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Not too shabby in Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi is open for visitors, sort of.
Looking for a low-budget escape from winter in Norway, I’m surprised to find that my best option seems to be a week in the United Arab Emirates. For just 350 US dollars per person, my wife and I can get round-trip tickets from Oslo, Norway to Dubai, and a room…

24 Hour Helgeland Road Trip

The Seven Sisters, seen from the ferry to Herøy.
Helgeland is one of the most scenic parts of Norway. For various reasons most visitors to the country ignore it. I may be slightly biased, having grown up in the area, but I challenge you to name a less visited region in Norway that looks this astonishing. That’s obviously a…

Osprey Kestrel 38 Review

Backpack in a forest.
A backpack is arguably the most important item I always bring, and I have exhausted my share of them. Sometimes they have turned sour on me. Most times I deserved it. I haven’t been the gentlest travel partner for them. Whether it’s dusty or wet, cold or hot, rural or urban,…

Braving the Balkans

Cow admiring the view along the incredibly curvy SH22 mountain road in northern Albania.
We knew little about Albania and her neighbors. In particular, we were happily unaware of the utter lack of driving skills among the locals. So my wife and I naïvely rented a car in Tirana to visit the countries around Albania. Before you attempt something similar, I suggest reading the…

Enduring Tirana

Albania, Europe
Relaxing on Dürres Beach
Albania was never on my list of countries I particularly want to visit, but it has always intrigued me. For a long time, no other country could challenge it as the stereotypical backwards country, despite the fact that people in general actually knew and still know very little about it.…

Quickly Kyoto

Asia, Japan
Arashiyama Bamboo Grove, Kyoto, Japan.
Before, all I knew was that Kyoto is highly recommended because whatever. Also, I always thought it weird that Japan moved its capital to Tokyo from somewhere with the exact same letters in it. It’s as if Madmaster suddenly became the new capital of the Netherlands. Anyway, I went, and…

Hooked on Hokkaido

Asia, Japan
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Sakura towards the end, in Maruyama Park, Sapporo, Japan
Running off to Hokkaido seemed like a suitable cure for mending my soul after a few busy days in Tokyo. This northernmost of the main islands has only 4 % of the population of the country, and they are spread out across more than a fifth of the combined land…

Tokyo Takeaways

Asia, Japan
Tokyo traffic
I’m not sure how it happened, but I managed to visit almost a hundred other countries before I decided to treat myself to Japan. Last May, I went for two weeks, traveling with my wife. My expectations were few, but people told me it would be weird and fascinating. They…

Spontaneous Exhaustion

Europe, Norway
A typical lake along Rondanestien.
Spending the first half of May in Japan was interesting, but I was extremely tired when I returned home. Japan is a completely safe country to visit, yet I was unable to relax there. So many things needed to be explored and examined. I barely found time to sleep. Especially…

Narita By Night

Asia, Japan
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Pagoda and night sky.
We have a mid-morning flight to catch from Tokyo Narita Airport, going home after two weeks in Japan. To avoid the stress of navigating rush hour in the city, we decide to leave Tokyo the evening before and find a hotel near the airport for the night. The cheapest place…