Statue of Vladimir Lenin in Tiraspol

Travel to Transnistria, a Country that Doesn’t Exist

Mark Stewart Destinations 11 Comments

In the far reaches of Eastern Europe, on the edge of Moldova, is Transnistria – a country that doesn’t exist. This peculiar destination, where the hammer and sickle still reigns supreme, gives visitors a glimpse into the past. While in Moldova recently, I decided to travel to Transnistria for a day and experience this mysterious land for myself. The Pridnestrian Moldovian Republic Transnistria is officially called the Pridnestrian Moldavian Republic. It’s a tiny strip of land wedged between the Dniester …

A platter of chicken and rice surrounded by lettuce leaves

An Unexpected Jordanian Feast in Romania

Mark Stewart Destinations 4 Comments

For the first time in nearly a year, we could see our breath. The weather was changing quickly and it was a cold morning as we walked to the bus station in Targu Mures. Though we weren’t entirely prepared for it, autumn was upon us. We had just spent the past couple of weeks adjusting to city life once again after our road trip through Maramures, as well as basking in some proper hotel life during this time. However, it …

Looking Back at One Year on the Road

Mark Stewart Opinions 4 Comments

It’s that unmistakable time of year, the leaves are colouring, and exhaust fumes have that subtly different smell in the changing air. Our Australian friends are flooding social media with excitement for the coming months and everything is pumpkin-spiced. That can mean only one thing: We’ve been on the road for nearly an entire year already. With 36 buses, 11 flights, 4 trains, two boats, countless shuttles, cars and the back of a few pick-up trucks; we’ve travelled over 32,000 …

Bratislava; It Should Have Been Amazing…

Mark Stewart Destinations 22 Comments

The unfortunate fact about life is that sometimes it doesn’t play out the way you’d like. Even in the beautiful old city of Bratislava, one can have a less than pleasurable experience. This is especially true when it comes to long-term, budget travel. Sometimes these negative vibes come from the overcrowding of some once-idyllic beach. Perhaps it’s the tourist hordes at some beautiful monument you’ve been dying to photograph. Other times, however, it’s subtle things, many of which add up …

Warsaw street with places to eat

How We Spent 3 Days in Warsaw, Poland

Mark Stewart Destinations 12 Comments

We found ourselves in Poland almost completely unplanned; our visit was completely due to costs. The reason we’d been in Europe in the first place was to attend a conference in Ostrava, in the eastern Czech Republic. The cheapest way for us to fly into this region was via Poland. So simply in a stroke of luck, we found ourselves in a fascinating new city we hadn’t even planned on visiting. And because we flew in early, we 3 days …

Relaxation at the Miura Hotel in the Czech Republic

Mark Stewart Destinations 2 Comments

Located on the edge of Čeladná, in the Beskid mountains of the Czech Republic, sits the funky and ultra-modern Miura Hotel. Recently, while exploring this region of the country, we had the opportunity to pop in for a few hours and see what they had to offer. Little did I know prior to arrival, was how rewarding it would be. Although we try to stay as active as possible while on the road, sometimes we still find ourselves slightly underprepared. …

House Sitting in Epsom

Mark Stewart Destinations 9 Comments

Chances are you’ve never heard of magnesium sulphate. It’s much more likely you know it by its common name: Epsom salts. Now, other than one of the earliest discoveries of this compound being discovered in the town of Epsom, this is the last we’ll be talking about that. We rolled into Epsom on the Southwestern Rail train from Waterloo station just before noon. I think it was noon, our phone said so at least. For Kylee and I, it could …

How to Get to Guatape from Medellin

Mark Stewart Destinations 4 Comments

My lungs burned and I was far too sweaty for this early in the morning. I should have eaten more than a bunuelo for breakfast. 475… Only 200 more steps to go. Aside from the realization that I’ve become incredibly out of shape over the passed two months, the view from up here is stunning. The colourful town of Guatape is a tiny scattering of buildings in the distance. 500… If you’re just looking for information on how to get …

Graffiti on a wall in Medellin's Comuna 13

The Evolution of the Notorious Comuna 13 in Medellin

Mark Stewart Destinations 6 Comments

For years, Medellin was the most dangerous city in the world. Between Pablo Escobar and the drug cartels vying for control, and the military attempting to control them. To leftist revolutionary guerrillas and the privately funded right-wing paramilitary groups locked in conflict. Car bombs, shootings, kidnappings and outright war were commonplace in the region. While the city itself stood amongst the most violent on earth, until as recently as 2010; one neighbourhood in particular ranked deadliest of all. The neighbourhood …

Man sits by a lake with two volcanoes in the background at Lake Atitlan, Guatemala

Reflecting on Five Months Central America

Mark Stewart Destinations 25 Comments

It’s such a tiny area. The entirety of Central America – including the regions of Mexico we visited – could fit within the country of France. Yet every country is different than the next, each one having its own distinct culture. In Guatemala for example, the Mayan roots are very obvious; from physical features to traditional clothing and general way of life. While right next door in El Salvador, due to several tragic moments in recent history, the Mayan culture …