August 15, 2016

DOWN SOUTH | Of Trails and Traces in Chiang Mai

This post first appeared on my travel column Down South on interaksyon.com on June 12, 2016. Included more photos here. 😉 I grew up climbing trees, hunting wild guavas, assigning names to animals to pass them off as friends, and wishing there was a living river nearby. Life would have been a lot easier for me and my siblings. Life would have been graced with laughter—the kind unique to constant frolicking in the water. T grew up biking the hills and climbing snow-capped mountains and swimming in a massive lake—so massive they called it “der see,” which literally means “sea.” […]
June 12, 2016

Dear Kai, It Is All Right to Be a Tourist

Dear Kai, Some weeks ago, you asked me about your Southeast Asian trip. Is a three-day trip too short for three countries: Vietnam (Ho Chi Minh) – Cambodia (Pomp Penh) – Thailand (Bangkok)? I said that you’re such an addict—an expression I used when I did not know exactly what to say. I threw the question right back at you: isn’t three days too short for three countries? But come to think of it, why not? T and I crossed three countries within 24 hours. T had to fly back to Germany from Bangkok while I had a flight to […]
May 31, 2016

An Open Letter to My Fellow Travel Bloggers

Dear Fellow Travel Bloggers, In my list of daily chores to do, one task remained unfinished for the past four months: it says, “Japan, at least 1000 words, for god’s sake, Jona.” I am referring to my sponsored week-long trip to Onomichi City, Hiroshima, Japan last November. I have written about it twice already: one for BWAB and another one for my travel column Down South on TV5’s interaksyon.com. These two articles are long, about 1500-2000 in words. But can they be considered a travel essay? Hell, no. They are informative, with several, and I would say lousy, attempts on […]
April 19, 2016
Leave Everything Behind and Travel the World

Hoi An, Vietnam | Work. Save. Travel. Repeat.

The past two weeks or so have been like an exciting jigsaw of days and ideas and trial and error plans that have often turned out to be the worst decisions, but at other times have pleasantly surprised us. It’s been a detailed board game of buses and hostels and modes of transport and destinations we’ve set out and reserved for ourselves to find and reach. As each step of the journey is ticked off and achieved, each bus made in time, street navigated, and budget accomodation located without too much struggle, there’s a sense of achievement and autonomy akin […]