airline backpack

Vlog Gallery from the Road 40 months of travel…

Second trip to Bangkok, entry March 9th, 2023, previous entry was December 10th, 2019… just before travel during coronavirus!

Next… India… a country of significant monuments, population and a lot of dirt and trash… (but the photos turned out well!). I really hold a neutral opinion of the country but it does have pluses, such as the food, price, and weather forecast.

Saudi Arabia stopover and Romania stopover, my second time and meeting an old friend! My original flight from Saudi to India got canceled so i decided to stay at the airport for 1 day, then take an earlier flight. Flight on Jan. 30th, 2023. Flight to Bucharest from Athens dated Jan. 25th, 2023.

Next up in reverse, order Athens, Greece! Flight in from Tirana, Albania! Nice to be on the road again! Flight via Wizzair on Jan. 7th 2023. It was snowing in Bucharest so had to plan for winter and summer once i get to Thailand, a few stops away! Left Athens on Jan. 25th, 2023.

Stopover/Rest Albania, Tirana, visit #3 … I spent this time to retool my clothing and my gear, and replaced or added some smaller items for my next unique adventure to Greece, India, and Thailand, and the Mideast! Entry to Albania from Milan Italy on … I had to look this up.. 11/08/2022.

Next stop in reverse order.. Italy, flew to Pisa from Tenerife on an affordable on Nov. 3rd, 2022, and bussed it to Milan on Nov. 7th, 2022, where I then caught a flight to Tirana on November 8th/9th 2022. The reasoning was to spend less time in more expensive countries my two stop Italy trip did not disappoint!

Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain, rewinding again (my second time in Tenerife (and 2nd time in London). I flew to Tenerife South airport from London Stansted on Sep. 9th, 2022, and from Tenerife South to Pisa on Nov. 3, 2022. Over here in Tenerife I was boondocking it for most of the 42 days that I was on the island.

Next up going in reverse the country of Poland… London was a stopover so not counting as a visit, i came from Krakow and took a flight to London, then another Ryanair flight to Tenerife. . My bus from Gdansk to Krakow was on Sep. 14th, 2022 via the Flixbus. The flight to London was on Sep. 21st giving me 7 days in Krakow… The flight to Gdansk was on Sep. 12th, 2022.

I took yet another Flixbus from Stockholm to Oslo, Norway. One of my most interesting experiencing camping in the wild woods in central Norway, I came into contact with some magnificent forests and a wild boar! I came to Oslo on Sep. 3rd 2022 from Stockholm.

Going back in time, the next country I visited was Stockholm Sweden. I came via Flixbus on August 30th, 2022. Here are some photos from Stockholm below…

Living in Montenegro as an American Expat

Living in Montenegro as an American expat…

Hello traveling guys and girls! I can detail for you, some of my life living in Montenegro as an American expat in this blog post. I moved to Montenegro last summer after having spent a few months in Belgrade, Serbia which I loved. I came to visit Montenegro on a tourist visa from August for almost 3 months of time, so not your typical 1 week or weekend vacationer.

Now Montenegro does have its charms especially if you like the ocean. The primary industry here near the coast is tourism. First, a few things about Montenegro, it is a very small country, mountainous and located along the Adriatic sea across from Italy and within the former Yugoslavia. The population is about 620,000 people so it’s extremely small for a country. It borders on Albania which is the country I moved to afterwards. The capital Podgorica is a smallish big city that is located on a plain away from the ocean near the center of the country. It’s not even close to the size of Belgrade so it can barely be called a city at 156,000 vs. 1.37 million.

Getting to Ulcinj, Montenegro. I took an interesting bus ride from Belgrade to Podgorica to Ulcinj. It was memorable for several reasons. Namely because of the number of hills and mountains we passed in the night. It was an overnight bus and I was seriously afraid that the bus driver would drive off one of the 100s of cliffs we passed. It was a 12 hours long ride, more about driving here in Montenegro later. From Belgrade, many Serbians go to visit Ulcinj and many parts of Montenegro for summer vacation via plane or by car. A traveler can fly into either Podgorica or Tivat which is along the northern part of the coast. Ulcinj is actually a very small beach town along the very south portion of Montenegro. Here it is affordable even for the hottest and most popular part of the summer and this is what drew me to it. Go to the north, and it’s much more expensive to rent for August. the same is true for Croatia, prices up there are pretty ridiculous unless you want to visit in the winter.

Now there are certain things that were memorable about my trip over to Ulcinj and the surrounding areas, here we have a tourist town on a hill with many beaches around. There is a small castle/fortress area, the rocky beach area, the Little Beach at the center of town, and what is called Ada Bojana Velicka Plaza, which is translated to big beach, which is a huge flat beach about 2 miles south of town and doesn’t have any mountains. On the other side of this is Ada Bojana which is a nudist island, memorable for its own reasons, and I’ll get to this later.

So, just a few notes about my moving there, I took the bus to Budva Montenegro but there is also apparently a bus to Ulcinj from Belgrade, you just can’t buy the tickets online. I mentioned the hills earlier, that was a bit scary and the second issue was my luggage, 3 big jumbo suitcases, a backpack, and a bicycle, quite a haul. I was able to get these into a taxi in Belgrade, then get them to the bus station, then aboard the bus for roughly $2 per bag, so only $6 total, flying with these items is much more costly. After I arrived in Budva, which is a cute upscale area, a little more so than Ulcinj, I then hired a local taxi driver to take me to Ulcinj, this cost me a bit more $$$. It took about 1 hour’s time and cost $50. The taxi driver helped me with my bags going into a guest house in Ulcinj.

I spent the summer time, a few weeks/months in Ulcinj and going to the beaches here, cycling, droning with my Mini 2, boating, and hanging around the beach doing just summer stuff. I didn’t do any fishing here but I am considering buying a pole, since I do have a small rubber boat inside my luggage – one of the reasons that I have so much luggage. I also spent some time hanging out in the local cheap restaurants that are not a bad price for a burger. Here is a vid I filmed along the main drag… uploaded YouTube.

ulcinj montenegro
ulcinj near big beach

After my time was up in Ulcinj I actually moved to two different locations, I spent one month at a guest house in Ulcinj, and didn’t really like the owner too much, but the price was decent for the room type. I switched to another place over in Ada Bojana Velicka Plaza that was more expensive, for about 2 weeks, and after this I moved to a place called Sutomore, Montenegro which also has its charms, this was in September to October of 2021, and I’ll tell you why it was memorable. Sutomore is a small beach town that is up the coast of Montenegro about 30 minutes in between Budva and Ulcinj. The taxi driver who drove me from Budva to Ulcinj was badmouthing Sutomore because it was the cheapest place you can rent along the coast in Montenegro.

My time in Sutomore Montenegro. When I arrived here the summer was winding down and it was interesting to see the place becoming quieter into the fall, in my mind this was memorable. Sutomore I would describe as charming in the fall. I stayed in an Airbnb up a hill about 1/3 of a mile from the beach. It was a super affordable price, one of the lowest prices I’ve paid for a monthly rental for a private room with A/C, tv, its own private bathroom, and a fridge! Here i spent my time at the beach or inside the restaurants on my laptop as I’m somewhat of a digital nomad/pro tourist and social media fiend. I also used to play with the strays along the beach one of whom was adorable. One town south, is a place called Bar, Montenegro.

sutomore montenegro

Bar, Montenegro and the fall season. In order to get to Bar, you must either hitchhike or take a local private bus for about $1. You can’t walk along the roadside because there’s not one and there is no sidewalk, there are also big trucks that come barreling down the windy roads without looking, did I mention hills and curves? So once one hitchhikes his way over to Bar, there’s a bit more of a town there, including some shipping centers, a waterfront, sports facilities, and bigger resorts that cater to cruise ship customers. there is also a port for loading and unloading. You can see this video that I took in Bar which I uploaded to Youtube here! You can see how it’s kind of deserted in the Fall, enjoy.

Moving… Later in the fall it became very dark and rainy here in Montenegro, and beach season ended. Over in Sutomore many of the business shut down for the season, and hardly anything was left. on October 20th I made the choice to relocate to Tirana, Albania. I hired a private taxi driver to drive me from Sutomore to Tirana for about 120 Euro, it was a smooth trip, and I needed to get a Rapid covid test to enter Albania, and passed the border by land.

Living in London vs. New York as an expat …

Hi guys if this is your first time reading this travel blog, you can read a bit more about it here, in my personal description. Ive only had the blog now for less than 10 days but have been a full-time traveler for about 30 months, more specifically I left JFK Airport at 12:10 AM, December 11, 2019 to Taiwan via EVA Air. Its now 2022 so that puts me gone quite awhile. That’s 76,204,800 seconds gone on vacation or 882 days.

So I have a lot of subjects to blog about … I just recently arrived in London from Morocco, here’s a partial intro. As mentioned I came from JFK airport and had previously resided in Manhattan and Brooklyn for many years. I’ll be describing some key similarities between New York and London. Let me tell you we get a lot of Londoners coming over there. I used to be associated with a transportation company in NYC, and it was like every other person who came to visit NYC was a Londoner. Technically its not that far for an intercontinental flight, about 7 to 9 hours depending on the winds and which direction that you are flying.

A neighborhood in North London

London is pretty straightforward as a city, its got a few central neighborhoods like Kensington and the city of London, I used Buckingham Palace as my central point of orientation, whereas in NYC you may want to use midtown Manhattan. One key difference is that London is WAY more green. It seems there are trees and parks all over the place especially as you get a bit further away from places near Buckingham Palace. For NYC the main feature is the skyline, I would say. Manhattan being an island filled with huge skyscrapers.

While they are both considered large, NYC is actually about twice the size of London. Technically the city limits house about the same 9 million or so, but if we count the metro areas, London is at 12 million, while NYC is now over 20 million (data courtesy of Wikipedia). One thing that I can recognize is that along with the high-rises, NYC is actually a bit bigger in the financial world, you just have a lot of companies that are over there, in both Midtown and Wall Street, while London does have finance and its own stock exchange, I can just tell its a bit smaller.

Both cities get a lot of tourists from god knows where, and they both house a lot of immigrants. London has a lot of residents of descents from India Pakistan, Africa, and the middle east, whereas NYC has a lot of Mexican, Chinese, Russian, and many other places. People from both cities are in a rush, haha, and there’s traffic in both, but NYC takes the cake again. Traffic there is really on the horrific side, whereas Londons is just moderate to bad.

Here’s a key difference you may be interested in. Londoners are a bit more laid back, conservative and polite, while still being in a rush. Now there’s a saying that one Londoner told me who I met in NYC. The food in London is more bland than in NYC because Londoners are more polite while New Yorkers are more direct… interesting point. The food in London is not that bad, there’s a quite a mix, but ill get to that in another post. I find Londoners to be pleasant, whereas once you get to know NYers they can be vicious, if you work with them or just a bit on the short tempered side, but it really just depends on the person.

New York is WAY more expensive. Some people think that London is more expensive, but i think the reason that they claim this is because perhaps they dont have experience living in both cities, or perhaps it is because of some level of ethnocentrism. Generally London is cheaper than most major cities in the USA. How do i know? i spent some time searching for the cost of housing both on major housing sites, and for hotel rooms and Airbnbs. In Manhattan you may find that its hard to find something below $1600 USD, there’s just no bottom end for housing. Around here in London you can probably get something a little further away from places like Kensington for around $700 to $900. I know because i found a few listings on Airbnb for monthly rentals. Secondly, a lot of the tourist attractions in London are free. I seriously had some trouble finding sites that i needed to pay for, museums, galleries monuments, and so on. Finally, for shopping for food at a grocery store I saw some items, quite a few that were for below 1 GBP. In the USA its hard to see anything for this price level, for example a can of sardines, package of cookies, carton of milk etc. If we go to restaurants, both London and NYC are expensive, but over in NYC they just like to charge tourists a lot more, and there’s nothing for free! Happy Travels!

One Bag – repacking my bag for summer! courtesy of

packing for summer

Hey traveling guys and gals! With this post I am going to update my followers on how I plan on revamping my one bag backpack with stuff for summer, and dumping some of my winter garments back into storage over in Albania! I am quite eager to change my wardrobe and lighten up the load!

For starters, you may want to check my original packing post to get an idea of what I am packing, its the Pacsafe Exp 45 backpack.

For starters, here are a few items that I am going to either replace, dispose of, or put into storage in my home away from home, storage unit: My heavy winter coat. This heavy, bulky coat weighs 3.3 lbs. Its by Jack & Jones, its a great coat for winter, but definitely too bulky for summer travel. Ill be replacing this coat with a light windbreaker plus an top of long underwear for men as I may be some areas that are still chilly for summer, namely Scandanavia! This will be a savings of around 2 lbs.

In terms of clothing, I plan on leaving behind one of my pairs of cotton blue jeans, which tend to be very heavy and weigh down in high humidity areas (1.5 to 2 lbs so about 24 to 32 oz!). I may be replacing this with some polyester hiking pants and definitely at least two pairs of shorts. Next, I’ll be revamping my underwear collection by replacing my heavy cotton boxers with polyester boxer briefs (big boxers are bulkier). I am still going to pack 4 outfits. Here is my current set up broken out by item categories and their weights. You can see that it contains a bit of everything. *** SLIGHT CORRECTION HERE, my drone container weighs more than I thought it did about 14 oz, and I didn’t have the Mini 2 drone plus controller broken out as separate items ****

Here is my new set up, its a bit smaller, notice that the base weight has decreased by two lbs. I personally am comfortable carrying a pack that weighs about 20 lbs., although getting down to 15 lb. would also be a plus. One other item that I’ve chosen to eliminate is my power bank which I rarely use that weighs 12 oz. Its an Anker at 23,000 MAH. I just dont have time to charge it often, so out it goes! I will be adding a pair of water shoes for walking around rocky beaches which I love! Packing is personal so it really depends on your interests as to what items you really need and want. Here is the new list:

See you on the road this summer!

Best Neighborhoods in London …

So I just moved to some place called Elephant & Castle.. as an American full-time tourist. Its kind of exciting let me tell you. You really can’t go wrong with neighborhoods in London. They are all safe and scenic and green with some being more urban than others. So let me tell you about the hoods ive seen so far. You may have seen my videos on Youtube of city streetscapes, here you can find one i just uploaded of Notting Hill in the northwest section of London. its the same Notting Hill as in the movie with Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts.

Transportation into London neighborhoods from Heathrow

About the best neighborhoods in London, let me tell you how i got here, first. I landed on a British Airways flight from Marrakesh, Morocco around 5pm 4 days ago at London Heathrow. The flight was smooth and it was a great experience with them. London has a lot of airports, let me tell you. I took the tube from Heathrow terminal 5 after passing through the E gates at immigration. This part was easy peasy, they asked no questions just scan your passport and your face.

I jumped onto the Tube which in comparison to NYC we call this the subway. I usually jump on city buses because they are cheaper but slower. The locals i met were kind enough to direct me to the Tube, however there is a bus from Terminal 5 that is cheaper but in this case i just decided to go with the flow. You pay by zones on the Tube so it can get pretty expensive versus the NYC subway. The charge was 3.5 GBP. I took the Tube to near Buckingham Palace then jumped on the 6 bus which is a bus that runs along the side of Hyde Park to north London to a place called Willesden, cost 1.65 GBP. This is a place I spent several nights in. Its a humble working class neighborhood that is about 2 miles north of Notting Hill. Its perfectly fine to stop by here… For transportation make sure to check out the details on the Oyster electronic card that you can use to pay for city buses and the Tube (they do not accept cash). I purchased one of these at the airport using my debit card.

Jumping on the tube from Heathrow

Notting Hill and Hyde Park…

On one of my first few days in London I walked down about 2 miles south of Willesden to Notting Hill. Its as fabulous as they claim. Most of the building are whitewashed and older. There are a lot of trendy thrift stores there as well as places like coffee shops. Notting Hill is fabulous and id love to live there. One of the attractions i saw was the Portobello Road Market, which is a collection of outdoor vendors selling all kinds of things. The local restaurants are also selling things like Indian curry food.

Notting Hill

Hyde Park…

Hyde Park is London’s answer to Central Park. its big open and green. it has some more open spaces and is less crowded than Central, much less. London seems to be a bit more spread out than NYC. Its green let me tell you, with a lot of grass. I walked south through Hydes Park to get to Central London and passed Kensington in the process. Just southeast of Hyde Park is Buckingham Palace which holds some royal and govt offices. Just south of this is the River Thames and if you go along the river youll find other parts of central London.

Hyde Park

Elephant & Castle – my stop

On to my stop on day #4 (today is actually day #5). I decided to take the 6 bus from Willesden to central London near Buckingham Palace, then began walking. I walked across one of the numerous bridges and because of a bike race I had to cut through a neighborhood Lambeth south of the Thames. This a nondescript suburban/urban green hood with a lot of complex streets. About 1.5 miles south of this I arrived at my new hotel at Elephant & Castle which is a fabulous hood that is very walkable, a bit on the grungy side and mostly for students, heres where im at…Ill post updates on other neighborhoods soon, stay tuned.. and check out some other related travel blogs here.

Thats me in Elephant & Castle

Packing Advice, One Bag Travel for carry-on size EXP 45

Hi traveling guys and girls! In this post I’m going to offer you some advice on how as a man I packed my one bag Pacsafe EXP45 carry on sized backpack for months of travel! I am currently on month 4 and will be headed back to home base soon! I am particularly interested in “ultra-light” items! I am not a long distance hiker per se, but am a long term traveler with some occasional outdoor stents and having a light bag just makes things easier.

Here you can see what I am wearing and what is packed inside my Pacsafe EXP 45 cut proof bag. My bag when packed weighs 21 lbs whereas i am wearing 11.29 lbs worth of items, including my shoes which weigh near to 3 lbs, a pair of jeans that is about 1 lb 12 oz, an undershirt, and long sleeve button down shirt – for these items of course i would be wearing them regardless of whether i was traveling or not.

The Pacsafe bag itself weighs 3 lbs 6 oz. Inside the Pacsafe bag, ive got 1 stuff sack from Decathlon that is 20 liters and it helps to squeeze down the size of clothing items. ive also got another packing cube that is in the shape of a rectangle. Ive also got two toiletry bags for holding tools and items, such as a toothbrush etc. Granted these items could have been better planned as well and i may change them in the future.

For electronics I have a laptop which is a 14 inch Acer Swift that weighs 2.7 lbs. They do manufacture more lightweight laptops that are smaller for example tablets and the Microsoft surface pro. The Swift has been a great machine its slim and compact as well as reliable so i decided to go with it. You can see that my electronics weigh a total of 5.79 lbs, this includes a DJI mini 2 drone, cords, cases, and a charging brick of 23,000 mah by Anker that i can use when i am away from an electric outlet.

Next you can see that i packed a two person tent for camping. Ill get into where I use the tent versus stay inside of hotels, Airbnb’s and youth hostels. The tent weighs 3.6 lbs and takes up a space about 16″ by 5″ so maybe about 20 % of the inside of the inner portion of the bag.

Lighterpack export

For clothing, I am particularly interested in replacing my cotton shorts with blended or strictly polyester/nylon manufactured clothing because these items are slimmer as well as more lightweight. I currently have one pair of nylon shorts that weigh 8 oz with a belt attached, these are by Mckinley. Jeans tend to weigh much more than shorts, around 1.5 to 2.5 lbs. I would recommend packing these sparingly. I also wore a winter coat because I left for Spain in December. When I return to Albania I’ll trade in this coat for a lightweight jacket. The winter coat is bulky and weighs 3.3 lbs. One plus of having the stuff sack from Decathlon is that my coat can be rolled up into a small ball and compressed in the sack in about the size of 6″ by 8″ or so.