hesheadingeast

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17.09.14 _ day 114 {zagreb, croatia}

Such life emits from the streets of Zagreb: there are people lining the stores, cafes and restaurants. At all hours you see couples and groupings of people enjoying each other’s company over a coffee, snack or beer. The streets are never bombarded with crowds and hoards, which keeps the overall atmosphere of the city relatively calming. I have spent the last two days here, slowly exploring and wandering the streets, seeing the mix of historic and modern: the young and the old.

When walking the streets here in Zagreb, you understand there is an appreciation for beauty and enjoyment. Locals never or rarely rush, ladies and men a like dress with care and style. There is an appreciation for life and good health. The daily market in Dolac Trg (square) can provide enough various foods that one never would have to go to the grocer. Below the square are the butchers and fishmongers – while above are all the fruit, vegetables, cheese, honey and roots. The quantity of different vendors makes you realize how affluent the farming culture is here – and the general respect for life goes much further than afternoon pleasures, but to the source of life and nutrition.

[mumbai, india]
This place certainly didn’t end like it started. It went from honking horns, dirt, grime, shit and chaos to this. Simple. Modern. Magnificent. - but that’s India. It’s the best of the best and the worst of the worst. Here you truly get a sense of power of the people. It’s culturally mind blowing and the food is simply amazing.
I will never forget those days on the train, or the countless festivals I encountered and the people both far and near. It’s been an amazing 6 weeks. Certainly a place that can be 6 years.
Stay tuned for where I go next…
#hesheadingeast #nomad #nomadlife #vagabond #traveler #justabackpack #india #mumbai #memories #modern #architecture #arch #3dprinting #nerd #VSCOcam (at International Terminal T2, CSI Airport, Mumbai)

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05.10.14 - day 132 [sofia, bulgaria]

Neverland has met its match - the lost boys seem to have held tight to this metropolitan city in a unique country. The capital of Bulgaria has held tight to its historic past with clear markings that things have not changed: subways out of the 1980’s, communist big brother police booths tower over intersections, Communist monuments pierce the sky with the tortured and weathered facaded but a strong back bone. This city has seen much action in the rise and fall of communism and has attempted in great strides to regain its peaceful and democratic gain back on the nation, but so much is still a reminder of the past. The buildings blown out of proportion and ruled with an iron fist - the parks are unified and streamlined, the whimsical decorum has now been paved with power and control and you can see a struggle to survive, mend and keep up with the fall of communism. Buildings are abandoned and unable to be rebuilt, streets are started - but never finished. Its a never land stuck in progress, stuck in a process of urbanizing, updating and reinventing. But alas as most of the Balkan states - it too will get there. 

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16.06.14 - day 21 [reykjavik - “smokey bay”]

On top of a hot springs this small town of 200,000 is a scenic metropolis of tourism for Iceland. There are cute shops and bars and a thriving gay scene of one bar - literally one gay bar in all of Iceland. Who knew!! But the best parts of this town were the times I spent with my two friends - Bradley and Steve. We rented bikes for the afternoon and wandered around the bayside and raced through the hills of Reykjavik. It’s the surprises like this that keep me excited for what is around the corner next. Who would have thought that the two boys I barely get to see would be in the same city at the same time. The next year will be a world of surprises, lessons and excitement.

a time to reflect

19.03.15 day 297 [varansi, india]

So much was happening in Turkey - constantly on the move, constantly seeing, living, enjoying; chasing moments, people, documents…so having the time to look back beyond the now was limited. Then China, Korea, Japan; a constant fight to stay in the game and not go home. The battle was on, the weather was cold and the nights came early and well nights are the hardest when you are alone and with out company or sensual companions. I desperately wanted to go home. So I hid, I recoiled and withdrew. Two months of fighting turned into time for a change, and well it was the warmth and the sun that would call my name to Bangkok. A city so vast, so infused with life and chaos and fooooood! There I was able to get some life back in me, some warmth in my heart - a joy to hit the road again. 

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24.09.14 – day 121 [blagaj, bosnia]

The mother hen of Majdas Hostel is a lively, homely, welcoming and very set in her ways kind of woman. It’s a fine balance living there - between catholic school nun and the mother that welcomes all in for tea. She is a funny woman, but what I will never forget besides being locked out day one and having to crawl through the roll down shutters through the crack in the sliding glass door is her artistic and not so accurate representation of what a map should look like. Yes, I am an architect; I think like one, I draw like one and I visualize one – so when handed a map hand drawn with collared sharpie and squiggles to represent bridges, monuments, and critical turns, I laugh at the chances that we are going to get to where we want to go.

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12.07.14 - day 47 [berlin, germany]

Graffiti, collage, street art, self expression, guerrilla architecture and endless forms of artistic display have become the new facade of the crumbled, destroyed and devastated fronts of the old Berlin. The new Berlin is blanketed with freedom of expression; fighting to keep gentrification away and allowing the people to occupy and express their own message and vision for the streets of Berlin. 

I find it ironic though, most street art mocks the condition or the ability of self reflection - is this implying that those artists truly want to gentrify and change their conditions? Does the ‘underworld’ of Berlin want to rise and become the next generation yuppie. 

I am interested to follow the growth of this city and see where the artistic world can go… do they survive and outgrow the demand for modern living conditions and economic growth? do they crumble under their own demise and success? does the city itself gentrify and incorporate their self expression. 

Berlin is a unique city. I am eager to see how this city continues to grow as less vacant space is available for self discovery. 

back to basics: kappadokia edition

16.10.14 - day 143 [kappadokia, turkey]

Sandy and I arrived late Monday evening after a grueling day of an over night bus, visas and embassies in the Capital of Ankara and overwhelming bus of gypsy children to conclude the night. Of course when we hopped off the bus at an unknown location we did what any other tired lost traveler would do…follow the crowd and get on a small shuttle bus in hopes that it was the one we were meant to take. Good news, it was! When we arrived - Sandy’s phone was of course dead and I was trying my luck to follow the outdated directions on my phone…we wandered and wandered up the hills, down the roads, around dark turns and through small streets only finding cute dogs to play with and every cave hotel but our own. Yet Sandy’s attraction towards locating the nicest of strangers led us to getting a lift on the back of two mopeds to the proper location of our ‘hotel’ - while she was going for a joy ride, I had a death grip on my stuff thinking this is the last time I will see the sky (I clearly still have trust issues). But we made it and luckily with our combined knowledge of traveling thus far - mainly us just being old, we were wise to postpone our 4am wake-up until the day after, giving us a day to explore, relax and not be cranky. So we tucked ourselves in to a cave of 16 and finally got some rest in a bed.

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It’s the night before Vipassana and I’m neither excited nor worried. Maybe I am just tired [it being 104 during the day quickly becomes exhausting]. Maybe I am unaware of what is about to happen to me. Maybe I am just ready. We met a man, who was the Indian version of me - he hoards old stuff aware of every story - but he looked at us and said we are 20 years too soon for Vipassana. For we haven’t lived enough to look back and get answers. He expresses there is a fine moment between when one door closes and the next opens, and often we misjudge this timing do to fear, anxiety or uncertainty. It all made sense, and was honest and kind. But so much growth and change has happened in my life with in the last year and well I’m not looking to open or close and doors - rather I want to reflect and strengthen the passage I’m on. I want the next ten days to be about re-grounding my individuality, my insecurities and prepare me for my return home. I am about to return to an unknown of knowns. I will see the changes be unchanged. I will interact with the good and the bad. It will all come full circle. But I’ve not. I’ve gone in a linear progression. I’ve grown. Changed. See and done. It will be less than 4 weeks after this course until I return home. I am excited and scared more than I am for these next 10 days. But maybe home is just one more stop. Maybe it too is just apart of my travels and discovery and that this one year plan maybe is five, ten or my life.

One thing I have learned from Bobby is to let go. And that is what I have begun to do.

via https://dayone.me/1ygmzn7

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29.09.14 – day 124 [lopud, croatia]

The water crashes slowly against the shore; gently recycling it’s process. The calm soothing repetition of the waves is the only sound heard over the entire island. The moon is your light. The stars are your backdrop. Barely a fraction of the island is occupied by homes or people, making this the quaintest natural place I have been. Four nights of simple relaxing, island enjoyment and great food was a perfect break from the constant go go go that things have been. Sadly I don’t want to leave. 

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27.09.14 – day 124 [lopud, croatia]

All you have to do here is wake up and walk outside. There is nothing more or less important that must happen. The beauty of this place is the simplicity. - however inspiration runs through my veins as I graze past abandoned buildings from the 15th century, solid stone homes - lifeless, begging for my intervention and ability to being life and activity through it’s once lovely threshold. 

Each stone weeps with a hunger to come back to life and to be filled with a family, a life an spark, I see this island, and love it for its purity, simplicity and seldom tourist – but what I do see is a thirst for more. I dare to come back here to build a home, best in one of these abandoned dwellings. In fact it’s already picked out. 

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12.08.14 - day 78 [paris, france]

I came to Paris to relax and enjoy myself after such a journey from Amsterdam, and well Benjamin certainly made me feel like I was on holiday. He showed me around, taught me so much about the buildings and people of Paris and well it was truly a pleasure to be with him. Having a friend be there at the perfect moment in the perfect city was exactly that…perfect. We went to all the places and explored the nooks and crannies that I never knew how to get to or where to go. We rode bikes together and went through the city as if it was ours. 

I must say, being on a bike is the perfect way to begin to map a city. You can connect so many points and places and roads so quickly and with so much understanding that walking, driving or any public transportation just won’t get you. I could never leave, but luckily for me, my one true love awaits me on the other end of this flight, so I must go, and I must carry on to new adventures, new friends, and new loves.

au revoir paris!

17.07.14 - day 52 [rotterdam, netherlands]

Getting off another bus, into a new city - a new place I have never been with people I have never met, is nothing new for me at this point, but something strikes a different vibe here in Rotterdam, in the Netherlands.

Four years ago, I came to this whimsical country, where the fields blossom with color and freshness and the architecture and design spring with interest and creativity. I have never been to a country with such unique way of living and such expression for the joy of life those have in the Netherlands. Needless to say I am excited to be here and excited to see where this country takes me.

10.07.14 - day 45 [berlin, germany]


Berlin is a city that lives and breaths at night…rest is for the day - moments like this open my eyes to the opportunity I have given myself. I am in a beautiful place, with great people making the memories of a life time. The simplicity of this view is all I need some times. It is simple, beautiful and powerful

(at Alexanderplatz)

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02.07.14 - day 37  [copenhagen, denmark]

Copenhagen…it has only been three simple days of walking and riding bikes, but something about this city spoke to me that no other Scandinavian city has done. I don’t know if it was the social respect that each person has for one another or the appreciation for the balance of ‘city’ living and enjoying nature and activities, but something about this city felt both alive and calm - and not the calm that I think I have back in NYC, but a peaceful at ease calm that just makes you want to curl up and actually enjoy life each day. Maybe its where this country is located, bordering between Europe and Scandinavia - resulting in a balance of the European mentality for life and the Scandinavian order and respect. I mean who just leaves their bikes free standing with just the back tire locked, a mentality I was certainly not raised with.

This city has just been flooded with order and appreciation. When bikers turn, slow or stop-they signal. The lanes are all marked and respected. The streets are clean and active. The balance between new architecture and old is complimentary and the historic attractions and tourists are equally spread throughout all the city.

In three days this city has inspired and motivated me and made me find a new home in life, so I am excited for the days to come and fear I will not want to leave, but I guess I can always come back.