Is there anyone who went on a trip just because he got inspired by a travel movie? That’s totally me. A few of my journeys started because I have seen something beautiful in a film. And few of these places are still of my list to-see. Travel movies are also my “comfort trip,” compensation when I am not able to pack my suitcase and leave, and I feel like I’m stuck at home.
I have created the list of movies I enjoyed watching and that made me feel inspired to travel again. These films are not always typical adventure stories, but they have some kind of travel theme that allows you to break away from reality.
My favourite quote:“Everything will be alright in the end so if it is not alright it is not the end.”
The movie shows that there is always time to live your life to the fullest. Even when its on twilight of your life. The story of a bunch of people who decided to spend their retirement in the mysterious Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. It turned out to be less luxurious than described but bringing them as colorful life as the streets of India.
INTO THE WILD
Places you will see: US: Alaska, Arizona, Dakota, Nevada
My favourite quote: “The core of mans’ spirit comes from new experiences.”
My favorite travel movie. Based on a book by Jon Krakauer. A real motivation to start traveling. The name of my blog is inspired also by this movie. It describes the journey of a young man who decided to leave his life and stay in the wildness. On his way to Alaska, he meets many people who influence his life in a certain way. The soundtrack of the movie is fantastic by itself – made by Eddie Vedder, the vocalist of Pearl Jam.
My favourite quote:(about photography) “If I like a moment, for me, personally, I don’t like to have the distraction of the camera. I just want to stay in it. Right there… Right here.”
Fantastic views, a great story balanced between the imagination of the main character and his real-life mission. His personality has changed from boring one to super adventurous, just in a couple of days.
EAT, PRAY, LOVE
Type: Drama, romance
Places you will see: Italy, India, Indonesia (Bali)
My favourite quote:“It is better to live your own destiny imperfectly than to live an imitation of somebody else’s life with perfection.”
The story of a woman who feels “trapped” in her life and decides to divorce and travel the world to find herself – the thing which a lot of us feel and plan to do. Amazing scenery will take you to the streets of Italy, India, and Bali. After this movie, Bali became even more popular gateway and “finding spirituality” destination.
Frankly, the best travel and documentary movies I have ever watched. I can go back to them over and over and never get bored. These three, made by the same directors, are documentary, non-narrative movies, a masterpiece of the 21st century. A collection of expertly photographed scenes of human life, nature, religion, and culture. It shows not only the beauty of the world but also a destructive part of humanity. It leaves in you with so many emotions like inspiration, sadness, disappointment, anger, astonishment at the beauty of the world, and the curiosity of seeing more and more.
INTO THE MIND
Type: Documentary, sport
Places you will see: Canada, USA, Bolivia, Nepal, Costa Rica, Switzerland
The cinematography and editing are some of the best I have ever seen. Just check the teaser I have attached above, and you will see what I am talking about. Several themes, including Sherpa’s life, crazy ski free ride, which ends up in the hospital, snowboarding, and climbing. Breathtaking scenes of nature, people, and movement.
A beautiful story of a hippie woman and her two daughters who decided to live in vibrant Marrakech, and adjust to the oriental culture. I watched this movie a long time ago, and that was my motivation to see Morocco.
My favourite quote:“The haste of Europeans has no place in Tibet. We must learn patience if we wished to arrive at the goal.”
A true story based on the life of Heinrich Harrer. He was an Austrian mountain climber, escaping prisoner-of-war camp and traveling through the Himalayas to finally find shelter in Tibet. He became friends with the Dalai Lama at the time of China’s takeover of Tibet.
The extraordinary story of Rwandan kids who walk 3000 miles to the Soccer World Cup in South Africa. Depicting third world problems such as poverty, HIV, and child prostitution but showing as well the power of friendship. Heart-melting, colorful and full of humor, suitable also for family watching.
My favourite quote:“I’m a free spirit who never had the balls to be free.”
After the death of a mother, a young woman decides to do solo trek for over 1000 miles on a Pacific Crest Trail, with no previous hike experience. She has to face threats to the outside world, but also her own mind.
ON THE ROAD
Places you will see: US: Pennsylvania, Oregon, Louisiana
My favourite quote:“What do we leave behind when we cross each frontier? Each moment seems split in two; melancholy for what was left behind and the excitement of entering a new land.”
The story based on journals of Ernesto Che Guevara. However, it has nothing to do with politics or revolution. Two friends decided to travel across Argentina, Chile, Peru, Colombia, and Venezuela on a motorcycle. Primarily they are only looking for an adventure, but their trip finishes with more serious achievements and real change. The movie shows the unfair treatment of South American ethnic people and the conditions they are pushed to live in.
My favourite quote:“Only if you find peace within yourself, will you find true connection with others.”
The saga starts when two strangers meet on the train in Europe and decide to spend one night together, exploring Vienna. They both assume that it will be their only one night together, so they try to use this time to the fullest. In the beginning, I thought that the movie is quite dull, but after some time, I have discovered that real power and the message is hidden in deep conversations. Worth checking, after the first part, you will be curious to watch another one, to discover if they met again.
My favourite quote:“Nostalgia is denial – denial of the painful present… the name for this denial is golden age thinking – the erroneous notion that a different time period is better than the one ones living in – its a flaw in the romantic imagination of those people who find it difficult to cope with the present.”
Woody Allen’s surrealistic creation. The main character travels in time to Paris of the 1920s, to the society of the Parisian Boheme. The movie raises an interesting topic that we always miss the eras that are gone.
Not sure if you have this feeling also, but I always think that I would love to be born in the 1960s in California to experience the real hippie movement.
Let me know which of the above travel movies is your favorite! And if you have some other inspiring films in mind, leave the comment with the title below <3
7 in the morning. You wake up on a sudden alarm, thinking where you are, and why so early. Oh, yes, you are on holiday! A quick shower and you run downstairs to grab some breakfast. No time for coffee, you will grab Starbucks, though there is so much to do today. Museums, instagrammable spots, and the famous Modern Art Gallery. Not that the art is something you like, but it’s in the top X places to see, so what will you tell your friends? Most of the time you use Uber, there is no time to walk, the schedule is really tight. You come back to your hotel in the evening, completely tired. Lying in bed, you start to think how nice would it be to go back home, to rest a bit from this holiday.
“I need a vacation after this vacation” – who never said that, cast the first stone. Before, I thought that exhausting traveling is a standard. Though I am a traveler but not a random tourist, staying in all-inclusive hotels. Today I know it’s not about forcing myself to get to another ‘must-see,’ ‘must-do’ or ‘not to miss.’
Usually, at the beginning of any adventure with traveling, we intend to collect as many experiences as we can. The first foreign country you have visited amazed you the most, so you wanted to see as much as you could in a short period. But the thirty-first visited place adds less new moments to your life. I have seen so many beautiful beaches, in the Maldives, Madagascar or Zanzibar. The next turquoise water and white sand paradise will still make me feel happy but will not amaze me anymore as it did a few years ago.
Sometimes when you are running from one place to another, you feel suddenly more connected to the spot. Thinking: I love this place, I wish I could stay here for a week. But there is already the next plan in your schedule. So what if we delete some of them and decide to live a beautiful moment? There comes the idea of slow traveling.
Slow travel is the opposite of the busy, sometimes stressful way of traveling. Skipping some must-sees to benefit from things we are really interested in. Immersing more into the culture, taking time to experience the place. Going out of the tourist bubble by connecting with people, local culture, food, and music. Making conscious choices. Prioritizing quality over quantity.
Slow travel is more staying in cottages or Airbnb’s rather than hotels. It’s sometimes cooking your lunch at home, going to the local bazaar, and discovering small places around. Exploring without the pressure of “leaving tomorrow.” Enjoying the moment much more and being wherever you want to be.
My slow travel journey – when did I decide to take a breath?
Not that long time ago, I was really proud of my super busy schedule. I used to consider visiting 5 cities in 10 days as my travel achievement. Packing and unpacking, moving from a hotel to another, checking the place superficially, and moving to another one. There was never an opportunity to know the area deeply. My lifestyle of a flight attendant also had an influence. Sometimes I had only 24 hours to rest after a flight, have a drink with colleagues, do some shopping and go sightseeing. Usually, I had to compromise it with sleeping, so often, I come back home tired. At some point, I felt that my free time must look different, and I needed to relax.
Why is it worth trying?
Slow travel can be less exhausting for the environment. Though if you have more time you can move by bike or boat, walk or just stay in one place.
Fast travel is costly. Less time pushes you to take cabs, choose expensive hotels in the city center instead of a vibrant neighborhood.
You become more relaxed, so the quality of your journey and life will rise.
Connections with people are deeper. Friendships can last longer as you have time to get to know people better.
You can discover and see things you could never know about when you travel fast. Noticing a small next-door bakery with delicious and fresh bread in the morning. Or a little local cafe in the neighborhood. You have a chance to discover a shortcut to your temporary home, and you start to say hello to your neighbors.
Everything starts from small steps. How to embrace the slow travel mode? My tips:
Slow travel can start from your home too. Do you remember that small cafe you always wanted to visit? Or the art gallery which you always pass by but never have time to come in? Taking a trip outside of the city to enjoy nature?
Do research before you travel. Ask people around how many days is enough to stay in that particular place – and double the time. The more you know before you go somewhere, the more you will blend into the culture, and you will spend less time to get used to it. Make the list of things that you really want to see and the ones you can skip with no regrets. Be selective! I love as well to check Youtube and Netflix if there are interesting documentaries about any place. You will notice much more if you have an idea about the history of the country or the culture you deal with. Get some knowledge about Che Guevara before going to Cuba. Watch a movie about Hinduism before coming to India. Read a book about the history of slavery before you visit Jamaica.
Walk. Walk rather than taking a taxi or uber. You will discover so many places on the way. Or take a subway. I remember my time in Tokyo when I saw two old and cute ladies traveling casually in kimonos. That was a perfect opportunity to see the local raw culture. Travel slow – take a car, bus, or boat. You will not miss a small village, beautiful view, conversation with locals, or a small stall with fresh fruits on the way.
No more FOMO. Never feel guilty that you missed out on something. Who said that you will never go back? You can’t see everything in this world. Instead, live in a moment and relax. It’s ok to come back to the same spot! There are many places which I have visited, and I feel that it’s enough. But some of them I can come back over and over again. I’m never enough of Andalucia in Spain or Chefchouaen in Morroco.
Don’t waste the day – wake up early. Start with a good breakfast or sports to feel energetic for a full day.
Celebrate the unexpected. Delayed trains or missed connections create new opportunities, new ways, and new adventures.
Choose the place with the character. It doesn’t matter if you are traveling on a low budget or you can spend more. If you plan a city break, search for a loft or traditionally decorated apartment. You can stay with a conventional family that cooks regional meals. While going for a tropical trip, search for a beautiful beach hut. Make an effort and try to find cute small boutique hotels rather than expensive chains. Don’t be afraid of hostels. We live in amazing times when staying in a hostel doesn’t mean staying in a cheap and dirty room with 10 strangers. I go for nicely designed boutique places, or hostels with the best vibe to mix with people who share a similar mindset as mine.
8. Don’t follow the guidebooks blindly. Do what the locals do. I’m still a big fan of Lonely Planet, but let’s face it – the moment when the restaurant or ‘best-kept secret’ lands in there, it will already be changed. It will become crowded and, most likely, a commercialized place. 9. Take the risk and travel during the offseason. The places are less crowded and cheaper. It’s easier to be spontaneous, and you don’t have to book everything in advance. 10. Disconnect yourself sometimes from the world. Switch off your phone, and don’t do drama over a poor wifi connection. Even if You can’t do a full digital detox, give it a try for one afternoon. And if you are in a group, try to go out for dinner without smartphones. At first, it might feel weird, but then you will enjoy deep conversation without posting your dinner on your instastory 🙂 11. Make a theme for your travel. Adjust it to your hobby. I love photography, and my Bali trip was all about shooting. If you like food, take cooking classes, visit local markets. If you love nature and sports, choose active travel. Party lover? Go for a festival or find a unique event around. Take classes or volunteer if you want to learn something new. Traveling is a pleasure, not an obligation. Don’t choose the places, because they look great on the picture, but they will make a great memory for you. 12. You don’t have to plan your trip entirely, day by day. Plan arrival and leave a few days for spontaneity. Maybe you will fall in love in a small village on the way, or the vibe of the hotel, and decide to stay a couple of days more. Leave some time for the magic of the unexpected.
13. Don’t give up on your daily routines. If you are into meditation, keep doing it while traveling. You might discover the whole new meaning for you. Drinking a smoothie every morning? Find local versions of it. Look for a gym, and don’t forget to take your book to the beach if you are a bookworm. 14. Don’t seek to stay only with tourists. Though you don’t need to leave your country if you want to meet people from there. Use websites like Airbnb Experiences. They help you to find a local to show you around. You can as well try couchsurfing.org to meet someone for a coffee and spend the afternoon with. Ask people – not only locals but expats living there for a while. And if you have an invitation from a local family to their house, don’t miss the opportunity. 15. Sit and observe. Be at the place. Find a busy square, take a snack, and watch it like a cinema movie. Relax at cafes and parks. Imagine you live there for a while. 16. Try to shop locally, supporting the local community. You can discover unique stuff and bring something more original than a cheap souvenir made in China. Take a walk to the fresh local market or a small grocery store.
17. Search for local events and activities. Maybe a small movie festival or a local rock music event? 18. Choose alternative travel destinations. Take off beaten paths. 19. Don’t forget your experience. After you go back home, stay in touch with amazing people you met on your way. Bring new tastes and lifestyle into your life. Research more about the things which made you interested. Though:
“A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions.”
Slow travel is not for everyone, and it doesn’t have to happen every time you take a journey. But it’s getting popular as a remedy for a fast lifestyle. Remember, there is no correct or wrong way of traveling. It depends on you and how you will make it right for you.
Blood is made of 3 types of cells: white blood cells that fight the infection, red blood cells to carry oxygen, and platelets that help the blood to clot. Every day, billions of new blood cells are made in the bone marrow – most of them red cells. But when you have leukemia, your body produces more white cells than it needs. And there are no “normal” white cells. They can’t fight infections properly. Because there are so many of them, there is no more space for red cells to supply oxygen, platelets, and “healthy” white cells to support the immune system. This affects as well the function of the body. That’s why leukemia is called blood cancer. No one knows what exactly causes leukemia; so, we don’t know how to prevent it.
Is there any way to fight leukemia?
Yes, there are. It might be radiation, chemotherapy, and some of the patients can be qualified to receive blood stem cells or bone marrow transplantation. And this is where the magic of medicine starts. As bone marrow of the diagnosed patient produces “broken” cells, it needs to be replaced. From where? From another, healthy person who is a genetically-matched. However, it’s very hard to find someone whose DNA matches enough to qualify for a transplant. That’s why there is an international registry for potential donors all over the world. The donor who qualifies might live very far away.
How does it work?
Let’s assume that you want to rescue someone’s life and register as a potential stem cell or bone marrow donor. All you need to do is to visit the registry, fill the quick form, and let the registry employee collect the swap sample for investigating your DNA profile. That’s it. After around 3 months, the result will be uploaded to the international stem cells registry. As I said, there is likely someone who will be fit to get your stem cells. Only around 30 % of patients can find their match. So if it happens, you will receive the call to carry out more detailed tests and check if both of you can make it safely.
So what happens if I meet the conditions and there is someone who matches my profile?
Congratulations, it looks like you will be able to do the most significant thing in your life and rescue another human being. There are two types of transplants.
The first one is called stem cells apheresis, which means “to separate.” It’s a straightforward procedure that is similar to blood donation, with one difference. You will be connected to some kind of device which takes your blood, but at the same time filters your stem cells and puts it back. Ok, but what are the stem cells? Stem cells are not yet “specialized” cells. It means that they can become white, red cell, or platelet. They are produced in the bone marrow and released to the body in a bloodstream.
The second method might seem a bit scary but is quick and very safe. You will undergo a small procedure under anesthesia where a doctor takes a low dose of your femoral bone marrow by a needle. It takes around half an hour, and it’s completely risk-free. In only very few cases, the second procedure is recommended (for example, for kids). Still, you have to remember that you always have the right to choose the method. However, in my opinion, if I knew there is someone who is dying, I would not hesitate to save a life and go for the required procedure.
How can I register to be a stem cell donor in Saudi Arabia?
Saudi Arabia has its international registry located in King Abdullah International Medical Research Center in King Abdulaziz Medical City. You can find their numbers, as well as WhatsApp on their website: King Abdullah International Medical Research Center. The appointment is not required, but I was advised to message them before I come. The team is fantastic, and they proudly registered already more than 70 000 donors. Of course, the registry is international, so if you do it in Saudi, you don’t have to register anywhere else. If you don’t live in Riyadh, contact them, as they can arrange swap collection by the cooperating facility. That’s it. Simple and easy! #join_and_save_a_life
It`s very difficult to present the beauty and the atmosphere of Burning Man away from its natural place. Though it`s not only art but also nature, the people, and relations between them. Combining all of them makes this incredible experience very hard to reconstruct. All 5 senses are moved at the same time.
I was very curious how is it going to look like when the tiny piece of Burning Man will be transferred to a closed building, right in the middle of the city. Surprisingly, it kept the spirit of it and became little representation of the big miracle which happens every year in the Black Rock desert.
No Spectators: The Art of Burning Man Exibition
March 30, 2018 – January 21, 2019 Renwick Gallery (Pennsylvania Avenue at 17th Street NW) Open Daily 10:00 a.m.–5:30 p.m. Free entrance
Inspired by Burning Man? Check this out:
Burning Man by night – 30 pictures that will encourage you to stay awake
It finally happened. Girls power won and women in Saudi Arabia got their right to drive cars, bikes, motorbikes, ubers and whatever they want to drive. Now it`s time to face the machine of bureaucracy and become the queens of the roads. Fasten your seatbelt and follow these steps to have a smooth and fast ride.
Can I drive with the international driving license in Saudi or should I convert it to the Saudi one?
According to information I got, you can drive in Saudi with your original driving license or international driving permit for the first three months of your stay. After this period, you should convert it to the Saudi license. Temporary visitors on business visas can drive the car with an International or Domestic driving license.
How to convert your current driving license to a Saudi one? Step by step guide for expats and Saudis with licenses from outside Saudi Arabia.
1. Translate your existing driving license to Arabic
You will need it to complete the online registration and to make an appointment for the next steps.
I did my translation at RENAISSANCE Translation Office. They translate from English to Arabic for 50 SAR. It`s enough to send them a photo or scan of your document by email: firstname.lastname@example.org and you will get the translation done the next day. Usually the price for such service should be between 40 and 100 SAR, depending on the language.
2. Open MOI (Absher) account
To start procedure of converting your license you need to have an account at Ministry of Interior (Absher). You can register here.
Be aware that the website doesn’t work on all browsers (as in my case in Firefox). If you open the page and it`s blank, try from another one.
To complete registration, you will need to provide the information such as your ID number or mobile phone. At the end of the procedure you will be asked to validate your account. I did it through online banking, but the other option was to do it at certain points in the city (there is a list to choose the best location for you).
Remember to write down your password and username. You will use your Absher account not only to apply for a driving license, but in the future, this is a place where you can see your fines and traffic violations and other personal information.
3. Log into the Saudi Driving License Portal to make your appointment and send documents
To schedule the appointment for a Saudi license you will have to log into https://www.sdlp.sa/login . Use the same username and password as you created in step number 2. Unfortunately for now the website is only in Arabic version, so to complete the procedure you may need help from an Arabic speaker.
You will be asked to upload scans of the following documents:
Iqama (Residency card)
Domestic driving license
Arabic translation of your current driving license
Before you go to your appointment you need to pay the new license fees. It can be done by SADAD payments. Cost: 200 SAR for 5 years and 400 for 10 years .
5. Get the medical report
To get the medical report you need to go to one of many authorized hospitals in the city (the list is available in Saudi Driving License Portal. I did mine at Suleiman al Habib Hospital. You will be asked only to do an eye and blood test to determine your blood type. Once you are done, they will send your report to Moroor electronicly (they might ask about your sponsorship number – it starts with 700 number and you can get it from your employer). Once the report is sent to Moroor, you will receive a confirmation by SMS. Medical tests are covered by insurance, otherwise you have to pay around 120 SAR).
6. Driving test and printing your license
Once you are done with above steps you can go to your appointment at Morroor Traffic Office. Don`t fortget to bring your current licence, translatioan and Iqama. After you register at the reception, you can submit your documents and proceed to the square to do your driving test. Below picture shows what you will be examined about:
You will be driving alone in the car and the officer will be watching you from outside. To pass the exam you will have to park in parallel and do a three point turn. But don’t panic! The officers are very lenient and polite, not very strict, so I am sure that as long as you don’t crash the car into the wall or do another disaster you will pass the test 😊
Important tip: don’t be like me and drink too much water before your exam. Apparently there is no woman toilet there 😊
After the test, the officer will go back with you to the office to finalize the procedure and print your driving license. And this is when the fun part starts. Good luck and see you on the road!
Traveler and Vip flight attendant working and living in the most mysterious country in the world – Saudi Arabia. This blog gives a glimpse of lifestyle and undiscovered culture of Saudi and useful travel feed from around the world. Follow my Instagram to stay in touch with me: @olasupertramp