Welcome to BWAB!

I'm Jona, a former travel journalist and teacher, and a poet and fictionist with a high dose of imposter syndrome. My affairs with the world and words started with a book. I've seen bits and pieces of this beautiful wounded world. Hence, the name of the blog. I'm from the Philippines, lived in Vietnam for four years, and now I'm indefinitely living in Munich, Germany.

What originally was a repository of random thoughts on life, travel, and books, BWAB is now a full-on resources of those embarking the digital nomad life with a decent amount of travel guides, occasional dive trips, and book readings spread thick in between. Oh yeah, a lot of solo travel resources around Europe and Southeast Asia. For quick travel and accommodation guides in Europe and Asia, check my ultimate travel cheat sheet for free. 

For real-time stories, puns, personally proven travel hacks, exclusive digital nomad resources, and self-deprecating awkwardness, follow me on Instagram: @jonajournals or my weekly mind-meandering on Medium. 


what's popular

destination guides

You may not know how to save your soul, but you know how to put one foot in front of another.—Rebecca Solnit
April 18, 2024

The Best Places to Stay in Paris on a Budget + Places to Avoid

Paris, like to many of us, first came to me as an idea. Its images conjured in my head were the ones fed by the literatis who lived in this city, from Victor Hugo to Simone de Beauvoir. Hmm, okay, I majored in literature. Before there is Emily in Paris, […]
April 16, 2024

20 Affordable Hotels in Venice with Canal Views

Venice is the only Italian city I’ve been to so far, aside from the little coastal Trieste. So I cannot compare it to other popular Italian cities. It may not be my favorite European city, Vienna claimed that spot, but I have to give it to Venice for embracing age […]
April 9, 2024

Where to Stay in Ljubljana: The Best Places for First-Time Visitors + Areas to Avoid

I actually did not know what to expect with Ljubljana. I had no actual affinity with Slovenia except for a brief encounter with a backpacking couple in the camping grounds in Ellenborough Falls in NSW, Australia way back in 2017. I remember asking the stupid question, is it part of […]
April 7, 2024

How to Squeeze One Day in Vienna: The Best Things to Do

No, I didn’t not stay in Vienna for one day. Rather I stayed for three nights and spread the sightseeing across those three days since museums and bookstores can really take up time. But there was indeed one full day where I did most of the sightseeing. I have to […]

digital nomad guides

And her joy would become a restless thing, flapping its wings inside her, as though looking for an opening to fly away. ― Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
April 10, 2024

The Intersection of Digital Nomadism and Bitcoin: A New Frontier

Modern-day adventurers, we find ourselves living in an increasingly globalized and connected world. Gone are the days when intrepid explorers had to cart around hefty fanny packs filled with travelers cheques or multiple currencies. In the age of digital currencies, and specifically Bitcoin, the digital nomad landscape has undergone a […]
March 24, 2024

Everything You Need to Know about Megali Ammos Beach

Picture this: you want to be close to the buzz of Skiathos Town but also crave that laid-back resort vibe. Well, Megali Ammos is your jackpot. First off, let’s talk about the name – Megali Ammos means “large sand” in Greek, and boy, does it live up to its name! […]
January 3, 2024

SEO Strategy for a Small Travel Blog: I Stopped Writing Content for My Own People

As a poet, fictionist, and an essayist, it is ingrained in us that it is one of our duties to write about and write for our own people. My people, in this context, means my fellow Filipinos and their own brand of triumphs and sorrows. Perhaps I’m too individualistic or […]
November 15, 2023

I earned 598.77$ as a Side Hustle in October, and Most Likely It Won’t Happen Again

Last month, I started taking my travel blog seriously as a source of passive income. That means I have to show up every day and improve it every day. Updating old content. Writing new ones. SEOing everything. Doing backlinking. The whole shebang. Here are some strategies I put in place […]

reading life

My grandfather says that's what books are for," Ashoke said, using the opportunity to open the volume in his hands. "To travel without moving an inch.― Jhumpa Lahiri
March 14, 2024

A Guide to the Best English Bookshops in Vienna

Vienna is a beautiful city. Of course, that’s the perspective of a traveler, hmm, scratch that, a tourist whose eyes are glued at these Gothic and Baroque architecture, marveling at the preserved beauty of the bygone years. But there are other Vienna quirks that I find appealing. The subway drunkies […]
December 7, 2023

14 Amazing English Bookstores in Paris and Some Gorgeous Libraries

Are these names familiar? George Sand. Colette. Simone de Beauvoir. Madame de la Fayette. Gertrude Stein. No? How about Moliere, Voltaire, Balzac, Victor Hugo and Zola and Proust. Yeah? Yeah, now I know what kind of reader you are. 😉 So yes, these are some of the most popular writers […]
October 19, 2023

Boekhandel Dominicanen: Maastricht’s Bookstore in a Cathedral

It is in my DNA to check out the local bookstore scene wherever I am. Most of my favorites are usually independent bookstores that have that well-kept forgottenness kind of vibe. If you get my drift. Think of Paris’ Shakespeare and Co. Or Hanoi’s Tiny Cafe franchise (although this one […]
October 3, 2023

10 English Bookstores in Prague You Should Check Out

I have a flippant mind, but in this life, my obsessions have been quite consistent the past fifteen years or so. Books. Cats. Travel. Plants. My hobbies, as I love saying now in German, das passt nicht zusammen. They don’t fit together. Well, living in a camper van will make […]

life and food

One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.—Virginia Woolf
April 16, 2024

20 Affordable Hotels in Venice with Canal Views

Venice is the only Italian city I’ve been to so far, aside from the little coastal Trieste. So I cannot compare it to other popular Italian cities. It may not be my favorite European city, Vienna claimed that spot, but I have to give it to Venice for embracing age […]
April 6, 2024

Where to Stay in Vienna for First Time Visitors

Having explored 15-plus European cities since relocating to Munich, Germany, I unequivocally declare Vienna as my favorite. This imperial jewel along the Danube orchestrates a symphony of culture, history, and elegance. Opulent palaces, a classical music legacy, and charming coffeehouse culture contribute to its timeless allure. I like how ostensibly […]
April 5, 2024

Where to Stay in Lake Bled for First-time Visitors

I was in a pursuit. Visiting one European city once a month. That’s how I found myself in Ljubljana and Bled Lake one gorgeous April. Bled Lake, despite me living in Bavaria, which is known for its lakes and mountains, left me in awe. Julian Alps draping behind the lake […]
April 1, 2024

Where to Stay in Prague for First-time Visitors: The Top 10 + Places to Avoid

Prague held a special nook in my heart. It was the first city I traveled solo after a serious talk with my then-boyfriend (now husband) in La Palma (Spain) that I missed traveling solo. When he said that I should do it more then, after all I now live in […]