Trelograms #22 — Why Travel?

My first source of inspiration to leave on a long-term cycle tour was easily Dave Conroy, whom i hosted in 2011 when i was still attending graduate school at Rutgers University. Dave was the fist long-term cycle traveler i ever met, and might have also been my first source of intimidation though — he had essentially checked out of his “previous life,” and been cycling for a couple of years already, something i couldn’t even remotely imagine myself doing at that time.

Fortunately, he was not the only cycle traveler i got to meet back then — in the course of the following couple of Summers i got to host many more, and was positively struck by how different their motivations were — for Steve and Taylor, cycle touring was part of their gap year adventures, while Greg had used his bike as a tool to connect with people and places around his country, and i understood it to be part of a mourning practice for Odin. Although it took me another four years to finally get on the road myself, i eventually felt duly validated to ride on account of the underlying process and technical challenge — in other words, whatever it was about it that interested me the most at the moment.

Along my way over the past two or three years, there came yet another big surprise — while space for self-discovery and adventure were what first put me on the road, i gradually discovered and assimilated other dimensions into my process — most notably, i could have never anticipated how inspiring, energizing and fruitful my encounters with people along my path would have been!

So, you already have a reason to travel also — but you might not find out what it is until you surrender to the journey 😉


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Trelograms is a series of short inspirational and/or inquisitive reads written in counterpoint to my  longreads 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 🙂

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Trelograms #21 — Why Is Doing the Dishes so Troublesome?

Soon after moving to Ukraine, i had the opportunity to meet and eat lunch with Folknery, a couple of Ukrainian musicians cycle touring around the world with their baby, who was born on the road — “but isn’t it troublesome?” — “it’s actually much easier than being at home with one,” replied Yaryna.

I can totally believe that, as i’ve been myself telling everybody who asks that cycle touring feels less troublesome across the board — it’s much easier dealing with the dishes after a meal, or finding a place to sleep, so why wouldn’t that be the case with a baby as well?

At this point many of you will dismiss my point by saying that the cycle touring process comes with its own burdensome routine, which is so true! But if that’s where you are, then you’ve completely missed my point — we all have our own dishes to wash, there’s no doubt about it — my point is simply that our choice of metaphorical dishes is much broader than we might be first led to believe 😉


All the content i create is made available to all and for free. If you find value in it, then becoming a recurring contributor is the best way to help me continue doing it! If you’re not yet ready for that, you may find alternatives on the support tab.

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Trelograms is a series of short inspirational and/or inquisitive reads written in counterpoint to my  longreads 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 🙂

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Trelograms #20 — Does My Cat Experience Me as a Person?

Yeva has been my first pet. Every now and then i wonder whether we have a mutual relationship, and what that actually means — am i seeking subjective experiences external to my own, which in turn acknowledge mine as external to their own, and mutually intelligible communication between the two?

Sometimes Yeva will meow from the balcony, looking into my eyes through the glass door, and come back inside as soon as i open the door — other times it feels a bit more like she just experiences me as a much desired radiator whose position in space she seems nevertheless rather bad at predicting.

Do i have a relationship with the ocean?

A few might suggest the ocean is in fact as conscious as we are. I wonder whether it might not be the other way around — as Daniel Dennett remarked in Consciousness Explained, “[perhaps w]e’re all zombies” — quoted here slightly out of context not as much as an “act of desperate intellectual dishonesty” as a sincere expression of confusion — are we as conscious as the ocean?

The only alternatives to that i find plausible are panpsychism or solipsism — has my mathematical training led me to disproportionately converge to either 0, 1 or infinity as the most likely answers to any question i ask?

So, what’s the weather like where you are right now?


All the content i create is made available to all and for free. If you find value in it, then becoming a recurring contributor is the best way to help me continue doing it! If you’re not yet ready for that, you may find alternatives on the support tab.

read more

Trelograms is a series of short inspirational and/or inquisitive reads written in counterpoint to my  longreads 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 🙂

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Trelograms #17 — A Time + Money Conservation Law?

Another question i often get is, “how do you manage to travel for so long with so little money”?

The short answer is, it’s a fair amount of work!

Thinking about this often brings me back to one of my “training” tours a couple of years ago between Copenhagen and Oslo, while i was still living and working in the former. The experiment in that short tour was to do it without the direct help from hospitality networks such as Warmshowers, or paying for accommodation.

The most natural path between Copenhagen and Oslo is to ride north along the Swedish West Coast. Having never done anything quite like that before, i figured that would be the perfect stage for such an experiment — Sweden has one of the world’s most generous right of access culture and laws — you’re essentially allowed to camp for one night just about anywhere in the country, as long as it’s not a nature preserve, you’re far enough from developed land and leave no trace — this is literally referred to as ‘the every [man]’s right’ (in Swedish, allemansrätten).

I’d not yet discovered the amenity of a surgical water bottle bath (use your imagination), and i wanted my campsites to be near the water, so i could wash myself like we all should — with a skinny dip! It would often take me up to three hours from the moment i decided to stop riding for the day until i found myself sitting down to cook dinner at my campsite — this brought me to seriously consider whether i’d ever want to be on a cycle tour in those terms for longer than just a couple of weeks.

Upon coming back home to Copenhagen, i realized that i’d been, in a very tangible way, doing just that — working for about three hours a day to “find a comfortable place to sleep at night.” Indeed, rent for a bedroom (sharing a kitchen with five other tenants) cost me roughly one third of my salary as a postdoctoral researcher at University of Copenhagen — not to mention how insanely lucky i was to even find such a deal in that city, as those familiar with the surreal housing market in Copenhagen will certainly agree.

It got me thinking — and i still haven’t quite figured it out.


On the photo: “dinner table” view from a campsite in my Copenhagen–Oslo tour in Summer ’16


All the content i create is made available to all and for free. If you find value in it, then becoming a recurring contributor is the best way to help me continue doing it! If you’re not yet ready for that, you may find alternatives on the support tab.

read more

Trelograms is a series of short inspirational and/or inquisitive reads written in counterpoint to my  longreads 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 🙂

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Trelograms #7 — Road Magic of Life Magic?

I’m not a superstitious person — but it seems like being on the road has put me in closer contact with how often amazing coincidences actually happen in our everyday lives.

Here’s one that happened to me when i was cycle touring in the Odessa Region.

As i’m pulling out of the worse dirt road ever back into the main road (and worse asphalt (?) road ever), a red van driving by stops, while the driver steps out of it shouting, “Brazilia!”

What the fuck? — could he see the tiny Brazilian flag sown to my handlebar bag from all the way out there? — probably not — and he’s looks too jolly to be the secret police — it must be Yuriy’s friend!!

I was supposed to spend the night before camping in Gannady’s backyard, as arranged by our common friend Yuriy, from Izmail — but the heat, energizing encounters along the way and sincerely bad roads slowed me down and i couldn’t make it. I planned to swing by the day after anyways just to say “hi,” but it seems like life magic once again took care of that for me!

Do you notice such coincidences in your life? I would be delighted to hear one! Please share in the comments below 😀


All the content i create is made available to all and for free. If you find value in it, then becoming a recurring contributor is the best way to help me continue doing it! If you’re not yet ready for that, you may find alternatives on the support tab.

read more

Trelograms is a series of short inspirational and/or inquisitive reads written in counterpoint to my  longreads 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 🙂

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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 becoming a recurring contributor is the best way to help me continue doing it! If you’re not yet ready for that, you may find alternatives on the support tab.

read more

Trelograms is a series of short inspirational and/or inquisitive reads written in counterpoint to my  longreads 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 🙂

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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 becoming a recurring contributor is the best way to help me continue doing it! If you’re not yet ready for that, you may find alternatives on the support tab.

read more

Trelograms is a series of short inspirational and/or inquisitive reads written in counterpoint to my  longreads 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 🙂

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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 becoming a recurring contributor is the best way to help me continue doing it! If you’re not yet ready for that, you may find alternatives on the support tab.

read more

Trelograms is a series of short inspirational and/or inquisitive reads written in counterpoint to my  longreads 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 🙂

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