Marathon, Eastern Europe, Japan And Life In Taipei

Update On What Happened In The Past Few Months

I Moved To Taipei

I know it has been a very long time since I blogged. Especially after Uganda, which was an exhilarating country to visit – The Pearl of Africa.

Athens Original Marathon 2019

But 2020 is coming very soon and I wanted to update you all about my life and what happened over the last months. It won’t be a very long post, since I use my blog as a diary to write my future book (maybe?). It is very overwhelming what’s happened since then.

Demonstration in Taipei
Demonstration in Taipei for Hong Kong

First of all, if you followed my blog for a while, you know how much I adore Taiwan and its capital Taipei. In September I moved to Taipei, attended finally Salsa class and did a lot of training.

View Elephant Mountain
Night Hiking at Elephant Mountain

Like running, swimming and biking. I realized that I am very much into triathlons, marathons and half-marathons and I would love to improve in those athletic disciplines once I have finished traveling to my 100 countries.

running training
Running training in Taipei with a very good friend

So what did I do with myself in Taipei? I had a full schedule each week and was never one day at home (only once because there was a typhoon, the first I experienced in my life).

Pride Taipei 2019
Pride Taipei 2019

Therefore I would have squash, badminton, swimming and salsa classes every week. I went on hikes with my friends, met up with my friends and socialized.

I do think in general everyone should find a place for themselves where they feel mostly content in their lives. Then settle down there and see if it the right decision. And if not, you tried at least. That is how I did it in the past few years.

Sun Moon Lake Race 2019

Late October, I ran a marathon in Sun Moon Lake, which is when I realized my body is pretty good at endurance. For example, I can sometimes hike for hours and not sweat at all and not even feel tired. And I can run a marathon without drinking water and not even feel dizzy after the run.

Sun Moon Lake Race 2019
Sun Moon Lake Race 2019

I just figured this all out while on my world journey. Taipei is for now my number one place to settle down once I reach some of my goals in life.

October 2019 Japan

This October I visited Osaka and Kyoto after 5 years! This was very exciting. I just couldn’t stop to stuff myself with all the amazingly delicious Japanese food.

Osaka, Japan
It is…. Osaka!
Sushi in Osaka
Best Sushi in Osaka Town
Kyoto, Japan
Kyoto
Kyoto, Japan
Iconic Kyoto
Kyoto, Japan
Heian- Jingu?? I forgot which one this one is.

Kyoto, Japan

Kyoto, Japan
Walking through Kyoto
Kyoto, Japan
Lost in translation
Ramen Osaka
Ramen!
souffle cheesecake
Best Japanese souffle cheesecake in my life!
Osaka, Japan
Osaka, Japan
Kyoto, Japan
Me in a Yukata

 

The Original Marathon Run In Athens

Early November, I flew from Taipei to Athens to attend the local marathon, which was the first one in the world! Following in the steps of the ancient Greek soldier Pheidippides who died after announcing the victory once he arrived in Athens running all the way from the town of Marathon.

Athens Original Marathon
After the Athens Marathon 2019

Definitely without a doubt, it is one of my top five highlights for this year. Believe me, our bodies are able to achieve so many things we just haven’t found out yet. Traveling means exploring and discovering, but not only places, people etc. It is more or less about yourself.

I will never forget that day. Overwhelmed by the adrenaline rush, I would have loved to run another half-marathon right then. Do you have any goals you thought you wouldn’t achieve?

If yes, stay focused and believe in yourself. This is the key to achievement. Maybe don’t share your goals with other people, then it will be easier to achieve.

 

Hitchhiking through Albania, North Macedonia, Kosovo and Montenegro

My next adventure started with hitchhiking through some Balkan states. I traveled 2 years ago in Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Berat Albania
Berat, Albania

What did I learn during this trip to the Balkans? Here are some facts by my own observation about the 4 countries I just visited. The political status about those countries is very precarious, so I won’t enter this topic.

In Albania, when they shake their head, it means yes and nodding means “no”. Don’t get too confused about it like I did the first days.

Their minibuses (furgon) is an adventure for itself. You should try it out by yourself. But public transportation has been always very amusing to me. The same goes for South America, Africa, Middle America and Asia. Remember: ALWAYS worth an adventure.

Enver Hoxa is just evil in Albania and America is great in their opinion.

Hitchhiking in Albania is pretty easy.

North Macedonia

I am not sure if I should write or mention North Macedonia or Macedonia? I feel it is a lose-lose situation.

North Macedonia, Ohrid Lake
At Ohrid Lake

They are very proud of Alexander the Great.

I encountered an old man in this country, who taught me many life lessons. Most of them were mind-blowing. To make it short: He traveled to many places around the world like I did, became a millionaire in New York and lost it all.

They have extremely delicious food, but be careful – in old town in Skopje they ripped us off as dumb tourists.

Ohrid Lake was my favourite place on this trip. Known to be as one of the oldest lakes in Europe.

Hitchhiking is legit.

Kosovo

I am very confused, but I think many people from Kosovo are Albanians living in Kosovo.

Castle Prizren, Kosovo
Prizren, Kosovo

Peja is a historic town with lots of outdoor sports you shouldn’t miss.

The scars of the Kosovo war can’t be overlooked, but people were extremely helpful.

It is enough to spend just one day in Pristina, the capital.

We almost got beaten up by some rude and brutal little kids at the fortress in Prizren. Just because we didn’t respond to their racist insults. But we handled the situation very calmly. Maybe a little bit traumatic.

I think hitchhiking out of Pristina might be very difficult, but all the other parts of Kosovo should be easy if they recognize you as a foreigner.

Montenegro

The Monte Carlo of Montenegro is in Budva.

Montenegro, Budva

The capital Podgorica is not very exciting. I think staying one day would be enough.

Kotor could be King’s Landing. Maybe this is the Montenegrin counterpart to Dubrovnik.

If you love cats, you have to visit Kotor. Thank me later. Or maybe you will curse me when you find out the prices in this town are way too high for your budget as a backpacker.

Hitchhiking might be difficult, especially as a guy.

After leaving Montenegro, we hitchhiked through Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia.

Guys, those two are very difficult countries to hitchhike. Especially in frigging cold November with only 9 hours of daylight. If you want a big adventure then go for it, but I suggest doing it in the summertime.
My next destinations are Turkey and Iran.

Thirst For Adventures

Even if I had tons of fun in Taipei, training and spending time with my friends. I still have the travel bug, so my thirst for adventure and exploration is not yet ending. Probably it never will.

I am still exploring and trying to discover new things every day. But every chapter is exciting. And as long as I travel, I would love to share with you all my experiences in those countries.

On the other side, I know in the very near future I will settle down somewhere for a longer time.

Next year marks the sixth year of my world journey and at the same time a journey into myself.

Osaka Temple, Japan

I am incredibly thankful and grateful – as usual.

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