Trelograms #5 — Leaving Doesn’t Get Easier

This picture shows Tanja, Natasha and Valja from Mahazin Kashtan in the village of Kilija, Ukraine — the village comes up along the Danube River between Izmail and Odessa, a popular week-long cycle touring route during Spring and Summer.

Mahazin Kashtan was where one of my shortest and most intense cycle touring encounters to date took place. I walked in just to get some bread but, as it’s nearly always the case, that’s never the whole story — they seemed especially glad to see me, perhaps because i came from so far (Brazil) — i believe that can be seen in their smiles on the photo.

Despite their contagious joy, this encounter was also a tough reminder that we’re constantly departing on a cycle tour — perhaps in life in general? This was one of the countless occasions in which i broke into tears upon leaving them behind — am i ever going to see them again!?

This will likely not quite apply to the vast majority of my readers — but on the off chance that you’re doing the Izmail–Odessa ride, please swing by Mahazin Kashtan on your way through Kilija — do you food shopping there, and tell the ladies that Mika, cycle touring guy from Brazil, says ‘hi’ 😉


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Trelograms is a series of short inspirational and/or inquisitive reads written in counterpoint to my chronicles and concrete travel advice on cycle touring, hitchhiking or in general. The series title is a word play between ‘telegram’ and ‘trélos’ (Greek for ‘mad’). Follow the links to read more, and sign up for the Not Mad Yet mailing list to be notified when new articles go live and get other updates


Trelograms #4 — What is Home?

The other night, a creepy incident at home: someone knocking at our door, close to midnight, desperately asking us to please let them in  — then returning half an hour later and insisting on the same thing. We couldn’t establish who they were, whom or what they were looking for, or why they picked our door and seemingly none of our neighbors’.

My girlfriend and i felt very unsafe  —  trapped, really: “are they still outside?”   — “it seems like it, or at least i didn’t hear their footsteps going downstairs”  —  “how did they get inside the building?”

The irony…

My girlfriend has hitchhiked and i’ve ridden my bicycle solo throughout Eastern Europe for months on end, and the one thing we could agree upon was, we never felt like that on the road — never! In fact, when i’m in the countryside, i actually feel safer if the locals know where i am camping.

Are we confused?


On the photo: an exposed campsite behind a bus stop in Polish countryside, with the locals’ blessing and fresh tomatoes! (September ’17) / our apartment door in L’viv (October ’17)


All the content i create is made available to all, and for free. If you find value in it, then please consider becoming a recurring donor — it is the best way to help me continue doing it! You may also find alternate ways to contribute on the support tab.

read more

Trelograms is a series of short inspirational and/or inquisitive reads written in counterpoint to my chronicles and concrete travel advice on cycle touring, hitchhiking or in general. The series title is a word play between ‘telegram’ and ‘trélos’ (Greek for ‘mad’). Follow the links to read more, and sign up for the Not Mad Yet mailing list to be notified when new articles go live and get other updates


Trelograms #3 — The Social Individual

The ‘bench outside’ is a rather prevalent feature of Eastern European countryside. From old people sitting alone attentively observing what’s happening on the street, to groups of neighbors having a chat, to young couples dating, you’ll have plenty of people to wave at and exchange smiles with on your way cycle touring there.

It took me a while to realize that i actually grew up myself in a house with such a bench outside  —  and also a lovely old lady who spent much of her time chatting with all the other lovely old ladies in the neighborhood.

Over time i saw the gates around the block (including ours) grow taller and advance into public land, sometimes becoming walls — probably more to protect the thugs from us than us from them? Whether this change was for better or worse, something was definitely lost in the process.

What about you? What has been your experience? Please comment below — i’d love to hear your thoughts 🙂


On the photo: lovely ladies chatting by the “bench outside“ in Romanian countryside (April ‘17)


All the content i create is made available to all, and for free. If you find value in it, then please consider becoming a recurring donor — it is the best way to help me continue doing it! You may also find alternate ways to contribute on the support tab.

read more

Trelograms is a series of short inspirational and/or inquisitive reads written in counterpoint to my chronicles and concrete travel advice on cycle touring, hitchhiking or in general. The series title is a word play between ‘telegram’ and ‘trélos’ (Greek for ‘mad’). Follow the links to read more, and sign up for the Not Mad Yet mailing list to be notified when new articles go live and get other updates


Trelograms #2 — Connected

What do you make out of this image? — people sitting next to each other seemingly lost in the world through their gadgets is a common sight these days, isn’t it?

Today i want to invite you to look beyond what the image might suggest and meet Daichi and Ryo Uchiyama, the people in it — when i approached them at a coffee shop in L’viv, Ukraine, introduced myself, and asked if i could chat with them for a little bit, they replied with excited interest, promptly closing the laptop and putting away the phone.

This friendly Japanese couple got married two years ago, and have been traveling together around the world on what they told me is their honeymoon ever since — 24 countries, and counting! In hindsight, i’m not surprised it was so easy to connect with them.

They take jolly, colorful pictures, some of which you can see in their Instagram  @tabiwalife — check it out!


All the content i create is made available to all, and for free. If you find value in it, then please consider becoming a recurring donor — it is the best way to help me continue doing it! You may also find alternate ways to contribute on the support tab.

read more

Trelograms is a series of short inspirational and/or inquisitive reads written in counterpoint to my chronicles and concrete travel advice on cycle touring, hitchhiking or in general. The series title is a word play between ‘telegram’ and ‘trélos’ (Greek for ‘mad’). Follow the links to read more, and sign up for the Not Mad Yet mailing list to be notified when new articles go live and get other updates


Trelograms #1 — Isn’t Celebration Contagious!?

After 63 gruesome, bumpy, gravel road kilometers, was that a mirage, or indeed the beginning of a smooth, freshly paved road!?

I had to celebrate.

This fine gentleman was walking in the middle of nowhere with a 2.5-liter bottle of beer in one hand and an ax on the other — great combination! He duly reacted to my excitement, dropping the ax and running towards me — now overflowing in excitement himself, he opened the beer and insisted i filled up one of my water bottles with it.

I returned the gesture by offering him some of what was left of the rakija i got from my friends in Serbia before my departure a few days before — he put the little bottle straight into his back pocket :p — thinking the rakija could not be in better hands now, i just asked him to take a sip of it so i could snap a picture. He then gave me a sincere, joyful hug, approximately 637 kisses on each cheek, and we parted ways —  i was now slightly tipsy, but very energized!!

Today, i want to invite you to celebrate. There must be something you’re grateful for today, no matter how small you think it might be —  make it a big deal and share it with someone! Feel welcome to share it with me by commenting below 🙂


All the content i create is made available to all, and for free. If you find value in it, then please consider becoming a recurring donor — it is the best way to help me continue doing it! You may also find alternate ways to contribute on the support tab.

read more

Trelograms is a series of short inspirational and/or inquisitive reads written in counterpoint to my chronicles and concrete travel advice on cycle touring, hitchhiking or in general. The series title is a word play between ‘telegram’ and ‘trélos’ (Greek for ‘mad’). Follow the links to read more, and sign up for the Not Mad Yet mailing list to be notified when new articles go live and get other updates


Trelograms #0 — The Chosen Narrow, Dark Tunnels Ahead

When i’m cycle touring (and perhaps also when i’m not?), traffic is by far my greatest source of apprehension.

Once you’ve chosen to ride along the Iron Gates, the stretch of the Danube River flowing along the border between Serbia and Romania (or is it the border that flows along the river?), a series of 22 narrow tunnels varying in length from a few tens to a few hundreds of meters will be an inevitable part of your experience. One may then question their very decision to be there and turn back, or one may put on their reflective vest, turn on their lights, and cautiously but confidently carry on.

What will you do?

Do you take the risks of ‘not doing’ something into account when making a decision?

In hindsight, i am quite grateful someone was there before me to build those tunnels!


All the content i create is made available to all, and for free. If you find value in it, then please consider becoming a recurring donor — it is the best way to help me continue doing it! You may also find alternate ways to contribute on the support tab.

read more

Trelograms is a series of short inspirational and/or inquisitive reads written in counterpoint to my chronicles and concrete travel advice on cycle touring, hitchhiking or in general. The series title is a word play between ‘telegram’ and ‘trélos’ (Greek for ‘mad’). Follow the links to read more, and sign up for the Not Mad Yet mailing list to be notified when new articles go live and get other updates