This is a travel blog written by a professional tour leader, a Bohemian who has spent 15 years leading tours all over the world.
Bohemian, literally, as I come from Bohemia, the former medieval kingdom of what is now the Czech republic, Europe.
Do I drink absinthe? No.
But I sure as hell know what a wanderer, an adventurer and a vagabond are!
It all started with a strange desire I felt as a kid when running my finger over the pages of my parent’s old world atlas, filled with names like Iskandariya, Machu Picchu, Tropic of Capricorn, Sargasso Sea, Christmas Island, and Takla Makan.
Most kids dream about becoming an astronaut, a tiger tamer or a dolphin; I dreamt about mysterious, faraway places of unpronounceable names.
They were calling out to me.
As a result, every spring, I was filled with a restlessness I couldn’t shake – the fever of the first explorers, if you like, forcing me to figure out ways to get out there and see those places.
Getting out wasn’t as easy as it sounds, since back then, I lived in a communist country. And leaving a communist country is treason.
But Hermes took pity on me. While I was racking my juvenile brain for ways to leave and come back without being noticed and arrested (watching Copperfield’s shows certainly did not help), the Iron Curtain went down and I was free to go!
That’s how I became a tour leader.
So far, I’ve travelled to, lived and worked in about 50 countries.
I spent 2 years in Latin America and the Caribbean, 2 years in India, Tibet, Nepal and South-Eastern Asia, 1 year in Egypt, 8 years in China. Add to that plenty of backpacking and private travel all over the place, as well as cruises of the Mediterranean, Caribbean and the Atlantic in between.
Currently, after 2 years of living in London, I reside in California.
No, I’m in no way related to the spy family in the The Americans.
Living a nomadic (some may say slightly deranged) life leaves really no mark on you. Apart from meeting a lot of people and having a lot of bizarre stories to tell, you get a clearer sense of the world, occasional altitude sickness or Lyme disease, a degree in Chinese language and literature, a certainty you never want to live in London again, a healthy cynical streak, unhealthy optimistic views and, of course, no money.
All in all, the whole experience is more enlightening than the best school of Freudian psychology.
This blog has 2 parts – a section of short travel stories arranged in sets by individual countries, and a section of countries’ information aimed at xenophiles (people who get a kick out of everything foreign), history buffs and potential travelers.
Why hag in the name of the blog?
Certainly not because I’m a strict librarian with prominent wrinkles around my mouth, droopy boobs, and ABSOLUTELY no ass, as the urban dictionary suggests, but because my style of writing is not exactly suited for those who take offence at sarcasm, have an undeveloped sense of humor and are timid in spirit!
Oh, and because to buy the domain of ‘bohemiangirl.com,’ my first choice, you’d have to dish out $4,000/year!
Spring’s calling, so take the wind and enjoy the ride.