evening we had food together and then we played Fifa on the Playstation.

He had to work the next day so I thought I also need to leave very early in the morning but he said that I could sleep as long as I want and as he was only working until 1 pm, he asked if I wanted to stay longer and we could go to sauna together. All of the people I met so far here in Finland told me, that I can’t leave the country without having been to a sauna here. So that’s exactly what we did. We also played disc-golf together. In the end I stayed from Tuesday until Saturday in Tampere. We went to a Lenin museum, played Minigolf (I know I lost… just by one shot), football, went to a funpark where we tried the biggest roller-coaster… I felt like a child again.

Thank you so much Harri for everything. It was a pleasure to spend time with you.

One day before I left Tampere I found out that one good friend of my cousin is doing her semester abroad here in Tampere so I texted her if she was free and since she didn’t had any plans we met for one afternoon. Such a funny coincidence.

Miri and me

I have four days left in Finland. On Tuesday I booked a ferry to Estonia to Tallinn so I need to be in Helsinki at latest on Tuesday. Finland was amazing so far but I am also really looking forward to Estonia.

Thank you for reading and thank you to all the people who made this trip so amazing for me.

As always, here some more pictures of the things that happened during the last weeks:

Trying berries in the wild with Evelina

Pirvate island in the sunset

Lenin museum
Minigolf result
Italy or Finland? Magic sand beach in Yyteri
adventure

One month on the road

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It is unbelievable. The first month of traveling is already over. Time flies but I also made many many amazing experiences in the last couple of weeks.

Leaving Stange felt a bit strange again. I knew that I wouldn’t meet friends along the way for nearly one month. So just me, myself and my backpack. Martin (the Norwegian guy from the cabin) showed me a great route around Norway that sounded good to me. I continued north to the Galdhopiggen, the highest mountain of Northern Europe. I stayed in Odda and the next day I hiked up the Galdhopiggen. It took me three hours to get to the top and about two and a half to get back down. I chose the more difficult route and I could see why this was the more difficult one. It was so steep and there was no path most of the time, just rocks. The weather was perfect and the view on top at 2469 meters was amazing.

On top of Galdhopiggen

It was probably the best thing I did so far on this journey but just until then because what followed was not less exciting and even more breathtaking. I did the Trolltunga, Preikestolen and Kjerag. 3 of the must-see’s when you’re in Norway.

But first things first. After the Galdhopiggen I was so tired that I booked a cabin for myself because I needed a bed and a shower. The next day I continued to Geiranger where I had an amazing view over Norways most popular fjord. A group of young people from Poland took me there.

After that I hitchhiked further north to Trollstigen.

Trollstigen

On a ferry I found a couple from Austria and they took me there and dropped me at Andalsnes. They where on their way to the north cup and the only Austrians I’ve seen in a while.
I spent two nights in Andalsnes because I found a nice place right next to the sea.

Then I continued to Alesund where a Truck driver picked me up. He was from Lithuania and at a gas station he bought breakfast for us and before he dropped me off, he gave me some money for the ferries that I was going to take on my way down the west coast.

In Alesund I spendt the day with a guy from Denmark. Klaus was Speer fishing the last three weeks and was now waiting for his flight the next morning. He told me about his experience in travelling the world and it was a nice day.

Klaus and me in Alesund

In the evening I tried to catch a ride a little bit outside of the city. From there I tried to catch a ride more south the next day. I was lucky and I found a young couple from Belgium and they went all the way down to Bergen.

At first I didn’t wanted to go all the way south but the weather was bad so I joined all the way down to a camping place a bit outside of Bergen.
There I saw that the weather was getting worse after the next few days so I skipped Bergen and catched a ride directly to Odda the next day to hike up to Trolltunga. It’s a 11 km hike in one direction and I’ve heard that many people hike up in the afternoon and sleep in the tent up there. So that’s what I did. On my way up I met a family from the Netherlands with 4 children around my age and a young German couple. I was happy that I didn’t had to hike up alone and we had a great time hiking up. When we arrived at the Trolltunga not too many people were there. So we didn’t had to wait long until we could take some pictures.

After that we tried to find a place for our tents and I had dinner with Milan and Tabea and we enjoyed the nice view and beeing alone next to the Tunga.

The next morning I woke up at 5 to see the sunrise but it was cloudy so I just took some pictures at the Trolltunga again and then went back to sleep. Even at 5 in the morning there were about 15 people there. Then I hiked back down together with Milan and Tabea and they took me back to Odda in their Bully.

It was nice to meet you and thank you for your company.

After Odda I spendt two days alone in my tent in Röldal because the weather was not so good. I found a great place and I somehow enjoyed being alone. I relaxed and then I was ready for Kjerag and Preikestolen. The next day I hitchhiked to the starting point of Preikestolen where I slept in the middle of the woods somewhere. The next day I started at half past 7 in the morning. It was a shorter hike and I made it to the top in about 90 minutes. Just before all the other tourists came.

On my way up I met a guy from the Netherlands. Twan was ftraveling with two friends and he also wanted to do the Kjerag so we decided to do that together because his friends were not sure if they would do it.

We made it to the starting point of the Kjerag at around 7 in the evening and because one mountain a day is not enough, we started our hike. After a couple hundred of meters we put up my tent, put all the heavy stuff in it and just continued with one tent and the things for the night. We made it to the top at a little after 9 where we were nearly the only ones. Just two guys were there and when they left we were alone. It was amazing and my knees where shaking. There was just this small stone and then it was 1000 meters straight down. Nevertheless I managed to overcome my fear and take some awesome pictures.

Don’t look down, don’t look down, don’t look down.

Then we put up our tent. It was so cold, even in the sleeping bag my feet didn’t get warm. But it was worth it. The next day, the weather was not good and it was exhausting to walk all the way down.

I hitchhiked together with Twan for the next two days to Kristiansand where we met his friends again and his ferry left from there. We spent one night in Flekkefjord, where we went to the cinema to watch the new „mission impossible“ movie because some parts of it where filmed at Preikestolen where we had been just two days before.
On our way to Kristiansand Alain from Belgium picked us up and brought us all the way to Kristiansand. He was also traveling alone and he was about to stay on a camping place in Kristiansand. When we told him, that we would sleep in a tent somewhere next to a river, he decided to join us. We had a great evening and nice talks.

The next day in the morning Twan was already gone because they had their ferry very early in the morning.

It was nice to meet you Twan. You were a great travelmate.

Alain brought me back to the main road and I tried to catch a ride to Oslo because Martin, the guy from the cabin again, asked a friend of him

to host me for one or two nights. After two weeks of sleeping in the tent I was really looking forward to sleeping on a real mattress again. It worked out fine and after six different cars I made it to Oslo. A big thank you to Martin and Jostein, Eileen and Birte for hosting me.

I also want to thank all the people who picked me up so far when I was hitchhiking. It worked great so far. Especially in Norway where I was very fast most of the time. 78 cars picked me up so far and every single ride was very nice and friendly.

Thank you for reading. Right now I’m in Oslo and tomorrow I will continue to Sweden. I’m already excited for the next few weeks.

Here are some more pictures of the things I did and these awesome people I met so far:

adventurepeople

Malmö, Oslo and more…

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I had an amazing week in Malmö. As said in the previous post, I visited Roxana there. On Monday we went to the beach and I was not sure if I was in Sweden or in Italy. Tuesday was the first day of my trip where the weather wasn’t so good. In the evening it got better and we went to the places where Zlatan Ibrahimovic grew up.

After that we colored the canvases we bought. It was a nice evening sitting on the balcony next to the sunset and painting a sunset.

On Wednesday we made a day trip to Ales Stenar. A kind of Swedish Stonehenge. We decided to hitchhike the roughly 1 1/2 hour ride there. It took us 4 different cars. After waiting for about half an hour Roxana wanted to give up and take the train but exactly at that moment a car stopped. The guy was amazingly nice because he didn’t even had to go to the place we wanted to go. He was just free and decided to help us and take us the first couple of kilometers to Trelleborg. Unbelievable and also all the other people that picked me up have been awesome so far. Half-way between Trelleborg and Ystad we waited at a bus stop. No cars stopped but when the bus came, the bus driver told us, that we were welcome too. We couldn’t believe it. This was just crazy.

On thursday I met Thomas and his girlfriend Silvy in Malmö. They bought a van and transformed it into a campervan. The last two weeks they traveled Norway and now on their way back we met in Malmö.

It was nice to see you again. Enjoy the rest of your journey.

And a big thank you to Roxana for hosting me. It was awesome. So glad to see you again.

On Friday I continued my way north. This time it felt somehow different. It was the first time, I hitchhiked without a specific destination in my mind. It took me not too long to get out of the city. One guy that took me, told me of an amazing place called Mölle. So that was my destination for that day. But it was not easy to go there. I waited at a bus stop for nearly two hours until a 17 year old boy came and asked me what I was doing. I told him my story and he offered me to pay for my busticked to Mölle because he was also going there. We had a nice conversation and he told me that I was an inspiration for him. That felt really good to hear.

In the evening I met a guy from Denmark while looking for a good place for my tent. Magnus is 23 years old and walked nearly all the way from Copenhagen to Mölle. He told me that he was sleeping next to the sea without a tent. I decided to join him. We climbed up to the top of the hill to watch the sunset. It was beautiful. The sunset in the sea.

Magnus has decided on that same day that he had enough of walking and that he would hitchhike to Oslo because his girlfriend lives there. What a coincidence. I also wanted to go north so we decided to hitchhike together to Oslo. It took us two days but I really had a great time. Hitchhiking together with someone else is much more fun than alone. We had deep conversations, danced to reggae music, slept in the kingsforrest, and after 8 different cars, we arrived in Oslo on sunday evening. Magnus‘ girlfriend has an apartment together with two other girls. She was about to come to oslo on Tuesday and also another girl would come back on Tuesday so I had a room for two nights in freakin Oslo. Who would have thought that three days ago. In the evening I went out for some beers with the roommate of Magnus‘ girlfriend and her friends. It was funny. The next day we did some sightseeing in Oslo. It’s a nice city but very expensive.

Thank you Magnus for the time together. It was nice to meet you.

A few days before I came to Oslo, a friend of mine sent me a message that he would also come to Norway on Monday. It was Jakob, who I met just a couple of months ago when he held a talk about his trip around the world. It was amazing and he was one of the people that inspired me to do what I am doing. He is visiting a friend in Norway and he asked me if I want to meet up at Stange, where they would spend a week at a cabin next to the lake there. So that’s what I did. I hitchhiked to Stange from where I had to walk nearly two hours to get to the cabin. It was exhausting because my heavy backpack was not meant for walking. Along the way I saw a moose which made up for the struggles. It was amazing.

At the cabin I stayed for two nights. I had an amazing time there. Playing the guitar, canoeing on the lake, sleeping under the stars, swimming in the morning… It was unbelievable. A couple of months ago I listened to the talk of Jakob telling his story of how he and Martin, the guy the cabin belongs to, hitchhiked from Vienna to Portugal and now I’m here with them and actually doing some similar adventure. Check out his Blog at thousandfirststeps.com. Thank you so much to both of you for the great time and keep spreading good vibes to the world.

That’s it so far. I am really enjoying the time on the road, meeting all these great people. I feel blessed to have such amazing friends and I’m looking forward to what’s to come.

Thanks for reading.
All the best,
Manuel

Here are some more shots of the last few days:

adventurepeople

Austria to Sweden in one week

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So the first week is over. It is unbelievable how fast time passes by. I’m on the road since last Monday and I had such a great time, met awesome people and made a lot of new experiences. In this post I want to share the most important moments with you.

Last Monday I woke up early. I was very excited and also a bit nervous. Me and my family had breakfast together and then suddenly my best friend Liam was standing in front of me. What a nice surprise. I said goodbye to my parents and Liam and my brother Matthäus went with me to the main street in our village where I put my finger out and tried to catch the first ride. This was the part I was most anxious about. How would that be to start my hitchhiking trip directly from my hometown. But after like five minutes, the first car stopped. It was a friend of mine, on the way to the airport where they went to Bali for honeymoon. What a perfect timing because my first destination was Vienna anyways. But not everything was easygoing. In the next city we had a car accident because another car came out of a parking lot and the driver didn’t see us coming and crashed into the side of our car. Luckily no one was hurt and after filling out the accident report we could continue our way to Vienna. What a start to the honeymoon but also for my trip. They dropped me off at a station a couple of kilometers before Vienna because I wanted to reach Linz on the first day where I was about to meet my friend Lukas. After about two hours of waiting, I found someone that took me halfway to Linz and he dropped me at Loosdorf where I grabbed some food and then I was lucky to find a young couple that took me directly to Linz. I met up with Lukas and we had some barbecue and than grabbed a beer in the city center. What a perfect first day.

The next day in the morning we drove a little bit around on the new motorbike Lukas bought about one month ago. Then he asked me if I wanted to try it as well. I never did that before but I agreed to try it. So we found a parking spot and I drove around with the first gear. It was funny and I was happy that Lukas trusted me with this.

In the afternoon we met up with some friends of Lukas and drove to the Attersee where we tried to sail but it started to rain shortly after we went to the lake. So no sailing at that day. In the evening the weather got better and we had barbecue again. After that we went to a bar where we watched the football game between France and Belgium.

On Wednesday Lukas drove me and two other friends to Salzburg where he dropped me at a gas station on the highway. Thank you so much Lukas! It was an awesome start for my trip.

At first I thought that this would be a good place to hitchhike from but I was wrong. I waited for four hours. Then I found two young peaple from Germany and they where on their way back from Vienna. They took me all the way from Salzburg to Munich. They dropped me in a smaller Village a little bit after Munich because I wanted to sleep in my tent and that would’ve been difficult in the city center. The night in the tent was fine. I found a good place in the wood a little bit outside of the city. I woke up early the next day because I wanted to go as far north to Berlin as possible because I wanted to meet a friend from university there. In the evening I could hardly believe my luck. With 5 different cars, I was actually in Berlin. There was also a truck from Latvia and especially the last ride from Dresden to Berlin was amazing. It was with Lutz and he was driving through Germany because he needed to put on some Bluetooth boxes at the restaurants next to the highway. He drove 2700 kilometers in just under three days. We got along great from the beginning and especially the 80s and 90s playlist will stay in my memory longer. In the end he even brought me directly to the apartment of Sophie which is not far from the city center.

Lutz on our way to Berlin

I spent two full days and three nights in Berlin. The weather was awesome so I could do a lot of sightseeing. I went to the Brandenburger Tor, Reichstag, Checkpoint Charlie, and many more.

I tried Currywurst and listened to a bunch of street musicians. On Friday I walked around alone because Sophie still had to work but on Saturday we did some sightseeing together which was nice. I liked Berlin a lot. There are so many different parts of the city and on every corner there is some kind of memorial or museum because it’s a very historic city. A big thank you to Sophie, Lea and Jonathan for hosting me. It was nice to meet you and I had a great time.

Me and Sophie at the rooftop bar „Klunkerkranich“

On Sunday I woke up early because I wanted to continue my trip to the north. The most difficult part was to get out of the city. A tourist guide told me to take the metro to Frohnau and try to catch a ride out of the city there. Thats what I did and after 35 minutes a woman took me to the highway driveway. There I tried to catch a ride to Hamburg. I found a guy but on the way I looked at the map and decided that it would be better to go directly to Rostock because I wanted to skip Denmark because Roxana, the friend I wanted to visit in Malmò is there just until next Saturday, so I thought it would take to long. Thats why I wanted to go to Rostock and take a ferry from there directly to Malmò. That’s why he dropped me off before the junction to Rostock. I sat there for probably half an hour and then a car from Sweden stopped. They where about to go to Puttgarden where they wanted to buy some alcohol because it is crazy expensive in Sweden. From there they where not sure if there was going to be a ferry for that day but if there was one, they would go all the way through Denmark up to Malmò on that same day. I could not believe how lucky I was. Not only was I going through Denmark, I was also going to be in freaking Malmò at the same day I left Berlin. Unbelievable. I would have never imagined that I was going to be that fast with hitchhiking but it seems that really met the right people. So a big thank you to the people reading this, that gave me a ride, no matter how far it was. You are awesome!

So we went to Puttgarden and I helped them to buy the alcohol. Then we grabbed some food and watched the Worldcup final on an I-Pad which was very nice because I thought that I was going to miss it. Then we had to wait for half an hour for the ferry but that was perfectly fine.

Ferry to Denmark

We drove through Denmark and I arrived at Malmò shortly after 9 pm. Roxana picked me up at the central station and she was out drinking some wine with friends so I joined them. It was an amazing day and even in the evening I could hardly believe that I really made it to Malmò in just one day. I am so lucky. And also I have amazing friends. I know Roxana just for one month (we met at the Erasmus+ project in Izmir) and now I am here and I can stay at her place.

Sunset in Malmò

The start was more than successful and this first week was really amazing, but it was only the first week and there is still a lot ahead of me.

Thank you for reading. I’m happy about anyone who follows me on Instagram Facebook or here on my blog.

Here are some more impressions of the first week:

Not sure if Sweden or Italy
Worldcup fanzone Brandenburger Tor
Reichstag
Party in Berlin Ehab and Lea posing for the camera 😛
Short tour through Linz with Lukas
people

Erasmus+ Project Izmir

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Hello and welcome to my Blog. For all of you that don´t know about me: My name is Manuel Huisbauer and on the 9th of July I´m going to start a trip around the world. At the end of May I was finishing my Bachelor Degree when a good friend of mine asked me if I wanted to join him at an Erasmus+ Project in Izmir Turkey. At first I was a bit sceptical but then I decided to give it a shot. I thought it might be good trial for my upcoming journey around the world and that´s exactly what it was. The aim of this project was: “Intercultural competence through experiential and reflective learning in refugee and immigrant youth integration”. An interesting topic for me because in Austria you can read everyday about the “refugee problem” in the newspapers. There where 4 participants out of seven countries all over Europe. The countries where: Turkey, Italy, Spain, Latvia, Poland, Romania and Austria. The trainers where from Lithuania. The organization I was going with is called “the BetterMaking organization”. Check them out on Facebook here.

Click here to read more…