Journal

Currently travelling the Silk Road. From The Netherlands to China in our Volkswagen T2. Check out the stories here.

Strangers becoming friends

Strangers becoming friends

Meeting strangers while traveling seems a lot easier than meeting strangers in our hometown. Or well maybe meeting them is not the difficult part but becoming friends with strangers is. Not here in Georgia though. Meeting a stranger on the road After a couple of days...

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Conflict & Displacement

Conflict & Displacement

And again we left the mountains behind. This time not to travel directly to Tbilisi but to travel back to Tskaltubo. Well, we also tried to get into Abkhazia but that seemed more difficult than we thought. Abkhazia A Georgian region but not really. Even though most...

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Things we didn’t plan

Things we didn’t plan

We weren’t planning a lot of things in Georgia. From several car break downs to driving the most dangerous road and the most car killing road. But visiting Svaneti was actually one of those things we planned for a second visit to the country. I, Milene, really want to...

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We want to see mountains again, Gandalf!

We want to see mountains again, Gandalf!

While I look at the stars with my back warming up from the campfire we just made I feel small. I feel like an ant discovering the world, small but strong. Small because the world is just a tiny planet in this huge universe. Strong because most of those stars are...

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Yes we van!

Yes we van!

Sorry! We’ve been a little absent lately. It has good reasons though. We weren’t quiet because it was too hot to type, or too wild to share but our adventures were mainly about fixing the van. Maybe Alexine had her own version of the Pandemic flue. So from having to...

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Crossing the most dangerous road of Georgia!

Crossing the most dangerous road of Georgia!

The Abano Pass impassable by Volkswagen T2 Locals say it isn't possible, they call us crazy, look at us with doubt. Call us crazy but we have believe in the power of Alexine. We have no doubt whatsoever that she can manage to climb up a pass, located at 2900 mtrs,...

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Maffia Monks & Hiking the Chaukhi pass

Maffia Monks & Hiking the Chaukhi pass

Freedom can only be found in the mountains, as the Georgians say. So, after a couple of days in Tbilisi, getting Alexine fixed and some work done, it was time to head to the mountains again. Everyone tells us Svaneti is amazing, but that’s on the other side of Georgia...

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Oh no, what’s that sound?

Oh no, what’s that sound?

Living and travelling in a van isn’t all about the best spots to camp, the thumbs up we get or driving the most scenic roads. It’s also about waiting for the engine to cool down, being anxious about a new sound she’s making and visiting garages while holding your...

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Our first impressions of Georgia

Our first impressions of Georgia

We love first impressions. Whenever we are just 10 minutes in a country we ask each other “and? What do you think?” A person has an impression about someone or something within 3 seconds. And this is sometimes the right one and sometimes the wrong one. It takes just a...

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Beekeeping in Northern Turkey

Beekeeping in Northern Turkey

Why tourists often skip the Black Sea Region is a riddle to us. It’s definitely one of the most beautiful regions of Turkey! The lush green mountains, delicious food, nice & mild climate. It is here where tea is produced, and it’s also known as hazelnut and honey...

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Three months on the road!

Three months on the road!

We’ve been three months on the road right now, so it’s time to reflect on vanlife so far.  Up to now we still feel so privileged and happy that we’re able to do this. Travelling brings us so much freedom, we get to see wonderful places, explore known and unknown...

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Capital of the Kurds

Capital of the Kurds

After Midyat it was time to move North. Finally we would visit the capital of the Kurdish people in Turkey: Diyarbakir. Yes, the Assyrians and Armenians mostly left this area due to oppression and hate the Kurdish people are still here. Turkey is a wonderful country...

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From genocide to rebellion

From genocide to rebellion

Along the way here several people mentioned Mardin a must visit on our Turkey trip. Ignoring tips from local people would be a stupid thing to do so we continued our journey East to Mardin. Mardin is a very interesting city. It’s a migratory city with lots of Turks,...

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History & myths in Turkey

History & myths in Turkey

It is sometimes a bit hard to keep up with the blogs. Not because I don’t like it or have nothing to write but probably because there is too much to write. Every morning, middag and evening another adventure awaits, in the morning we don’t know where we sleep at night...

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Faces in the mountain

Faces in the mountain

It was time to leave Cappadocia behind and with that the for me, Milene, known part of Turkey. The kind owners of the hotel we stayed in told us about the best way to travel to Nemrut. And boy was he right.  Our first stop would be a caravanserai. This is a place...

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Kapadokya, land of horses

Kapadokya, land of horses

In the previous post you could read about my, Milene's, thesis on Cappadocia. Lets see what happened in the past ten years. First a bit about Cappadocia The Persian name of the region was “Kappa Tuchia” which means “The land of beautiful Horses”. Cappadocia is...

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Fairytale Castles & the Salt Lake

Fairytale Castles & the Salt Lake

After a couple of days in the city we were in need of fresh air. Also, if we want to reach China this year we need to keep going. Our next stop would be Cappadocia but that will take about 10 hours. We found two nice stops along the way. One would be Burj al Babas....

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Istanbul’a hoş geldiniz

Istanbul’a hoş geldiniz

It all started in 2018 when I, Milene, moved to Turkey as part of the Erasmus program. For half a year Ankara was my home and Atilim Universitesi my university. That half year turned into almost two years as i also did my internship in Turkey. My internship brought me...

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Greece in a nutshell

Greece in a nutshell

One of my favourite writers is Herodotos (writer of ‘The Histories’), but even more do I love stories about him. Like the travels of Herodotos by Ryszard Kapuschinsky, definitely my second best book (after The Hobbit by J.r.r. Tolkien). In this book Kapushinksy...

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Impressions of the Balkans

Impressions of the Balkans

We have now truly exited the Balkans. We said goodbye to this wonderful part of the world, but not for forever cause im sure we will be back. Not only did the many many beehives show me there is a lot to learn here, but also did the very very expensive cars in rural...

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The looooong way to Greece

The looooong way to Greece

For the first time in our lives we experienced the feeling of being rejected when wanting to cross a border. Alright, Bosnia and Herzegovina already denied our entry but we were alright with that. Now Greece denied us entry. While Bosnia and Herzegovina is not part of...

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The Caribbean of Albania

The Caribbean of Albania

Goats crossing the road, deserted gas stations and bee-friendly flowers. Turquoise rivers, rocky roads and green hillsides. High mountains, deep valleys and farming villages. Friendly people, delicious börek pie and raki’s in the morning glory. Lake ferries, white...

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Roads go ever on and on

Roads go ever on and on

From Ohrid we travelled back to Albania to explore the South. We took the SH75 and oh my is that a beautiful road. Okay, it didn’t start so great, through the outskirts of a small town, slaloming in and out of stalled cars, horses and holes in the road. Then going up...

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Oh oh Macedonia

Oh oh Macedonia

It’s been a while now since we arrived in Macedonia. It feels like we’ve put our journey on pause for a little while. Enjoying our time at Miss, my friend, who owns a beautiful guesthouse at Lake Ohrid.  Having a break And even though we do go out for hikes,...

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Local border crossings

Local border crossings

The first time we experienced a local border crossing was from Croatia into Bosnia and Herzegovina. We always like to have the small crossings, not only is it convenient because it’s less busy but it’s also a lot easier to cross countries and not being stopped....

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From the lake ferry to maffia in the valley

From the lake ferry to maffia in the valley

Entering Albania is not a big deal. They do not ask for a PCR test and do not even care if we have a valid car insurance. Anyway, we have no idea where to go in Albania so we decide to go to the North. From Shkoder we take the worst road we had until now to Koman....

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Six days in Montenegro

Six days in Montenegro

The country of the black mountains, if it’s name was rightly chosen. We would find out soon enough. Crossing the border Dubrovnik was our last stop in Croatia, and it was a good one. Save the best for last right? A new country also means a new border crossing. And...

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On top of Dubrovnik

On top of Dubrovnik

Here we are, sitting at the wall of Dubrovnik. We are in awe, words don’t come easily to me but now I really do not have the right English vocabulary to describe what we see. But I will try. We are at the highest point of the wall surrounding Grad Dubrovnik. Grad...

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From the border to the wall

From the border to the wall

After three days on the island of Korcula it is time to explore new parts of the world. This part being Bosnia and Herzegovina. Not really new but the city of Mostar is new for us both. That also means another border crossing and Bosnia and Herzegovina not being part...

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The island of Korcula

The island of Korcula

Did you hear the story about the origin of the colour of carrots? They weren’t always orange 😉 I’m not going to write the whole story cause I will destroy Yuri’s punchline 🤣 Whomever we meet will hear the story of the orange carrot, a story we distribute along the...

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The shadow

of the sun

Our world, seemingly global, is in reality a planet of thousands of the most varied and never intersecting provinces. A trip around the world is a journey from backwater to backwater, each of which considers itself, in its isolation, a shining star. For most people, the real world ends on the threshold of their house, at the edge of their village, or, at the very most, on the border of their valley. That, which is beyond is unreal, unimportant, and even useless, whereas that which we have at our fingertips, in our field of vision, expands until it seems an entire universe, overshadowing all else. 

Often, the native and the newcomer have difficulty finding a common language, because each looks at the same place through a different lens. The newcomer has a wide-angle lens, which gives him a distant diminished view, although with a long horizon line, while the local always employs a telescopic lens that magnifies the slightest detail.

Ryszard Kapuściński

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