GETTING THE VISA

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width="2/3"][vc_column_text] Around the world there many nationalities and things like traveling will be easier or harder depending which one you have. I got a macedonian passport and I can say is not one of the best way to start a long overland journey.  Passports from small countries like mine will make you to apply for visa for almost every country you want to visit, which means spending time in big cities, slow burocracy, a lot money to invest and the possibility of be rejected. Beside the difficulties of traveling with Macedonian Passport we could say my case is a bit special. With no properties in my name, no formal job and no savings in bank accounts my probability of getting visa for countries like Canada, USA or Australia are very small. My alternative lifestyle as craft maker, constant traveler, blogger and street vendor is not always the best presentation when I had to deal with certains embassies. But I wanted to see the world so I had to try it. From all of the funny and stressful situations that I had to experience to try to get a visa I specially remember three embassies that make it really hard, surprisingly with countries I wasn´t expected. VISA SOUTH AFRICA I had to visit daily during 3 weeks the embassy from South Africa in New York City, one of the most expensive cities in the world, to beg for an exception with me because by law they couldn’t grant visas to non american residents. They told me I must go back home in Macedonia and apply in the South African embassy that correspond to me over there. But i was sure it must be a way. I asked for a latter to the Macedonian ambassador to prove that i am macedonian…

GUIDE TO VISIT ALASKA WITHOUT BEING ATTACKED BY BEARS

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width="2/3"][vc_column_text] If in Tajikistan was the extreme cold, in Tanzania the invisible malaria and in Patagonia the incessant wind, the challenge that awaited us in Alaska was to travel thousands of kilometers through a leafy and remote land of bears. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rfmSbGXXTaw&feature=youtu.be   Blacks, Grizzlis or even Polar in the tundra and Arctic lands, no matter their kind, they are all strong, instinctive and skillful as well as incredibly versatile, excellent climbers, runners and swimmers, practically they only miss to fly. What could be our cards to play this game and get out of there alive? The solution began to learn all about this animal totally unknown for us. So as we moved through California, Oregon, British Columbia and especially in Yukon, where people say there is a ratio of about 15 bears per person, our hosts and the people who we met along the road were telling us about their experiences with bears and they assure us that if we want to reach the Arctic Ocean we will also have to experience of that encounter at some point, but they also reached us how to proceed. The locals are the best way to learn the precautions to avoid countering with the bears and how to react when this happens. It is a land of bears and here they establish the law, if you do not know and respect their rules you can already imagine the consequences. The best thing to do is to be prepared since most of the bear attacks happened because an inappropriate human behavior. This is basically what you should keep in mind if you want to visit Alaska this summer: 1.   BE EQUIPPED WITH SOME DISSUASIVE GEAR Being armed with fire guns is part of the culture of the locals in this far North, so…

PROS AND CONS OF A MOTORCYCLE TRIP

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width="2/3"][vc_column_text] Summer comes and many people are thinking that it's time to have an adventure, it is the time to make a motorcycle trip around some exotic countries. Maybe all this started because this friend who did one journey on motorbike and can´t stop talking about how unforgettable and unique this experience was, or perhaps because of the hundreds of photos that travelers are sharing in Instagram with perfect compositions of epic moments that seem so spontaneously happening while they are crossing in their full equipped motorbikes some remote desert. The problem is that when a dream like traveling the world on motorbike born from the marketing and not from your passions usually involve some disappointment. If this is your case probably while you plan this trip you may be thinking many times the moment when you will return home and you can show your friends the amazing photos you did around South America, South East Asia or Eastern Africa. Very possibly in the early days of the journey you will make things unconsciously like leaving grow your beard or passing several times through the first puddle you find in your route until your clothes and motorbike are dirty with mud enough giving you the look that deserves a real explorer. That's because you are more worried about the impact that your trip can leave in other people than in yourself, and then exist the risk of hate your journey or get boring along the road. No one you talk of the dark side of long trips on motorcycle and now the tough moments hit you in the face. To avoid that surprise you can take note of the next list with some of the pros and cons of the motorbike long trips: WIND IN THE FACE Travel and…

WHY THE LONGER THE JOURNEY IS THE LESS PLANNING IS NEEDED?

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width="2/3"][vc_column_text] We don´t book any room and neither we search in internet for what we can find on those countries that we decide to visit. Not only for our travel philosophy but also because our trips use to last for months, and for us is very clear that the more time we want to spend on a trip the less planning is needed. Our experiences tell us that the more time we want to dedicate to a trip the less time we have to spend in its planning. Have it all organized means to travel with expectations and when the trip exceed a month you must understand that not everything is going to happen as you plan, then expectations begin to fail and your plans will fall one after another like the Domino tokens, making a bitter taste installed in your trip that won´t leave you chance to enjoy many other things, not planned, that are happening in around you. Beside that, to have it all planned means to be more focused in your agenda or your GPS than for the local people from the places you are visiting. We rather prefer ask and talk to local people, learning with them and their culture something new every time we visit a new place, otherwise we feel the trip was wasted. For example when we decided to make a travel around the world we simply put a map in front of us and we choose 3 locations which looks to be the farther possible from where we would start, in this case Spain: so with our finger we pointed Uluru in Australia, Ushuaia in Argentina and Deadhorse (see post) in Alaska. From here the plan was only to connect these three checkpoints with our journey by road, with our motorbike and…

10 FORMULAS TO MAKE MONEY WITH YOUR TRAVEL

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width="2/3"][vc_column_text] No doubt that the question most often people make us is about how we were able to fund a trip of several years on motorcycle by the world, the money is the great curiosity as if a project like ours depended only of work many years to save thousands and thousands of dollars, have behind a rich family who keep us financing our spends or of winning a lottery. But none of these situations was our case, when we decided to start we were just a couple of "hippies craftsmen" who walk many miles along the beaches of the Greek Islands as street vendors. We were selling bracelet to bracelet until we save enough to buy a motorbike and then we went to hit the route. How do we get to pay the costs of 4 years traveling by 64 different countries? Here is what we did and some other options more than you can keep in mind if the money means for you an obstacle to start with your travels. 1  CRAFTS, PHOTOS, MUSIC AND ALL YOU CAN DO BY YOURSELF With some waxed string of those used to make shoes, tweezers, some shells found on the beach or stones from those next to a river and clearly s small drill (like the brand DREMEL) we create bracelets and necklaces that we were selling to get the money we need to cover the costs of the first months. During the journey we were also doing a lot of photos, some of them the print or design postcards with them, at some point we even start with small drawings and although sincerely we were not at all good with it this was not really so important. You don´t need to be a great photographer, a skillful painter or to…

VIDEO · CAMPER CONVERSION IS DONE. WE ARE READY TO HIT THE ROAD

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width="2/3"][vc_column_text]A few months ago we had an idea. To park the motorcycle for a while and continue traveling in a van. We wanted a different trip and this new vehicle offered us what we wanted now, more outdoor. In our previous project we went through some of the most remote places on the planet, but when you travel by motorcycle the extreme and exceptional conditions of these regions (temperatures, wildlife, altitude, loneliness ...) end up causing you to focus basically on crossing that places because being trapped there can be literally dramatic. So the visits used to be much shorter than we wanted. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ezeO7oBBxMM&t=13s   That's why a 4x4 van. Be more self-sufficient. Bring with us food, water and energy to be able to spend all the time we want in those kinds of places. We can also bring more equipment, mountain bikes, equipment for trekking, more equipment to document the trip and even for the first time in many years we would have our own roof. We could put our base of operations wherever we wanted. But of course, it could not be any van. We needed one that will dared with all kinds of routes, which does not stop in front of rivers, dunes, mountains, savannas, jungles and deserts and that will allow to go through them as we did with the motorcycle. In our mind, the photograph of the vehicle we wanted was clear. For how to get it we had no idea. As it happened before when we started the journey  around the world on motorcycle, we do not know anything about cars, mechanics, the real needs that we will have on the road with this new vehicle... we did not even know how to drive it, so the first thing we had to do…

ALMOST READY TO LEAVE. BUILDING THE PERFECT VEHICLE TO TRAVEL (PART 2)

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width="2/3"][vc_column_text] When you finish a big project you always want the next one to be much better, and for 6 long months we have been working for that. We were never attracted to the idea of ​​stopping so long. A whole winter in the same city for a couple that has not stopped more than three months in the same country for the last 10 years? Those who knows us can imagine how many times we have been so close to quit with all this process and keep moving. Travel is definitely addictive and the inertia of a traveler like us is a difficult force to control. But ok, in the moments of highest stress we take a deep breathe, we fought and we shouted between us, we went running to the snow and of course ... many other things that can not be told here, but the question was to calm down and remember why this investment of time. Now the energy is completely different, with the arrival of the spring, the rise in temperatures, the return of the sunny sky and the first flowers also the renovations of the van is about to finish. All the work of this time is giving its fruits and very soon we will come back to eat kilometers again. How we already share with you in a previous post (see link) in this second part we write a resume about the last changes in our van during this week. We finished the interior. Our sponsors Studio Contempo and Tehnokoop gave us the van with the insulation and all the furniture installed. For the first time we have experienced the closer feeling of having a house. After so many years of backpacking, traveling by motorcycle and sleeping in a tent, our new…

HOW TO TRANSFORM AN OLD T3 SYNCRO VAN IN THE PERFECT VEHICLE TO TRAVEL AROUND THE WORLD (PART 1)

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width="2/3"][vc_column_text] Even when we are in our middle thirties we do not know yet how to drive cars, or about mechanics or electricity, we don´t even know how to change a flat tire or after how many kilometers the oil need be changed, but like that is how we decided to look for a van to travel around the world. And how as at this point we are already used to dream big, so we choose the van to be a classic 30 years old like us and 4x4 so there is no road that can resist us and we can travel with style. The first continent will be South America where some of the most impressive mountains, deserts and jungles are, but before we start to fantasize where the van will take us, the first thing comes first, and for us that was learning to drive. A few months ago we arrived from Africa finishing our world tour on motorcycle and a few days later we signed up for the driving school. 8 hours of classes and an exam after Manu already got the license, a week later we found on the internet a beautiful Volkswagen T3 Syncro Caravelle of 1989 that was for sale in Barcelona. Plane, cash and we take the keys of our new home. No time to wait for us, without experience, without waiting for to change of name of the owner to be completed and without even having a physical driving license (it takes about 3 weeks since you passed the exam until you get it home), but with a Bob Marley CD On the radio we went from Spain to Macedonia by van. The best plan is not to have too many plans, and for the moment everything was perfect. From now…

TRAVELING WITHOUT KNOWING LANGUAGES

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width="2/3"][vc_column_text] Traveling the world on a motorcycle has many challenges, including communication. As soon as you start to explore, you will realize that not even having several linguistics degrees at the best universities will help you find the right answers for the circumstances that arise every day along the route. At 5,000 meters in the mountains of Pamir you will want to know where there is someone who keeps some liters of gasoline in his house to help you escape from that frozen hell, the hot Namibia will make you obsess with finding a well that refreshes you, you will want to know if you are in the right direction when your orientation abandon you in the leafy Amazon jungle of Peru or even know if there are lions in the area for what to worry about when we camp in the African savannah of northern Tanzania. Different places present different questions, and when you are looking for an adventure the answers are not in google, you have to wait for your chance with the hope that it will arrive and this usually happens suddenly, in the middle of the confusion, in a spontaneous meeting with someone local that appears from nowhere, an ephemeral and unique possibility to find the answer you need most. But in this conversation there are no words but movements with the hands, gestures with the face, sounds, some drawing in the sand and a lot of imagination. If you learned some words in the local language or if you have the application on your phone of a dictionary of pictures your chances of finishing the day with success will be much greater. Knowing how to communicate without words is one of the skills that are cultivated while traveling and when you control it the…

GO AROUND THE WORLD WITHOUT PAYING FOR A SINGLE HOTEL NIGHT

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width="2/3"][vc_column_text] When on April 17, 2013 we started to go around the world on a motorcycle there were many things that we had not planned. We didn´t know where we were going, or how long it would take us, we did not have any visa stamped in our passport or not even money in our pockets that could cover our expenses for more than 3 or 4 months on the route (at the end we were 4 years visiting 70 different countries), in fact we did not even know how to drive a motorcycle but we were sure for one thing, that we would not pay for a single hotel night. And forgive us for this post those who own some kind of accomodation business but without this rule so personal we would never have achieved the goal of completing our dream. The idea of ​​being a couple traveling together for a long time where the routine was to wake up alone every day in a hotel room, put our bags on our motorcycle and follow the GPS (this of course was also removed on our trip) to the next hotel did not motivate us too much, in fact we are sure that traveling that way soon we would have become so unbearable between ourselves until end up throwing each other the tools of the motorcycle. The trip was motivated to know the world ... and its people. The human being has a special curiosity to know his own species, and if we did not potentiate that contact, traveling through the world would have lost its meaning for us. So it occurred to us that the best way to discover all the forms that culture, personality and adaptability of our species can acquire depending on where it was born…