Fuji and Mika #9 — Back from the Mountains!

A quick note on what my time in the Carpathian Mountains this past weekend felt like with the special task of writing haikus describing to Fuji what it is like being Mika in the mountains.

That was quite a long sentence! I promise i’ll stick to the format when i share the haikus tomorrow ūüėČ

If you have no idea what we’re talking about, i’m referring to the challenge Fuji gave me last week — this is part of our ongoing¬†Creative October Challenge.


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Not Edited Yet #14 — Downhill in Moldova!

Moldova is a hilly country, which makes cycle touring through the country strenuous — and lots of fun!

I apologize to any of my multiverse counterparts who may have been injured or killed during the shooting of this video.


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Fuji & Mika #8 — Noisy Haiku Challenge

Here comes Fuji, once again giving me an amazing opportunity to activate sidelined systems in my brain in the context of adventure — and also sharing some of his jolly mischief with electronic components and noise:

If you’ve missed the beginning of the series, you should check out¬†Fuji & Mika #0 — Creative October Challenge, which describes the project and lays out our first challenge to each other — if you prefer to start with the results from the challenge, then i recommend fiction_Extract_test1.0¬†or The Stubborn Face of Matter ūüôā


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You may find more videos from the Creative¬†October Challenge, other collaborations with Fuji, as well as many others¬†directly on my YouTube channel¬†— subscribe to be notified when new videos go live!


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Fuji & Mika #6 — The Stubborn Face of Matter

A little over a week ago, my friend Fuji challenged me to write a song using exclusively items from my kitchen. This was an incredible opportunity for me to mesh two of my greatest passions — music and adventure!

In the video below i talk a bit about my process throughout the challenge, presenting the results at the end. If you just want to hear the song, it starts at 2:35 ūüôā Enjoy!

In the video i mention my partial update a couple of days into the process, and also a detailed description of my backpacking kitchen¬†— just follow the links!

Fuji and i have been challenging each other throughout the month of October to experiment with different habits and create something new every week — if you’ve missed it, we explain the idea in¬†Fuji & Mika #0 — Creative October Challenge. Our next challenges to each other will be posted tomorrow!


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You may find more videos from the Creative¬†October Challenge, other collaborations with Fuji, as well as many others¬†directly on my YouTube channel¬†— subscribe to be notified when new videos go live!


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All the content i create is made available to all, and for free¬†— if you find value in it, then please consider supporting it! You may also find alternate ways to contribute on the support tab.

Not Edited Yet #9 — I’m Bananas!

This one was also shot during my latest cycle tour, the North Cape Hypothesis.

It sounded like a great idea when i started doing it — and it was indeed my best cycle touring decision once a hairdresser fixed it the next day! What a relief.

I don’t want to talk about the 12 hours in between.


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You may find more videos from the Not Edited Yet series and many others¬†directly on my YouTube channel¬†— subscribe to be notified when new videos go live!

Trelograms #24 — Checklists

The Check Yourself episode of Hidden Brain (one of my favorite podcasts these days) talks about checklists — the simple device that hurts the egos of some and saves the lives of many.

Unlike pilots and surgeons, i can’t be sure my checklists have saved a life — they have no doubt saved me a fair amount of time and spared me a fair amount of stress though — even (perhaps especially) after hundreds of nights outdoors, i don’t know how i’d manage to pack for a five-day hike, in the middle of unpacking from having just moved into a new place, without a checklist.

I’ve always been a big fan of checklists — i’m particularly fond of my grocery shopping system, which i employ at home as well as on the road:

  1. Anything i need to buy goes first into an ‘inbox’ where i collect everything else that asks for my attention, GTD-style (more on this some other time!);
  2. I regularly process this inbox, adding the “grocery store stuff” to the “grocery shopping list” — tomatoes, toothpaste, if i can get it at the supermarket or from the grannies across the street from it, then it goes in that list;
  3. Doing the groceries is then best described as a mission to complete that checklist as effectively as i can — with the notable exception of at most one “wild card” item i grant myself in every shopping trip, whether it’s an improvised treat to myself or something i forgot to add to the list, i’m not allowed to get anything else not already on the list — believe it or not, any item that comes to mind during the process goes into the inbox!

I acknowledge this rigidity might have caused some psychological pain to the occasional shopping companion unfamiliar with my process. It has nevertheless¬†saved me a fair amount of time and energy — then available to be spent in situations where i don’t mind inefficiency at all, for instance, long-distance hiking ūüėČ


All the content i create is made available to all, and for free.¬†If you find value in it, then please consider becoming a recurring donor — it is the best way to help me continue doing it! You may also find alternate ways to contribute on the support tab.

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Trelograms is a series of short inspirational and/or inquisitive reads written in counterpoint to my¬†chronicles and concrete¬†travel advice on cycle touring, hitchhiking or in general. The series title is a word play between ‘telegram’ and ‘tr√©los’ (Greek for ‘mad’). Follow the links to read more, and sign up for the Not Mad Yet mailing list to be notified when new articles go live and get other updates


Not Edited Yet #8 — Math Is Bananas!

Pencil and paper mathematicians’ days are numbered — this is the future — breaking down Euler’s identity on a banana!

I can’t seem to find the original — this was shot by my friend Anca, from Bucharest, and i believe she used her phone — thank you for registering this important moment on the interface between my mathematical and cycle touring careers!!


All the content i create is made available to all, and for free.¬†If you find value in it, then please consider becoming a recurring donor — it is the best way to help me continue doing it! You may also find alternate ways to contribute on the support tab.

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You may find more videos from the Not Edited Yet series and many others¬†directly on my YouTube channel¬†— subscribe to be notified when new videos go live!

Trelograms #23 — I’m Not Special

I’ve heard it many times and rather frequently — and not just from my mother! — that i’m special.

If you think i’m special because i’m willing to relocate, leaving behind family, close friends, career prospects and large fractions of my belongings to follow yet another exciting opportunity, whether it takes me¬†to Scandinavian utopia or post-Soviet disrepair, then you probably don’t follow enough travel blogs.

If you think i’m special because i’ve pledged to donate 10% of my gross income to the best poverty-relief charity that i’m currently aware of — and kept up with that pledge through my self-unemployment — then you should check out the effective altruism folks who have been dedicating 100% of their resources to that and other, potentially more relevant causes.

If you think i’m special because i’m able to travel on a $5–10/day budget for five months, then you must not have met my friend Bogdan, who has done that for two years on less than $1/day — not to mention that his tour took place largely in Western Europe, including countries especially notorious for their prohibitive costs such as Denmark — there are many others like him you’ll bump into on the road whom you haven’t heard about just because they don’t have blogs or facetwittergrams+.

If you think i’m special because i’ve been hospitable (and courageous) to welcome “strangers” from hospitality networks into my home, then you might not have met or heard about the hundreds of literal strangers along my way who have invited me into their own homes (and cars) having nothing on me besides their gut reaction from first looking at me.

By the day, it seems to me that there exist essentially two kinds of people — those who know they’re amazing, and those who haven’t yet found out — we’re all fabulous in varied ways and degrees, and that makes none of us special.


All the content i create is made available to all, and for free.¬†If you find value in it, then please consider becoming a recurring donor — it is the best way to help me continue doing it! You may also find alternate ways to contribute on the support tab.

read more

Trelograms is a series of short inspirational and/or inquisitive reads written in counterpoint to my¬†chronicles and concrete¬†travel advice on cycle touring, hitchhiking or in general. The series title is a word play between ‘telegram’ and ‘tr√©los’ (Greek for ‘mad’). Follow the links to read more, and sign up for the Not Mad Yet mailing list to be notified when new articles go live and get other updates


Not Edited Yet #7 — More Cycling in Bucharest!

Seriously, cycling in Bucharest is lots of fun!¬†This is a bit of what it looks like from my kitchen pannier‘s perspective.

This was shot while i was moving between hosts within the city, and my bike was fully loaded — the guy who talked to me at the traffic light probably didn’t mean, “where are you going right now?” — the conversation might have turned out a lot more interesting had i answered, “to Norway!”

Oh, well …


All the content i create is made available to all, and for free.¬†If you find value in it, then please consider becoming a recurring donor — it is the best way to help me continue doing it! You may also find alternate ways to contribute on the support tab.

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You may find more videos from the Not Edited Yet series and many others¬†directly on my YouTube channel¬†— subscribe to be notified when new videos go live!

Not Edited Yet #6 — Bucharest Cycle March ’17

Although just cycling in Bucharest is already fun, period, doing that at a Critical Mass event with my friends Lulu and Ioana on closed streets with hundreds (maybe thousands) other cyclists was even better!


All the content i create is made available to all, and for free.¬†If you find value in it, then please consider becoming a recurring donor — it is the best way to help me continue doing it! You may also find alternate ways to contribute on the support tab.

watch more

You may find more videos from the Not Edited Yet series and many others¬†directly on my YouTube channel¬†— subscribe to be notified when new videos go live!