Thursday, 25 February 2010


This week I have hosted a Japanese guy whose name was Keigo.

He wrote me in Couchsurfing in order to ask me for hosting, and I gladly agreed so when I found out that he was doing a World trip for several months.

He had started in Japan (of course), then headed to Korea and China (where he spent many weeks), then went to the South, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia... After lingering several days in some lost islands in the Pacific, he went back to the North, and after Myanmar, Nepal and India.

Up to this his trip is quite similar to mine, but then he took a flight to Kenya, and visited Madagascar (where he considered relaxing for a while, sort of holidays).

He soon ended up in Morocco and then Andalusia in Spain.
Finally he reached Bilbao, where I hosted him.

He was one of a kind of a guest like I had never had, curious about everything and very respectful, one evening he even cooked tasty curry rice.

He left yesterday, and now he plans to go the Mediterranean (Valencia, Barcelona, Marseille, Italy) and then a bit of Central Europe, and most probably returning to Japan (Saitama).

Now he's kind of a link to my future travel to Japan, within this first stage of my Asian trip, from Bilbao to Tokyo by train and ferry.

I'm pretty sure that I will meet him next year :)

Saturday, 20 February 2010

Into the Wild

I've been in Couchsurfing for almost three years by now, and some time ago a friendly girl from London that I hosted at my flat told me that I should watch "Into the Wild" (the film), in order to understand some things about people that always have travelling in their minds and that sort of things about like why do we live in society, why do we work, and so.

Well, I said to her that I had seen the trailer of the film and knew what it was about, and didn't want to see it, because I'd feel so envious of a guy who's really chasing after his dreams, leaving everything behind. She told me that doesn't matter, because there is somehow a lesson to learn from this film (which is a real story, by the way).

In the end I saw the film and was fascinated and moved by the story, beautifully told... even if I knew that I hadn't really learnt so much because what happens are things I already knew, some of them I didn't want to admit.

I watched twice, and then I bought the book last week.
After having read it, I'm shocked by the similarities in the personality traits that McCandless and I share.

That said, what I really wanted to remark on this post are the differences between that unfortunate guy and myself on this matters of travelling...

I feel that in a certain way we're determined by our place of birth and the experiences associated with our childhood and youth years, so McCandless was deeply North-American and his thoughts came out of his States-based point of view.

He wasn't a bit interested in learning anything from different cultures or peoples, he somehow couldn't see further than North America while doing his walk around it, once and again in circles.

Definitely I won't do serious hikings or trekkings during my Asian trip because I want to enjoy the travelling itself, the discovering, the meeting of new people, the difficulties I will have to face... but I won't fight against nature and society, that is not my purpose.
If I wanted to get lost in the wild I wouldn't plan thousands of miles of a route, just in order to climb some minor mountains... I'm not saying I won't walk through wilderness, but that won't be my specific target.

We all, avid travellers, feel identified with McCandless and his feelings of freedom on the road and spiritual achievement within the nature... but that's not everything we've got in mind.

Monday, 1 February 2010

Blue Planet

A week ago I had a free day from work so I spent my time in making ID photographs (that I will need for the visas) and going to a local travel agency.

This agency is called Blue Planet, and apparently it sells exotical and independent trips.

They told me that they work with an agency that specifically manages visas for anywhere in the world.

So I have left that burden in their hands for the time being.

I'm currently more focused on my soon-to-be trip 21 days long to Greece (in March).

Still waiting an answer from them, though (not that I'm in a hurry about this, anyway...).