Explain yourself, wayward traveller!

“WHY YOU COME TO MAE SOT?!” The speed and volume with which he spit the words at me belied his good intentions, and suddenly I felt I was on trial. I looked around the overly air-conditioned reception bungalow, with its green lianas and teak furnishings, as if I might find an answer in close proximity. Unfortunately, this just…

Ten ways to pass the day in Pai

There is a pocket in Northern Thailand where time falls between the cracks in the hills, which are inexplicable opening up. Luckily generous portions of homegrown roselle tea and banana chips are served, with jam on the side, so there are worse places to trip into a temporal oblivion. Though Pai is pretty clearly on the Thai…

Motorbike malfunctions and mishaps

After India I swore I would never be that idiot Westerner who shows up in some random tropical country, hops on a motorbike and finds myself three days later on crutches in an internet cafe arguing with with the British Airways call centre about why my flight simply must be changed to accommodate my broken…

Budget breakdown for one month in Cambodia

“But how do you afford to travel?” is one of the most frequent questions not only from people at home, but also from others on the road. Most people I meet are on some sort of an extended holiday – usually 3-6 months, but sometimes stretching out as far as a year. Occasionally I’ll meet…

The Kampot Junket

The bad part first: we rented motorbikes. I had never driven one before, but was quickly taught by a guy who didn’t even have his license. Then we drove them all day, and after dark. Without lights. I dropped mine. And then drove it into a barbed wire fence. Sorry, mom. But then there is…

Sailing Koh Rong, the Monkey Island

Last week I channelled my inner Andy Samberg for my very own “I’m on a boat!” experience with some Cambodian flair. No nautical theme pashmina afghan, but I did have my flippy-floppies! Koh Rong is, quite frankly, enormous. The tiny stretch of beach that hosts the vast majority of the island’s food & accommodation abuts steep…

First impressions of Koh Rong: Cambodia’s island paradise (maybe?)

You know that never-ending white sand beach with palm trees and brightly coloured local boats that you have seen 1000 times associated with South-East Asia? Well, if it wasn’t taken in Thailand (and it probably was) then it was most likely an image of Long Beach on Koh Rong, Cambodia. To be honest, I didn’t…

2015: twelve in twelve

I’ve never been especially proficient at planning. I have three more nights in my hostel here in Phnom Penh, but don’t really know if I’ll go north or south after that, though at the moment my money is on south. I’m usually on the take it as it comes plan. However, that is not to say…

Last day of ‘normal’ life

This time tomorrow I will be just leaving German airspace, on my way to Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam. The sun goes down in Sweden in about an hour, and I’ll take off before it comes up again. The last weeks have gone alternately fast and slow, and now time is both flying and crawling.  I…

Every tart in town: French edition

Across the street from my French abode is the hamlet’s boulagarie-patissarie. It is run by two men, one older, one younger, and they are open six days a week. I am sure the bakers are working 60 hour weeks and I can’t figure out how they are breaking even, let alone turning a profit. Even with lines…

Lofty over the Loire

“The… how do you say… sensation? It is ok?” Sebastien asked us in his charming French accent as we cruised lightly over the Loire Valley in his four-seater airplane. We nodded enthusiastically – yes, all good! In the split second that followed the horizon fell away to somewhere behind my back, the clouds shot up in…

Study abroad: what’s the gain?

Yesterday the White House hosted an event for travel bloggers, and on the agenda was a push to get more American students to study abroad. As I see it, there are two reasons American students are not studying abroad in larger numbers. These are: Financial reasons (exorbitant cost of American university tuition to begin with and a…